$1,000 at Best Buy TCL 6-Series Roku TV Best 4K TV $1,000 at Best Buy $1,600 at Best Buy LG OLED C2 Best high-end 4K TV $1,600 at Best Buy $1,649 at Walmart Samsung QN90B Best high-end non-OLED 4K TV $1,649 at Walmart $360 at Best Buy TCL 4-Series Best budget 4K smart TV $360 at Best Buy $849 at Walmart Hisense U8H Best 4K TV for brightness $849 at Walmart NEW! CNET Shopping Extension Get the lowest price on everything Add CNET Shopping $900 at Best Buy Samsung Q60B Best midpriced 4K TV with sleek design $900 at Best Buy $459 at B & H Vizio V-Series Best budget 4K TV for picture quality $459 at B & H $808 at Best Buy Vizio MQX Best midpriced 4K TV (Update: Currently unavailable) $808 at Best Buy Show more (3 items)
Buying a new TV can be a daunting task, especially with so many options out there. In the end, most people make a decision based on the price of the TV and the features it offers. One feature that’s nearly become standard is 4K resolution support. It offers a better picture quality than HD TVs and is now the predominant resolution of most TVs released in recent years, so you’ll be able find it on a variety of models these days — even the best TVs under $500.
What are the best 4K TVs for all budgets?
The best 4K TV options run the gamut, encompassing a wide variety of models at budget and premium prices. One of our favorite affordable models is the TCL 4-Series, which starts at less than $300 for a 43-inch model. For a more premium pick, we love the LG OLED C2 — just keep in mind that it can get pricey.
4K resolution just means the TV has a certain number of pixels, 3,840×2,160 to be exact, along with the ability to display 4K TV shows, movies and games from streaming services, devices and game consoles like the Xbox Series X and PS5. There’s a lot more to picture quality than resolution, so you can’t ignore things like contrast, dynamic range, HDR performance and peak brightness. The best-performing TVs in our reviews excel in these areas. Additionally, if you’re looking for a gaming TV, you’ll also want to consider factors like input lag.
The list below represents the best 4K TVs (which are, let’s face it, the best TVs, period) that I’ve reviewed in CNET’s test lab, where I compare them side by side.
Read more: Change These TV Settings for the Optimal Picture
Best 4K TVs in 2023
TCL 6-Series Roku TV
Best 4K TV
For the last five years, the TCL 6-Series has been our favorite TV for the money, and the latest version — also known as the R655 series — is no exception. This TV has an excellent image thanks to mini-LED tech and well-implemented full-array local dimming that helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. It improves upon the previous R635 series with new gaming extras and a center-mount stand that you can elevate to make room for a soundbar, although the new 85-inch size has standard legs. And, finally, its Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite.
Read more $1,000 at Best Buy
LG OLED C2
Best high-end 4K TV
The C2 represents the pinnacle of picture quality at a price that’s admittedly high, but not too ridiculous. It beats any non-OLED TV on this list, including the Samsung QN90B below, with its perfect black levels, unbeatable contrast and superb off-angle viewing. It also has superb gaming features, making it the perfect companion to an Xbox Series X or S, PlayStation 5 or both. The C2 comes in a variety of sizes as well, although the bigger models are expensive.
Read more $1,600 at Best Buy$1,597 at B&H Photo-Video$2,035 at Macys.com
Best high-end non-OLED 4K TV
Sizes 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inchTV Technology QLED with Mini-LEDSmart TV Yes (Tizen)Resolution 4KHDMI Ports 4
Looking for a high-end TV with spectacular image quality, but don’t want an OLED? The Samsung QN90B is your best bet. This TV uses QLED TV tech augmented by mini-LED for a brighter image than any OLED TV. The spectacular contrast of OLED still won out in our side-by-side tests, but the QN90B QLED screen comes closer than ever.
Read more $1,649 at Walmart$1,698 at Amazon$1,600 at Best Buy
Best budget 4K smart TV
The picture quality of the TCL 4-Series Roku TV was a step behind the Vizio V-Series in our budget TV test, but the differences between the two are slight enough that you’d really have to have them set up side by side to notice anything at all. The 4-Series lacks Dolby Vision, Bluetooth connectivity and AMD FreeSync with a variable refresh rate, all of which the Vizio offers.
Read more $360 at Best Buy
Best 4K TV for brightness
Among midpriced models we liked the TCL 6-Series just a little better in our side-by-side comparison, but this Hisense is a strong contender. Its excellent image quality is anchored by best-in-class brightness that improves its bright-room picture quality and makes HDR TV movies, shows and games really pop. It’s actually brighter than the TCL with better contrast, but the TCL’s slightly more accurate image gave it the edge overall. The Hisense uses Google TV instead of Roku, and unlike the TCL, the U8H includes an ATSC 3.0 tuner. Frankly, you can’t go wrong with either one.
Read more $849 at Walmart$898 at Amazon$900 at Best Buy
Best midpriced 4K TV with sleek design
Samsung is the brand that sells more TVs than anyone, and one of its most popular is the Q60 series. Its sleek QLED screen design stands out compared with the other TVs on this list — even though the ultrathin OLED models are sleeker — and it offers better features, image quality and more sizes than models like the TCL 4-Series and Sony X80K. The TVs listed in this article are all superior values, but if you want a Samsung TV and can’t afford the QN90B, this is a great choice.
