4K TVs are everywhere nowadays, and there are plenty of incredible-looking UHD TVs making the most of the advanced display technology. Here at TechRadar we’ve put our heads together to bring you the top 4K TVs of 2019 – a veritable mix of tellys that are sure to please, whatever your budget may be.
While the vast majority of the screens are last year’s stock (hey, it’s not our fault the year’s just begun) we do have our eyes set on some of the best 4K TVs of 2019 that we saw during CES 2019. To that end, keep an eye out for reviews of the LG Signature Series OLED TV R, Sony Master Series Z9G and Panasonic GZ2000, all of which will be reviewed in the next year.
While some fantastic TVs are certainly coming down the pipeline later this year, they’re likely to be pretty expensive right out of the gate. That being said, there’s never been a better time than the months of January, February and March when TV manufacturers are clearing out their stock to buy a 4K Ultra HD TV.
Still not sold on 4K as a technology? These days, a new 4K tech isn’t just about how many pixels you can pack into a screen – it’s about the quality of those pixels as well. With that in mind, we’re excited about the very latest add-ons to UHD, including High Dynamic Range and Wide Colour Gamut, which promise to take all those pixels and make them truly shine.
We’ve been testing TVs since the dawn of 4K, and using that wealth of experience alongside the hundreds of TVs that have crossed our paths, we’ve created a list of the best 4K TVs of 2019. We regularly update this list with new suggestions, so keep on checking back to see what replaces the leading models.
What you need to know about 4K TVs
Let’s have a quick 4K refresher before we get stuck in.
For starters, not only do 4K UHD screens have four times the amount of pixels as their 1080p predecessors, these 4K TVs also usually pack in screen technology like High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) that really make the most of those extra pixels.
The other reason 4K TVs have taken off is that game consoles, like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, have totally embraced the 4K future, as have the Blu-ray industry and streaming video player market. Pretty much everyone is on board the 4K Ultra HD train these days, so what better time to get a set?
If all of this sounds weird or archaic or tough to understand, don’t worry. We’re here to help decipher the wild, wonderful world of Ultra HD. Give us a few minutes of your time and we’ll help you take home the best 4K TV on the market.
Check out our video below for an introduction to the world of 4K:
1. Samsung Q9FN QLED TV
The best 4K TV of 2019, so far
Spectacular HDR picture quality
Powerful, well-rounded sound
Good smart system
Limited viewing angles
After an underwhelming debut, Samsung’s QLED technology really needed to bounce back in style in 2018. It didn’t surprise us in the least, then, to discover Samsung threw the kitchen sink in with its new Q9FN QLED Series of 4K TVs.
As well as being even brighter and more colourful than last year’s equivalent model, Samsung’s 2018 flagship screens use a completely different lighting system to combat its predecessor’s contrast problems: Full Array Local Dimming rather than edge-lit LED lighting. The FALD panel works in tandem with Samsung QLED Quantum Dots to produce a picture that’s brighter and more colourful than near any we’ve seen come from the South Korean manufacturer.
Do those features alone make Samsung Q9FN the best 4K TV on the market? No, but throw in technology like HDR10+ and Q HDR EliteMax – what Samsung bills as its maximum High Dynamic Range experience that’s exclusive to the Q9FN – and there’s very little doubt in our mind that this is Samsung’s best TV ever.
Read the full review: Samsung Q9FN QLED TV (65Q9FN)
2. LG C8 OLED
The best entry-level 4K OLED TV
Superb picture quality
Highly effective smart platform
Limited peak brightness for HDR
More expensive than last year
We’ve long loved LG’s B-Series of OLED 4K TVs with last year’s B7 OLED as the pinnacle of affordable OLED technology. But this year, LG has delayed the B-Series and has instead made the C-Series its front-running screen.
While we’re a bit miffed at the price increase from last year’s B7 to this year’s C8, it’s hard to say it’s unwarranted: LG’s C8 builds on the success of last year’s models, resulting in a TV that can deliver astonishing HD/SDR images and equally impressive 4K/HDR pictures. It’s not as bright as an LCD TV but those deep blacks make a huge difference to the dynamic range of the image. It’s also capable of vibrant and gorgeous colours, not to mention an astounding level of detail with native 4K content.
The WebOS smart platform remains the best available and the choice of streaming services is second to none. Once you add the gorgeous design and a comprehensive set of features, you have one of the most complete TVs that we’ve ever reviewed.
Read the full review: LG C8 OLED (OLED55C8, OLED65C8)
3. Panasonic FZ952/FZ950
The best 4K OLED TV specific to the UK
Stunning contrast performance
Unprecedented colour accuracy
No Dolby Vision support
Some occasional vertical banding
There’s a very good reason that Hollywood video editors master on OLED TVs – they simply outmatch anything else on the market.
And while LG and Sony certainly have their merits in this area (the former is the largest producer of OLED panels in the entire world, after all), Panasonic is certainly no slouch. All you need to do is look at the Panasonic FZ952, the latest OLED reference 4K TV from Panasonic, to see why.
