Tue. May 17th, 2022
Best TV for 2022

Spring is here and that means you’ll soon start seeing new 2022 TVs in stores and online. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily time to buy one. If you want a new TV, our advice right now is to buy a 2021 model instead. If you insist on a new 2022 television for some reason, you’ll probably pay more now than in a few months when 2022 TV prices are sure to fall.

With that in mind, here are the best TVs to buy at the moment according to my hands-on testing. TVs come in all sizes, prices and with a range of smart TV streaming systems — from Roku to Google TV to Samsung — but my reviews concentrate on the best TV picture quality for the money. LCD TVs with local dimming, mini-LED or QLED technology are usually less expensive than OLED televisions, and still perform well while supporting 4K resolution with HDR. An OLED television will give you the best picture quality, however, and could be more affordable than you think. Based on my years of experience and side-by-side comparisons in CNET’s test lab, I’ve chosen the best TV set of every type. I’ll update this list periodically and if I haven’t reviewed the newest version yet, I’ll include a “2022 Outlook” section to give you a sense of what you’re missing (or not). 

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David Katzmaier/CNET

No TV I’ve ever tested offers this much picture quality for as little cash. The TCL 6-Series Dolby Vision HDR TV has an excellent image thanks to mini-LED tech and well-implemented full-array local dimming that helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. It’s also a solid choice for gamers, with a THX mode that combines low input lag and high contrast. As if that’s not enough, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite.

This TV first came out in 2020 but is still a current model and remains my top choice. TCL also sells an 8K version of the 6-Series, but I don’t think it’s worth the extra money, as well as a Google-powered version I have yet to review (although according to TCL its image quality is the same as this Roku version).

Sizes: 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inch. (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.)

2022 outlook: TCL has yet to announce a successor for this TV. I’m betting it will do so later this spring.

Read our TCL 6-Series (2020 Roku TV) review.

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David Katzmaier/CNET

With picture quality as good as any TV I’ve ever tested and a price that’s not too crazy, the LG C1 OLED TV is my go-to pick for people who prioritize picture and are willing to pay for it. It beats any non-OLED TV on this list, including the Samsung QN90A below, with its perfect black levels, unbeatable contrast and superb off-angle viewing. It also has the best gaming features, making it the perfect companion to an Xbox Series X or S, PlayStation 5 or both. The C1 comes in the widest variety of sizes of any OLED TV, although the bigger models are really expensive.

Sizes:  48-, 55-, 65-, 77-, 83-inch. (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.)

2022 outlook: I haven’t reviewed the successor to the C1, called LG C2 series, but I’m expecting it to deliver slightly better picture quality thanks to improved brightness. The C2 also comes in a new size, 42 inches. Otherwise the differences between the 2021 C1 and 2022 C2 are relatively minor, and the C1 remains on sale for hundreds of dollars less.

Read our LG C1 series OLED TV review.

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David Katzmaier/CNET

Looking for a high-end TV with spectacular image quality, but don’t want an OLED? The Samsung QN90A is your best bet. This TV uses QLED TV tech augmented by mini-LED for a brighter image than any OLED TV. The spectacular contrast of OLED still won out in my side-by-side tests, but the QN90A QLED screen comes closer than ever. 

Sizes: 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inch. (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.)

2022 outlook: The 2022 version of the Samsung QN90A is called the QN90B. I haven’t reviewed it yet, but I expect it to have very similar image quality despite the fact that the 2022 version has a lower “Quantum HDR” spec (24x) then the 2021 version (32x). Samsung touts improved processing and a few extra features but nothing earth-shattering, and the 2022 QN90B currently costs hundreds of dollars more than the 2021 QN90A.

Read our Samsung QN90A series (2021) review.

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David Katzmaier/CNET

The three TVs above are amazing, but what if you can’t afford that level of picture quality? The Vizio MQ7 is one of the least expensive TVs to feature full-array local dimming, which lets it reproduce TV shows, movies and games with enough contrast and pop to do HDR justice. It’s a 60Hz model, not 120Hz, but it still handles variable refresh rate games for extra smoothness. If you can’t save up for the TCL 6-series, the Vizio MQ7 makes an excellent consolation prize.

Sizes: 50-, 55-, 58- 65-, 70-, 75-inch. (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.)

2022 outlook: Vizio has yet to announce a successor for this TV but I expect the company to do so later this spring.

Read our Vizio M-7 Series Quantum (2021) review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku is our favorite platform for live TV streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, and it’s even better baked into the TV. This TCL 4-Series can’t beat any of the models above on image quality — its 4K resolution and HDR performance don’t do much to help the picture — but it’s perfectly fine for most people, especially at this price. 

Note that TCL also makes a Google TV and an Android TV version of the 4-Series. I haven’t reviewed them, but I expect similar picture quality to the Roku version.

Sizes: 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inch. (The prices shown below are for the 43-inch size.)

2022 outlook:  TCL has yet to announce a successor for this TV, but I’m betting it will later this spring.

Read our TCL 4-series Roku TV (2021) review.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

What’s that you say? You just want the best TV and can afford whatever you want? Here you go. In my tests the LG G1 OLED TV and the cheaper C1 above were the best TVs I’ve ever reviewed, with unbeatable contrast, perfect wide viewing angle and excellent uniformity. The main advantage of the G1 is slimmer, more wall-friendly design compared with the C1, so if you value that style and can afford it, this is the TV to get. 

Sizes: 55-, 65-, 77-inch. (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.)

2022 outlook: I haven’t reviewed the successor to the G1, called LG G2 series, but I’m expecting it to deliver slightly better picture quality than the G1 or the C2 thanks to improved brightness. The G2 also comes in a new size, 97 inches, although its pricing and availability have yet to be announced. Otherwise the differences between the 2021 G1 and 2022 G2 are relatively minor, and the G1 remains on sale for hundreds of dollars less.

Read the LG G1 series (2021) review.

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David Katzmaier/CNET

With excellent picture quality, anchored by full-array local dimming and plenty of brightness to make HDR content shine, the X90J is Sony’s answer to the TCL 6-Series and step-up Vizio models. This LED TV’s sleek looks and the Google TV operating system score additional points, as does its next-gen console support — including variable refresh rate (VRR), enabled by a software update in March 2022 — and built-in NextGen TV tuner. This Sony TV is perfect for PS5 gaming and works with Alexa & Google Assistant. If you want an “S” brand, this is one of the best values we’ve tested.

Sizes: 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch. (The prices shown below are for the 55-inch size.)

2022 outlook: The successor to the X90J is the X90K. I haven’t reviewed the new model yet but its image quality specifications are largely similar to the 2021 version, so I don’t expect many picture quality differences. Unlike the 2021 version, the new model ships with VRR enabled out of the box.

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