Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
The best smart TVs to buy in 2022
Once almost the definition of luxury, smart TVs have been around long enough that they’re now firmly entrenched in the market — it’s difficult to find one without smart technology, even when you’re shopping budget models. But which products are the best smart TVs to buy in 2022?
Buying the best smart TVs for your needs
People tend to gravitate towards the largest TV they can afford, but size isn’t the only thing you should consider. A smart TV’s OS (operating system) is an important consideration. Sets made by Samsung, LG, and Vizio use proprietary operating systems, whereas others use a third-party OS, usually Android TV, Roku OS, or Amazon’s Fire TV.
Unless you're getting a smaller set for your kitchen or home office, you should insist on a 4K resolution screen.
Most TVs have an LCD/LED display, but if you want the absolute best picture you should consider going with OLED, which offers better color representation and deeper blacks. Also, unless you’re getting a smaller set for your kitchen or home office, you should insist on a 4K resolution screen. 4K technology has become relatively cheap, and there are already TVs with 8K resolution, even if they tend to be extremely expensive with very little native video to stream at the moment (more often, they’re upscaling 4K content to 8K).
Owners of recent game consoles like Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X should check to see if smart TVs support a high refresh rate like 120Hz, as well as special “game modes” that reduce latency. Lag doesn’t matter much when you’re watching Apocalypse Now, but in games, minimizing the gap between input and output can mean the difference between winning and losing.
Should I get a streaming stick or set-top box to go with my smart TV?
Not all platforms are created equally. As we mentioned, Samsung, LG, and Vizio use proprietary smart TV operating systems, which tend to drag behind Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Android TV when it comes to getting new apps and features. If you do buy a TV from those companies, we recommend buying a separate streaming stick or set-top to plug into one of your spare HDMI ports. You may want one regardless of your TV’s platform, as we explain below.
Whichever route you take, make sure an OS supports the apps you want to use. Roku lacks a Twitch app, for example, but you can find one on Apple TV, Android TV, and Fire TV. Conversely, Roku and Apple TV have a Spectrum TV app, which Fire TV and Android TV lack. You may need a separate streaming stick with a different OS as backup.
If you’re still not sure which smart TV might be best for you, below are our picks of the best smart TVs in 2022 across multiple categories and price points.
Read further: Why you need a separate streaming device for your TV
The best smart TVs to buy in 2022
- The Samsung QN900A Neo QLED is the best 8K TV you can get, thanks to some impressive video and high brightness levels.
- The Sony A90J OLED is the best 4K TV, with a powerful processor and Google TV.
- The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is the best budget smart TV, offering high-quality features for the money.
- The Vizio D-series is the best small (under 40 inches) smart TV, offering 1080p resolution and solid picture quality for smaller rooms.
- The LG C1 Series OLED is a great overall OLED smart TV, with excellent contrast and color, and support for Dolby Vision IQ.
- The Sony A80J is another great Android TV, featuring Google TV like the A90J.
- The Amazon Fire TV Omni is the best Fire TV, with hands-free voice control and a slick design.
- The TCL 6 Series is the best Roku smart TV, with solid all-around video streaming and gaming features.
- The Samsung QN90A is the best gaming smart TV, with variable refresh rates and auto-low latency mode.
Samsung QN900A Neo QLED: The best 8K smart TV
If you want to future-proof your TV for the next decade, that means something with 8K resolution. There’s a small but growing number of such TVs, and the best comes from Samsung. The QN900A Neo QLED comes in 65-, 75-, and 85-inch sizes, and uses proprietary technologies like Quantum Mini LEDs for a bright and accurate picture, and the Neo Quantum Processor 8K for optimizing output.
With so little native 8K video out there, it’s good that the TV uses AI upscaling for content mastered at lower resolutions. The design of the QN900A is pretty slick as well, with a thin and nearly bezel-free screen, and a stand that holds ports and power connections out of sight. The Samsung QN900A Neo QLED is perfect for your home theater — if you have the money. You could spend even more on the newer QN900B, but it’s not really worth it until there’s more 8K content to watch. You will have to hurry to catch the QN900A, however, since it’s being phased out.
