The Best Smart TVs of 2021 For Any Budget

best smart TV

If you’re looking to get a new TV, you might want to consider upgrading to a smarter one. With a smart TV, you will instantly get access to thousands of paid and free movies, TV shows, and more. Some smart TVs even allow you to use voice commands to pause the movie you’re watching, find a new show, or even turn off your smart light bulbs. Here is our list of the best 4K smart TVs, including budget and high-end models for gaming, streaming movies, and more.

If you’re having trouble picking the right smart TV, make sure to check out our quiz below. By answering a few simple questions, you can find the perfect smart TV for you and your home theater. You can take the quiz by clicking the big green button below: 

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To help you compare prices, all the smart TVs in this list are 55-inch models. However, you can also find them in different sizes.

TCL 5 Series S535: Best Budget Smart TV

Best Budget Smart TV
(Image Source: Amazon)

The new TCL Class 5 Series is one of the best budget smart TVs because it comes with the easy-to-use Roku interface built-in. Plus, it works with Alexa and the Google Assistant, but you’ll have to manually connect it to your smart assistant before you can use voice commands to control your TV.

This budget smart TV offers excellent picture quality for its price. It supports Dolby Vision HDR (high dynamic range), which analyzes each frame to enhance the details in the shadows and highlights. Plus, it also has a full-array local dimming feature, which divides the screen into 48 different “zones.” Then it can dim the dark parts of the screen without affecting the bright areas. This makes the contrast look great for watching movies, especially in the dark.

If you want to know more about what HDR is and what it does, check out our previous guide here.

The biggest downsides of this smart TV are that it does not get very bright, and it doesn’t handle reflections very well. So, you might experience a fair amount of glare when if you put this TV in a very bright room. Also, it is not the best smart TV for handling motion, which means you might experience blur when you are gaming or watching sports or action movies. 

Vizio M7 Series Quantum: Best Budget Smart TV for Gaming

vizio m7
(Image Source: Walmart)

The Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 is one of the best budget gaming TVs you can get because it has a high-speed HDMI 2.1 port, which allows you to take full advantage of next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5.

This budget gaming TV also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR), which automatically adjusts the frame rate of your TV to match the game you’re playing, so you will a smoother gaming experience. And with its ProGaming Engine, the M7 can achieve up to 60 frames per second when gaming in 4K.

This smart TV works with Alexa, the Google Assistant, and Siri voice assistants. It is also great for watching movies and TV shows, with its wide color gamut and support for all major high-dynamic range (HDR) formats. However, it doesn’t get bright enough to fully take advantage of HDR content.

The biggest downside of the M7 is that it runs on Vizio’s SmartCast platform, which doesn’t have an app store like most other smart TV platforms. Instead, Vizio has a number of popular apps pre-installed on the M7.

Hisense H9G: Best Smart TV Under $1,000

Watching Movies
(Image Source: Amazon)

The Hisense H9G uses the Android TV interface and comes with the Google Assistant built-in. This lets you download tons of apps from the Google Play Store, which makes it one of the best budget smart TVs for Android users. It also works with Alexa devices, but you will have to manually connect it to your smart assistant.

This 4K TV features ULED (Ultra Light Emitting Diode) technology that adjusts the local dimming, brightness, color, and motion, depending on what you’re watching. Plus, with its 132 local dimming zones, this smart TV has one of the best contrast ratios, which will make your movies look amazing.

With a refresh rate of 120 MHz and its “Motion Rate 480” technology, the Hisense H9G provides smooth movement for gaming, sports, and fast-paced action scenes. Plus, it is bright enough that you can put it in any room and still see everything clearly.

One of the only downsides of this smart TV is that it doesn’t support eARC (enhanced audio return channel) passthrough. That means you won’t get the same audio quality when hooking this TV up to a soundbar as you would with the other models in this list.

If you are looking to boost your TV’s audio, check out our article on the difference between a soundbar and a surround-sound system.

