Best TV 2020: The best TVs for any budget

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Best TV 2020: The best TVs for any budget

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What’s the best TV in 2020?

Best TV 2020: This year has been a strong year with a number of great tellies to choose from. This list is full of some exceptional performers.

Some TVs focus on home cinema, while others are more all-rounders. The more expensive the set, the more features it’s likely to have such as Dolby Vision IQ or HDMI 2.1. But don’t discount cheaper TVs, a few of which we’ve included as they can deliver an accomplished performance for their price level.

This list covers 43-inch sets to the latest technological advancements in 8K TVs, so there’s something for everyone. Always bear in mind the size of the TV you’re going for, the design and features, all of which we go through in our reviews.

And each TV on this list has particularly strength that may appeal. If you watch a lot of HD content, you’ll need something that’s good at upscaling, removing noise for an enjoyable picture quality. If you’re a film buff, then a TV capably of bringing out bright and punchy HDR should be on your list. But you’ll also want to get as much value as possible from your film catalogue, which means a TV that supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ may be of greater interest.

While some TVs are capable of a satisfactory audio performance, for home cinema setups it’s worth an investment in a soundbar, too. And with next-generation gaming consoles coming, some will have the tech you need to play them at their most optimal.

Whatever you need, this list will have you covered. If you need more info, scroll down for a summary and click through to our full reviews.

  • Best OLED TV: Panasonic HZ2000
  • Best QLED TV: Samsung Q90T
  • Best TV upscaling: LG CX
  • Best HDR TV: Panasonic HZ1500
  • Best Ambilight TV: Philips OLED805
  • Best gaming TV: Samsung Q80T
  • Best home cinema TV: Panasonic GZ2000
  • Best HDR TV: Panasonic GZ1500
  • Best stylish TV: LG E9
  • Best mid-range TV: Panasonic GX800B
  • Best 8K TV: Samsung Q950TS
  • Best 8K HDR TV: Sony ZG9
  • Best small budget TV: Samsung UE43RU7020
  • Best value budget TV: Hisense Roku TV

Panasonic TX-55HZ2000

The ultimate home cinema TV

Pros:

  • Universal HDR support with Dolby Vision IQ
  • Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing
  • Effective Dolby Atmos sound system
  • Freeview Play

Cons:

  • No HDMI support for 4K/120fps
  • No Disney+ app
  • Over specified for AV enthusiasts?

Panasonic’s flagship OLED doesn’t fail to disappoint. We called it the Ultimate Home Cinema TV in our review and for good reason.

Like the other OLEDs in the range it supports Dolby Vision (IQ), HDR10+ and the main HDR formats. It also has the upfiring Atmos speakers pioneered by the GZ2000, and delivers Filmmaker Mode with Intelligent Sensing, optimising the image to brightness of your room so you can see every detail.

And with its Professional Master Edition OLED screen, it delivers the brightest pictures an OLED is capable of. Near black detail is excellent, brightness adds more intensity to highlights and colour handling is accomplished. It is expensive though and not a set for gamers. But the HZ2000 nonetheless delivers on its promise of bringing Hollywood to the home.

Samsung QE55Q95T

Spectacularly bright HDR images

Pros:

  • Terrifically bright and punchy HDR performance
  • Class-leading gaming performance
  • Stylish design
  • Impressive upscaling
  • Wide app support

Cons:

  • No Dolby Vision HDR
  • Requires creating a Samsung account to download additional apps

The Q95T is another excellent 55-inch QLED, and while it isn’t as heavily spec’d (at least in terms of the screen) as the 2019 Q90R, performance across the board is pretty fantastic.

Picture quality favours bright and punchy HDR colours, and it’s a capable upscaler of sub-4K content delivering a consistently good image from any source you plug into it. It’s also ready for next-gen gaming with class-leading latency and a number of HDMI 2.1 features (including VRR and 4K/120Hz). The sound is respectable, but will go down better with an external system. As always with Samsung TVs, the omission of Dolby Vision support is the one significant disappointment.

LG CX

Superb visuals

Pros:

  • Excellent picture quality
  • Great design
  • Plenty of smarts, features and customisation
  • Excellent upscaling

Cons:

  • Still no UK catch-up apps
  • Just a small leap over the C9

The CX brings LG’s mid-range OLED series further down in price while also bringing in a number of refinements and new features. The performance isn’t a huge leap of the C9, but it’s nonetheless a terrific TV.

New features include Dolby Vision IQ, which adapts Dolby Vision content to room lighting conditions for better performance. There’s also the brand new Filmmaker Mode that disables processing for a more authentic film experience. The CX proves to be great with whatever content you feed, producing a rich and detailed 4K image, especially with Dolby Vision.

Sound quality is fine, but you may want to factor in a soundbar. Gaming latency is sub 13ms and there’s plenty of apps (Apple TV, Disney+) and smart features available through the slick webOS interface. The lack of Freeview Play and UK catch-up apps for the time being will annoy some, especially as the C9 can be had for slightly less and has the catch-up apps.

