Best 4K TV 2019: Your definitive Ultra-HD TV buying guide

Best Ultra HD 4K TV
Image Credit: Samsung

TV lovers are a precarious bunch. One minute they'll tell you that you don't need a 4K TV because "well, there's really no difference between HD and 4K" and the next they won't be quiet about the technology.

Take it from us, 4K is everything you want it to be. Both native 4K  and HD content looks amazing on these TVs and, thanks to HDR and Wide Color Gamut, you'll see a huge boost in the TV's contrast and color saturation, too. 4K TVs may be more expensive than HD TVs are, but they're worth every penny.

But with so many options out there, narrowing down a year's worth of high-caliber screens to just eight is a tough job. But that's where we come in. We've viewed the vast majority of the 4K TVs on the market, and have narrowed them down to a list of the top 4K TVs on the market for 2019 with screens from Samsung, Sony and LG leading the pack. 

If you recently bought something from another manufacturer that you love and you don't see it on this list, it doesn't mean we've intentionally snubbed it. Unfortunately best-of lists are tiny and we can only squeeze so many screens on here. That said, we're always adding more screens to this list, so be sure to check back this time next month.

What is 4K? Watch the video below to find out:

What are the best 4K TVs in 2019?

Samsung Q90R QLED TV (2019)

Samsung Q90R QLED TV (2019)

1. Samsung Q90R QLED TV (2019)

The best 4K TV of 2019... so far

Superb picture quality  
Incredible HDR performance 
Wider viewing angles 
No Dolby Vision support

Last year, the Samsung Q9FN was the TV to beat. It won award-after-award for its features and image quality, not to mention its excellent, improved smart platform that came with Bixby support and Samsung SmartThings. However it wasn’t perfect and there were legitimate complaints about viewing angles and an over-aggressive local dimming system that crushed black detail. 

Samsung has clearly taken these criticisms to heart, and directly addressed them in the Q90. The new model has a visibly superior viewing angle that holds its own against an OLED TV, and the local dimming delivers deep blacks without losing shadow detail. To that end, the new Ultra Black Elite filter is nothing short of a revelation, rejecting ambient light in a way that just staggers belief.  

The Q90 is able to deliver images that can directly compete with an OLED, with natural colors, bright highlights, deep blacks, and well defined shadows. It can also surpass any OLED when it comes to HDR, with images that are often breathtaking in their detail and dynamic range.

In fact our only real criticism would be that, unlike some of the competition, the Q90 doesn’t support Dolby Vision. However in all other respects the Samsung Q90 is an absolutely stellar TV that takes QLED to another level.

Read the full review: Samsung Q90R QLED TV

LG C8 OLED 4K TV

LG C8 OLED 4K TV

2. LG C8 OLED Series (2018)

LG set a new standard with its 2018 OLED range

Superb picture quality
Comprehensive features
Highly effective smart platform
Limited peak brightness for HDR
More expensive than last year

At the top of our list for 2018 is the LG C8 OLED – available in both 55 and 65-inch iterations. It's here because it combines an impressive picture, an extensive set of features, an attractive design and its unrivaled smart platform, to deliver one of the best TVs we have seen to date. It’s not as bright as an LCD TV but those deep blacks make a huge difference to the dynamic range of the image. It’s also capable of vibrant and gorgeous colors, not to mention an astounding level of detail with native 4K content.

There are other OLEDs worth considering this year (see: Sony's A1E and A8F OLED or LG's own E8 and W8 OLED models) but we think the OLED C8 offers the best price-to-performance ratio of any TV under the sun from last year.

Read the full review: LG OLED C8 (OLED55C8, OLED65C8)

Samsung Q9FN QLED (2018)

Samsung Q9FN QLED (2018)

3. Samsung Q9FN QLED (2018)

Samsung's best QLED TV from last year

Startling color accuracy
Great for daytime viewing
Black level crushing 
Limited viewing angles

After an underwhelming debut, Samsung’s QLED technology really needed to bounce back in style in 2018. 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. 

Do those features alone make Samsung Q9FN the best TV on the market? No, but throw in technology like HDR10+ and Q HDR EliteMax – what Samsung bills as its maximum High Dynamic Range experience that’s exclusive to the Q9FN – and there's very little doubt in our mind that this was Samsung's best TV ever until the Q90 came along. 

