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Best Smart TVs for 2021

We looked at dozens of the newest smart TVs to bring you the best and the brightest.

Best overall

SAMSUNG Q90T Series

Price (55”): $1,396.99

Screen sizes: 4

Screen type: QLED

Resolution: 4K

HDR: Yes

Best picture quality

LG CX 4K Smart TV

Price (55”): $1,396.99

Screen sizes: 4

Screen type: OLED

Resolution: 4K

HDR: Yes

Best sound quality

Sony MASTER Series BRAVIA

Price (55”): $1,898.00

Screen sizes: 3

Screen type: OLED

Resolution: 4K

HDR: Yes

Best under $1,000

SAMSUNG Q60T Series

Price (55”): $597.99

Screen sizes: 7

Screen type: QLED

Resolution: 4K

HDR: Yes

Best under $500

TCL 5-Series ROKU Smart TV

Price (55”): $449.99

Screen sizes: 4

Screen type: QLED

Resolution: 4K

HDR: Yes

Smart TVs that make you say wow

If you’re in the market for a new TV, the number of options can seem overwhelming. You know you want a smart TV to stream your favorite shows, but which brand? What type of display? Should you spring for OLED?

Don’t worry—we’ve done all the hard work for you. Below, we’ve gathered the best smart TVs out right now. Just relax, pick your favorite, and enjoy.

Not quite convinced a smart TV is what you need? Check out what makes a smart TV smart to see if one is right for you.

Best smart TV specs and features comparison

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ModelPrice (55")Screen TypeResolutionHDR
Best overallSAMSUNG Q90T Series$1297.99QLED4K Ultra HD

View on Amazon
Best picture qualityLG CX Smart TV$1396.99'OLED4K Ultra HD

View on Amazon
Best sound qualitySony MASTER Series BRAVIA$1,898.00OLED4K Ultra HD

View on Amazon
Best under $1,000SAMSUNG Q60T Series$597.99QLED4K Ultra HD

View on Amazon
Best under $500TCL 5-Series ROKU Smart TV$449.99QLED4K Ultra HD

View on Amazon

Data current as of 10/31/20. Pricing and features subject to change.

The best smart TVs

Let’s take a look at each TV in detail and find out if one is right for you.

The specs

  • Screen sizes: 55″, 65”, 75″, and 85″
  • Screen type: QLED
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR: Yes
  • Refresh rate: 120 Hz
  • Connections/ports: Bluetooth, wireless, Ethernet, HDMI (4), USB

Pros

  • Great price
  • Stunning picture quality
  • Slick, easy-to-use operating system
  • Ultra-thin design for flush wall mounting
  • Ultra Viewing Angle

Cons

  • Lower contrast than OLED

Samsung is really crushing it lately with its QLED line of TVs, and the Q90T series is the pinnacle, in our opinion.

This smart TV mixes an amazing screen with a gorgeous, thin design that works with any living room decor. It’s also a perfect TV for mounting on your wall, thanks to an even depth from top to bottom.

Add in Ultra Viewing Angle—meaning you’ll have a great view no matter where you sit—and Samsung’s killer operating system, and you’ve got a winner.

It doesn’t come cheap, but if you want the best all-around combo of picture, size, design, and software, this is the TV to beat.

SAMSUNG QLED Q90T Series prices by screen size

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55”
(QN55Q90TAFXZA)
65”
(QN65Q90TAFXZA)
75”
(QN75Q90TAFXZA)
85”
(QN85Q90TAFXZA
$1,297.99$1,897.99$2,597.99$3,497.99
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

Need a mount to go with your new smart TV? Learn more about the best TV mounts you can buy.

LG CX 4K Smart TV

Best picture quality

The specs

  • Screen sizes: 48″, 55″, 65”, and 77″
  • Screen type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR: Yes
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Connections/ports: Bluetooth, wireless, Ethernet, HDMI (4), USB

Pros

  • The best OLED in the business
  • Excellent contrast ratios
  • Fast and responsive user interface
  • Google Assistant and Alexa

Cons

  • Convoluted setup and options
  • Eclectic design

If you want the best picture quality, this is it. The LG CX-series will blow you away with the contrast between its bright, vivid whites and deep, inky blacks.

