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best 4k tv

The Best 4K TVs in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

With a 4K TV, higher picture qualities and thus razor-sharp resolutions become possible. Our team sifted through various tests on the Internet for a list of the best and was therefore able to include ratings for resolution, tuner types, dimensions and much more.

Toshiba 43LF621U21 43-inch Smart 4K UHD

Toshiba 43LF621U21 43-inch Smart 4K UHD
  • Voice remote with Alexa: Use your voice to watch live TV,…
  • Endless Entertainment: Watch over 500,000 streaming movies…
  • Access your favorite content: Fire TV Edition seamlessly…
  • Watch high dynamic range (HDR) content on your TV: With an…
  • Item arrives in packaging that reveals what’s inside and…

SAMSUNG QN32Q50RAFXZA Flat 32" QLED 4K 32Q50 Series Smart TV

 Our Pick
SAMSUNG QN32Q50RAFXZA Flat 32 Inch QLED 4K 32Q50 Series Smart TV
  • 4K UHD Processor: a powerful processor optimizes your tv’…
  • Inputs & Outputs: 3 HDMI ports, 1 Ethernet port, 2 USB Ports…
  • Dimensions with Stand (WxHxD): 28.5″ x 18.8″ x 6.1″ | with…
  • 4K UHD: see what you’ve been missing on a crisp, clear…
  • Smart TV with Universal Guide: our simple on-screen Guide is…

LG 43UN7300PUF Alexa BuiltIn 43Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

LG 43UN7300PUF Alexa BuiltIn 43Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
  • REAL 4K DISPLAY: Enjoy 4K resolution for your 4K movies and…
  • Inputs & Outputs: 3 HDMI ports, 1 Ethernet port, 2 USB Ports…
  • Dimensions with Stand (WxHxD): 38.3″ x 24.1″ x 7.4″; With…
  • QUAD CORE PROCESSOR 4K: Instant and intelligent. Our Quad…
  • Webs AND MAGIC REMOTE: LG’s fan-favorite webOS platform…

TCL 4K Smart LED TV, 50" (50S435)

TCL 4K Smart LED TV, 50 inch (50S435)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 44. 1 X 25. 7 X 3….
  • Smart functionality delivers all your favorite content with…
  • Pairs 4K Ultra HD picture clarity with the contrast, color,…
  • Direct lit LED produces great picture quality. Stand…
  • Inputs: 3 HDMI 2. 0 with HDCP 2. 2 (one with HDMI ARC), 1…

TCL 65" 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR QLED Roku Smart TV - 65S535

TCL 65 Inch 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR QLED Roku Smart TV – 65S535
  • Superior 4K Ultra HD: Picture clarity combined with the…
  • QLED: Quantum dot technology delivers better brightness and…
  • Product Size (WxHxD) with Stand: 56.9″ x 11.6″ x 34.9″;…
  • Easy Voice Control: Works with Amazon Alexa or Google…
  • Roku Smart TV Platform: Roku Smart TV platform provides…

Hisense 55-Inch Class H8 Quantum Series Android 4K ULED Smart TV

Hisense 55-Inch Class H8 Quantum Series Android 4K ULED Smart TV
  • Unlock the power of over a billion colors perfectly…
  • Transform your home into an entertainment powerhouse with…
  • Full array local dimming zones deliver a superior HDR…
  • Control the TV via the easy-to-use voice-enabled remote or…
  • The Vesa measurements of this TV are 300 x 200 millimeter /…

Hisense 43-Inch Class H6570G 4K Ultra HD Android Smart TV

 Our Pick
Hisense 43-Inch Class H6570G 4K Ultra HD Android Smart TV
  • Android TV is a total entertainment hub and brings…
  • TV Dimensions: Without stand – 37.8″ W x 22″ H x 3.3″ D |…
  • The TV’s 4K Ultra HD delivers more than four times the…
  • The H65 is music to your ears and eyes— Thanks to built-in…
  • Inputs/outputs: HDMI – 3 | USB – 2 | Ethernet – 1 | RF…

Sony X950H 49 Inch TV: 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Sony X950H 49 Inch TV: 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
  • PICTURE PROCESSOR X1 ULTIMATE: Sony’s best processor…
  • TRILUMINOS Display: See exactly what the creator intended…
  • FULL ARRAY LED with local dimming: Experience brighter…
  • GAME MODE: Take your PlayStation experience to the next…
  • SMART ANDROID TV with GOOGLE ASSISTANT: Use your voice to…

Frequently Asked Questions: 4K TVs

What is a 4K TV?

A 4K TV is a device with a particularly high resolution.

The 4K standard actually requires 4,096 x 2,160 pixels, but most manufacturers also refer to 3,840 x 2,160 pixels as 4K TVs.

