There used to be a time when 4K TVs were beyond the average person’s budget, but that’s no longer the case as the best Ultra HD TVs are now more affordable than ever. As Ultra HD 4K TVs become the standard, prices have significantly gone down, letting more people enjoy them without breaking the bank. We tested out several 4K TVs and came up with a list of seven variants that we liked the most. In the end, our top choice was the Toshiba LF711U20 Fire TV Edition.
The Toshiba LF711U20 is integrated with Amazon’s Fire TV OS, with an easy-to-use interface that offers a wide selection of apps. It also supports both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision. While the TCL S425 also has a similar superb smart TV experience with the Roku at a comparable price, the Toshiba had more to offer overall.
Top 7 Ultra HD TVs Compared
#1 Toshiba LF711U20 4K UHD Smart TV Fire TV Edition – Top PickWHY WE LIKE IT: The Toshiba LF711U20 has Amazon’s Fire TV OS, an Alexa-enabled remote, and superb audio and video quality at an affordable price. It’s the best 4K TV for those who want to get the most out of their money and more.
The Toshiba LF711U20’s main feature is the integration of Amazon Fire TV. This OS has an easy-to-use interface that lets you easily access over half a million shows from your favorite streaming services. The Alexa-enabled remote also allows you to control the device with your voice.
The Toshiba 43LF711U20 supports Dolby Vision as well as HDR10. With those two formats, you get to see enhanced details and expanded contrast from a vast array of HDR content sources. Its 4K HDR screen is best viewed in movie mode, where you get to enjoy exceptionally vivid picture quality. It’s equipped with two 10-watt speakers boosted with DTS Studio Sound, which regulates the volume and bass levels as you switch channels or sources. The overall quality of its picture and sound as well as the integration of Fire TV and Alexa make the Toshiba 43LF711U20 a winner in our book.
#2 TCL 4-Series S425 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV – Honorable MentionWHY WE LIKE IT: The TCL S425 comes with Roku TV, one of the easiest smart TVs to set up in the market today. It works with both Alexa and Google Assistant, and is an excellent alternative to Amazon Fire TV and best for those who want a more vendor-neutral smart TV platform.
The TCL S425 with Roku TV provides one of the best smart TV experiences. Roku TV has a clean, quick-response interface that even non-techies would have no trouble using. Like Fire TV, it has access to a wide array of streaming services. Using the Roku app on your phone allows you to search by voice and listen with headphones. The built-in Roku is the best feature of TCL’s 4-series.
It only supports the basic HDR10 format and doesn’t come with a local dimming technology, so HDR images aren’t as pronounced. But its 4K Creative Pro upscaling engine allows you to enjoy HD pictures to near 4K quality. It also has one of the best input lags of all the 4K TVs we tried. At 13ms, it rivals other flagship TVs and is excellent for gaming.
#3 TCL 4-Series S405 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV – Best BudgetWHY WE LIKE IT: The TCL S405 is the older sibling of the S425. With a similar great Roku TV experience and low input lag (and low price) which works well even for competitive gamers, it’s another excellent alternative to the Fire TV, though not as good as the more recent S425.
TCL has said that they’re slowly phasing out the S405 but there are still available units on the market. The only significant difference between the S405 and S425 is that the latter has a slightly lower input lag and a slightly higher contrast ratio.
Having tested both though, the difference is hardly noticeable, but the TCL S425 has a slightly higher contrast ratio that provides a better movie-watching experience in a dark room.
#4 Samsung RU7100 4K UHD 7 Series Ultra HD Smart TV – Best for GamingWHY WE LIKE IT: The Samsung RU7100 has the best input lag score of all the 4K TVs we tried. Coming from one of the most recognizable brands in tech devices, this affordable Ultra HD TV is a great dedicated HD TV for gaming.
The RU7100 has a simple yet elegant build. Its best feature is its outstanding input lag. At less than 11ms, this will give you incredible gaming experience even for fast action games. Another great feature is its native contrast ratio of above 5000:1, which allows it to deliver deep black levels. That means picture quality is great even in dimly-lit rooms.
There’s much to be desired about its HDR peak brightness, though, as it doesn’t differ much from that of SDR. Because of that, HDR images aren’t as vivid in RU7100. Running on Samsung’s Tizen OS, it provides a great smart TV experience albeit with limited features (no built-in voice control, for instance).
