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Best OLED TV 2021: 7 knockout TVs from LG, Sony and more

Included in this guide:

Sony A90J, LG C1, Vizio H1 OLED TVs
(Image credit: Future)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best OLED TVs of 2021 are the titans of today’s TV tech. Each of these 4K OLED TVs boast the most vivid, true-to-life colors that most of us will ever have seen on a screen – at least one inside our homes. 

Thanks to the advanced OLED (organic LED) panel technology, the best OLED TVs offer brilliantly cinematic picture quality, with the likes of Sony, Panasonic and LG all making it the technology of choice for their premium television ranges.

You're paying some of a price premium over traditional LED, and some QLED TVs out there are certainly offering some stiff competition, but the best OLED TVs have certainly taken a strong hold of the market – especially with the new flexibility that 48-inch OLEDs and 83-inch OLEDs are offering.

In the guide below we’ve selected a range of the best OLED TVs that cover different price points and features. With each selected model we’ve explained why we picked it – and any flaws it may have. 

New models like the LG A1 OLED or Philips 705 could well feature in this guide soon, though we only feature screens that have undergone our intense testing process first to see if they're truly worthy.

It's worth noting that you won't find many 4K OLED TVs below around $950 / £950 on the whole – outside of Black Friday sales – and most are a lot more expensive than that. If you want to check out only the cheapest models, we have a separate guide to budget OLED TVs. 

Best OLED TVs of 2021

LG C1 OLED with pink tree onscreen

(Image credit: LG)

1. Best OLED TV: LG C1 Series

New for 2021, the LG C1 OLED is the current king of TVs

Specifications
Screen size: 48-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 77-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: webOS
HDR: HDR, HLG, Dolby Vision
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful 4K/HDR picture+Four HDMI 2.1 ports+Great webOS interface and app support
Reasons to avoid
-Reflective glass surface-No HDR10+

If you only remember one TV from this list, make it the LG C1 OLED. This iterative update to the beloved LG CX may not reinvent the wheel, but it does continue its legacy of high-performing picture in an excellent all-round package.

The new a9 Gen 4 chipset adds in AI processing to distinguish between objects and their backgrounds – something that's at the heart of a lot of advancements in today's TV market – while a full suite of HDMI 2.1 ports and a dedicated Game Optimiser menu means that gamers should find using the C1 a breeze.

The LG C1 isn’t flawless, as we did encounter issues around how the new a9 Gen 4 processor upscales faces, and how reflective the all-glass screen is during daylight hours, but the issues are few and far between.

There are, of course, higher resolution TVs out there right now like the LG Z1 OLED, which offers 8K resolution, and the new LG G1 Gallery Series that uses the coveted OLED evo panels that offer better brightness. However, we feel that the LG C1 OLED offers the best blend of price and performance and should be high up on your list for potential 4K OLED TVs to buy in 2021 and beyond.

Read the full review: LG C1 OLED

Sony A90J OLED TV showing raindrop against purple background

(Image credit: Sony)

2. Best blowout OLED TV: Sony A90J

Sony advances the art of OLED with the A90J

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch, 65-inch, 83-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel Type: OLED
Smart TV: Google TV
HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Reasons to buy
+Robust sound+New OS is great
Reasons to avoid
-No UK catch-up TV services-Missing some key features

Sony hasn’t held back in pricing the new A90J 4K OLED TV, but we believe the performance does justify the hefty price tag. Picture quality, from any source, is about as good as it currently gets from any 4K screen. In every meaningful department – motion control, contrast, edge definition, detail levels, you name it. For those moments when you’re reduced to watching sub-4K content, it’s great at upscaling, too. 

Using the entire surface of the screen as a speaker is still novel and effective, and backing it up with two conventional bass drivers means the A90J sounds fuller, more direct and just, well, better than any alternative that doesn’t feature an off-board sound system.

Add in a smart new Google TV interface, the usual Sony standard of build and finish, feet that change position to accommodate a soundbar, an exclusive movie streaming service, and an authentically well-designed remote control – ignoring the inexplicable lack of UK TV catch-up services – and the A90J looks like the complete package. 

Xbox Series X gamers should watch out, as there's no VRR support – though you'll find the 4K/120Hz capability and auto low latency mode to match any PS5 console.