The small difference is not visible for most users in a practical test anyway. The term Ultra HD, or UHD for short, is also often used.

Apart from the higher resolution, 4K TVs are basically no different from normal devices.

How does a 4K TV work?

The functionality of a 4K TV in the practical test is exactly the same as that of a normal HD TV. Besides the resolution, however, there are sometimes differences in the hardware inside.

Decoding material in 4K resolution is a complex process that requires corresponding components.

Therefore, it is not uncommon to find powerful multi-core processors with a lot of working memory in UHD devices. Such equipment is also found in normal TVs, but it is rather less common there than in a 4K TV.

Content reaches a 4K TV either via a TV connection or an external device. Any supplier can be connected via HDMI, component or Scart, for example receivers, Blu-Ray players, game consoles, computers or even smartphones.

Thus, there are no differences to a normal TV in the practical test here, either. However, it should be noted that content in Ultra HD resolution needs an HDMI input according to the 2.0 standard for the best possible quality.

Only then can the full resolution be used even at high frame rates. Especially for a new purchase, this is a detail that should not be neglected.

Advantages of 4K TVs

The undoubtedly biggest advantage of a 4K TV is the higher resolution in a practical test. Even with very large devices, no individual pixels are noticeable even at short viewing distances.

The picture of a 4K TV thus appears even clearer and sharper, and small details can be recognized better in the test. This is most noticeable in sports broadcasts or panoramic shots, but in principle all content benefits from the increased resolution.

Unfortunately, content for a 4K TV is still rare at the moment. Some of the TV broadcasters are still busy with the switch to HD and will probably not upgrade to 4K anytime soon.

Only the public broadcasters have announced that they will broadcast a few selected matches of the 2017 European Football Championship in Ultra HD.

In addition, series and movies are available in the high resolution from some streaming providers like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Finally, there are also Blu-rays in 4K, but these necessarily also require a 4K-capable player. Old devices can no longer play the new media, since they have an increased storage capacity.

Fortunately, however, 4K TVs are capable of playing lower-resolution content without any problems. TV channels in HD and SD as well as picture information from a computer or game console can thus still be enjoyed.

In many cases in the practical test, 4K TVs even offer a function for upscaling the picture data. With this technology, also known as upscaling, the TV automatically calculates material in full Ultra HD resolution from a low-resolution picture.

The bottom line is that a 4K TV can be used as a full-fledged replacement for an HD TV without any restrictions.

Compared to a Full HD TV, such a device also offers more future-proofing for a new purchase, since the 4K successor 8K will undoubtedly still be many years away.

Types of 4K TVs

4K TVs are available in a wide range, with something suitable for almost every demand.

Simple 4K TVs only offer a higher resolution, but otherwise do not differ from a conventional TV in the test.

This has the disadvantage that there might not be any up-to-date interfaces installed and thus not all sources can be used for material in 4K.

On the other hand, such devices are available at very low prices, and some are even cheaper than some Full HD TVs with extensive features.

Those who primarily want to enjoy movies and series with a 4K TV and are not that interested in using apps and similar services can easily take a closer look at such devices.

In the mid-range, 4K TVs already have much stronger hardware than most HD TVs in the test. Moreover, they are almost exclusively so-called Smart TVs.

This means that the 4K TVs, similar to a smartphone, can be connected to the Internet and run apps. This way, a TV can play services like Netflix or YouTube without any additional devices.

In addition to these functions, the picture quality is also noticeably better than that of very cheap 4K TVs in the practical test.

Although the resolution is the same as in cheap 4K TVs, differences in color gradients, sharpness and some other characteristics are apparent. Price and performance are overall very balanced in this range.

In the upper class in the test, differences are not only found in the equipment, but also in the panels used. Here, too, some manufacturers rely on LED technology, as it is used in all other TVs.

However, there are also models with a so-called OLED display. This is a technology that uses organic components. These are self-luminous and do not require a backlight.

This has the advantage that the black levels are unmatched, and the picture quality is also pleasing. However, corresponding devices with 4K are very expensive and therefore not necessarily interesting for every wallet.

Regarding the size, prospective buyers can also look forward to a rich selection of 4K TVs in the test. From 40 inches to 80 inches, there is something for every taste. Which diagonal is the best, however, depends on the user’s requirements.

Above all, the seating distance is an important issue for 4K TVs in the test. In principle, a 4K TV is always sharper with a smaller size. Individual pixels are smaller and closer together, which means that they can hardly be recognized in the practical test even at a short distance.

For this reason, smaller 4K TVs in the test are interesting for those who sit no further than two meters away from a device. Larger screen diagonals are only useful in correspondingly large rooms and seating distances, which was proven in a test.

