Prior to joining CNET, Sarah served as the tech and electronic reviews fellow at Insider, where she covered everything from smart watches and wearables to tablets and e-readers. Sizes:42-, 48-, 55-, 65-, 77-, 83-inch. ), but the V-series has some advantages, including a better remote with voice and more advanced picture settings. And many TVs can also be paired with a smart speaker, such as an Echo Dot or Google Nest Mini, to receive voice commands. Samsung touts improved processing and a few extra features but nothing earth-shattering, and the 2022 QN90B currently costs hundreds of dollars more than the 2021 QN90A. The top two-thirds of the screen are devoted to the weather, setup tips, a search window and a Trending Now section with a random collection of TV shows and movies. This makes it easier to access shows and movies from services such asNetflix,Disney PlusandHBO Max. It also has the best gaming features, making it the perfect companion to an Xbox Series X or S, PlayStation 5 or both. If you have any others, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@dkatzmaier), or by clicking the little envelope icon onmy CNET profile page. Samsung's onscreen smart TV system is excellent, with quick responses and plenty of apps -- we'd take it over LG or Vizio's systems. Amazon makes a full range of smart TVs that run on their Fire operating system. Our list below is arranged in order of which TVs provide the best picture for the money, but we also note how much we like (or dislike) the built-in smart TV system. We haven't reviewed it yet, but we expect it to have very similar image quality despite the fact that the 2022 version has a lower "Quantum HDR" spec (24x) then the 2021 version (32x). Those enhancements aren't worth the price difference, so our advice is to buy a C1 now or wait until later this year, when the C1 sells out and the C2 gets a price cut. Below that is an app row and, farther down, sections devoted to inputs and particular streaming apps. Real improvements include carbon-fiber construction for up to 47% lighter weight -- the 65-inch version we reviewed weighs 37 pounds with its stand, compared to 72 pounds for the 65-inch C1 -- as well as some additional tweaks to game mode and a new "always on" feature. It beats any non-OLED TV on this list, including the Samsung QN90A below, with its perfect black levels, unbeatable contrast and superb off-angle viewing. No TV we've ever tested offers this much picture quality for as little cash. Its sleek OLED screen design stands out compared with the other TVs on this list -- although the ultrathin OLED models are even sleeker -- it offers better features and image quality than budget models like the TCL 4-Series, and it comes in a vast array of sizes. But it has fewer apps and more, well, junk. Even an inexpensive soundbar will deliver much better audio quality than a TV's built-in speakers. One downside to the C1 is its WebOS smart TV platform. 2022 outlook: The successor to the X90J is the X90K. When specifically evaluating smart TV performance, we use all of the major features available on the platform and note how they stack up against the competition. The TCL 6-Series Dolby Vision HDR TV pairs this operating system with an outstanding TV for a winning combination. Sizes: 50-, 55-, 58- 65-, 70-, 75-inch. LG touts the fact that you can set up favorite sports teams, for example, but most people will just go straight to the app and skip the clutter. Read our Samsung Q60A series (2021) review. These days, just about every new TV has some kind of smart platform built in, but it might not be as robust or easy to use as others on the market. If you want an "S" brand, this is one of the best values we've tested. Roku, Amazon, and Google have all partnered with manufacturers to produce smart TVs including their streaming operating systems. Picture quality between the two was basically the same, so if you don't have a preference, it makes sense to get the cheapest one. The Vizio MQ7 is one of the least expensive TVs to feature full-array local dimming, which lets it reproduce TV shows, movies and games with enough contrast and pop to do HDR justice. The C2 is also available in a 42-inch size, while the smallest C1 is a 48-inch model. Our reviews also account for design, features, HDMI input and gaming compatibility and other factors. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. 2022 outlook:Viziohas yet to announce a successor for this TV. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. In terms of picture quality, the two were basically identical, despite the fact that LG touts the new "Evo" panel on the C2. 2022 outlook:TCL has yet to announce a successor for this TV. Many new Samsung and LG TVs come withbothGoogle Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in as well. Sarah Lord is an associate writer at CNET covering TVs and home entertainment.
