The latest and greatest 2018 Best TVs have made their way into the stores, which means that if you want to buy a new TV, now is the time to start looking. While some bring new technologies, others are iterations on already great models of 2017, offering a new feature here or there or perhaps new smart design touches. This means that old models will see their prices go down, but that does not mean you have to ignore the new models. Any modern TV worthy of the name offers such basics as 4K resolution and HDR, but that’s just the beginning.
2018 shows that new, feature-rich TVs are becoming more affordable than ever, given what they have to offer. When browsing this list, keep in mind that many of these models have just been released. Even though we had time with them, we did not have a chance to examine them properly. As we spend more time with TVs and give them review scores, we will update this list accordingly.
Top 10 Best TVs Comparison Table
Best TVs TV Name Category Rating LG C8-SERIES 4K OLED TV Best TV overall 9.6 out of 10 SAMSUNG Q9FN 4K QLED TV Best overall LED/LCD TV 9.5 out of 10 SONY MASTER SERIES A9F TV Best ultra-premium OLED TV 9.4 out of 10 LG SIGNATURE OLED TV W8 Best aspirational TV 9.3 out of 10 SONY MASTER SERIES Z9F TV Best ultra-premium LCD/LED TV 9.2 out of 10 VIZIO P-SERIES QUANTUM Sexiest high-performance budget TV 9.1 out of 10 TCL 6-SERIES ROKU TV Smartest high-performance budget TV 9.0 out of 10
Things To Know Before Buying Best TVs
When shopping for a new TV, it pays to do some research, but keep in mind that specifications are often full of incorrect information. Review from multiple review sites (including digital trends, of course) and then go to the TV in action with a local retailer. If you can, try to keep the remote control of the TV in hand and play with it a little. Ask an employee to take the TV out of demo mode so that you can watch some of the built-in images presets if possible.
In addition, try to determine whether the user menu of the TV and the smart TV interface are easy to navigate and intuitive. Finally, make sure that the store where you are going to buy is an authorized store for the brand and ensure a fair and hassle-free return process. Most authorized online retailers are very accommodating when it comes to returns or replacements.
LG C8-SERIES 4K OLED TV
LG’s full range of OLED TVs offers fantastic picture quality, with each TV using the same screen. As such, the feature set, the available screen sizes, and the price are the factors to consider here. Like the C7 series of last year, the new C8 series is the best for our money. The 77-inch model ($9,000) is a bit high for most people, but the 65-inch and 55-inch models are $3,500 and $2,500, respectively. For investment, you get a sparkling 4K Ultra HD image with incredible contrast; the latest HDR options, including HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma; and the fantastic webOS interface from LG.
As you’ll see later in this list, there are more sophisticated TVs, but the C8 series is the most sensible solution for most people looking for the best image quality available. LG’s latest C-Series TV had a modest center pedestal, but the LG C8 OLED is a bit more conspicuous. The metal slab is now longer (about 104 cm) and bends forward. This redirects the sound from the low speakers so that it is pulled forward. The inputs include four HDMI ports, all of which support 4K and HDR inputs. Unlike the Sony AF8 OLED, the LG C8 OLED does not use large plastic panels to hide cables. This is not a problem for me: I rarely watch behind my television.
- Sharp and colorful picture
- Excellent upscaling
- WebOS still rocks
- Low input lag
- The motion could be better
- Better suited to darker rooms
SAMSUNG Q9FN 4K QLED TV
When Samsung started talking about the fact that QLED was a serious competitor to OLED, we were skeptical, but these claims now make a lot of sense. Last year’s Q9F was one of the best LCD TVs we had seen until the company released its follow-up, the Q9FN of 2018. The HDR image is not only incredibly vibrant, with some of the levels of the deepest black we’ve seen outside an OLED display, but the off-angle image – usually a rough point on LCD TVs – has been improved. Samsung has also enhanced the aesthetic by adding a new ambient mode.
The company has also integrated the power cable into the One Invisible Connection cable between the One Connect case and the TV, making installation clean child’s play for everyone, not just professional installers. The price of a slim TV (for a FALD) and a thin cable is that the One Connect case is no longer so compact. It’s wider than an Xbox One S and about half as deep. Or about the size of two piles of four UHD Blu-ray discs, side by side. It’s a slight shock to take off the unit, but I still found it pretty easy to hide in my AV rack, the same place where I had hidden the last box One Connect. Unfortunately, it no longer contains connections – there are still four HDMI and three USB ports, as well as the usual Ethernet, antenna, and eight-pin jacks.
