Best TV 2017: eight amazing TVs you can buy right now

Going TV shopping? Here’s a handy list of the best TVs out right now.

If you’re looking to upgrade, now is a great time to go TV shopping. Many of the 2016 models have been heavily discounted, and while they may not have the latest specs, they’re great for anyone looking for a good deal. Now is also when the 2017 models are starting to hit the shops, so you’ll be able to make your own comparisons and decide whether to chase specs or save a little cash. This list has our favourite models from 2016 and 2017 – if you’re just looking for the latest, best and most expensive TVs, check out our Best 4K TV page.

We’ve covered all the big players such as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, LG, Philips – as well as the emerging Hisense. The most recent additions are the Panasonic EZ952, the Sony A1 and the Samsung Q7 – all beautiful TVs you should seek out at your local department store. We are regularly updating this list as and when more of the latest TVs come out, so check back if we’re missing one you’re interested in, or make a request in the comments below.

You may notice there are no small TVs in this round-up, and that’s because the best TVs only come in larger sizes. If you’re looking for a small, typically Full HD-only model, you’ll want to look at our Best value TVs round-up.

For comprehensive breakdowns of every model being released by TV manufacturers this year, take a look at our ultimate guides:

Ready to go shopping? Below you’ll find our guide to some of the common terms used in TV lingo – or scroll further if you want to cut to our recommendations of the best TV for you.

 

TV Jargon Buster

Full HD vs 4K/UHD – Most TVs are Full HD, which gives you a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. These are gradually being overtaken by Ultra HD (commonly known as UHD or 4K), which gives you a resolution of 3840 x 2160.

That’s four times the number of pixels, crammed into generally the same TV sizes. It means greater sharpness, detail and clarity.

There used to be a real lack of 4K content, but these days there is plenty to stream from Netflix and Amazon Video – and you can buy 4K Blu-rays. Read our guide: What is 4K TV and Ultra HD?

HDR TVs – HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Essentially it promises a wider range of brightness, colour and contrast – because your eyes can perceive more information than TVs have traditionally been able to display.

There’s not much content mastered in HDR yet, but there is plenty on the way – this is the next big thing in the world of TVs. Read our guide: What is HDR TV?

LCD/LED vs OLED vs QLED – Plasma TVs are no more, so most TVs are either LCD (often referred to as LED) or OLED.

LCD is the most common, though there’s a big difference between the cheapest and most expensive LCD TVs due to the types of backlight, panel and processing technologies used.

OLED is a relatively new technology and it’s expensive, but it’s seen as a natural successor to plasma technology. Unlike LCD, OLED pixels produce their own light, so there’s no need for backlighting or edge lighting. Contrast and rich colours are its strengths, although LCD screens are generally brighter. Read our guide: OLED vs LED LCD.

QLED is a tricky one. In the last few years QLED has been used to refer to a theoretical self-lighting technology, similar to OLED. But now Samsung is using the QLED name to refer to its latest Quantum Dot TVs. This is still LCD technology, albeit one with fancy crystals. Consider this a beefed-up version of LCD, rather than an entirely new category. For more detail, take a look at our guide: What is QLED?

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Key features:

  • 65-inch OLED display
  • 4K and HDR
  • Claimed peak brightness 1000 nits
  • THX certified

 

Panasonic tool a break from OLED in 2016, but this year it’s back. Everybody seems to be handling OLED differently this year, but Panasonic is taking the no-nonsense approach. It’s not the most fancy of designs – gone is the strokable Alcantara back of the CZ952 – but you do get the most natural, believable colours available on an OLED TV this year.

If that’s not enough for you, check out the EZ952’s stablemate, the EZ1002 – that’s the professional option, with USB 3D lookup tables, a Technics-tuned soundbar and an extra filter to catch reflections. That’s a lot more expensive, mind. For most people, the EZ952 will be plenty. It’s available in 65 and 55 inches.

At the time of review, the Panasonic TX-65EZ952B was available for £4799

Read the full Panasonic TX-65EZ952B review

Sony KD-65A1

2 of 8

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Key features:

  • 65-inch OLED display
  • 4K and HDR
  • Claimed peak brightness 1000 nits

If we had a prize for most unusual TV design, this would win it.

The Sony A1 isn’t just an OLED TV – Sony’s ‘Acoustic Surface’ technology does away with speakers entirely and shakes the screen to make sound. And it totally works.

Crazy sound systems aside, Sony’s first commercial 4K OLED TV is a huge success, with bags of fine detail, lovely colours and class-leading motion handling. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but if you want something that can show off what TVs are all about in 2017, this will do nicely.

This here is the 65-inch version, but it also comes in 55 inches.

At the time of testing, the Sony KD-65A1 was available for £4999.

Read the full Sony KD-65A1 review

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Key features:

  • 55-inch edge-lit LCD
  • 4K and HDR
  • Claimed peak brightness 1500 nits

Samsung’s QLED range is the best the company has to offer this year, and the Samsung Q7 is the most affordable option. It boasts a peak brightness of up to 1500 nits – up from the 1000 nits offered by last year’s best. It’s not just brighter, Samsung has also worked hard on colour.

This QLED series is a new take on Samsung’s existing Quantum Dot technology. The Quantum Dot crystals have been wrapped in a metallic alloy, with the aim of improving contrast and vibrancy. It totally works, giving you some seriously lush and bright images that OLED screens aren’t capable of. The downside, however, is that dark-room performance isn’t amazing – there are some noticeable lighting uniformity issues that you’ll spot in blackened rooms.