- 8K resolution
- Impressive display
- Powerful AI processor
- Sleek and thin design
- Very little 8K content to stream
- Samsung Tizen TV OS is good, but not perfect
Sony Bravia A90J: The best 4K smart TV
The Bravia A90J comes in 55-, 65-, and 83-inch versions, and is definitely on the pricey side for something without 8K, but you still get what you pay for. It includes the Cognitive Processor XR, which is one of the most powerful chips inside a TV right now and enhances the colors and blacks on its OLED panel.
Other features include AI upscaling and X-Motion Clarity, essentially Sony’s version of a 120Hz refresh rate. Finally it’s equipped with Google TV, the enhanced version of Android TV that first debuted on the latest Chromecast.
- Powerful chip inside
- Excellent display
- Google TV version of Android TV
- Very expensive
- Not as good of a gaming TV as it should be
TCL 5 Series Roku TV: The best budget smart TV
Would you like a smart TV with great hardware and software that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars? TCL has been making a name for itself by offering a solid balance between price and premium features. The TCL 5 Series Roku TV comes in 50,- 55-, 65-, and 75-inch formats.
Despite its pricing, the TV uses quantum dot technology, which provides richer colors and better HDR than conventional LED. Console gamers will appreciate Auto Game Mode, which activates when the TV senses a game being played and provides smoother video and lower latency. Roku OS, meanwhile, is both simple to use and loaded with thousands of apps to choose from.
TCL TVs don’t have the slickest design, but if you can ignore that, the Series 5 promises to give you a high-end experience at a low cost.
- Excellent display for a lot less money
- Auto Game Mode
- Roku OS installed
- Design is not that stylish
- Other, more expensive TVs have better features
Vizio D-Series: The best small smart TVs
If you want a TV that fits on your kitchen counter, in your home office, or any place that’s smaller than your living room, you’ll want a model that’s 40 inches or less. The Vizio D-Series is the best of these options, in part because it maintains 1080p resolution at 24-, 32-, and 40-inch sizes. Below the 40-inch mark, some other small TVs max out at 720p, which barely counts as HD.
Naturally, prices are even lower than the TCL 5 Series. You can get the 24-inch D-Series for $150 or less. Since Vizio uses its own OS, though, we’d recommend buying a cheap streaming stick from Amazon, Roku, or Google to improve your app experience. You may also want to spend a little extra to get the “bezel-less” versions of the 24- and 32-inch sets.
- 1080p resolution
- Can be placed nearly anywhere
- Design is bezel-heavy on most models
- Vizio’s OS is just not good
LG C1 Series: A great OLED smart TV
LG has an advantage when it comes to OLED technology, since LG Display makes some of the world’s best OLED panels for both its parent company and others. The C1 Series ships in 48-, 55-, 65-, 77-, and 83-inch sizes, and includes options like a Game Optimizer and even a Filmmaker Mode that promises movies “exactly how directors intended.”
Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are built in, so while LG is sticking to its proprietary webOS, you can use voice commands for your TV and connected smart home services. And so long as you stick to 65 inches or smaller, you can keep prices under $2,000, unlike the Sony A90J.
- The best display on any TV
- Very thin design
- Filmmaker Mode, Game Optimizer
- LG’s webOS is functional but not the best
Sony Bravia A80J: A great Android TV
While we’ve lately seen more vendors embrace Google TV/Android TV, such as TCL and Hisense, the best TVs with that platform continue to be made by Sony. That includes the Bravia A80J, which comes in 48-, 55-, 65-, and 77-inch models. While the A90J model mentioned earlier in this article has some more advanced specs, the A80J is nearly as good, but at a better price point, which is why we’re including it here.
Both products share Google TV, the Cognitive Processor XR, and a terrific OLED screen, so you’re not really missing out on much. In fact most people should probably consider this set first if they’re interested in Sony’s OLED lineup.
