What’s the Best Smart TV? 4 Options Ranked

Evan Shephard Avatar

Reviewed By

Evan Shephard

(ISF Certified)

True Score Methodology

v1.5

736,181

Reviews Analyzed

Updated Mar 12, 2024 6:00 PM

TABLE OF CONTENTS

best smart tv guide that shows the top best tv model

A whopping 75% of electronic and appliance reviews are untrustworthy. That’s why every reviewer gets a Trust Rating so our True Score System filters out the fake reviews. See how we do it.

When it comes to finding the best smart TVs, it’s crucial to navigate around the common pitfall of a sluggish operating system that can tarnish your viewing pleasure. A smart TV should offer a seamless interface, allowing you to switch between apps and streaming services without the dreaded lag or buffering. The ideal smart TV combines a robust OS with intuitive navigation and quick response times, ensuring your binge-watching sessions are smooth and uninterrupted.

Beyond just smart features, the best TVs bring together high-quality picture, with crisp resolution and vibrant colors, to complement their smart capabilities. While the market has a wide range of smart TVs, focusing on those with reliable, user-friendly platforms will elevate your entertainment experience, making every movie night or gaming session a delight.

When you shop through our links, you’re backing our mission.

  • 🎨 Grab the Samsung S90C for unmatched color accuracy; best for true-to-life visuals.

    $1,399.99
  • 🎬 Opt for LG B3 over Hisense U8K for a value cinematic experience; perfect for dark rooms.

    $1,034.97
  • ☀️ Choose Hisense U8K over LG B3 for brighter rooms; best for sunny spaces.

    $599.99
  • 💸 Definitely opt for Roku Plus Series for great quality at a low price; best for budget streaming setups.

    $448.00

How Did We Rank the Best Smart TVs?

To assess how high or low quality a smart TV actually is, one must evaluate specific testing criteria against reference industry standards. Using our thorough TV Testing Methodology, we determined there are 1 minimum specs and 6 criteria below (3 required, 3 nice to have) that ensure your Smart TV looks as good as the creator intended it.

?️ Minimum Specifications

  • Smart Platform = Any Smart OS

? Test Criteria

  • SDR Brightness: Must be ≥ 300 nits for a bright, clear picture in any light.
  • HDR Brightness: Must be ≥ 1000 nits, bringing out the detail in high dynamic range content.
  • Color Accuracy: Must cover ≥ 90% of the DCI P3 xy color space, ensuring vibrant colors.

? “Nice To Haves”

  • Contrast Ratio: ≥ 10,000:1, for deep blacks and bright whites.
  • EOTF Accuracy: Delta ≤ 0.018, ensuring precise brightness and contrast.
  • Fast Response Time: ≤ 10ms, keeping the action smooth without blur.

We’ve redefined TV buying guides, setting us apart from any other site on the planet. Our unique approach combines in-house verification with a comprehensive dataset from over 200+ trusted sites, focusing on key testing metrics to rank the top rated smart TVs. Testing data and specs include brightness ≥ 300 nits for SDR, ≥ 1000 nits for HDR, color accuracy, and a set that is a Smart TV with Any Smart OS. In this case it’s for Smart TVs, catering to your need for advanced features and seamless connectivity. Discover our data-driven methodology for precise, reliable TV recommendations. Our commitment to unbiased reviews is powered by our ‘True Score’ system, targeting low quality and fake reviews. Commissions fund this mission. No bias. No BS.

Latest Updates

  • 03/05/2024: Completely and thoroughly overhauled the guide to include the best and latest Smart TVs.
  • 11/30/2023: Republished the list to include TVs based on our True Score system.

Top Smart TVs For 2024

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

See how we test the testers

To make it onto our list, a Smart TV must have an easy-to-use OS with impressive brightness and color accuracy. Anything falling short won’t make the cut!

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Samsung S90C TV

    • Best For Gaming

    The Samsung S90C delivers unparalleled color accuracy, superior brightness, and seamless Tizen OS integration, making it the ultimate choice for discerning viewers.

    Samsung S90C TV Review →

    True Score

    90
    93
    8

    Experts

    91
    4k

    Customers

    SAVE $200
    $1,599.99
    $1,399.99
  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    LG B3 OLED TV

    Offering OLED quality at an accessible price, the LG B3 provides excellent color fidelity, a simple user experience via WebOS, and versatile performance, ideal for both cinephiles and gamers alike.