Read the full review: Samsung Q9FN QLED TV (65Q9FN)

4. Sony Bravia A9F OLED (2018)

An OLED screen every 4K enthusiast will be lusting after

Gorgeous picture quality
Innovative and excellent sound
It’s not very bright
Android TV is clunky

Sony’s second-generation OLED flagship, the A9F, is coming at a good time – just as Samsung and LG have stepped up their games with the Samsung Q9FN QLEDand LG E8 OLED, Sony has fired back with a phenomenal OLED of its own.

Much better than last year's A1E, the A9F is unquestionably Sony’s best OLED offering to date, and would've been the best OLED of the year if the C8 didn't exist. 

While we experienced some minor issues (notably Black level crushing on Dolby Vision, and that Netflix Calibrated mode), niggles are to be expected on a set as ambitious as this. If you can live with the slightly idiosyncratic design, and afford the asking price, it’s a glorious UHD display.  

Read the full review: Sony Bravia A9F OLED

LG E8 OLED 4K TV

LG E8 OLED  4K TV

5. LG E8 OLED Series (2018)

Glamorous design, integrated sound system and mesmerizing pictures

Awesome picture quality
Opulent and beautiful design
Excellent operating system
Much improved gaming potential
Occasional picture noise
Lacks brightness vs LCD

Having potentially pushed the hardware capabilities of its current OLED screen technology as far as they can go, LG has for 2018 turned its attention to the software that drives these screens – and this shift in focus has yielded surprisingly impressive results, improving and even removing many of the residual niggles associated with 2017’s already in truth outstanding 4K OLED sets.

The E8 OLED loses a bit of ground sonically from its predecessor, and it can be hard to justify the cost when stacked against the almost identical C8 OLED - but, if none of that stops, you rest assured that the E8 is still one of the best 4K TVs of 2018.

Read the full review: LG E8 OLED (OLED55E8, OLED65E8)

6. Vizio P-Series Quantum (2018)

Vizio’s new P-Series Quantum puts Samsung’s QLED screens to the test

Full array backlight 
Quantum dot technology 
Vivid mode is blinding  
SmartCast OS isn't enticing 

If Samsung sold you on the idea of a quantum dot TV only to scare you away with their price, the Vizio P-Series Quantum is a good compromise. It’s a big, bold and affordable screen that supports most forms of HDR and has the ability to light up the room with its 2,000 nits of peak brightness. 

It might not be able to hit the inky black levels of OLED, and suffers from slow startup, but it is by far the best value quantum dot TV on the market.

Read the full review: Vizio P-Series Quantum (PQ65-F1)

Sony Bravia X900F 4K TV

Sony Bravia X900F 4K TV

7. Sony Bravia X900F Series (2018)

Probably the best mid-range 4K TV available now

Excellent motion handling
Great contrast
HDR isn't the brightest
Remote doesn't feel as premium

Short and sweet, the 65X900F is a brilliant mid-priced 4K TV. Every one of the improvements Sony has introduced over and above last year’s already excellent X900E series – better processing, more brightness, slightly more backlight dimming zones, improved motion performance – delivers the goods, resulting in picture quality that humbles many more expensive TVs. 

Its Android TV system and some generally minor backlight clouding stop it short of perfection, but it’s hard to imagine any similarly priced upcoming 65-inch UHD rival getting the better of it. 

Read the full review: Sony BRAVIA XBR-X900F

TCL 6-Series 4K TV

TCL 6-Series 4K TV

8. TCL 6-Series (R615, R617) (2018)

The best budget 4K TV for those of us with shallow pockets

Bright, colorful HDR
Supports Dolby Vision
Roku TV is amazing
Loss of darker details
Limited motion settings

If you have deep pockets and a checkbook filled with blank checks, we’d tell you to reach deep and shell out for only the best 4K TVs on the market – LG’s crazy-thin OLED W8 or Samsung’s ultra-bright Q9FN QLED. But that’s not always realistic: for the vast, vast majority of us, our budget to spend on a 4K UHD TV is limited to somewhere under $1,000 – and often it's even less than that. 

To that end, it’s absolutely fair to say that the TCL 6-Series is the best TV you can possibly get in this price range. Its performance per dollar is unmatched and its picture quality – despite a few minor flaws – will truly impress you.

Said simply, if there’s a better value 4K TV on the market, we’ve yet to see it.  

Read the full review: TCL 6-Series (R615, R617)