Best TV 2020: 7 top buys, from budget to premium 8K Ultra HD televisions

Watching your favourite programmes on one of the best TVs makes it an investment worthwhile, especially when bought at the best price...

best tv: Philip OLED984
(Image credit: Philips)

Looking for one of the best TVs? Finding a television which caters for everyone in the family is essential, especially during these unprecedented times we face. You can stream content to the big screen from your phone, access portals to enjoy the likes of Disney+ and Netflix and even create your own home cinema, all from the comfort of your living room sofa.

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. All the televisions in our guide have been vetted by our television expert, Dan Sung, and we wouldn't include a screen which we wouldn't be content with having 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.

Find all the best TV deals on our dedicated page if it's a bargain you're after.

What is the best TV 2020?

What is the difference between QLED and OLED?

This TV vocabulary is being knocked-around a fair bit, and it's easy to see why it can be so confusing, but we're here to help so here goes... 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.

If you want the best TV, 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.

Keep scrolling for more information on our pick of the best television, plus more screen options for entertaining the family this year and beyond.

The best TVs for 2020

best TV 2020: Samsung QE65Q90R

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

1. Samsung Q90 QLED TV (2019)

The best TV 2020

Specifications
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: QLED
Smart TV: Yes (Samsung Smart Hub)
HDR: Yes(HDR 2000)
Available screen sizes: 55in, 65in, 75in, 82in
Reasons to buy
+Superb picture quality+Attractive design+Voice assistant+Wider viewing angles+Well built
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision support-No Dolby Atmos speakers

The Q90 could well be the best TV, ever. The 2019 model is a marked improvement on the Samsung Q9FN which had a number of criticisms which it has now addressed (obstructed viewing angles and an over-aggressive local dimming system, to name a few), ending up as a firm favourite which will be hard to beat in the new release of screens later on this year.
Buy the Samsung Q90

4K in more ways

Boasting four times the number of pixels than 1080p Full HD TVs, the Q90 delivers stunning realism, natural motion and incredible detail. And if you're watching content which is non-4K (which is the case for most), UHD upscaling increases the clarity so it's on-par with live screening.

What's more, thanks to a Quantum Processor 4K the Q90 adapts to give you the optimum 4K picture, targeted sound and personalised TV recommendations.

See everything

You'll find the best viewing angle wherever you sit in the living room. And thanks to Anti-Reflection with Ultra Black Elite technology, you'll see nothing less than the purest picture presented to you across the anti-reflective screen.

Smart features & voice assist

Featuring Samsung's Smart Hub, you'll have unprecedented access to the latest apps (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and more) so you and the family can experience the very best content.  Skim through content easily, searching for your favourite programmes and movies while you are still watching TV. And enjoy super-fast response times, as you flit between apps, online services and live television.

The best bit (perhaps) is that you can interact and control your TV with your voice. The Q90 works in harmony with Bixby, Alexa, Google Assistant and Smart Things devices (compatible phone and app required) to bring you your favourite programme when you want them.

  • Like what you've seen so far? You may be interested to hear that Samsung's flagship television for 2019 is the Samsung QE65Q90R.

best TV: LG OLED55C9PLA

(Image credit: LG)

2. LG C9 OLED Series (2019)

Best OLED TV

Specifications
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: WebOS
HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Available screen sizes: 55in, 65in, 77in
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic black levels+Strong dark detail+Punchy colours
Reasons to avoid
-Audio doesn't pack a big punch, so a soundbar is advised

It's hard to fault this TV. If you want to pick at it, sure, it's not the last word in audio performance but then no flat screen TV really is. What you get with the C9 is LG's very latest in OLED know-how and, by golly, does this Korean company know a lot.
Buy the LG C9

4K & OLED

The C9 has all of the wonderful black depth and punchy, colourful imagery that LG's 2018 (LG C8) sets could manage, but also pack in a wealth of superb dark detail too, making each scene as wonderful to behold as the last ,no matter whether it's set in the shadows or a blinding white blizzard.

All the screen sizes in this range are blessed with four times the number of pixels than 1080p Full HD TVs, delivering stunning realism, natural motion and incredible detail. But, because it's OLED, the panel adds an extra white sub-pixel, to showcase ultra-fine gradation and stunning realism.

Smart features & voice control

The award-winning webOS platform is also a dream, especially with the Magic Remote which acts like a voice controller and an on-screen pointer for all your needs. The Apple TV app is probably the only missing piece of software but there are other ways of accessing iTunes content.

And then there's the option to get answers to questions while you're watching TV with the help of Google Assistant and Alexa. When you're signed in to Google, you can also control compatible smart devices, and check your Google photos or Google Calendar on the big screen.

If your budget is anywhere up to £2,000, and you've been persuaded by the power of OLED, then this is the set for you.

Shop LG televisions at John Lewis & Partners

best tv: Samsung Q950R

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Samsung Q950R QLED TV (2019)

Best 8K TV

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.
Buy the Samsung Q950R

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.