We handpick the products and services we write about. Our primary TV test lab has specialized equipment for measuring light and color, including a Konica Minolta CS-2000 spectroradiometer, a Murideo Sig-G 4K HDR signal generator and an AVPro Connect 8x8 4K HDR distribution matrix. If you can't save up for the TCL 6-series, the Vizio MQ7 makes an excellent consolation prize. TheGoogle TVsmart TV system is our second-favorite after Roku, and good enough that you probably don't need to get an additional streaming device. The Q60A's interface isn't nearly as in-your-face about streaming as, say, the Vizio (and the Roku-enabled TCL, to a lesser extent). Just like most TVs now (including Roku), Samsung has the Apple TV app and works with Apple's AirPlay system. 2022 CNET, a Red Ventures company. (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.). David has reviewed TVs, streaming services, streaming devices and home entertainment gear at CNET since 2002. We also reviewed the successor to the C1, theLG C2, and the two have essentially identical picture quality. Sizes: 43-, 50-, 55-, 58- 65-, 75-inch. Sizes: 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inch. (The price shown below is for the 65-inch size.). Many smart TVs come with some kind of voice assistant. Note that TCL also makes a Google TV and an Android TV version of the 4-Series. In every CNET TV review, three or more similar TVs are compared side by side in various lighting conditions playing different media, including movies, TV shows and games, across a variety of test categories, from color to video processing to gaming to HDR. We've yet to review one, but will update this list when we do. (The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.). Signing in to an LG account unlocks a new 2022 feature, customized recommendations and additional user accounts. In general it feels like a hodgepodge with too much going on -- most systems are simpler and easier to grasp. 2022 outlook: Viziohas yet to announce a successor for this TV. Sizes: 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inch. Samsung TV's system is our third choice, with Amazon Fire TV and LG left as some of our least favorite options. It's also a solid choice for gamers, with a THX mode that combines low input lag and high contrast. It has an excellent image thanks tomini-LED techand well-implementedfull-array local dimmingthat helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. It was revamped in 2021 and it now features a full-screen homepage, similar to what you get with aRoku,Fire TVorGoogle TV. Most TVs sound terrible because their thin cabinets don't have room for decent-size speakers or bass. We haven't reviewed them, but we expect similar picture quality to the Roku version. It's a 60Hz model, not 120Hz, but it still handles variable refresh rate games for extra smoothness. 2022 outlook: TCL has yet to announce a successor for this TV. TCL also sells an8K version of the 6-Series, but we don't think it's worth the extra money, as well as aGoogle-powered versionthat we have yet to review (although according to TCL its image quality is the same as this Roku version). We liked Roku's smart TV system better (sound familiar? This TV first came out in 2020 but is still a current model and remains our top choice. That's because you can always "replace" the TV's built-in system with a good streaming device, most of which cost less than $50. QLED vs. OLED: Which TV Tech Should You Buy?
All rights reserved. All Amazon Fire TVs come with Alexa built in, while Sony, TCL and Hisense TVs that run on Google's operating system offer Google Assistant. She graduated from Wellesley College. We usePortrait Displays CalMan Ultimate software to evaluate every TV we review. (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.). (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.). We still like Roku and Android/Google TV (found on Sony TVs) better overall, however, because they have even more apps. At CNET our favorite is Roku for its simplicity, while Google TV is our runner up for its impressive integration with other Google services such as Google Photos and YouTube TV. The newer version brings a couple of minor improvements, including lighter weight and a 42-inch size. Like the C1, the C2 is also bogged down by the WebOS smart TV system. Shop your favorite products and well find the best deal with a single click. Theanswer also depends on room size and seating distance. This might be an instance where fans of a particular smart TV platform might want to purchase a streaming device separately. HDR Formats like Dolby Vision, HDR10, Technicolor and HLG Explained. Read our TCL 6-Series (2020 Roku TV) review. The Fire TV platform is not one of our favorites because of the fact that ads are featured prominently throughout. The TVs above are all superior values, but if you want a Samsung TV and can't afford the QN90A, this is a great choice. There's also Samsung TV Plus, which is essentially like free basic cable but you can't fast-forward throughads. Since the 2021 C1 currently remains on sale for hundreds less than the 2022 C2, we recommend getting the C1 instead. It also features a content-agnostic platform that doesn't push any one media streaming service provider, like Amazon Prime Video or Apple, over another. The spectacular contrast of OLED still won out in our side-by-side tests, but the QN90A QLED screen comes closer than ever. This TV uses QLED TV tech augmented by mini-LED for a brighter image than any OLED TV. Read our TCL 4-series Roku TV (2021) review. The answer also depends on room size and seating distance: If you have a big room and sit farther away, you'll want a bigger TV. We haven't reviewed it yet but according to Samsung's web site its specifications are basically the same as the 2021 version, so we expect similar picture quality. Sizes: 43-, 50-, 55-, 60-, 65-, 70- 75-, 85-inch. In addition, we've found other TVs tend to have better picture quality than most Fire TVs. It features excellent voice support with Google Assistant, a powerful onscreen menu and more apps than any system except Roku.