Read the full review: Sony A90J OLED TV review

Vizio H1 OLED TV displaying pink flowers onscreen

(Image credit: Vizio)

3. Best value OLED TV: Vizio H1 (US)

This often-on-sale OLED from Vizio is cheap, with some caveats

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch, 65-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: SmartCast
HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Reasons to buy
+Stunning 4K HDR pictures+Cheaper than LG OLED
Reasons to avoid
-Dimmer than some OLEDs-HDMI 2.1 ports don't work well

The new Vizio OLED TV – officially called the H1 – is a cheaper alternative to the more premium screens that LG and Sony have been producing for the past few years. For folks who don’t want to spend a fortune, the Vizio OLED has most of the same key features and it offers largely similar performance as other OLEDs for hundreds of dollars less – albeit with a dim output that most other OLEDs surpass.

Compounding the problems of this OLED TV is Vizio’s SmartCast platform, which is missing a few key apps, while some HDMI issues prevent the TV from displaying any images from a PS5 (in our tests, at least) or showing off Xbox Series X games at anything higher than 60Hz. Upscaling isn't stellar, either, and in general this set fares far better with 4K HDR sources than grainy HD.

Some of these issues may be fixed in firmware updates, though, and the Vizio OLED is also often on sale, bringing its $1,399 price tag (for the 55-inch size) down as low as $899. For that price, it's still a set to be kept in mind.

Read more: Vizio OLED 4K TV review

LG G1 OLED TV hanging in tasteful living room, with a painting-like appearance

(Image credit: LG)

A premium OLED TV that reaches for the light

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch, 65-inch, 77-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: webOS
HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Reasons to buy
+Outstanding contrast+Impressively thin design
Reasons to avoid
-No TV stand included-Sound system struggles with bass

After something a bit more stylish? The LG G1 OLED is a knockout television that builds on the sleek design of last year's Gallery Series OLED and somehow makes it better.

The real hero here is LG's new OLED evo technology, which updates the panel structure to eke out even more brightness – without increasing blooming effects or, we're told, the chance of burn-in.

It's an expensive set, and the Dolby Atmos sound system isn't the best for bass – something that will effect all the other LG OLEDs in this guide. But the breathtakingly slim design makes it a real centerpiece television, with the contrast and color benefits of OLED pushed to new, lighting-enhanced heights.

Watch out though: the G1 is really designed to be wall-mounted, and it won't come with a TV stand or feet out of the box. You can buy a floorstanding Gallery Stand alongside, or find a third-party solution for placing on a counter, though.

Read more: LG G1 OLED TV review

Panasonic JZ2000 OLED TV in white living room

(Image credit: Panasonic)

5. Best OLED TV for UK: Panasonic JZ2000 OLED

A cinematic OLED TV with speakers to match the screen

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch, 65-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel technology: OLED
Smart TV: My Home Screen 6.0
Dimensions: 1,227 x 764 x 69 mm
Reasons to buy
+Side-firing speakers feel immersive+Four HDMI 2.1 inputs
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky remote-Not a slim TV

The Panasonic JZ2000 OLED is a force to be reckoned with. With its Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel, an overhauled sound system that belts Dolby Atmos sound out of every corner, and a boost to gaming specs and HDMI 2.1 connectivity, this flagship 2021 screen is easily one of the best TVs we’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing.

A reduced input lag of just 14.4ms makes this a great bet for hooking up to a PS5 or Xbox Series X console, and the audio is incredibly powerful too, with 125W speakers that include side-firing drivers to help spread sound all around the room. If that's too much for you, of course, you're getting largely the same picture experience on the JZ1000.

Just make sure you turn off Intelligent Frame Creation before you get started (as it adds some video noise in places).

Read our full review: Panasonic JZ2000 review

LG BX OLED TV in spacious apartment, with road weaving between green/yellow fields on screen

(Image credit: LG)

6. Best OLED TV on a budget: LG BX Series

Some compromises, but still fantastic

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: webOS
HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
Reasons to buy
+Rich colours and sharp detail+Great value for an OLED
Reasons to avoid
-No HDR10+-Not the latest processing

LG's entry-level B Series range is a fantastic way to sample the excellence of OLED at a reasonable price – even if it's soon to be replaced by the LG B1 OLED.

