What’s the best TV to get in 2021?
These are the best TVs available in 2021. Whether you’re after a 4K or 8K TV; LCD, QLED or OLED; something fancy or something cheap, these TVs are the best performing sets we’ve reviewed in recent times.
We’ve included TVs of various sizes and prices, so there should be something for everyone. We’ve put them through their paces, comparing them to other sets to ensure that only the best TVs have made this list in terms of picture, sound and smarts.
With the 2021 TV ranges incoming, there’s still some time to grab yourself one of the TVs below, especially as prices will be falling as the next cycle of TV releases comes around.
1. Panasonic TX-55HZ2000
The ultimate home cinema TV
- Universal HDR support with Dolby Vision IQ
- Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing
- Effective Dolby Atmos sound system
- Freeview Play
- 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.
Terrific sound and vision
- Stylish design
- Excellent integrated sound system
- Superb picture quality
- Multi-HDR support
- Lacks eARC, VRR and 4K/120Hz
- Native Disney+ app is just HD/5.1
- Rather redundant for those with an existing sound system
- Not the strongest motion handling
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.
3. LG OLED55CX
Great visuals at a knockout price
- Excellent picture quality
- Great design
- Plenty of smarts, features and customisation
- Excellent upscaling
- Still no 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.
4. Samsung Q95T
Spectacular HDR images
- Terrifically bright and punchy HDR performance
- Class-leading gaming performance
- Stylish design
- Impressive upscaling
- Wide app support
- 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.
5. Sony KD-65A8
Sony’s best entry-level OLED yet
- Beautifully refined, contrast rich pictures
- Elegant, minimalist design
- Big, warm and immersive sound
- 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.
6. Philips 55OLED805
Produces beautiful 4K picture quality
- Multi-HDR support with HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG
- Freeview Play
- Play-Fi compatibility
- 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.
7. Panasonic TX-55HZ1500
Superb images from any source
- Detailed, stable, entirely natural and believable images
- Bigger, better-realised sound than most TVs
- Every HDR base covered
- Decent ergonomics
- Good upscaling
- Expensive for a 55in TV
- One or two missing apps
- Sound can be bettered by a half-decent soundbar
The Panasonic HZ1500 is the step-down effort from the flagship HZ2000. While the changes from the GZ1500 aren’t substantial, they’re still enough to make for a thoroughly enjoyable set.
And what the HZ1500 likes nothing more is gobbling up 4K HDR content, with support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10+. New is Dolby Vision IQ, which optimises compatible content to take into account any changes in a room’s ambient light. Also new are the upfiring speaker drivers that give Atmos sound a bigger and taller soundfield. It doesn’t go as bright as the HZ2000 when it comes to HDR, but it delivers a remarkably accomplished image from whatever source you watch.
8. Samsung Q80T
A great set for gaming
- Corking picture quality from any standard of content
- Excellent for gamers
- Class-leading user interface
- Sound is nothing special
- No Dolby Vision
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.
9. Samsung QE75Q950TS
Sensational picture and sound
- Spectacular picture quality with a wide range of resolutions
- Beautiful, cutting edge design
- Innovative and effective object tracking sound system
- 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.
10. Sony XH9505
Turns HDR up to 11
- Fantastically bright, colourful HDR pictures
- Excellent sound quality
- Strong upscaling and motion handling
- 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.
11. Samsung QE65Q800T
Brings 8K closer to wider adoption
- Bright, sharp 8K pictures with impressive black levels
- Powerful, impressively detailed audio
- Good value for an 8K TV
- 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 still issues to iron out, but this is one of the cheapest 8K TVs on the market.
12. Samsung UE50TU8500
A great, affordable 50-inch set
- Intuitive, easy to use UI
- Decent gaming performance
- Simple setup process
- Wealth of smart features
- 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.
13. Hisense R50B7120UK
A super budget TV
- Satisfying 4K and HD picture
- Decent sound
- Speedy Game Mode
- Lots of apps/channels
- Limited HDR performance
- SD performance not great
- Limited viewing angles
Roku are huge in the US, and this TV represents its first stab at bringing their affordable sensibility to the UK. If you’re looking for a TV that’s solid and reliable, then the Hisense Roku TV offers plenty of streaming options, as well as satisfying 4K picture quality for the asking price. Its upscaling performance is good with HD, though less consistent with SD content, and despite cheaper TV’s reputation for disappointing sound, the Hisense Roku is a success with its big and clear performance.
For those who want a simple plug-and-go TV that supports the major streaming apps, this is one of the best budget TVs.
14. Samsung UE43TU7100
An excellent 43-inch 4K TV
- Easy setup
- Solid picture quality
- Amazing value for money
- UI can be a little slow
- Limited connectivity
The UE43TU7100 is the cheapest and smallest TV in Samsung’s range, and it punches well above its weight with its performance. Easy to set-up and stocked with a huge library of apps that no other brand can match, the TU7100’s images have a natural look and black levels that are better than what you’d expect for the money.
Gaming performance is very good, and it’s a solid bet for the bedroom gamer and even comes with eARC support if you want to hook up a compatible Dolby Atmos speaker. You’d struggle to find a better TV at this size and price.
How we test TVs
Every TV that passes through our doors gets put through a series of tests and naked eye checks to gauge its overall picture quality and optimal settings. Key things we look out for are screen uniformity, black level, maximum brightness and colour vibrancy/accuracy. We also check input lag to make sure gamers won’t lose their edge when playing online.
A variety of test footage is used to cover every type of scene, so we can assess a 4K TV’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as how it performs against the competition.
Sound quality isn’t forgotten, either – we give the built-in speakers a thorough listen to determine whether you’ll need to invest in a soundbar or speaker system to beef things up.
If you’re interested in checking out TVs at different price models, models and brands. Look through our main best ofs below models for everything from cheap 4K HDR TVs to expensive 8K models and everything in-between.