Best TV: our 7 top buys worth every penny

Compare our best TV picks from big-named brands such as Samsung, LG and Sony in our expert guide

Best TV
Samsung Frame Tv
(Image credit: Samsung)

The best TV is the one you'll want to watch now, and in the next coming weeks and months. Get a good one and it can see you through a good number of years, too. It'll offer you an incredible picture quality, connectivity, smart platforms and a design to behold which will make every penny spent well worth the investment.

What is the difference between QLED and OLED?

This TV vocabulary is being knocked-around a fair bit, which can be confusing, but it's good to know these things before committing to a buy so we'll help decipher...OLED, Organic Light Emitting Diode, means that each pixel in the screen is self-lighting, so they can switch on-and-off individually. And there is an extra white sub-pixel, delivering ultra-fine gradation and a true-to-life colour palette. QLED, Quantum-dot Light Emitting Diode, was introduced in 2017 by Samsung. This tech (in simplified terms) has a quantum dot colour filter in front of an LCD backlight which, OK doesn't too sound impressive, but more companies are starting to invest in it so not just the big screens can benefit from incredible details.

Televisions come in a vast array of screen sizes and tech to boot so we have put together this guide, to help you decipher all that TV jargon and self-branded tech spec to ensure you make the right decision. The televisions in our guide have been vetted by our television expert, Dan Sung, or heavily scoped out with our tele hats on, so we can recommend a series of screens – from 4K TVs to the 8K televisions, and even the (beautiful) OLED TV – which we would be happy to have in our own home.

Keep scrolling for the best TV you can buy, and for our honest views about exactly what you'll get from each of the options available. Prefer to watch TV on one of the biggest screens you can get? No worries: check out our best projectors guide which can also be used outdoors, when the weather gets warmer. 

What is the best TV 2020?

It's a good question to ask, especially with SO many top teles out there. However, there are a couple of stand out performers and (if you want our opinion) we wouldn't hesitate to buy the Samsung Q950TS QLED TV. It's one of the first 8K TVs to market, which truly ushers in a new era of TV picture quality which could be worth investing in if you're in it for the long-run. Our friends at TechRadar agree, and so do you since it recently won our Real Homes Awards for the Best TV category.

If you're not quiet ready to dip your toe into 8K then you'll want to buy the Samsung QE65Q90R. The Q90 secures it's top spot because it incorporates comprehensive features and cutting-edge picture innovation with the best viewing angles around. In fact, it delivers a performance which competes with and often surpasses the best OLED TVs so you get an idea of the experience you're in for.

You don't need to just take our word for it either. It's a winner with TechRadar, T3, What HiFi, Trusted Reviews and Apple TV, so we're pretty confident that it'll be a winner in your eyes too.

Our best TV buys

best TV: Samsung Q950TS QLED TV

(Image credit: Laptops Direct)

1. Samsung Q950TS QLED TV (2020)

Best 8K TV: if you want more pixels for your buck, this is the screen for you

Specifications
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: QLED
Smart TV: Yes(Samsung Smart Hub)
HDR: HDR 2000
Available screen sizes: 65in, 75in, 85in
Reasons to buy
+Incredible detailing+Impressive up-scaling
Reasons to avoid
-Predictably pricey-Limited 8K content-No Dolby Vision or Atmos-Available on mega large screens, only

This Samsung television is without doubt the best example of an 8K screen. While it's easy to be critical about one of the first 8K TVs to market, it truly does usher in a new era of TV picture quality which could be worth investing in if you're in it for the long-run. We love it (despite the chunky price tag) and so do you because you've voted it the Best TV in the Real Homes Awards which took place earlier this month.

Incredible 8K quality
Enjoy enhanced colour, texture and tones on the big screen for the ultimate home cinema experience. Four times the resolution of 4K (never did we think we'd see the day!), this image quality – which is free of pixels – simply cannot be beaten.

Adapts to bring you the best audio and visual experience
Designed to bring you the best sound and picture, whatever you're watching, the Samsung Q950R automatically adapts to ensure consistently high quality.

Perfect picture from every angle
Thanks to innovative design, the Samsung Q950R also guarantees a perfect picture from every angle, which is great if you're planning on hosting the movie nights this super screen deserves.