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Sony X950H: Best Smart TV for Streaming

Best 65-Inch 4K TV for Streaming TV
(Image Source: Amazon)

The X950H was Sony’s flagship 4K TV of 2020. This smart TV comes with Android TV built-in. Plus, it works with Alexa, the Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. It also has Chromecast built-in, and it supports AirPlay, so you can stream content right from your Android or Apple devices.

This 4K TV supports Dolby Vision, and it has higher HDR peak brightness than most smart TVs on the market, making it ideal for watching TV in a bright room. It is also great at handling reflections, so you won’t experience as much glare.

The Sony X950H has excellent color accuracy out of the box, so you won’t have to spend time changing any settings to calibrate them. All the features that Sony has added to their new TVs makes them one of the few manufacturers to carry IMAX Enhanced Certification. This ensures that you will have an immersive cinema experience at home.

However, this full-array LED does not have as many dimming zones as some of the TVs on this list. It also has a lower contrast ratio, which means it might not be the best smart TV for watching movies in dark rooms.

Samsung QN90A: Best LED TV for Gaming

qn90a  -best smart tv for gaming
(Image Source: Amazon)

If you want to level up your gaming experience, the Samsung QLED QN90A is only of the only smart TVs with a high-speed HDMI 2.1 connection that supports 4K gaming at 120 Hz for the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5.

The Qn90A has an incredibly low input lag of around 5 milliseconds at peak settings, so you won’t experience any delays when gaming, even at peak settings. Plus, it supports FreeSync, and even though it is not officially advertised, it is also G-SYNC compatible.

Aside from being one of the best gaming TVs, the QN90A can get brighter than most TVs on the market, so you will get the most out of HDR content, even in a bright room. And, with its 576 local dimming zones, this TV has great contrast for watching movies in the dark. Plus, the QN90A has a better color accuracy out of the box than most 4K smart TVs on the market.

This smart TV uses Samsung’s Tizen interface, and it works with the Google Assistant and Alexa. The only downside to this smart TV, other than the price, is the fact that it doesn’t support Dolby Vision HDR. That means you won’t be able to get the best picture quality with some content.

LG C1: Best OLED TV

lg c1 best smart oled tv
(Image Source: Amazon)

If you want the best 4K smart TV that does it all, you can’t go wrong with an LG C1 OLED TV. This is the best smart TV for gaming, watching movies at night and TV shows during the day, and everything in between.

This 4K TV has more than 8 million self-lighting organic light-emitting diode (OLED) pixels. Unlike LED TVs, which use a backlight to light up all the pixels on a screen, OLED TVs can turn pixels on or off individually. This gives you the deepest, darkest blacks and a nearly perfect contrast ratio. This technology also powers LG’s Motion Pro feature, which reduces stuttering when watching sports or action movies.

oled tv
(Image Source: LG)

The LG C1 has Dolby Vision IQ, which detects how bright or dark the room is and adjusts the picture quality to suit your viewing conditions. Plus, it has response times as low as one millisecond, so you won’t miss a beat while playing your favorite games. It is also officially compatible with both FreeSync and G-Sync, which will help reduce lag and screen tearing on any next-gen console.

This smart TV uses the newest version of LG’s webOS interface, and it works with Alexa, the Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. It also comes with a voice remote that features LG’s new Magic Tap technology. This feature allows you to mirror what’s on your smartphone to your TV or reverse mirror what’s on your TV to your smartphone simply by touching your smartphone to your remote.

However, like any OLED TV, the LG C1 can “burn” images into the screen if you leave the TV on for too long. That means you might see a ghostly background of an image if you pause your TV or fall asleep with a single image displayed overnight. Also, this TV doesn’t get quite as bright as other models, and it might not have the best color accuracy out of the box.  

If you want to know how to calibrate your TV, check out our guide on the best TV picture settings to use.

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as of September 22, 2021 11:47 am
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