Updated

The 6 Best LED LCD TVs
Reviews

Best LED TV

194 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

You won't get the same picture quality as OLEDs with traditional LED/LCD TVs (check out our article about OLED vs LED), but they can get pretty close nowadays. In exchange though, there are many more TVs to choose from and a much wider variety of sizes and budgets that are filled by LCD TVs. Their biggest advantage is their brightness, sometimes getting close to twice as bright as what OLEDs can. Unlike OLEDs, they are not really prone to burn-in, which is another good plus.

We've tested 48 LED TVs and below are our recommendations for the best ones to buy in the spring of 2018.

Best LED TV: Sony X930E

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.3
Mixed Usage
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What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
8.4
Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
8.3
TV Shows
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What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
8.0
Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
8.3
Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
8.4
HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.4
HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.1
PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Type : LED
Sub-Type
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What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 55" 65"

The best LED TV for most people is the Sony X930E 4k Android TV. It's one of the brightest TVs we have ever tested and combined with some of its other strengths, makes it one of the most versatile TVs on the market.

While it uses a less advanced edge-lit backlight, it is still able to deliver an excellent contrast ratio and the local dimming feature is effective at boosting black levels in dark scenes. It is well suited for a variety of room types, although it does have a limited viewing angle. Despite its limitations, it is able to deliver similar picture quality and performance to far more advanced models like the Sony Z9D or the Samsung Q8FN.

It is a very well-rounded TV, with a great smart platform and good motion handling. It also has low input lag for 4k gaming, although those with older consoles or games that haven't been updated may find the 1080p input lag a bit too high.

See our review

Larger Alternative: Sony Z9D

Type : LED
Sub-Type
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What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 65" 75" 100"

If you are looking for a larger TV than the sizes available for the X930E, the Sony Z9D is one of the best LED TVs on the market and is available in sizes up to 100". Despite being a 2016 model, it is Sony's current flagship and can compete quite well against the Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN.

See our review

Best Mid-Range LED TV: Sony X900E

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.2
Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
8.3
Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
8.2
TV Shows
Show Help
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
8.0
Sports
Show Help
What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
8.3
Video Games
Show Help
What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
8.2
HDR Movies
Show Help
What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.1
HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.2
PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Type : LED
Sub-Type
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What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 49" 55" 65" 75"

The Sony X900E 4k LED TV is the best mid-range LED TV. It performs similarly to the X930E, although it is less bright, especially with HDR content.

The X900E is no slouch, it is still bright enough for most uses and can work in a variety of rooms. It has the same limited viewing angle as the X930E, but on the upside, the screen has the same finish and it handles reflections just as well. It handles motion and gaming just as well, and although the input lag is slightly worse, it should be good for all but the most competitive gamers.

Overall, if you don't mind sacrificing a little bit of the HDR performance for some pretty significant savings, the Sony X900E is easily the way to go. It clearly outperforms competing models like the Samsung MU8000 and LG SJ8500.

See our review

Simpler Alternative: Sony X850E

Type : LED
Sub-Type
Show Help
What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA (except 75")
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 65" 75"

If you don't perfect dark room performance but want a versatile TV with great features, the Sony X850E is a great choice. It isn't as advanced as the X900E and it lacks a local dimming feature, but it is available in 65" and 75" sizes for about $500 less than the same-sized X900E. It still has the same smart platform as the X900E and is well suited for a variety of uses.

See our review

Best Budget LED TV: TCL R617

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.9
Mixed Usage
Show Help
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
8.0
Movies
Show Help
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.6
TV Shows
Show Help
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.5
Sports
Show Help
What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
8.6
Video Games
Show Help
What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
8.1
HDR Movies
Show Help
What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.4
HDR Gaming
Show Help
What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.1
PC Monitor
Show Help
What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Type : LED
Sub-Type
Show Help
What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 55" 65"

If you want a great 4k viewing experience on a smaller budget, get the TCL R617. It offers great performance for a reasonable budget, and it beats the other TVs in the same price bracket. Picture quality is great, with excellent native contrast and excellent peak brightness, it is a versatile TV great for a variety of rooms.

It also has excellent low input lag and great motion handling - perfect for gamers. Combined with the excellent smart features, you'd be hard pressed to find a better TV for less.

See our review

Cheaper Alternative: TCL S405

Type : LED
Sub-Type
Show Help
What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k
Sizes : 43" 49" 55" 65"

If you want a good 4k TV on a cheap budget, go with the TCL S405. It offers good smart features and decent picture quality. It is essentially a stripped down version of the TCL P607

While it lacks HDR-related features, like wide color gamut and local dimming, it has decent picture quality and a great contrast ratio, making it better-suited for dark room viewing. It otherwise comes with the same smart features and low input lag of the P607 and is a great budget TV for gaming.

See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung Q7F. Good TV, but performs worse than the Sony X930E. See our review
  • Samsung Q8FN. One of the best TVs on the market, but the X930E offers better value. See our review
  • Samsung Q9FN. Extremely bright TV with great picture quality, but highly overpriced. See our review
  • LG SJ8500. Decent TV with wide viewing angle, but not very competitive. See our review
  • Vizio P Series 2017. Very good TV for the money, but the Sony X900E is more versatile. See our review
  • Vizio M Series 2017. Similar performance to the P607, but its simpler smart platform might not suit everyone. See our review
  • TCL S517. Decent versatile 4k TV, but more expensive than the S405 for similar performance. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best LED TVs to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of LED LCD TVs. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them. 

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Questions & Answers

6 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
63
Is it possible to review the Insignia NS-55DR420NA16 please? Thanks!
We currently don't have anything planned for that one, but if we get enough requests, we might schedule a review.
26
Will you be reviewing the Panasonic CX850U?
We don't currently have any plans to do so, but maybe if we get enough requests for it and if Best Buy or Amazon start selling it.
26
I too am hoping you'll add the Insignia NS-55DR420NA16 from Best Buy. It has hundreds of user reviews on the Best Buy site and Consumer Reports has now reviewed it. However I find your reviews/tests to be the best and most thorough.
Unfortunately, we have no plan to review it at the moment.
7
Hi. Will you be reviewing the new Vizio D-series? Do you have any intel on that model? I was looking to buy the latest one, since they were improving over the last couple of series. Thanks.
We will be reviewing the UHD version of the D-series within the next couple of weeks.
2
Lost my owner's manual for my Samsung 5/5201 32 inch TV and I need to re-do it's setup. Any suggestions?
Since it is basically the same TV as the H5203 we reviewed, you can try our settings. You can also find the user manual here.
2
I hung my 55" Samsung TV on the wall in my bedroom. It was hung quite high with 15 degree angle. The viewing angle seems to have improved the picture quality. Is this possible?
From an objective standpoint, we doubt it, as vertical angles weaken contrast and desaturate colors. But it's entirely possible that your personal preferences are better met by putting the TV up high. If you like the look, don't overthink it. Just enjoy your TV.
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