The 5 Best TVs of 2021

There's never been a better time to buy a new TV

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The Rundown
"The new Tizen operating system features Samsung's Bixby and Amazon Alexa virtual assistants built-in."
"Uses cutting-edge technology to give you unparalleled picture quality."
"The 43-inch screen gives you great 4K resolution, and with HDR support, you'll get impressive detailing."
"The Q800T has a six speaker array that utilizes object tracking sound technology for virtual 3D and surround sound audio."
"The back of the TV has built-in channels and clips for easy cable management to keep your setup looking neat and organized."

The best TVs are designed to provide the absolute best entertainment experience at home. Many new models on offer use the latest picture and audio technology to give you the best of the best when it comes to 4K resolution and rich, room-filling sound. Some use Dolby Atmos for virtual surround sound, which is perfect for anyone who doesn't have the room or patience for setting up an external audio system. Others use AI-assisted processors to intelligently upscale non-4K content so even your favorite classic movies and shows look amazing on your new TV. Brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony packaged their TVs with voice-enabled remotes which allow you to use your favorite virtual assistant for hands-free control. Others like TCL and Hisense work with the Roku mobile app to turn your smartphone or tablet into a voice-enabled remote for easier searching and browsing. 

If you're an avid console gamer, LG, Samsung, and Sony have high-end TVs that are optimized for use with the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, using AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync technology for a virtually lag-free experience. LG also caters to sports fans with their new sports alert feature. This allows you to keep up with scores, league standings, and team stats without changing channels or keeping your phone or laptop open; perfect for fantasy football enthusiasts or anyone who likes to follow their favorite teams from draft to pre-season to playoffs. Samsung's high-end models work with eco sensors that monitor your room's ambient noise and lighting to automatically adjust picture and volume settings for the best viewing experience in almost any environment. Take a look at our top picks below to see which is the best TV to upgrade your home theater with.

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

What We Like
  • AMD FreeSync

  • Updated OS and processor

  • Adaptive picture and audio

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • No composite inputs

Samsung's new Q80T line of televisions are some of the best TVs available on the market. With screen sizes ranging from 49 to 85 inches, they'll be able to fit into just about any room from dorms and apartments to home theaters and rec rooms. The upgraded QLED panel uses intelligent, direct backlighting with various local dimming zones and dual LED lighting for enhanced contrast, detailing, and intense color. It's built with an improved, Quantum 4K processor that uses artificial intelligence to analyze movies and shows scene-by-scene for optimal upscaling and picture quality. The new Tizen operating system features Samsung's Bixby and Amazon Alexa virtual assistants built-in, and it is compatible with Google Assistant so you can choose your favorite hands-free control system. 

Movie buffs and music lovers will enjoy the adaptive picture and sound settings; the TV has eco sensors that monitor your room's ambient lighting and sound and automatically adjust the image and audio for better viewing and listening. It also uses object tracking sound to produce virtual 3D audio without extra equipment and the active voice amplifier boosts dialogue so you never miss a line of your favorite movies and shows. Console gamers can take advantage of the AMD FreeSync support, allowing for ultra low-latency input and better on-screen motion for a more immersive gaming experience. This new line of Samsung televisions supports multi-view; you can stream shows and movies or watch broadcast programming while simultaneously mirroring your smartphone or tablet screen. This is perfect for staying up-to-date with sports scores, stock activity, and news headlines.


What We Like
  • Excellent picture quality

  • Nvidia G-Sync

  • Gallery inspired design

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

  • Burn-in possible

The GX series from LG is the brand's latest model of OLED television. It uses cutting-edge technology to give you unparalleled picture quality. Each pixel is individually lit, allowing your new TV to achieve the deepest richest colors possible, bringing everything from nature documentaries to the newest action films to life. It's built with a third-generation a9 processor, which uses artificial intelligence to optimize both picture and sound for the very best cinematic experience you can get in a home theater. The voice-enabled remote gives you access to Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls so you can turn on connected devices or search for something to watch with just a word. 

Bluetooth connectivity allows you to set up wireless audio equipment, which is perfect for living rooms where space is at a premium and wired connections can cause problems. Console gamers can take advantage of the GX's integrated Nvidia G-Sync technology. This automatically detects when you're playing a game and reduces input lag as well as screen stuttering and tearing that can otherwise ruin a great time. The TV's design takes inspiration from high-end art galleries with its bezel-free screen for an edge-to-edge picture and flush or recessed-mounting options to seamlessly blend into your home theater or living room decor.

