Thinner, lighter, faster, bolder. Flat screen TVs annihilated their bulky predecessors long ago. In 2023, no living room is complete without one: so what’s the best flat screen TV to buy? There’s big ones, small ones, silver ones, black ones, Smart ones, dumb ones… The best flat screen TV to buy is arguably different for everyone, but in this article we can help you figure out which ones are by far the best bet.
The best flat screen TV to buy these days will undoubtedly be a Smart model, with stellar picture quality, at least a 50” width, and a depth of 3” or less to mount flush to a wall if required; it’ll also put the ‘fun’ in ‘functional’, with great performance whether you’re streaming, gaming or enjoying a movie. There are several technologies that can achieve this perfect flat screen model, so we’ve demystified them each and categorised accordingly. So, without further ado, let’s get to forgetting those old cathode-ray behemoths and determining the best flat screen TV to buy in 2023!
Product Comparison Table: Best Buy Flat Screen TV
|Best in class
|LG OLED Evo C2 Series 55” Alexa Built-in 4k Smart TV
|LG 75NANO90UPA Alexa Built-In NanoCell 90 Series 55″ 4K Smart UHD TV
|Sony 50 Inch 4K Ultra HD TV X85K Series
|TCL 55″ Class 6-Series 4K Mini-LED UHD QLED Smart Roku TV
|Hisense 50-inch ULED U6 Series Quantum Dot QLED 4K UHD Smart Fire TV
The flatter-than-flat LG OLED Evo C2 Series 55” Alexa Built-in 4k Smart TV is our best flat screen TV to buy if you’re looking for an OLED display, which stands for “organic light-emitting diode.” An OLED display makes the best flat screen TV to buy because the individually-controlled pixels offer the best possible picture quality on the market, including the best contrast ratio of any type of display. However, the only downside is that they can be susceptible to burn-in if static images are displayed for long periods of time – which is unlikely during regular TV watching.
Like all the best OLED TVs, the LG C2 OLED TV is a 4K TV with a 120Hz refresh rate and a wide color gamut – the blacks are deep, and the colors are out of this world. It also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+, as well as Dolby Atmos sound, projecting to fill any space no matter how large; it also has a built-in AI processor that automatically optimizes the picture and sound quality for whatever you’re watching. Smart, right?
- Best picture quality on this list
- Dolby Atmos technology
- Built-in smart platform
- Looks like a work of art (1” depth, 9” w/stand)
- Susceptible to burn-in
Look no further for the best flat screen TV to buy that guarantees excellence in picture quality, sound quality, and Smart features – the LG OLED Evo C2 Series 55” Alexa Built-in 4k Smart TV, perhaps (IOHO) the best flat screen TV to buy on this list overall! Best part, it’s resistant to dust, dirt, scratches and humidity, as well as being sleek and beautiful at only 1” thick.
Ever heard of NanoCell? NanoCell is a type of LED display that uses nanoparticles – tiny particles that filter out unwanted light waves – resulting in purer and more accurate colors. In terms of the best flat screen TV to buy, NanoCell displays offer a number of advantages over traditional LED displays: not just great color, but wider viewing angles, and higher brightness. They’re below OLED or QLED in picture quality, but more affordable.
The LG 75NANO90UPA is our best flat screen TV to buy in the NanoCell stakes. The 4K NanoCell display with Full Array Dimming gives deep blacks and enhanced contrast and the a7 Gen 4 AI Processor 4K automatically adjusts your viewing and audio settings for a smooth, crisp picture and immersive sound in any space. With Cinema HDR, Dolby Vision IQ & Dolby Atmos, you’ll feel like you’re in the action. Plus, built-in Alexa means that you don’t need to be in the room to control your TV. ThinQ technology, meanwhile, maximises this model’s Smart capabilities.
- Colourful and crisp
- More affordable
- Built-in Alexa
- Slim (10” w/stand)
- Lower picture quality than OLED or QLED
NanoCell may not offer the top-level picture quality or contrast ratio available, but for an affordable yet competent option, NanoCell is the way to go: the LG 75NANO90UPA Alexa Built-In NanoCell 90 Series 55″ 4K Smart UHD TV is the best flat screen TV to buy – thanks to crisp clear color and inbuilt Smart features.
