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The question is: when looking for a new TV, which is really the best?
With so many models being introduced to the market every year and each one improving on its predecessor, even the best televisions are at risk of soon becoming obsolete.
And because ultra-high-resolution screens and advanced image processing has become increasingly common, it is increasingly difficult to understand which models have the features that will become common in the long term.
However, the good thing is that, when choosing among the best models, it is difficult to make a completely wrong choice.
But the best TV is not only the one with the best technical specifications or the most pleasing design: rather it is the one that best respects the needs and expectations of the one who buys it.
Should you buy now or wait?
It’s a question we hear often. Like most technology, TVs are getting better and better over time. This means that if you wait a year, you can probably get a nicer and bigger TV at a lower price.
That said, we have witnessed remarkable progress in recent times, as manufacturers have rushed to adopt new standards like Ultra HD, Wide Color Gamut and HDR.
As long as your new panel is equipped with these three technologies you will not have to upgrade your TV in a year when the new models will come out.
If you really want a future-proof model then make sure it also supports the new HDMI 2.1 standard which will be fundamental for gaming. If you do not intend to game on your new TV then you can easily forego the necessity for HDMI 2.1.
LG OLED C9: our choice
Let’s start with an OLED. Its combination of bright colors and deep black levels is hard to beat and grants it the best contrast. Add to this the support for most of the HDR standards (Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma and HDR10, but no HDR10+) and the use of LG’s latest and greatest processor, the second-generation Alpha 9, responsible for the great upscaling and you have a complete package.
In addition, the C9 (Check on Amazon.com) runs the latest version of webOS that includes all top-notch streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Hulu, and Netflix. And it uses two virtual assistants, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, for good measure.
Read more: LG OLED C9 review: the best got even better
Samsung QLED Q90: best QLED TV
Last year the Samsung Q9FN (Check on Amazon.com) amazed us all with its functions and image quality. However, it has since been replaced with the Q90 (Check on Amazon.com). The Q9FN wasn’t perfect. There were legitimate complaints about the narrow viewing angles and the aggressive full array local dimming system that eliminated most details from darker scenes.
Samsung has clearly listened to the fans and addressed all these problems with the Q90. The new model has superior viewing angles and the local dimming technology delivers deep blacks, with clear shadows. The new Ultra Black Elite filter blocks almost all ambient light.
The Samsung Q90 is the most impressive QLED TV that we have seen so far, with an impressive number of functions and innovative solutions in the field of image technology. As a result, this TV can truly compete with the best OLEDs.
Read more: Samsung QLED Q90 review: is this an OLED?
LG OLED B8: the most affordable OLED TV
OLED TVs are the kings of image quality, but they are not cheap. They use organic light-emitting diodes to offer contrast and viewing angles that no LCD TV (or QLED) can match. Even today, this 2018 OLED TV is still a valid purchase. With an image quality very close to that of the C9 (Check on Amazon.com) and priced hundreds of dollars lower, the B8 (Check on Amazon.com) has aged beautifully.
Read more: LG OLED B8 review: best bang for your buck
LG OLED B9: a valid alternative
The LG OLED B9 (Check on Amazon.com) costs less than the LG OLED C9, but it is almost just as good while it outperforms the vast majority of LED displays. We love this model, for its fantastic image quality, almost perfect contrast, wide viewing angles, instant response time and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology which make it excellent for video games. Unlike the LG OLED C9 that takes advantage of the new Alpha 9 image processor, the “entry-level” B9 is powered by the last-gen Alpha 7 chip. The only real downside of this device is that it can’t display colors with as much depth and naturalness as the C9.
Note that all OLED TVs present the risk of image retention, also known as the burn-in effect. But this is often the result of a long exposure of static content. Overall, this is an excellent TV running WebOS and featuring some HDMI 2.1 and eARC support.
If you want to save even more money without big compromises on quality, you can also opt for the LG OLED C8 (Check on Amazon.com) or LG OLED B8. They are not as future-proof as the B9 since they don’t have HDMI 2.1 ports. On the other hand, they are excellent TVs that offer outstanding performance, exceptional image quality, and perfect blacks.
