Samsung has pioneered a raft of TV technologies ranging from HDR to curved screens to Quantum Dot displays. The brand tends to scoop the lion’s share of ‘Best TV’ awards and scores highly for reliability according to both Which? in the UK and Consumer Reports in the US.
Its smart TVs use the company’s own Tizen operating system which means it is closely tied with the hardware, giving Samsung smart TVs a solid reputation.
We recommend going for the mid-range TVs or better if you want to make sure you get the best balance of build quality, picture quality and value. Our pick of the range is the extremely popular and well rated Samsung KS9500 series of UHDTVs.Compare on Shopomo
LG TV sets may seem more expensive than normal at first look, but that’s because the brand makes extensive use of OLED displays in its hardware.
OLED (organic LED) displays actually broadcast light, controllable at a pixel level while traditional LED displays rely on a backlight. This means OLED TVs have deeper blacks and brighter highlights, providing improved all over contrast.
The downside is that OLED TVs tend to be significantly more expensive with prices starting at around £2,000 for a 55-inch screen. Still for many people it’s a price worth paying if you want to get make your TV as future-proof as possible.Compare on Shopomo
Compared with Samsung and LG, Panasonic TVs are often priced a little more accessibly although they are a long way from cheap. Panasonic likes to pitch itself squarely in the mid-range of the blue-chip TV brands, and it has excellent reputation for the reliability and eco-friendliness of its TV sets, too.
In fact, if you’re looking for a good cross section of solid, if not cutting-edge features – UHDTV certification, high dynamic range – coupled with attractive designs and good customer support all priced competitively, the Panasonic range is probably the sweetest spot to shop.Compare on Shopomo
In the 1970s and 1980s, when supermassive cathode ray tubes (CRTs) reigned supreme across the TV landscape, Sony was the undisputed champion of the market with its Trinitron brand. Then a decade or so ago, flatscreen TVs started to take over, with most of the displays made by upstart Korean companies like LG and Samsung.
Sony lost its No.1 position, and to some extent its reputation, as it pushed out a wide range of models of varying quality. In the past few years the brand has recovered a lot of its previous mojo particularly in the mid to high-end.
Stunning superslim 4k models like the X90, which pack HDR displays and Android OS in a tiny 4.9mm case, showcase Sony’s return to form. Shell out for the right Sony and you’ll be extremely satisfied, but steer clear of some of the older models you might see reduced at your local Argos or Currys.Compare on Shopomo
Philips is another massive 70s and 80s electronics brand that lost its way a little as the new century dawned. But the Dutch company’s expertise in lighting has managed to resurrect its fortunes in TV. How? Through a feature unique to Philips TVs called Ambilight.
This is a system of lightstrips on the edge of the TV which throw off light to match the colour of the image being shown on the screen. So the wall behind your telly will go green when you’re watching a football match, blue when you’re watching an airshow and pink when, er, you get the general drift.
Ambilight sounds like a gimmick but once you’ve seen it in action you may well ditch the cynicism. The author bought one of the early Ambilight TVs and still reckons it’s far better than other so-called leaps forward like 3D or curved screens. The feature has certainly helped Philips carve a unique niche for itself among all the other interchangeable TV displays around.Compare on Shopomo
Hisense is the new kid on the TV block, and it’s a bit of a brash, upstart kid at that. The Chinese brand has promised to shake up the TV market by delivering top spec TVs at a fraction of the price charged the established players.
How does it do it? Well you won’t find the latest technologies like OLED or UHD Premium certification on Hisense sets, but then it doesn’t set out to appeal to the AV enthusiasts. Instead it aims firmly at the upper mid-range, with good quality TVs that offer exceptional value for money. For instance you can find the 65-inch H65M7000 UHDTV with HDR for under £1,000 – that’s about half the price of the equivalent Samsung. And it got good scores in all the tech review sites, too.
So if you’re looking for a good quality set without the latest frills for an exceptionally low price, look at Hisense.Compare on Shopomo
The Shopomo editorial team writes our buying guides and reviews based on first-hand knowledge of the products featured and the marketplace they operate in. Shopomo makes a small commission on links to a retailer if a purchase is made but the final decision to feature a product, and how highly it is rated, is purely an editorial one.