- Gorgeous brightness and colors
- Impressively deep blacks
- Full-array local dimming
- Lovely finish
- Not quite OLED levels of shadow detail
SONY MASTER SERIES A9F TV
LG Display – the same company that provides screens for LG’s OLED TVs – also provides the screens Sony uses in its OLED TVs, so why is Sony’s look better? One word: treatment. No one is beating Sony at the game, and it uses its X1 Ultimate processor with great efficiency in the A9F, placing it among the most impressive TVs we have ever seen and almost certainly the best OLED TV on the market. Even knowing that Sony had a long history of processing, we were always amazed by the amazing HDR quality when we saw this TV in person.
It’s also an incredibly thin TV that rivals even LG’s TVs Wallpaper. This is largely due to the acoustic surface technology used by Sony, the actuators located at the back of the screen using the display to create a sound. Combined with the woofer mounted on the back of the TV, the TV produces a surprisingly solid sound, which we would have found hard to believe if we had not met it ourselves. These TVs have not been distributed yet (they will arrive this fall), but they are available for pre-order and we look forward to finding one for further testing and analysis.
- Enhanced UHD HDR images
- Impressive upscaling
- Audio+ sound system
- Android Oreo smart platform
- Lean back design
- Reworked image presets
- Black level crushing
LG SIGNATURE OLED TV W8
Let’s start immediately: we can not ignore the price displayed on these TVs. That said, you should definitely see LG’s “Wallpaper” TVs, and once you’ve seen one, you might find yourself desperately trying to justify the purchase. Like last year’s W7, most of the W8’s components are integrated with the included soundbar, which provides object-based Dolby Atmos surround sound for maximum audio immersion. All major HDR formats are supported, so this TV is as futuristic as a TV. This is a good thing because, after the purchase, you will probably not make any other major purchases for some time.
Beyond the new additions of the processor and Google Assistant, the W8 is equipped with a 4.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar connected by a flat cable that goes into the TV itself – the latter always measuring an incredibly thin thickness of 2.57 mm from front to back. Speaking of HDR, all OLED Series 8 (W8, G8, E8, C8, and B8) will support four types of HDR formats: HDR10, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR from Technicolor and HLG. It will work in tandem with LG’s proprietary HDR Pro and HLG Pro technologies that work step by step to find the right balance of weaknesses and highlights.
- More vivid colors
- Google Assistant built-in
- Dolby Atmos soundbar
- Four types of HDR
- Same panel as last year
- No increase in brightness
- The soundbar is still 4.2
SONY MASTER SERIES Z9F TV
If you’re not sold on OLED but still want a fantastic TV, the Z9F is probably your best choice, even if it’s not really a cheap option. The same X1 Ultimate processor that powers the A9F is also used wisely, making it the most impressive LED/LCD TV we’ve ever seen. It even solves one of the major problems of this type of TV – viewing off-angle – through a technology called X-Wide Angle. At the time we were with television, we found that the colors were just as bright, even from extreme angles, as if they were directly in front. Starting at $4,500 for the 65-inch model and up to $7,000 for the 75-inch model, these TVs will be released in the fall, although they are currently available for pre-order.
If you want to buy a TV this year, you might want to wait a bit, as in the case of the A9F above, it seems that this TV deserves to wait. One HDMI port, two USB ports, a 3.5mm port for analog video input, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and two 3.5mm ports for an infrared receiver and blaster on the back from the TV, facing left. Three HDMI ports, one USB 3.0 port, one Ethernet port, one optical audio output, one antenna/cable connector and one 3.5mm port for RS232 controllers face down, perpendicular to the side ports. A versatile power button and plus / minus buttons are in the lower left corner; You can hold down the power button to turn off the TV or press to switch between features such as volume control.
