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Best TV 2021: What are the best TVs to buy in 2021?

Introduction

These are the best TVs available in 2021. Whether it’s a 4K or 8K TV; LCD, QLED or OLED; something fancy or something cheap, these are the best performing sets.

On this list we’ve included TVs from as small as 43-inches to as big as 75-inches. And prices vary too, from affordable displays to premium sets that costs four-figures so there’s something for everyone.

All the TVs that feature on this list have been put them through their paces, assessed in the real world, and compared to other sets so only the best TVs in terms of picture, sound and smart features have made this list.

If you’re looking to peruse affordable TVs, then our best Cheap TV list will have you covered there. Perhaps you’re looking to get into 8K? Our best 8K TV page will serve you and if you’re after an OLED display then our best OLED TV list is the one to look at.

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 OLED65G1

LG’s brightest OLED yet
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Pros

  • Sensational picture quality
  • Outstanding gaming performance and features
  • Elegant, slim design perfected for wall-hanging

Cons

  • Fairly expensive for an LG OLED
  • New webOS system feels like a work in progress
  • No HDR10+ support

LG’s G1 is its best OLED TV, since, well, ever. It boasts several new features for the biggest revamp of LG’s OLEDs we’ve seen in years.
 
Those new features include a new higher brightness panel design that allows the G1 to hit previously uncharted (at least for LG) HDR levels. It’s not quite the transformative jump we’d hope, but the added brightness along with better colour handling, improved processing and OLED’s deep blacks help to produce the best LG OLED picture quality yet.
 
webOS has been revamped, but don’t worry, the horizontal app bar stays. With all the various next-gen gaming features supported, this LG is more than a match for Samsung.
 
The slim design is perfect for wall-mounting – in fact, that’s its true purpose. The ‘Gallery’ stand and feet are optional extras, so bear that in mind if you’re lining up an LG OLED for 2021.
 
Currently there’s no way of determining how big a difference between it and the step down C1 is, but the marker the G1 has set is an impressive one.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: LG OLED65G1 Review

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Samsung QE65QN95A

Mini-LED is finally here
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Pros

  • Bright, sharp, colourful and – above all – contrast-rich picture quality
  • An impressive roster of gaming features
  • Sleek, well-built design

Cons

  • Backlighting isn’t quite so fantastic in Game mode
  • It’s expensive by 65-inch LCD TV standards
  • No Dolby Vision support

Samsung’s 2021 TV range starts with a bang with the QE65QN95A. The introduction of Mini-LED technology has enabled Samsung to solve the conundrum of how to deliver great black levels and punchy bright HDR highlights without one heavily compromising the other.

Its gaming is even more resolute than before, adding AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro to its roster for better HDR performance and more responsive gameplay. There’s still no Dolby Vision, and if you’re looking for Freeview Play then the QN95A won’t have it, though it does have all the UK catch-up and on-demand apps, plus too many smart features to list here.

Peak HDR brightness has shot up, producing greater contrast and richer colours for a more immersive experience. The OTS sound system continues to show skill at positioning sounds, though it’s less effective than it was on the 2020 TVs. Still, you have a set that truly feels like the start of a new TV era.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: Samsung QE65QN95A Review

Panasonic TX-55HZ2000

Fabulous image quality and class-leading sound from Panasonic’s flagship 2020 OLED
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Pros

  • Universal HDR support with Dolby Vision IQ
  • Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing
  • Effective Dolby Atmos sound system
  • Freeview Play

Cons

  • No HDMI support for 4K/120fps
  • No Disney+ app
  • Over specified for AV enthusiasts?

Panasonic’s flagship OLED didn’t disappoint. It won our best TV award in 2020.

It supports all the main HDR formats, ensuring that whatever you’re watching, it’s looking at its best. The upfiring Atmos speakers from the GZ2000 are retained to produce a bigger, taller sound, and for avid film fans there’s the Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing, which optimises the image in accordance with the brightness of your room so you can see every detail.

Panasonic has also upped the brightness of its flagship OLED screen, delivering a high peak brightness for a really punchy HDR image. It’s not a TV made with the consoles in mind and it remains an expensive set, but if you want the best picture and sound, the HZ2000 is right at the top.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: Panasonic TX-55HX2000B Review

Philips 65OLED+935

Philips’ latest flagship OLED puts in a scintillating AV performance
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Pros

  • Exceptional picture quality
  • Class-leading sound quality
  • HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support

Cons

  • No 4K/120Hz, variable refresh rate or auto low latency mode features
  • If you have an external audio system already, you’re paying for a soundbar you don’t need
  • Some occasional very mild black crus

In our view, there’s no other OLED TV currently available that offers such a combination of picture, sound and beautiful design as the OLED+935. Available in three sizes (48-, 55- and 65-inch), they’ve all received five stars in our reviews.

None of them are, however, suited for gaming. The OLED935 range has none of the new HDMI features that would make it a good match for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. If you already own a good external speaker system, then that’s another reason not to get the OLED+935.

