The 8 Best Smart TVs to Buy in 2018

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

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Samsung QN55Q6F QLED 4K TV

These days, nearly every television has some sort of smart capability. While every manufacturer approaches its interface differently, Samsung’s 55” QLED 4K UHD 6 series Smart TV stands out from the crowd. Q smart technology adds a beautiful way to discover and stream live television programming. A universal guide adds a bevy of apps including Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, HBO and more.

Utilizing Samsung’s streamlined OneRemote, navigating the search function is as easy as ever. Things can get even easier with Bixby Voice searches for content, switching channels or even asking about the weather.

If the smart interface hasn’t already won you over, the Samsung picture quality is sure to do so. QLED technology is as close as you can get to having movie-theater-quality color in your home (at a reasonable price). Its color and contrast are second to none with deep blacks that are unmatched in the category. All of this is powered by the Q engine which helps optimize each piece of content for 4K quality. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Sony XBR55X930D

Sony XBR55X930D
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The 4K HDR-ready Sony XBR55X930D has helped set the bar for what a viewing experience can be with the latest technology available. Featuring near lifelike color accuracy, the Sony XBR55X930D also has Android TV, so you can pair with your Android smartphone or tablet for casting music, movies and photos through the built-in Chromecast support. In addition, you’ll find a plethora of smart features, including a beautifully organized menu system with a well built-in search. Plus, the addition of continuously updated apps offers a future-proofed experience that’s not as easily guaranteed on other smart branding options

Best Budget: TCL 40S305 w/Roku

TCL 40S305
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The TCL 40S305 40-inch 1080p LED TV offers a superb smart TV interface courtesy of Roku. Its budget price does mean some budget-like options, including a native 60Hz refresh rate and a 1080p Full HD picture. Fortunately, its Roku interface offers access to more than 3,000 streaming channels, cable TV, gaming consoles and other third-party devices. The days of flipping through complicated menus are long gone as Roku makes it easy with a powerful search by title, actor or director, plus voice search and a mobile app available on both iOS and Android that does it all.

Add in streaming options from your smartphone and cast movies and Web videos via the Netflix and YouTube mobile apps for even more media options. The easy-to-use Roku remote is one of the best around and has a simplified set of just 20 buttons for quick navigation.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Insignia Fire TV Edition

The Insignia Fire TV maintains a reasonable price tag without skimping on quality. It produces stunning picture quality, boasting 4K ultra-HD resolution with more than eight million pixels. It’s also the first line of Insignia TVs to support HDR (high dynamic range), meaning it produces more vivid, true-to-life colors.

Like all Smart TVs, the Insignia Fire gives you immediate access to thousands of channels and streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, and more) integrating seamlessly with live TV. Additionally, this device has Amazon Alexa, which essentially transforms your TV into a smart-home hub. Search for titles, switch inputs, and play music, all with voice commands. It also comes with three HDMI inputs on the back of the unit that allow you to add on third-party media players like gaming consoles, sound bars, or a cable box.

The Insignia Fire TV is available in three sizes, with either a 43-, 50-, or 55-inch screen.

Best Splurge: LG Electronics LG SIGNATURE OLED65G7P

LG OLED65G6P
Courtesy of Amazon.com

LG’s flagship signature television, the OLED65G7P, is handily one of the best 4K Smart TV options. The base of the OLED display houses all the hardware and input connections and doubles as a 4.2-channel, 60-watt soundbar. Beyond the base of the TV, LG’s included WebOS 3.0 interface offers a redesigned Magic Motion remote, as well as Magic Zoom, which zooms into any part of the screen for a closer picture. The Magic Motion remote offers numerical keys and dedicated control buttons for a DVR resulting in a simplified and more enjoyable remote version over years past. The Magic Mobile connection allows for connectivity to any Android smartphone on the same WiFi network, so you have direct access to apps, photos, videos and music right on your TV.

Best Sound: Sony XBR55A9F 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Master Series TV

One quality that is often lacking on smart TVs is sound, and because of that a whole slew of soundbars exist. But one set that doesn’t skirt its sound responsibilities — while also delivering best-in-class picture and smart features — is the Sony XBR55A9F 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD TV. This TV features Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+™, in which sound comes directly from the center of the screen and is always perfectly synced with the image. There’s also a subwoofer embedded to give a substantial thump whenever there’s an explosion or strong bass is coming through.

Outside of the great sound, you’ll likely appreciate the XBR55A9F’s smart features including built-in Chromecast, voice controls from Amazon Alexa, and Sony SideView so you can remotely control the TV from your iPhone or Android smartphone. And in terms of the picture: This set’s 4K X-Reality PRO OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate will vividly take you inside whatever you’re watching.

Best 4K: LG Electronics OLED55E7P 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV

Featuring state-of-the-art performance, the LG Electronics OLED55E7P 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV is an excellent combination of contrast, viewing angles and brightness. Featuring high-dynamic range (HDR) content and one of the best smart interfaces around with WebOS 3.0, it’s only 2.2-inches wide at its thickest point. The built-in soundbar offers outstanding native sound while still housing four HDMI ports, Ethernet and three USB ports. Offering the same feature set as other LG's pricier smart TVs, the WebOS 3.0 interface offers Magic Remote, Magic Mobile Connection and Magic Zoom. While the latter may be the least exciting of the group, the Magic Remote is among the best available today with a simplified user-interface that gets the job done without a confusing plethora of buttons or options. Unfortunately, there are no HBO, Showtime or PBS apps available, but Netflix, Amazon Video, and Vudu are all here.

Best Gaming: Samsung UN55KS8000

Samsung UN55KS8000
Courtesy of Amazon.com

While numerous TVs offer a solid gaming experience, it’s the Samsung UN55KS8000 that really makes for a best-in-class experience. Games are sure to love the special features such as “quantum dot” technology for enhanced color and 4K/UHD resolution that promises incredible brightness, color and sharpness.

Overall, the smart interface is easy to navigate and full of features that paired with a super-simplified remote control. The menu itself places emphasis on the display, listing available options and “channels” near the bottom in a scrollable pattern that’s user-friendly. The usual suspects are here, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube, all of which support 4K/HDR footage.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Samsung TVs