The best 4K TVs of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

Since 4K TVs were first introduced to customers back in 2013, they have become much more affordable. Now that 4K is the standard, it’s possible to get a great TV to upgrade your home theater without spending a fortune. Brands like Samsung, LG, and Sony are known for their premium models with features like object tracking sound, ambient light sensors, sound sensors, and machine learning processors, while other brands offer more budget-focus choices that still do a fantastic job.

Also: The best TVs: Expert tested

If you’re sticking to a modest budget, brands like Hisense, TCL, and Roku offer quality 4K TVs for much lower prices. Those brands do have high-end choices, but those are outliers. For the budget-friendly choices, you’ll still find plenty of great features and good video and audio. 

With so many options available, it can be a bit of an overwhelming task to shop for a new 4K TV. To help you find the best fit for your budget, space, and entertainment needs, I’ve rounded up five of the best 4K TVs you can buy right now. I’ve broken down their features and price points to help you find the TV of your dreams.

What’s the best 4K TV right now?

Based on our extensive testing, our pick for the best 4K TV overall is the Samsung S95D, thanks to its updated QD-OLED panel, its Dolby Atmos support, and its stunning, glare-free display. Read on for the rest of our 4K TV picks.

Pros

  • Updated QD-OLED panel
  • Dolby Atmos
  • AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support
Cons

  • Pricey (especially for larger screens)

Samsung has consistently ranked within the top three picks of our TV best lists, and the S95D is no exception. It won the best TV at CES 2024 not only for its incredible glare-free display, but also its stunning video. ZDNET editor-in-chief Jason Hiner said the S95D provided “the best combination of color, detail, contrast, dynamic range, and picture quality of any of the TVs at CES” — and that’s saying something. It comes in screen sizes ranging from 55 to 77 inches, offers a deep suite of features, has incredible gaming performance, and has a beautiful design. If you enjoy movies, you’ll love Samsung’s object tracking sound, which creates audio that follows the on-screen action for a more immersive experience. Dolby Atmos means you’ll get room-filling, virtual surround sound as well.  

Samsung is usually among the best gaming TVs, and this one raises the bar even higher. With a 144Hz refresh rate, VRR with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support, plus an excellent gaming hub to fine tune settings and a low input lag, it has everything gamers want. 

Reviews from Best Buy customers repeaedly mention that while this TV may be a little expensive, it’s worth the price. Several reviews call it “incredible” and “the best TV I’ve ever owned.”

Samsung S95D specs: Screen size: 55-77 inches | HDR: Quantum HDR, HDR OLED+ | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 100Hz | Audio: Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound+ | Panel type: QD-OLED | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google, Bixby 

Cons

  • Somewhat low refresh rate

If you’re looking for the most affordable 4K TV, look to one of the newest names in the game — Roku. Roku is synonymous with streaming and has become probably the default OS for most smart TVs, but the company recently started manufacturing its own TVs. And when I tested one last fall, I was shocked by how capable it was for the price.

The 65-inch model is only $399 at the time I’m writing this, and that gets you a brilliant picture, automatic brightness, HDR10+ color, an enhanced voice remote, and more. The LED panel has local dimming, meaning you’ll get better contrast and more vibrant colors. It does only have a 60Hz refresh rate, but only very serious gamers will notice the difference. 

Since this is a value-focused option, it does lack some of the high-end features of other sets, but if you’re just looking to get your foot in the 4K door with a great TV at a low cost, you won’t find many better options. Reviews on Amazon echo these sentiments, with users consistently praising how good it looks and how easy it is to use. 

Roku Select Series specs: Screen size: 43 to 75 inches | HDR: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Audio: Dolby Digital Plus | Panel type: LED | Voice controls: Hey Google 

Pros

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Game Optimizer menu
Cons

  • Expensive (especially with larger screens)

The LG C3 took home our title for best LG TV, and it makes an appearance on the list of best overall 4K TVs, too. It has an OLED panel with brightness booster, meaning it’s a great set for brighter rooms. It has Dolby Vision HDR for enhanced color, detailing, and contrast, along with a super-slim design that looks great mounted on a wall. 

Simply put, this TV looks spectacular. It has high-end features you expect from LG, it’s fantastic for gaming thanks to its fast refresh rate, Game Optimizer menu, and low input lag, and it comes in a big enough size (83 inches) to be truly impressive.