    LG B3 OLED TV Review →

    True Score

    89
    88
    4

    Experts

    94
    2k

    Customers

    SAVE $262
    $1,296.99
    $1,034.97

    DID YOU KNOW 87% OF TV REVIEWERS ARE UNTRUSTWORTHY?

    Our research found 28 of 210 TV reviewers can be trusted, and shockingly 1 out of 3 on Google Page 1 were fake reviews showing no proof of test claims. See our Expose and Trust List. This is why Gadget Review is committed to calculating the most accurate product scores on the web.

    To do this, we give every TV review site a Trust Rating, which measures how trustworthy the site and their testing claims are. We then leverage AI & a machine learning model to combine and calculate the Trust Rating with data from experts and consumers to deliver the True Score, the web’s most accurate product quality rating.

    736,181

    TV Reviews Analyzed

    156

    Total Products Analyzed

    Read the TV Testing Methodology

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Hisense U8K TV

    • Best For Bright Room

    With unmatched brightness and color accuracy, the Hisense U8K shines in well-lit spaces, providing a premium viewing experience without the premium price, especially for HDR enthusiasts.

    Hisense U8K TV Review →

    True Score

    81
    81
    6

    Experts

    86
    3k

    Customers

    SAVE $98
    $698.00
    $599.99

    DON’T SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

    If you are looking for a specific-sized television, we have guides on the best 65-inch TV or the best 80-inch TV to help make sure you get a great TV without compromising on the aspects that can significantly impact your viewing quality. Alternatively, we also have guides on choosing the best option for a particular use, such as the best gaming TVs, best OLED TVs or the best TV for sports.

    Also, don’t miss our comprehensive guide on the top TV brands. For those aiming to stay ahead of technology trends, check out our guide on leading 8k TVs and explore the differences between 4K and 8K resolutions. If versatility is important, our roundup of the best TV monitors offers options that seamlessly blend professional and leisure use. Plus, if you’ve invested in a soundbar, check out our guide for connecting a soundbar to your TV for an enhanced audio experience.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV

    Combining Roku’s intuitive streaming platform with respectable performance at an unbeatable price, the Roku Plus Series is the smart choice for budget-conscious streamers seeking quality.

    Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV Review →

    True Score

    81
    79
    8

    Experts

    87
    1k

    Customers

    SAVE $52
    $499.99
    $448.00

    Category Snapshot

    TVs

    • Total Brands/Products Tested

      17 Brands, 156 Products

    • Top 2 Brands

      LG, Hisense

    • Price Range (Budget-Premium)

      $400-$2000

    • Average True Score

      76.65

    • Important Test Criteria

      Brightness (cd/m2)
      Contrast Ratio (1000:1)

    • Most Trusted Testers

    • Recommended Retailer

    • Typical Warranty

      1 year

    • Covered by Insurance

      Yes – AKKO

    • Test Methodology

      TV Testing Methodology

Our Approach to Testing Smart TVs

Evan Shepard/Gadget Review

We’ve redefined TV buying guides, setting us apart from any other site on the planet. Our unique approach combines in-house verification with a comprehensive dataset from trusted sites, focusing on key testing metrics like brightness (SDR and HDR), EOTF, response time, contrast ratio and color gamut.

When it comes to selecting the best smart TVs, it’s essential to avoid the frustration of sluggish operating systems that can detract from your viewing experience. A top-notch smart TV seamlessly integrates a responsive interface, enabling effortless navigation between apps and streaming services without delays or interruptions. Combining a robust OS with intuitive controls and swift response times ensures that your entertainment sessions remain smooth and enjoyable.

You may notice some of our graphs contain “Source: RTings”. This is to indicate that the data we’re showing off in a graph has come from a single source – because it’s the only source that actually tested the criteria and had data for it! Normally, our data is an average out of all of the various publications that test and provide data to give you a good idea of how a product is going to perform on average.

Which Criteria Matters for Testing Smart TVs?

By focusing on these criteria (3 required, 3 nice to have), anyone can quickly and easily compare these TVs and how they’ll perform. This helps you make an informed decision and purchase a TV that will fit into your small or tight space.

