EletiofeThe 9 Best TVs We’ve Reviewed, Plus Buying Advice...

The 9 Best TVs We’ve Reviewed, Plus Buying Advice for Normies (2024)

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Featured in this article

Best TV for Most People

TCL Q6

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Best for Bright Rooms

Hisense U8N

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Prettiest Picture

Sony A95L

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Best 8K TV

Samsung QN900C

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Saving up for a new screen? Even if a giant TV is no longer the third-most-expensive thing some Americans own after their house and car, it’s still a big decision. Whether you’re a videophile or a normie looking for your first foray into Ultra HD, the best TVs available right now are bigger, brighter, and cheaper than ever before.

To help you navigate the dozens of seemingly identical TV models from Samsung, LG, TCL, Hisense, Sony, and other manufacturers, we’ve watched hundreds of hours of content to pick out the favorites from our recent reviews. We’ve listed everything from the very best TV we’ve tested to the best sets you can buy on a tight budget—with a few excellent choices in between.

All of these models have at least 4K Ultra HD pixel resolution (one has 8K), because there’s no reason to buy a standard HDTV anymore. TVs now come with wonderful displays, but they’re usually terrible at audio and can have lackluster interfaces, so you should consider investing in a good soundbar or pair of bookshelf speakers and a TV streaming stick. If you’re unfamiliar with much of the lingo TV manufacturers use, our How to Buy a TV guide can help.

Updated June 2024: We’ve added the Hisense U8N, the TCL QM8, the Samsung S95D, and the Samsung QN900C. We also added the Sony Bravia 7 to Honorable Mentions, and the Roku Pro Series as an upgrade to the Roku Plus Series.

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  • Photograph: TCL

    Best TV for Most People

    TCL Q6

    These days, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a fantastic TV. This mid-tier model from TCL (7/10, WIRED Recommends) features quantum dot technology and support for every major high dynamic range (HDR) format for gorgeous colors. I also like that game mode can use software trickery to upscale 1080p to 120 frames per second—as fast as a modern Xbox or Playstation can handle.

    One small downside to this model is the fact that it comes with Google TV instead of Roku. I like that you can easily cast any content you want to this screen, but I don’t like that the interface (though it has every app you could want) can be a bit sluggish at times. Apart from the better black levels and overall color, I also like that you can now choose between leaving the legs of the TV on the far outside or further inside the TV. That makes it easier to fit on furniture if you’re not going to wall-mount it, which is very important to me.

  • Photograph: Ryan Waniata

    Best for Bright Rooms

    Hisense U8N

    TVs have gotten insanely bright in 2024, and the Hisense U8N (8/10 WIRED Recommends) is among the brightest of the new order. To give you an idea of its potency, it’s peak brightness pushes toward twice the peak brightness of the U8K (8/10, WIRED Recommends), one of 2023’s brightest TVs. That kind of spectacle takes some getting used to, but it pairs with the U8N’s quantum dot colors for dazzling performance even in rooms flooded with light. An onboard optical sensor can help keep the brightness in check when the sun goes down, while the TV’s mini LED backlight system allows for fantastic contrast and rich black levels.

    The U8N adds good usability thanks to a loaded Google TV interface, a speedy 120-Hz panel, and plenty of gaming features, including dual HDMI 2.1 ports for standards like VRR and ALLM to get the most out of the best gaming consoles and PCs. The new pedestal stand adds some extra class, too. The U8N’s mid-tier pricing equates to some compromises like mediocre off-angle viewing and some over-sharpened images, but few can match the U8N’s brightness and even fewer can top its performance value.

  • Photograph: Sony

    Prettiest Picture

    Sony A95L

    Sony’s A95L (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is simply the best-looking TV I have ever seen, adding quantum dots to an OLED display for fabulous colors and an even brighter picture than its fantastic predecessor, the A95K. Samsung makes these panels, but Sony adds its special-sauce XR processing for pristine clarity and color shading that feels at once natural and immersive. From a performance perspective, it’s hard to find a flaw. Sony must have thought the A95L was perfect since the brand won’t be updating it for 2024, adding two new mini LED TVs instead.

