The Best Smart TVs to Buy in 2023

The Best Smart TVs to Buy in 2023

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If you took the evolution drawing showing the progress from ape to man and replaced it with televisions, it would be a long line of large, heavy monkeys for about 60 years, and then a very rapid transformation to the slim, upright human that is today’s Smart TV.

Even that plasma TV you owned a mere dozen years ago would be a hairy knuckledragger. Why? Chances are it didn’t have internet connectivity or apps, and it most definitely did not stream. Of course, then you were getting your movies in the mail-in red envelopes from Netflix, so it didn’t matter.

What made your TV make the leap from stone tools to Smart? In short, it cross-bred with your laptop, and in the process gained internet access, powerful processors, user-friendly software, and apps. The old TVs which needed cable or another A/V source evolved into ones which bring “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” into your home mere weeks after its theatrical release.

And like smart humans, they like to hang out with smart friends. Smart TVs now have seamless integration with Alexa and/or Google Assistant, and can do your bidding via voice command. Some can even control the other smart devices in your house like your lights and your security system. Let’s see your old 100-pound cathode-ray-tube monster with the rabbit-ear antenna do that!

So what makes the best Smart TV? Honestly, the streaming capabilities and options are mostly the same. It boils down to the same parameters that TVs have been judged by since they showed Milton Berle on a 6-inch screen: quality of picture, quality of sound, ease of use, and price. OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) TVs have better picture quality, but are more expensive. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), also known as LED TVs, are less expensive and the better models still provide terrific, clear pictures.

Smart TVs require smart shopping. Here’s a rundown of our best recommendations.

Best of the Best

LG OLED Evo G3 Series 83-Inch 4K Smart TV with webOS


If you’re going to go big, go BIG. This beauty with the six-foot-plus screen is from LG’s Gallery Edition line, and when you mount it on your wall – a process made so much easier by its thinness and relatively low weight (77.4 pounds) for its size – you will quickly see why that name is a perfect fit. The picture is, in short, a work of art, with incredible contrast and color vibrancy across the whole giant screen. Add in Dolby Cinema mode, WiSA home theater technology which, when paired with WiSA Certified speakers gives you unbeatable sound, and LG’s Game Optimizer, you have a TV that will likely be the very top of the line for years to come.

QLED Picture, LED Price

Vizio 55-inch QLED M55Q6-L4 Quantum 4K Ultra HD Smart TV with Vizio Smartcast and Vizio WatchFree+


It’s not often you find a really good QLED set for under four figures, much less one that also has Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast built in, a Pro Gaming Engine mode, and a super-fast 120Hz refresh rate. This Vizio model comes with most of the top streaming apps preloaded — including Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, Prime Video, Spotify and much more. It also includes Vizio WatchFree+ for free video streaming with more than 260 free channels available. And if you’re upgrading from an LED set, you’ll notice the perfect black levels and overall improvement in color intensity right away

Big Picture, Small Price

TCL 65-Inch QM8 QLED 4K Smart Mini LED TV with Google TV


TLC’s improvements from last year to this have been small, so you’re still buying the peak TV experience. “QLED” stands for Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diode. It’s still closer to LED than it is to OLED, but as we said, a good LED set is still going to give you a great picture, and this TCL set does exactly that, with Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range and a fast 240Hz refresh rate. Save more than half of the money you would have spent on the LG OLED Evo G3 and get a set that’s a mere two inches smaller and delivers a competitive picture.

Best Budget Set

Vizio V505-J09 V-Series 4K Ultra HD LED Smart TV with Vizio Smartcast and Vizio WatchFree+


On sale for $248 (was $319) at Walmart, the Vizio V505-J09 V-Series 4K Ultra HD LED Smart TV is our pick for the best wallet-friendly 4K TV. This is one of Vizio’s simplest and cleanest smart TVs with Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast built-in and a very wide selection of apps — including Netflix, Hulu, WatchFree+, Vizio’s free streaming service, and more — thanks to Vizio SmartCast. It’s no slouch when it comes to offering stellar picture quality too — thanks to its thin bezels, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision 4K support, vibrant color reproduction and expanded brightness levels.

If you’re on a tight budget, then the Vizio V505-J09 V-Series 4K TV is a great choice to get brilliant picture quality and built-in streaming options at an affordable price.

Best LED Set

Samsung 55-Inch Neo QLED QN90C Series Neo Quantum 4K Ultra HD TV with Tizen


Samsung brought out all of its big guns to make this the best LED model we could find – Quantum Matrix Technology and Quantum Mini LED to get this picture as close to OLED as you will find without making the leap, a Neo Quantum Processor for rich 4K resolution regardless of what you’re watching, and Object Tracking Sound+ that kills any lag between picture and sound. There’s an 85-inch (!!!) 2023 model of this set with improved sound and contrast. Enjoy a truly great TV.

The Powerball Option

Sony 83-Inch Bravia XR A80L OLED 4K Ultra HD TV with Google TV


Walk into a room with this monster mounted on the wall and be ready to catch your jaw as it plummets toward the floor. The features list is nearly as large as the screen, which is a mere inch short of seven feet diagonally. Sony brings its brightest-ever OLED picture and combines it with its XR tech that creates the truest blacks and billions of natural, accurate colors. XR Motion Clarity means no blurring for fast-moving pictures like sports or action movies. Apple AirPlay means seamless delivery from any of your Apple devices. And if you have a Sony PS5, there are exclusive gaming enhancements for that console, and a ridiculously low 8.5ms input lag. If you hit the Powerball, buy the Lamborghini tomorrow – order the Sony Bravia XR A80L today.

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