Philips 55OLED805

AI improvements take this OLED series even further

Pros:

  • Multi-HDR support with HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG
  • Freeview Play
  • Ambilight
  • Play-Fi compatibility

Cons:

  • No support for 4K/120fps
  • No Dolby Vision IQ

The OLED805 is Philips first OLED of 2020 and it doesn’t disappoint. Despite looking similar to last year’s OLED804, Philips has made a few changes under the hood and brought in some new features.

One major feature being the new P5 chip that comes with AI technology, which adapts picture quality according to type of content, and it works well. 4K exhibits an almost three-dimensional look, while HDR is impressively done, while near-black levels are breathtakingly fine. The lack of HDMI 2.1 features may put some off, the quality on show, including Ambilight, make the OLED805 a sure winner.

Panasonic HZ1500

Panasonic TX-55HZ1500

Superb images from any source

Pros:

  • Detailed, stable, entirely natural and believable images
  • Bigger, better-realised sound than most TVs
  • Every HDR base covered
  • Decent ergonomics
  • Good upscaling

Cons:

  • Expensive for a 55in TV
  • One or two missing apps
  • Sound can be bettered by a half-decent soundbar

The Panasonic HZ1500 is another impressive OLED from the Japanese brand, and while the changes from the previous year’s GZ1500 aren’t substantial, it’s just about enough to wave off the price increase.

Like the rest of Panasonic’s OLEDs, the HZ1500 likes nothing more than 4K HDR content with support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10+. New for this year is Dolby Vision IQ, which optimises Dolby Vision picture quality to take into account changes in a room’s ambient light. Also new is the upfiring speaker drivers to give Atmos sound a bigger and taller soundfield. It’s a TV that delivers a remarkably accomplished image from whatever source.

 

 

Samsung QE65Q80T

A great set for gaming

Pros:

  • Corking picture quality from any standard of content
  • Excellent for gamers
  • Class-leading user interface

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Sound is nothing special
  • No Dolby Vision

The Q80T offers an ambitious feature set, with full-array local dimming, Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound and super-fast gaming performance. If the flagship Q95T TV is too dear for your wallet, the Q80T is an excellent step down.

Like the Q90T/Q95T, it’s a dab hand at upscaling SD/HD content, and its brightness means HDR content is brought to life in a gorgeous and punchy manner. No Dolby Vision support will annoy home cinema enthusiasts, but like with the rest of Samsung’s 2020 TV range, gamers will be pleased with the 8.7ms latency, which is the best of the field.

Panasonic TX-55GZ2000

Panasonic GZ2000

A great home cinema TV

Pros:

  • Superior OLED panel brightness
  • Excellent peak HDR and near-black performance
  • Dolby Atmos implementation

Cons:

  • Heavy price premium
  • Over-specified for AV enthusiasts

This is an OLED TV that delivers a great all round, extracting a higher brightness compared to rivals, and covering all the bases for HDR support. Picture quality is fantastic, with excellent near-black levels, exquisite contrast and colour and fine detail levels. Add in the rear Atmos upfiring speakers and the GZ2000 is a superb AV package, although it doesn’t full support the HDMI 2.1 spec.

It’s now been replaced by the HZ2000, but the 65-inch GZ2000 is still available for less than the 55-inch HZ2000.

 

 

Panasonic GZ1500

A stellar television

Pros:

  • Beautifully refined and detailed picture quality
  • Strong sound from the Blade speaker
  • Easy-to-use smart system

Cons:

  • Slight banding in HDR colour blends
  • Occasional motion stutter
  • Smart system is less sophisticated than those of some rivals

Panasonic’s 2019 OLEDs showed the company operating at the peak of its powers. The GZ1500 sits below the flagship GZ2000, but it’s more than a match for any premium-specc’d TV on this list.

As we’ve come to expect from Panasonic, picture quality is superb; boasting some of the best near-black light management we’ve seen on an OLED panel. It’s a rich, textured image, and the way it handles the mix bright and dark content makes for a spectacularly beautiful-looking image. The Blade speakers give sound a boost; creating a wide soundfield that gives Atmos content more space to breathe in a convincing fashion.

LG E9 LG TV 2019
LG E9

An outstanding and (nearly) complete package

Pros:

  • Terrific image quality
  • Comprehensive feature set webOS functionality
  • Very good audio performance
  • Low input lag

Cons

  • No HDR10+
  • Settings and modes can be challenging to navigate

While the E-series OLEDs has taken a break for 2020, the 2019 E9 remains a great mesh of OLED design, picture quality and sound.

Switch on its AI sound mode and the E9 offers a big, room-filling presence. The E9’s tone-mapping means HDR content looks great, despite the panel’s limited brightness, while the features are exhaustive and forward-looking with HDMI 2.1, alongside ALLM and VRR, all of which  will come in handy with the next-gen consoles. A gorgeous OLED, prices for the 55-inch model are now close to £1500.

