The 8 Best Smart TVs for Streaming in 2020

It's time to upgrade to a TV that can do it all

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Smart televisions have become ubiquitous with home entertainment, and the best smart TVs give you a balance between picture and sound quality, streaming capabilities, and connectivity. Some models feature an OLED panel which produces absolutely beautiful colors and detailing that other technologies can't compete with; however, these models tend to be very expensive because the OLED tech is still somewhat new and pricey to produce. Brands like Samsung use proprietary QLED panels for great resolution, color, and contrast without the high cost of OLED screens. Televisions with native 4K resolution have become more mainstream, and therefore more affordable, allowing even the most budget-conscious shoppers to have the latest technology in their living rooms and home theaters. 

Many modern smart televisions feature popular apps like Netflix and Hulu preloaded for instant streaming as well as voice-enabled remotes for hands-free controls right out of the box without having to set up a smart speaker. Console gamers will appreciate that many smart televisions have dedicated gaming modes that optimize refresh rates for smooth motion and are compatible with either Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync technology for enhanced contrast, prevent screen tearing, and reduce input lag for low latency gaming. There are a variety of screen sizes available from as small as 24 inches to as large as 85 inches, meaning that no matter your room size, there is a TV to fit. We'll break down features from our top picks to help you decide which smart TV will best suit your needs.

Best Overall: Samsung Q80T 75-Inch QLED 4K UHD TV

What We Like
  • Adaptive picture and audio

  • Updated processor and OS

  • AMD FreeSync compatible

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Samsung's new Q80T model is the best smart TV available on the market. It features an updated Quantum 4K processor and all-new Tizen operating system to give you stunning, native 4K resolution with HDR support for excellent detailing and color volume. The voice-enabled remote has Alexa and Samsung Bixby virtual assistants built-in and is compatible with Google Assistant to give you hands-free controls over your TV right out of the box. The screen comes in sizes from 49 to 85 inches, letting it fit into almost any room in your home or apartment, and even dorm rooms. The built-in speakers use object tracking sound to create virtual 3D surround sound without external sound bars or subwoofers; they also work with a built-in sensor that monitors the room's ambient noise levels to automatically optimize sound settings. 

The sensor also automatically adjusts screen brightness and picture settings based on your room's ambient lighting for the best viewing experience in any environment. The active voice amplifier technology boosts dialogue in TV shows and movies so you never miss a word. A dedicated game mode uses AMD FreeSync technology to optimize the TV's refresh rate, reduce motion blur, and prevent screen tearing for virtually lag-free gaming. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can screen mirror your iOS or Android mobile devices for more ways to watch videos and listen to music; you can take advantage of the Q80T's multi-view feature to stream media or watch broadcast programming while simultaneously mirroring your phone or tablet screen. This feature is perfect for catching up with sports and news headlines without changing the channel.

Best Sound: Sony X950H 49-Inch 4K UHD Smart TV

What We Like
  • Acoustic Multi-Audio

  • Adaptive audio and picture

  • Screen Mirroring

What We Don't Like
  • Larger screen sizes are expensive

  • Heavy

We all know that picture quality is king when choosing a new television, but sound quality can make or break any watch party or movie night. The Sony X950H uses the brand's proprietary Acoustic Multi-Audio technology to turn the entire screen into a speaker. With a four mini-speaker array behind the LED panel, you'll get near-perfect audio and video syncing and a more immersive sound experience. The TV also uses eco sensors to monitor your room's ambient lighting and sound and automatically optimize audio and picture settings for the best experience possible. Movie buffs will appreciate the Netflix Calibrated Mode and IMAX Enhanced settings which bring your favorite movies and shows to life in ways the original filmmakers intended. 

With the AndroidTV operating system, not only do you get instant access to thousands of streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, you also get Google Assistant  built-in for hands-free controls right out of the box; it's also compatible with Alexa for customers who prefer Amazon Echo services. The X950H is compatible with both Chromecast and Apple AirPlay2, which allow you to screen mirror your Android or iOS mobile devices for more ways to share videos. The dedicated game mode is optimized for use with the PlayStation 4, giving you ultra-smooth motion and enhanced contrast for virtually lag-free gaming and the best visuals possible.