Best Budget: TCL 43S425 43-Inch 4K UHD Roku TV

What We Like
  • Under $250

  • 4K

  • Voice controls

What We Don't Like
  • No Bluetooth

For anyone looking to buy their first 4K television or upgrade their home theater while sticking to a modest budget, the TCL 43S425 is an excellent option, one of the best TVs available at this price point. It retails for under $250, so it will fit all but the tightest of electronics budgets. It runs on the Roku platform, giving you instant access to thousands of apps, shows, movies, and songs without the need for an external streaming device. The Roku hub menu is streamlined and simplified to let you quickly and easily access game consoles, apps, cable and satellite boxes, and even over-air antennas without having to memorize HDMI input locations or navigate confusing menus. 

The Roku app can turn your smartphone or tablet into a voice-enabled remote for easier searching and browsing; you can also connect the TV to an external smart speaker like the Google Home or Amazon Echo for expanded voice controls. The 43-inch screen gives you great 4K resolution, and with HDR support, you'll get impressive detailing and contrast to make images look even more lifelike. This TCL model has three HDMI inputs and a USB port as well as RF and composite connections so you can easily set up a custom home theater.

Best 8K: Samsung QN65Q800TAFXZA 65-Inch 8K TV

What We Like
  • Four times the resolution of 4K UHD

  • Object tracking sound

  • Multi-view

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

  • No 8K content available yet

Tech savvy customers who want to future-proof their home theaters should check out the Samsung Q800T. This new model from Samsung is the best TV featuring bleeding-edge 8K resolution images; that's four times the resolution of 4K UHD and 16 times that of 1080p. Combined with an AI-assisted Quantum 8K processor, you'll get awesome picture quality even if you're watching older, non-8K or non-4K content. The QLED panel has multiple contrast control zones to create deep, inky blacks for enhanced contrast and detailing as well as built-in eco sensors that monitor your room's ambient light and sound to automatically optimize settings for the best viewing experience possible at home. The Q800T has a six speaker array that utilizes object tracking sound technology for virtual 3D and surround sound audio without an expensive or bulky audio configuration. It also has an active voice amplifier that boosts dialogue in shows, movies, and games so you never miss a line. 

A dedicated game mode supports AMD FreeSync for smooth, lag-free gaming and automatically adjusts refresh rates and picture settings for great graphics. The voice-enabled remote features Bixby and Alexa built in and works with Google Home for hands-free controls over your TV right out of the box; you can also connect the Q800T to the Samsung SmartThings app to use the remote to control other smart devices in your home network. The new Tizen operating system has preloaded apps for instant streaming of your favorite shows and movies, as well as the ability to mirror your mobile device's screen while simultaneously watching broadcast or streamed programming.

Best 55-Inch: Samsung UN55TU8000FXZA 55-Inch Crystal UHD TV

What We Like
  • Integrated cable management

  • Automatic game mode

  • Preloaded apps

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

  • Only 2 HDMI ports

Televisions with 55-inch screens are some of the best TVs for living rooms and home theaters, and the Samsung TU8000 is one of the top 55-inch options available. It features an all-new Crystal UHD display and Crystal 4K processor to give you crisp, clean 4K resolution and a great color range at almost any viewing angle. It uses the new Tizen operating system to give you access to preloaded apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube for streaming right out of the box. The voice-enabled remote has Bixby and Alexa built-in and is compatible with Google Assistant so you can choose your favorite hands-free control system. 

The back of the TV has built-in channels and clips for easy cable management to keep your setup looking neat and organized. The screen features an extremely narrow bezel to give you an edge-to-edge picture for a more immersive viewing experience. Integrated Bluetooth connectivity lets you wirelessly set up sound bars, speakers, and subwoofers for a custom audio configuration. Gamers will enjoy the dedicated game mode that automatically detects when you start up your console and instantly adjusts the refresh rate and picture settings for low latency gaming. With the ambient mode, you can turn your TU8000 into a piece of art or home decor when not in use.