- Sharp display
- Google TV UI
- High-end performance
- Still a bit on the expensive side
- Slightly less stylish than A90J
Amazon Fire TV Omni series: The best Fire TVs
Amazon’s Fire TV OS comes installed on sets sold by Toshiba, Pioneer, and Insignia (Best Buy’s in-house label). In 2021, Amazon finally started selling Fire TV sets under its own brand, if still manufactured by third parties. The best of these are in the Omni series, available in 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, and 75-inch sizes. They all have a very nice design with minimal bezels.
The Fire TV interface is a little hard to get used to, but doesn’t take too long. Each Omni model offers 4K resolution, as well as hands-free Alexa, meaning you don’t need a remote to send voice commands.
- Great design
- Hands-free Alexa voice support
- No OLED option
- Fire TV OS has a bit of a learning curve
TCL 6 Series: The best Roku OS smart TVs
Roku OS is used by many manufacturers, including Hisense, Philips, and Walmart’s Onn brand. The best Roku TVs, however, are still made by TCL. The 6 Series includes 55-, 65-, and 75-inch models, and offers the best mix of high-end features and affordability.
Distinguishing the 6 Series from the 5 is the combination of quantum dots with Mini-LED technology, offering even better contrast, if still short of OLED. It also comes with features like a Game Mode, and support for Alexa and Google Assistant. Be aware that TCL sells a version with Google TV, so don’t get models confused.
- Roku OS is easy to use
- Affordable with high-end Mini-LED hardware
- Game mode included
- Design is fairly basic
- Other smart TVs do things better at a higher cost
Samsung QN90A: The best gaming smart TV
Sony and LG each make excellent smart TVs for next-generation console (and PC) gaming. We’re going to give the edge to the Samsung QN90A, available in 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-, and even 98-inch models. It’s one of the first made by the company to use Mini-LED tech in a QLED 4K display.
When you connect a console like the PS5 or Xbox Series X, the TV snaps into Game Mode. That includes a customizable interface called the Game Bar, which shows information about HDR, frame rate, and more. You can also hook the QN90A up to your PC, and if the game you’re playing supports ultrawide monitors, Game Mode lets you switch the aspect ratio to 21:9 or even 32:9 to simulate playing those games on a desktop monitor.
You may want to upgrade to the QN90B for things like built-in Dolby Atmos speakers, but you’re probably better off using the savings for a high-quality soundbar.
- Excellent game-specific features
- Solid display
- Great design
Picking the best smart TV accessories
While these may be the best smart TVs you can buy, they can be enhanced with some accessories. One of the best TV accessories is a soundbar, which improves audio substantially versus built-in speakers while remaining compact. Many simulate surround sound using standards like Dolby Atmos. If you want to go all-out, there’s the option of a multi-speaker setup for a true surround sound experience.
If you’re watching by yourself, we’d suggest looking into wireless headphones to avoid disturbing neighbors or fellow house guests.
While streaming is how most people watch new movies and TV shows, there are folks who demand physical media for the best picture and audio quality. If you want that, it’s best to get a solid 4K Blu-Ray player.
Finally, gamers may demand a new console to take advantage of the latest TV tech. Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X are the best way to play — if you can find them in stock. Pick the one that supports the titles you’re looking to play.
Other frequently asked questions
Q: How much do smart TVs cost?
A: As you might expect, smart TVs range in price from just over $100 to many thousands of dollars. Usually, higher prices mean larger displays with more advanced display technology and other features.
Q: Should I wait until prices come down to get the features I want?
A: Year-end holiday sales are usually the best time to buy a smart TV. Prices also tend to go down in late January, however, as vendors try to push upgrades in anticipation of the Super Bowl.
Q: What is this “laser TV” that I’ve read about?
A: Some makers use the term “laser TV” to describe what is actually a short-throw projector. It allows people to have a big-screen experience at 100 inches or more without setting up a conventional projector on their ceiling. They also tend to be cheaper than equivalent smart TVs, but projectors do have limitations, such as lower image quality and the need to install a screen for images to be projected on.