Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
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.Read more 
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How we decided

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

36 Models Considered
28 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
186 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for Best QLED TVs

Television technology has evolved at a staggering pace, with new devices of impressive size, stunning detail, and immense power. For anyone who enjoys video entertainment at home, whether it’s movies, sports, or video games, there are seemingly endless options available. Quantum LED (QLED) TVs, with technology developed by Samsung, offer great detail plus exceptional brightness, so you can enjoy theater-quality entertainment at home.

QLED TVs have only grown in popularity since they came on the market in 2017. More recently, Samsung has partnered with some other brands to increase the accessibility of these TVs, including Hisense, TCL, and Vizio.

With so many competing companies and rival technologies, it's important to understand what QLED offers and how it compares to the competition. 

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While QLED TVs offer access to apps and services, in most cases, you need a subscription to enjoy the content. If you want to fully enjoy your 4K screen, subscribe to a tier of the service that offers 4K content. 

Key considerations

The definition of QLED

QLED stands for “quantum-dot light-emitting diode,” a premium display technology that has evolved since its invention years ago. The word “quantum” is somewhat misleading here, however, because it’s not so much a technical term as it is a marketing term. Indeed, QLED TVs are something of a rebranding of Samsung’s Super Ultra High Definition (SUHD) TVs.

At their most basic, QLED TVs are an upgraded version of the LED technology that’s been around for decades. In LED TVs, pixels are lit from behind to create the image on screen. The basic version of this kind of display features local dimming, which means areas of the screen can be illuminated or dimmed based on the content.

QLED incorporates a quantum-dot filter between the screen and the backlight to boost the color spectrum of the pixels and improve contrast. That means that colors are brighter, particularly shades of white. However, as a result, there can be some issues with contrast among shades of black. Inferior QLED TVs may experience some shadows or blurring with darker content. Newer models have addressed this issue, and for casual viewers, the difference may be negligible.


Most QLED TVs have 4K resolution, which is now the standard for most TVs in general. 4K is known also as Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD or UHD). With 8 million pixels, 4K has four times as many pixels as Full HD. Most new content, including blockbuster films and premium series, are shot in 4K, so you can enjoy the native content the way it was meant to be seen. For older content, your TV will upscale to bring it closer to 4K.

Also available are 8K QLED TVs. With 33 million dots, 8K TVs feature nearly four times as many pixels as 4K resolution, which translates to stunning detail and clarity. These TVs, however, are prohibitively expensive, and while they also upscale content, there is virtually no 8K content currently made, and it could be years before consumers can enjoy native 8K content. Still, these advanced models may be preferred by anyone seeking the newest, top-of-the-line display technology.


High dynamic range (HDR) is a technology that allows TVs to achieve a high level of brightness and color saturation, delivering a faithful recreation of the original vision. HDR is found on QLED TVs, though there are different versions of HDR. Samsung’s QLED TVs include the latest version, HDR10+, which offers more brightness — including whiter whites and deeper blacks — than the typical HDR10 that’s found in most TVs.

Did You Know?
Your ideal TV size corresponds to the distance from the screen to the seating area. Generally, if you’re 10 feet from the TV, you want a 70-inch TV. Add or subtract 5 to 10 inches from the unit for every foot in either direction.



QLED TVs range in size from 43 to 98 inches (measured diagonally), so it’s important to check your available space at home. As an example, a 65-inch TV works in an average-sized living room. If you’re seeking a more immersive experience with a wide viewing angle, a 75- or 85-inch TV is worth considering.


Samsung recently unveiled its newest upgrade, the Neo QLED. Like the word “quantum,” the term “neo” doesn’t technically mean anything. Still, the TV is an enhanced model, featuring mini LED backlighting, which allows for more localized dimming, increasing the potential brightness, contrast, and viewing angle.

Smart platforms

Samsung TVs use the company’s proprietary Tizen Smart TV platform, which offers fast and easy access to a variety of popular apps and streaming services, such as Disney+, HBO Max, YouTube, and Netflix. 

TCL TVs use Roku TV, a platform that provides users with an easy-to-use smart interface but doesn’t cater to a specific brand like Google or Apple. 

Hisense TVs use Android TV, which is ideal for Google users.

Vizo TVs use that company’s platform, SmartCast.

Specialty QLED TVs

Samsung boasts various specialty QLED TVs in its collection that are designed for specific uses. 