CRITERIARANGEREQUIREDDEFINITION
SDR Brightness300+ nitsYesAssess the luminance of your display when operating in Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) mode.
HDR Brightness1000+ nitsYesDetermine the luminance of your display in High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode.
Color Gamut (DCI P3 xy)>= 90%YesEvaluate the extent to which a TV can reproduce a specified spectrum of colors.
EOTF0.018No (nice to have)Standard that governs how a display interprets and renders brightness and color.
Response Time<=10msNo (nice to have)Time required for a pixel to transition from one color to another and then return to its original color.
Contrast Ratio>= 10,000No (nice to have)The ratio between the brightest white and darkest black that the screen can display.

Our Trusted Data Sources

(Publication category Score is 80%+)

We looked at 210+ TV reviewers and while 24 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating), we only use data from the testers that are “very trusted” which means a Trust Rating above 70%. The three we have listed below are our most trusted for TVs, along with our own in-house TV expert.

  1. Evan Shepard – Gadget Review
  2. Matthew Lopes – RTings, MuckRack
  3. Will Greenwald – PCMag, MuckRack, Twitter
  4. David Katzmaier – CNET, MuckRack, Twitter

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every TV review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Ratings from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Smart TVs Test Data & Results

1. SDR & HDR Brightness TV Test Results

In well-lit rooms, the brightness level of your smart TV, quantified in nits, is key to a great viewing experience. A TV that doesn’t meet the brightness requirement will struggle against natural and artificial light, resulting in a dim, lackluster image. Essentially, nits measure how well your TV can stand up to light interference, with higher values ensuring a sharper, more vivid display.

For standard viewing on the best smart TV, you should look for at least 300 nits to strike the right balance between clarity and color quality in standard dynamic range (SDR) content. For high dynamic range (HDR) content, which offers richer colors and greater contrast, a minimum of 1000 nits is ideal to truly appreciate the enhanced visuals. These brightness levels are recommended to ensure your TV performs well in bright settings, allowing you to enjoy your shows and movies without any loss in detail or quality. Aim for these minimums: SDR Brightness >= 300 nits; HDR Brightness >= 1000 nits for the optimal experience.

Discover the top smart TVs, ranked from brightest to least.

SDR Brightness (in nits, higher is better)

HDR Brightness (in nits, higher is better)

2. Color Gamut (DCI P3 xy) TV Test Results

Color gamut defines the range of colors a smart TV can reproduce, directly affecting how vibrant and true-to-life the images look. A wide color gamut in a TV brings out richer, more vivid colors – from the lush greens of a garden to the bright colors of animated characters, enhancing your viewing experience to closely mimic real life.

This concept is technically measured against standards like the DCI P3 xy, a benchmark for high-quality visuals. A smart TV covering a higher percentage of this color space can display colors more accurately and vividly.

For those who prioritize vibrant and immersive visuals, aiming for a smart TV with a color gamut of 90% or higher on the DCI P3 xy scale is ideal. This ensures that the content you watch is as vibrant and lifelike as possible.

Below are the top smart TVs, ordered by color gamut, all exceeding our testing criteria.

DCI P3 XY Color Gamut (as a %; high is better)

3. EOTF Test Results

The Electro-Optical Transfer Function (EOTF) plays a critical role in ensuring the content on your TV looks exactly as the creator intended. This technical feature adjusts your screen’s brightness levels, ensuring every scene, from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights, is displayed with true-to-life accuracy.

In rooms flooded with light, a TV that nails EOTF calibration shines by preserving the intended contrast and detail in the picture despite the challenging conditions. It balances the brightness so that images remain vibrant and full of detail, unaffected by the glare of ambient light.

A TV that excels in managing EOTF offers an immersive and authentic viewing experience. It brings creators’ visions to life, accurately rendering every scene with the proper light and dark levels, no matter the lighting in your room. This means you get a consistent, realistic picture that captures the full spectrum of colors and contrasts, from the subtlest hues to the most intense explosions.

Below are all the smart TVs on our list, ordered by EOTF, all exceeding our minimum requirement.

