The best OLED TV 2021

TV & Video
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Which OLED TV is best?

To enjoy your favorite movies, shows and video games at home in the best way possible, you need the right TV to showcase all the stunning detail and color while also keeping up with the action. As companies continue to innovate, there are plenty of models that offer high-end, theatre-quality entertainment. Arguably the best technology features an OLED display.

While LG first championed OLED TVs, other companies have embraced the innovation as well, with options available for budget-friendly shoppers and those seeking the newest and the biggest. The top option, 77-inch LG OLED C1 series TV, is a mid-range price, but there are other options available depending on the size and features.

What to know before you buy an OLED TV

What is OLED?

OLED is premium panel technology that stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode. This is different altogether from LED technology that occupies most TVs. OLED TVs feature pixels that light individually, whereas LED displays are backlit. While there are various LED technologies, including popular QLED screens, OLED ensures that they can achieve stark contrast in the smallest areas at the fastest speeds. Every single pixel in an OLED screen produces light, forgoing the need for a backlight. OLED screens are also referred to as emissive displays.

Most noticeably, OLED produces deep and varied blacks. The specific pixel can shut off instead of LED screens that dim the backlight and may create shadows or shade. Those who want a theatre-quality experience prefer OLED TVs for their image fidelity and detail.

Size

Size is measured diagonally from one corner to the corner. OLED TVs are available in various sizes, from as small as 42 inches up to 85 inches.  As OLED displays are a premium technology, most users opt for TVs 55 inches in size or higher to serve as their primary entertainment hub.

Resolution

Most OLED TVs have 4K resolution, the detailed standard for a majority of new content. 4K, or Ultra-High Definition, offers four times as many pixels as Full HD screens. While these TVs will upscale content of a lesser resolution, you’ll need a subscription to a service that offers 4K content or a 4K cable box or console to maximize the quality.

A handful of OLED TVs offer 8K resolution at a staggeringly high price. These are best reserved only for those who want the newest technology available. While viewers can upscale their content, there are no shows or movies filmed in 8K at the present moment, so it’s recommended that consumers wait until the content becomes available, more companies produce 8K models and the price goes down.

OLED TV features

Connections

For those hooking up various devices and consoles, like a soundbar, cable box or gaming consoles, you’ll want to inspect the ports available on the TV. Most come with at least three HDMI inputs along with a USB port. Note the type of HDMI input as well. You’re likely to find one or two HDMI 2.1 ports, which offer the fastest connection required for the latest gaming consoles.

Smart technology

OLED TVs are smart TVs that allow users access to apps and streaming services. The platform varies depending on the TV’s brand. LG, the leader in OLED TVs, uses its own WebOS as its platform with a fast and intuitive interface that is easy to use. Sony’s platform utilizes Google TV, which benefits those who enjoy Google products, but it can be slow at times and burdened with ads and offers. Vizio features their own SmartCast platform that aggregates your favorite apps and content to make viewing simple, though it can also lag at times.

High Dynamic Range

HDR involves brightness, with HDR10 the standard for most 4K TVs. This allows the colors to pop and the details offered by 4K to be livelier and more faithful. Some models may include HDR10+, which provides a more realistic picture with up to 4,000 units of peak brightness, four times as much as HDR10. Like resolution, you’ll want to be sure the content you’re consuming was shot in this format to best use it.

OLED TV cost 

As OLED TVs boast high-end technology, they come at a premium price relative to LED TVs. You can expect to pay at least $1,000 for a smaller model, with most costing around $2,000. If you opt for a TV 70 inches or bigger, expect to pay $3,000 or more.

OLED TV FAQ

What’s the difference between OLED and QLED?

A. Quantum LED, or QLED, is an advanced version of LED, backlighting technology. While QLED lights can achieve deep blacks and contrast, they are still dimming an area of the screen as opposed to completely shutting off a pixel the way OLED TVs do. Some shadows may occur. Conversely, QLED TVs can achieve a greater brightness than their counterparts. Both displays feature faithful color creation and volume.

Is OLED good for gamers?

A. Among the important specs gamers look at, including refresh rate and response time, OLED TVs typically triumph over their competitors. The refresh rate, the number of times the screen refreshes in a second, reduces lag and motion blur. Most OLED TVs feature a minimum of 120Hz, which caters to the newest games and most competitive players. Companies like LG will incorporate technology to increase refresh rate artificially up to 240Hz in some models.

Which OLED TV should I get?

Best of the best OLED TV

LG OLED C1 Series 

LG OLED C1 Series 

Our take: From the leaders in OLED technology, this sizable 4K TV from LG offers a tremendous display with cinematic fidelity.

What we like: 4K HDR TV provides bright colors, faithful volume and impressive contrast of deep blacks. It includes game mode and filmmaker mode and built-in access to popular apps.

What we dislike: It’s quite pricey and it’s best to invest in a soundbar.

Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck OLED TV

LG 55-Inch GX Series 4K Smart OLED TV

LG 55-Inch GX Series 4K Smart OLED TV

Our take: This budget-friendly, mid-range OLED TV provides great value for those seeking a bright, stunning image.

What we like: It features stark contrast, bright whites and deep blacks. It has 4K resolution and HDR10+ compatibility and includes 4 HDMI ports at a terrific price.

What we dislike: The processing may struggle with new, high-end video games.

Sold by Amazon

Honorable mention OLED TV

Sony Bravia OLED XR

Sony Bravia OLED XR

Our take: A high-quality, expensive OLED TV that creates one of the most authentic, theatrical experiences you can get at home.

What we like: It has a bright and detailed screen, easily achieves contrast among deep blacks, lacks shadow or blurring, is ideal for gaming, includes two 2.1 HDMI ports and has remote features to direct buttons to the latest streaming services.

What we dislike: It is prohibitively expensive, especially considering the size.

Sold by Amazon

 

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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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