LG vs Samsung vs Sony TVs: Which is Best?
Last updated on December 17, 2021
The envelope please...
Remember the huge leap forward from flip-phones to iPhones in 2007? Well, it’s the same all over again, but this time with smart TVs… and the new ones are game-changers.
Two big differences: 1) Unlike smartphones, TVs have come down in price, and drastically so, making today’s amazing new TV technology affordable for all, and 2) Of the many TV manufacturers out there, three clearly rise above: LG, Sony, and Samsung. (“The Big Three.”). They set the bar for the best TVs out there with smart TV technology, picture quality, slim and beautiful design... across some seriously impressive screen sizes.
Each brand offers models that excel in certain areas (e.g. “this one’s best in a bright room” or “this one sounds best right out of the box”), but bottom line? Though it’s pretty hard to buy anything short of a wonderful TV from one of the Big Three, you can still hone your choice based on your own personal taste, your particular room, and what you like to watch. And that’s what this is all about: our experts picking the best of the best – by category.
(Psssst… before diving in, you can get up to speed with our new “TV Buying Guide.” It’s very consumer-friendly and offers a fair lay of the land.)
Here Are Our Picks for the Best TVs of 2021:
The Best Budget TV:
Samsung Q70AA QLED 4K UHD Smart TV
The Most Beautiful TV:
Samsung The Frame QLED 4K UHD Smart TV
The Best Bang for Your Buck TV:
LG OLED C1 4K Smart TV with AI ThinQ
The Best TVs for Sunny/Bright Rooms:
Samsung Neo Series QLED 4K Smart TVs
The Best TV for Both Picture and Sound Quality:
Sony A90J BRAVIA XR OLED 4K UHD HDR TV
The Best Sounding TV:
Sony X95J BRAVIA LED 4K HDR Smart TV
The Best "Is-This-Real-Life" 8K TV:
Samsung Neo QLED QN900 Series 8K Smart TV
The Best TV for No-Gap Wall Mounting:
LG OLED Gallery 4K UHD HDR Smart TV
The Best 4K Laser TV:
Hisense L9G TriChroma Laser TV
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Shop This Guide
Regular Price: $3,999.99
Save: $701.99 (18%)
Regular Price: $2,999.99
Save: $701.99 (23%)
1. The Best Budget TV on the Planet Right Now:
Save: $302.00 (22%)
Pricing shown for 65" model.
For a few years now, Samsung has completely blurred the distinction between high-end and budget televisions. With their new line of QLED 4K televisions, the distinction gets even murkier. But that’s the only thing hard to see with these ridiculously affordable TVs. Two backlight processes — one cool and one warm — and adaptive picture technology work together to give you the best look for what you’re watching and where you’re watching it. Compatibility with all HDR formats, including HDR 10, HDR 10+, and HLG, gives the picture in these TVs an astonishing range of depth, from high-end Hollywood box office hits and dazzling CGI fantasies to live sports.
20-watt speakers put out plenty of sound and adjust automatically to fill the size of your room, and the Q-Symphony feature syncs the TV speakers with your sound bar, so you don’t have those annoying out-of-phase moments.
Voice setup and control is next-level, as well: Bixby, Alexa, and Google Assistant are built-in. Connect to the Internet with Wi-Fi or make a hard-wired connection. It’s super easy to share your computer or phone screen, and even to have a multi-view, so you can watch your favorite show and video chat with mom.
Connect a keyboard and mouse with the built-in Bluetooth, and let the TV automatically detect what system you’ve plugged in and configure itself accordingly. Lag, tearing, and stuttering won’t bug you, because they’ll be smoothed out with Samsung’s FreeSync — and you can easily check FPS or input lag, or change the aspect ratio from 21:9 to 32:9 with the Game Bar. Plug in your new PS5, and you’ve got a gaming station that will keep you riveted for hours.
2. The Most Beautiful TV:
Save: $502.00 (25%)
Pricing shown for 65" model.
