So, you're looking to get a new TV. You're a serious gamer, and you want the best 4K TV for gaming that you can afford. You want the high-end models - the dream TVs that put all your friends' TVs to shame? And you want the best price on these 4K TVs because, while you have a decent budget, you're not made of money and you want to get a real bargain. Welcome to the guide for you.
Below is a look at the best 4K TVs for gaming, which represent the absolute cream of the crop. Here you'll find OLED and QLED panels, insanely thin TVs that will sit on your wall like art. But what makes a great 4K TV? The clarity of the colors, the response rate of the panels, the depth of the blacks, the clarity of the sound, the quality of the HDR system - these are all the key factors to watch out for. If you're looking for more detailed breakdowns of these systems, we have guides to the best LG TVs for gaming, including a look at OLED tech, and the best Samsung TVs for gaming, with a look at QLED tech. However, we'll discuss the technical merits of each TV in our list below, and explain exactly why they're the very best 4K TVs for gaming.
A note on all our listings: US and UK TVs have different model numbers, but the same features. We have listed the US model where available, and included the UK model name after. They are, however, the same TVs and the prices you see are correct for your region.
1. Sony XBR-55A1E (Sony KD-55A1 in the UK)
Arguably the best TV Sony has ever manufactured, offering unbeatable elegance and amazing black levels
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Yes, Android Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1228(w) x 710(h) x 339(d)mm
A TV isn’t just there to provide a window into your favourite games and movies; it’s also a piece of furniture that can tie together/ruin the look of your living room. When it comes to aesthetic elegance, Sony’s A1 may just be the sexiest television ever made. With a unique bracket stand that can’t be seen when viewing the TV from the front, the A1’s slightly slanted, utterly minimalist design gives the impression you’re looking at a colossal picture frame, not a cutting-edge OLED display.
Being an OLED, Sony’s wonderful set inherently delivers best-in-class blacks, brilliant colour reproduction, and Sony’s usual suite of excellent processing features, like X-tended Dynamic Range and Motionflow. As the actual panel is manufactured by LG, the A1 shares the same (admittedly minor) faults of the likes of the South Korean’s B7 TV. Near-black scenes are still a weakness for OLED, and games and movies with a lot of dark grey scenes, like LA Noire Remastered and Denis Villeneuve’s stunning sci-fi flick Arrival, show off some vertical banding – basically, thin lines going up and down the screen. Only AV obsessives with the eyes of a bald eagle will notice such tiny imperfections, though. Everyone else should simply bask in an awesome TV, which is near identical to this year’s Sony A8F OLED but cheaper and better looking.
2. LG OLED 55B7A (LG OLED 55B7V in the UK)
One of the best TVs you could ever hope to own
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Yes, webOS 3.5 | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1229(w) x764(h) x 254(d) mm
Supremely obvious spoiler warning: OLEDs are awesome. Thanks to their light-omitting diodes, these sets can perfectly dim every on-screen pixel, leading to utterly flawless blacks even the best LED TVs can’t come close to matching. And in the B7, you’re looking at the best balance between price vs performance of any TV on the market. As this model is part of LG’s 2017 lineup, it’s significantly cheaper than the firm’s new 8 series. Functionally though, the B7 mostly matches LG’s newest sets blow for blow. While the likes of the C8 may be slightly brighter (especially when it comes to HDR), the B7’s pictures look broadly similar in all other regards.
Screen uniformity is even better than 2016’s wonderful E6 model, with banding all but eliminated in bright scenes – that means no more visible vertical lines when playing FIFA 18 or panning the camera across the skies of Hitman’s Sapienza level. For those who want to get the most out of Horizon Zero Dawn or Far Cry 5’s brilliant HDR modes, the B7’s HDR Game preset delivers silky smooth performance, with input lag clocking in at just 21.4 ms. While LG’s display can’t produce as strikingly bright pictures as Samsung’s QLED TVs, overall contrast performance is still superior, owing to those perfect blacks. If you do a lot of nighttime gaming in a dark room, this supreme 4K set will last you for years.
3. Samsung QN65Q9F (Samsung QE55Q9FN in the UK)
One of the punchiest 4K sets you’ll ever find
Screen size: 65 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: LED with full array local dimming | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1450(w) x 828(h) x 254(d) mm
Gah! Our poor burned corneas! The Q9F’s pictures are bright… ‘surface of the sun’ bright. One of OLED’s only real weaknesses is the underlying tech of the panels can’t get quite as bright as the very best LED TVs, and the Q9F is certainly one of those. There are plenty of cute features stuffed into this cutting-edge display. The set’s One Connect box helps cut down on the clutter of HDMI cables hanging from the back of the TV, while the Ambient Mode feature is a cool party trick to impress friends with. The latter feature essentially attempts to mimic the pattern of your wall when the TV is in standby – so if you have a brick wall, it will show a brick background.