Read more $900 at Best Buy$998 at B&H Photo-Video$948 at Amazon
Best budget 4K TV for picture quality
Sizes 43-, 50-, 55-, 58- 65-, 70-, 75-inchTV Technology LEDSmart TV Yes (Tizen)Resolution 4KHDMI Ports 4
When we compared the best budget TVs side by side, the picture quality of Vizio’s V-Series clearly emerged as the leader of the pack. The Vizio offered the most balanced and accurate picture during our comparisons, and it comes with some useful extras such as Dolby Vision support, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth compatibility and variable refresh rate for potentially smoother gaming. The biggest downside of the Vizio is its smart TV platform, Vizio SmartCast. It’s crowded, slow and littered with ads for platforms such as Tubi and Kidoodle TV. Even when you factor in the cost of adding a new streaming device, however, the V-Series remains the best overall entry-level TV that we tested.
Read more $459 at B & H
Best midpriced 4K TV (Update: Currently unavailable)
Sizes 50-, 65-, 75-inchTV Technology LED with local dimmingSmart TV Yes (SmartCast)Resolution 4KHDMI Ports 4
The Vizio MQX is one of the least expensive TVs to feature full-array local dimming, which lets it reproduce TV shows, movies and games with enough contrast and pop to do HDR justice. The MQX has fewer dimming zones than more expensive TVs like the TCL 6-Series and Hisense U8H, but it offers 16 zones on the 50-inch model, 30 on the 65-inch and 42 on the 75-inch, which is more than enough for excellent overall picture quality, with bright highlights, dark black levels, punchy contrast and accurate color.
Read more $808 at Best Buy$849 at Sam’s Club
How CNET tests 4K TVs
Our TV reviews follow a rigorous, unbiased evaluation process honed over nearly two decades of reviewing TVs. Our primary TV test lab has specialized equipment for measuring light and color, including a Konica Minolta CS-2000 spectroradiometer, a Murideo Sig-G 4K HDR signal generator and an AVPro Connect 8×8 4K HDR distribution matrix. We use Portrait Displays CalMan Ultimate software to evaluate every TV we review. In every CNET TV review, three or more similar TVs are compared side by side in various lighting conditions playing different media, including movies, TV shows and games, across a variety of test categories, from color to video processing to gaming to HDR. Our reviews also account for design, features, smart TV performance, HDMI input and gaming compatibility as well as other factors.
One important aspect of image quality we test is overall brightness. Here’s how it compares in nits across select TVs listed above.
Light output in nits
|Brightest mode (HDR)
|Accurate mode (HDR)
|Brightest mode (SDR)
|Accurate mode (SDR)
|Roku TV Plus (65-inch)
Check out How We Test TVs for more details.
How to choose a TV
With all of the TVs available today, and all of the technical terms and jargon associated with television technology, it can be tough to figure out what’s important. Here’s a quick guide to help cut through the confusion.
Price: TVs range in price from $100 to more than $2,000. Smaller screens are cheaper, well-known brands are more expensive, and spending more money can also get you better image quality. Most entry-level TVs have a good enough picture for most people, but TVs last a long time, so it might be worth spending more to get a better picture. It’s also best to shop for a TV in the fall, when prices are lower.
Screen size: Bigger is better in our book. We recommend a size of at least 43 inches for a bedroom TV and at least 55 inches for a living room or main TV — and 65 inches or larger is best. More than any other “feature,” stepping up in TV screen size is the best use of your money. One of the most common post-TV-purchase complaints we’ve heard is from people who didn’t go big enough. And we almost never hear people complain that their TV is too large.
Capability: Among entry-level TVs, the most important feature is what kind of smart TV system the TV uses. Among midrange models, look for a feature including full-array local dimming, mini-LED and 120Hz refresh rate, which (unlike some other extras) do help improve the picture in our experience. And among high-end TVs, OLED technology is your best bet.
For more TV buying advice check out How to Buy a TV.
4K TV FAQs
I’ll post the answers to commonly asked TV questions below. If you have any others, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@dkatzmaier), or by clicking the little envelope icon on my CNET profile page. Doing so will let you send a message straight to my inbox.
Is a 4K TV worth it?
At this point, yes, they are. Almost all new TVs are 4K TVs, so the chance that your next set will be in 4K is highly likely. As of now, you can easily find TVs that are 43-inches and above with a 4K display. They come in many different sizes and price points and are unquestionably the type of TV that we recommend. There are still non-4K TVs on the market, but they tend to occur at either the high or low ends of the price/size spectrum. Smaller, cheaper TVs in the 32-inch class and smaller still tend to offer HD-only displays, while a few 8K TVs are available in large sizes with corresponding price points. We don’t think 8K TVs are worth it right now, as there is little content available to take advantage of the technology. HD-only displays are fine for small rooms, but you likely be able to get 4K TV for a similar price — especially around shopping holidays like Black Friday.
Are 4K TVs good for gaming?
Yes, they are. All 4K TVs will be able to display games in 4K resolution, though high-end 4K TVs will have extra gaming perks like a Variable Refresh Rate and 4K/120 fps, which are features that are made to take advantage of the latest gaming consoles. But even cheaper 4K TVs can have specialized game modes that offer low input lag for console gaming.
Are there downsides to a 4K TV?
Not really. 4K TVs from reputable brands will generally offer a solid viewing experience. All 4K TVs come with some kind of smart TV system, and some are better than others. You might consider it a downside If you’ve wound up with a TV with a less-than-stellar smart system. Luckily, you can mitigate this problem by connecting a streaming device to any TV. At CNET, our favorite is Roku for its simplicity, but different systems like Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung and LG have different strengths, in particular for voice commands.
How big a TV should I get?
In my opinion bigger is better, and your money is best spent on large screen sizes rather than a slight upgrade in image quality. The answer also depends on room size and seating distance: If you have a big room and sit farther away, you’ll want a bigger TV. The answer also depends on room size and seating distance.