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Our Top Picks for 2016

The current market for TVs in the UK offers a huge range of different models from which to choose. There are many different sizes, loads of features to consider and you also have a variety of different screen and picture technologies to choose from.

While the biggest TVs with all of the most advanced technologies can be great, they are not always the right choice for everybody. For some situations, a smaller TV might be better. And some buyers might not be that concerned with having all the fancy features or the highest screen resolution available. In many cases, you might just be looking for a good TV at a good price.

Finding a TV that will fit your needs at a reasonable price may sound like a simple enough task, but it can often be more complex than you think. There are just so many models to choose from, and it can be hard to tell if you are getting the best TV that you can for your budget.

If you are looking for a good TV that offers a lot for the price, then our best buy recommendations will hopefully prove helpful. We have reviewed and tested TVs of all different sizes and considered many factors to provide best buy recommendations for the average TV buyer. The idea here is not to list which TVs are the absolute best in the different size ranges (as these would ordinarily be the most expensive sets available) but instead, the idea is to recommend TVs that offer great value for the amount of money that you spend.

>>> Please note, the prices shown on this page are guide prices and subject to change as retailers update their deals (which they do often). To get accurate and up-to-date prices for each model just click the ‘Read Review’ button to be taken to the full review which also lists prices at a range of popular online retailers such as Amazon, Argos, Currys, John Lewis etc (and these prices are updated daily at 5am).

So, without further ado, here are our top picks…

 

Small TVs (31 inches and below)

  • Product   
  • Price   
  • Screen Size   
  • Definition   
  • Resolution   
  • Refresh Rate   
    The refresh rate is the number of frames per second the television can display (measured in Hertz). For example, a 200Hz TV can draw 200 images per second. When choosing a new television the higher this number, the better.
  • Our Rating   

  • 1. LG 28LF491U

  • £229.00
  • HD Ready
  • 720p
  • 300Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 5

  • 2. Samsung UE22H5600

  • £189.00
  • Full HD
  • 1080p
  • 100Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 5

  • 3. Panasonic TX-24DS500B

  • £229.00
  • HD Ready
  • 720p
  • 400Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 5

Large TVs can be great for the living room or a space for entertaining, but they are not the right choice for every situation. If you’re looking for a TV to put in your bedroom or for the kitchen counter, then you might need something that is a little more compact.

At the top of our list for small TVs, we have the LG 28LF491U. If you want a smaller TV that has a lot to offer at a low price, then this one is hard to beat. It is an HD Ready model, but at 28-inches, you still get a good viewing experience even at 720p. Additionally, you get a load of nice features like Smart TV, USB playback and recording, and it can do screen sharing with mobile devices.

With the Samsung UE22H5600, you have a TV with a 22-inch screen and a ton of great features. This TV is 1080p Full HD, so it does provide a quality picture for all of your viewing. Beyond that, it comes with a range of great entertainment options. You have the Samsung Smart TV features, recording and playing content from USBs and it has a Freeview tuner built-in. Some buyers may find the sound to be a little weak, but at this size of TV, this is to be expected. Bearing in mind the likely location (ie kitchen or bedroom) of the set most people will find the sound more than adequate.

With a 24-inch HD Ready display and a variety of nice features, the Panasonic TX-24DS500B can be good option for buyers that need one of the smaller models. The picture quality is great for a model that is in this size range, plus you get a Smart TV experience, that offers a lot of options, and it can do things like connect with mobile devices for screen mirroring and play content from USB storage.

 

Mid Size TVs (32-42 inches)

  • Product   
  • Price   
  • Screen Size   
  • Definition   
  • Resolution   
  • Refresh Rate   
    The refresh rate is the number of frames per second the television can display (measured in Hertz). For example, a 200Hz TV can draw 200 images per second. When choosing a new television the higher this number, the better.
  • Our Rating   

  • 1. Panasonic TX-40DX600

  • £599.00
  • Ultra High Definition
  • 4k
  • 800Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 5

  • 2. LG 32LF5610

  • £349.00
  • Full HD
  • 1080p
  • 300Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 5

  • 3. Samsung UE40K6300

  • £499.00
  • Full HD
  • 1080p
  • 800Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 5

Next up, we have the televisions in the medium size range. These are the TVs found in your average living room and many of them offer a great viewing experience. This is where the idea of getting 1080p screen resolution really starts to make a difference. Once you get beyond 32 inches, the upgrade in screen resolution is going to be more noticeable.

