Best 4K TVs 2018: eight top UHD TVs out right now

Best 4K TV Buying Guide: Looking to make the jump to a 4K TV? We have the definitive list of the eight best UHD TVs right now.

This is a list of the best 4K TVs you can buy right now. These are the most advanced (and sometimes most expensive) sets on the market, and they represent the pinnacle of what’s possible in home cinema. Alternatively, take a look at our Best TVs page, which includes some of the older (but still excellent) models. Many of these have been significantly discounted and are now a bit of a bargain.

Related: Sky Q review

Read on for a brief explanation of 4K TVs, or skip past to see our best 4K TV recommendations.

Upgrading your TV is a bit of a minefield. There are plenty of new terms and acronyms out there, none of which make your purchasing decision any easier. So here’s a handy guide to TVs – specifically the latest 4K models that are now in every TV store.

First, let’s talk about names. While most people say ‘4K’, some call it ‘Ultra HD’ (or UHD for short). For TV-buying purposes, they are just different names for the same thing.

4K TVs have four times as many pixels – the tiny dots that make up the picture – than Full HD TVs. When you cram more pixels into the same screen sizes, your picture ends up much sharper and clearer, and you can really appreciate the extra definition and detail. Many say 4K TVs can almost appear as if they’re in 3D, even when they’re not.

Buy Now: Philips 55PUS6262 55 Inch 4K UHD HDR Ambilight Smart TV for £549 and save £50

Related: Best TV deals

 

Samsung Q9FN

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http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/?bctid=5776175179001

Key features:

  • 65-inch LCD TV with QLED technology
  • Native UHD resolution
  • HLG HDR support
  • Ultra HD Premium certified
  • Direct backlight with full-array local dimming

This is Samsung’s 2018 flagship TV and it’s something of a comeback after a flawed 2017. The biggest change is the use of a direct backlight with a full-array local dimming system, which means better lighting control than last year.

Specs aside, here’s why you should care: it offers black levels almost as good as rival OLED TVs, combined with unprecedented levels of brightness and colour volume.

That makes for a hugely versatile TV, fit for darkened and brightly lit rooms alike. Amazingly, Samsung has knocked over £1000 off the price of last year’s flagship. Now this is one of the most affordable ‘top’ models on the market, taking the fight directly to LG’s C8 OLED.

At the time of the review the Samsung QE65Q9FN was available for £3799

Read the full Samsung Q9FN review

Sony KD-65A1

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Key features:

  • 65-inch OLED TV
  • Native UHD resolution
  • HLG HDR support
  • Dolby Vision HDR support
  • Innovative and effective sound system

Sony’s first step into 4K OLED is absolutely stunning. There’s nothing not to like here. The design is gorgeous, and comes with an innovative sound system. There are no speakers, because Sony’s Acoustic Surface tech shakes the screen and the screen itself acts as a speaker. Sounds weird, but it totally works.

Then there’s the picture: on top of OLED’s inherent strengths in deep blacks and punchy contrast, Sony has added superior processing. That improves motion handling and colour reproduction. The A1 also uses the latest OLED tech, which claims a peak brightness of 1000 nits. If you’re worried that OLED is not bright enough, you can stop worrying now.

Read our review, Sony KD-65A1 – or if you’re after the smaller version, read our Sony KD-55A1 review.

Buy Now at John Lewis.com from £4,999.


At the time of the review the Sony KD-65A1 was available for £4899

Read the full Sony KD-65A1 review

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Key features:

  • 65-inch OLED TV
  • Native 4K UHD resolution
  • HDR10 support
  • Class-leading colour accuracy

Panasonic took a break from OLED in 2016, but it’s back with a vengeance in 2017. This year the company has two OLED TVs, with the EZ1002 being the flagship model. The market is a little more crowded these days, but Panasonic hopes to stand out with a Technics-tuned soundbar stand, plus class-leading colour accuracy.

It’s the latter that really steals the show. A lot of TV manufacturers bang on about getting close to the filmmaker’s vision, but Panasonic actually means it. That’s on top of the inherent strengths that come with OLED’s properly deep blacks, sumptuous contrast and very wide viewing angles. It’s great for gamers too, thanks to very low input lag.

It’s more expensive than comparable OLEDs, but £6999 gets you a TV that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hollywood colour grading studio. If you like this, but want to save a little cash, check out the more affordable Panasonic EZ952. That’s almost the same TV, but minus the overkill features such as the USB 3D look up tables, extra reflection-catching filter and soundbar.

Buy now at johnlewis.com from £6,999

At the time of review, the Panasonic TX-65EZ1002B was available for £6999

Read the full Panasonic TX-65EZ1002B review

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Key features:

  • 55-inch Ultra HD TV with edge LED lighting
  • Slim Backlight Drive+ backlighting
  • Triuminos colour technology
  • HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision HDR support

Fresh out of Sony’s 2017 TV line-up, the Sony KD-55XE9305 boasts improved backlight, more powerful processing and the picture-finessing magic of Dolby Vision. That’s an advanced form of HDR, if you’re not familiar with it.

As a result, the KD-55XE9305 achieves an uncanny ‘real world’ look with ultra-vivid colours and extreme brightness – particularly when you’re watching a Blu-ray disc. There’s still some of the haloing around dark objects on white backgrounds, but that’s the be expected with HDR content, and the outstanding colour range is a fair trade-off.