Amazon reviewers also think very highly of this set, with many specifically calling out the improvements made by the A9 processor. 

LG OLED C3 specs: Screen size: 42 to 83 inches | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Panel type: OLED | Voice controls: Alexa, Hey Google 

Pros

  • Great audio and picture quality
  • Optimized for PlayStation 5
  • Bravia Cam video calling is available
Cons

  • Expensive
  • No object tracking sound

If you think bigger is truly better, the answer is easy. The Evo G2 from LG is actually the biggest OLED in the world at a dazzling 97 inches. Of course, it carries an equally big price tag of $19,999, comparable to the price of a small car. If you want a still very large but somewhat more affordable option, look to the 83-inch version at $6,499.

Even though the G2 has been replaced by the G3, the latter doesn’t come in the 97-inch size, so we’ll stick with the G2 here. If you’re fine with an 83-inch version, you can opt for the newer G3 at $4,699.

The G2 is a high-end TV, and it looks and sounds like it. It doesn’t have a backlight, meaning you get near-perfect black colors, and it has super vibrant colors the rest of the time. The a9 Gen5 AI processor makes any content sparkle, especially older shows. If you’re a movie watcher, you’ll be happy to know this set has Dolby Vision and Filmmaker Mode to make films look as good as possible.

There are certainly more affordable options, but if you want to go big, this is your best bet.

LG Evo G2 specs: Screen size: 97 or 83 inches | HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 120Hz | Audio: Dolby Atmos | Panel type: OLED | Voice controls: Hey Google

Pros

  • Ample screen sizes to choose from
  • Plenty of inputs
  • Video calling
  • AirPlay
Cons

  • Dolby Vision only on 65 and 75-inch versions
  • No Dolby Atmos support

The Amazon Fire TV Omni Series is the perfect choice for anyone who has cut the cord on their cable or satellite provider and moved exclusively to streaming. It runs on the Fire TV platform, which integrates things like Alexa and Alexa Skills as well as Amazon Music and Prime Video into a single package to turn your living room into the ultimate entertainment hub. 

Along with Amazon-branded apps, you’ll get access to hundreds of others like Discovery+, YouTube, and Spotify. With 4 HDMI inputs, you can connect all of your playback devices like DVD and Blu-Ray players, game consoles, and soundbars to create a custom home theater setup. The 43, 50, and 55-inch versions have HDR10 and HLG support for enhanced contrast and clarity, while the 65 and 75-inch models work with Dolby Vision HDR. You’ll also get great audio quality with support for Dolby Digital Plus. 

You can even use Alexa Communications and Zoom on your TV to make video calls to co-workers, family, and friends or hop into virtual meetings. With AirPlay support, you can share photos, videos, and music from your iOS and macOS devices for more ways to entertain family and friends.

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series specs: Screen size: 43-75 inches | HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision (65 and 75-inch models) | Resolution: 4K | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Audio: Dolby Digital Plus | Panel type: LED | Voice controls: Alexa 

ZDNET’s Taylor Clemons contributed to this story.

My pick for the best 4K TV is the Samsung S95D. It comes in screen sizes ranging from 55 to 77 inches, features object tracking sound for immersive, 3D audio that follows the on-screen action, as well as Dolby Atmos support for virtual surround sound. 

It also features Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby built in for hands-free controls, an anti-glare coating on the screen for better visibility, and support for AMD FreeSync Premium Pro for smoother motion when playing video games.

4K TV

Price for 65-inch TV

HDR

Refresh rate

Samsung S95D

$2.999

Quantum HDR, HDR OLED+

100Hz

Roku Select Series

$399

HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision

120Hz

LG C3

$1,499

Dolby Vision, HDR10

120Hz

LG evo G2 

$6,499

Dolby Vision

120Hz

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

$330

HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision (65 and 75-inch models)

60Hz

The best 4K TV for you will not only fit your budget, but also your space and entertainment needs. To find your ideal TV size, measure the distance (in inches) from where you’ll be sitting to where your TV will be placed on a stand or wall mounted. Then, divide that number in half. If your couch is 10 feet (120 inches) from where your TV will be, your ideal screen size would be 60 inches. 

You can go bigger or smaller depending on what your budget is and what is available from different brands. However, you don’t want a screen so big that it overpowers your living room, or one so small it forces everyone to crowd around. 

