The best 4K TVs for budget, quality, and streaming — TV buying guide for 2019

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Ready for a 4K TV? That’s a good thing, because 4K TVs, also known as Ultra HD TVs, are smarter, sharper, more colorful — and less expensive — than the TVs of yore. Most will last for five or six years so they’re great investments, too. To give you a sense of what’s on the market, I’ve rounded up my favorite 4K TVs.

Why should you listen to me, you ask? As a writer in consumer electronics, I’ve tried literally hundreds of TVs first-hand, poring over specs, testing materials, color contrast, black levels... you name it. And I have the bonus experience of actually having worked at Best Buy, where I learned (among many other things) that not every TV suits every home.

I bring my combined experience to this definitive list of the best 4K TVs of 2019:

The best 4K TVs for every budget (Photo: Amazon/Yahoo Lifestyle)

Best 4K TV overall

This 4K TV has a 4.5 out of 5 stars review rating. (Photo: Amazon)

If you’re looking for the best of the best, then look no further than the LG Alexa Built-in C9 Series 65-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (OLED65C9PUA) — which is on sale for $2,497, or $700 off its list price on Amazon.

The 65-inch display features a thin design with nearly zero borders for an immersive viewing experience, while its picture quality is sharp, crystal clear and just incredible with true-to-life colors and deep black levels, all backed with more than eight million pixels illuminated without a backlight.

This 4K TV also has the premium bells and whistles you’re looking for in a smart TV with LG’s ThinQ AI technology and both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. Even this 4K TV’s audio is world-class with premium Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos included.

Shop it: LG Alexa Built-in C9 Series 65-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (OLED65C9PUA) — 2019 model, $2,497 (was $3,197),

Best picture quality

For the best picture quality, look no further than this Sony 4K OLED TV. (Photo: Walmart)

Sony’s Master Series is known for its premium build quality married with the widest range of picture, colors and audio on an OLED display. The A9F OLED TV is simply the best 4K TV Sony has ever made with its ultra thin design, near bezel-less display and Sony’s Pixel Contrast Booster technology paired with the company’s Picture Processor X1 Ultimate. This results in bright and vibrant colors with impressive 4K HDR contrast and absolutely dark black levels.

It even comes with a renewed version of Android TV for video streaming Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and more. Meanwhile, its audio is no slouch either with Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ built-in, which makes it possible to get premium soundbar quality audio without a soundbar.

If you’re looking for the best picture quality, it’s right here with the Sony Master Series 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart BRAVIA OLED TV — which is on sale for $2239, or $559 off its list price at Walmart.

Shop it: Sony 55-inch Class OLED BRAVIA 4K (2160P) Ultra HD HDR Dolby Vision Android Smart LED TV (XBR55A9F), $2,235 (was $2,798),

Best design

Designed like none other. (Photo: Amazon)

If you want a 4K TV that’s virtually all display with no borders, then the LG Alexa Built-in E9 Series 65-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (OLED65E9PUA) is a good pick for its all-glass, “floating” screening design.

The fact of the matter is this 4K TV does include some bezel, but it’s made from crystal clear glass at the bottom, which gives the display its floating effect. You’ll hardly notice it though when you’re watching your favorite movies and TV shows on its 65-inch 4K UHD OLED screen.

This TV also supports 4K Cinema HDR, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 for excellent color and picture contrast with pitch black levels. It’s even smart and WiFi-enabled with Google Assistant built-in. This 4K TV just screams premium!

Shop it: LG Alexa Built-in E9 Series 65-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (OLED65E9PUA), $3,297 (was $4,299),

Best under $1,000

Grab this 65-inch 4K TV for less than $1,000. (Photo: Walmart)

If you’re only looking to spend less than $1,000 on a premium 4K smart TV, then the VIZIO 65-inch Class M-Series Quantum 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart TV (M658-G1) is a very good pick. It’s now on sale for just $768, or $230 off its retail price at Walmart.

Usually going for $998, the M-Series Quantum 4K TV features an impressive 65-inch display with VIZIO’s Quantum-dot technology that makes images pop with vivid colors and deep black levels. It offers HDR (high dynamic range) for even better picture quality and Dolby Vision support.

It has a built-in Chromecast for video streaming apps, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, VUDU and more. It also includes support for Apple AirPlay2, so iPhone and iPad users aren’t left out in the cold. Not bad for less than $800.