A 60-inch TV with 4K resolution still offers a crystal-clear picture and an appealing screen size even at a distance of four to five meters in a test.

How are 4K TVs tested?

In a 4K TV test, all devices have to prove themselves in an extensive test course. Only if a TV can convince in every category of the practical test can it compete for the coveted title of 4K TV comparison winner.

In the following, we reveal what is particularly important in a 4K TV in the test. Category Description:

Picture Quality

Those who buy a 4K TV usually expect an excellent picture quality. For this reason, this category is without a doubt one of the most important in the test. Every single 4K TV is put through its paces in a practical test.

The color values also play a role, as well as the illumination, black levels and many more details. Furthermore, they not only tested the TVs with material in 4K quality, but also checked how well they can handle lower-resolution content.

Sound Quality

Quite a few users do without their own home theater and rely on integrated speakers in a TV instead. A test therefore listens very closely and reveals to what extent a certain device can convince in this respect.

Different sources such as music, games and movies are used in the practical test. Trebles and mids should be clearly distinguishable from each other and not overdrive at any time, while basses should sound as powerful as possible.

Furthermore, a certain volume level is desirable so that even residents in very busy areas can understand everything without problems when the window is open.

Operation

Even the best 4K TV is of little use if the user cannot handle the device properly. Therefore, the menu navigation and other components were also analyzed in the test.

In the best case, we can easily find our way around and can completely do without help from a manual. Among other things, a good translation that avoids cryptic terms is important for this.

Connectivity

This category is all about how to connect a 4K TV with external devices. First and foremost, it needs suitable connections for this purpose. Even inexpensive devices should have at least two HDMI ports, but more is always better.

Furthermore, integrated tuners for cable and satellite are positive, which eliminate the need for an additional receiver. We also check whether the connection with Blu-Ray players, set-top boxes, game consoles and other devices works smoothly and how good the picture quality turns out.

Finally, we also tell you how you can connect a certain 4K TV to your home network and thus to the Internet. For example, you can use WLAN or Ethernet.

Features

Hardly any 4K TV can do without additional features that are supposed to make the viewing experience even better. Smart TVs, for example, want to ensnare the user with various apps.

Others offer integrated features like picture-in-picture, which allows enjoying two different shows at the same time.

In the test, we not only keep an eye on how well such features work, but also whether they are useful and well integrated at all.

Power Consumption

It is in the nature of things that a 4K TV requires more energy than a comparable Full HD TV. Nevertheless, the devices should use the power from the socket as sparingly as possible.

This not only protects the environment, but ultimately also the consumer’s wallet. The test measures exactly how high the power consumption turns out in different scenarios and can extrapolate a comparable result from that.

Quality & Design

At this point, we turn our gaze away from the display itself and turn to the casing instead. Here, we primarily emphasize high-quality materials as well as a good and stable build with few gaps.

Good values in this category not only have a positive visual effect, but also ensure a much longer lifespan of a device in most cases.

Many a low-priced TV can turn out to be an expensive mistake if a defect occurs after a short time due to flaws in the workmanship. Therefore, no one should neglect this point when buying.

Brightness

Especially for TVs with LCD technology, brightness is an important factor. Only if users can actually perceive a picture, they also benefit from a good picture quality as well as the high resolution.

To ensure that operation in a brightly lit room on a sunny summer day is possible without any problems, every TV must exceed a certain value here. Bonus points are awarded if a TV can automatically adjust its brightness to the surroundings.

This eliminates the need for readjustment by the user and makes use much easier and more relaxed overall.

Price-Performance Ratio

No matter how good a 4K TV may be in the testauch, the price should always be in proportion to the performance offered.

For this reason, we compare the price of individual devices with similar models and can tell you where you get the most for your money based on the results.

What should I look for when buying a 4K TV?

First and foremost, a 4K TV has to fit your needs. There is no device that is ultimately best suited for every type of user.

The picture quality should of course be as high as possible, but those who do not want to spend too much will of course have to live with compromises. In terms of size, the seating distance is of particular interest as in the test.

The further away you sit from your TV, the larger the picture diagonal should be. Conversely, it makes little sense to buy a 65-inch 4K TV if the couch is only two meters away from the TV.

When it comes to features, too, it all depends on your own requirements. Smart TVs are versatile devices that offer an enormous amount of potential in daily use. Still, it is not worth paying the extra for such a 4K TV if such features are not used at all.

So, if you mainly want to watch TV and enjoy a Blu-Ray every now and then with your 4K TV, you are excellently advised with a conventional device and will be happy about lower acquisition costs.

Before buying, you should always make sure that a 4K TV works with all your devices without any problems. This can be receivers, Blu-Ray players or even older devices such as VHS recorders.