EOTF (source: rtings.com – 0 = no data exists; lower is better)

4. Response Time TV Test Results

A slow response time on a smart TV during fast-paced scenes is like trying to watch a thrilling movie with a foggy lens. Imagine settling in for an action-packed sequence, only to have the swift movements turn into a blur, robbing you of the crisp, clear detail you crave. This isn’t just a minor annoyance; it’s a major detriment to your viewing experience, leaving you with a picture marred by motion blur and visual artifacts.

So, what exactly is response time? It measures how quickly a pixel on your TV can change from one color to another. In the context of watching fast-moving content or enjoying dynamic scenes on a smart TV, a low response time is crucial. A response time of 15 ms or lower is good, but if you plan on gaming on this set, aim for a response time of 10 ms or lower. At these levels, your smart TV ensures smooth transitions and sharp visuals, making every scene come to life without any distracting blurs or delays.

Below are the top smart TVs, ordered by response time.

Response Time (in milliseconds; lower is better)

5. Contrast Ratio Test Results

For TV enthusiasts, a solid contrast ratio is crucial for enjoying your favorite TV shows or movies, especially in darker settings. This feature directly impacts how lifelike and dynamic the picture appears on your screen, ensuring that dark scenes are displayed with clear, crisp blacks instead of murky grays and bright scenes retain their detail without appearing washed out.

Put simply, the contrast ratio is all about the range of luminance a TV can produce, from the deepest blacks to the brightest whites. It’s what brings depth to the image, enhancing the realism of every scene. Watching a movie in the dark, for example, the difference between a TV with a poor contrast ratio and one with a high ratio is stark: the former struggles, blending shadows into a flat gray, while the latter delivers true black, making night scenes more immersive and detailed.

Ideally, a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 is what you should aim for in a smart TV. This level of luminance variance ensures that you’re getting a picture quality that can handle the nuances of lighting in any scene, providing a viewing experience that’s both rich and engaging. Note: OLED TVs have infinite contrast ratio, indicated by “0.”

Below are the top smart TVs, ordered by contrast ratio, all exceeding our testing criteria.

Contrast Ratio (higher is better)

Best Smart TVs: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Overlooking Essential Features: Ignoring critical features such as screen resolution, refresh rate, and HDR compatibility can lead to dissatisfaction with the viewing experience. For instance, the best TV for seniors will emphasize ease of use, clear audio, and a user-friendly interface, which are crucial to enhancing their viewing pleasure and accommodating specific needs.

  2. Disregarding Long-Term Support: Failing to consider the manufacturer’s commitment to providing software updates and support for the smart TV’s operating system can result in outdated software and limited functionality over time.

  3. Ignoring Connectivity Options: Neglecting to assess connectivity options such as HDMI ports and Wi-Fi capabilities can hinder the smart TV’s ability to connect with other devices and access online content effectively. Moreover, using one of the best TV antennas that are compatible with your smart TV can enhance your access to local channels and content without relying solely on internet connectivity.

  4. Succumbing to Marketing Hype: Being swayed solely by flashy advertising or brand reputation without evaluating actual performance and user reviews can lead to purchasing a smart TV that doesn’t meet your expectations. To make an informed decision, you should understand what a smart TV is and its functionalities beyond the marketing claims.

The Best Smart TVs Tests Compared

Product
True Score
SDR Brightness
HDR Barightness
Color Gamut
EOTF
Response Time
Contrast Ratio

Samsung S90C TV

  • Best for Gaming

90
  • 373 nits

  • 1,058 nits

  • 99.98%

  • 0.0031

  • 1.4 ms

  • 0

$1,399.99
$1,600
$200

LG B3 OLED TV

  • Best for 55-inch

89
  • 390 nits

  • 617 nits

  • 98.35%

  • 0.0067

  • 3.1 ms

  • 0

$1,034.97
$1,297
$262

Hisense U8K TV

  • Best for Bright Room

81
  • 1,549 nits

  • 1,792 nits

  • 97.44%

  • 0.0105

  • 13.3 ms

  • 165,360:1

$599.99
$698
$98
81
  • 537 nits

  • 576 nits

  • 95.95%

  • 0.0064

  • 10.5 ms

  • 42,750:1

$448.00
$500
$52

Smart TV Questions (FAQ)

Learn More About TVs



TVs Reviews