Final Verdict

The Samsung Q80T is the best television available right now. With a bevy of features including 4K UHD resolution with HDR support, AMD FreeSync support for enhanced console gaming, and the ability to screen mirror your mobile device while simultaneously streaming or watching broadcast channels. For anyone who thinks picture quality should be a number one priority, the LG GX is the best option for a home theater upgrade. It uses cutting-edge OLED technology to produce the best color range and detailing possible for a home television. With a gallery-inspired design, you can complement your home decor with a flush or recessed wall mount.

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 TV Buying Guide

Shopping for the best TV for your bedroom, home theater, apartment, or dorm room can be a bit daunting with how many brands and features are available to choose from. Along with major manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and Sony, there are models available from TCL, Hisense, and Insignia; each of these brands brings something different to the table in terms of smart features, picture and audio quality, and design. Televisions with smart features have become the absolute gold standard for home entertainment as more and more people choose to stream movies and shows and cut the cord with cable and satellite providers. Many televisions available have preloaded apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ so you can watch thousands of shows and movies right out of the box. Others simply allow you to download your favorite apps right to the TV to curate your own entertainment. 

Most manufacturers also feature hands-free voice controls in their televisions, either with voice-enabled remote controls or compatibility with smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home; Roku-based TVs use dedicated apps to turn your smartphone or tablet into a voice-enabled remote. Other features available include 4K displays, HDR support, and virtual surround sound to create a more immersive, cinematic viewing experience in your own home. We're going to break down some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a new TV to help you decide what is right for you. 

TCL 50-inch 50FS3850 Roku TV
TCL 50-inch 50FS3850 Roku TV. Image provided by TCL USA

Screen Resolution

TVs with integrated 4K resolution have become more mainstream, and cheaper, in recent years as the demand for high-quality content has continued to rise. Televisions that use 4K resolution give you four times the resolution of full 1080p HD models, creating more colors, enhanced contrast, and better detailing. Streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video have started offering a wide variety of content in 4K in order to take full advantage of the technology. If you still prefer to get your entertainment from cable, satellite, and over-air broadcast sources, you can still buy 1080p HD televisions. They tend to be much cheaper than their 4K counterparts because of the older technology, but since broadcast media hasn't quite caught up with the UHD trend, you don't have to worry about your new TV being obsolete in a few months or years. These models are great for anyone working with a limited budget or aren't keen on making the switch to 4K quite yet. As if this wasn't enough, some manufacturers have taken the leap into the future of home entertainment and started to offer 8K televisions. 

Models with 8K resolution give you four times that of 4K and 16 times that of 1080p HD. As impressive as that sounds, the visual difference between 8K and 4K isn't nearly as dramatic as that between 4K and 1080p. Refresh rates play a huge part in making your UHD picture look truly stunning; 4K televisions routinely use 60Hz refresh rates, or cycling the picture 60 times per second, to produce smooth motion and great detailing. For an 8K television to look its best, the television would need a built-in refresh rate of 120Hz (120 times per second) to eliminate motion blur and muddy details. There is also an extreme lack of 8K content outside of Japan, and even there, you need a special, dedicated satellite and costly equipment to get 8K channels. Televisions with 8K resolution are also extraordinarily expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars and placing them well out of reach of average consumers. While it's tempting to splurge on an 8K TV to future-proof your home theater, the lack of viable content and rapidly shifting technology makes a 4K model much more attractive as a choice.

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


When shopping for a new TV, one of the first things to consider is which brand you'd like. There are dozens of television manufacturers out there, each with different size classes, price points, and smart features available. Brands like TCL and Hisense deliver smart features and excellent picture quality with affordable options; perfect for anyone working with a limited budget. They use 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. Sony, Samsung, and LG offer high-end models which 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, built-in 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.

LG Quantum Dot TV Example. Image provided by LG

Smart Features

Now that you've decided which brand you'd like and which picture resolution works best for you, it's time to focus on exactly which smart features you'd like. Streaming capabilities are an absolute must for anyone looking to cut the cord with cable and satellite providers. 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 rely on 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 anyone looking to put together a 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 that lets you set up wireless audio equipment like soundbars, satellite speakers, and subwoofers for the ultimate surround sound audio configuration. For console gamers, a TV that features either AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G Sync technology is important. 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.

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