Samsung’s The Frame mounts flush on your wall, indistinguishable from a real work of art. Get the picture? To accomplish this, Samsung took all of the processors, connectors, and other electronics and housed them in a compact stand-alone box, the One Connect. A single fiber-optic cable connects the One Connect with the panel itself, eliminating cable clutter and letting your eye focus entirely on the screen.
The 2021 model has a screen that is nearly half the thickness of last year’s model. With its thin frame (customizable with optional frame designs you snap on magnetically — so long, miter saw), no one will be able to tell the difference between your TV and your art collection.
You can put the TV in Art Mode and use it to display any of the 1,400 works of art from the world’s top museums, which are available with a modest subscription from the Samsung Art Store. Twenty pieces are included for free, or you can upload your own.
The Frame has 6GB of storage, which can handle over 1000 extremely high-resolution pictures from your own collection. You can even set the size and color of the matte surrounding the work. The 43” model can be mounted vertically in portrait mode to display vertically-oriented art — great for commercial installations.
When you want to just watch TV, you’ve got a fantastic Samsung QLED 4K screen, dialed in with all the high dynamic range formats, including HDR10+ and HLG. The streamlined remote (with ambient light solar cell or USB recharging, no removable batteries to replace) lets you access the Tizen operating system for exceptionally responsive navigation.
The refresh rate on The Frame is 120Hz, which means low-lag, smooth action gaming. One of the ports is HDMI 2.1-compatible, which makes it easy to plug in the newest consoles and get the best game experience available.
You’ll be amazed at how well The Frame blends in with the rest of the art in your home. Except that now you’ll have Rembrandts, Ruebens, and so many more dazzling works to enjoy — when you’re not being transported by the first-rate television viewing experience.
3. The Best Bang For Your Buck TV:
Save: $1,003.00 (17%)
Pricing shown for 83" model.
What makes this line of TVs the Best Bang for the Buck? It’s the combination of the phenomenal OLED picture quality, AI-driven contextual picture enhancement, next-level voice assistant and remote features, and first-class gaming capabilities. LG has taken picture quality to new levels with its OLED technology, giving every pixel the ability to go from absolute black to the brightest level of white, red, green, or blue. With this level of contrast, the amazing content-dependent AI ThinQ adjustments, and phenomenal smoothing, everything you watch feels like real life — even games. Does size factor in, as well? With a wall-sized 83" model at the top of their line, you bet it does.
Every aspect of the LG C-series TVs is designed to let you access the latest 4K content and next-generation game consoles, from the multiple 4K-enabled HDMI ports to Nvida G-Sync certification and built-in 4K support with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney +, Apple TV, and more. To help navigate all these features, it’s even easier to access what you want with improved voice commands (Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are built-in, too) and the motion-sensitive remote, which eliminates frustration by making clicking, scrolling, and pointing accurate and dependable.
LG didn’t stop with the picture, they also included audio features that go beyond many other TVs, such as simultaneous audio via the speakers and Bluetooth, dual-band WiFi 5, eARC, and WiSA-ready surround support. There’s no other way to put it: With an LG C-series set, you can’t beat the bang for your buck.
4. The Best TV for Sunny / Bright Rooms:
Save: $702.00 (27%)
Pricing shown for 65" model.
If abundant sunshine makes your TV room extra bright, you need a device that won’t look washed out or reflect glare on nice days. The Samsung QN90A gets our top recommendation for this situation — but this TV delivers so much more than just a bright, true 4K picture.
Samsung’s Mini-LED technology is part of the reason that the QN90A delivers such gorgeous, crisp imagery. The other is their Quantum Matrix feature which controls the color and brightness of each LED while the Neo Quantum Processor analyzes each scene and frame, and then delivers just the right shade with incredible precision, pixel by pixel. The result is a much wider range of contrast, and realistic detail in highlights and shadows that won’t fade, even when you watch at an extreme angle. The powerful processor uses AI for its analysis of any kind of content, which means even your 1080p material will have contrast and color that you never thought possible when the QN90A handles the upscaling — and HDR content will blow your mind.
When it comes to smart features, the QN90A is super-connected, with built-in Alexa, Google Assistant, and Bixby. You can stream Apple TV content directly, too. This TV will brighten up your days, no matter what the weather.
