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The Best Smart TV

Last updated on March 15, 2019

We looked at the top 13 Televisions and dug through the reviews from 124 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, RTINGS.com, Digital Trends, 4K, CNET, New York Times Wirecutter and more. The result is a ranking of the best Televisions.

Best Smart TV

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our experts reviewed the top 13 Televisions and also dug through the reviews from 124 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, RTINGS.com, Digital Trends, 4K, CNET, New York Times Wirecutter and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Televisions.

Our Picks For The Top Televisions

Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

TCL

6 Series (2018)

Overall Take

The TCL 6 Series easily competes with higher priced smart TVs in terms of quality. You'll get a clear, rich picture regardless of the lighting in the room you choose, thanks to Dolby Vision and TCL's NBP Photon Technology. TCL TVs have Roku built in, which means you'll have easy... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Tech Radar, RTINGS.com, Digital Trends, 4K, CNET and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
"There’s no doubt in our minds - the TCL P6-Series was hands down the best budget TV of last year in the sub-$1,000 price range. It made our Best TVs of 2017 list, as well as our Best 4K TVs..."
Cons
"Although it can produce a wider color gamut than Rec. 709, it isn't as wide as other great HDR TVs."

Samsung

QLED 4K UHD

Overall Take

If you're looking for a luxury smart TV with the latest picture technology, look no further than this 4K UHD TV from Samsung. With QLED, it delivers a pristine and true-to-color picture with Quantum dots that can offer billions of shades. In addition to access to all of the latest streaming apps,  the... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Digital Trends, RTINGS.com, TechHive, Consumer Reports, 4K, Trusted Reviews and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
"Q9F is also an outstanding everyday TV, capable of making everything you watch — from streaming dramas on Netflix to cooking shows on cable – look their absolute best. This is not a one-trick pony by any means. The Q9F..."
Cons
"The Samsung Q9F sounds quite poor, which is unfortunate for a TV of this status."

Vizio

P Series

Overall Take

If you're looking for an affordable TV with a great picture, the Vizio P Series may be just what you need. It incorporates Dolby Vision to give you crisp, vivid images with deep blacks, even in darker rooms. One thing that sets this TV apart from others is the built-in... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, CNET, RTINGS.com, Digital Trends, Wired, Tech Radar. Along with user reviews from Best Buy.
Pros
"The 2018 Vizio P-Series F1 offers everything you need to enjoy a high-end TV experience today. The TV uses full-array local dimming, which produces superior contrast ratios for SD and HD content but also provides the best HDR experience on..."
Cons
"The main question is whether the (non-Quantum) P-Series reviewed here is worth the extra money -- currently a couple hundred bucks -- over Vizio's own M series or TCL's 6 series. My answer is no, it's not."
  The Best Value

Toshiba

Fire TV Ultra HD HDR

Overall Take

If you're already a Prime member and well-acquainted with Alexa-enabled devices, the Toshiba Fire TV will fit perfectly into your household. The Fire TV experience is built right in, so you can view thousands of apps and channels with the added bonus of Alexa skills and extensive voice search capabilities.... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus RTINGS.com, PC Magazine. Along with user reviews from Best Buy and Amazon.
Pros
"The Toshiba Fire TV is good for occasional video game playing. It has a fast response time and a good low input lag that will keep the infrequent gamer happy."
Cons
"It makes significant compromises in picture quality to hit its low price, however, resulting in downright poor black levels and a color range that no HDR signal will improve past broadcast standard levels, but that's to be expected when you..."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
20

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the televisions available to purchase.
13

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products to review and score.

View All Product Rankings

124

Expert Reviews Included

Reviews from our DWYM category experts and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Tech Radar, RTINGS.com, Digital Trends, 4K, CNET.

58,158

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

TCL 6 Series (2018)

Expert Summarized Score
8.3
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.8
596 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

The TCL 6 Series easily competes with higher priced smart TVs in terms of quality. You'll get a clear, rich picture regardless of the lighting in the room you choose, thanks to Dolby Vision and TCL's NBP Photon Technology. TCL TVs have Roku built in, which means you'll have easy access to hundreds of shows and movies for streaming. Plus, you can access all of it with a voice-enabled remote.

