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Best Smart TV for 2019 Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Smart TV for 2019 Reviews

The latest and greatest TVs offer plenty of reasons to pick up a killer new set. While some bring new tech, others are iterations on already-great models from 2017 and 2018, offering a new feature here or there or maybe smart new design touches.

This means older models will see price drops, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the new models. Any modern TV worth its salt offers basics like 4K resolution and HDR for improved contrast and color shading, but that’s just the beginning. If anything, 2019 shows that feature-packed, brand new TVs are becoming more affordable than ever before.

Preview
Best Price
LG Electronics OLED55B8PUA 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2018 Model)
Best Choice
Samsung QN75Q9FNA 75" Q9FN QLED Smart 4K UHD TV (2018 Model) with Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console
TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model)
VIZIO 65" Class 4K (2160P) Smart LED TV (PQ65-F1)
Sony XBR-55A9F 55" 4K Ultra HD Smart BRAVIA OLED TV (2018) with Google Home Smart Speaker w/Google Assistant
Toshiba 55LF621U19 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV HDR - Fire TV Edition
Product Name
LG Electronics OLED55B8PUA 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2018 Model)
Samsung QN75Q9FNA 75" Q9FN QLED Smart 4K UHD TV (2018 Model) with Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console
TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model)
VIZIO 65" Class 4K (2160P) Smart LED TV (PQ65-F1)
Sony XBR-55A9F 55" 4K Ultra HD Smart BRAVIA OLED TV (2018) with Google Home Smart Speaker w/Google Assistant
Toshiba 55LF621U19 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV HDR - Fire TV Edition
Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
-
-
4.1 out of 5 stars
Screen Size
55"
75"
55"
65"
55"
55"
Type
Smart OLED
Smart QLED
Smart LED
Smart LED
Smart BRAVIA OLED
Smart LED
Resolution
4K Ultra HD
4K UHD
4K Ultra HD
HDR-10, Dolby Vision
4K Ultra HD
4K Ultra HD
Inputs
4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 RF, 1 Composite in, 1 Ethernet, 1 Optical, 1 RS232C
HDMI, RF, USB
Component, Composite, HDMI, RF, USB
Component, HDMI, RF, USB
Composite, HDMI, RF, USB
Composite, HDMI, RF, USB
HDMI Ports
4
4
3
5
4
3
Best Price
Preview
LG Electronics OLED55B8PUA 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2018 Model)
Product Name
LG Electronics OLED55B8PUA 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2018 Model)
Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
Screen Size
55"
Type
Smart OLED
Resolution
4K Ultra HD
Inputs
4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 RF, 1 Composite in, 1 Ethernet, 1 Optical, 1 RS232C
HDMI Ports
4
See More Details
Best Choice
Preview
Samsung QN75Q9FNA 75" Q9FN QLED Smart 4K UHD TV (2018 Model) with Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console
Product Name
Samsung QN75Q9FNA 75" Q9FN QLED Smart 4K UHD TV (2018 Model) with Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Console
Rating
4.9 out of 5 stars
Screen Size
75"
Type
Smart QLED
Resolution
4K UHD
Inputs
HDMI, RF, USB
HDMI Ports
4
See More Details
Preview
TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model)
Product Name
TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model)
Rating
4.0 out of 5 stars
Screen Size
55"
Type
Smart LED
Resolution
4K Ultra HD
Inputs
Component, Composite, HDMI, RF, USB
HDMI Ports
3
See More Details
Preview
VIZIO 65" Class 4K (2160P) Smart LED TV (PQ65-F1)
Product Name
VIZIO 65" Class 4K (2160P) Smart LED TV (PQ65-F1)
Rating
-
Screen Size
65"
Type
Smart LED
Resolution
HDR-10, Dolby Vision
Inputs
Component, HDMI, RF, USB
HDMI Ports
5
See More Details
Preview
Sony XBR-55A9F 55" 4K Ultra HD Smart BRAVIA OLED TV (2018) with Google Home Smart Speaker w/Google Assistant
Product Name
Sony XBR-55A9F 55" 4K Ultra HD Smart BRAVIA OLED TV (2018) with Google Home Smart Speaker w/Google Assistant
Rating
-
Screen Size
55"
Type
Smart BRAVIA OLED
Resolution
4K Ultra HD
Inputs
Composite, HDMI, RF, USB
HDMI Ports
4
See More Details
Preview
Toshiba 55LF621U19 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV HDR - Fire TV Edition
Product Name
Toshiba 55LF621U19 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV HDR - Fire TV Edition
Rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
Screen Size
55"
Type
Smart LED
Resolution
4K Ultra HD
Inputs
Composite, HDMI, RF, USB
HDMI Ports
3
See More Details

LG Electronics OLED55E8PUA


The 55-inch OLED55E8PUA model we tested offers incredible contrast and remarkably wide, accurate colors out of the box, and adds Google Assistant.

