Since the inception of the television, there has been a gradual movement towards making TVs display bigger and bigger but with slimmer and slimmer profiles. Modern TVs are truly breaking boundaries on what we thought was possible, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see paper-thin flat-screen TVs within the next 10-15 years. Already, the world’s thinnest TVs are ridiculously streamlined, with the thinnest option — the LG Wallpaper OLED TV — just 0.15-inches thick. In comparison, Sony’s A8H OLED TV is 2.125-inches thick, which seemed pretty thin when it was released last year.
With the rise of OLED technology, the need for a backlighting panel has virtually disappeared. And with the self-emitting diodes built right inside of the display, TV manufacturers gain a lot more flexibility (literally, but we’ll get to that in a moment) with what they can achieve with a TV display.
So just how thin can a TV get? We’re beyond inches — now we’re talking millimeters thin. And this razor-thin display technology creates a plethora of interesting avenues for the future of this technology. For instance, Samsung is already producing thin TVs that can double as digital art frames or literally roll up and disappear when turned off. That being said, there are only a handful of super-thin TVs available for consumers right now, and a few more on the way, but the future of thin TVs is looking pretty unreal at the moment.
The Thinnest TVs for Sale in 2021
As of March 2021, the thinnest TVs for sale are:
- LG WX Series Wallpaper OLED TV – 0.15-inches thick
- Samsung The Frame TV – 1.8-inches thick
- LG GX Gallery Design OLED TV – 0.9-inches thick
Like we said, there aren’t a ton of TVs available yet in this product category yet. At the moment, LG and Samsung are the two front runners when it comes to ultra-thin display technology. Both brands have some incredible products in this category right now, although none of these products are particularly affordable. In addition, both Samsung and LG have some insanely cool display technology in the works for the near future.
In the past few years, we’ve seen TV companies like Sony, LG and Samsung debut ultra-thin TVs or flexible rolling screens at consumer trade shows like CES. However, most of these models were never widely available, and so we aren’t including them here.
For now, you can find the thinnest TVs for sale in 2021 below. Keep reading for a preview of some thin TVs coming later in 2021.
1. LG WX 65-inch Wallpaper 4K Smart OLED TV
One of the factors that prohibit razor-thin TVs from truly taking off is the lack of any place to put good-sounding speakers. The LG WX series somewhat eliminates that problem by separating the speaker system from the display entirely and connecting the two pieces of equipment by a tiny paper-thin tether that resembles a piece of scotch tape. This accomplishes two things — the 0.15-inch display (like we said, razor-thin) can sit nice and flush against the wall, but you still get soundbar quality audio from your expensive flat-screen TV. Even compared to the other thinnest TVs in the world, the LG WX Wallpaper is a major leap forward.
The Bottom Line: Beyond being crazy thin, the OLED display looks stunning and the whole system sounds great too. Of course, you have to pay for such an innovative design, as the 65-inch model costs over $4,000. If you can handle the price tag, the LG Wallpaper is an incredible addition to your home and one of the best 4K TVs in the world.
2. Samsung The Frame
When a TV is turned off, it’s a little bit of an eyesore in the home. The Frame eliminates that problem by displaying your favorite artwork when the TV is off, essentially turning the display into a digital canvas. And thanks to the thin frame, it will look exactly like any other piece of artwork hanging in your home. The visual effect is stunning, and this is without a doubt one of the most beautiful televisions ever created. (We recently named this one of the best TVs of 2021.) However, you will need to pay extra to take full advantage of the TV’s Art Mode.
Customers need to purchase individual works of art to display, with 1,200 selections from museums around the world as well as new artwork from contemporary artists. Alternatively, you can sign up for a subscription to the Samsung Art Store or display your own photos. There are also motion sensors built into The Frame, so when nobody is around, the display will turn completely off so it’s not wasting energy, but when motion is detected, the display (or should we say canvas) will automatically display your art collection.
When it comes to the TV’s capabilities, it can hold its own there as well. The dual LED display promotes great color saturation for a supremely vibrant picture. And with the support of mobile mirroring via Samsung Smart Things and Apple Airplay, you can quickly cast whatever is on your phone to The Frame. The Frame ranges anywhere from an affordable 32-inch to a premium 75-inch model.
The Bottom Line: The Frame transforms the flat-screen TV into a work of art, with a super-thin frame and access to fine art. If you’re more interested in gaming or streaming, then you should opt for an OLED TV instead. But for discerning consumers concerned with aesthetics and home decor, it’s a seriously impressive piece of machinery.
3. LG GX Gallery Design OLED TV (OLED65GXPUA)
The LG GX Series is the company’s answer to Samsung’s The Frame, as it’s also meant to act as a digital art frame in addition to acting as a smart TV. The GX is thinner than The Frame — it measures in at less than an inch thick, or 0.9 inches to be exact — and looks absolutely incredible when mounted flush to a wall. However, the GX lacks access to the works of art available in the Samsung Art Store. That being said, the GX boasts seriously impressive picture quality. The OLED display looks incredibly crisp while the a9 3rd generation 4K processor helps produce images and sound that’s some of the best in its class.
As we discussed with the LG WX, a TV this thin just can’t sound that great, and the GX is no exception. If you really want a full viewing experience, we highly recommend pairing this ultra-thin TV with a sound bar.
The Bottom Line: While The Frame from Samsung has more to offer in terms of displaying artwork, the LG GX offers an even thinner frame and incredible picture quality thanks to LG OLED display technology. While it’s not nearly as thin as the Wallpaper OLED TV, it does offer major savings on price.
Coming Soon: More Ultra-Thin TVs
When it comes to the thinnest TVs in the world, we saw major breakthroughs in 2020. However, even more exciting developments are in store for 2021. So far, LG and Samsung continue to dominate the competition in terms of TV thickness, and both companies have new models on the horizon that we’re really excited about. We’ll continue to update this story as new products are released, but here’s what we know so far about the thinnest TVs being released in the near future.
LG OLED R
The LG OLED R is designed with absolute elegance and modernization in mind. The paper-thin display rises from and retreats back into the speaker — which also serves as the stand — when not in use. This eliminates the eyesore of a blank powered-off TV in your home when it’s not in use. When it retracts back into its speaker base, the display literally rolls up like a scroll. This is possible because the pixels within the OLED display are self-lit.
The display has three positions: zero view (fully retracted), line view (about a third of the way out) and in full view. The line view essentially serves as a ticker when you are listening to music through the speaker — it displays the title and artist, but without the need for the whole screen to be out. Overall, it’s one of the coolest innovations we’ve seen in the TV world, but we aren’t sure if or when it will be ready for consumers.
Samsung The Wall
The Wall isn’t available for consumers or businesses quite yet, but we can’t wait. The Wall will be the first consumer TV powered by MicroLED display technology, or micrometer-scale LED clusters of microscopic lights. If that sounds like another language to you, you’re not alone, but the result is a paper thin display that creates true blacks, better color than conventional LED TVs and finite detail.
Speaking of breathtaking design, you can customize the modularity, or shape of The Wall. So you or your business can create some pretty stunning shapes that are sure to capture anyone’s eye. Be on the lookout for when The Wall drops later this year. It’s going to certainly be a sight to see.