It offers the same picture advantages as its B9 predecessor, including excellent color vibrance, deep blacks and contrast to make its pictures truly pop. However, the same picture defects remain, too – there's some motion stutter around suddenly moving objects, as well as persistent grain and banding in dark scenes. While the true blacks are beautiful, making use of OLED’s ability to turn pixels off entirely, less decisive shadows aren’t as brilliantly realized.

However, the BX still offers a gorgeous and enjoyable picture for the money, with an excellent webOS smart TV platform and a very tempting price for a budget OLED TV.
But keep an eye out for the LG A1 OLED, which is a new entry-level OLED model for 2021 too.

Read our full LG BX OLED review

Philips OLED 805 glowing with Ambilight in blue living room

(Image credit: Philips)

7. Best OLED TV with Ambilight: Philips OLED 805 (UK)

Gorgeous Ambilight colors with an OLED panel? Count us in

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch, 65-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: Android TV
HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Reasons to buy
+Lovely design+Immersive Ambilight
Reasons to avoid
-No Freeview Play-Android TV issues

The Philips OLED 805 is a winning combination of excellent picture quality, powerful processing, and lovely build quality – but it's the Ambilight feature that's the real star of the show here.

Ambilight projects a cornucopia of colors around the edges of the television, and this 805 model can do so from three sides – not quite the four-sided Ambilight of the flagship OLED+935, but still plenty to create an immersive light show.

But the 805 OLED isn't just for show: thanks to Philips' beefy P5 Picture processor, its able to give real force to OLED images, with enhanced contrast and spectacular colors – even when upscaling from HD/SDR. Philips improves on last year's 804 model too with both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support, meaning you won't have to choose between a dynamic HDR format.

There isn't Apple TV app support, though – and the Android smart TV platform can feel unwieldy at times. The lack of Freeview Play, too, can be frustrating for UK viewers, without catch-up provision for the likes of ITV and BBC. Overall, though, it's a small price to pay for what's on offer.

Read the full review: Philips OLED 805

OLED TV FAQ

LG Rollable OLED

(Image credit: LG)

How much do OLED TVs cost?

This varies hugely depending on what technologies are thrown in with an OLED panel, such as the resolution, processor, build quality, built-in speakers, and more. But suffice to say that entry-level models sit around (or, more recently, just under) the $1,000 / £1,000 / AU$1,500 mark.

More mid-tier OLEDs at larger sizes (65 inches and above) can double that figure, or even triple it – while experimental 'rollable OLED" screens can go for six-figure sums. 48-inch OLED sizes tend to offer only a small discount, if any, though we could see the long-teased 42-inch OLEDs drop launch prices further, if they ever materialise.

Sales periods like Prime Day or Black Friday can help with this, though the most savings tend to come on models that are a year or two old. It's worth paying attention to these discounted screens, though, as they'll often carry better processing than newly-launched models at the same price.

Best OLED TV competitors: what else is out there?

OLED is, for many, the premium TV tech of the moment. Though once weighed down by inaccessible price points, a flurry of cheaper mid-range OLEDs and smaller panel sizes has helped bring OLED closer to the mass market. TCL's own plans to manufacture its own inkjet OLED TV panels at a significant price reduction over traditional OLED production methods could spell trouble for the likes of LG and Panasonic too.

Regardless, OLED isn't the only option for savvy TV buyers. Samsung's competing QLED televisions outperform for brightness, while the introduction of Mini LED backlights has only improved light emission and overall contrast – the areas that OLED generally has the upper hand with, thanks to its per-pixel brightness control.

Word on the grapevine is that Samsung will also release its QD-OLED hybrids (which combine OLED panels with quantum dot tech, utilising the self-emissive properties of the former and color enhancements of the latter) early next year too, which could shake up the list above. Do they count as OLED TVs, even, or will they be something altogether? We'll certainly update you once we have a better sense of the technology.

For those with truly cash to splash, you'll be choosing between a high-end OLED TV and Micro LED – a self-emissive panel technology that Samsung has leant into in recent times, but which has proved difficult to offer either affordably or at mainstream sizing (76-inch is the smallest we've seen so far, as of 2021).

It's a more complicated picture than simply OLED, then, though for deep blacks and true-to-life color – at a size you can actually get into the average living room – OLED may still be the best choice.

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.