Sony X950G: best LED LCD TV
The Sony X950G (Check on Amazon.com) is one of the few LED LCD TVs to display an image quality that can compete with that of QLED and OLED models.
It is also the best TV to date if you want a model smaller than 55 inches. It has a perfectly calibrated image directly from the factory (whether in SDR or HDR) and enjoys a huge peak brightness, for an LCD model, for a stunning HDR picture.
The limited number of local dimming zones does not allow it to compete with the top of the range but for everything else, this is a solid and well-priced TV.
Read more: Sony X950G review: the flagship TV killer
Samsung QLED Q70: best TV for gaming
The Samsung QLED Q70 (Check on Amazon.com) offers Samsung’s unparalleled design, an excellent image, and abundant extra features, for a relatively affordable price. If you are not interested in an OLED, the Q70 is an excellent option.
We were disappointed with its smaller sibling, the Q60 (Check on Amazon.com). But the Q70 meets our every expectation for a mid-range model. It fills the gap between entry-level LCD TVs and high-end OLED ones.
It sports a peak brightness capable of delivering a beautiful HDR image. The image quality in SDR is also on point and the 100Hz panel ensures smooth movement. Add to that the Tizen operating system and FreeSync compatibility for video game enthusiasts and you have a well-rounded set.
Sony X900F: best bang for your buck
The Sony X900F (Check on Amazon.com) is the evolution of the X900E (Check on Amazon.com). It sports the same Sony X1 Extreme processor used in the premium models but a full-array local dimming (FALD) backlight system that numbers only a few dozen zones.
Like the X950G (Check on Amazon.com) it is an excellent LCD TV. It offers a perfectly calibrated image, a high-performance image processing system and good brightness for HDR content.
Despite being a 2018 model and already having a successor (the X950G above), the X900F remains one of the best gaming TVs since it offers the best bang for your buck.
Sony Master Series A9G: best TV image
Without a doubt, this TV is a clear improvement over the Sony Master Series A9F (Check on Amazon.com).
The Sony Master Series A9G (Check on Amazon.com) not only features the best 4K Ultra HD OLED screen we have reviewed so far, but it also sports an innovative audio system that is simply fantastic. It’s called Acoustic Surface and it works by sending sound waves through the screen. This creates the unique effect of sound coming out of the TV.
It also offers the best upscaling and ensures that all those SD and HD images look surprisingly detailed on the 4K display.
Thus the A9G offers the best viewing experience money can buy, with Sony’s incredible image processing and impeccable HDR delivery that is ahead of the competition.
In addition, it uses Google’s Android TV, which is the most complete OS out there, Google’s Assistant, for controlling both the TV and other smart devices connected to it, and Google’s Chromecast that lets you stream content directly from your PC or mobile device.
LG OLED E9: best all-around TV
With the disappearance of the G-Series, the E9 (Check on Amazon.com) is LG’s de facto “design” OLED model. The image quality of the LG OLED E9 easily ranks among the best of the moment. This beautiful device has the same technical characteristics as the C9 (Check on Amazon.com) but is complemented by a more luxurious finish. It is aimed at those who are willing to pay more for a high-end model and want to enjoy a better sound quality thanks to its integrated soundbar and artificial intelligence mode that enhances the audio definition.
However it is difficult to recommend the E9 over the C9 since the image processing system is very similar and the operating system is exactly the same (webOS, now with Alexa and an improved menu system).
Anywho, if you are looking for an OLED TV that encompasses everything in one device and is great to look at the E9 is an excellent choice.
One last advice
In my opinion, bigger is better. Large TVs are cheaper than ever, and it is better to invest your money on a large screen rather than a slight improvement in image quality. If you want to find out how big you should go, just multiply the distance in inches from your TV to where you sit with 0,535 and round up the value (example: I sit 100 inches away from my TV, so the perfect size for me is 100×0,535=53,5 thus I should get a 55’’ model)
Also read: Televisions Buying Guide