Best 4K TVs for 2023, Tested and Reviewed – CNET

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With so many TVs on the market, buying a new one can be a daunting task. The decision almost always comes down to price and the features you value most. One feature you’ll find on most modern TVs is 4K resolution support, which has become the predominant resolution in recent years — even the best TVs under $500 offer it. 

What are the best 4K TVs for all budgets?

The best 4K TVs encompass 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

David Katzmaier/CNET

Sizes

55-, 65-, 75- 85-inch

TV Technology

QLED with Mini-LED

Smart TV

Yes (Roku TV)

Resolution

4K

HDMI Ports

4

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.

Note that in addition to the R635, which this TV replaces, other versions of the 6-Series were released earlier and remain on sale. The R646 series uses the Google TV operating system but otherwise has similar specifications to the R655 models reviewed here. The R648 series has 8K resolution and is significantly more expensive.

The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

Read our TCL 6-Series (Roku TV) review.

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David Katzmaier/CNET

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.

Improvements over the C1 from the previous year include carbon-fiber construction for up to 47% lighter weight — the 65-inch version we reviewed weighs just 37 pounds with its stand, compared to 72 pounds for the 65-inch C1 — as well as some additional tweaks to game mode and a new “always ready” feature.

The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

Read our LG C2 series OLED TV review.

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Bobby Oliver/CNET

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.

The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

Read our Samsung QN90B review.

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David Katzmaier

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. 

The 4-Series’ advantage over the Vizio is that it comes with the excellent Roku Smart TV system built in. That makes it a great choice for those looking for a one-stop smart TV, without having to add an external streaming device.

The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

You’re receiving price alerts for TCL 4-Series

David Katzmaier/CNET

Sizes

50-, 65-, 75-inch

TV Technology

LED with local dimming

Smart TV

Yes (SmartCast)

Resolution

4K

HDMI 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, 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.

Unlike the M7 from 2021, the MQX has a true 120Hz refresh rate, which allows compatibility with 4K/120Hz signals from game consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, and worked well in our tests. Vizio supports both major HDR formats, HDR10 and Dolby Vision, in the M-Series. If you can’t save up for the TCL or the Hisense, but want a better picture than the TCL 4-Series or Vizio V-Series, the Vizio MQX is an excellent happy medium.

The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

Read our Vizio MQX review.

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David Katzmaier/CNET

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.

The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

Read our Hisense U8H review.

You’re receiving price alerts for Hisense U8H

James Martin/CNET

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.

The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.

Read our Samsung Q60B review.

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David Katzmaier

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. 

The prices shown below are for the 50-inch size.

You’re receiving price alerts for Vizio V-Series

How CNET tests 4K TVs

Our TV reviews follow a rigorous, unbiased evaluation process honed over nearly two decades of TV reviews. 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 and other factors.

Read more: How We Test TVs

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.

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.

What is OLED TV burn-in?

Burn-in is when part of an image — for example a channel logo, news ticker or a scoreboard on a TV — persists as a ghostly background no matter what else appears onscreen. Burn-in is possible with any OLED TV, but it’s not likely with normal use. The best way to prevent burn-in is to vary what you watch.

What is the best smart TV system for streaming?

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. In any case we don’t consider the built-in smart TV system that important because you can always connect a streaming device to any TV.

How do I get the best TV sound?

Most TVs sound terrible because their thin cabinets don’t have room for decent-size speakers or bass. If you want to get good sound you should buy an external audio system. Even an inexpensive soundbar will deliver much better audio quality than a TV’s built-in speakers.

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