Ambient mode
And when your TV is turned off, you won't have to worry about it being too much of an eye sore. With ambient mode, you can watch your TV blend, seamlessly, into your interior scheme. Or, project your favourite photos, artworks and more.

best TV: Panasonic HZ2000

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. Panasonic HZ2000 OLED TV (2020)

Best TV 2020: it could be one of the best TVs ever made

Specifications
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV:
HDR:
Available screen sizes: 55in, 65in
Reasons to buy
+Out-of-this-world picture quality+Dolby Atnos sound system
Reasons to avoid
-Not sold in the U.S

Hot on the heals of our number one position is this Panasonic TV which has everything you could ever possibility want from a tele. It's a big claim, we know, but this TV is packed full of tech spec and it delivers, too.

That screen
This beauty has a custom OLED panel (we LOVE an OLED) that takes the picture quality to new heights. It's packed with the brands HCX Pro Intelligent processor which was first seen on last year's flagship - the GZ2000. It delivers the ability to deliver bright, saturated colours and huge contrasts, even when the scene is brightly lit.

And you can hear it, too
OLED screens are renowned for their super-slim designs which critics may say compromises the sound. But not on the HZ2000. It's packing a punch with 140W Dolby Atmos speakers and upward-firing drivers which brings you the closest to a cinematic experience, without you having to actually queue to get into a cinema.

LG GX

(Image credit: LG)

3. LG GX OLED Series (2020)

The best OLED TV: if you want the latest tech showcased on a beautiful screen

Specifications
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: WebOS
HDR: Dolby Vision IQ / HDR10 / Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)
Available screen sizes: 55in, 65in, 77in
Reasons to buy
+Minimalist aesthetic+Gallery design+Decent audio
Reasons to avoid
-A little pricey (could be worth it, though!)

New for 2020, this LG television is a piece of artwork which will display your fave entertainment with beautiful detail and clarity. It's in our third spot, rather than second, just because of the heavy price tag but if you want the latest screen then this is an excellent option.

Minimalist aesthetic
The LG GX offers a uniquely minimalist aesthetic, made possible by OLED’s revolutionary panel technology and ultra-thin form factor. The TV mounts flush to the wall akin to a piece of art in a gallery meaning it is the ultimate choice for interior design fanatics.

Talking of the OLED screen... you'll witness perfect blacks, intense colour, and infinite contrast when it's switched on with your entertainment. This one is stunning; on or off.

It's a winner of the iF Design Award and Red Dot Design Award 2020 best of the best, so you don't just need to take our word for it.

All-new features
LG OLED TVs now all feature the all-new Filmmaker Mode. This disables special effects such as motion smoothing and image sharpening to preserve the original, just as the director intended. This can be easily activated through the TV menu, or by using the LG smart remote in-built voice control. 

Add this to the LG webOS smart suite and movie marathons, and box-set binging, will never be the same.

best 40 inch TV: Samsung The Frame (2020)

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

4. Samsung The Frame QLED TV (2020)

Best TV for style: a TV disguised as artwork

Specifications
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Edge QLED
Smart TV: Samsung Tizen OS
HDR support: HDR10+, HLG
Available screen sizes: 32in, 43in, 50in, 55in, 65in, 75in
Reasons to buy
+Hangs flush to wall+Great viewing angles+Home decor friendly
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Building on the Samsung The Frame (2019), this new model is not only available in additional sizes, from 32in to 75in but its new AI-based auto-curation feature, the Frame’s Art Store, is now able to suggest artwork in line with the specific tastes of the owner.  

QLED
As with the Serif, The Frame TV is QLED features with a strong steer towards interior design. 

Stylish design
The Frame offers an outstanding viewing experience. It's bezel is styled like a picture frame which you can hang on your wall. 

When it’s off, it blends with your other pictures thanks to Art Mode and displays thousands of attractive digital pictures. You can subscribe to Samsung’s Art Store (for just £3.99 per month) to access hundreds of images ranging from contemporary to classic, or you can create your own slide show using your own snaps. This year, the tech has gone one step further to suggest artwork in line with your specific tastes - very clever!

