The best TVs 2023 has to offer provide exceptional viewing experiences. From OLED to Mini LED and everything in between, TV tech today is really able to deliver top quality visuals and sound! If you’re really not sure what any of this means, you can check out our guide to OLED vs QLED TVs to break it down for you.
Yes, the best TVs don’t come cheap, and many do have a premium price tag, but that’s not to say you can’t get good quality TVs for a reasonable price too. If you want premium end, we recommend opting for OLED or QLED displays over LED – they are much higher quality and will give you the best viewing experience.
These days, 4K is the standard, and so whatever you opt for you will have a crisp and clear picture, but you can also now opt for 8k TVs – these are insanely large and have ridiculously clear images – check out our guide to the best 8K TVs guide for our recommendations.
As we said though, you don’t have to go premium to get a decent TV. If you have a particular budget then we also have guides to help you pick the best TVs under £1000 and the best TVs under £500. And if you want to pimp out your TV set-up, then we recommend checking out our guide to the best soundbars to add some oomph to your sound system.
Best TV 2023: The top 3
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Right now, our overall pick as the best TV is the Samsung QN95B. This flagship 4K TV won the T3 Awards gongs for both Best TV and Best Gaming TV 2022. It's a very versatile QLED set, as you can see from such an accolade.
The current best OLED TV is the LG G2, which not only uses a superb new generation of OLED panel for improved HDR, but is also a supremely well-equipped gaming TV. Indeed, it's the T3 Awards winner of Best OLED TV 2022.
The best audio-visual TV is the Philips OLED+986, which integrates gorgeous design with a 'floating' soundbar that takes audio up a notch straight out of the box.
Samsung's 4K flagship for 2022 is an incredible thing, with the best Neo QLED performance we've ever seen packed in a gorgeous, slim design with excellent gaming support too. As we said in our Samsung QN95B review (opens in new tab), it's a stunning TV and a major picture leap forward from its already impressive predecessor. It's also the T3 Awards winner of both Best TV 2022 and Best Gaming TV 2022.
This is a Quantum Dot mini-LED TV, and in 2022 that means it comes with a system called Shape Adaptive Light Control to deliver better dimming and reduce backlight blooming. It makes for particularly punchy HDR content, and it does an excellent job of reducing the backlight clouding that often affects LED TVs with local dimming. It's incredibly bright, while the black levels and colour reproduction here will make you think you're watching an OLED TV.
LG's G2 is its very best OLED TV, with exceptional image processing, incredibly bright HDR and superb visual accuracy. It has superb sound, great gaming features and all the right streaming services, and it's also the T3 Awards 2022 winner of Best OLED TV.
The G2 takes everything that was great about 2921's G1 and adds a newer, more powerful image processor, brightness boosting technology for even higher HDR peaks and vastly improved audio processing too. It's one of the best OLED TVs (opens in new tab) we've ever seen as well as one of the best gaming TVs (opens in new tab); quite frankly it's one of the best TVs (opens in new tab) on the planet and if you can afford it then it'll delight you every time you look at it.
The OLED panel here is the same next-gen panel we saw in the LG G1, but this time out it's been improved to reduce heat dissipation and increase the overall luminance by 30%. It supports all the key viewing formats except HDR10+, and its HDMI 2.1 gaming support is fantastic. Unless you really, really, really need HDR10+, this is all the 4K TV you could ever want. If it's a little too pricey then look to the LG C2 instead, which is less bright but still superb.
If you're looking for a total home cinema upgrade – visuals and audio – in a single package, this is unbeatable. It's not only a fantastic OLED TV, but the soundbar built into the stand is a Dolby Atmos system, complete with upfiring speakers to add height to your sound experience.
The TV is on the very cutting edge of what OLED can do, matching the brightness of elite competitors from LG. The panel is rich and punchy in the way that Philips TVs are known for, but the latest scene-by-scene AI-based processing helps skin tones to appear natural. Balancing vibrancy and realism in this way is almost impossible to pull off, but here we are. Support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ means that everything looks its best, too.