What other experts liked
There’s no doubt in our minds - the TCL P6-Series was hands down the best budget TV of last year in the sub-$1,000 price range. It made our Best TVs of 2017 list, as well as our Best 4K TVs of 2017 list, alongside OLEDs from Sony and LG, and...
- Tech Radar
The TCL 6 Series (R617/R615) is a very good 4k TV for a wide range of usages. It has good dark scene performance due to the full-array local dimming and high native contrast so blacks appear deep even in a dark room.
- RTINGS.com
On the whole, the new TCL 6-Series produces remarkably impressive picture quality, full stop. The low price is a bonus to be sure, but the 6-Series stands up well against competing sets from Sony, LG, and Samsung costing much more.
- Digital Trends
The TCL 6 Series is definitely worth its very reasonable and budget-friendly price tag and for this reason we absolutely recommend it to buyers who want some premium performance and features without spending over 1000 dollars on similarly sized premium 4K TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG or other premium brands....
While it's too early to call this TV the best value of 2018, after testing it, it's easy to think it might be. The 6 Series is a top-notch performer with great HDR specs and a svelte, voice-searchable version of the Roku platform.
- Reviewed
The affordable TCL 6 series has excellent overall image quality, with deep black levels, very good brightness, rich contrast and accurate color.
- CNET
What other experts didn't like
Limited motion settings.
- Tech Radar
Although it can produce a wider color gamut than Rec. 709, it isn't as wide as other great HDR TVs.
- RTINGS.com
Unfortunately, there’s also the issue of the online community sharing some experiences of trouble with their 6-Series TVs showing “dirty screen effect” or “banding,” along with discussions of the so-called “panel lottery.”
- Digital Trends
This 4K HDR TV isn’t as good as the premium offerings of any of the other major brands in absolute terms but due to its own relatively low price, it has a lot to offer.
I did notice the lower letterbox bar (because the Blu-ray is in 16:9 format) was occasionally a bit cloudy, but generally the local dimming maintained its integrity throughout the film.
- Reviewed
Brightness and video processing fall short of some more expensive TVs.
- CNET

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Toshiba Fire TV Ultra HD HDR

Expert Summarized Score
7.0
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
1,867 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

If you're already a Prime member and well-acquainted with Alexa-enabled devices, the Toshiba Fire TV will fit perfectly into your household. The Fire TV experience is built right in, so you can view thousands of apps and channels with the added bonus of Alexa skills and extensive voice search capabilities. Its 4K UHD performance offers sharp, clean details and well-balanced colors for good everyday viewing and gameplay.

What other experts liked
The Toshiba Fire TV is good for occasional video game playing. It has a fast response time and a good low input lag that will keep the infrequent gamer happy.
- RTINGS.com
Fine details like fur and leaves are sharp and clean, and colors look natural and balanced, even if they aren't nearly as vivid as they are on the TCL 6-Series.
- PC Magazine
What other experts didn't like
The Toshiba Fire TV has mediocre performance when watching movies. Although contrast is excellent and blacks will look deep in a dark movie watching environments, the TV cannot produce rich, saturated colors and its color accuracy is sub-par. Watching movies is not one of the strong usages of this.
- RTINGS.com
It makes significant compromises in picture quality to hit its low price, however, resulting in downright poor black levels and a color range that no HDR signal will improve past broadcast standard levels, but that's to be expected when you find a 55-inch TV for under $500.
- PC Magazine