No trailing wires
Key to this set is the No Gap Wall Mount which sits this TV absolutely flush to your wall with only enough space for the tiny Near-Invisible Cable to run discreetly down to the One Connect box which you can tuck away inside a cupboard. It’s the One Connect where you plug everything else including the TV’s power cable, your set-top-box, Blu-ray player and any external speakers.

best TV: Philips OLED 754 TV (2020)

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

5. Philips OLED 754 TV (2020)

Best OLED TV with Ambilight: for surround vision and colour

Specifications
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: Saphi
HDR support: Universal
Available screen sizes: 55in, 65in
Reasons to buy
+Immersive Ambilight+Incredible value
Reasons to avoid
-No Freeview Play

For an OLED which is around the £1,000 mark, this Philips TV is a bargain (if you ask us anyway). It's a fab example of a mid-range TV, too, but the difference with this one is that it radiates colour throughout the room.

Ambilight screen
Although not a new phenomena for Philips, Ambilight tech is still a treat to watch. This example has three-sides of it which bursts colour into the room to offer a lightshow alongside the drama that's unfolding in your fave series and TV dramas.

OLED
It's another OLED screen, yep, but they all vary so much. Compared to the others in this guide, the OLED panel of this screen is not as high-end as those further up on the list BUT you do get High-Definition-Support so those dark blacks and crisp contrasts. The second-gen P5 processor still works wonders, too.

The OLED754 is also a really good price for what you get, so you can't knock it.

best TV

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

6. Samsung Q80T QLED TV (2020)

Best TV for game players: there's little to no lag and it's a good price point, too

Specifications
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: QLED
Smart TV: Tizen
HDR support: Yes
Available screen sizes: 65in
Reasons to buy
+AI processing+Superior sound
Reasons to avoid
-No Freeview Play-No Dolby Vision support

This screen isn't exactly brimming with all the fancy TV tech BUT as the cheapest QLED there's still a lot on offer.

Game time
It has a full-array backlight which floods the screen so you don't have to skimp on edge-lit display. And, given the consistently low input lag with your PS4 Pro, Xbox One X (and so on) there will be very little delay. It also has a dedicated Game Motion Plus setting which reduces judder and blur for a smooth gameplay.

TV watching
Aside from being a top choice for gamers, this smart tele also has everything you need to watch your fave shows on demand.

The picture is sill pretty clear being in 4K UHD and a QLED panel. It's also got bright HDR and AI-enhanced images which makes it a super option for all ages of the household, albeit watching or gaming.

Anything else?
Technically speaking it's an update to last year's Q70R model, so if you have this screen already then (to be honest) this wouldn't be a significant upgrade.

best TV: LG OLED55B9PLA OLED TV

(Image credit: LG)

7. LG B9 OLED TV (2019)

Best TV for those on a budget: a great option if you want an OLED screen but are watching the pennies

Specifications
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: Yes(My Home Screen)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HLG
Available screen sizes: 55in, 65in
Reasons to buy
+Lovely colour production+Fantastic price+Strong smart platform
Reasons to avoid
-Dark details lacking

The LG B9 is the most affordable OLED you can buy right now. It’s also very, very good. The only difference between it and the more expensive LG C9 OLED TV is that the processor inside it is from LG’s 2018 TVs. The actual display is the same.

4K & OLED
With the same display as the LG C9 which is found higher up on our list, you'll still experience the gorgeous deep blacks, vivid but natural colours and all the features and apps on this 4K TV with OLED screen you can expect in the top end models. This includes Dolby Vision and arguably the very best OS you can find on an OLED TV anywhere.

You can get more dark and light detailed performance out of LG’s C9 and E9 sets but the B9 is a great value sweet spot for OLED.

It's smart, too
The B9 comes with LG’s Magic Remote gesture controller which offers a compact and easy way to navigate the menus and settings. Naturally, the system is fitted with all the obvious apps like Prime Video, Netflix and the catch-up services but there’s also the tricky but important ones to find like Now TV for pay-per-view access to all of Sky’s content and the Apple TV+ app for Apple’s huge 4K HDR film and TV library.