The oldest technology on this list, LED stands for “light-emitting diode.” Made up of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) that are backlit by LEDs, the Sony X85J 85 Inch TV is our best flat screen TV to buy in the LED display stakes; more energy-efficient than older LCD displays, LED displays like this can produce bright images, but usually lack the rich contrast ratios of OLED displays. That said, they’ve been trusted for over a decade.
Consequently, what sets the Sony X85J 85 Inch TV apart as the best flat screen TV to buy among LEDs is its impressive contrast ratio for this kind of display! Sony’s X1 4K HDR Processor upscales low-resolution content and improves detail, while Motionflow XR 960 reduces motion blur. Add a wide viewing angle and supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ high dynamic range formats, and you’ve got a great-looking TV. The X85J also has a built-in Google TV smart platform with access to streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
- Excellent contrast and black uniformity
- Huge selection of smart apps
- Not so good at an angle
- Not the brightest TV on the market
- Quite thick (3 1/8” depth, 11 3/8” w/stand)
Out of all LED TVs on the market, we think the Sony X85J 85 Inch TV is the best flat screen TV you can buy that contravenes all the known downsides of traditional LED display tech! The Sony X85J may not match up visually to newer technologies, but avoids matching up to the bumped-up electricity bills that come with newer display tech too. Your bank account will be thankful!
Second only to OLED, QLED stands for “quantum dot light-emitting diode”. QLED displays use quantum dots: tiny particles that emit light of a specific color when they’re excited. QLED displays can produce more vibrant colors than traditional LED displays, and they’re a good choice for those who want a high-quality picture without the high price tag of OLED. Our best flat screen TV to buy in this category? The TCL 55″ Class 6-Series 4K Mini-LED UHD QLED Smart Roku TV.
Much like the previous model (but better visually), the TCL 55″ Class 6-Series is a high-end TV that features a Mini-LED backlight, Quantum Dot technology, and a wide color gamut. It also has a fast 120Hz refresh rate and supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ high dynamic range formats. But what’s special about this one is that the TV is powered by Roku’s smart platform, which gives you access to a wide variety of streaming apps, as well as Roku’s music channels, which are brilliant for garden parties and BBQs!
- Excellent picture quality
- Deep blacks and bright highlights
- Roku smart platform with streaming apps
- Slightly thick, especially with stand (2.7” depth, 12.6” w/stand)
- Local dimming can be uneven at times
You knew you needed a premium TV when you started reading this article, right? Right? Well, when you’re watching, the TCL 55″ Class 6-Series 4K Mini-LED UHD QLED Smart Roku TV feels like a premium TV. And that’s why it deserves the title of our best flat screen TV to buy in the QLED category. The Roku TV streaming platform is a real bonus, even if it is a bit thicker than models like the LG OLED Evo C2.
ULED stands for “ultra LED”; Hisense coined this term themselves to refer to its ultra-powered LED TVs, like the Hisense ULED Premium U7H. Our best flat screen TV to buy in this category uses a combination of technologies, including quantum dots, local dimming, and high dynamic range (HDR), to produce a high-quality picture. ULED TVs can be more expensive than traditional LED TVs, but they offer a little of the best of all worlds.
Ergo, this TV is one our best flat screen TV to buy in this category. This is because it combines many of the best features we’ve discussed in this article: 4K UHD resolution with Quantum Dot technology, Quantum Processor 4K for image processing, Ultra Wide Color Gamut for vibrant colors, Full Array Local Dimming for deep blacks and bright highlights, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support for high dynamic range content a 120Hz refresh rate, and a Google TV smart platform with access to streaming apps. It may not be master of all, but it’s got a little of everything.
- LED-equivalent picture quality
- Fire TV smart platform with access to streaming apps
- Smaller screen options than the rest
- Quite thick (3” depth, 12” w/stand)
- A little of everything, but master of none
Here’s a really good all-rounder. But have you ever heard the saying: “jack of all trades, master of none”? That was probably written about the Hisense 50-inch ULED U6 Series Quantum Dot QLED 4K UHD Smart Fire TV. Even so, if you’ve got your heart set on Hisense’s best, this jack of all trades is still our best flat screen TV to buy the ULED category. It won’t break the bank, and sometimes an all-rounder is just what you need!