February is packed with sports action — like the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl — and all that appointment viewing may also have us eyeing television upgrades. Set makers such as Sony, Samsung and LG are running a race of their own: Who can build the biggest screen with the most dazzling, high-resolution picture and the thinnest frame? With so many choices on the market today, we asked a home theater consultant and delved into professional reviews to find some of the best smart TVs you can buy now — at prices starting at $600.
Great for a very large room
Sony X95J 85″ TV: BRAVIA XR Full Array LED 4K Ultra HD Smart Google TV
$1,798 for a 65″ – $3,798 for an 85″
Tim Duffy, who designs and outfits home theaters and other high-end home entertainment systems for clients in Southern California, has this 85” Sony in his living room, and praises Sony’s overall fit, finish and build. “The build quality is the best,” he says. “They seem to just have very, very few problems.”
The Bravia offers Dolby’s proprietary technologies for surround sound (Dolby Atmos) and picture enhancement (Dolby Vision HDR). It also works with the “big three” in voice control — Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant — for anyone wanting to give the remote a rest. For cord cutters, there is a NextGenTV tuner built in to capture high-definition digital video and audio.
If you want an OLED TV
LG OLED C1 Series 65″ Alexa Built-in 4k Smart TV
Duffy praises the image quality of LG’s organic light emitting diode (OLED) televisions — “organic” because the eight million, individually self-lighting pixels that comprise the screen are made of carbon. And he’s not alone. Three of Consumer Reports’ top 5 TVs for 2021-2022 are LG OLEDs, and Wirecutter has named the C1 LG OLED C1 Series 65” Alexa Built-in 4k Smart TV ($1,796 from Amazon) the overall best OLED TV.
LG’s large screen OLED line leans into home TV viewing as a personal movie theater experience, with Dolby surround sound and image enhancing technology built in, and a “filmmaker mode” that (temporarily) switches off some picture-smoothing features that can make movies look less natural.
Hisense 55″ Class U7G Series Quantum 4K ULED Android TV
This Google-friendly TV was Wirecutter’s pick for the best 4K LCD for the money, with the site lauding its “great image quality, superb …….