In terms of design, it features a single pane of glass covering the OLED panel from edge to edge.

The bottom edge of the screen holds a 0.75-inch black speaker grille, under which extends two inches of clear glass, Greenwald wrote. That glass lip mounts onto the included stand, a wide, shallow metallic gray hexagon that supports the TV securely, giving it the impression that it’s floating an inch above the table thanks to the glass between the screen and the base.

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Perfect blacks, stunning contrast✖ Design and sound upgrades call for big premium
✔ Excellent color accuracy out of the box
✔ Impressive HDR performance
✔ Class-leading voice recognition

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

Do buy it if you want an upscale OLED TV with classy design and solid sound quality. Otherwise, look at the less expensive LG C8 OLED, which we consider a top pick of the year.


Samsung Q9FN QLED


After an underwhelming debut, Samsung’s QLED technology really needed to bounce back in style. It didn’t surprise us in the least, then, to discover Samsung threw the kitchen sink in with its new Q9FN QLED Series of TVs.

As well as being even brighter and more colorful than last year’s equivalent model, Samsung’s 2018 flagship screens use a completely different lighting system to combat its predecessor’s contrast problems: Full Array Local Dimming rather than edge-lit LED lighting. The FALD panel works in tandem with Samsung QLED Quantum Dots to produce a picture that’s brighter and more colorful than near any we’ve seen come from the South Korean manufacturer.

At first glance the 65Q9FN doesn’t necessarily look like a flagship TV – it’s unusually chunky by modern standards, and although the frame directly round the screen is more on trend, it’s rather understated with its dark coloring and muted finish. Its single bar style stand is also more about minimalism than showing off.

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Spectacular HDR picture quality✖ Limited viewing angles
✔ Powerful, well-rounded sound✖ Potentially divisive design
✔ Good smart system
✔ Cutting-edge gaming features

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

Samsung’s much hyped QLED technology suddenly makes sense with the 65-inch 65Q9FN. By combining QLED’s unprecedented brightness and color talents with direct instead of edge backlighting, Samsung has hit on a winning, forward-thinking formula that delivers the best 4K high dynamic range pictures we’ve seen to date.


TCL 55R617


With such a budget-friendly price, you’d be right to expect a lackluster looking TV. Last year’s P-Series fit that description, but the new 6-Series TVs look considerably better, even before turning them on.

The 6-Series upgrades the plastic bezels of the past to an unassuming, dark brushed metal, improving both the look and feel of the TV. You’ll find metal legs which operate as the TV’s stand, but while we’re happy to see better materials in use, we’re bothered by this trend that sees a TVs legs spread across almost the entire width of the TV. In fact, with the 6-Series, the legs reach beyond the borders of the set. Better get a wide entertainment unit if you’re stand mounting.

All of TCL’s TVs come with the Roku TV smart platform that’s pretty much identical to the version of it found in Roku’s own streaming media devices. We’ve reviewed these before and absolutely love them partly due to the sheer quantity of content options they offer and partly because of how user friendly Roku TV is (even grandma will get the hang of it in no time). Since the 6-Series offers the same exact platform, you’ll get one of today’s best smart entertainment platforms for the consumer market built right into your TV right out of the box. We consider this a great bonus feature of the 6-Series.

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Excellent black levels✖ Vertical banding is visible in some units
✔ High brightness✖ Vignette effect in corners
✔ Punchy HDR picture
✔ Accurate, wide color gamut

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

Yes. For most shoppers looking for the best picture quality attainable under $1,000, the TCL 6-Series is the ticket. For video enthusiasts seeking the best picture quality for the money, we advise being prepared to accept a little vertical banding only visible at certain times and perhaps a little vignette effect at the edges, depending on the panel received.


Vizio PQ65-F1


The P-Series Quantum is outfitted with five HDMI inputs, two approached from the side and three from the bottom. Take note that HDMI inputs 1-4 are HDMI v2.0 with HDCP 2.2, while No. 5 is HDMI v1.4 with HDCP 2.2. Tagging along with the HDMI jacks are all hard-composite and component video connections, no adapter cables required. Also found in the conveniently recessed connection bay is an Ethernet port, coaxial cable connector, analog audio jacks, optical digital audio out, ARC via HDMI 1, and a USB port you can opt to leave powered on all the time or shut off with the TV this is a boon to streaming stick users who don’t want to wait for their device to power up every time they turn on their TV.

Smart TVs have gotten increasingly easy to set up over the past few years. Sure, you still have to take the time to input usernames and passwords for your favorite streaming apps, and smart speaker integration might add a few steps to the process, but most premium TVs today come with a quick setup wizard and one or two solid picture presets that can have you up and running in no time. Vizio P-Series Quantum is no exception.

