Best 4K TV 2018: 8 awesome Ultra-HD TVs you need to see to believe

Best Ultra HD 4K TV
Choose the best Ultra HD 4K TV for you

If you're looking for the best 4K UHD TVs that money can buy, you've landed in the right place. Here at TechRadar we've put our heads together to bring you the top 4K resolution TVs that you can get your hands on right now. 

4K may have experienced some teething problems early on, but now 4K TVs (also known as Ultra HD or UHD) are dominating the home entertainment market. That's why it's no surprise all the big tech players are on board and they're all keen to push their sets to the best they can be. 

That means there's never been a better time to buy a 4K Ultra HD TV. The technology is improving all the time and 4K content from the likes of Netflix and Amazon has become the new norm (and that's before you get to physical Blu-ray discs).

But remember that putting out a new 4K TV isn't just about how many pixels you can pack into a screen – it's about the quality of those pixels as well. With that in mind, we're excited about the very latest add-ons to UHD, including High Dynamic Range and Wide Colour Gamut, which promise to take all those pixels and make them truly shine. 

We've been testing TVs since the dawn of 4K, and using that wealth of experience alongside the hundreds of TVs that have crossed our paths, we've created a list of the best 4K TV sets. We regularly update this list with new suggestions, so keep on checking back.

What you need to know about 4K TVs

Let's have a quick 4K refresher before we get stuck in. 

For starters, not only do 4K UHD screens have four times the amount of pixels as their 1080p predecessors, these 4K TVs also usually pack in screen technology like High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) that really make the most of those extra pixels.

The other reason 4K TVs have taken off is that game consoles, like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, have totally embraced the 4K future, as have the Blu-ray industry and streaming video player market. Pretty much everyone is on board the 4K Ultra HD train these days, so what better time to get a set?

If all of this sounds weird or archaic or tough to understand, don't worry. We're here to help decipher the wild, wonderful world of Ultra HD. Give us a few minutes of your time and we'll help you take home the best 4K TV on the market.

 Check out our video below for an introduction to the world of 4K:

Samsung Q9FN 4K TV

Samsung Q9FN 4K TV

1. Samsung Q9FN QLED TV

The best 4K TV of 2018, bar none

Spectacular HDR picture quality
Powerful, well-rounded sound   
Good smart system  
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 4K TVs. 

As well as being even brighter and more colourful 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 colourful than near any we've seen come from the South Korean manufacturer. 

Do those features alone make Samsung Q9FN the best 4K 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 is Samsung's best TV ever. 

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

LG C8 OLED 4K TV

LG C8 OLED 4K TV

2. LG C8 OLED

The best entry-level 4K OLED TV

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

We've long loved LG's B-Series of OLED 4K TVs with last year's B7 OLED as the pinnacle of affordable OLED technology. But this year, LG has delayed the B-Series and has instead made the C-Series its front-running screen.   

While we're a bit miffed at the price increase from last year's B7 to this year's C8, it's hard to say it's unwarranted: LG’s C8 builds on the success of last year’s models, resulting in a TV that can deliver astonishing HD/SDR images and equally impressive 4K/HDR pictures. 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 colours, not to mention an astounding level of detail with native 4K content.

The WebOS smart platform remains the best available and the choice of streaming services is second to none. Once you add the gorgeous design and a comprehensive set of features, you have one of the most complete TVs that we’ve ever reviewed. 

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

Panasonic FZ952/FZ950 4K TV

Panasonic FZ952/FZ950 4K TV

3. Panasonic FZ952/FZ950

The best 4K OLED TV specific to the UK

Stunning contrast performance
Unprecedented colour accuracy
No Dolby Vision support
Some occasional vertical banding

There's a very good reason that Hollywood video editors master on OLED TVs – they simply outmatch anything else on the market. 

And while LG and Sony certainly have their merits in this area (the former is the largest producer of OLED panels in the entire world, after all), Panasonic is certainly no slouch. All you need to do is look at the Panasonic FZ952, the latest OLED reference 4K TV from Panasonic, to see why.

The FZ952 is a luscious OLED that puts performance first. Its colour handling is class-leading, and its HDR talents are a match for any of its rivals. In fact, it just might offer the best picture performance that we’ve seen on a 4K UHD OLED to date. 