A 40-inch screen might be a bit small to take full advantage of the 4k screen resolution, but the Panasonic TX-40DX600 which is our top pick offers a picture quality that is hard to beat at this size. In addition to being able to play Ultra High Definition (UHD) content, it has the UHD upscaling and a Smart TV setup that delivers more entertainment options than most people could possibly use. Further, this model does have USB playback, and it also offers screen mirroring from Android devices.

It may not have the widest array of features, but the LG 32LF5610 could be a great TV for people that are just looking for something that will do the basics, and do them well. This model has a 32-inch 1080p screen, and the picture quality is really impressive. While it doesn’t have Smart TV, you do get 2 HDMI ports for connecting components (so you could easily add a smart tv add-on like the Amazon Fire Stick). You can also set up DVR recording through the USB and it comes with the Freeview tuner built-in. With this model, you get all of the basic viewing options at a reasonable price, so it could be perfect for a buyer that is not concerned with Smart TV.

And finally, the Samsung UE40K6300 combines a high quality screen with the curved design to provide a truly immersive viewing experience. The 1080p screen displays colours that are true to life, and the depth and clarity of the picture is outstanding. Beyond the top quality picture, you also have one of the best Smart TV setups that you will find, and features like DVR recording to USB memory devices and Miracast.

 

Large TVs (43-54 inches)

  • Product   
  • Price   
  • Screen Size   
  • Definition   
  • Resolution   
  • Refresh Rate   
    The refresh rate is the number of frames per second the television can display (measured in Hertz). For example, a 200Hz TV can draw 200 images per second. When choosing a new television the higher this number, the better.
  • Our Rating   

  • 1. Sony KD49X8307CSU

  • £599.00
  • Ultra High Definition
  • 4k
  • 900Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 5

  • 3. LG 50UH635V

  • £749.00
  • Ultra High Definition
  • 4k
  • 900Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5

  • 2. Panasonic TX-49DS500B

  • £499.00
  • Full HD
  • 1080p
  • 400Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 5

For viewers that want a more cinema-style experience, there are a wide range of large TVs on the market. These models will look great in your living room, and they really bring the content to life. When you move up to a screen of this size, nothing short of 1080p will do, and this is where you will really start to notice the difference between Full HD and Ultra HD.

As a large TV with 4K resolution and a range of Smart features, the Sony KD49X8307CSU gives the buyer a lot for the price (at the time of writing £599 on Amazon which is excellent value!). The picture on this TV leaves very little to be desired. The UHD resolution provides amazing detail and viewer can clearly see the richness of colour and the depth. The Smart TV on this model is the Sony Android TV system. It comes with a great number of features, but it can be a little hard to navigate at times. This is one TV where buyers may want to consider buying the Smart remote.

With a 50-inch UHD display and HDR capabilities, buyers can bring their home viewing to the next level with the LG 50UH635V. The picture quality on this TV is absolutely stunning, and when connected to an HDR source, it is really something to behold. For features, this TV has Freeview and Freesat tuners built in, plus it has LG’s award-winning WebOS platform for the Smart TV. Add in the USB playback features and Miracast, and you will find no shortage of entertainment options.

If you are looking for the largest screen size with the most features for your money, then the Panasonic TX-49DS500B is definitely worth considering. While it may not be Ultra HD, this Panasonic does still offer a great picture with the 1080p screen. In addition to a good all round viewing experience, this TV also has a versatile array of features. It has a Smart TV setup that is very user-friendly, plus you have Miracast and playback from USB devices. The main shortcoming on this TV is that it only has two HDMI ports, while this will be enough for most users, a third would be good.