What to consider when buying the best TV

Choosing the best TV for you and the family, but not sure where to start? The single biggest decision you'll have to make (other than agreeing on  budget) is between buying a conventional LCD TV (also occasionally referred to as LED TVs) and an OLED TV

OLED TVs are more expensive, yes, but they benefit from absolutely astonishing levels of contrast thanks to the fact that they're able to turn off individual pixels to create 'perfect' black levels.

That said, they can't quite get as bright as LCD TVs meaning they can be a little harder to watch in bright living rooms. You also don't get quite as much sparkle in brighter parts of an image. 

Beyond panel type your decision will come down to the strengths and weaknesses of each TV in particular, which ultimately comes down to what you want in a TV; the latest tech, the biggest screen, the smartest abilities or voice control (the list goes on).

How to choose the best TV

When it comes to choosing the best TV to suit your needs, there is a variety of factors worth careful consideration. 

There are two display technologies: LED (Light Emitting Diode) or backlit LCD and OLED. Here's the main difference between them:

  • OLED: renowned for their incredible picture quality, OLEDs are fast becoming the most popular option and it’s easy to see why. As individual LEDs light themselves, no backlight is required, meaning the TV itself can be even thinner. Plus, the faster refresh rate reduces motion blur, offering a sharper, more natural image with perfect inky blacks and vibrant colours. Browse our pick of the best OLED TVs to find the best buys
  • LCD: this option is great if you're looking for a lightweight TV on a smaller budget. Be aware, however, that because they use a backlight to illuminate pixels, colours may be less vivid and the blacks less, well, black. You might hear about QLED, too; that's Samsung's variant of LCD.

There are also two main resolutions to choose from on our screens these days: Ultra HD (UHD, also known as 4K) and HD. The main difference between these two types of resolution is in the number of pixels carried; 4K Ultra HD is 3840 x 2160 pixels and Full HD is 1920 x 1080 pixels. The higher number of pixels means better quality image, which is why 4K TVs tend to be the more popular option of the two.

What is HDR?
HDR (High Dynamic Range) is the next step up in picture quality, giving you bright spectral highlights, reflections that glint and sunlight that glares. If you're an avid sports fan, it's a real bonus. Plus, HDR content is currently available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. When it comes to choosing an HDR compatible TV, don’t buy a budget model – mid- to high-end models only will give you the picture quality you're seeking.

Smart TV platforms
It's highly likely the TV you're considering is network connectable, offering Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube at the minimum, as well as broadcast catch-up TV from BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5. But which smart TV platform to choose?

  • WebOS: found on LG connected screens, this award winning platform has a host of clever features, including app access, photo sharing and more.
  • Panasonic’s My Home Screen: recently overhauled, this offering from Panasonic allows for easy navigation, as well as access to a rang of handy apps.
  • Android: used by Sony and Philips, this platform doesn't impress reviewers as much, but it does have Chromecast built-in and works with effectively with Google smart speakers.

What size TV to buy

Got your tape measure to hand? Good, because choosing the right size TV for your living space may be the simplest step, but it’s also vitally important. So, how do you go about choosing the right sized screen?

There’s a simple equation to use when it comes to getting a TV that will fit in your space, and allow everyone to watch from a comfortable distance: 

  • Divide the diagonal width (in inches) of the TV by 0.84 to get the optimum viewing distance. 

So, for example, for a 65 inch TV, you would need to be sitting at least 6.5ft from it  – something to bear in mind if you have a smaller living room but your heart is set on a huge screen. 

That said, modern TVs are smaller/slimmer than older models, which means you can afford to go larger than your last model. Plus, if you replace an HD TV with a UHD one of the same size, but don’t change your viewing distance, you won’t see an improvement in resolution. Either buy a larger UHD TV than your old HD one, or stay the same and pull your sofa nearer.

How much to spend on a new TV?

While we can’t put an exact number on the cost of a new TV – this figure is affected by a variety of variables – what we will say is not all TVs were created equal and you do tend to get what you pay for. 

As our cheap TV sales guide show, you can get a decent TV from £300 and an even better screen if you have a budget of up to £1000. But, if you are after the best TV, you are probably going to have to go head-first through that four-figure barrier. 

  • We hope this guide has gone someway in helping. Want to see our full list again? Jump back up to the top ^

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