Buyer’s Guide: the best smart TVs for any budget

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Many of us no longer pay for cable TV, and entertainment is increasingly moving online. If you’re planning to upgrade your screen, here’s what you need to know and which smart TVs to buy.

  • Do you need to connect an aerial to a smart TV? No. One of the great things about smart TVs is that you can enjoy a world of online content.
  • Which smart TVs have Netflix? Pretty much all of them nowadays. The same goes for Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Hulu.
  • What is the best smart TV of 2018? Keep reading to see our top picks of the year.

As cable increasingly becomes a dying force, smart TVs are more popular than ever. These clever screens allow us to binge on Netflix and enjoy our favorite YouTube content without the need for an external streaming box. Sound good? Here’s our guide to buying your very own smart TV.

What are the key features on a smart TV?

smart tvs - Buyer’s Guide: the best smart TVs for any budget

What to look for

As with any display, it’s important to consider the resolution of any smart TV you plan to purchase.

While standard HD looks fine on smaller screens, look for 4K on anything over 32 inches. Some smart TVs can even deliver 8K. However, this upgrade comes at a huge cost and there is very little content currently available at this quality.

smart tvs - Buyer’s Guide: the best smart TVs for any budget

Netflix might be slow on Wi-Fi

If you’re going to be streaming, connectivity is another important feature. While Wi-Fi is convenient, you may be better off with Ethernet on slower connections.

In order to access all that online content, you will be using the software that comes with your smart TV. Every major manufacturer has its own operating system, while others run Android or Roku. Before making a purchase, read the reviews of each system and go hands on at your local electronics store.

Insignia Roku TV 4K Ultra HD 55-Inch

Insignia Roku TV 4K Ultra HD 55-Inch - Buyer’s Guide: the best smart TVs for any budget

This Insginia screen is powered by Roku (Credit: BigPapa Smerf on YouTube)

For just over 400 bills, this 4K beast can be yours. Powered by Roku, the Insignia offers a bright, crisp picture. The audio could be better, but you should have some money left over for a speaker or three.

Price: $408.99 USD

Samsung QLED 4K Televisions 2018

Samsung QLED 4K Televisions 2018 - Buyer’s Guide: the best smart TVs for any budget

Samsung brings 4K to life with QLED

Samsung’s new 4K range uses QLED technology to deliver exceptional picture quality, with impressive contrast and detail. Meanwhile, Ambient Mode turns your TV into a digital art display.

Price: $1,299 USD

Xiaomi Mi TV 4 75-Inch Ultra-Thin TV

Xiaomi Mi TV 4 75-Inch Ultra-Thin TV - Buyer’s Guide: the best smart TVs for any budget

Mi 4 is an ultra-slim powerhouse

With its own 64-bit quad-core processor, the Xiaomi Mi 4 is a powerhouse. It has Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, plus 32GB of internal storage — all packed into a display that measures 11.4 millimeters thin.

Price: $1,305 USD

Sony Z9D 4K HDR TV with Android

Sony Z9D 4K HDR TV with Android - Buyer’s Guide: the best smart TVs for any budget

Sony’s Z9D offers 4K HDR with Android

This stunning display from Sony offers a cinema-quality viewing experience in 4K. The Backlight Master Drive helps to boost contrast, and the Z9D has Google Assistant built in for voice control.

Price: $1,999 USD

Hisense 100-Inch 4K Smart Laser TV

Hisense 100-Inch 4K Smart Laser TV - Buyer’s Guide: the best smart TVs for any budget

Admire 8.3 million pixels with this Hisense TV

There are 8.3 million pixels crammed into this 100-inch monster from Hisense. Laser technology provides a bright image in all lighting conditions, and you can use Alexa to control the TV.

Price: $9,999 USD

Samsung QLED 8K TV

Samsung QLED 8K TV - Buyer’s Guide: the best smart TVs for any budget

Samsung’s 8K screens are the pinncale of visual entertainment

Samsung’s astonishing 8K smart TVs are quite simply the best of the best. Providing super bright pictures at 16 times the resolution of full HD, these screens are ahead of their time.

Price: $14,999 USD

The best smart TVs

Whether you’re a movie buff or an avid sports fan, these smart TVs should help you access the content you love.

What is your favorite streaming platform? Vote for your favorite in the comments!

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox? Subscribe now.

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Meet Mark Myerson

Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he's pretty handy with a camera, and he's a self-confessed tweetaholic.

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