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Excellent UHD and HD resolution✖ 720P upscaling is just below standard
✔ Very accurate out-of-box performance✖ SmartCast interface is still slow and clunky
✔ Best-in-class HDR performance
✔ Solid black levels

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

Yes. If you crave the kind of picture quality you would expect from an LG or Sony OLED, a Samsung QLED, or one of Sony’s top-tier TVs, the P-Series Quantum offers something very close to its competition at a fraction of the price. For my money, this is the smartest buy in TV right now.


Samsung QN65Q6F


The Samsung Q6F is the 2018 return of Samsung’s line of QLED premium TVs, and the new model still includes many of the Q Series’ most distinctive features. Among those is what Samsung calls 360-degree design. This TV looks good from any angle, and I’m not just talking about viewing angles.

Whereas most televisions have a drab rear panel, well-suited to sticking the TV against the wall and never seeing the back side, Samsung knows that sometimes a TV will be set in the middle of a room, and the company designed the back panel to be much more attractive than the common TV. The rear panel on the Q6F has a textured black plastic surface, with ribbon-like striations running horizontally across it.

On the right-hand side of the Samsung 65Q6FN, set into the back of the TV cabinet, is the connector panel. It’s set 11 inches in from the right-hand edge of the TV, which  makes ports a little less accessible, but the port selection is solid. It’s definitely not as elegant as the separate AV input box used on the Samsung Q7F, with it’s nearly invisible OneConnect cable. (Another feature  reserved for the more expensive model lines.)

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Great color and brightness✖ Edge-lit backlighting
✔ Decent HDR support✖ No Dolby Vision support
✔ Strong audio✖ New features need a little more polish
✔ Smart TV gets some innovative new features

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

The Samsung Q6F QLED TV is a showcase for many things, from Samsung’s latest smart-TV innovations to its excellent audio and elegant design. If you want to step up from value-priced models but aren’t in a hurry to spend several thousand dollars for a premium OLED, Samsung’s QLED displays continue to provide the best alternative LCD panels can provide. But some of Samsung’s usual strengths, like it’s highly polished smart TV platform, seem to have lost a half step with the introduction of new features. Issues like stubborn prompts and over aggressive Bixby branding may be fixed with an update down the road, but right now they stand out as missteps in an otherwise excellent smart TV platform.


Sony XBR-55A9F


The Sony A9F is an outstanding OLED TV, one of the best we have ever tested. Like all OLEDs, it delivers perfectly deep blacks, and has wide viewing angles. HDR looks great thanks to the excellent wide color gamut, and the best color volume that we’ve measured so far on an OLED. It has excellent motion handling, low input lag, and all four HDMI ports support HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth. Unfortunately, it isn’t very bright with bright white scenes. The Android 8.0 smart platform is much faster than previous Sony TVs.

The A9F has an outstanding design. It looks great, and is built with premium materials and an impressive attention to detail. The TV has excellent cable management, providing for an extremely clean look. Like the A1E, there are small rubber feet under the screen, so the screen itself is not resting on the table beneath it, and the screen tilts back slightly. Unfortunately, the design makes the A9F difficult to move, but most people are not going to be moving the TV often, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Excellent dark room performance✖ Brightness is limited in white scenes
✔ Near-instantaneous response time
✔ Image remains accurate when viewed at an angle
✔ Smart TV gets some innovative new features

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

To that end, if you’re shopping for an ultra-premium, top-shelf TV and plan on sticking it in a bright room, you might want a QLED TV that packs a brighter punch, like the Samsung Q9FN or the relatively affordable Vizio Quantum P. Both of these TVs don’t offer the inky-dark black levels of OLED displays, but they’re two of the brightest HDR TVs money can buy right now, and they’re both available in 65-inch models.


LG Electronics OLED65E8PUA


During CES 2018, LG made it clear that its biggest focus with OLED TVs this year was to make them smarter, and the E8’s spec list is a testament to that claim. The core picture quality specs (4K resolution, HDR compatibility) haven’t changed from last year, and neither did LG assert that the 2018 models were brighter, more colorful, or in any way beefier from a picture quality perspective than last year’s models.

What’s new here is LG’s proprietary Alpha 9 processor, the implementation of ThinQ functionality, and the folding of Alexa support into webOS. On paper, this means the E8 series should look just as good as last year’s models, but be even speedier, smarter, and more convenient in terms of its features and software.

We received our 65-inch E8 on loan from LG, and gave it a full 24 hours to warm up and break in prior to review and calibration. While our results reflect testing and hands-on time with the 65 inch E8, we expect almost all of our conclusions to apply equally to the 55 inch model.