    Apart from its picture, the TV folds in many of the extras you’d expect in a modern flagship display, including top-tier gaming features (though only across two of its four HDMI inputs), an intuitive Google TV interface, and surprisingly good onboard sound. The A95L isn’t for the budget shopper, but rest assured it’s as stunning to look at as it is costly to bring home.

  • Photograph: Samsung

    Best 8K TV

    Samsung QN900C

    As we’ve noted in previous coverage, 8K TVs can be a tough sell since 8K content is still scarce and the files are enormous. Luckily, Samsung’s 8K TVs do a swell job upscaling 4K video, which is especially handy for larger screen sizes. Samsung’s bright and beautiful QN900C (8/10, WIRED Recommends) comes in sizes ranging from 65 inches up to an 85-inch monster. The TV’s 33 million pixels are matched by fabulous picture processing, potent brightness, and vibrant colors. It all adds up to showy spectacle that’s tough to rival.

    The QN900C is our current go-to model, not because it’s the latest from the brand, but because its status as last year’s flagship makes it much more affordable. We’ve only gotten a glimpse of 2024’s QN900D thus far, but we once again feel comfortable recommending most 8K adopters save big on last year’s model. Along with its sparkling 8K resolution, the QN900C is fully loaded with options like Samsung’s pedestal-style floating-screen design, and the latest gaming features for a top-tier experience. –Ryan Waniata

  • Photograph: Roku

    Best Smart TV

    Roku Plus Series

    It’s no secret that we’re fans of Roku’s smart TV interface—that’s a big reason the TCL-brand TVs topped our list for so long in the midst of worthy adversaries. Now Roku has stepped out and is making its own TVs in-house, and the company’s Roku Plus Series TVs serve as a great entry point for those on a budget.

    I spent a month or so testing the Plus Series and came away pretty darn impressed with its picture. Sure, you don’t get a high refresh rate for gaming (this panel is limited to 60 frames per second, which is still fine for most consoles), but you do get excellent color via the quantum-dot-enabled (QLED) panel. Full-array local dimming means solid black levels, and this model is even supported by HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant, making it a great affordable smart TV.

    ★ Take it up a notch: If you’re after Roku smarts but with higher performance, we also like their Roku Pro Series TV, which provides better performance thanks to features like mini LEDs for improved contrast and a 120-Hz panel for better motion handling.

  • Photograph: Ryan Waniata

    Best OLED for Bright Rooms

    Samsung S95D

    Last year’s S95C QD-OLED TV (8/10, WIRED Recommends) was Samsung’s most impressive display, offering phenomenal brightness for an OLED TV, fabulous colors, and generally incredible picture quality, bolstered by great features and stunning design. For 2024, Samsung takes an even bigger swing with the S95D (8/10, WIRED Recommends), adding an anti-reflective screen coating for incredible glare resistance. Even direct lighting from inches away is dissipated with surprising efficacy.

    The trade-off is that the S95D tends to lose some perceived depth in direct lighting, as the black backdrop swaps obsidian gloss for a duller matte coating. This is really only noticeable with very dark backgrounds in bright rooms, but it could be a reason for some to consider the sale-priced S95C while still available. Otherwise, the S95D looks fantastic day or night, with brilliant contrast and brightness that beats every OLED we’ve evaluated so far. Add in the same great features and design from last year, and you’ve got a killer QD-OLED that can take on even the toughest glare.

  • Photograph: Ryan Waniata

    Best QLED TV

    Samsung QN90C

    Samsung’s QN90C (8/10 WIRED Recommends) is an excellent choice for those after a bright and punchy backlit TV (read: non-OLED) that doesn’t skimp on the details. It serves up luscious image processing, rich and refined quantum dot colors, and plenty of other goodies to display your favorite content in style. Unlike a lot of LED-powered TVs, it even provides good off-axis viewing without any added reflective issues, resulting in a great picture wherever you sit.