Check out Samsung televisions at Amazon

Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B OLED TV

(Image credit: Panasonic)

4. Panasonic GZ2000 OLED TV (2019)

Best TV for sound quality

Specifications
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: Yes(My Home Screen)
HDR: Yes
Available screen sizes: 55in, 65in
Reasons to buy
+Superb dark details+Vivid, realistic colours+Excellent sound
Reasons to avoid
-Poor app support

Panasonic’s top OLED TVs offer something that the LG C9 above does not and that’s sound. It’s not the prettiest box to put on your wall but this range of television comes with an integrated soundbar at the bottom of the picture as well as upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers on the back, which makes for the best TV audio you'll hear anywhere.
Buy the Panasonic GZ2000

4K & beyond

Picture-wise, the Panasonic GZ2000 is right up there with the sound. It betters the LG B9 below for dark detail, and that’s worth considering if you happen to watch a lot of crime, horror or other content which follow the trope of low lit scenes. The downside to all this brilliance, of course, is that it costs a lot more than the LG TVs. 

The user-interface is simple but not quite as decked with apps but it does support all flavours of HDR (Netflix, Amazon Prime, or your 4K Blu-ray movies) which is quite useful at present.

Custom-made

To distinguish the GZ2000 from its older, cheaper models, Panasonic have embedded a custom-made OLED panel in the range to elevate the picture quality above, and beyond, the (already impressive) GZ1500 and GZ1000 models.

It's smart

Panasonic uses its own MyHomeScreen smart TV platform which, unlike other TV platforms, doesn’t mute or pause the action when you call up the Home menu. But, and it is a big but, the smart platform is based on Firefox OS (which is getting on a bit now) and has struggled to recruit more apps to the scene which are beyond the major players (Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Freeview Play). For example, you won’t find Spotify, Tidal or Deezer here, and there's a lack of music capabilities which is slightly disappointing given that it's so brilliant for audio. This can be easily sorted with an external streaming stick, however, so is still more than worthy of a place in the living room.

Look at Panasonic televisions at Argos

LG OLED55B9PLA OLED TV

(Image credit: LG)

5. LG B9 OLED TV (2019)

Best TV for those on a budget

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.
Buy the LG B9

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 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.

best tv: OLED+984

(Image credit: Philips)

6. Philips 984 OLED TV (2019)

The best TV for colours

Specifications
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: Yes(Android Pie)
HDR: Universal HDR compatibility
Available screen sizes: 65in only
Reasons to buy
+Incredible 4K picture+Very, very sharp+Excellent sound+Ambilight
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Colours shy of natural-Demands space

This Philips TV is the most stylish OLED you’ll find, and is one which will fill your space with bright colour and market-leading sound.
Buy the Philips OLED984

On screen

While its colour handling is just short of natural, the levels of detail you can get from this TV are unbelievably good. The OLED panel is self-emissive and has the ability to turn off pixels entirely, guaranteeing perfect blacks, but then there's also the choice of varying (kind of bewildering)  picture modes. For example, there is only a slight difference between Standard and Natural, (the latter ups the contrast slightly). And there's varying degrees of HDR involvement too. Still, you get to choose the best images for you.

Audio

The sound, too, is something really quite special which will please television AND music lovers. The sound system on the OLED984 has been designed by Bowers & Wilkins, British audio specialist, which incorporates a professional audiophile speaker that sits perched with the OLED panel on a floor-standing pedestal. Boasting Dolby Atmos De-coding and a Dolby Atmos virtualizer, the processing and amplification of the audio is all done within the TV’s main chassis so there is no need to take up more space with the addition of a soundbar. 

How it looks...

It’s not so much the TV itself as its integration into a tasteful freestanding piece of furniture that will impress on first inspection. With no need for an ugly TV unit or any kind of clunky wall mounting, it looks quite the centrepiece in any contemporary living space. 

Browse Philips televisions at Hughes

best tv: Sony XE90

7. Sony XE90 LCD TV (2019)

Best LCD TV

Specifications
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: LCD
Smart TV: Yes
HDR: HDR10, HLG
Available screen sizes: 49in, 55in, 65in, 75in
Reasons to buy
+Accomplished backlight is great for HDR+Decent audio abilities
Reasons to avoid
-HDR could be brighter

If you're not on board with the amount of money you'd have to spend on an OLED, then there are still a good number of LCD TVs worth considering. 
Buy the Sony XE90

On screen

Unlike an OLED it's unable to turn its light off on a pixel-by-pixel basis, so in order to create contrast between light and dark parts of an image it instead uses an LED backlight. This backlight is able to turn off behind certain parts of the image to allow for variation in brightness levels.

The resulting HDR images speak for themselves, and mean that you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of LCD over OLEDs, namely much higher peak brightness levels.

It's smart, too

Sony’s smart TV offering is one that imports Google’s Android TV, which has joined forces with YouView In the UK) for a catch-up TV platform. Both Netflix and Amazon apps support 4K and industry standard high dynamic range streams and, since the XE90 uses Sony’s X1 chip rather than the more powerful X1 Extreme chip, there’s no support for the premium Dolby Vision HDR platform.

Shop Sony televisions at Currys PC World

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).

More on TVs...

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