Our TV reviews consider smart TV systems, sure, but we think that picture quality for the money is more important when purchasing a new TV. In our opinion bigger is better, and your money is best spent on large screen sizes rather than a slight upgrade in image quality. (The prices shown below are for the 43-inch size.). 2022 outlook: The 2022 version of the Samsung QN90A is called the QN90B. The Q60A is slightly cheaper than the Q60B, so it's our pick. We haven't reviewed the new model yet but its image quality specifications are largely similar to the 2021 version, so we don't expect many picture quality differences. Sizes: 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch. That's why we don't consider a particular smart TV OS one of the top factors to consider when buying a new TV:Picture quality, size, price and connection features are all more important. The Toshiba M-Series Fire TVs seem like they could buck this trend. With excellent picture quality, anchored by full-array local dimming and plenty of brightness to make HDR content shine, the X90J is Sony's answer to the TCL 6-Series and step-up Vizio models. Built-in smart platforms from popular players such as Roku, Google and Amazon Fire TV can offer value, but choosing a new TV is a little more complicated than just finding the best streaming option. This TV's sleek looks and built-inNextGen TV tunerscore points, as does itsnext-gen console support-- including variable refresh rate (VRR), enabled by a software update in March 2022. 2022 outlook: The successor to the Samsung Q60A is the Q60B. We'll post the answers to commonly asked TV questions below. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. On most of these TVs you'll need to speak into the remote to use voice commands, but some also respond to hands-free "Alexa" or "Hey Google" wake words, just like a smart speaker. Read our Samsung QN90A series (2021) review. Here are our latest recommendations, and for TVs from last year (many of which are our top picks) we've included a "2022 outlook" section with information on the new model. The main homepage is packed with TV show, movie and channel suggestions you probably don't care about, and the stuff you'll probably use most (the streaming apps themselves) is limited to a single row. With picture quality as good as any TV we've ever tested and a price that's not too crazy, the LG C1 OLED TV is still our go-to pick for people who prioritize picture and are willing to pay for it.
Designed to make shopping easier. (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.). Roku is one of our favorite streaming platforms because it has the most streaming app options, the simplest streaming platform interface and the best search. Roku is our favorite platform for live TV streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, and it's even better baked into the TV. This TCL 4-Series can't beat any of the models above on image quality -- its 4K resolution and HDR performance don't do much to help the picture -- but it's perfectly fine for most people, especially at this price. Sizes:48-, 55-, 65-, 77-, 83-inch. Read our Vizio M-7 Series Quantum (2021) review. (The price shown below is for the 65-inch size.). We side-by-side compared the C2 directly to last year's C1. On a TV this expensive you should just attach agood streaming deviceinstead. The C1 comes in a wide variety of sizes as well, although the bigger models are really expensive. (The prices shown below are for the 65-inch size.). The Samsung QN90A is your best bet. The company has made more changes to its SmartCast system but it falls short of Roku, Android TV, LG or even Samsung's proprietary systems. Sizes: 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inch. Our TV reviews follow a rigorous, unbiased evaluation process honed over nearly two decades of TV reviews. Unlike the 2021 version, the new model ships with VRR enabled out of the box. In any case we don't consider the built-in smart TV system that important because you can always connect a streaming device to any TV. We just don't appreciate the TV becoming a giant rotating billboard for content or ads when in screensaver mode. Vizio's V-series is our favorite budget alternative to the TCL 4-Series Roku TV. The C2 is the first 2022 TV we've reviewed and it's superb, but right now the 2021 model is a better deal. Our metrics include: overall platform ease-of-use, effective layouts and design, search capabilities, privacy settings, the number of apps and their performance, and the overall speed and reliability of the system. The apps are grouped in a small row at the bottom of the screen, like the smart TVs of yore. She began her career by writing laptop reviews as an intern and subsequent freelancer at Tom's Hardware. The Roku Streambar is a good example of a device that integrates a streaming system with a soundbar into one product. Best alternative smart TV for tighter budgets, Best midpriced smart TV alternative to TCL, Vizio, Read our TCL 6-Series (2020 Roku TV) review, improved processing and a few extra features, Read our Samsung QN90A series (2021) review, Read our TCL 4-series Roku TV (2021) review, Read our Vizio M-7 Series Quantum (2021) review, Read our Samsung Q60A series (2021) review, better picture quality than most Fire TVs, answer also depends on room size and seating distance, Best TV Antennas for Cord Cutters, Starting at Just $10, Dolby Atmos: Why It's Cool, How It Works and How to Get It. If you want to get good sound you should buy an external audio system. As far as apps go, you get all the standard options likeNetflix, Vudu,HBO Maxand so on. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics.". Roku TVs and Vizio TVs, meanwhile, respond to voice commands but don't work with Alexa or Google Assistant. Looking for a high-end TV with spectacular image quality, but don't want an OLED? Samsung is the TV brand that sells more TVs than anyone and one of the most popular is the Q60A series.
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