#5 LG UM7300 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2019) – Best ValueWHY WE LIKE IT: The LG UM7300 has an IPS panel that provides a wide viewing angle. Add to that a robust smart TV experience with great gaming capabilities at an affordable price and you get great value for your money with this 4K TV.
The LG UM7300 is your ideal Ultra HD TV if you have a wide seating room. Because of its IPS screen, the picture colors and quality doesn’t suffer even from viewing at various angles. The one drawback of TVs with an IPS panel, though, is their poor black-level performance. Pictures look better in brighter rooms.
LG didn’t skimp on the smart TV experience. LG webOS 4.5 offers a slick navigation and wide selection of pre-installed apps. It also has a built-in voice control with Google Assistant integrated into LG’s ThinQ AI. Another great feature of LG UM7300 is its low input lag, great for either PC or gaming console. And we’d be remiss not to mention the awesome Magic Remote that allows you to move the on-screen cursor by waving your remote like a wand.
#6 Samsung RU7300 Curved 4K UHD 7 Series Ultra HD Smart TV – Best CurvedWHY WE LIKE IT: The only curved TV in Samsung’s 2019 line-up, the RU7300 delivers good picture with deep, uniform black and has a very low input lag. It’s the best among affordable 4K TVs for fans of the curved TV niche.
While the curved TV is a niche that can be polarizing, the RU7300 is an excellent choice. With an LED VA Panel, it offers a decent picture quality, with consistent black levels and good gradient performance. However, due to the nature of its design, the image quality suffers when viewed at an angle.
It’s almost identical to the RU7100 apart from the design. Like the RU7100, it also has an exceptional input lag at 11ms so this is another Ultra HD TV that gamers will enjoy. It’s also not capable of getting very bright and can’t display wide color gamut so HDR doesn’t make much of a difference.
#7 Samsung Q60R QLED 4K Q60 Series Ultra HD Smart TV – Best Budget QLED TVWHY WE LIKE IT: The Q60R boasts of Samsung’s flagship QLED TV screen. It’s ideal for those who want to enjoy Samsung’s best color technology and picture without having to spend a lot.
Samsung’s QLED display sets its Ultra HD TVs apart from the competition, and their Q60R series is their budget model with that technology. Expectedly, it’s not quite up to par with the QLED display quality of Samsung’s flagship TVs. Still, you can find some features found in Samsung’s other flagship TVs in the Q60R, such as the Intelligent Audio and FreeSync support.
The Q60R also uses the company’s Quantum Processor 4K that fills in details when upscaling from HD to 4K. This results in a sharp, clear, and color-accurate image. It also has a superb motion handling with fast response time, so fast-paced scenes looks really smooth. Like the other Samsung 4K TVs we tested, the HDR couldn’t get that bright due to its edge-lit panel. Still, the overall picture quality is as good as the other TVs we tested thanks to the quantum dot display.
How We Decided
Our goal was to come up with a list of Ultra HD TVs that are of good quality yet are very affordable. This meant excluding models above what we considered a higher price range.
HDR capability is one of the main features we looked for. For the size, we selected models that include 43-inch variants. The exception to that is the RU7300, which we included because of its niche curved design.
We weren’t particular about the display panel.
While Ultra HD TVs with OLED and QLED displays are the standard of excellence today, they’re beyond the price range we settled in, making the TVs we reviewed mostly have either a VA or IPS panel
The quality of the smart TV experience also factored in our selection. For that, we only included Ultra HD TVs that use the quality, easy-to-use smart TV interfaces that offered a wide variety of apps(Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Tizen, webOS).
Ultra HD TV Buyer Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
When buying an Ultra HD TV, these are the main specifications that you have to look for:
- HDR Compatibility – HDR means High Dynamic Range. This color-boosting technology enhances the contrast of a TV’s picture. This means even more color shades, more accurate brightness, and more vibrant and lifelike images. It’s available in most 4K TVs these days.
- Size – TV sizes are measured diagonally. You should know how much space you have at home or wherever you’ll place the TV before buying it. Ultra HD TVs usually start at 40 inches.
- Display – OLED vs. LED. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode. It has an overall better picture quality compared to LED displays and is more expensive. If you want to get the highest image quality, go for Ultra HD TVs with an OLED display.
- What does 4K Ultra HD mean?
In simple terms, 4K Ultra HD refers to screen resolutions that have four times as many pixels as a Full HD TV (1080p). More pixels generally means sharper images and more accurate colors.
- Are Ultra HD TVs expensive?
They used to be, but not anymore. Today, you can buy entry-level 40-inch Ultra HD TVs for less than $300.
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