Performance is fast, and navigating through the interface is quick and relatively painless, though getting it set up and tweaking the options isn’t as simple as it could be.

The other potential hang-up that keeps this TV from being our top pick overall is the design. It’s unbelievably thin at the top, but that means all the internals are crammed into a thick section at the base of the TV.

It’s not the end of the world, but it is a little polarizing, at least in our experience.

LG CX 4K Smart OLED TV prices by screen size

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48”
(OLED48CXPUB)
55”
(OLED55CXPUA)
65”
(OLED65CXPUA)
77” (OLED77CXPUA)
$1,496.99$1,396.99$1,896.99$3,496.99
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

If you want the same TV in a different size, this is what you’ll pay. Note that the 55” version of this LG TV is $100 cheaper—nice.

Sony MASTER Series BRAVIA

Best sound quality

The specs

  • Screen sizes: 55”, 65″, and 77″
  • Screen type: OLED
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR: Yes
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Connections/ports: Bluetooth, Ethernet, HDMI (3), Wireless

Pros

  • OLED screen that’s nearly as good as LG’s
  • Excellent audio experience
  • Wide viewing angle
  • Google Assistant and Alexa
  • Apple AirPlay 2 support

Cons

  • High cost
  • Picture slightly worse than LG (yes, we’re nitpicking here)

If you want a smart TV with breathtaking picture quality, a unique and clever kickstand design, and excellent built-in audio, look no further.

Sony’s OLED panels are right up there with LG these days, and the audio experience of this set really completes the package. While it won’t replace your Dolby Atmos surround sound system, it will get the job done and then some, without you spending even more money on a soundbar.

As for the cons, there really aren’t any. The picture is just a hair worse than LG’s OLEDs, in our opinion. But again, that’s us intensely nitpicking. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of the top three picks.

Sony MASTER Series BRAVIA prices by screen size

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55”
(XBR-55A9G)
65”
(XBR-65A9G)
77”
(XBR-77A9G)
$1,898.00$2,498.00$3,498.00
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

SAMSUNG Q60T Series Smart TV

Best under $1,000

The specs

  • Screen sizes:43”, 50”, 55”, 58”, 65”, 75”, and 85”
  • Screen type: QLED
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR: Yes
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Connections/ports: Bluetooth, Digital Audio Out, Ethernet, HDMI (3), RF In (2), USB (2), Wireless

Pros

  • Great price
  • Alexa built-in

Cons

  • Lower contrast than OLED

If the Samsung Q90T is out of your price range, try the Q60T series. It has great QLED picture quality, Quantum HDR, smooth operating systems, and a slim profile (although it is nearly a full inch thicker than the Q90T).

It’s also much more affordable than the Q90T, as you’ll see below.

SAMSUNG Q60T Series QLED Smart TV prices by screen size

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43”
(QN43Q60TAFXZA)
50”
(QN50Q60TAFXZA)
55”
(QN55Q60TAFXZA)
58”
(QN58Q60TAFXZA)
65”
(QN65Q60TAFXZA)
75”
(QN75Q60TAFXZA)
85”
(QN85Q60TAFXZA)
$427.99$647.99$597.99$797.99$997.99$1,497.99$2,497.99
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

Note that the 55” version is $50 cheaper than the 50” version. And the 50” is $220 more expensive than the 43”. So the best deal is the 55” version—but if you live in a smaller place, you could drop down to the 43” version for only $427.99.

TCL 5-Series ROKU Smart TV

Best under $500

The specs

  • Screen sizes:50”, 55”, 65”, and 77”
  • Screen type: QLED
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • HDR: Yes
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz (Natural Motion 240)
  • Connections/ports: Ethernet, HDMI (4), USB

Pros

  • Great price
  • Excellent user interface (Roku)
  • Sleek design
  • Google Assistant and Alexa compatibility

Cons

  • Lower contrast than OLED
  • No Bluetooth or wireless connectivity
  • Confusing refresh rate
  • Reports of screen issues

If you need a great budget-minded smart TV, this TCL is it. These surprisingly great-looking smart TVs offer a ton of value at a very reasonable price.

The screen is QLED, so it does a great job at a much cheaper price. It also has plenty of HDMI ports for connecting devices like Blu-ray players.