If these can’t be connected to a new 4K TV, frustration will quickly set in for the user. So, study product reviews and spec sheets and make sure that you can connect all the components from your living room at home to a particular TV.

Finally, the price is of course always an important issue when buying a 4K TV. Meanwhile, some models are already available at pleasingly low prices, so the technology is no longer reserved for wealthy users.

However, caution is also advisable, especially with cheap 4K TVs. In some cases, the picture quality of 4K TVs cannot be recommended and the advantages of 4K are hardly noticeable due to poor color properties and suboptimal illumination.

However, there are definitely some 4K TVs that have made an astonishingly good picture in various tests despite a low price.

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Conversely, some brand manufacturers charge far too much for their high-end TVs. Thus, it is hardly possible to draw conclusions about the actual quality of 4K TVs based on the price alone.

Therefore, you should always carefully study product reviews and only shortlist 4K TVs that meet a certain minimum quality standard.

4K TV Accessories

Currently, the most useful companion for any 4K TV is a Blu-ray player with support for native movies in 4K. This allows content to be enjoyed in the best possible quality.

Although there is already some content in 4K on the Internet that a Smart TV can access without additional hardware, it is not comparable in quality with a Blu-Ray.

Strong compression methods are used to reduce the bandwidth. The result is a lower picture quality that does not take advantage of all the possibilities of 4K.

For ease of use, it may be a good idea to purchase a universal remote control. Compared to a supplied remote control, this offers the advantage that it can often be freely configured according to your own wishes.

For example, shortcuts can be created for certain processes, which can be used to influence the color of the picture.

In addition, a universal remote control allows several devices to be operated simultaneously. Only one remote control is then needed in the living room.

Of course, suitable cables are needed for the right connection. Existing HDMI cables are still quite sufficient to connect old devices with Full HD specifications.

However, those who want to experience native 4K need an HDMI cable with the 2.0 standard or better 2.0a.

Fortunately, such cables are already available quite cheaply. Gold-plated connections are not a must, by the way. Although they offer a significantly higher longevity, they do not offer any advantages in terms of transmission quality.

When enjoying movies and series, not only the picture plays a role, but also the sound. For this reason, a good surround system is always a good companion for a 4K TV. Sounds and music resound throughout the room with it and give a viewer a much stronger immersion than when using the TV speakers.

In addition, the overall sound quality also improves. With a good system, highs and lows do not overload even at high volumes, while powerful basses are not only audible, but noticeable.

Such a system can be connected directly to the TV, which can then automatically forward all incoming sound signals. In this way, you can easily and quickly connect all your devices to the system, from the game console to the receiver to the computer.

4K TV Alternatives

If you are looking for the highest possible picture quality, you do not necessarily have to buy a 4K TV. Some Full HD devices do not have to hide at all from 4K TVs in this respect and even offer some advantages.

The technology is already mature today and countless contents are available. In addition, high-quality devices are available here at significantly lower prices than in the 4K TV segment.

HD-ready devices, on the other hand, are no longer an option. They still do their job without any problems and are therefore not yet a case for the garbage can. However, those who are currently looking for a new TV should not be satisfied with them.

This is also due to the fact that Full HD TVs are no longer more expensive than devices with a resolution of 720p.

Apart from the TV, content in 4K can in principle also be enjoyed on a computer. All that is needed is a suitable graphics card and, of course, a monitor with 4K resolution. These are already available in a wide range, and some of them even exceed the specifications of 4K TVs.

Furthermore, some complete devices are already available, such as Apple’s iMacs. There is even a version with 5K resolution.

The main advantage of a PC is its versatility. The computers can be used for many more tasks than simply watching movies and series or surfing the Internet.

However, the corresponding displays are also much smaller than those of a TV.

Only rarely do the screens reach more than 30 inches diagonally and are thus not even half as big as the biggest 4K TV.

That is not too dramatic if you mainly use the monitor alone anyway. However, the picture can quickly turn out too small for a cozy TV evening with family or friends.

Smartphones with a corresponding resolution are not a sensible alternative to 4K TVs.

These are already available, but the display is much too small to notice any difference to 1080p.

In everyday use, 4K even has disadvantages because it uses the battery much more, which can shorten the runtime enormously.

For this reason, the high resolution is often only used for video playback, while games, apps and the menu navigation are only scaled up, which reduces the advantages even more.

Smartphones with such an extreme resolution are only really useful in virtual reality, where individual pixels are noticed much faster because the display is placed directly in front of the eyes and amplified by lenses.

However, such applications also require corresponding content, so this cannot be compared with a normal 4K TV in any way.

Last product update on 2021-01-22 | Source: Amazon Affiliate