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19 October 2020

What Is OLED TV? Best OLED TVs to buy

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens are said to be the best of the best. We've tested leading OLED sets but, with prices high, is OLED really worth your money?
OLED TV in living room
MP
Martin Pratt


OLED TVs can give you dazzling, bright pictures with smooth motion, deep blacks and vibrant colours, while also being slimmer than even LED-backlit LCD TVs.

Many of the leading TV brands are developing OLED sets, including LG, Panasonic and Sony, and prices are becoming far more affordable. LG is the most prolific in this area, the South Korean brand releases around five ranges each year. Sony and Panasonic don't release quite as many, but as the displays get cheaper we expect to see more and more.

Smaller brands, such as Philips are also getting in on the OLED action. Samsung seems steadfast in its belief that its quantum dot technology will give the best possible picture quality, as it’s now one of the only major TV manufacturers without an OLED TV, Hisense is another. 

With OLEDs typically commanding a high price and some not warranting it, we've picked out five that excelled in our tests.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Top five OLED TVs

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81%
Best Buy
£1,799.00
Reviewed

This 55-inch TV exudes class. The picture is stunning and the sound is expansive. Your room is filled with rich audio and the whole thing is a dream to use. It's the best TV of 2020.

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80%
Best Buy
£1,699.00
Reviewed

The high-end TVs from this brand are untouchable and we can't see that changing any time soon. Stellar picture and sound are complemented by a simple to use operating system, it really is the full package.

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73%
Best Buy
£1,599.00
Reviewed

The HD and 4K picture on this OLED is crisp and dazzlingly vibrant. We enjoyed the rich bass underscoring the sound making audio robust and powerful. It's a great option at 55 inches.

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73%
Best Buy
£2,499.00
Reviewed

The incredible contrast OLEDs are capable of is on full display with this stunning Best Buy. The HD picture is particularly impressive. Despite having fewer pixels than 4K, the TV gets an incredible amount of detail from them.

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73%
Best Buy
£1,899.00
Reviewed

This big 65 incher is one of best TVs of 2019 and definitely worth considering if you're after a high spec TV that looks superb.

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What’s so special about OLED TV?

OLED TVs have individual organic cells behind the screen, which produce their own light source - unlike standard LED-backlit TVs. This has a number of advantages for picture quality and design:

  • Deep blacks: OLED sets are able to turn individual LEDs off when displaying black, rather than simply directing light away from that part of the screen, as LCD displays do, which means they can achieve very deep blacks.
  • Smooth motion: Motion looks good on OLED TVs, with hardly any blurring, even on fast-moving action.
  • Super-thin screen: With no need for a backlight, OLED screens can be even thinner than most smartphones. Some LG's high-end OLEDs, such as the OLED W are half the thickness of an iPhone 7.
  • Viewing angle: The viewing angle on OLED sets is outstanding. Even when you’re watching from a wide angle, the picture tends to remain rock solid, with accurate colours and good contrast.
  • Energy use: Even though OLED TVs were initially thought to use less power than similar-sized LED-backlit LCD sets, our data suggests they use about the same.

Browse our

TV reviews

to find out which models deserve a place in your home.

Should I buy an OLED TV?

Unlike 4K and HDR, which should now be seen as a requirement for your next major TV purchase, OLED is more of a luxury option. You’ll pay a premium for this screen technology, and you’re certainly not guaranteed a Best Buy. But there's healthy competition in this market, with Panasonic, Sony and Philips launching similarly priced OLED sets as LG. 

This OLED arms race will certainly see quality rise and prices drop throughout the year, but if you're willing to shop carefully, there are affordable and good quality screens around.

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