Overall Product Rankings

1. TCL 6 Series (2018)
Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 7

2. Samsung QLED 4K UHD
Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 11

3. Vizio P Series
Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 7

4. TCL 32″ HD 720P Roku
Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 9

5. Vizio M-Series
Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 6

6. TCL 5 Series (2018)
Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 7

7. TCL S-Series 4K Roku TV
Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 9

8. LG Electronics OLED E8
Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 7

9. Sony Ultra HD Bravia
Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 4

10. LG Smart 65-Inch OLED
Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 6

11. Toshiba Fire TV Ultra HD HDR
Overall Score: 7.5
Reviews Included: 4

12. Samsung 6-Series
Overall Score: 7.5
Reviews Included: 8

13. Toshiba 720p HD Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 7.1
Reviews Included: 5

An Overview On Televisions

Smart TVs are a type of streaming device that gives you all the great features of a high-definition TV with the added bonus of connecting to the internet to run a variety of media apps and other on-demand services. They are made by every major TV brand and range from very affordable to luxurious. There is not one type of operating system so each smart TV will have a slightly different interface and apps available. Get to know more of the basics so you can choose the right smart TV for your home.

You may already be familiar with other streaming devices sometimes called digital media players (DMPs), streaming sticks and media streamers. These devices from companies like Roku, Apple, Amazon and Google are separate units that usually plug into an HDMI output in your TV. They connect to Wi-Fi, or ethernet in some cases, to run apps and other media.

Some people prefer them to smart TVs because you can easily move the media player to a different TV or take them wherever you want. Many apps may be updated or added more regularly with a digital media player than with a smart TV. The menus on streaming devices may also be easier to navigate because they’re made specifically for streaming content, whereas with some smart TVs, it’s just an add-on.

If you just want to stream and don’t really need a new TV, a streaming device is a much more cost-effective option. However, if you’re in the market for a new TV anyway, you will probably be looking at getting a smart TV.  It is very convenient having everything you need to watch TV however you please in one device — and most smart TVs do just that!

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Now and other major media apps should all be available on most, if not all, smart TVs. Still, it’s a good idea to check what apps are available for the TV before you buy to make sure it has what you want right now. Popular apps will likely be added at some point, but smart TVs may be slower to add new apps. 

Each smart TV has a different start screen or interface. Some use a bar or other proprietary system that houses all of your apps at the bottom of the screen, like the Samsung QLED TV or Vizio P Series TV. Others use an interface from another major platform, like the TCL 6 Series TV, which uses the popular Roku set-up. The Toshiba Fire TV uses a similar interface to the Amazon Fire Stick. If you’re already familiar with a particular platform, it may be a good idea to go with a smart TV that uses the same one for ease of use.

Some smart TV remotes may be a little different than you’re used to. Both the TCL 6 Series and the Toshiba Fire TV use remotes that work with their platforms, Roku and Amazon Fire, respectively. They’re both a little smaller and have fewer buttons and controls. You will be able to do the same things, but many of the controls will appear on screen instead of on the remote itself. They also feature voice search, which allows you to bring up apps or even specific video content just with the sound of your voice. If you’ve already used Roku or an Amazon Fire Stick, you will be very familiar with the setup.

The Samsung QLED TV and Vizio P series also have their own versions of smaller remotes. Samsung uses its own built-in voice search option called Bixby voice. To use voice controls with the Vizio P Series TV, you need to have a separate Alexa or Google Assitant device. With any of these TVs, you also have other remote options, such as your phone or tablet, that may give you more enhanced options.

Because smart TVs are, well, smart, they usually have connections to other smart devices or platforms you have in your home. If you already use the Amazon Echo, you may want to go with a smart TV like the Toshiba Fire TV because it allows you to easily control your other smart home devices with Alexa voice commands. The Samsung QLED TV works with the Samsung Smart Things app to allow you to control your TV and other connected devices from one screen.

Perhaps the most important consideration for many is picture quality. The good news is that many smart TVs offer a 4K resolution with some kind of HD support because it’s becoming the standard technology and expectation. But picture quality is also affected by the screen type, which can be LCD, LED, OLED and QLED. So what do all of those letters mean when it comes to how you see your favorite movies and TV shows? All of these screen types support 4K resolution. However, they differ in cost, type of technology and the quality of lights, darks, and colors.