The FZ952 isn’t quite the complete package though, lacking as it does Dolby Vision and Atmos compatibility, but it wins more arguments than it loses. We suspect you’ll appreciate the easy sophistication of its smart platform, the quality of that low-lag game mode, and the sheer musicality of the Technics soundbar.

Read the full review: Panasonic FZ952/FZ902 OLED

Philips 803 OLED

Philips 803 OLED

4. Philips 803 OLED

The best 4K TV in terms of value

Superb image performance
Three-sided Ambilight
Designer good looks
No Freeview Play
Only two full-spec HDMI inputs

Philips has significantly upgraded the picture processing power of its 2018 OLEDTVs, and the benefits of this new found brawn can be seen writ large, with enhanced contrast and spectacular colours. That said, the brand’s second generation P5 Perfect Processing Engine offers twice the picture processing power of the original, and that was a pretty impressive chip in its own right. 

While the 903 is still the brand's flagship model, beyond its Bowers & Wilkins sound system, there’s little to separate that from the 803, making it the smarter buy.

If there's anything holding Philips back from holding the top spot in our round-up, it's the minor irritations, like poor catch-up TV provision, just two full-spec UHD HDMI inputs and the lack of Dolby Vision. If that doesn't bother you, though, Philips Hue-compatible Ambilight room lighting system, and the promise of an early upgrade to the new Android Oreo TV OS, however, might just make this the most promising OLED on the market. 

Read the full review: Philips 803 OLED

Sony XF90 Series 4K TV

Sony XF90 Series 4K TV

5. Sony XF90 Series

The best mid-range 4K TV available on the market

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

Short and sweet, the KDL-55XF9005 is a brilliant mid-priced 4K TV. Every one of the improvements Sony has introduced over and above last year’s already excellent XE90 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 KDL-55XF9005

Sony BRAVIA A1 4K TV

Sony BRAVIA A1 4K TV

6. Sony BRAVIA A1

The best 4K TV for those with a big budget

65-inch: Sony A1E OLED

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

The 55A1 – and the A1 OLED series overall – are 4K TV crowd pleasers in just about every way. Their ‘picture only’ design has been beautifully realised, managing to be simultaneously subtle and dramatic. Their vibrating screen delivers a far more powerful and effective sound performance than I’d thought possible, too. 

The real stars of the show here, though, are the A1’s exquisitely detailed, contrast-rich and colourful pictures. These prove emphatically what we’ve long suspected: More brands using OLED technology can only lead to good things. 

Read the full review: Sony A1 OLED

7. Panasonic FZ802/FZ800 OLED TV

Panasonic's penultimate OLED 4K TV delivers pictures just as the director intended

Superb picture quality
Impressive HDR performance
Simple but effective smart platform
No Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos 

The FZ802 does exactly what it was designed to do: deliver exceptionally accurate pictures at a competitive price. The Panasonic is cheaper than its main competitors, but is still well made, and boasts a smart platform that is simple but highly effective. The 4K UHD TV also produces the best SDR and HDR images that we have seen out of an OLED to date, thanks largely to highly sophisticated picture processing.

It’s not the compete package, lacking the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support found on LG’s OLEDs, but it does include HDR10+. The sound quality is reasonably good for a modern slimline TV, although if that’s a factor you might want to check out Panasonic’s FZ952 with its Technics-tuned soundbar.

Read the full review: Panasonic FZ802/FZ800 OLED TV

Samsung Q7FN QLED 4K TV

Samsung Q7FN QLED 4K TV

8. Samsung Q7FN QLED TV

The best 4K TV for very bright rooms

Startling colour accuracy 
Great for daytime viewing 
Edge-Lit VA panel  
Limited viewing angles 

While Samsung’s Q7FN isn't quite the pinnacle of QLED technology – that honor is reserved for the Q9FN – it is a great compromise between price and performance, offering a bright screen, three forms of HDR and incredibly accurate colours for  £1,999 (around AU$3,699).

Ambient Mode adds a design aesthetic sure to please even the keenest of eyes and its low-latency game mode makes it a competent companion for the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. HDR+ mode helps liven up HD/SDR content and of course 4K/HDR content has an eye-watering sheen when viewed on this set. While the Q7FN isn’t the shining star of the QLED range, it’s still a bright spot in the mid-range.   

Read the full review: Samsung Q7FN QLED TV

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