Philips' Ambilight tech is here too, which uses coloured LED light strips around the outside of the TV to project colours matching what's on the TV onto the wall, helping a small TV to feel even bigger and more immersive. Or a big TV to just look even more sensational. It's a win-win.
The built-in sound system is really impressive too, crucially. None of its competitors can match it for dynamism and the feeling of sounds being positioned around the screen. We dig into all this much deeper in our full Philips OLED+936 review (opens in new tab).
Best TV 2023: The best of the rest
Mini-LED is making waves. The Samsung QN900B, with its Neo QLED panel, is hanging ten on those waves and looking damn cool while doing it: this is an absolutely stunning 8K TV, a flagship in every sense of the word, with an incredible picture, great connectivity, and black levels that basically rival anything in the OLED space. It's probably the best TV ever made, and it won the coveted T3 Awards 2022 trophy for Best 8K TV.
What you get is big, bright and colourful. We reviewed the 75-inch variety, and noted that its HDR performance is class-leading, its 4K upscaling utterly convincing, its peak brightness far in excess of OLED (hitting 4,000 nits at one point) and its contrast absolutely remarkable.
The QN900B is the complete package, as our full Samsung QN900B review explains. It's ready for next-gen gaming, too, with full HDMI 2.1 support and all the VRR, ALLM and FreeSync you can eat. That's pretty darned impressive.
In our LG OLED C2 review we said that this is the best OLED TV for most people in 2022. It takes everything that was great about the earlier LG C1 and adds some very worthwhile improvements. The LG G2 up top is technically better, as it's brighter, but then it's a lot more expensive.
The C2's panel is really rather special. It's the same as the previous model but it's much more efficient, enabling LG to pump up the brightness to deliver even better visuals. There's a new state of the art image processor for class-leading upsampling, and the presence of multiple HDMI 2.1 ports means this is also one of the best gaming TVs you can buy as well as being impressively future-proof. Thanks to excellent variable refresh rate (VRR) support it's one of the best TVs for PS5 too.
Whether you're a gamer, a movie buff or a box-set binger, LG's latest OLED TVs raise the bar for picture quality and image processing. The C2 is absolutely gorgeous to watch and delivers a level of realism and immersion that's really rather special. The smaller versions are good, but the larger models are great.
The QN85A is the lowest-priced model in Samsung's 2021 'Neo QLED' TV line-up. It uses Mini-LEDs to offer a pretty incredible balance of image quality and price – its HDR is brilliantly bright, but the precision of its backlight is able to deliver huge contrast when it comes to deep black levels too. It gives a bigger dynamic range than other mid-range LED TVs manage, but also goes brighter than OLED TVs for the same price can deliver, so is great for bright rooms.
Samsung's image processing is excellent, and means that both native 4K video and upscaled HD look seriously impressive and detailed. Our full Samsung QN85A review (opens in new tab), we said "Give the QN85A the best stuff to work with and it’s capable of deeply impressive results."
It's also great for features – including Samsung excellent smart TV platform, which is full of all the key streaming services, while also being really easy to use. There's also an HDMI 2.1 port, which supports next-gen gaming features, including VRR and 4K 120Hz – though it's a shame there's only one.
It's only weaknesses are handling standard definition content (other sets here upscale that better), average sound and if you're a sports lover, some sets deal a little better with fast motion. That said, as it's a generation older, it's a great value buy, so for sheer bang for buck when it comes to bright, beautiful images, this is one hell of a set.
This was the first TV with LG's new 'OLED evo' panel – a next-gen version of OLED tech that consumes less power, can go brighter, and offers even more accurate colours. The newer-gen is better still, but this older G1 model can be found cheaper if you dig about.
That panel is combined with LG's ever-improving control over the near-black elements of pictures, which means better performance at both ends of the brightness spectrum, giving more true-to-life pictures, and making the most of the advantage that OLED's self-emissive pixels have when compared to LED TVs (even mini-LED).
LG's new image processing powers everything, with a noticeable boost to how it handles upscaling from HD to 4K especially – everything looks sharper, but also more natural. And actual 4K video looks better than ever, thanks partly to improved 'AI' recognition of scenes – the TV is better at identifying what's on screen and tweaking its performance to make the most of it.
