- Our choice for the #1 Best Overall Smart TV is the LG C2.
- When choosing a smart TV, you want to look at the quality of the screen and included speakers.
- Most smart TVs include a similar number of downloadable apps while offering different interfaces.
Pretty much everywhere you turn these days, most TVs come with built-in smart features that help you stream all of your favorite movies and TV shows. Whether you are looking to cut the cable cord and rely solely on streaming services or you just want a one-stop shop where all your streaming services come together, a smart TV is — pun intended — a smart purchase.
However, as there are many different smart TV platforms available, choosing the right television to bring home isn’t as easy as it sounds. Between LG, Samsung, TCL, Hisense, Sony, and Vizio, your choices for TV sets can run in the dozens, if not hundreds.
With that in mind, let’s make it easy and tell you the 6 best smart TVs you can buy today.
- Best Overall: LG C2
- Best Value: TCL 6-Series
- Best for Gaming: Samsung S95B
- Best Budget-Friendly: TCL 5-Series
- Best Splurge: LG G3
- Best Gallery Feature: LG G2
#1 Best Overall: LG C2
- Devices stunning, brighter pics with infinite contrast,
- Powerful α9 Gen 5 AI Processor upgrades content to 4K
- Watch movies and action just as the director intended
- Supports Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos
- LG Game Optimizer mode improves your gaming experience
- Supports multi-view
Available in sizes from 42-83 inches, the LG C2 offers one of the best pictures on any smart TV, at any price. The use of LG’s OLED evo panel with 8 million self-lit OLED pixels brings forth a picture that is just fantastic. This high pixel count also helps lead to some of the deepest blacks available on any television, which means the contrast on the C2 is best in class.
If you are not already impressed with the specs, the LG C2’s Alpha 9 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K is smart enough to automatically adjust the screen to find the very best picture based on what you are watching. This is also true for gaming where Game Optimizer mode helps position the C2 as one of the best gaming TVs around with features like VRR, NVIDIA G-Sync, and FreeSync Premium.
Of course, a great picture demands great sound, and the LG C2 delivers with LG’s AI Sound Pro, which provides a 2-channel virtual 7.1.2 channel surround sound. Check out the LG C2 on Amazon.
|Outstanding picture quality||One generation out of date with the release of the (more expensive) LG C3|
|Really strong gaming mode|
Best Value: TCL 6-Series
Long a staple of the value field, the TCL 6-Series of televisions has been the sweet spot between price and features for the last few years. TCL’s rise to popularity has been partially due to the inclusion of the Roku operating system, which is among the best smart systems available. With thousands of downloadable apps enabling hundreds of thousands of TV shows and movies, there is very little you cannot find across the Roku interface.
Beyond its smart features, the TCL 6-Series shines with its QLED Wide Color screen with Quantum Dot technology. Delivering more than 1 billion colors, the wider color volume allows for lifelike and vivid images on the screen. Mini-LED technology also reinforces the promise of the TCL 6-Series with some of the best contrast and brightness in this price range. Add in Dolby Vision IQ and you get an unrivaled HDR offering in the value segment.
Finally, the TCL 6-Series may not be a dedicated gaming TV, but with features like AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, ALLM, VRR, and HDMI 2.1 for the fastest gaming refresh rate, it can handle gaming pretty well. Check out the TCL 6-Series on Amazon.
|The best value among all smart TVs||Does not have an OLED panel|
|Runs the Roku interface||Roku interface is not the most exciting|
Best for Gaming: Samsung S95B
- Roughly 8.3 million specially engineered self-illuminating pixels (ultrafast switching tiny lights)
- The AI-powered processor drives the intuitive Smart TV Hub, Dolby Atmos sound and expertly upscaled 4K*
- Quantum HDR OLED expands the dynamic range beyond what is possible in HD
- Dolby Atmos built-in
When it comes to gaming, the Samsung S95B checks all of the right boxes for supporting next-generation gaming consoles. The inclusion of four HDMI 2.1 ports ensures the S95B can deliver up to 120Hz, which is the maximum refresh rate both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X can deliver.
Along with including VRR, the S95B’s Game Mode is its real highlight as it automatically adjusts the television settings to support various gaming titles. You can also manually select your latency speeds using specialized modes for different types of games like first-person shooters or real-time strategy titles.
As a bonus, the Samsung S95B supports multiple streaming services for gaming like GeForce Now and Twitch while also including support for Xbox Game Pass as a built-in feature. This means no Xbox console is required as you can log directly into your Game Pass account on the S95B and stream away.
Gaming aside, the Samsung S95B also offers an outstanding OLED panel with best-in-class brightness, a laser-thin design, and their Tizen smart operating system with access to thousands of streaming apps. Check out the Samsung S95B on Amazon.
|The best TV for next-generation console gaming||Tizen smart TV interface is full of ads|
|The best OLED panel currently available|
Best Budget-Friendly: TCL 5-Series
- 4K Ultra HD
- QLED (Quantum Dot technology)
- Up to 60 localized Contrast Control Zones
- Hands-free voice control
- 700,000 + movies and shows
Starting at $399, the 5-Series offers a fantastic picture at this price point with 4K HDR quality powered by Dolby Vision. The QLED technology that makes up the panel offers outstanding contrast as well as superior brightness levels. All of the panel technology is supported by the TCL AiPQ Engine, which helps optimize all of the color and contrast, resulting in excellent 4K clarity that looks like it should cost twice as much as it does.