Best Budget: TCL 40S325 40-inch 1080p Smart TV

What We Like
  • Under $200

  • Plenty of inputs

  • Voice controls

What We Don't Like
  • Not 4K

  • No Bluetooth

Having a great TV doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune. The TCL 40S325 retails for under $200, making it a great fit for even the smallest of entertainment budgets. With the Roku platform, you get your favorite streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu preloaded so you can start watching movies and shows right out of the box. The streamlined home menu makes it easy to select apps, playback devices, game consoles, and even broadcast TV inputs without having to memorize HDMI input locations or navigate confusing menus. 

The 40-inch screen produces great 1080p resolution so all your favorite shows and movies look amazing. The Roku app turns your smartphone or tablet into a voice-enabled remote for easier searching and browsing, or you can connect your TV to your Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker for expanded voice controls. The TV has a headphone jack for private listening and gaming when you don't want to disturb others in your home, apartment, or dorm.

Best Splurge: Sony A8H Bravia OLED 65-Inch TV

What We Like
  • OLED screen

  • Acoustic Surface Audio

  • PS4 optimized game mode

What We Don't Like
  • No built-in tuner

  • Burn-in possible

If you're willing to invest a lot of money in a TV that will future-proof your home theater or living room, the Sony Bravia A8H is one of the best options. It uses an OLED panel and an updated X1 Ultimate processor with 4K resolution and HDR support to give you pixel-perfect color, contrast and detailing for one of the best pictures available for home entertainment. It uses Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio to turn the screen into a speaker for near-perfect audio and picture syncing, and with Dolby Atmos, you'll get one of the most immersive sound experiences you can buy. Ambient light and sound sensors monitor your room's environment to optimize audio and picture settings for optimal viewing, and with a Netflix Calibrated mode and IMAX Enhanced settings, you can see movies and shows as their creators intended. 

The AndroidTV operating system gives you preloaded apps like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ so you can stream your favorite movies and shows right out of the box. It also uses a voice-enabled remote with Google Assistant built in for hands-free controls; you can connect the TV to your Amazon Echo for use with Alexa or Apple Homekit devices to use Siri. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can set up wireless sound equipment for a custom home theater configuration. You can use Chromecast or Apple AirPlay2 to screen mirror your mobile devices for more ways to watch videos or listen to music. The dedicated game mode is optimized for use with PlayStation 4 to give you smooth motion, incredible detailing, and ultra-low latency gaming. The included blade stands can be attached to the TV for a low-profile look or to raise the TV so you can place a sound bar underneath it.

Best OLED: LG OLED48CXPUB 48-Inch OLED 4K TV

What We Like
  • AI-assisted upscaling

  • Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync compatible

  • Screen mirroring

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Burn-in possible

LG is king when it comes to OLED televisions, and their CX series is no exception. This model has over 8 million individually lit pixels to give you unparalleled contrast, color, and detailing that traditional LED televisions can't compete with. It's powered by a third generation a9 processor that uses artificial intelligence to analyze movies and shows scene-by-scene and automatically optimize settings for the best viewing and listening experience possible. The AI-assisted processor also learns from your browsing and watch histories to tailor suggestions for new movies and shows for you to watch; for non-4K content, the AI processor uses a quad-step noise reduction process when upscaling for crystal clear images no matter what you're watching. 

With Dolby Vision IQ HDR support and Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound, you can get a home theater experience without the hassle of setting up extra equipment. Bluetooth connectivity lets you screen mirror your mobile device as well as wirelessly connect sound bars and subwoofers for more immersive audio. You can connect the CX to your Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker for hands-free voice controls and integrate your TV into your smart home network. Sports fans will appreciate the integrated alert system that keeps you up-to-date with scores, league standings, and player stats. Gamers can take advantage of the TV's Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync compatibility for enhanced gaming experiences.

Best Small Screen: Insignia NS-24DF311SE21 24-Inch Fire TV

What We Like
  • Wall mountable

  • Custom input names

  • Alexa built in

What We Don't Like
  • No Google Home/Assistant compatibility

  • Only 720p

If you're living in a small apartment, moving into a dorm, or looking for a TV to put in your camper or RV, the Insignia 24-inch Fire TV is an excellent choice. The small screen makes it easy to tuck this TV away on a shelf, dresser, wardrobe, and VESA compatibility lets you wall mount the TV when floor and table space is scarce. With Fire TV, you get preloaded apps like Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube along with Alexa voice controls built-in for hands-free commands right out of the box. 