However, there is one very notable omission here: it doesn't come with a stand in the box. This is a 'Gallery' TV, and it's made for wall mounting – it comes with a special flush wall bracket, so that it sits as slim as possible when up. You can buy some feet, or LG's fetching 'Gallery Stand', but be warned that this is something you'll have to add yourself.
This TV is Sony's flagship 4K LCD TV from 2020, but it doesn't cost flagship money – it cost much less than the LG CX or Samsung Q95T, for example.
It still delivers high-class image quality, though: with brightness peaking at over 1,000 nits, you get bountiful HDR from it, and Sony's image processing is second to none. Colours are supremely rich without coming across as fake, and skin tones in particular have a class-leading realism to them, while still being vibrant.
It also handles motion better than just about anything else, giving fast scenes in movies an authentic look but without any judder – at the same, it clears up and adds detail, which is especially great in sport. It's also a highly talented upscaler, so HD video and streams look at close to 4K as possible.
It's not a great choice for gaming thanks to lack of support for 4K at 120fps and a few other missing features (surprisingly, given that Sony's own PS5 will support them), but if you want a TV bright enough to give you a full-on HDR experience even in a strongly lit room, this is really good choice. Read more about it in our Sony XH95 review (opens in new tab).
The X90J is going to be one of the TV smash hits of 2021, and for good reason. It offers bright and beautiful HDR images that can't fail to wow, and local dimming of its full array backlight helps it to keep dark scenes looking convincingly dark. It also includes HDMI 2.1 for future-proofing, which means it's geared up for next-gen console features.
Sony's new 'Sony's Cognitive Processor XR' is on board here, and this next-gen image processing is a big part of its magic. Sony was always a leader in handling motion and upscaling, and it's only gotten better with the new model – whether you're watching in native 4K or upscaling from HD, everything looks wonderfully detailed, and motion appears clear and smooth with appearing robotic.
It all adds up to image quality that's seriously impressive for the price, with the slight caveat that the set is pretty reflective, and also doesn't keep its quality over wide viewing angles as well as some of the competition. However, depending on your setup, they may not even be big issues for you.
The speakers are solid, and that HDMI 2.1 support includes 4K 120Hz for gaming – though no Variable Refresh Rate yet, which is promised in an update.
As our full Sony X90J review (opens in new tab) put it: "Sony's X90J provides a noticeable step up from last year's model … Its color reproduction is just wonderful, with some clever processing techniques which allow images to look as good as can possibly be on an LED TV."
Though this is as affordable as Samsung TVs get, you won't feel like it's been neglected in any way – the plastic build feels perfectly premium, there's support for HDR10+ advanced HDR, and the software is essentially the same as that on higher-end models, including wide support for streaming and catch-up services, including Netflix, Apple TV (with AirPlay 2), Amazon Prime Video, and loads more.
And, crucially, the image quality also surpasses what you'd expect for the price – everything looks sharp and detailed, and it even does a damn good job of upscaling from HD, so if you tend to rely on watching non-4K stuff (which is most of it still, after all), you really won't feel like you got a budget TV here.
As an added bonus, it has a tiny 10ms response time, which means it's a great choice for gaming. Here's our full Samsung AU9000 review (opens in new tab) for more. This TV is often heavily discounted at top retailers including Amazon and Currys, so if you're trying to save a bit of money on this top TV range, make sure to keep an eye out on deals on the AU9000.
How to choose the best TV for you
Shortlisting your next television can be a complicated business, but a few simple rules of thumb will help.
As we move from HD to 4K and ultimately 8K, screen size becomes a key consideration. To see incremental differences in resolution, you’ll probably need to buy a bigger screen than you had previously, or move your seating closer. Long story short: think big, then buy bigger.
Counter intuitive it may well be, but ultra-large 8K screens are perfect for smaller rooms, if you want to really see every drop of detail. Everything you think you know about viewing distances is changing…
Then there’s viewing environment. If you tend to watch in high ambient lighting, or during daytime, an LED or QLED screen will typically serve you better than OLED. If you prefer to watch with low or no lighting, an OLED will deliver greater subjective contrast and shadow detail.