- Extraordinarily bright in SDR and HDR
- Excellent low input lag
- Great local dimming feature
- Disappointing contrast ratio
VIZIO P-SERIES QUANTUM
If you’re impressed by Samsung’s QLED models, but do not want to spend that much, the Vizio P-Series Quantum TV may be the perfect TV for you. The use of quantum dot technology, similar to the one on which Samsung’s QLED technology is based, is the most important thing we have seen in the Vizio P series for years. Complementing support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision, the Quantum P Series uses 192 local dimming zones to provide exceptional black levels that combine with the 2,000 nits of maximum brightness of the TV to produce high contrast. There is only one size 65-inch priced at $2,200, but it’s far more affordable than Samsung’s offering, with plenty of performance to spare.
A TV with a big screen will not be very useful if you do not have the content to display. Fortunately, the Vizio P has many methods to transfer this content on its LCD. There are, for example, four HDMI 2.0 inputs with HDCP 2.2, a composite video input and a USB port. In fact, it has five HDMI ports, but the fifth is special. It’s the only one capable of working in 1080p/ 120Hz. This will be most important for players, who will appreciate the reduced entry time. That is if they can live with the lower resolution.
- Built-in TV Tuner
- Full-Array Local Dimming across all sizes (zone number varies)
- 120 Hz (up to 240 Hz) refresh rate
- Chromecast built-in
- Vizio WatchFree streaming service
- Limited horizontal viewing angles
- No built-in mic for Google Assistant/Amazon Alexa
TCL 6-SERIES ROKU TV
When we saw Series 6 of the TCL series for the first time in person at CES 2018, it was an easy call for the best night of the year. With a range of up to $1,000 and featuring all current HDR technologies in a quality panel, this is the TV you need if you want to optimize your value. With 120 local dimming zones in the 65-inch model and 96 in the 55-inch model, the contrast is impressive for an LCD and HDR Pro Gamma automatically adjusts the backlight according to the brightness of your room. Apart from picture quality, the 6 series incorporates the Roku operating system to deliver the best smart TV experience available to date.
Even if your budget is tight, you may find that TCL models offer everything you want on a TV, so you do not have to spend money on a sound bar or home theater surround sound system. For connections, the Roku 6 Series TV supports three HDMI 2.0 HDCP 2.2 inputs, so you can connect all your HDR 4K devices like an Xbox One S or a PS4 Pro without having to choose the inputs that will work. However, HDMI ARC is located on HDMI 3. Therefore, if you plan to broadcast ARC sound on your soundbar or A/V receiver, leave it free for this purpose.
- Excellent black levels
- High brightness
- Punchy HDR picture
- Accurate, wide color gamut
- Roku TV OS is excellent
- Vertical banding is visible in some units
- Vignette effect in corners
How We Test Best TVs
We start each model year with the very best televisions from each of the big brands, including Samsung, Sony, LG, and others. These premium televisions help set the highest standard for the year, manage the expectations for each model underneath and provide context among the competitors. We start testing by setting up each TV in a completely dark room and adjusting the picture settings using tools and methods that are immediately available to consumers, just as you could do at home. From there, we use a range of test patterns and trusted the content, from streaming services to Ultra HD Blu-ray to over-the-air (OTA) TV, to assess the performance characteristics of each TV, including color production, motion resolution, black levels, backlight influence, brightness, HDR quality, and detail resolution.
Once we have analyzed the image quality of a TV, we continue with elements that affect the user experience, including the Smart TV interface of each set, interface for user settings, remote control, external device recognition and control, and other essential touch points. Where possible, we place two competing models side by side to provide extra context for the pros and cons of each TV. Finally, we determine which type of user can speak to a TV. For example, some TVs offer better performance in the bright room, others are better for a dedicated home theater performance. Some are better for sports, others are better for watching movies or playing games.
In short, we make a thorough evaluation to not only determine which TVs offer the best picture quality but also offer the best overall user experience. After all, you will live with your new TV for years, and its use should be a joy, not a pain.
Most new TVs are equipped for wired or wireless networking, allowing you to connect them to your home network and the Internet at large. This allows you to stream media from your personal computer and access smart TV portals online. Some companies have excellent smart hubs that allow you to access catch-up services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4, Amazon Video, Now TV, social networking tools and movies on demand, while others only offer iPlayer, Netflix and Streaming YouTube video.
Our list of Top 10 Best TVs comprises all the mentioned features and will surely help you to pick the best TV that you can buy right now.
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