The FZ952 is a luscious OLED that puts performance first. Its colour handling is class-leading, and its HDR talents are a match for any of its rivals. In fact, it just might offer the best picture performance that we’ve seen on a 4K UHD OLED to date.
The FZ952 isn’t quite the complete package though, lacking as it does Dolby Vision and Atmos compatibility, but it wins more arguments than it loses. We suspect you’ll appreciate the easy sophistication of its smart platform, the quality of that low-lag game mode, and the sheer musicality of the Technics soundbar.
Read the full review: Panasonic FZ952/FZ902 OLED
4. Sony Bravia AF9 OLED
An OLED display taken to new heights
Gorgeous picture quality
Innovative and excellent sound
Not very bright
Android TV is clunky
The Sony Bravia A9F OLED is Sony’s best OLED so far, no contest. This second-generation set manages to hold its own against Samsung and LG’s renewed efforts in OLED displays – Samsung Q9FN QLED and LG E8 OLED – with a truly stunning picture.
Part of Sony’s new Master Series, the A9F is a step up from last year’s Sony A1 OLED. While we experienced some minor issues, like struggling black level when watching in Dolby Vision, niggles are to be expected on a set as ambitious as this. If you can live with the slightly idiosyncratic design, and afford the asking price, it’s a glorious UHD display.
Read the full review: Sony Bravia A9F OLED
5. Philips 803 OLED
The best 4K TV in terms of value
Superb image performance
Designer good looks
No Freeview Play
Only two full-spec HDMI inputs
Philips has significantly upgraded the picture processing power of its 2018 OLED TVs, and the benefits of this new found brawn can be seen writ large on the Philips 803 OLED, with enhanced contrast and spectacular colours. The brand’s second generation P5 Perfect Processing Engine offers twice the picture processing power of the original, and that was a pretty impressive chip in its own right.
While the 903 is still the brand’s flagship model, beyond its Bowers & Wilkins sound system, there’s little to separate that from the 803, making it the smarter buy.
If there’s anything holding Philips back from holding the top spot in our round-up, it’s the minor irritations, like poor catch-up TV provision, just two full-spec UHD HDMI inputs and the lack of Dolby Vision. If that doesn’t bother you, though, Philips Hue-compatible Ambilight room lighting system, and the promise of an early upgrade to the new Android Oreo TV OS, however, might just make this the most promising OLED on the market.
Read the full review: Philips 803 OLED
6. Sony XF90 Series
The best mid-range 4K TV available on the market
Excellent motion handling
HDR isn’t the brightest
Remote doesn’t feel as premium
Short and sweet, the KDL-55XF9005 is a brilliant mid-priced 4K TV. Every one of the improvements Sony has introduced over and above last year’s already excellent XE90 series – better processing, more brightness, slightly more backlight dimming zones, improved motion performance – delivers the goods, resulting in picture quality that humbles many more expensive TVs.
Its Android TV system and some generally minor backlight clouding stop it short of perfection, but it’s hard to imagine any similarly priced upcoming 65-inch UHD rival getting the better of it.
Read the full review: Sony BRAVIA KDL-55XF9005
7. Panasonic FZ802/FZ800 OLED TV
Panasonic’s penultimate OLED 4K TV delivers pictures just as the director intended
Superb picture quality
Impressive HDR performance
Simple but effective smart platform
No Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos
The FZ802 does exactly what it was designed to do: deliver exceptionally accurate pictures at a competitive price. The Panasonic is cheaper than its main competitors, but is still well made, and boasts a smart platform that is simple but highly effective. The 4K UHD TV also produces the best SDR and HDR images that we have seen out of an OLED to date, thanks largely to highly sophisticated picture processing.
It’s not the compete package, lacking the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support found on LG’s OLEDs, but it does include HDR10+. The sound quality is reasonably good for a modern slimline TV, although if that’s a factor you might want to check out Panasonic’s FZ952 with its Technics-tuned soundbar.
Read the full review: Panasonic FZ802/FZ800 OLED TV
8. Samsung Q7FN QLED TV
The best 4K TV for very bright rooms
Startling colour accuracy
Great for daytime viewing
Edge-Lit VA panel
Limited viewing angles
While Samsung’s Q7FN isn’t quite the pinnacle of QLED technology – that honor is reserved for the Q9FN – it is a great compromise between price and performance, offering a bright screen, three forms of HDR and incredibly accurate colours for £1,999 (around AU$3,699).
Ambient Mode adds a design aesthetic sure to please even the keenest of eyes and its low-latency game mode makes it a competent companion for the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. HDR+ mode helps liven up HD/SDR content and of course 4K/HDR content has an eye-watering sheen when viewed on this set. While the Q7FN isn’t the shining star of the QLED range, it’s still a bright spot in the mid-range.
Read the full review: Samsung Q7FN QLED TV