If these aren’t roadblocks then this Philips offers gorgeous images with perfect blacks and wide viewing angles we’d expect from an OLED, married to high brightness and contrast levels that make images leap off the screen. With support for the main HDR formats, it can work its magic with HDR content (especially Dolby Vision), and the inclusion of AI processing serves up more natural images without the need to adjust settings.

It sounds pretty great for a TV, though we don’t feel it eclipses a very good soundbar separate. Nevertheless, the height the B&W system provides for not just for Atmos but soundtracks in general adds another dimension. A highly impressive OLED from Philips.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: Philips 65OLED+935 Review

LG OLED55CX

LG’s 2020 C-series OLED boasts improved AI picture and sound skills
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Pros

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Great design
  • Plenty of smarts, features and customisation
  • Excellent upscaling

Cons

  • Still missing a few UK catch-up apps
  • Just a small leap over the C9

The CX brought LG’s mid-range OLED series to even more affordable prices, adding a number of refinements and new features in Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode.

TV shows, films and streaming look great on the CX, with lots of detail, deep blacks and the excellent contrast that OLED is known for. Sound quality is also good and its wide gaming support makes it perfect fit for either console or PC gamers.

With webOS supporting plenty of video streaming services to enjoy, it’s unlikely you’ll run out of options for something to watch. The only bugbear is the lack of several UK catch-up apps, but at its current price the CX is fantastic value.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: LG OLED55CX Review

Samsung QE55Q95T

Spectacularly bright and colourful HDR images
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Pros

  • Terrifically bright and punchy HDR performance
  • Class-leading gaming performance
  • Stylish design
  • Impressive upscaling
  • Wide app support

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision HDR
  • Requires creating a Samsung account to download additional apps

The Q95T’s pictures are some of the best currently available on the market, a showcase for bright and punchy HDR colours. And it’s a super upscaler of sub-4K content, delivering consistently bright and clean images from any source. Its gaming performance is class-leading across any device, boasting HDMI 2.1 features in VRR and 4K/120Hz that ensures it’ll get the most out of the next-gen consoles.

The sound quality is respectable, made even better if it’s paired with a compatible Q-series soundbar to unleash the full potential of its sound. The one real disappointment is Samsung’s continued omission of Dolby Vision, preferring it’s own HDR10+ dynamic format instead.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Samsung QE55Q95T Review

Sony KD-65A8

The KD-65A8 is Sony’s best entry-level OLED offering yet
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Pros

  • Beautifully refined, contrast rich pictures
  • Elegant, minimalist design
  • Big, warm and immersive sound

Cons

  • Bright scenes lose a little impact versus rivals in a bright environment
  • Android TV isn’t the most user-friendly smart system
  • No HDR10+ support

The KD-65A8 is the cheapest and finest entry-level OLED Sony has made so far. Its build quality is excellent – minimalist and striking, and it offers ample space for the TV’s images to hog the glory.

And those pictures are things of beauty: refined, balanced, natural, intense, precise and pretty much noise-free, while also benefiting from some of the finest colour, upscaling and motion processing around. And don’t discount the sound either, with Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio technology pushing audio into the room for a big, immersive performance.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: Sony KD-65A8 Review

Philips 55OLED805

Philips’ 2020 Ambilight OLED delivers beautiful HDR images
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Pros

  • Multi-HDR support with HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG
  • Freeview Play
  • Ambilight
  • Play-Fi compatibility

Cons

  • No support for 4K/120fps
  • No Dolby Vision IQ

Philips has made a few changes under the hood from its previous OLEDs and drafted in some new features for the OLED805

One major feature is the new P5 chip that now has built-in AI technology, so it can optimise the picture quality for an improved image. We found that 4K exhibits an almost three-dimensional look, while HDR is impressively implemented and near-black levels are breathtakingly fine. It lacks HDMI 2.1 features, which will make this TV less appealing to gamers, but for its impressive picture quality the OLED805 a sure-fire winner.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: Philips 55OLED805 Review

Samsung QE65Q80T

A big-screen telly that’s great for gaming
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Pros

  • FALD backlight
  • Impactful OTS audio
  • Lightning fast gaming performance

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision support
  • No Freeview Play

The Q80T offers an ambitious feature set, with full-array local dimming, Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound and super-fast gaming performance.

It’s a dab hand at upscaling SD/HD content, and its brightness means HDR content is brought to life in a gorgeous and punchy manner. No Dolby Vision support will annoy home cinema enthusiasts, but gamers will be pleased with the 8.7ms latency.

Reviewer: Steve May
Full Review: Samsung QE65Q80T Review

Samsung QE75Q950TS

An 8K TV with sensational picture and sound
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Pros

  • Spectacular picture quality with a wide range of resolutions
  • Beautiful, cutting edge design
  • Innovative and effective object tracking sound system

Cons

  • One or two very rare backlight glitches
  • It will be too expensive for most households
  • No Dolby Vision support

The Q950TS is easily Samsung’s best 8K TV yet. Picture quality is superb with the set’s 8K Quantum Processor working its socks off to upscale sub-8K content. Black levels are impressive as blooming – distracting halos of light around objects – virtually removed from equation. The TV’s scorching brightness also means HDR content fizzes off the screen, while remaining nuanced and natural.