For gamers though, the main selling points of the set are the TV’s brilliant backlight system and automatic game mode. The first sees Samsung deploy a full array local dimming system boasting 500 zones to ensure blooming and haloing are kept to an absolute minimum, even in the darkest of rooms. Outside of an OLED, you’re unlikely to find better black performance. As for the auto game feature, it automatically analyzes the content you’re playing, and can tell the difference between, say, Netflix and Halo 5; automatically switching modes when it detects a video game. HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR are also welcome for those obsessed with high dynamic range. This being a Samsung, input lag is predictably excellent, clocking in at 21.5 ms when playing games at a 4K signal.
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4. LG OLED 77C8PUA (LG OLED 77C8LLA in the UK)
The ultimate gaming TV comes at a hefty cost
Screen size: 77 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1722(w) x 1052(h) x 253(d) mm
We just can’t do a best ‘4K TV list’ without including one ludicrous luxury purchase. If you happen to be a recent lottery winner/oligarch/A-list actor, the 77-inch LG C8 OLED is pretty much the finest television you can buy. Sure, it costs more than most people usually spend on their first car, but just imagine near 80 inches of Uncharted 4. Isn’t that worth more than some clapped-out Citroën Saxo? While the signature W8 remains the most expensive in the LG range, in reality, each one of the 8 series has an identical picture. The only thing separating the C8 from the W8 is the latter’s flashy wallpaper-thin aesthetic.
The C8, like the rest of LG’s 2018 OLEDs, is the finest television the manufacturer has ever built. Input lag at 4K measures in at just 21.1 ms, while those legendary blacks are as seductively inky as ever. While dark greys still produce banding effects – curse you, barely perceptible vertical lines! – general screen uniformity is much better than 95% of LED TVs. Banding in bright scenes is also better than the 7 or 6 series, and panning the camera in games with bright, uniform skies (light Metal Gear Solid 5) shows absolutely no streaks or smudges. The 8 series also produces slightly brighter HDR pictures than last year’s range of models. In short, if you have a spare $9,000/£7,800, you simply won’t find a more spectacular TV.
- All a bit expensive? Here are the best gaming TV options, most of which are sub-$1000 / £1000
5. Samsung UN55NU8000 (Samsung UE55MU7070 in the UK)
Sammy serves up a speed demon
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: LED with edge-lit dimming | Smart TV: Yes | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1226(w) x 711(h) x 55(d) mm
If this Samsung had a spirit animal, it would be a cheetah… a cheetah with rockets strapped to its furry feet. The NU8000 boasts impeccable input lag of just 17.8 ms when playing games in 4K. That’s not only enough for competition level online gaming, it’s not far from the response rate of certain PC monitors. Not that this TV is a one trick, preposterously speedy pony. High native contrast produces convincing blacks, making this a good fit for those who game in dark rooms.
The screen uniformity on the NU8000 is far superior to most LEDs, with little sign of dirty screen effect. There’s also very little clouding on this set, leading to uniform blacks free form distracting lighter patches. With excellent motion-handling and stellar response rates, the NU8000 is ideal for hardcore shooter fans.
6. Sony XBR-55X900F (Sony KD-55XF9005 in the UK)
A brilliant, well-balanced LED
Screen size: 55 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel technology: LED with direct LED lighting and local dimming | Smart TV: Yes, webOS 3.5 | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1288(w) x 771(h) x 268(d) mm
This ace LED is the best mid-range TV you’re likely to find. Hell, it’s one of the best sets you can buy, regardless of price range. Sony has wisely ditched the LED edge-lit backlight tech it used with many of its past displays in favour of switching to a local dimming system. The switch results in far more convincing contrast performance, with much less ‘haloing’ (distracting light clouds) in dark scenes. While blacks aren’t quite up to OLED standards, the XF9 offers just about the best dark room viewing experience you can get from an LED.
While viewing angles are limited compared to OLEDs, or the likes of Samsung’s Q7F QLED, the XF9 has one crucial advantage over its Sammy rival: it exhibits virtually no ‘dirty screen effect’. Sony’s set has some of the best screen uniformity we’ve seen on an LED, and because the screen’s light levels are so consistent, the smudgy streaks that can often appear when you pan the camera over a blue sky in a game – GTA 5 is a killer for this – are markedly reduced.
The XF9’s internal processing is also top notch. Sony’s new X-Motion Clarity and X1 Extreme processor ensure pictures clearer than ever, making the TV not only a great native 4K performer, but a display that’s also great at upscaling 1080p content. Yes, the Android system holding up this set’s menus is still cluttered and clunky, but as a purely gaming set the XF9’s brilliantly punchy contrast performance and speedy 4K pictures – input lag measures in at just 24.2 ms with a 2160p signal – means we strongly recommend this stunning Sony.
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