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The Best 4K TVs to Buy in 2018 — See The World in Ultra High Definition

By Vaidyanathan Subramaniam / October 31, 2018

Till recently, viewing Full HD 1080p content was considered a luxury and many broadcasters did not have the capability to broadcast beyond 720p or 1080i. Now, with the availability of better codecs and the proliferation of internet services, being able to watch content in 4K Ultra High Definition is no longer a niche experience. 4K TVs are not just about sporting four times the resolution of Full HD, but also about enabling newer standards such as HDR.

In general, it is best to opt for bigger panels when selecting 4K TVs as it allows for a better representation of the image. Therefore, 4K content on a 55-inch panel will look better than the same content on a 32-inch one. Most 4K TVs come with HDR support. Bear in mind though, that not all content providers feature HDR content. There are also variations in the kind of the HDR standards that different 4K TVs support. That said, as long as the TV supports either HDR10, Dolby Vision, or Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), you should be good to go.

Many 4K TVs are also smart TVs in their own right. They come with a full-fledged OS that allows you to install apps and even connect other smart devices. The panel type also indicates the visual quality and therefore, the cost. Most 4K TVs are LED backlit while the more expensive ones feature OLED panels. Manufacturers often add their own know-how to these panel types for differentiation. Finally, most 4K TVs offer a good port selection with the most ubiquitous one being HDMI. Some of the newer ones also support HDMI ARC.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the best 4K TVs on the market taking into account the above information. So, without any further ado, here are the 8 best 4K TVs available in the market right now.

1. Samsung Q9F

The Samsung Q9F sports a QLED panel lit by quantum dots. A QLED panel is similar to an LED panel with the only difference being that LED light is passed through quantum dots to filter out excess blue wavelength. This offers enhanced color, contrast, and HDR functionality similar to what is gained by OLEDs. The Q9F is powered by the Q Engine processor for a lag-free experience and sports a bezel-less screen. Minimalism is the order of the day so Samsung chose to do away with the wiring and instead offers a single fiber optic wire that originates from the One Connect Box. The Q9F also offers an Ambient Mode that enables the TV to recognize the decor surrounding it and blends to almost match it to look like a photo frame along with some light music in the background.

The Samsung Q9F is also a smart TV and works on Samsung's proprietary platform that is compatible with Samsung's SmartThings platform that enabling controlling all connected smart devices on the network using just the remote. The OneRemote is Bluetooth enabled and can be controlled using the Bixby voice assistant. The Q9F supports variable refresh rate (VRR) and AMD Freesync making it a great option for console gaming, especially when paired with the Xbox One X.

2. Toshiba 50LF621U19

The Toshiba 50LF is one of the best 4K TVs for Amazon Prime Video as it comes with Amazon Fire TV built right in alleviating the need to purchase a Fire Stick. You get access to all of Amazon's premium content as well as preloaded apps for Netflix, HBO, and PlayStation Vue. With a dedicated quad-core CPU and GPU, the Toshiba 50LF ensures smooth UI navigation and lag-free video playback. Fire TV integrates online content with your existing satellite provider and allows you to use Alexa for tuning into various channels.

The Toshiba 50LF offers picture quality comparable with more expensive options in this list and should definitely be on your radar if your primary content source is Amazon Prime Video. That said, the UI does throw up ads and shopping recommendations often with no option to disable them. The user guide is also pretty barebones so if you are new to internet TVs, setting up the whole thing might take some time.

3. Philips 43PFL5603/F7

The Philips 5603 is one of the best budget 4K TVs available and if offers a lot for the price. You get support for HDR10 for playing back supported content with good dynamic range and vivid colors. The TV can automatically dim the backlight for ensuring deep blacks and also offers a 120 Hz Perfect Motion Rate feature for refresh rate interpolation. Philips uses its own NetTV platform for access to online streaming providers such as Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube, and more.

The picture quality is on par with most 4K TVs out there and with the support for screencasting your smartphone, this TV is one of the best in this price range. There are some issues with the onboard sound so you'd do better with a soundbar. The included browser is kind of laggy and you cannot use apps other than those provided by Philips.