Shop it: VIZIO 65-inch Class M-Series Quantum 4K Ultra HD (2160p) HDR Smart TV (M658-G1), $798 (was $998)

Best OLED value

The best OLED 4K TV is right here! (Photo: Walmart)

The LG OLED B8 4K TV is the best OLED display out there with a lower price point than others in its class. While value is the name of the game here, this LG 4K OLED TV is no chump.

It features brilliant color contrast for a vivid and vibrant picture quality, deep black levels, and easy-to-use functionality, all housed in a sleek and slim design with barely any borders. This model is also a smart TV for video streaming Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and more with the Google Assistant built-in for hands-free navigation and voice commands.

This LG OLED 4K TV is also on sale for only $1,700, or $597 off its list price at Walmart. While this isn’t the most affordable 4K TV on the market, it is one of the most inexpensive for a top-of-the-line OLED 4K TV.

Shop it: LG 65-inch Class OLED B8 Series 4K (2160P) Smart Ultra HD HDR TV (OLED65B8PUA), $1,700 (was $2,297),

Best OLED alternative

Ditch OLED for Samsung's QLED. (Photo: Amazon)

There’s some debate which is the better display technology, OLED or Samsung’s QLED. While OLED displays don’t require a traditional backlight, QLED TVs do use LED lights paired with Samsung’s own quantum dot technology — which makes colors pop and black levels darker with smooth motion and crisp images.

If you’d like to know more about OLED and QLED, we have an article you can read about the pros and cons of each here. In the meantime, if you’re looking for an alternative to OLED with comparable image quality, then the Samsung Flat 65-Inch QLED 4K Q90 Series Ultra HD Smart TV (QN65Q90RAFXZA) might be a good match for you. It’s now on sale for $2,798, or $700 off its retail price on Amazon.

This Samsung Q90 QLED TV features a picture quality that springs to life with color accurate images and impeccable detail, as an alternative to OLED 4K TVs. Samsung also features world-class imaging processing, so you’ll never see any erratic shifts in quality during live TV events, while this TV model features a range of settings for a clean viewing experience.

It’s also smart and WiFi-enabled, so you can watch the latest and greatest movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and more.

Shop it: Samsung Flat 65-Inch QLED 4K Q90 Series Ultra HD Smart TV (QN65Q90RAFXZA), $2,798 (was $3,498),

Best budget

Get more bang for your buck with this 4K TV from VIZIO. (Photo: Walmart)

A high quality 4K TV doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If you’re looking for a great value, the VIZIO 55-inch Class 4K Ultra HD (2160P) HDR Smart LED TV (D55x-G1) is the best more bang for your buck pick. It’s now on sale for $350, or $128 off its retail price at Walmart.

Even if it were not on sale, this 4K TV would only run you $478, while it features a gorgeous 55-inch LED display with a true 4K UHD resolution for amazing picture quality. This TV even has an upscaling feature that effectively converts your DVD collection into near-4K quality.

And that’s not all: This 4K TV is also a smart TV with streaming channels like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and more included. It even has a built-in Google Chromecast, so you can stream photos and videos from your smartphone to its 55-inch 4K UHD display.

In addition, this VIZIO 4K TV features Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice search and hands-free navigation. And best of all, it’s discounted down to only $350.

Shop it: VIZIO 55-inch Class 4K Ultra HD (2160P) HDR Smart LED TV (D55x-G1), $350 (was $478),

Best next generation

The best 8K (yes, 8K) TV is here! (Photo: Walmart)

Over the last year or two, 8K TVs (yes, 8K) have been much more “affordable” now than when they were introduced in 2012. They are by no means the industry standard right now, but don’t be surprised if you start seeing 8K TVs in electronic shops in the next five years or so.

If you want the best next generation TV now, then the Samsung 65-inch Class 8K Ultra HD (4320P) HDR Smart QLED TV (UN65Q900) is the one to pick up. It’s on sale for $3,498, or $1,502 off its list price at Walmart.

This TV features true 7680 × 4320 8K resolution, compared to today’s standard of 4096 × 2160 4K. This means there are millions more pixels for even finer clarity and stunning picture quality that seems more lifelike than what you’d get with 4K.

The only drawback to 8K right now is there is no real content that’s 8K ready. Most movies and TV shows are presented in 4K, so you really won’t get much from watching 4K content on an 8K display. You have to wait until movies and TV shows catch up to 8K, but for now, it’s a pretty expensive investment.

Shop it: Samsung 65-inch Class 8K Ultra HD (4320P) HDR Smart QLED TV (UN65Q900), $3,498 (was $5,000),

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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