4K TVs are the future, and the future is now. We’ve talked about what 4K or Ultra High Definition televisions are, and how they compare to Full HD sets. Even if you’re still on fence about the benefits of a 4K TV, the fact of the matter is that Full HD TVs are quickly going the way of the Dodo, and television manufacturers are pushing their 4K models to replace them. In this guide, we’ll help you identify the best 4K TV for your needs.
With 4K Ultra High Definition TVs becoming the standard, many people are looking to upgrade their current TV in order to take advantage of the newer, higher resolution technology 4K TVs have to offer. But with so many manufacturers and so many models flooding shop floors, how do you choose the best 4K TV? Clever marketing and pushy salespeople can only increase the confusion in what seems like an oversaturated market, how does the average consumer know if they’re getting the best bang for their buck?
Here at HowtoWatch, we’re always on the lookout for the best value for money, so we’ve had a good hard look at the top 4K TVs on the market and have rounded up the cream of the crop. Read on to see our picks for some of the best 4K TVs of 2016.
Note: Most of the models mentioned below come in various sizes. Since statistics show that a bigger screen size is preferable, we have focused on models in the 50-60″ range.
Also, with so many different models available, this is far from a comprehensive list. But for now, this is our list of the best 4K TVs out there:
Best Budget 4K TV: Hisense 50H8C 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Hisense isn’t necessarily the most recognizable name when it comes to TVs, but they offer one of the best 4K TVs you can buy without making a massive dent in your wallet. The Hisense 508C is a great choice for budget-minded shoppers.
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) image processing for a wider range of color and a brighter picture
- Full array backlighting with multi-zone local dimming ensures better color reproduction
- Smart functionality with popular apps like Netflix preinstalled
- 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 Component, 1 Composite, 1 RF
Best No-Frills 4K TV: Vizio D50u-D1 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Vizio often boasts some of the best value for dollar televisions on the market, and the D50u-D1 is no different. Vizio makes good with a quality display, however it’s uninspired design isn’t going to win any awards. It’s somewhat clunky interface isn’t the best out there, but for those in search of a basic television that can deliver the 4K Ultra High Definition goods, the Vizio D50u-D1 is a solid choice.
- Good contrast ratios
- 12 separate LED zones adapt to content on the screen
- Basic design = cheaper
- 5 HDMI (only 1 is suitable for 4K content), 1 USB, 1 Composite
Best Smart 4K TV: TCL 55US5800 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV
TCL is another brand you may not be entirely familiar with, but it is one of the world’s best selling TV brands (mainly due to its popularity in China). TCL’s offerings are generally less expensive than their competitors, but value isn’t the only thing that puts this 4K TV ahead of the curve. The biggest draw here is the integration of the Roku platform, our favorite media-streaming device of 2016. The TCL 55US5800 is an excellent smart 4K tv (make sure to check out our full guide to the best smart TVs).
- Integrated Roku TV streaming platform
- Roku remote only has 20 buttons, making navigation simple
- Compatible with Roku mobile app
- 4 HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 (ensuring compatibility with 4K Blu-ray players), 1 USB, 1 RF, 1 Composite
Best Contrast 4K TV: LG OLED55B6P Flat 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
LG’s OLED technology has no rival when it comes to contrast ratios. OLED features individual pixels that can brighten, dim and power off individually, resulting in one of the best looking displays out there, period. This all comes at a price however, as LG’s OLED 4K Ultra HD TVs are not cheap. The LG OLED55B6P is perhaps the best 4K TV out there, but it comes at a high price.
- OLED High Dynamic Range (HDR) delivers truest blacks witnessed on any panel.
- LG’s OLED TVs have earned the prestigious Ultra HD Premium certification.
- WebOS smart platform is easy to use and intuitive
- 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 RF, 1 Component, 1 Composite
Overall Best 4K TV: Samsung UN55KS9000 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Samsung has emerged as the definitive leader in televisions for good reason. Samsung doesn’t skimp on anything, and their newest series 9 4K Ultra HD TVs are no exception. Premium through and through, the UN55KS9000 is an impressive piece of hardware, provided you can afford it. In our opinion, this is the top 4K TV on the market.
- Quantum dot nano-crystal display produces a High Dynamic Range picture, regardless of ambient light interference
- Tizen smart platform has been given a welcome overhaul
- Intelligent picture engine can analyze lower quality video and “remaster” it for better contrast
- 4 HDMI, 3 USB
And there you have it, HowtoWatch’s picks for the best 4K TVs of 2016. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!