LED and LCD are the most cost-effective and very similar, but LCD is more outmoded technology and you likely won’t see smart TVs using it.  LED screens are backlit, which makes them a little thicker than screens that use OLED or QLED. They still get good, dark blacks and bright lights but may not be quite as crisp and rich. OLED and QLED are made by LG and Samsung, respectively, and while they cost significantly more, you will get a much slimmer TV and stunning light and colors. The difference is that OLED is lit from within and QLED is lit from the edges. TVs like the Samsung QLED TV use something called quantum dot color filter, which makes colors really pop and look brighter than OLED. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to get picture quality that is significantly better than older TVs.

Finally, it should almost go without saying, but you will need to make sure it has the correct inputs and that you have the right cords to connect your existing devices to your new TV. Make sure you check where the inputs are and what type and how many are included. The new gold standard of inputs for 4K TVs is the HDMI 2.0, and smart TVs can have anywhere from three to six ports. You can optionally use an AV receiver if you require more for a large sound system. You’ll also want to make sure you have a stable, fast internet connection so you can take advantage of all your smart TV has to offer.

DWYM Fun Fact

So, you’re getting a beautiful new 4K HD smart TV with all of the latest streaming apps for enjoying your favorite shows? Not so fast. First, you have to make sure you have a fast enough internet speed to actually enjoy all of those great features.

Internet speed refers to the speed with which content travels from the World Wide Web to your smart TV (or other devices). Speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps or Mb/s). The type of internet connection and the device receiving the connection can also play a part in the speed.

It’s generally recommended that you have between 1.5 and 3 Mbps internet speed to stream standard definition video. If you have an HD or 4K TV, you will need a much higher speed. If you want to stream HD video and get great sound quality, between 4 and 5 Mbps is recommended. To take full advantage of a new 4K TV, you need at least 15 Mbps but 25 Mbps is better.

Some services, like Netflix, will automatically adjust your streaming quality based on the internet speed detected. Others will let you test speeds before you try to stream higher quality video, saving you from sitting through buffering. There are a number of sites on the internet where you can check your speed, and you can also reach out to your provider to check or determine what speed you’re supposed to have. If you have a very old modem or router, you may also need to get them replaced.

The Television Buying Guide

  • Before buying, it’s a great idea to measure your entertainment area to make sure your desired TV will fit nicely. Screen size is measured diagonally, so you’ll want to check the full dimensions of the smart TV you’re interested in. The good news is, most new 4K smart TVs are very thin so they are not as intrusive as older large TVs.
  • Because new TVs are so thin and in many cases can now be mounted flush to the wall, you may want to think about mounting needs when you’re buying. The Samsung QLED TV even has an ambient mode that lets you display imagery on the screen, so when mounted on a wall, it has the seamless look of a piece of artwork. Just make sure to check where you plan to mount to make sure the wall can hold the TV and that there are outlets nearby. Also, check the placement of the inputs on the TV you plan to buy. If they’re on the back, you’ll need to get a telescoping mount so you can get to them more easily.
  • While your new 4K UHD smart TV may look stunning, its sound may be less than theater quality. To get the sound to match that beautiful picture, you may want to consider upgrading your sound system. Just make sure you have enough inputs or opt for a wireless soundbar.
  • Make sure your smart TV  has enough ports for all of your other devices. At least three to four HDMI ports are recommended because many devices, including video game consoles, DVD or Blu-ray players, soundbars, media players and cable boxes need that type of port. The Vizio P Series TV has five HDMI inputs while many other models like the TCL 6 Series have three, plus a USB port.
  • If you end up not being in love with the smart TV interface you have or certain apps are missing or not working well, you can always add a separate streaming device as long as you have an open input available.
  • You do have other remote options if you want to consolidate all your devices on one remote or your small smart TV remote isn’t cutting it. There are universal remotes now available that are not only compatible with your smart TV but will also connect with many other devices in your household. Some also have voice controls and can even connect with a compatible smartphone app.