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Lead image

Best TVs for 2021

Our expert's top picks, plus some shopping tips

In this article: My top TV picks — along with some budget-friendly closeout models...

  1. Best budget pick — Sony X85J
  2. Best for movie lovers — Sony A90J OLED
  3. Best for gamers — LG G1 OLED
  4. Best for bright rooms — Samsung QN90A

...plus some shopping tips.

The best TV for you depends a lot on how and where you're going to use it. This year's models are packed with cutting-edge tech, but there are also some great deals to be had if you don't need all the newest bells and whistles.

Sony 4k X85J

Best budget TV — Sony X85J Smart LED 4K UHD TV

The X85J has a lot in common with the pricier sets in this year's Sony lineup, including a native refresh rate of 120Hz and some great gaming features. Powerful image processing and upscaling ensure a crisp, vibrant picture on all kinds of content.

Details

  • supports enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), 4K/120Hz, and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) (will support VRR after firmware update)
  • TRILUMINOS™ PRO display technology accurately reproduces a very wide palette of colors
  • NextGen TV ATSC 3.0 tuner is capable of receiving over-the-air 4K broadcasts (antenna required)
  • Apple AirPlay® 2 and Chromecast built-in for easy wireless streaming from your mobile device

Save money with a closeout model

Get Sony's unique TRILUMINOS display technology and excellent processing at a great price by picking up 2020's X800H.

Sony 4k OLED

Best TV for movie lovers — Sony A90J Smart OLED 4K UHD TV

Sony's stunning top-of-the-line MASTER Series OLED is consistently one of the most highly rated TVs available. And this year's A90J is the brightest OLED TV that Sony has ever made. When combined with the power of the new Cognitive Processor, you get intelligently controlled contrast for realistic depth and sharply defined details, even in areas of shadow or glare. In short, just add popcorn and enjoy.

Details

  • self-illuminating OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display panel produces infinite picture contrast and absolute black
  • Cognitive Processor XR uses powerful real-time processing based on a human perspective for true-to-life picture and sound
  • Acoustic Surface Audio makes the entire screen a speaker, and center channel mode allows it to complement an existing home theater system
  • includes access to exclusive content on BRAVIA CORE

Save money with a closeout model

If you want a stunning OLED at a great price, check out Sony's 2019 MASTER Series A9G.

LG 4K OLED

Best TV for gamers — LG G1 Smart OLED 4K UHD TV

The G1 is as stacked with features as you'd expect from LG's top-of-the-line 4K OLED TV. Movies, shows, and sports will look awesome, but with a lightning-fast response time and four HDMI 2.1 inputs that support 4K at 120Hz, it's also a perfect partner for your PC or next-gen gaming console.

Details

  • supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) for smooth graphics without frame tearing or stuttering
  • ultra-slim Gallery Design with custom wall-mount bracket included for streamlined display
  • LG's new evo panel uses a stronger emissive material to improve both the overall brightness and the luminance of the red, green, and blue subpixels for richer, more accurate color
  • Magic Tap: a new-for-2021 feature lets you tap your NFC-equipped phone to the TV's remote to share content on the big screen

Save money with a closeout model

LG's 2020 CX OLED TV is also a great TV for gaming (and the closeout price might leave some room in your budget for that new console).

Samsung 4k oled

Best TV for bright rooms — Samsung QN90A Smart Neo QLED 4K UHD TV

Samsung's QLED sets are known for bright, vivid colors that pop off the screen, even in the brightest of rooms. But this year's Neo QLED TVs take it to another level with their new Mini LED backlight. The QN90A pairs a dense array of those tiny LEDs with their Quantum Matrix technology to deliver incredibly precise light control for wide contrast and more realistic shadow detail.

Details

  • uses Mini LEDs that are about 40 times smaller than conventional LEDs for a slimmer panel and punchier picture
  • sets 55" and larger use Samsung's Ultra Viewing Angle film layer that spreads out the backlight's illumination more evenly, so you have a great view no matter where you sit
  • 4K AI Upscaling enhances standard-def and high-def video signals for optimum display on a 4K screen
  • eco-friendly SolarCell Remote™ has a built-in solar cell that is sensitive enough to keep the battery charged using the basic indoor lights in your home

Save money with a closeout model

LG's NanoCell 85 offers rich colors and good off-axis viewing at a great 2020 price.

TV shopping tips

As long as you stick to major brands, it's almost impossible to buy a bad TV these days. Choosing the model that's best for you mostly comes down what types of content you watch and what your room is like.

Screen size and viewing distance

As a rule, we suggest you go with the largest screen your room, viewing distance, and budget will accommodate. For help calculating viewing distance, check out our article on TV placement.

LED or OLED?

LED and OLED TVs differ in how their panels light the image. LED TVs shine a backlight through a liquid crystal layer while OLED TVs are self-illuminating. OLEDs have incredible contrast, so movie nights in a darkened room will be jaw-dropping. But if you watch a lot of TV during the day, and your room is bright, an LED might be a better fit.

For more shopping tips, see our complete TV buying guide.

Need help choosing?

Have questions? Our expert Advisors know the gear inside and out.

Your Advisor can send specific Crutchfield pages to your screen, saving you a lot of browsing time. You'll get a shopping cart loaded up with everything you need for your new home theater.

Contact us today.

Check out our setup guide for help getting your new TV up and running. And if you need some one-on-one assistance, just ask. We offer free lifetime tech support with every Crutchfield purchase.

Last updated 5/25/2021
  • Susie from Raleigh

    Posted on 7/16/2021

    What is going on with the 8k tv's? I had my eye on a Samsung 8k 55". Now it seems they are going back to 4k tv's.

    Commenter image

    Emily S. from Crutchfield

    on 7/26/2021

    Hi Susie! We carry some great new 8K TVs, but you're right — they are all 65" or bigger. This Samsung QN800A is a great option if you are okay going up to a 65" set.

  • Duane Tucker from Grand Prairie

    Posted on 6/8/2021

    Is June 21 & 22 PRIME DAY TV Deals the best time to buy my new TV: I live in Grand Prairie; who is best to install it?