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Best Samsung Smart TVs

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 90 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best Samsung Smart TVs

    Last Updated August 2018

    Over the last several years, television hardware has evolved at a dizzying pace. It seems like only yesterday that high-definition (HD) television arrived, and now the market is flooded with 4K TV sets that produce four times as many pixels as “older” HDTVs!

    Thankfully, TV software has evolved at the same time, so what used to be a series of confusing menus on a set has become a full-fledged app-based experience, giving viewers the convenience found on many mobile devices right on their TV screens. Dubbed “smart TVs,” these TVs run an operating system that allows users to do anything from stream video to log in to Facebook, transforming TV watching into an engaging, interactive experience.

    Smart TVs are great, but they’re not all the same. In fact, Samsung – the largest TV manufacturer in the world – has built a user experience in their Smart TVs that’s unmatched when it comes to speed, convenience, and available apps. Another way of putting it is, if you’re ready to make the leap to a smart TV, get a Samsung. This company has been making them longer than anyone else, they have more apps than their competitors, and they’ve paired those apps with some of the world’s most stunning TV hardware.

    At BestReviews, we write for readers, not advertisers. Keep reading for our shopping guide for Samsung Smart TVs. When you have a sense of what you’re looking for, check out our most recommended models in the grid above.

    If you have concerns about a Samsung Smart TV fitting in with your personal décor, consider “The Frame” models. These TVs mount flush to the wall and feature a wood frame along the edges. Together with a few custom apps, they double as frames for artwork or photos, creating a much more inviting atmosphere.

    What can a smart TV do?

    The term “smart TV” can mean all kinds of different things, so what makes a Samsung Smart TV so smart? Here are our favorite capabilities.

    • Streaming TV and movies: For most people, the ability to stream content from any major online broadcaster is the key value proposition of a smart TV. There’s nothing quite like settling down in front of your TV, turning it on, and using the same remote to find something to binge!

    • Streaming music: Samsung Smart TVs play nice with most of the major players in the music streaming market (with the notable exception of Apple Music). Whether it’s casual background music or a get-psyched playlist, we love the convenience of using Samsung’s Smart TV to keep our tunes going.

    • Video calling: Sometimes phone screens and laptop screens aren’t big enough for video conferencing, especially around the holidays when families get together. If you’re ready to take your Skype and FaceTime calls to the next level, pick up a Samsung Smart TV that supports video calls. Just remember that you’ll need to buy their proprietary camera for it separately.

    • Picture-in-picture: One of the original “ooh” features of TVs from the 1980s, picture-in-picture (PiP), is back and ready to help viewers multitask on their Samsung Smart TVs. With PiP, you can watch a movie on Netflix while you’re also keeping an eye on the weather channel or sports game.

    The future of TV is very, very bright

    Samsung’s “Quantum LED” TVs are built to compete with the industry-leading OLED tech used by competitors LG and Sony. While they don’t entirely live up to the OLED standard, QLED TVs produce an amazing array of colors and much-improved contrast controls. Come for the 4K; stay for the high dynamic range (HDR).

    Samsung’s secret weapon: PC game streaming

    If you’re a fan of video games, you may have heard about a new technology, game streaming – where a streaming client can play video games that are running on a gaming PC elsewhere on a network. Game streaming is perfect for anyone who has a PC gaming rig that they want to play on a big-screen TV without physically moving the gaming computer.

    Starting in 2016, Samsung got into the game-streaming market by adding a smart TV app from legendary game maker Steam. If you’re looking to enjoy PC games on your Samsung Smart TV, here’s what you’ll need to get started.

    • Fast Windows-based PC: If you already have a gaming PC, use that. If not, buy a PC that’s got a dedicated video card and enough hard drive space for your games.

    • Local WiFi network: In order to stream games from your gaming PC to your Samsung Smart TV, both the PC and the TV need to be on the same wired or WiFi network.

    • Supported controller: Samsung’s Steam video game client works with several different controller models that are widely available, including Steam’s own controller, which is well regarded by gamers.
       

    With all of these things in place, you’ll easily be able to fire up your PC gaming rig and enjoy your favorite PC game titles, all from your Samsung Smart TV.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Samsung Smart TVs come in both curved and flat models. Curved models enhance the depth of a TV’s picture, although many users find the curvature distracting.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Samsung Smart TVs support weather apps, so you to keep tabs on your local forecast anytime. An especially useful feature if you live in a place with temperamental weather.

