The 6 Best Smart TVs of 2019

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.

The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: TCL 50S425 50" 4K Roku TV

The TCL 50S425 TV gives you all the smart TV features you want at a much more affordable price. The sizable 50-inch screen has 4K resolution and HDR10 for picture quality that's typically seen in much more expensive TVs. Your favorite shows and movies will look great on this screen, and so will video games. With three HDMI ports, a USB port, Optical Audio Out ports and an Ethernet port, you’ll have no problem connecting several external devices. The TV also has a setting called Game Mode which reduces the input lag for video games and makes playing so much smoother.

The TCL 50S425 comes with a built-in Roku interface, which gives you on-screen access to practically every streaming app out there. The TV comes with a streamlined Roku remote that makes navigating easier, and you can also download the Roku app to use your phone as a remote or listen to TV audio through headphones.

Overall, if you’re looking for a great 4K TV and don’t want to spend too much for it, look no further than the TCL 50S425.

For more options on the lower end of the price spectrum, take a peek at our picks for the best cheap TVs of the year.

Best QLED: Samsung QN55Q6F 55" 4K Smart 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, 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. 

Best Fire TV: Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 43" 4K Fire TV

5

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, SHOWTIME, 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.

Runner-Up, Best Fire TV: Toshiba 43LF711U20 43" Fire TV

These days, a TV that’s just a TV doesn’t cut it. The Toshiba 4K HDR Fire TV, Amazon’s latest Fire TV partnership, has Alexa so it can help you both take a break from your life, or manage it. The accompanying remote — which only features a few buttons, as well as quick-access buttons to popular apps like Netflix and Prime Video — features a built-in mic for accessing the voice assistant. It streamlines browsing, lets you manage tasks like updating your calendar, and gives you control over all Alexa-compatible smart home devices. 

The TV also falls on the lower end in terms of price, and while that is reflected in its slower loading times, some heavy Amazon advertising, and a cluttered app store, its striking visuals make it a competitive addition to the budget market. The 3840x2160 resolution stuns, as you enjoy a variety of streaming services, from Prime Video to HBO and apps like Twitch and Spotify. 

Best 40-Inch: TCL 40S305 40" 1080p Roku TV

TCL 40S305
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.7

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.

Like this size? Check out some more options in our roundup of the best 40-inch smart TVs.

Best Sound: Sony XBR55A9F 55" 4K Smart 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 a 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.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 61 hours testing two of the most popular smart TVs on the market. To get the most complete results, they set it up in their living rooms and watched movies and TV shows for hours at a time. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this smart TV, from its resolution to its user interface. We've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Smart TV

Resolution - One of the major concerns when buying any television set these days is the resolution you should get. While 1080p TVs are more affordable, 4K ensures that your TV won’t be considered out of date in just a few years. Whether you really need 4K depends on screen size (if a TV is smaller than 55 inches, it doesn’t make a huge difference), how close you’ll be sitting, and what kind of media you’ll be watching.

Streaming support - While all smart TVs will support the most popular streaming services (Netflix and Hulu), some may not include the more niche services. Also, not all smart TVs offer the option to download extra apps if one of your favorites isn’t included. It’s worth taking the time to do some research on whether your most-used streaming services will be available on a particular smart TV.

Interface - One of the downsides of smart TVs is that their interfaces can be clunky and difficult to use. If you stream a lot, you’ll need to make sure that the user experience is smooth and intuitive. What’s more, you may want to look into search options: It can get tedious typing letters with your remote if you’re searching for a show, so check whether a TV supports voice search or has an app you can use on your phone or tablet.

Test Results: TCL 40S305 w/Roku (Most Popular)

4.7

What We Like

  • Easy setup

  • Good quality picture

  • Smartphone app

What We Don't Like

  • Average sound

  • Leg placement makes it harder to put on smaller tables

TCL 40S305 w/Roku
TCL 40S305
TCL w/Roku
TCL

This smart TV impressed our testers with its simple setup, nice display quality, and convenient smartphone app, which functions just like the remote. “If you have kids, [the app] can be an evil way to play with them while they’re watching TV,” one reviewer said with a smile. On the other hand, our testers thought the TV's sound quality was just average and one pointed out an inconvenient aspect of its design. “I’d prefer to have a stand that sits in the middle of the TV instead of legs on either end,” she explained. “This can make putting the TV on a smaller table difficult.”

Test Results: Insignia Fire TV Edition (Runner-Up, Most Popular)

5

What We Like

  • High-quality display

  • Excellent sound

  • Easy navigation

What We Don't Like

  • Must be linked to Amazon account

Insignia Fire TV Edition
Insignia Fire TV
Insignia Fire
Insignia Fire TV Edition smart TV
Insignia

Our testers thought the Insignia Fire TV was a perfect choice for a high-quality smart TV at a reasonable price. “It integrates all of my TV-viewing apps in one place, which is very easy to access via one simple click,” raved one reviewer. Notable pluses, according to our testers, included the high-definition display, great sound quality, and simple remote featuring voice activation. Just don’t forget: It is an Amazon product. “I did not like the fact that I have to connect it with my Amazon account and when I do, I cannot disable Alexa,” one tester commented.