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When it comes to the latest and greatest TV display panel technologies, there are one of two directions you can currently go in for a premium experience. You can opt for an OLED TV, which delivers incredible picture quality at a high cost. Or you can look at one of the best QLED TVs, which offer many of the same benefits as OLED when it comes to picture quality at a more wallet-friendly price.
Of course, the best QLED TVs don’t quite reach the levels of the best OLED TVs, but for most people, the difference in quality probably isn’t worth the difference in price.
What Makes QLED TVs So Special?
QLED stands for Quantum Light Emitting Diode. Taken out of context that’s just word soup, but what it implies is that it has pixels with quantum dot technology and LED backlighting. Quantum dot technology is essentially special pixels that have an enhanced range of colors, which allows for a more accurate picture. Meanwhile, the LED backlighting in the best QLED TVs is almost always full array local dimming, which allows for deep enough blacks and a bright enough picture to produce excellent HDR performance.
While QLED technology is only a couple of generations old, it’s a technology you’re going to be seeing for the next few years, and we think it’s the TV technology that offers the most bang for the buck. This is why we’ve rounded up the best QLED TVs you can find in 2021
1. Samsung Q80A QLED TV
BEST QLED TV OVERALL
Although the Samsung Q80A lacks the mini-LEDs other QLED TVs may have, this TV is no slouch. Its quantum dot pixels still feature an impressive color range, and the full array local dimming is built for excellent HDR performance, which relies on bright highlights and saturated colors to make its content pop off the screen. And for rooms that tend to have a lot of people watching, the Q80A has wide viewing angles that ensure a quality picture for everyone watching. On top of that, the Q80A is an excellent choice for gamers thanks to its dedicated on-screen menu to monitor settings such as refresh rate and input lag.
2. Vizio P-Series Quantum QLED TV
The Vizio M-Series Quantum is one of the best bargains when it comes to QLEDs TVs for sale in 2021. Coming in at less than $1,700 for the 75-inch model, it’s the smart way to get a TV with premium performance into your living room without having to clear out the bank account. And with the virtually bezel-less display, you get incredible picture quality from edge to edge. Plus, with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and low input lag, the Vizio P-series is great for gaming and watching 4K video.
3. Samsung QN90A QLED TV
If you want the best QLED TV money can buy in terms of pure performance, the Samsung QN90A is the easy pick right now. The reason for this is that the QN90A television features Samsung’s Neo QLED technology, which combines mini-LED backlighting with a quantum dot array to deliver a brighter picture and a superior contrast ratio to Samsung’s standard QLED TVs. While some Samsung TVs can be expensive relative to what they offer in terms of features, the Q line of TVs has always boasted some of the best 65-Inch TVs you can buy. And whether you’re interested in gaming, sports or movies, this TV is built to handle it all thanks to low input lag and true 120Hz refresh rate at 4K resolution.
4. TCL 6-Series QLED TV
BEST BUDGET QLED
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: don’t let the price tag fool you. The TCL 6-Series may appear to be a budget TV, but the only TVs that truly outclass it are ones like the TVs mentioned above. This is in part due to the fact that it has true 120Hz support, and comes packaged with the Roku smart TV interface. But it’s also because of the fact that it features QLED technology. This TV uses mini-LED technology, which uses impossibly small LEDs so that the 6-Series can double the number of local dimming zones it would normally have. The result is a picture that is bright, beautiful and detailed, ready to make all your 4K HDR content pop off the screen.
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5. Hisense U8G QLED TV
Despite its accessible price, the Hisense U8G is one of the best QLED TVs for the money, offering quality that is nearly comparable to the best TVs from the industry giants (LG, Samsung and Sony), but at a much lower price. When set to Theater Mode, the color production from this quantum dot panel is accurate, balanced and great for watching everything from the NBA Playoffs to Mad Max: Fury Road. Game Mode helps to keep input lag to a minimum while the 120Hz refresh rate eliminates noticeable motion blur for a gaming experience suitable for the most hardcore gamers. It’s a versatile and great-looking 4K TV, especially when you factor in the sub-$1000 price tag.
6. Samsung QN85A Neo QLED TV (2021)
BEST TV FOR WIDE VIEWING ANGLES
Built deliberately to provide the best viewing angles of Samsung’s QLED TVs, the Samsung QN85A is the other Neo QLED model that offers mini-LED backlighting to go with local dimming and the inclusion of Filmmaker Mode, which takes supported content automatically adjusts your TVs settings to match the director’s specifications. The one downside here is that it doesn’t include Dolby Vision support, which Samsung oddly continues to ignore. But it should still be an excellent gaming TV, with true 120Hz support at 4K resolutions and AMD FreeSync support to minimize ghosting. It even has WiFi 6, which ensures that your 4K streams will be flawless over WiFi, provided you have a WiFi 6 router.
7. Vizio M-Series Quantum 65-Inch QLED TV
BEST AFFORDABLE GAMING QLED
The Vizio MQ7 promises a beautiful picture out of the box, with support for Dolby Vision, and thanks to its low input lag, it’s also an excellent TV for gaming. The SmartCast software doesn’t quite rise up to the quality of the Roku, Android TV or Fire TV, so you may or may not find yourself spending an extra $50 on a streaming stick in the future. (Alternatively, this TV supports Google Cast, so you can also just use your phone or tablet to load up streaming content.) Despite these gripes, there aren’t many other cheaper TVs that can outperform the Vizio M-Series.
8. TCL 5-Series 65-Inch QLED TV
When you consider the price point, it’s kind of amazing that the TCL 5-Series offers up a QLED panel with local dimming. But technical performance is wasted if there’s no content, and thanks to the integrated Roku interface, you’ll have no shortage of free and premium content to binge from hundreds of different streaming services. While this TV won’t match the TCL 6-Series in performance, this model still boasts solid Dolby Vision HDR performance and 4K resolution. It’s a great way to get a good-looking TV in your living for less than the cost of a new iPhone.
9. Samsung Q80T TV
The Samsung Q80T might be the previous-gen model from 2020, but it’s still a damn good TV. Thanks to the quantum dot technology housed in this QLED TV, the Samsung Q80T still has some of the most vibrant and accurate colors you will find in any TV. For gamers, this is great news, because Samsung TVs are some of the best when it comes to input lag and it also supports a 120Hz variable refresh rate at 4K resolutions. Long story short, this is one of the best QLED TVs you can buy for your next-gen console.