    Samsung Smart TV prices

    Samsung’s pricing strategy means there’s a good smart TV in anyone’s budget, but you’ll still need to keep an eye out to discern between the great bargains and the models that are overpriced. As you’re shopping for a Samsung Smart TV, keep these price ranges in mind.

    • Between $450 and $899

    Samsung offers 4K TVs that are on the small side (usually between 40 and 50 inches) but include premium features like high dynamic range (HDR) and USB ports. If you’re looking for a smaller TV, don’t spend more than this.

    • Between $900 and $1,499

    At this price, expect to see Samsung Smart TVs that make clever trade-offs – they’re not the largest or most colorful sets the manufacturer has to offer, but these still produce a dazzling picture quality and include all the apps you’ll need for your next binge-watching session. If you’re looking for an above-average smart TV that has the right software and hardware to last several years, you’ll need to spend at least a grand.

    • Between $1,500 and $3,000

    At this price, you’ll find Samsung’s best and brightest – literally. Samsung Smart TVs in this price range have enormous screens (between 65 and 75 inches), feature their most impressive screen technology (QLED), and include more ports than you’ll ever need. If you’re building a proper home theater, or you just need the best picture Samsung has to offer, expect it to put a dent in your wallet.

    The perfect bedroom TV

    Samsung’s Smart LED TVs are some of the best bargains in the business, and this model is a shining example of why. It’s got straightforward support for any 4K source, it’s running the most current smart TV apps, and it’s small enough to fit just about anywhere. Did we mention that it’s also crazy affordable?

    Tips

    • When you first get your Samsung Smart TV, turn it on and make sure there are no dead pixels. TV defects are uncommon, but they happen. The most typical defect found on modern TVs is a “dead pixel”: a single dot on the screen that won’t light up to any color. Unfortunately, the only fix for a dead pixel is replacing the screen, so check your new Samsung set as soon as you can in case you need to exchange it.

    • If you own a newer Samsung Galaxy phone, use Samsung’s Quick Connect technology to easily put any music or video from your phone’s screen onto your Samsung Smart TV in a single tap. Most smart TVs support some form of “casting,” sending content from a mobile device to a TV screen. However, Samsung has gone the extra mile and built their own proprietary Quick Connect technology into their Galaxy smartphones and turned the process into a one-tap operation.

    • Buy Samsung’s optional camera accessory to unlock even more functionality. Most Samsung Smart TVs support their add-on camera, which enables everything from video conferencing to gesture control. Whether you’re looking to connect with a loved one from your living room, or your little ones are itching to play wacky gesture-based games, you’ll need their camera to do it. (Just remember to cover or disable the camera when you’re not using it, to foil any unwanted online threats.)
    Samsung regularly issues updates to their Smart TV operating system, and they often include older models in the update. If you already own an older Samsung Smart TV, check to make sure it’s running the most recent software update – you could be missing out on apps and new functionality.

    FAQ

    Q. Does it cost anything to use Samsung’s Smart TV features?

    A. Certain apps require a subscription to use, such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, but there are no additional subscription fees for using Samsung’s Smart TV operating system. There are also many apps that offer “free with a few ads” video, like YouTube or Crackle.

    Q. Which is better for watching streaming TV: a smart TV or a streaming box?

    A. Traditional home theater purists have long maintained that streaming boxes like those made by Roku or Amazon offer a superior experience because they’re generally faster than smart TV operating systems. That gap is closing now, so on some luxury sets you’ll find identical – if not better – results from a smart TV app than you would from a streaming box. For most users, a smart TV will meet most of their needs. If you’re into gadgets, or have content that can only be played on specific devices, investigate available streaming boxes. If you want the simplest solution, go with a smart TV.

    Q. Can I play my own MKV or MP4 video files on a Samsung Smart TV?

    A. Yes. Most Samsung Smart TVs work with external memory sticks or hard drives, so you can play your own content through the TV’s USB port. Samsung’s Smart TV OS works with a wide variety of file formats, although in the case of older Samsung Smart TVs, you may need to download a third-party app (such as Plex) to play back your content.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jaime
      Jaime
      Writer
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer
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