Outside the TV, you’ve got the new and improved remote, which has dedicated Google Play and Netflix buttons. There’s also a mic button, which should come in handy when a firmware update sees the Google Assistant voice-recognition/control system hit the box. Expect to be turning on Netflix using your Google Home once that arrives.

A centrally mounted stand with a hint of gold finishes off the TV nicely, and should ensure the TV will fit comfortably on your existing TV cabinet.

Buy Now from Currys.co.uk for £2399

At the time of the review the Sony KD-55XE9305 was available for £2400

Read the full Sony KD-55XE9305 review

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Key features:

  • Native 4K OLED screen
  • HDR10 & HLG support
  • Three-sided Ambilight
  • Android smart TV system

The Philips 55POS9002 is the company’s second stab at delivering an OLED TV, and is the successor to the impressive Philips 55POS901F.

Its £2200 price makes it one of the cheapest OLED TVs to date – and despite its affordability, it manages to combine a powerful new picture processing engine with Philips’ unique Ambilight technology.

Its design is delightfully minimalistic, with slim bezels and an understated stand that leave the screen to do the talking. Its remote is chunky, but the QWERTY keyboard is handy for typing passwords, and its connections are generous for the money too – all four HDMIs support 4K and HDR.

Both HDR10 and HLG HDR formats are supported here, so you should be futureproofed for HDR broadcasts. That’s good, because HDR content looks great, with a subtler approach than previous Philips sets that makes this look more natural.

Blacks don’t get as inky deep as some of the competition, but there is lots of detail here, and there are no banding issues during dark HDR scenes that we’ve seen elsewhere. It’s a consistently impressive picture, that’s never lacking for sharpness or insight.

The result is a TV that’s a genuine, if not as dynamic, challenger to LG’s OLED55B7.

 

At the time of the review the Philips 55POS9002 was available for £2200

Read the full Philips 55POS9002 review

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Key features:

  • 65-inch LCD TV
  • Discrete LED control
  • Native 4K UHD resolution
  • HDR 10 support

The 65-inch Sony KD-65ZD9BU is the brand’s most concerted effort yet to make a TV that’s optimised for high dynamic range playback. As well as introducing new HDR-focused processing, the set excitingly boasts an innovative backlight system that Sony claims can address LCD TVs issues with HDR playback. And it does so brilliantly.

The KD-65ZD9BU has the unique ability to deliver a truly huge contrast range without suffering nearly as much with backlight flaws as other LCD TVs. In other words, wave goodbye to annoying light halos and stripes when viewing high contract content.

That, combined with its ability to express even the tiniest shifts in colour tone, results in one of the best TVs we’ve ever tested. Prepare for arguably the crispest, most textured and dense-looking picture you’ve ever laid your eyes on. It’s possibly the best TV we’ve ever tested.

Fancy an added bonus? It even has 3D support 3D support, which comes in full-resolution “active” form, and you even get two pairs of glasses for free with the TV.

This is technically a 2016 model, but it’s so good that Sony has decided to keep it going in 2017.

Buy Now at JohnLewis.com from £3,299

At the time of the review the Sony KD-65ZD9BU was available for £4000

Read the full Sony KD-65ZD9BU review

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Key features:

  • 65-inch OLED display
  • Native UHD resolution
  • Wide HDR support: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Technicolor Advanced HDR

LG is the only manufacturer really pushing OLED technology right now, so it knows a thing or two. In fact, LG is even supplying its OLED panels to other TV makers, such as Panasonic, Sony and Philips. One big advantage of buying LG is that it has webOS, easily the best smart TV interface on the market.

LG is also offering a wider range of OLED TVs. While everyone else is putting out one or two models, LG is storming ahead with five. At £7000, the 65-inch LG G7 is one of the most expensive.

It’s also gorgeous, with a picture-on-glass display that’s only the thickness of seven credit cards, plus a big soundbase that can fold behind the screen for wall-mounting. The picture is great, too. Above-black performance is better than ever, as is colour reproduction. It’s also easily brighter than ever, so if you want an impactful HDR performance, you can expect a clear upgrade from last year.

Better still, all five of LG’s OLED models use the same panel and picture processing. That means you’ll get the same performance even if you prefer the other designs. The LG OLED65E7V is nearly identical, but is missing the folding soundbase and costs a little less. The LG OLED55B7V is the cheapest at £3000 and offers a curved Toblerone stand. If none of these are fancy enough for you, check out the £8000 ‘wallpaper TV’, the LG OLED65W7.

At the time of review, the LG OLED65G7 was available for £7000

Read the full LG Signature OLED65G7V review

LG E8 OLED

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Key features

  • OLED screen
  • Native 4K resolution
  • HLG, HDR10, and Dolby Vision HDR support
  • Dolby Atmos sound decoding

We were impressed by LG’s ‘7’ series OLED TVs last year, but it looks like the ‘8’ series is going to be even better. Here we have the LG E8 OLED, the first LG TV we’ve tested this in 2018. It looks like they’re about to have another great year because they’ve addressed the key remaining niggles associated with the format.

Essentially the panel tech remains mostly the same, and the emphasis is on the new processor. This essentially gets the most out of the panel. It’s a brighter HDR performance than ever, and there’s less noise in the blacks too. It’s not as bright as Samsung’s rival Q9FN QLED TV, but OLED hasn’t been better.

 

Read the full LG E8 OLED review