With dual band Wi-Fi connectivity, you can download streaming apps, Alexa skills, and set up automatic updates to keep your TV streaming-ready. With three HDMI inputs, you can connect your game console, cable or satellite box, DVD player, or other playback devices all at once; you can also give each input a custom name so you don't forget what is plugged into each port.

Best Large Screen: Samsung UN85TU8000FXZA 85-Inch TV

What We Like
  • Updated processor and OS

  • Integrated cable management

  • Under $2,000

What We Don't Like
  • Very heavy

  • No Chromecast support

If your living room is on the larger side, or you're looking to convert your finished basement into a home theater, you need a TV to fit and the Samsung Crystal UHD 85-inch television is tailor-made for large screen entertainment. It features an updated Crystal 4K processor and the new Tizen operating system which uses HDR10+ technology to create stunning 4K resolution and color as well as giving you access to all your favorite movies and shows as well as next-gen apps to keep you on the cutting edge of home entertainment. The screen has an exceptionally narrow bezel to give you an edge-to-edge picture for a more immersive viewing experience at almost any angle. The back of the television features integrated cable management channels and clips to help keep your cords and cables organized and tangle-free for a clean looking home theater setup. 

The voice-enabled remote has Bixby and Alexa built in and works with Google Assistant so you can use your favorite virtual assistant with your new TV without an external smart speaker. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can wirelessly connect speakers, sound bars, and subwoofers for the ultimate home theater configuration, and with Apple AirPlay2 and SmartCast, you can screen mirror your iOS and Android mobile devices. The Ambient Mode turns your new TV into a work of art or piece of decor when not in use to blend into the room's aesthetic or show off your favorite paintings and photos. The TU8000 has a V-Chip that allows parents to block inappropriate shows and movies from little ones, ensuring family-friendly entertainment. With a price tag under $2,000, the TU8000 is one of the more affordable large-format televisions available.

Best Laser TV: Hisense L10 Series 100-inch 4K UHD Laser TV

What We Like
  • Cutting-edge technology

  • Harman Kardon sound system

  • Alexa built in

What We Don't Like
  • Painfully expensive

  • No Google Assistant support

If money is truly no object in your quest to have the absolute best-of-the-best when it comes to home entertainment, the Hisense 100L10E laser TV is the only choice for you. It uses cutting-edge laser projection technology to give you over one billion colors, excellent 4K resolution, HDR support, and ultra-smooth on-screen action. The projection unit has an ultra-short throw distance of just 8 inches, meaning you won't have to worry about anyone walking in front of the lens and ruining movie night or needing a huge room for optimal focus. The included 100-inch screen features ambient light rejecting technology to ensure superior color accuracy and contrast. 

The laser lamp produces 3,000 lumens of brightness, meaning you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies in even bright rooms, and with a lifetime rating of up to 25,000 hours, you won't have to worry about changing the lamp bulb in the middle of your watch party. The remote features Alexa voice controls built in as well as quick-access buttons for Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video for easier streaming and searching. The projection unit features an integrated 40 watt Harman Kardon soundbar and includes a 60 watt subwoofer for room-filling sound without a complicated audio setup. Bluetooth connectivity means you can wirelessly connect extra speakers if you want them or stream content from your compatible laptop or mobile devices.

Final Verdict

The Samsung Q80T is the best smart TV available. With an updated processor and operating system, you'll get excellent 4K resolution and sound along with all your favorite streaming apps preloaded. It features Samsung Bixby and Alexa built in as well as compatibility with Google Assistant for hands-free voice commands. The Insignia 24-inch Fire TV is perfect for small apartments, dorms, and campers. The TV can be wall mounted to save wall and table space. And with built-in Wi-Fi, you can set automatic updates to keep your TV streaming ready. You can customize each HDMI input with a name so you can remember where your game consoles and playback devices are connected.

About Our Trusted Experts

Taylor Clemons has been reviewing and writing about consumer electronics for over three years. She has also worked in e-commerce product management, so she has the knowledge of what makes a solid TV for home entertainment.

The Ultimate Smart TV Buying Guide

Smart televisions have become the new gold standard for home entertainment. They let you download your favorite streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify right to the TV to have thousands of shows, movies, and songs at your fingertips. A lot of smart televisions now have hands-free voice control capabilities as well. They use voice-enabled remotes, dedicated apps, or a connection to a third-party smart speaker to give you expanded controls over your TV and make it easier to find new things to watch or listen to. There are a few different options for voice controls; most TVs support Alexa and Google Home with voice-enabled remotes or external smart speakers while others, like Samsung, have their own proprietary voice assistants or use Siri via iOS devices. 