 

XL TVs (55 inches and beyond)

  • Product   
  • Price   
  • Screen Size   
  • Definition   
  • Resolution   
  • Refresh Rate   
    The refresh rate is the number of frames per second the television can display (measured in Hertz). For example, a 200Hz TV can draw 200 images per second. When choosing a new television the higher this number, the better.
  • Our Rating   

  • 1. Panasonic TX-58DX700B

  • £899.00
  • Ultra High Definition
  • 4k
  • 1400Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 5

  • 2. Sony KDL65W857C

  • £999.00
  • Full HD
  • 1080p
  • 800Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 5

  • 3. LG 55UH750V

  • £999.00
  • Ultra High Definition
  • 4k
  • 1900Hz
  • 1 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 51 vote, average: 4.50 out of 5

When you step up to the 55-inch plus screen sizes, you are getting televisions that will provide the ultimate in home viewing. These massive screens can be great for sports, movies and more, but they will not necessarily be a good fit for every home. In a small room, a screen of this size will simply overwhelm the viewers and the resolution may look poor if they’re seated too close to the screen. You can read more about selecting the right size TV in our guide here – it’s more of a science than you might think!

As an additional point, you will want to put some serious consideration to upgrading to Ultra High Definition. At this kind of size, 1080p should be more than adequate, but 4k resolution will make a world of difference.

Our top pick at 58 inches, and boasting 4k resolution with HDR compatibility, is the Panasonic TX-58DX700B which we think delivers very impressive performance at a reasonable price. You could find models that do things like HDR a little better, but for this price, you will have a hard time finding a screen of this size that offers a comparable picture quality. As for special features, this unit comes with a fully loaded Smart TV hub, it has playback from the USB and you can do screen mirroring. When you consider the picture quality and all of the features, the TX-58DX700B really is outstanding value for the money.

If you are looking to prioritise screen size over resolution, then the Sony KDL65W857C could be just what you are looking for. It may not be a UHD television, but Sony has done a great job of getting the most from the 65-inch Full HD screen. The picture quality is still impressive and this TV comes with some really nice features. You have the Android operating system for a versatile SmartTV experience, and it offers things like screen mirroring and USB playback and recording. The one issue that some users may have is that the Android system can be a little hard to navigate, but this can be easily solved by purchasing the optional Smart remote. All in all, you get a lot of TV for your money with this model.

If you’re looking for one of the best all-round experiences in the extra large TV range, then the LG 55UH750V is a model that should definitely be on your list. It has a 55-inch UHD screen with the ability to display HDR content. For screen size, colours, contrast and resolution, this is a TV that is really hard to beat at this price. Add in the fact that it has Freeview and Freesat built in, plus one of the best Smart TV systems that you will find, this is a TV that is sure to satisfy. It also comes with the Smart remote, making the controls much more user-friendly and it has screen mirroring and DVR recording and playback through USB external memory.

 

What makes a Best Buy?

In selecting our best buy televisions, we consider the following

 Picture Quality – Picture quality is obviously one of the most important points to consider when shopping for a new television. There are several factors that contribute to a good picture, and screen resolution is just one of them.

Features – On the modern TV market, you have a wider selection of TV features to consider than ever before. You have the Smart TVs with a variety of different entertainment options, the ability to stream content from mobile devices, USB compatibility and the different tuners that may come built in. Having a good selection of these features will certainly help a model in this regard, but the lack of Smart TV or screen mirroring will not automatically disqualify a TV from being considered a best buy (as not everyone needs or wants these features).

Attractiveness – This concerns how good the TV will look in your home. In this, we consider the slimness of the TV, the bezel, and the overall look. Being less attractive from a design standpoint is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but we understand that people want a TV that looks good in their home.

Value for money – Value is something that the vast majority of buyers give at least some thought to. No-one wants to spend top dollar only to realise later that they could have had virtually the same product for half the price just because it has a different badge on the front. If a less expensive TV offers comparable performance and features to more expensive models, this is something that we’ll try to bring to your attention.

Buyer feedback – We also consider the overall buyer feedback that can be found online. If the vast majority of previous buyers have expressed satisfaction with the TV, then that is a good sign. If there has been an unusually high level of customer dissatisfaction, then it could disqualify the model from being a best buy. With any ‘mass-market’ product the odd bad review is inevitable but too many could be a sign that all is not well.