    Along with its superb picture, the QN90C offers gaming-forward features like a 120-Hz panel and four HDMI 2.1 ports, alongside cloud gaming from Samsung’s excellent Gaming Hub. That’s topped off by a stylish pedestal mount and relatively good onboard sound. The QN90C’s powerful local dimming can occasionally be slow to react, but this is a rarely noticeable drawback in an otherwise excellent display. While the newer QN90D promises some modest upgrades, like a lot of models right now, the QN90C’s current sale price makes it a knockout value. —Ryan Waniata

  • Photograph: Parker Hall

    Another Great QLED TV

    QM8

    TCL’s QM8 series (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is one of the few TVs that can compete with Hisense’s popular U8 when it comes to overall poise and punch for your money. In many ways, this mid-tier TV acts more like a premium set, offering blistering brightness matched by vivid colors and excellent contrast from its mini LED backlighting. HDR moments like the molten lava monster from Moana absolutely sparkle onscreen, while a loaded Google TV interface and dual HDMI 2.1 ports for fast-paced gaming add up to a lot of fun from an affordable screen.

    The 2023 QM8 we reviewed is often on super sale, making it an even better value. Like the Hisense U8N, the TV has some trouble with off-axis performance, but there’s really not much else to complain about here. It’s worth noting that the 2024 QM8 (which we’ll be reviewing shortly) provides unprecedented brightness, at up to twice what the already searing 2023 model can muster. But the older model’s blend of value and performance make it a great deal while you can still get it. –Ryan Waniata.

  • Photograph: Ryan Waniata

    Best TV for Gamers

    LG C3 OLED (65 Inch)

    If you want to build a traditional OLED TV (in which each pixel lights individually), you likely have to buy the raw OLED panel from LG. This, as you’d imagine, puts the Korean behemoth at something of an advantage when it comes to the screen tech most praised by videophiles and lovers of great TVs.

    Whether you’re passively viewing or actively gaming, the LG C3 (9/10, WIRED Recommends) is an object lesson in realism, detail retrieval, motion handling, and all the other stuff that goes into truly satisfying image quality. The pictures it delivers are vivid but never overblown, high-contrast, absolutely loaded with detail (especially where tone and texture are concerned) and utterly stable, no matter how complicated the content. Gaming response is lightning fast (9.2 milliseconds), and it supports some version of every major gaming feature across all four HDMI 2.1 ports. Add in a fast webOS smart TV interface with a slim and elegant design and you’ve got close to the complete package. We’re currently testing the modestly upgraded C4, but its release makes the still-fabulous C3 an even better deal right now. —Simon Lucas

  • Photograph: Amazon

    Honorable Mention

    Other Great TVs

    There are so many wonderful TVs now available, there’s a good chance even those that didn’t make our top picks could be a fantastic option for you. Here are some of our favorites that just missed the cut.

    Samsung S95C: As noted above, the S95C (8/10, WIRED Recommends) remains a fantastic choice. It may even be the better option for those who don’t want or need the matte screen of the 2024 model, still standing as one of the very best OLED TVs you can buy—especially given its seriously accessible sale pricing.

    Sony Bravia 7: The Bravia 7 (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is a gorgeous display, offering brilliant brightness, naturalistic colors, and suave finesse in the subtle details. Its biggest knock is poor off-axis viewing, which could be tough to swallow at its high price. Otherwise, it’s worth consideration for fans of that Sony glow.

    Hisense U8K: Though the U8N is a whole lot brighter, the U8K (8/10, WIRED Recommends) was one of last year’s very brightest, and it adds plenty of other bounty—from excellent contrast to sweet gaming features. It’s still well worth considering if you can find it for a sale price well below the U8N.

