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Best 4K TV: 4 great HDR TVs

Introduction

4K has become the standard resolution for TVs, and there are plenty of good 4K sets on the market, but what makes one the best 4K TV?

This is where we’ve decided to step in and help you out. Our team of experts test 4K TVs all year, and based on our reviews and testing, we’ve compiled this list of the very best efforts between $1000/£1000 to $2000/£2000.

The TVs are, so far, big-screen tellies 55-inches and above for that scintillating home cinema experience. But we’ve also focused on other areas that matter when picking a television that range from their smarts, connectivity, user interfaces and the performance of their sound systems, especially important if you’re going to have to cough up more for an external system.

The team has used each TV extensively over a period of time, spending quality real world time with them as well as conducting tests to gauge their performance in certain areas such as brightness and input lag.

With 2022 in full swing, there’s never been a good time to bag yourself the best 4K TV as prices continue to drop. If you’re in the market for something more affordable, have a look at our best cheap TV guide. If money is no object then check out our best TV guide. If you’re looking at an 8K, peruse our best 8K TV list.

How we test

Learn more about how we test televisions

Every TV we review is put through the same set of tests to gauge its picture performance, usability, and smart features.

Tests are carried out over several days and are done by eye but supported with technical measurements. Testing by eye involves an expert watching a wide range of material to understand and determine a TV’s performance in fields such as brightness, contrast, motion processing, colour handling and screen uniformity.

We’ll consider the design of the TV in terms of build quality, study the spec sheets and see if the TV’s connections are up to spec, as well as playing video and audio content to ensure that the set handles playback as it claims. We also take note whether a product’s compatible formats and features are in line with industry trends or not to gauge whether it’s relevant for you.

Comparison to other related and similarly priced products is also important, to see if it’s missing any vital features and whether it impresses as a whole. After all this, we’ll come to a judgement on how the TV performs as a whole.

If you want to learn more, please visit our detailed page about how we test televisions.

LG OLED65C1

Best LG 4K HDR TV
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Pros

  • Super gaming performance
  • Excellent contrast and sumptuous HDR
  • Wide-ranging connectivity and smarts

Cons

  • Weak sound
  • Not the strongest motion stability
  • Potential for image retention/burn-in

If you want to experience the power of an excellent LG OLED without splashing huge amounts of money, then C1 from 2021 is still available and its offers an excellent all-round performance at a more affordable price than the new C2.

We found the picture quality to be particularly outstanding with superb detail and great contrast that brings an excellent sense of depth to content in 4K HDR. Complexions have a warm but natural appearance, while colours are rich and punchy. Whatever source you’re watching on this OLED, it’s bound to deliver exciting and lush 4K HDR images.

This is arguably one of the most gamer-friendly TVs currently available with a massive amount of features that includes full HDMI 2.1 support across all inputs and support for HFR at 4K/120Hz, ALLM and VRR too. We also measured input lag at 12.5ms, which is quick, and will drop even further with higher refresh rates and game boost in play.

This model was one of the first to support the revamped WebOS that’s dropped the launcher bar at the bottom of the screen (though you can still call it up). The idea is to make content easier to discover. It works but lacks the simplicity of the older menu. The menu system is much improved on this set, no longer requiring users to wade through multiple menus to change something.

The only real downside of the 65C1’s performance is its speakers. The sound quality is a little lacklustre with no real punch in the bass which can make some more impactful audio seem a little timid. Our recommendation would be to consider a sound system to partner this TV.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: LG OLED65C1

Panasonic TX-65JZ1000B

Best Panasonic 4K HDR TV
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Pros

  • Beautiful 4K picture quality
  • Beefed up gaming performance
  • Improved smarts and app support
  • Minimalist appearance

Cons

  • Dialogue can sound sibilant with non-Atmos content
  • Not as many native streaming apps as rivals
  • Potential for burn-in/image retention

In our view, Panasonic makes some brilliant 4K TVs, and out of the ones we’ve tested between £1000/$1000 to $2000/£2000 the Panasonic TX-65JZ1000B is the real standout choice.

It carries a minimalistic yet functional design that helps it fit seamlessly into a living space, with its slim bezels maximising the size of its image. Compared to the previous model this is also a much lighter effort in terms of weight, but still maintains a premium and durable build quality.

The picture performance conveys plenty of naturalism, with vibrant colours and excellent levels of detail. Contrast is on point for an OLED panel with Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive helping the JZ1000 retain detail in the darkest part of the images, ensuring you’re seeing everything that’s available to see.

