Our latest round of TV testing has uncovered new Best Buy models from two of the biggest manufacturers, one of which you could tune into for less than £600. But we’ve also unearthed a dreaded Don’t Buy that proves no brand is too big to fail our tests.
We’ve had a host of TVs from Samsung and LG pass through our Test Lab. While some of them have impressed our experts with beautifully detailed visuals and booming, bass-heavy audio, others have been let down by juddering detail and smeared colours. Keep scrolling for the details.
Best Buy televisions – Dazzling displays and superb sound
The LG 32LJ590U is an entry-level option with a 32-inch display, on sale for around £280. This HD Ready LG TV comes with Freeview Play, which combines catch-up with the scheduled TV programme guide. It comes with LG’s webOS smart TV platform, which is one of the better-equipped TV systems we’ve tried.
If you’re looking for a slightly bigger screen, take a look at the £600 43-inch LG 43UJ750V. This smart TV has Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners and supports 4K Ultra HD content, serving up four times the number of pixels as Full HD. It comes bundled with LG’s Magic Remote, which you can use to control an on-screen pointer. It makes navigating menus and channel flicking much quicker.
The largest LG TV we’ve tested recently is the LG 49LJ614V. This 49-inch option is a Full HD TV, so you can’t watch 4K or HDR content on it. Even so, it has a Freesat HD satellite tuner as well as a built-in PVR, so that you can record shows to a USB drive. Timeshifting is also supported, letting you pause and rewind live TV broadcasts if you have to nip to the kitchen for another cup of tea. You can find this TV for under £500.
High-end Samsung TVs
They don’t come cheap, but you’ll get an app-packed smart TV for your money. The curved 49-inch Samsung UE49MU9000 supports 4K Ultra HD and HDR content. If you plug in a USB device, you can make use of the twin-tuner PVR to record one programme while watching another.
The mammoth Samsung QE55Q8C has a 55-inch display. This QLED model is one of Samsung’s top-of-the-range TVs for 2017, unsurprisingly supporting 4K Ultra HD content. This smart TV has both a Freeview HD tuner and a Freesat satellite HD tuner for picking up either of the free-to-watch services.
Samsung 6-series models
We’ve had our hands on the latest new arrivals making up Samsung’s popular 6 series. The smallest is the 49-inch Samsung UE49MU6670, a curved 4K Ultra HD TV that supports HDR. In theory, that should guarantee that colours get an eye-pleasing boost, but you’ll have to see our full review for our expert verdict.
Then there’s the £600 Samsung UE50MU6100, a 50-inch smart TV that’ll give you instant access to popular apps including Netflix and YouTube. You can download even more from the app store, although you’ll need to set up a Samsung account to do so. One step up from that size-wise is the 55-inch Samsung UE55MU6200, on sale for around £750. It has a curved 4K Ultra HD screen and comes packed with lots of catch-up and on-demand apps.
Entry-level Samsung TVs
If you’re a buyer on a budget, you might have your eyes on these entry-level Samsung models.
The Samsung UE32M500 has a 32-inch Full HD resolution screen and could be yours for less than £300. You can kick back and relax in front of free-to-watch HD and SD channels with a Freeview tuner, but don’t expect booming bass from this set. This budget TV is quick and easy to set up and channel installation is a breeze too. We put this TV through its paces to see how much bang you get for your buck – see our Samsung UE32M500 review for the details.
At around £370, the 40-inch Samsung UE40M5000 may be affordable, but it can’t offer up 4K picture or smart-TV functionality. Like the smaller model, it has a Freeview tuner and is delightfully easy to set up for the first time and use on a daily basis.
For more details on the ongoing battle between these two big-name brands, see our guide: Samsung vs LG TVs: Which is best?