Still, for those who like to watch TV with the lights up, you’ll struggle to find anything more impressive. Well, except perhaps the brightest and biggest QLED model, the QE65Q9FAM

At the time of review, the Samsung QE55Q7F was available for £2299.

 

Read the full Samsung QE55Q7F review

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Key features:

  • 49-inch edge-lit LCD
  • 4K and HDR
  • UHD Premium certification

The Samsung UE49KS7000 was awarded the TrustedReviews TV of the Year award in 2016. That’s not because it was the best TV last year, but because it was the first to bring truly impressive 4K and HDR performance down to sensible prices.

At a little over £1000, the UE49KS7000 is just about within the realm of sensible TV money. It costs even less now that it’s been out for a while and retailers are shifting stock to make space for the 2017 models. You’re getting one of the most affordable UHD Premium-certified TVs, which means its 4K and HDR credentials meet the industry standard for televisual superiority.

It’s tremendous at upscaling, and can make 1080p films and TV look stunning in 4K. There’s almost no drop in quality, with clean lines and minimal noise. Native 4K and HDR programmes look excellent, and the detail and contrast is next-level stuff.

The only real catch is the sound, which doesn’t match the impressive picture. It’s a little thin and isn’t quite up to the typically epic soundtrack of big blockbusters and television.

If you want something a little more current, check out the Samsung MU8000. Its colours aren’t as subtle, but it does offer deeper blacks.

At the time of the review the Samsung UE49KS7000 was available for £1099

Read the full Samsung UE49KS7000 review

LG OLED55B6

5 of 8

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Key features:

  • 55-inch OLED display
  • Native 4K/UHD resolution
  • Freeview Play
  • Multimedia playback via USB/DLNA/Bluetooth

If you’ve been looking to buy OLED but have been waiting for prices to drop, this is your chance. The LG 55OLEDB6V is one of the least expensive in the range, costing a fraction of the price of the premium flagship model. It’s as big a bargain as £2999 can ever get you, because the performance isn’t far off that of its £5000 sibling, the LG OLED65E6. It’s a 2016 model, and now that the 2017 models are out, it’s easy to find it discounted.

So the design isn’t as pretty as its fancier stablemates, and it doesn’t have a built-in soundbar, but you’ll forget all about that when you see the lush blacks and pin-point lighting precision. Oh and it’s flat, which is nice for people who don’t want a curved screen (nor live in a lighthouse).

At time of review the LG 55OLEDB6V was available for £2999

Read the full LG OLED55B6 review

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Key features:

  • 55-inch OLED display
  • 4K and HDR
  • Three-sided Ambilight
  • Android smart TV system

Philips operates on a different timetable to the other manufacturers, leisurely releasing this TV at the end of 2016, way after everyone else had their products on the market. It’s possible the company took that time to learn about the competition, because this OLED TV is the most impressive one to come out of 2016.

It uses LG’s OLED technology, but the processing that Philips added on top makes for a picture that’s more detailed, subtle and overall more impressive than LG’s own efforts. On top of that, you get Philips’ own Ambilight technology, which projects light on the wall behind the TV. It’s supposed to make for a more comfortable viewing experience.

The Philips 901F doesn’t have the latest OLED specs, and 2017 models are definitely a step up, but it does have price on its side.

At the time of the review the Philips 55POS901F/12 was available for £2800

Read the full Philips 55POS901F/12 review

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Key features:

  • 58-inch LCD TV with edge LED lighting
  • Local dimming
  • 4K and HDR
  • Firefox TV OS

Panasonic hasn’t given us any of its upper-midrange LCD TVs yet, but while we wait there’s this. The 58-inch Panasonic TX-58DX802 sits towards the top of Panasonic’s 2016 TV range, and is nothing if not different. Its 4K/UHD, HDR-capable screen is mounted in a seriously striking easel-type stand. Rather than trying to fit speakers into its slim frame, it ships with an external soundbar.

Colours look absolutely beautiful for most of the time, with both HDR and SDR content. The wide colour gamut we’re now routinely getting with HDR content is delivered with bags of impact. The addition of the soundbar helps to deliver one of the best out-of-the-box sound performances of any TV we’ve tested in the past year. It’s particularly strong at outputting bass that’s far beyond the capability of the speakers built into typical mainstream flat-screen TVs.

With its striking design, seriously impressive sonics and mostly lovely UHD and HDR picture quality, the TX-58DX802 does more than enough to justify its £1600 asking price.

At the time of the review the Panasonic TX-58DX802 was available for £1600

Read the full Panasonic TX-58DX802 review

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Key features:

  • 65-inch edge-lit LCD
  • 4K and HDR
  • Typical brightnes 420 nits

Stepping up from HD but don’t want to pay big money? Then the Hisense H65M7000 (also known simply as 65M7000) may be what you need. It’s an affordable way to experience the joys of 4K and HDR. The M7000 manages to get some key things right: good blacks, good light uniformity, limited halo effects, strong contrast and impressive clarity.

It’s not UHD Premium by any means, and hard-line AV enthusiasts will prefer the power and dynamism of more expensive flagship TVs. But if you’re a casual movie fan looking to step up from HD, this upper-midrange TV represents tremendous value. It was a great deal in 2016, but it’s still available in 2017 and is an absolute bargain.

At the time of review the Hisense H65M7000 / 65M7000 was available for £1200

Read the full Hisense H65M7000 review

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