On the hunt for a 4K TV? The Sony Master Series A9G is the best of the bunch. Period. Being the fantastic all-rounder it is though, it doesn’t come cheap – far from it, in fact – so it probably won’t be the right choice for everyone.
If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, the TCL 6-Series could be a better fit. Loyal to a different manufacturer? Consider the LG C9 or Samsung Q70R, both of which are standouts in their own departments. Or, if you want the latest and greatest in technology (and aren’t afraid to pay for it), you can’t go wrong with the 88-inch LG Z9 8K TV.
The fact of the matter is, each television on this list has something special to offer, so grab your credit card and scroll down through our cultivated lineup to meet the TV of your dreams.
Sony Master Series A9G
We can’t find fault in the Sony Master Series A9G. It’s a breath of fresh air in a competitive TV market. Sony didn’t reinvent the wheel with this television, though: It’s a minor improvement to the Sony Master Series A9F. But that’s not a bad thing. The A9G is still one of the finest 4K TVs we’ve ever gazed at, so any refinement can only inch it closer to perfection — and that’s exactly what happened with the A9G.
Not only does the Master Series A9G feature the best 4K Ultra HD OLED screen we’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing, but it’s also decked out with an innovative approach to audio that’s nothing short of fantastic. It’s called Acoustic Surface, and it works by sending sound waves through the display itself. This makes for a unique effect in which voices and sound effects better match their location on the screen (left, right, or centre).
“The Sony Master Series A9G has the best picture quality you can/should buy this year,” concluded our own Caleb Denison his A9G review. Consider this testament to our claim that the A9G delivers the best viewing experience money can buy, with Sony’s incredible picture processing and impeccable HDR delivery inching it ahead of the fierce competition.
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Sony’s flagship X1 Ultimate imaging processor does a fantastic job of transforming standard HD and Full HD content into 4K Ultra HD resolution. This is just one of the features that make this TV an absolute stunner for movies of all resolutions. Fire up a classic like The Great Escape, for instance, and you’ll feel like you’re actually on location, watching Steve McQueen blast through a European town on his Triumph TR6 Trophy. This doesn’t just apply to oldies, though — the processor can upscale any movie or show to the resolution, new or old.
The best value TV: 65-inch TCL 6-Series
TCL may not be a brand that immediately comes to mind when you think of great TVs, but at this point, it really should be. Its reputation for churning out sub-par slop is dead and buried, and it is now producing phenomenal affordable TVs that rival those of LG and Samsung, especially when you factor in value. One major reason for TCL’s success? A long-standing partnership with Roku that sees Roku OS pre-loaded on all its latest TVs.
With that in mind, the TCL 6-Series is a must-have if you’re after a 4K TV that won’t break the bank. It’s bundled with the aforementioned Roku OS, has a crisp, clear 4K Ultra HD screen, and multi-format HDR. The result is a television that pours out the accurate colour, dazzling detail, and fantastic contrast — regardless of whether you’re watching in native or upscaled 4K Ultra HD.
The TCL 6-Series is also decked out with Roku voice control feature. There’s no option to search the web or control smart-connected appliances, but it does bundle all the commands that count. You can ask it to adjust the volume level, swap sources, and search for a particular movie or show across all the content services you’ve linked.
The best TV for gaming: LG C9
Let’s start with the OLED screen. Its mix of vivid colours, spectral highlights, and obsidian-like black levels ensure it is second to only the Sony Master Series A9G when it comes to all-round picture quality. Fuse that with many of the latest HDR standards — including Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma, and HDR10 — and LG’s Alpha 9 Processor, which upscales HD and Full HD content into impressive 4K Ultra HD resolution, and you have a top-scoring 4K TV.
But what makes it the standout choice for gaming? Well, aside from the lightning-quick response of the 120Hz screen, the C9 recently received a software update that armed it with both Freesync and G-Sync. These are two forms of Adaptive Refresh Technology (ART) that aim to smooth out gameplay, reduce input lag, and prevent screen tearing. Clump that all together, throw in the perfect black levels and impressive contrast that come with an OLED display, and we have a clear champion.
When you’ve finally put down the controller, LG’s fantastic webOS smart software is the perfect way to unwind. It’s decked out with all the leading streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, and others, and all the content is available at the click of a button or the mere mumble of a voice command. That’s right — the C9 has a virtual assistant (or rather, two of them) on board for tracking down content.
The best TV for sports: Samsung Q70R
With a 120Hz refresh rate and software features to reduce motion blur and optimize the smallest of details (dew flying off a football, for example) and an approachable price tag, the Samsung Q70R is the perfect TV to catch up on all your favourite sports action. It’s one of the best in its class, and the QLED screen with its higher brightness potential brings to life scenes brimming with natural light, like baseball, football, and soccer.
You don’t need to hook up a set-top box or streaming stick to tune into the latest must-see sporting bonanza, either. Everything from the latest Formula 1 Grand Prix to the Super Bowl is available through streaming applications, which can be downloaded through the Samsung App Store. Among the supported services are dedicated hubs for MLB, NBA, and NHL, as well as sports portals like ESPN and FuboTV.
We aren’t going to waste your time running through all the other reasons the Samsung Q70R is so fantastic. Instead, we’ll focus on what makes it the ideal companion for sports: We’re looking at accurate colours, brilliant contrast, and fantastic detail — all wrapped up in a slim package that won’t break the bank. Being a QLED, it is also oblivious to any concerns about burn-in that could occur if you have a static logo on the screen for hours on end, making this a great TV for gaming as well, and it will also handle movies, sitcoms, and pretty much anything else you want to watch brilliantly.
The best 8K TV: 88-inch LG Z9 OLED
8K is still very much an emerging corner of the entertainment world, so much so that there isn’t any actual 8K content readily available right now. That hasn’t stopped TV manufacturers from rolling out 8K displays, though, and so far, the LG Z9 is the king of the mountain.
Before diving into 8K, this TV is an OLED, which for our money provide the best picture quality you can get. From its top-notch black levels to its stunning colours and impressive refresh rate, it’s hard to find something not to like about these panels.
With the Z9, all of that gets kicked into a different gear. And that’s before you factor in the outstanding 8K upscale built into the Z9. Without widely available 8K content, being able to effectively upscale content is essential in current 8K models. The LG does it and does it very well.
In all, you get 33 million pixels of pure OLED magic in the LG Z9, and the only reason we can think of not to buy it is the astronomical price tag that comes with it.