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Perfect blacks✖ Brightness changes with screen content (ABL)
✔ Image remains accurate when viewed at an angle
✔ Instantaneous response time leaves very little motion blur

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

If the best possible 4K/HDR picture quality is what you’re after, LG’s E8 series is an excellent choice. While its starting price is steep at $3,299 for the 55-inch, you’re getting OLED’s lauded picture quality, 4K/HDR10/Dolby Vision support, a unique design, and an upgraded iteration of the webOS platform. What’s not to love?


Toshiba 55LF621U19


The Toshiba 55LF621U19 is a 55-inch LCD (LED) Ultra HD TV with a native resolution of 3840×2160 (2160p). It includes an Ethernet jack allowing for a wired connection to your home network. It is also WiFi capable, so you can connect it to your home network wirelessly.

This TV has three HDMI inputs, and no component-video inputs. It also has one USB port, which may be used to play media–photos, videos, and music–stored on a flash drive. The Toshiba 55LF621U19 measures 30.2 inches high by 49.1 inches wide by 12 inches deep, including its base. The panel itself is 3.7 inches thick including any protrusions, and the screen has a glossy finish.

The Toshiba uses direct LED backlighting with no local dimming, which results in some expected deficiencies. When displaying solid colors, such as blue sky or title cards, the panel has distinct shadowing in the corners.

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Inexpensive✖ Poor black levels and mediocre contrast
✔ Accurate colors✖ Modest color range even with HDR
✔ Built-in Amazon Fire TV and Alexa functionality✖ Confusing app store
✔ HDR support

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

The Toshiba Fire TV Edition is a very affordable 4K HDR TV with all the benefits of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and Fire TV streaming media platform, but you can get a much better picture by spending just a little more.


LG Electronics 55SK9000


The Super UHD LG SK 9000 is a 4k TV with very good performance for a range of usages. The picture quality is good in a bright room, and the TV can get bright to overcome glare. It also has great reflection handling, and the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle. Unfortunately, the dark-room performance is sub-par as the native contrast ratio is low and blacks appear gray, despite the full-array local dimming.

The design of the LG SK9000 is very similar to last year’s SJ8500. It has the same familiar curved stand, although it is a bit thinner this year and there is a bit more flex to the stand. The color of the frame is more uniform, with a black back instead of the white back of last year’s model. There are some practical limitations as there is only very basic cable management and the stand does not allow you to place a soundbar directly in front of the TV.

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support✖ Unwieldy stand
✔ ThinQ AI with Google Assistant✖ Slightly skewed color
✔ Great HDR performance
✔ Short lag times for gaming

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

The LG 65SK9500 Super UHD 65-inch TV impressed us quite a bit for an LCD TV, thanks in no small part to LG’s excellent smart TV features. The combination of intelligent content search and Google Assistant is a nice step up from last year’s models, and the combination of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support provides excellent picture and sound for the latest games and movies. It’s not perfect we look forward to seeing these smart TV enhancements on something more like the LG E7 OLED. But compared with the Sony XBR-X900F and the Samsung Q6F, the LG 65SK9500 Super UHD TV is easily better.


Samsung UN40NU7100FXZA Flat 40

Even though the availability of UHD (Ultra-High Definition) content is growing by the day, top-tier 4K TVs continue to remain expensive. If you want to enjoy all those Blu-ray movies but don’t feel like paying top dollar for a flagship 4K TV, go for Samsung’s NU7100.

Undoubtedly the best entry-level 4K Smart TV available in the market today, the NU7100 offers a high-quality visual experience at an affordable price. Its 40-inch 4K UHD panel supports HDR10+ standard, which ensures increased clarity and enhanced contrast levels. Thanks to Samsung’s PurColor technology, the TV can produce millions of color shades for incredibly vibrant pictures. The Samsung NU7100 comes with a powerful UHD engine that effortlessly upscales non 4K content to 4K resolution, making for a consistent viewing experience. In terms of sound, the TV has a down firing two channel speaker setup, with a combined audio output of 20W. It also features a universal guide that makes finding streaming content and live TV shows a hassle free affair.

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PROS:CONS:
✔ Great price for a 4K smart TV✖ Smaller than we’d recommend for 4K resolution
✔ Decent picture and sound quality
✔ Surprisingly robust bass

Review Discussion of Verified Purchases:

While the Samsung 40 inch NU7100 makes for a decent, budget-friendly 4K smart TV, it’s not the best we’ve seen. The set offers good enough performance, but similarly priced competitors offer better color reproduction and accuracy. If you can live with deficiencies in those areas, the smart features offered on the small set, along with 4K resolution and HDR support, make for a good value.

For a better deal and a slightly larger screen, check out the 43-inch TCL 43S517. In addition to the larger size and more affordable price, the TCL offers superior picture quality, both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, and the sort of voice-interaction that the NU7100 lacks.

Posted in Best TV.