5. The Best TV for Both Picture and Sound Quality (Out of the Box):
Save: $701.99 (18%)
Pricing shown for 65" model.
Sony’s OLED displays have provided eye-popping experiences since they were first introduced. With the new XR processor, the picture quality and audio experience for Sony has taken a leap forward. XR technology uses frame-by-frame picture analysis and Cognitive Processing AI to make each scene perfectly balanced with great dynamic contrast, brilliant colors, and deep-space absolute blacks. XR identifies on-screen elements and isolates individual objects, processing them to enhance clarity. When motion is involved, XR isolates the corresponding sound and projects it in exactly the right place in a 3D soundstage. It also analyzes the individual elements in a scene to emphasize the things you’d focus on if you were in the action yourself. The result: A viewing experience that matches the way the human brain processes images and sound in the real world. In other words, unbelievably realistic viewing.
This TV offers more than just a one-two punch, though. Integration with the Google TV platform and built-in Google Assistant control make for the easiest user interface navigation possible. No more hitting the home button to select a different streaming app, just tell GA what you want to watch, and it’ll bring it up for you. The 120Hz refresh rate and eARC audio return channel via HDMI makes this a great match for the gamers in your household.
- TV Screen Type: OLED
- Screen Shape: Flat
- Picture Quality: 4K HDR
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth
- HDMI Ports: 4/1 eARC
- Dolby Vision: Yes
- Warranty: 1 year
6. The Best Sounding TV (Out of the Box):
Save: $201.99 (10%)
Pricing shown for 65" model.
Nothing beats being immersed in a movie, surrounded by exciting sound effects, and pumped up by a great soundtrack. There are lots of things we could suggest for you to achieve this, but if you’d like to have a TV that gives it to you without additional gear, then put the Sony X95J at the top of your list to check out. Sony’s XR technology is legendary for creating a visual experience that is mind-blowing in its richness, clarity, and contrast, and this same processing power is what’s behind the X95J’s fantastic sound.
The X95J uses sound-positioning tweeters to match sounds with the location of the action on-screen, which is precisely controlled with Sony’s Acoustic Multi-Audio technology. The integrated subwoofer brings the low end in a big way, whether it’s the thud of shells on Omaha Beach or the bass drop on your EDM playlist. XR Surround processing creates a true 3D soundstage, without the need of separate upward-firing speakers — even with Dolby Atmos content.
Dazzling sound deserves a dazzling picture, and the X95J gives you that, and more. Simply put, this TV also happens to be Sony’s premium 4K LED TV. With localized dimming and boosting, the XR processor creates a vivid picture with amazing detail, even in the darkest and lightest areas of a scene. Sony’s anti-glare tech expands your range of viewing angles — you don’t have be on the couch to get the most out of your shows.
Full Google TV integration creates a very user-friendly ecosystem in which you can watch shows from multiple services, all by asking Google to just play it. And the 120Hz refresh rate makes this an ideal gaming TV . . . oh yeah, and don’t forget how all that 3D audio is going to improve your gaming sessions!
7. The Best Is-This-Real-Life 8K TV:
Save: $1,702.00 (34%)
Pricing shown for 65" model.
We don’t really think that you’ll be confused about what is real and what isn’t once you’ve installed the Samsung QN900A in your home theater. But when you look at this ultra-slim, gorgeous display with a nearly invisible bezel, you may be tempted to think you’re looking through a window into a world as real as your own. It’s partly to be expected from any true 8K TV display; 7,680 by 4,320 pixels provide more than enough detail to make any image seem utterly lifelike with real 8K content. But Samsung has engineered a powerful combination of innovations that work together to provide an experience that’s as believable for your ears as it is for your eyes.
Samsung’s new 8K Neo Quantum Processor is the brains behind this magical, immersive experience. In terms of image quality, frame-by-frame analysis delivers incredible dynamic range and contrast that is truly indistinguishable from the real world. Individual Quantum Dot LEDs yield over a billion colors and shades. Coupled with that is the more-than-robust 80 watt 6.2.2 sound system, which pretty much obviates the need for a separate sound bar, and even localizes individual sounds with the new Q-Symphony and Object Tracking Sound Pro technology and matches them to their on screen source — and presto, you’re no longer a mere observer, you’re a willing participant in whatever you’re watching.