Smart platforms are no longer a decisive reason to buy. All TVs are smart these days, and the choice of apps ubiquitous – focus on image quality, price and any other features you're keen on.
What is a 4K TV?
4K refers to the resolution of the TV (ie, how many pixels it has), and is exactly the same as Ultra HD when it comes to TVs. It means the set has a resolution of 3840x2160 – for comparison, that's four times the number of pixels as Full HD sets offer. These days, practically every TV above 40 inches is 4K.
The higher resolution means a far more detailed picture. Not everything you watch is available in 4K, though, so 4K TVs tend to be good at upscaling HD video to Ultra HD – the sets are full of advanced processors and algorithms that can fill in the missing pixels in a really convincing way.
You will also see that 8K TVs are available now – this quadruples the resolution again to 7680x4320. The best 8K TVs (opens in new tab) are very premium purchases, though, and are only worth considering if you're planning to get a really large TV, otherwise you can't really make out the extra pixels anyway.
What types of TV display can I choose from?
The lighting on OLED (organic light emitting diode) TVs is achieved by passing an electric current through an emissive, electroluminescent film. This technique produces beautiful colour and high contrast and also enables screens to be extremely thin and flexible. LG Display is the only supplier of 4K OLED screens to mainstream TV manufacturers, meaning they all use the same panels, but picture processors and implementation all vary, so you can still expect differences between brands.
Samsung is the leading exponent of QLED, a variant of LED LCD display technology that uses a highly efficient Quantum Dot filter that increases brightness and colour volume. QLED screens with a full array backlight offer the best performance when it comes to HDR peak brightness and LCD black level control.
LED TV: Direct LED
Sometimes called FALD (Full Array Local Dimming), these displays are backlit by an array of LEDs (light emitting diodes) directly behind the screen. This enables localised dimming – meaning immediately adjacent areas of brightness and darkness can be displayed more effectively – and greatly improves contrast.
LED TV: Edge LED
With these Edge LED TVs, the LEDs of the backlight are mounted along the edges of the panel. This arrangement enables radically slender displays, but can't achieve the same picture quality as directly lit LED sets. However, Edge LED displays do come in far cheaper, which is why the more budget LED TVs out there use this technology.
What is a smart TV?
This just means that the TV has its own software built-in and the ability to connect to the internet, meaning that you can access streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and so on.
Some manufacturers use their own software that they design: Samsung and LG, for example. Other makers use software made by another company, such as Sony TVs using Google TV software, or TVs from many manufacturers using the Roku TV software.
Today, basically any TV is a smart TV, so you don't need to worry too much about trying to find a particularly smart one.
What should I look for when buying a TV?
Here are some of the things we look for when we review a TV screen, so you should, too...
Contrast: Bright whites shouldn't have any signs of green, pink or blue in them, while blacks should look solid and not washed out, grey, green or blue.
Colours: Look at how bright and solid they are; how noiseless their edges are; how 'dotty' richly saturated areas are and how natural skin looks, especially in dim scenes.
Fine detail: How much texture does the screen give? Does a tree look like a green lump, or can you see the individual leaves?
Edges: Check for ghosting, bright halos and jaggedness, especially around curves.
Motion: Check moving objects and quick camera pans for smearing or blurring, trailing, jerkiness and fizzing dotty noise.
Image artefacts: Look for blockiness, colour bands, grain, smearing, dot crawl: anything that looks like it's added by the TV’s picture processing engine.
What about TV sound?
To provide the best audio to complement the pictures, your TV should be hooked up to a separate audio system, be it soundbar or home cinema separates, but this isn't always an option. So, here's what we listen for when testing a TV's speakers:
Bass: Deep, rounded rumbles that don't cause the set to rattle or speakers to distort cramp or overwhelm the rest of the sound; but that expand when needed.
Vocals: Voices should sound open, rich and clear, not boxed in, nasal or thin.
Trebles: Treble effects should sound clean, rounded and smooth in loud scenes and shouldn't dominate the soundstage.
Soundstage width/depth: A good TV should throw the sound away from the TV, to the sides, forward and back, to give an extra dimension to what's on screen, without losing any coherence.