You should look for a TV that has a suite of preinstalled, popular streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video to get you started right out of the box (though you can download your other favorites later). And if your smart home network relies on a virtual assistant like Alexa or Hey Google, choose a TV that either works with your Echo and Nest devices, or that has a voice-enabled remote for hands-free controls.

Choose this 4K TV…

If you want…

Samsung S95D

A well-rounded 4K TV for streaming movies or playing video games.

Roku Select Series

An affordable 4K TV for your living room or bedroom.

LG C3

A 4K TV with the best possible picture quality.

LG evo G2

A massive 4K TV for larger home theaters and living rooms.

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

A 4K TV with a suite of preinstalled streaming apps for cord-cutters.

While shopping for a new 4K TV, there are several factors to keep in mind:

  • Price: Not all budgets are created equal. And if you’re working with a limited budget, that shouldn’t mean you have to settle for a sub-par TV. Each TV model on this list has been chosen across a variety of price points to help accommodate different needs.
  • Screen size: The most important factor to consider, after price, when shopping for a new TV is whether or not it will fit into your space. Each best TV on this list was chosen because they are available in a wide variety of sizes to suit different rooms.
  • Picture and audio quality: A new TV doesn’t mean much, even if it costs an arm and a leg, if it doesn’t provide a great picture and clear audio. Each TV on this list has been ensured to support various HDR codecs, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision as well as enhanced audio software like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, and object tracking sound.

While testing and researching each TV featured on this list, I and other ZDNET experts kept these criteria in mind:

  • Hands-on testing: At ZDNET, we go hands-on with TVs in both home and lab settings to determine their quality for ourselves, digging into their displays, features, and more.
  • Brand integrity: While it’s tempting to snap up that ultra-cheap TV from a smaller or unknown brand in order to save money, you may end up paying more in the long run. And you could run into customer service issues when trying to make a return or troubleshoot an issue. Each TV on this list was chosen from a trusted brand with verified customer service options.
  • Smart features: Customers have come to expect smart features like streaming apps and virtual assistants as-standard in their TVs. Each model on this list was chosen because it offers a host of features like preinstalled streaming apps, virtual assistant support, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Reasons to upgrade: Brands may release model updates almost yearly, but they don’t always give you a real reason to upgrade. Each TV we chose offers upgraded panels, brighter pictures, and in some cases better online security.

As of right now, you can buy an 8K TV for a relatively reasonable price compared to when they were first introduced. But unless you’re exceptionally concerned about future-proofing your home theater, it’s kind of a waste of money. There is no native 8K content anywhere to stream, and gaming consoles aren’t able to produce native 8K graphics. 

These TVs have a processor that can upscale 4K and 1080p content to 8K, but in my opinion, it isn’t really worth the money just yet. You’re better off buying the best 4K TV your budget will allow, giving you at least another 5 to 7 years before you even need to think about upgrading.

In general, OLED TVs offer the best picture quality available on the market. More specifically, my pick for the TV with the best picture is the LG OLED Evo C2. The individually lit pixels display bright whites and deep blacks for better contrast as well as finer details and bolder colors than LED or QLED counterparts.

The C2 also has a brighter screen than its predecessor for better viewing in almost any environment — without sacrificing contrast or color saturation. It works with Dolby Vision HDR for even better detailing when upscaling non-4K content, while the Filmmaker Mode lets you watch your favorite movies and shows just as their creators intended.

It’s hard to find a TV manufacturer that doesn’t offer a decently reliable model. But if you’re really worried about how long your TV will last, spring for a model from one of “the big three”: Samsung, Sony, and LG. These well-established brands have plenty of R&D to back up their tech, giving them all an edge over lesser-known brands like TCL or Hisense. 

But that’s not to say that you should completely disregard smaller brands. TCL and Hisense have started to make a name for themselves by offering dependable 4K TVs at lower prices, without sacrificing features that you’ve come to expect for home entertainment: Voice controls, preinstalled streaming apps, HDR support, and virtual surround sound audio.

These days, it’s actually hard to find a TV that isn’t 4K. You name a brand, and it’s almost guaranteed that they have 4K TV models on store shelves. And with so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start when shopping for a new 4K TV. So here’s a short list of other models that I thought were also great choices: