Top picks from LG, Roku, and more

Most smart TVs offer built-in TV channels, ambient modes, and more, making them the ultimate entertainment hub. With features like scheduling assistance, cloud gaming, and other perks like voice control, the best smart TVs not only offer beautiful displays, but create a balance for your home, making life easier. However, each smart TV offers a specific ecosystem, with custom perks and quirks. To help you decide which features and system is best for you, I’ve compiled a list of the best smart TVs I’ve tested, used, and written about, starting with my current obsession, the LG G3 OLED evo.

The best smart TVs: Our top picks


LG G3 OLED evo

1. Best smart TV overall

$2597 $3300 Save $703

The LG G3 makes our top pick for the best smart TV. With a bright picture and designed for streamers and gamers alike, the G3 brings the best balance of these audiences straight to the display.


  • Gorgeous, bright OLED picture
  • Great contrast
  • Some of the best gaming support available

  • Mediocre sound quality
  • Desktop stand not included

Having recently tested the LG G3, I can’t sing enough praise for the smart TV. Equipped with LG’s built-in WebOS system the LG G3 makes for seamless navigation when pulling up streaming apps, TV shows, and even scroll through LG’s in-house free ad-based channels. And as a gamer, I love that it comes with the cloud gaming hub, making it easy to stream my video games from my preferred cloud gaming service. Even the magic remote features some great perks like voice commands as well as a pointer, so you can use it like a laser pointer to click on your shows.

Aside from these great features, the LG G3 TV uses an OLED panel that displays brilliant, vivid color on-screen. Plus, for an OLED, it’s incredibly bright – and is one of, if not the brightest OLED panels on the market, making it suitable for both bright and dark spaces. This TV has also consistently been the top choice here at Pocket-lint, earning our top billing for being the best 4K TV on the market today for its AI up-scaling and its picture processor simply being so good, so it comes as no surprise that it’s also made our best pick here, too.



Roku Plus Series

2. Best budget smart TV

$600 $650 Save $50

The Roku Plus Series TV brings a great balance of user-friendly features and pictures to your living room. You’ll get a pre-calibrated picture in addition to the intuitive RokuOS system built-in. The remote also brings shortcuts and easy-to-use voice commands to the TV, too.


  • Pre-calibrated QLED picture
  • User-friendly OS
  • Voice Remote comes with shortcut programming

  • Narrow viewing angle
  • Only 60Hs refresh rate for gaming

If you’re looking to balance the best mix of value, 4K picture quality, and price, take a look at the Roku Plus Series TV. As a Best Buy exclusive, it features Roku’s intuitive RokuOS system built-in, bringing up your favorite apps right when you turn it on. While you won’t get any ambient modes, when the TV goes into a sleep state, you’ll still get an on-screen clock to help you keep track of the time.

Another one of my favorite Roku features is its remote. In addition to using voice commands that work with the TV, you can also program shortcuts onto the remote. Once programmed, simply long press the button to pull up your favorite apps, shows, and more – it’s customizable to your needs. Plus, since the calibration has come pre-programmed to American standards, you’ll find that all you have to do is set it up, and you can start watching your shows in less than 20 minutes, no calibration required.

Samsung QN900C


Samsung QN900C

3. Best premium smart TV

$4498 $4998 Save $500

The Samsung QN900C brings the power of 8K straight into your home. Its built-in Samsung Tizen is compatible with the Bixby home system in addition to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.


  • Top-notch 8K QLED picture
  • Comprehensive smart features
  • Great built-in audio thanks to Dolby Atmos

  • Very expensive
  • No Dolby Vision support
  • Little 8K content at this time

The Samsung QN900C QLED 8K smart TV offers its own in-house Smart Tizen OS, and similar to the LG G3, you can stream your favorite apps from the home screen. In addition to a gorgeous, future-proof 8K picture, Samsung’s TV integrates seamlessly with its Bixby system in addition to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, making it a great choice for Samsung phone users as it can pair with the rest of the SmartThings home ecosystem. Having tested this TV, its price tag and that 8K picture make it our premium pick.

Another favorite feature of mine on this panel is its Ambient Modes. You can choose from various frames, from a coffee shop complete with clinking cups to a cozy fireplace. This Ambient Mode was one of my favorites on any panel simply because it offered these frames in addition to natural scenes. Plus, for gamers (again, guilty as charged), I can pull up the Samsung Gaming Hub and have access to thousands of my favorite games via its built-in cloud gaming service. And, with that 8K picture, you’ll get a truly gorgeous picture for AAA titles.

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series

Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series

4. Best smart Amazon TV

$600 $760 Save $160

The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED series its the top-of-the-line TV from the retail giant. You can bring the power of your Echo Show to your living room thanks to its expansive Amazon Alexa ecosystem built-in.


  • Bright QLED display
  • Expansive Amazon Alexa ecosystem
  • Plenty of HDMI ports to add your devices

  • Needs to go through a calibration process
  • No Dolby Atmos support

If you’re fully embedded into the Amazon home ecosystem like I am, you’ll probably want a TV that can do everything your Amazon Alexa does. And, if you’re seeking the best Amazon TV, you’ll want the Amazon Fire Omni QLED smart TV. Because it doubles as an Echo Show, you can pull up your calendar, check your Alexa cameras, and more. In other words, you can use it as your new hub in lieu of an Echo Show.

Aside from the standard Amazon ecosystem perks like adding reminders, sticky notes, and more, the TV brings Amazon’s intuitive Fire TV interface to your screen, making it easy to pull up your shows. The 4K QLED picture, especially for the price, will bring you great and vibrant detailing to your screen, too. It’s a worthwhile investment for enjoying a bright 4K display while remaining in the Amazon family.

LG C2 main



5. Best smart TV for gaming

$1296 $1500 Save $204

Our favorite TV of last year, the LG C2 OLED offers an outstanding picture alongside the latest technologies, like Dolby Vision IQ, and 4K/120Hz support for gamers.


  • Beautiful 4K picture quality
  • Game-friendly HDMI inputs
  • Multiple sizes available for any space

  • No HDR10+ support
  • Weak audio

If the G3 is too pricey for your budget, take a look at the LG C2 OLED 4K TV. It comes with many of the features of the G3 but at a lower price point. It offers the same LG WebOS system, magic remote, and cloud gaming hub. One of the major differences is that while the G3 can get up to nearly 2,000 nits, the C2’s brightness output is considerably less, and we measured it at 810 nits in home entertainment expert Verity Burns’ review.

All LG TVs come equipped with HDMI v2.1 to boost up to the 4K, 120Hz refresh rate, but on the LG C2, its picture displays beautifully with gorgeous detailing and vivid colors, especially when it comes to video gaming. Whether you opt to use the built-in gaming hub or your own console to play your favorite titles, this is the best gaming TV you can buy right now.

Hisense U8 Mini-LED TV

Hisense/ Pocket-lint 

Hisense U8H ULED

6. Best smart TV for value

$1000 $1700 Save $700

Perfect for balancing price, quality, and smart features, the Hisense U8 Series ULED 4K smart TV brings Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant into your home. We particularly like the built-in Google OS that makes watching your TV shows much easier. Plus the 4K picture looks great on the 65-inch screen.


  • Great 4K picture
  • Intuitive Google OS

Hisense’s U8 panel brings the power of Google straight into your home by opting for the Google OS. One of my favorite features about the Google OS is that it shows on the home page the last shows you watched, so you can watch your shows faster than finding your streaming app, your profile, and then your show. Because it’s got Google built-in, you’ll also find that you get Google voice commands, but it also works with Amazon Alexa for those who are built into the ecosystem.

When I tested this panel, I loved that it had a great balance of brightness and picture quality that made for a solid QLED panel. It also clocks in at under $1,000, and you can find it on sale for significantly less for a 65-inch panel. For those that want a gaming TV, the display handles fairly well and for the price, you’ll get an all-around solid smart TV.

The bottom line: What’s the best smart TV?

The LG G3 TV is our top pick overall for balancing top quality 4K picture on a bright OLED panel. Plus, with the wide viewing angle thanks to that OLED panel, combined with the WebOS system, it’s a great choice for any living space. If you’re seeking a budget pick, the Roku OS works well and comes pre-calibrated so all you need to do is plug and play, essentially. I particularly loved that it used the easy-to-use Roku OS while keeping its smart features simple for almost any user.