    Samsung QN90B: Another great deal while still available, Samsung’s QN90B (8/10, WIRED Recommends) was long our favorite bright-room TV. It’s available in a wide range of sizes and provides a bright and colorful picture and plenty of goodies—especially enticing considering its continuously sinking price tag.

  • Photograph: Samsung

    Buy by Brand

    Some TV Buying Tips

    If a TV isn’t made by LG, Samsung, TCL, Vizio, Sony, Hisense, or Roku, make sure you’ve done your research. These are our favorite manufacturers at the moment. A cheap set might look enticing for the price, but try to avoid dirt-cheap models from brands like Sceptre, which may not offer good picture quality or a durable build.

    If your budget doesn’t extend to a new model from the above brands, we recommend looking into last year’s TVs sold at steep discounts and often offering only modest differences. You could also look at factory-refurbished options, but these are obviously less reliable. Read our How to Buy a TV guide to learn more about the terms you’ll come across when shopping for a screen, and other helpful advice.

  • Illustration: Vlad Rachuk/Getty Images

    Helpful Definitions

    What Do 4K, HDR, and Other Buzzwords Mean?

    Buying a TV requires navigating a sea of lingo, so let’s quickly define a few key terms. You can also read more about these terms in our How to Buy a TV guide.

    • 4K or Ultra HD refers to television resolution with four times as many pixels (points of light) as a traditional HDTV.
    • 8K displays have four times the pixels of 4K, but you can mostly ignore 8K for the foreseeable future. 8K sets are still very expensive, and the availability of 8K content hasn’t made any notable strides.
    • HDR stands for high dynamic range, and all good 4K TVs have it. A TV with HDR technology has better contrast (brighter brights, darker darks) and more voluminous color than older TVs with SDR (standard dynamic range). The three main versions of HDR to be aware of right now are HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. Modern TVs typically come with HDR10 and Dolby Vision support, while some models (namely Samsung) support HDR10+, a Dolby Vision alternative. Samsung TVs do not support Dolby Vision.
    • LED vs LCD: There was a time when these terms could be considered separate, as some early LCD TVs did not use LEDs for backlighting, but they are now essentially interchangeable. Any non-OLED TV right now uses a combination of an LCD panel and LED illumination to create a picture.
    • Full-array backlighting means there is a grid of LED lights behind the TV screen, instead of it being lit by lights on the edges.
    • Local dimming is enabled by full-array backlighting. It means the TV tries to intelligently lower the LED backlights in small areas of your screen where a movie scene is darker and brighten them in light spots. The best local dimming is offered by TVs with mini LED backlighting for even better light control (more on that below).
    • QLED TVs are backlit LED TVs that employ quantum dots, tiny particles that create brighter and better colors when illuminated. QLED might look like OLED in print, but QLED is not the same technology and generally isn’t as highly praised as OLED. QLED TVs look better than TVs without quantum dots, and the best ones get brighter than the best OLEDs, but they still fall behind OLED TVs when it comes to contrast, black levels, and viewing angle.
    • mini LED TVs are almost universally quantum-dot enabled, so they can also be considered QLEDs. A QLED with mini LEDs implies (but doesn’t guarantee) better picture quality than QLEDs without, since mini LEDs offer more dimming zones for better control and deeper back levels than regular full-array backlighting.
    • OLED TVs use an entirely different technology than LED/QLED TVs, able to light up or turn off each tiny pixel independently. That gives OLEDs improved contrast with deeper blacks than LED TVs for a more immersive picture. OLED TVs also have much less trouble providing good off-angle viewing than most LED/QLED TVs, but they can’t currently get as bright as the top QLED TVs.
    • QD-OLED TVs use newer panels made by Samsung that add quantum dots to improve brightness and aid the color performance of a normal OLED screen.
    • 120 Hz means a TV’s display refreshes at up to 120 frames per second, producing significantly smoother onscreen action than you’ll get with lower-quality 60-Hz panels. This is great for gaming and watching sports, but otherwise, you won’t notice much of a difference, as most films and TV shows are designed to be shown at lower frame rates.

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