TCL smart TVs use the Roku TV platform, so you’ve got all the apps and other benefits of Roku built in. The TV also packs plenty of ports into an attractive design—but doesn’t have Bluetooth or wireless connectivity, which isn’t so great.

A caveat: there have been some complaints of screen issues and poor quality control on some of these TVs. Just keep an eye out and be open to an exchange if you have any issues.

TCL 5-Series ROKU Smart TV prices by screen size

Swipe Left to See All →
50”
(50S535)
55”
(5S535)
65”
(65S535)
75”
(75S535)
$399.99$449.99$629.99$1,199.99
View on AmazonView on Best BuyView on AmazonView on Amazon

What to look for in a smart TV

Not quite sure what specs or features you need? Don’t worry. Here’s a rundown of what to keep an eye out for.

Smart TV screens

The screen is obviously the most important part of any TV, and smart TVs are no exception. There are three aspects of your TV screen you should consider in particular.

Screen size

How big do you need your TV to be? Keep in mind bigger isn’t always better—if you’re in a bedroom or smaller living room, a more compact TV may actually be better.

That’s because every TV has an optimal viewing distance based on screen size, angle, and room size. For the average living room, we’d say 55″–65″ is ideal.

Screen type

There are two basic types of smart TV displays: LED, QLED, and QLED.

LED (light-emitting diode) is your standard LCD display illuminated by LED lights, either from behind or the sides.

OLED (organic light-emitting diode) is a newer display type where each pixel lights up individually rather than using a backlight.

Generally, OLED TVs produce a better picture than LED TVs. Because each individual pixel can turn on and off, there’s a better contrast ratio, which gives the picture a stunning depth. Newer LED technology is catching up, though.

QLED (“quantum dot LED TV” or quantum light-emitting diode”) uses nanoparticles to boost brightness, color, and contrast. QLED is most common with Samsung TVs, but the manufacturer does license the technology to other TV makers. QLED (“quantum dot LED TV” or quantum light-emitting diode”) uses nanoparticles to boost brightness, color, and contrast. QLED is most common with Samsung TVs, but the manufacturer does license the technology to other TV makers.

Screen resolution

These days, most TVs come in 4K Ultra HD. And really, unless you’re shopping under about $500, you should look only for 4K.

The amount of 4K content will continue to increase over the next few years, and we think most users would regret not getting the more future-proof option.

Refresh rate

Refresh rate is how quickly the picture on your screen updates, measured in Hertz (HZ). Look for a refresh rate of at least 60 Hz (one refresh per second), and preferably 120 or 240 HZ.

Higher refresh rates are better for displaying quick action like sports. Above 240 Hz, there’s little noticeable improvement, though—at least with current technology.

HDR

HDR stands for high dynamic range, and it’s a screen technology that helps increase the contrast between light and dark parts of an image. It’s one of the few television features that truly lives up to the hype. And fortunately, most TVs above five or six hundred dollars have it.

Sound quality

Built-in speakers on smart TVs can be lacking. This is especially true if you’re used to external audio like a sound bar or surround sound system. Don’t expect much from your TV’s internal speakers—for the best experience, plan on picking up at least a basic sound bar.

To learn more, check out the best sound systems for beginners.

Our final take

Need to know more? Check out our in-depth guide on how to choose the right TV.

Roll the credits . . . because that’s a wrap, folks. Now you’ve got all the knowledge and know-how needed to choose the best smart TV for you.

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FAQ about Smart TVs

How is a smart TV different from a streaming device?

Smart TVs are essentially TVs with Wi-Fi and a streaming device built in. You can technically add a streaming box or stick to any TV and make it a “smart TV,” though it’s less convenient and more expensive to do so. Most new TVs produced today are smart TVs.

Can I get local channels on my smart TV?

Of course! A smart TV can make use of a cable subscription or antenna to get local channels, just like any other TV.

If you need help finding a cable service to get access to local channels, just enter your zip code below.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Do smart TVs require updates?

Smart TV manufacturers often provide software updates to add new features, fix bugs, or improve the experience of using your TV. You’re not required to update the software, of course, but it’s usually recommended.

Don't miss an update

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