LG G3 square


LG G3 OLED evo

Editor’s Choice

$2597 $3300 Save $703

The LG G3 makes our top pick for the best smart TV. With a bright picture and designed for streamers and gamers alike, the G3 brings the best balance of these audiences straight to the display.

How we picked the best smart TVs

While obviously the picture is one of the top factors in a best TV, we looked at the best smart features. We took into account the built-in operating systems and checked how intuitive and user-friendly they were. Additionally, we also checked to see if they offered extras like Ambient Modes, screensavers, and more. We also tested all of these panels and included reviews where we wrote about them to help us make our top choices – TVs are my jam, so I’m both well-versed and picky when it comes to putting together a list of the best options to buy.

What to look for in a smart TV

When choosing a smart TV, it breaks down into what features you’re looking for that match your needs. You’ll want to consider display size, 4K resolution versus 8K resolution, and refresh rates. And of course, the operating system and connectivity.

Display size: Consider your space first. Odds are that if you’re in a smaller apartment space, you’ll want to have a smaller panel to enjoy your space without overpowering it. Many TV offer a variety of sizes, and you’ll find that most measure in the 55-, 65-, and 75-inch range. If you need a smaller TV, you can find one as small as 42 inches.

Resolution: While we added an 8K TV to our list, most smart TVs only offer native 4K content. 4K is the best choice, offering a crisp, clear picture for your space. You’ll also not find much, if any, 8K content, so you’ll be putting your smart TV’s AI upscaling to see any differences.

Refresh rate: Gamers, listen up: you need to consider your refresh rate. With a 120Hz refresh rate, you’ll get smoother gameplay for your gaming console. That being said, a 60Hz refresh rate won’t make or break your gaming. It may feel more choppy, but unless you’re actively scrutinizing the picture, you won’t notice the difference too much.

Operating System: Almost all of the panels on our list offer a different system – and that’s okay because that means each offers its own pros and cons. In general, you’ll want to make sure that you have an operating system that’s easy to use. For accessibility purposes, we recommend the Roku, but some of the systems even offer a magic remote so you can point and click on your favorite shows to start watching them.

Connectivity: For connectivity, you’ll want to check and see how many HDMI ports the panel offers, making it easier to connect to different consoles and other devices to your TV. Additionally, you’ll want to see what kind of port it offers — and HDMI v2.1 is the best for getting those 120Hz refresh rates on your screen.Plus, for connectivity, there’s another factor to consider: Whether your smart TV can connect to the rest of your smart home. Samsung has compatibility with Philips Hue bulbs, as an example, making it easy to dim your lights while you’re watching TV for a more immersive experience. Others, like the Amazon Fire TV, offer a fully immersive Alexa ecosystem, so you can even check your doorbell while you’re watching TV or add a calendar event from the big screen.

How can a voice assistant in my smart TV enhance its features?

A voice assistant, as I’ve found, can bring a whole new way to watch and experience your TV. While I personally use the Amazon Alexa smart home assistant, I love that I can ask Alexa to turn off my TV when my cat is snoozing on the remote. Plus, I can easily use the smart voice assistant to pull up my favorite shows, play, pause, and do more.

For those who are curious how a smart home integration would work in their home, my advice: Opt for the smart home ecosystem that works best for you, whether that’s Amazon, Google, or Samsung’s SmartThings. You’ll be able to add your TV into your ecosystem to check your smart cameras, pull up your movies, or even just check the weather as you’re heading out the door. Personally, I’ve found it a worthwhile investment for my smart home.

What are the must-haves for features and connectivity if I want to integrate my smart home devices into my smart TV?

The good news is all the TVs on our list feature some kind of compatibility, be it Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or their own in-home smart assistant. If you’ve never strayed into the realm of smart home features, that’s okay – because there are plenty to choose from, and they all work really well together. The major question you’ll need to ask yourself is whether you plan to built out your smart home with other products like cameras or smart home devices.

If you answer yes to that question, I personally recommend opting for a system that’s compatible with Amazon or Google. Samsung’s in-house SmartThings app also works great for those who love to buy Samsung products.