The 30W speaker system produces an expansive Dolby Atmos performance with some solid directional audio as well as crisp and clear audio, although dialogue did at times did have a tinge of sibilance during testing. As with other televisions, for the best audio possible, we’d recommend pairing Panasonic’s OLED offering with a separate unit such as a soundbar.

Gamers will be pleased to find all the usual creature comforts with VRR, ALLM and 4K/120Hz support, so this telly can be paired with the latest game consoles for the best experience. Input lag is also pretty low as we measured it at 14.4ms. With VRR enabled this number can get even lower for a speedier experience, and with Dolby Vision Gaming VRR support (up to 60Hz) it can optimise the HDR picture of compatible content on the Xbox Series X, but LG offers a more exacting performance on its C1 model by supporting Dolby Vision Gaming up to 120Hz.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Panasonic JZ1000

Samsung QE65QN94A

Best Samsung 4K HDR TV
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Pros

  • Super bright 4K HDR performance
  • Fast gaming performance
  • Excellent build quality
  • Solid app selection

Cons

  • Proper expensive
  • No Dolby Vision/Atmos decoding
  • Not the most convincing motion

The Samsung QE65QN94A represents an immense 4K viewing experience complete with the wonderful vibrancy and brightness of a Mini LED backlight.

Picture quality on this 2021 effort is one of best we’ve seen from an LCD TV, the number of dimming zones allows for precise illumination in HDR content as well as delivering some OLED-esque black levels for terrific contrast. Its brightness also means that colours are punchy, expressive and wide-ranging in tone, and can be used both in bright and dark rooms. Just watch out for some minor instances of blooming.

We also found the QN94A to offer up a brilliant gaming experience, especially thanks to its rather input lag We measured at 9.4ms, which is lower than Samsung’s newer QN95B model. This figure can be reduced further with the addition of VRR into the mix for an even speedier gaming performance. Along with supporting the standard HDMI VRR, the QN94A has additional support for AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, although these are only available on one HDMI port, so you can’t connect multiple consoles/PC to this TV.

Overall, we found the speakers here to be impactful, generating a wide soundstage with its OTS+ audio system that tracks sounds as they move across the screen. Dialogue here is also crisp, but at times can feel flat and lacking in emotion, while with the lower end of the frequency range it lacks depth and extension. There isn’t any support for Dolby Atmos as you can find on the QN95B, though.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Samsung QE65QN94A

Philips 55OLED806

Best Philips 4K HDR TV
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Pros

  • Outstanding picture quality
  • Remarkably good value
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • Complicated menu structure
  • Requires work to get the best results
  • Android TV isn’t always helpful

We think Philips 55OLED806 is a great 4K TV, especially if you’re after a more affordable, premium set.

We found its picture performance to be excellent during testing, the 55-inch OLED panel offered stunning contrast along with OLED’s typical perfect blacks for a stonking picture performance. Philips’ vaunted P5 picture engine that identifies areas of picture quality and optimises them, delivering bright highlights for HDR images without using the OLED Evo panel that LG introduced for its OLEDs. Our tests found the OLED806 hit a figure of 770 nits in Standard mode, and hit 943 nits in its Vivid for a bright picture and great contrast.

The feature set here is fantastic with four HDMI ports, two of which support HDMI 2.1 output for 4K/120Hz gaming. There’s also has VRR and ALLM with both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync featured for PC gamers ensuring the OLED806 has appeal to a wide breadth of gamers. Moreover, with all the four main HDR formats covered in HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, the Philips OLED can extract the best performance from all types of HDR content.

This also doesn’t look like an affordable OLED with its futuristic design, incredibly thin bezels, as well as a marvellous metallic finish that makes this Philips OLED feel a lot more premium than its current price would indicate. You also get the fun four-sided Ambilight backlight exclusive to Philips’ TVs that adds bias mood lighting to your viewing experience with the LED lights casting light behind that matches the images on screen.

Its built-in speakers proved to be decent overall, especially for bass. Dialogue also sounds rich and warm, and come from the picture itself as opposed to below the screen for a more accurate performance.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: Philips 55OLED806

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FAQs

What’s the best 4K TV for gaming?

The LG OLED65C1 supports every gaming feature going, with ALLM, VRR, 4K/120Hz HFR, AMD FreeSync Premium, Nvidia G-Sync, Google Stadia and it’s now available for £1500.

What’s the best 4K TV for movies?

The Panasonic JZ1000 features excellent 4K HDR picture quality, with support for all the HDR formats, impressive motion processing and excellent contrast. It’d be a great pick for movie nights.

Specs comparison

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