The form of the QN900A is amazingly beautiful. The included metal stand is as strong as it is elegant, and it also supports the One Connect box, which houses the processors and provides the input and output connectors. The slim and re-imagined remote can operate for an entire year on a single USB charge, or it can recharge from the ambient light in your home via its solar cell — no more replacing the batteries. With a very well-designed user interface and built in Alexa, Google Assistant, and Bixby, everything about the QN900A will make you want to spend as much time in its world as in your own.
8. The Best TV for No-Gap Wall Mounting:
Save: $703.00 (23%)
Pricing shown for 65" model.
With a thickness of less than one inch and a recessed mounting bracket that allows truly flush wall mounting, LG’s Gallery series TVs are less like appliances and more like pictures . . . or portals into your favorite worlds, since all the latest features of LG’s other OLED TVs are included as well.
In addition to its slim profile, the Gallery series improves upon the amazing “unlimited contrast” OLED pixels of other LG models with the use of a new, stronger material that facilitates light emission and luminance, as well as reducing thickness. So just imagine having the Alpha 9 Gen 4 AI processor crafting each scene to optimize brightness, contrast, actor’s faces, and background detail through this thinner, brighter screen.
The Gallery’s built-in streaming capabilities are leading-edge all the way, with the ability to show 4K content from included apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and AppleTV. Accessing particular shows you want is super easy with the new Magic Remote: Make a voice command while simultaneously scrolling and clicking on another request, and you’ll get the picture. Literally.
If your household is gamified to the max, the Gallery is ready for your hot-rodded PC game machine and any game consoles you crave in the future. Four 4K-ready HDMI ports, super-fast 120Hz response to eliminate motion lag, VRR and ALLM for smoother graphics, and eARC sound sync makes the Gallery series an optimal choice for gamers.
9. The Best 4K Laser TV:
Save: $1,500.99 (25%)
Pricing shown for 100" model with 100" ALR Projector Screen.
The new Hisense L9G has been opening eyes among fans of ultra-short throw (UST) projectors, with its amazing image quality, excellent smart TV integration, and its pairing with two sizes of proprietary screens. Hisense is one of the pioneers of UST projectors, and their long experience is paying off in this ingenious new product.
Of its many selling points, the L9G’s 3-laser system is its strongest. Very few laser projectors on the market use true independent red, green, and blue lasers, and the L9G’s RGB laser system allows it to display a wider color gamut than you’ll ever get with a regular TV. It’s also one of the brightest projectors on the market at 3000 nits. With internal processing that can render dynamic HDR content of all the current formats, the L9G’s image quality is remarkably smooth, with unbelievable detail and color accuracy.
Pair this image quality with one of Hisense’s two new and improved ALR screen options (100" or 120" — go on, start measuring your wall space, we’ll wait), and you get a market-leading viewing experience. Much darker blacks, 90 percent rejection of overhead light, a very wide viewing angle, and easy adjustment controls to match screen and image orientation all combine to make the Hisense screen options an astonishingly cost-effective way to create a truly cinematic experience in your own home theater.
- TV Screen Type: Laser / Lenticular ALR
- Screen Shape: Projection
- Picture Quality: 4K Ultra HD HDR
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- HDMI Ports: 3
- Dolby Vision: No
- Warranty: 2 years
One more thing...
Once you pick out your TV, a last word of advice: buy it from a trusted dealer. And the more experience and longer the track record, the better. A good dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens.
Speaking of trusted dealers…
World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do, and talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet diehard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy. We’re brutally honest when it comes to this stuff. Want to know if something is as good as advertised? Even if you're shopping somewhere else? Call us or stop by one of our showrooms — we’ll give it to you straight. We love what we do, and we love sharing that love.
With us, you get our guarantee, which includes perks like free shipping, 60-day returns, and support even years after the sale — always. Hence our rule: "no one leaves unhappy." Ever.