The Q950TS also has Samsung’s OTS+ system that features speakers in the top, sides and bottom of the screen. In many ways it brilliantly conveys the size of the sound and accurately positions effects on-screen. While the Q950TS is not cheap, it’s one of the best LCD TVs we’ve tested.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: Samsung QE75Q950TS Review

Sony KD-65XH9505

A 4K TV with an exhilarating HDR performance
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Pros

  • Fantastically bright, colourful HDR pictures
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Strong upscaling and motion handling

Cons

  • Some backlight blooming with high-contrast content
  • Minor clipping in the most extreme brightness areas
  • No 4K/120Hz HDR gaming support

The XH95 produces a fantastically bright picture performance and aggressive colour application that really unlocks the potential of HDR images. It’s a great choice for those with bright rooms.

Upscaling of sub-4K sources and motion handling is strong, and sound quality – not always something TVs do well – is done very well here. The biggest disappointment is the lack of next-gen gaming features, with Sony instead saving them for the XH90. It means that for gamers with a PS5, the XH95 lacks the skills to take advantage of what that console can offer.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: Sony KD-65XH9505 Review

Samsung QE65Q800T

Pushes the price of 8K TVs to a more affordable realm
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Pros

  • Bright, sharp 8K pictures with impressive black levels
  • Powerful, impressively detailed audio
  • Good value for an 8K TV

Cons

  • Heavy dimming of stand-out bright objects
  • No Dolby Vision support
  • Game mode reduces backlight controls

The argument made against 8K is that not needed and too expensive. The Samsung Q800T makes a convincing case against both points.

While native 8K content is still lacking, there’s an argument to be made that the Q800T makes 4K look even better than on a native 4K TV. It furthers Samsung’s progress with black levels, displaying some of the best we’ve seen on an LCD TV, and it goes bright enough to make HDR look spectacular. The OTS+ sound system delivers plenty of power and detail to accompany those images, too.

There are issues to iron out, but this is one of the cheapest 8K TVs on the market.

Reviewer: John Archer
Full Review: Samsung QE65Q800T Review

Hisense R50A7200GTUK Roku TV

The Hisense/Roku partnership delivers another fine TV
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Pros

  • Good-quality, colourful picture performance
  • Wide streaming capabilities
  • Easy to set-up and use
  • Speedy gaming performance

Cons

  • Iffy sound
  • Inconsistent upscaling of SD sources
  • Limited HDR performance

The Hisense R50A7200GTUK isn’t a huge upgrade over the outgoing B7120UK with regards to picture and audio – in fact, it probably sounds worse. However, it throws in more features – AirPlay 2/HomeKit and wider voice assistant compatibility – and is marginally more expensive so it does feel as if the Hisense Roku TV offers even more value than it did before.

Picture quality is very similar to the previous model with very good upscaling of HD content (SD is rather inconsistent), and while the display doesn’t have the brightness to really take advantage of HDR content, with 4K films and shows it produces a natural, detailed, and colourful looking image that’s one of the best around its price.

Stacked with tonnes of features, and bearing the accessible Roku OS as the interface, the Hisense 50A7200GTUK Roku TV hits the mark as one of the more compelling budget sets currently available.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Hisense R50A7200GTUK Roku TV Review

Samsung UE50TU8500

A affordable 50-inch set with a wealth of smart features
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Pros

  • Intuitive, easy to use UI
  • Decent gaming performance
  • Simple setup process
  • Wealth of smart features

Cons

  • HDR performance could be better
  • Underpowered speakers

Sitting at the top of Samsung’s affordable Crystal UHD range is the TU8500, and it is money well spent.

While HDR performance isn’t as adept as what you’ll get on the more advanced QLEDs; picture quality is wonderfully sharp, free from backlight bleed and produces a decent sense of dynamism to its images. As with the rest of Samsung’s TV range, gaming performance is very good.

With its competitive price, robust feature set and easy-to-use interface, the TU8500 is a great value telly for the casual viewer or gamer.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full review: Samsung UE50TU8500 review

FAQs

What’s the best TV on the market?

We’d say that is a choice between the Panasonic JZ2000 OLED, Samsung Q95A and LG G1, all of which offer excellent performance in their own way.

What’s the best TV to buy in 2021?

If you’re after a TV with all the latest features in terms of smarts and gaming, plus excellent picture and sound, then we’d have say that currently the best 2021 TV is the Samsung QE65QN95A

What’s the best TV under £500?

The Hisense Roku A7200G is one of the best budget sets on the market with its comprehensive set of smart features and very good picture quality.

Comparison specifications

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