Panasonic TX-50GX800

Panasonic TX-50GX800B

A mid-range 4K TV that won’t break the bank

Pros:

  • Cinematic picture performance
  • Multi HDR support – HDR10, HLG, HLG Photo, Dolby Vision and HDR10+
  • Classic good looks

Cons:

  • Limited black level performance
  • Brightest HDR performance requires Dynamic image preset

The TX-50GX800 was Panasonic’s mid-range star for 2019 (it’s subsequently been replaced by the HX800). It’s a great meld of price and performance, with premium features such as Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and Atmos compatibility included for just under £600.

It’s a polished performer in the picture department, extracting good performance from SD, HD and 4K HDR sources. The smart interface is easy-to-use, and the design is both accomplished and minimalist in its styling. It’s still available, and well worth considering for those who want very good performance without pushing the boat out in terms of spend.

Samsung QE75Q950TS

Sensational picture and sound

Pros:

  • Spectacular picture quality with a wide range of resolutions
  • Beautiful, cutting edge design
  • Innovative and effective object tracking sound system

Cons:

  • One or two very rare backlight glitches
  • It will be too expensive for most households
  • No Dolby Vision support

Samsung is flexing its muscles with its 8K range. The Q950TS is a third-gen 8K TV and easily its best. Meeting the definition of a ‘real 8K TV’, picture quality is superb even without any native 8K content available as the 8K Quantum Processor works its socks off to upscale sub-8K content. Black levels are impressive, blooming is pretty much removed from equation, and the TV’s scorching brightness means HDR content fizzes off the screen while also remaining nuanced and natural.

The Q950TS also boasts Samsung’s innovative OTS+ system, which has speakers in the top, sides and bottom of the screen. In many ways it works brilliantly, conveying size and accurately positioning effects on-screen. While the Q950TS is nowhere near cheap, it’s one of the best LCD TVs we’ve ever tested.

 

Sony KD-85ZG9

Sony ZG9

A stunning next-generation TV

Pros:

  • Sensational 8K HDR picture quality
  • Very good, immersive upscaling
  • Excellent video processing and backlight management

Cons:

  • Super-expensive
  • Occasional limited backlight blooming issues
  • Voices can get lost in action movie audio mixes

Sony has been rather quiet compared to LG and Samsung with regards to 8K TVs. But its entrance into the market proves Sony is just as capable.

The ZG9 rewards its owners with stunningly bright, clear and detailed images. Itss colour management is excellent, as is the upscaling of sub-8K source material. With its huge number of local dimming zones, it can deliver some of the most impressively dynamic and dramatic HDR pictures. The first 8K TV from Sony is a genuinely thrilling effort.

Samsung UE43RU7020

Samsung UE43RU7020

The best budget small TV

Pros:

  • Good spec
  • Brilliant OS
  • Impressive upscaling
  • Rapid response time
  • Great overall picture performance

Cons:

  • Eco mode should be avoided
  • Nasty sound
  • Poor remote control

Though the RU7020 sits at the bottom of Samsung’s 2019 TV range, don’t let its status as the smallest and most affordable set fool you. It boasts decent features; build quality is superior to most cheap TVs and the performance is excellent.

It looks great with native 4K content, producing a convincing, natural tone, and Samsung’s prowess with upscaling means SD and HD content receives a decent uptick. HDR10+ is available for dynamic HDR performance, and gaming is a speedy 10ms. The audio is rather weak, so factor in a soundbar if you have designs on watching high-quality 4K content or gaming.

Hisense Roku B7120

Hisense Roku TV B7120

A super budget TV

Pros:

  • Satisfying 4K and HD picture
  • Decent sound
  • Speedy Game Mode
  • Lots of apps/channels

Cons:

  • Limited HDR performance
  • SD performance not great
  • Limited viewing angles

Roku’s first stab at the UK market is a resounding success. Bringing their affordable sensibility over from the US, the Hisense Roku TV features plenty of streaming options, as well as satisfying 4K picture quality for its £379 price. Its upscaling performance is good with HD, though less so with SD content. Despite cheap TVs reputation for disappointing sound, the Hisense Roku is a qualified success with its big and clear performance.

For those who want a simple plug-and-go TV that supports the major streaming apps, this is a strong effort and one of the best budget TVs available.


How we test TVs

Every TV that passes through our doors gets put through a series of tests and naked eye checks to gauge its overall picture quality and optimal settings. Key things we look out for are screen uniformity, black level, maximum brightness and colour vibrancy/accuracy. We also check input lag to make sure gamers won’t lose their edge when playing online.

A variety of test footage is used to cover every type of scene, so we can assess a 4K TV’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as how it performs against the competition.

Sound quality isn’t forgotten, either – we give the built-in speakers a thorough listen to determine whether you’ll need to invest in a soundbar or speaker system to beef things up.

If you’re interested in checking out TVs at different price models, models and brands. Look through our main best ofs below models for everything from cheap 4K HDR TVs to expensive 8K models and everything in-between.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.
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