The TCL 5-Series is also a surprisingly strong gaming television with the built-in Game Studio Plus mode. This mode optimizes on-screen graphics and tweaks the audio to ensure any on-screen action pops as if you are right there in the moment. The TCL also offers surprisingly low latency rivaling far more expensive TVs, which is good news for gamers looking for a budget-friendly competitor to the likes of the Samsung S95B.
Aside from gaming, the TCL 5-series lineup runs Roku’s smart interface with arguably more downloadable apps than you can possibly enjoy. Check out the TCL 5-Series on Amazon.
|Easily the best value for a smart TV||Does not offer virtual surround sound|
|Surprisingly low latency for gaming||The Roku remote is too basic|
Best Splurge: LG G3
- a9 AI Processor Gen6
- Brightness Booster Max adjusts the picture for up to 70% brighter images
- Supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
- Dolby Atmos and AI Sound Pro
- LG's Filmmaker Mode
- Features VRR, HGiG, and ALLM for lag-free gaming
Undoubtedly one of the best smart TVs on the market today, the LG G3 immediately shines thanks to its OLED evo panel. The inclusion of technology like Brightness Booster Max can give you 70% more brightness than previous generations of the G-series lineup.
Add in the Alpha 9 AI Processor Gen 6 and the LG G3 will wow you with crisp and vibrant colors that look phenomenal in both dark and well-lit rooms. The AI in the processor does a terrific job of looking at what you are watching and then optimizing the picture for the best possible viewing experience. Along with the processor, Dolby Vision and Home Theater modes also work overtime to provide colors that almost pop off-screen since they are so lifelike.
As far as its smart features, the LG G3 runs webOS 23, LG’s proprietary smart system that offers thousands of apps. The smart system also includes content for fitness, sports, and access to over 300 free channels. Check out the LG G3 on Amazon.
|The fastest smart TV processor available||Very expensive|
|Incredibly crisp colors||Magic Remote is hit or miss|
Best Gallery Feature: LG G2
A rather unique feature that has been recently adopted by both LG and Samsung, the LG G2 is truly a work of art. Because of the adoption and evolution of LG’s best-in-class OLED panels, their thin size has allowed LG to develop an incredibly thin bezel. With this, the TV sits almost flush against the wall and can be converted into an “art piece” when not in use. Without any visible cables, the screen on the LG G2 can show works of art from a series of preset options or you can add your own favorites.
As good as the LG G2 is at being a decorative piece on your wall, it’s also a fantastic television. The Alpha 9 Gen5 AI Processor 4K helps create some of the smart TV industry’s deepest blacks. The LG G2 screen gets even better when you factor in over 9 million self-lit pixels which help create an almost infinite level of contrast.
On top of the beautiful screen, the LG G2 also shines with AI Sound Pro and a virtual 7.1.2 surround sound system. The sound comes in handy when you factor in the thousands of downloadable apps as part of webOS 22, LG’s smart TV system. Check out the LG G2 on Amazon.
|Gallery technology is a lot of fun||Still very pricey|
|Sits almost flush against a wall||Requires hanging to justify cost|
What to Know Before Buying a Smart TV
No matter which smart TV you purchase, you can definitely expect some trade-offs. With LG, you get one of the best pictures around and a superb gaming mode, but the company’s “Magic Remote” works like a Nintendo Wii remote, and not always in a good way.
The benefit here is that LG makes its own OLED panels and you can see with the LG C2 and LG G3 just how good the company is at creating incredibly deep blacks with excellent contrast.
The rest of the smart TV lineup has the same set of trade-offs, so your best bet is to determine the top amount you want to spend and the size you need. When you know the answer to these two questions, it becomes a lot easier to figure out which TV is right for you. Do you need a 120Hz rate for gaming? If so, you might want to look at either the LG C2 or Samsung S95B first.
On a non-gaming note, the good news is that while each television manufacturer offers a different smart TV operating system, for the most part, they all offer the same number of downloadable apps. Where they differ is that companies like LG and TCL offer hundreds of free channels while Samsung, Sony, and Vizio do not.
Using a Smart TV: What It’s Like
With any smart TV, you can expect to find an almost endless amount of content to watch. Whether you are subscribed to Netflix, MAX, Disney+, Hulu, or Peacock, there are thousands of movies and TV shows available. The biggest difference between all of these smart TVs isn’t the content available, but how you access that content. While LG’s webOS, Samsung’s Tizen, and TCL’s relationship with Roku all have a similar number of available apps, it’s how those apps come together that differs.
In the case of TCL, the Roku interface is essentially just apps, which is minimalistic and might disappoint those who want to see what’s coming on next. Alternatively, LG and Samsung have almost mirroring interfaces that both do a great job of surfacing new programming including the next episodes of some of your favorite shows.
Ultimately, every smart TV can help you get online and watch your favorite streaming services. It’s just a matter of how many different button presses on a remote it will take you to log in and start watching.
|#1||LG C2||Outstanding picture quality, Really strong gaming mode|
|#2||TCL 6-Series||The best value among all smart TVs, Runs the Roku interface|
|#3||Samsung S95B||The best TV for next-generation console gaming, The best OLED panel currently available|
|#4||TCL 5-Series||Easily the best value for a smart TV, Surprisingly low latency for gaming|
|#5||LG G3||The fastest smart TV processor available, Incredibly crisp colors|
|#6||LG G2||Gallery technology is a lot of fun, Sits almost flush against a wall|