Screen mirroring is another smart feature that more and more televisions are beginning to offer. This option lets you wirelessly connect your smartphone, tablet, or computer to your television and share what's on the screen in order to view photos or watch short home videos. Some newer Samsung televisions let you screen mirror your devices while simultaneously watching a movie or show; perfect for watching videos from friends and family or catching up with news updates. With so many smart features available, it can be difficult to know what you may need for your home. We'll break down some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a smart TV to help you choose which one is right for you.

LG OLED G7P Signature Series 4K Ultra HD TV
LG OLED G7P Signature Series 4K Ultra HD TV. Image provided by Amazon

Brands

The place to start when deciding on what smart TV to buy is the brand. There are dozens of television manufacturers out there, each with different size classes, price points, and smart features available. If you're working with a budget, brands like TCL and Hisense are great brands with affordable options. They still offer quality streaming platforms like Roku or the AndroidTV operating system to give you access to thousands of apps as well as limited voice controls and connectivity options. Mid-range options are available from larger brands like Sony, Samsung, and Vizio. These models may come with a higher price point, but they offer many more smart features. 

Besides streaming and voice controls, you'll also get local dimming zones in the screen for enhanced, scene-by-scene analysis of your favorite shows and movies for superior contrast, color volume, and detailing. Some may also use Dolby Atmos audio technology to produce virtual surround sound for a more immersive cinematic experience. High-end models from Sony, Samsung, and LG give you everything you could ever want in a smart TV. They offer larger screen sizes with more advanced picture technologies like QLED or OLED panels, AI-assisted rendering and upscaling, native voice controls, and ambient sound and light sensors that automatically change picture and sound settings to fit your environment. Knowing which brands offer what features in their televisions makes it easier to set a budget and narrow down your options.

Sony XBR-X900C Series 4K Ultra HD TV
Sony XBR-X900C Series 4K Ultra HD TV. Image provided by Sony Electronics

Smart Features

Now that you've decided which brand you'd like, it's time to focus on exactly which smart features you'd like to have. For customers looking to cut the cord with their cable and satellite providers, streaming capabilities are an absolute must. Fortunately, all modern smart TVs feature either preloaded apps like Prime Video, Hulu, and YouTube or have advanced operating systems that allow you to download your favorites. If you're looking to start a smart home network or already have smart home devices like an Amazon Echo or Google Home, you may want to get a TV that allows for hands-free voice controls. This lets you turn your TV on and off, choose apps, or change settings without fumbling with a confusing remote control. If you're always online, screen mirroring is an important feature that lets you cast your smartphone, tablet, or computer screen to your television for better viewing or simultaneous watching with your favorite movies and shows. 

For customers looking to put together a custom home theater, high end models feature ambient noise and light sensors that constantly monitor your environment and automatically adjust picture and sound settings to suit the room. They also feature Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio equipment setup and custom home theater configurations. For die-hard console gamers, a TV that features either AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G Sync technology is a must. These technologies automatically detect when you start playing a game and reduce input lag and motion blur while boosting color volume and contrast for buttery smooth action, beautiful visuals, and near real-time reactions to your controller inputs.

TCL 28S3750 28-Inch Roku TV
TCL 28S3750 28-Inch Roku TV. Image provided by Amazon.com

User Interface

Smart features are wonderful, but the user interface can make or break a home entertainment experience. Family movie night or watch parties with friends can be instantly ruined by having to navigate confusing menus and clunky interfaces just to access Netflix or Hulu. Roku-based televisions have a streamlined hub menu that puts all of your divides, apps, and inputs in one convenient location. Each input is clearly labeled with what is connected to it so you can quickly and easily access your game console, Blu-Ray player, or cable box without needing to remember input names. 

Televisions that use AndroidTV also have a clean, simple interface with clearly marked menu icons for browsing apps, accessing voice controls, or looking at recommended content. LG televisions use the webOS operating system and have an ultra-clean looking interface. Apps are clearly displayed in easy to recognize tiles for quick and easy access. Luckily, TV manufacturers have realized that as more and more people choose to stream their movies and shows, an easy to use interface is important. The clunky, confusing interfaces from older TVs are all but gone, leading to more enjoyable home entertainment.