4. Samsung 55NU8500 Curved 8 Series

The Samsung NU8500 is a 55-inch curved 4K TV that aims to offer an immersive entertainment experience. With support for HDR10+, the NU8500 can offer great dynamic range, better colors, and wider brightness and contrast. The NU8500 also offers a gaming mode for minimal input lag and low latency when hooked up to a console such as the Xbox One X or the PlayStation 4 Pro. Bixby-powered voice commands make TV controlling a breeze and compatibility with Samsung SmartThings app means controlling all smart devices in your home with just the Bixby remote.

The Samsung NU8500 is one of the best performing 4K TVs in the sub-$1,000 segment. The only gripe is that it doesn't have an OLED screen but the onboard enhancements more than makeup for it and give you your money's worth.

5. Sony KD43X720E

If you are on the lookout for a budget 4K TV sans the smart TV bloat, the Sony KD43X720E should fit the bill. You get almost all the features found in more expensive Sony 4K TVs such as the X-Reality Pro engine, Motionflow XR, HDR10 support, and more. The KD series does not offer a smart TV platform such as Android TV but most streaming apps such as Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc are built right in. Setup via Wi-Fi is pretty easy although, the remote might take some time getting used to.

To get the best out of this TV, make sure to search the web for some recommended calibration settings as the stock ones might not suit everybody's taste. The audio might sound dull initially but tweaking around the equalizer should improve the sound quality a lot. This TV is also ideal for those looking a large PC monitor as the 43-inch size is very convenient.

6. LG Signature OLED65G7P

The LG Signature G7P is one of the best 4K TVs money can buy. It is expensive but the picture quality and viewing experience are worth every penny. Unlike many other 4K TVs in this list, the G7P sports an OLED panel, which means inky blacks and bright whites. This TV supports all major HDR standards so no matter the content, you will always have an immersive viewing experience. Powered by webOS 3.5, the LG G7P can pull content from major online streaming services and on top of that, you also get an app store for anything extra. The G7P has a very slim profile — so slim that the picture appears to float on the glass.

The LG G7P also comes with a built-in soundbar so you need not invest in a dedicated audio setup. The TV also supports Dolby Atmos audio for creating an enveloping sound effect. There is little that can go wrong when it comes to picture quality on this TV. If you want the absolute best 4K HDR viewing experience and price is no bar, look no further.

7. TCL S405

Roku enthusiasts on a budget can consider the TCL S405. The S405 offers great picture and sound for the price and TCL has cut very few corners. There is no voice-controlled remote unlike some of the more expensive TCL variants but you can use the Roku TV app on your smartphone that enables all functions of the physical remote and adds voice recognition functionality.

Port selection is plenty and should be more than enough for the intended audience. However, there are definitely a few areas that need improvement, though. The QC process needs to be improved and the viewing angles could have been better. Some users might feel that navigating the menus can be a bit tedious at times and the brightness levels can also benefit from an increase.

8. Samsung QN55Q7C Curved

The Samsung Q7C offers an immersive experience with vibrant colors and high dynamic range thanks to its curved display. The Q7C is built to impress and sits flush with the wall as a picture frame. The OneConnect box offers a single invisible connection to the TV and helps a lot with cable management. The included OneRemote can be voice activated by Bixby and the TV software is compatible with Samsung's SmartThings platform for controlling other smart devices from the same remote.

Needless to the say, the picture quality of the Samsung Q7C is stunning. While it is not really an OLED panel, the included enhancements make sure that you do not miss out on the experience.

Final Thoughts

Dear readers, those were our recommendations for the best 4K TVs to buy in 2018. As you can see, the choices are large so zeroing in on a model can be excruciating. Thankfully, at TechNadu, we have done the heavy lifting to present the best 4K TVs that deserve your attention. Do remember that the panel quality is the most important factor in any viewing experience and all other features are just add-ons. Good quality panel suppliers are limited so don't be surprised to find the picture quality more or less consistent across brands.

We hope that this article helped clear any confusions you may have regarding your 4K TV purchase. As always, we are here to help if you need any further information. Post your questions and comments below and we'll get back to you at the earliest.

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