  • The Terrace is made for outdoor viewing, constructed to limit glare and withstand some weather. 
  • The Frame is a QLED TV that doubles as a static picture on the wall, allowing users to display artwork or photos when the TV is turned off. 
  • The Sero is geared toward social media enthusiasts and those who frequently use their smartphones. The display rotates from a landscape orientation to a vertical one. 
  • The Serif is a freestanding TV (it comes with a stand) that is designed to be easily moved around or set up away from a wall. This is particularly useful for open-plan homes.

Quantum dots are less susceptible to burn-in, which leaves a permanent mark on the screen, than competing technologies. You can expect your TV to last at least five years, but you might be ready for an upgrade in technology after a few years.



Soundbar: Samsung HW-Q800A 3.1.2 Channel Soundbar
QLED TVs have quality sound, but there is plenty of room for improvement. We recommend investing in a soundbar like this one from Samsung that’s specifically constructed to complement QLED TVs. This model features three channels and includes a subwoofer and ceiling-directed drivers.

4K Blu-ray player: Sony 4K Home Blu-ray Player
You need the appropriate sources to enjoy 4K content on your QLED TV. A Blu-ray player, like this 4K model from Sony, provides a reliable connection that won’t be disrupted by the lag or buffering that can occur with WiFi.


Inexpensive: The cheapest QLED TVs cost $750 or less. These include TVs from budget-friendly brands as well as smaller, slightly older models from Samsung.

Mid-range: Most QLED TVs cost between $750 and $2,000. This range includes Samsung’s specialty TVs as well as some Neo QLED options.

Expensive: The newest and largest QLED TVs cost $2,000 and up. Most 8K models cost much more, with some at $5,000 and even $10,000.


Did You Know?
Samsung Access is a subscription service that allows you to pay a portion of a new TV’s price and bundle access to premium channels. After 27 months, you can return the TV or upgrade to a new one.


  • Mount your TV. We recommend mounting your TV on the wall to create the ideal viewing position and save space. Choose the right height based on the room size and seating area. 
  • Check the connections. Your QLED TV includes a handful of HDMI ports, including HDMI 2.1 for the fastest 4K transmission. Be sure you have the right cables and can match all your consoles or devices to the proper ports.
  • Experiment with the settings. QLED TVs offer different display presets along with the ability to manually adjust specific settings. Depending on what you're watching and the ambient light in the room, you’ll want to experiment to find the ideal setting for that environment and content.
  • Embrace SmartThings. If you have additional smart devices made by Samsung, they can all be controlled through your TV. SmartThings, the company’s hub, allows you to connect your devices and operate them remotely.
Most QLED TVs come with a remote control with buttons that link directly to popular streaming services. With the proper devices connected, you can also control your TV using a virtual assistant. 


Q. What’s the difference between QLED TVs and OLED TVs?

A.  Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs are championed by LG. In this display, each pixel is individually lit instead of being illuminated by a backlight. The result is a stark contrast, particularly when the screen is dark. Since each pixel can simply shut off when the screen needs to display black, there is no shadowing or blurring. Dark scenes on the screen are clearer. On the other hand, these screens can’t quite reach the incredible brightness of QLED TVs. OLED TVs tend to be quite expensive, though, like Samsung, LG has allowed other companies to use its technology to make more affordable TVs.

Q. What does “motion rate” mean?

A. Motion rate is another term for refresh rate, which tells you the number of times per second the screen refreshes the image. Refresh rate is expressed in hertz, and the standard rate is 60 hertz. Higher refresh rates reduce motion blur that’s inherent in smart TVs, particularly larger, more powerful screens. Motion blur or lag is particularly noticeable when you’re watching live sports or playing high-end video games. Most QLED TVs have a native refresh rate of 60 hertz or 120 hertz. Refresh rates higher than 120 hertz may be hard to discern by the naked eye, if at all.

Samsung and other companies advertise motion rate or enhanced refresh rate that may be 120, 180, or even 240 hertz. These rates are simulated and only achieved by enhancing native refresh rates through various technologies. Your QLED TV likely advertises its enhanced rate as opposed to native rate. However, these technologies are still useful: Samsung models feature variable refresh rates that adjust based on the content to optimize performance.

Q. Are QLED TVs good for gamers?

A. QLED TVs are ideal for playing video games, particularly new games that feature expansive online worlds. Due to the brightness of QLED TVs, gamers can enjoy the clarity and lush landscapes of the more popular games. Most QLED TVs have a refresh rate or motion rate that supports online gaming, along with an HDMI 2.1 port to allow for a fast transfer of audio and video. Some Samsung QLED TVs use the company’s trademarked technology, Real Game Enhancer, along with auto low latency mode, to eliminate the lag and motion blur that can happen in newer games.

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