Few can sacrifice clarity and definition on the biggest television in the house. It's reserved for family movie nights and entertaining guests, so the resolution should be, without a doubt, good enough to hold the audience's attention.
Full HD (high definition or 1080p) TVs don't do justice to our current media library. It's time to upgrade to 4K, which is the new standard resolution for streaming platforms, games and videos. But before we list your best options for a 4K TV, take a look at whether it's the worth the switch and the display technologies to consider.
What is a 4K TV?
Television jargon can be overwhelming to navigate, with its colourful acronyms and numbers. So, while 4K might sound like a splurge, it's actually a common resolution for most TVs today.
"A television's resolution starts with pixels, which play a vital role in delivering better clarity to the viewer. A 4K resolution is made up of 8.3 million horizontal and vertical pixels or 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. It became common in the market about two to three years ago," said Darshan Sindhya, owner and managing director of OMSR Electronics, a television repair service based in Dubai that offers authorised TV servicing and manufactures TV screen guards.
Essentially, a 4K TV carries four times as many pixels than a 1080p TV. If close-up shots of your favourite actors have always looked pixelated, they're going to appear seamless on a resolution of this calibre. It's not the highest offered definition, however. Sindhya tells us that 8K TVs are also available in the market.
Sometimes, 4K is conflated with the term UHD or ultra high definition, and, though these are slightly different resolutions, most manufacturers prefer the ring of a 4K UHD TV.
Which display technology is the best for a 4K TV?
Resolution is just one of the factors that determine a television's picture quality. You might want to consider the panel technology as well. For instance, would you prefer an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) 4K TV or the standard LED 4K TV?
Sindhya says that LED panels use a backlight to light up their pixels, a secondary screen that's not found in OLEDs. Instead, "every pixel inside an OLED panel glows" to light up and darken different areas on the screen, offering a deeper contrast and true blacks.
We'll also find Samsung's QLED technology at a premium price. It enhances the traditional LED panel with a layer of quantum dots to improve colour at high levels of brightness. The best display for you will ultimately depend on the ambiance you're looking to build and your budget.
What can I do with a 4K TV?
The 4K resolution has evolved into an industry standard for various platforms, and a 4K TV will naturally reap the full potential of the offered 8.3 megapixels.
"You can watch anything on a 4K TV, however, some videos are made to watch in 4K, such as on Netflix and other OTT (over-the-top) apps that will offer a more enriched clarity. Having said this, there are many gaming consoles with games that can be enjoyed on a 4K TV. If you have a photography interest or have video recorders like the GoPro, you'll get a sharpness in the quality recorded that's not present on a regular screen," explained Sindhya.
Our expert lists Samsung, LG and Sony as the top 4K TV contenders, followed by tier-two brands such as Hisense, TCL, Xiaomi and Panasonic.
1. Best Overall: Samsung QLED Q70C 65-Inch Smart TV
- 4K 120Hz adjustable refresh rate
- Pantone-validated colours with HDR10+
- Processor transforms all content into 4K
- FreeSync Premium Pro for gaming
- Four HDMI ports
- Screen reflects light easily
Among Samsung's 2023 4K QLED models, you'll find something for everyone in the 65-inch Q70C. It's vivid and detailed for any source of entertainment, whether you're catching a movie with heavy special effects or firing up a video game, say reviews. The Quantum HDR is what gives your content that pop of contrast, bringing it closer to an OLED experience. Refresh rates soar to 120Hz, supported by FreeSync Premium Pro, meaning ultra-smooth gameplay even if the title doesn't come in 4K. This is because the Q70C carries an intelligent processor that upscales any picture to 4K and improves sound and colour, the latter of which is validated by Pantone. Connect up to four devices via the HDMI ports in the back. Reviewers who game with Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles love the picture quality. It also comes with a remote control that has voice assistance built-in. For more 65-inch TVs, check this list.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh299.92 for 12 months with select banks. Add wall-mounting service for Dh89.10.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh227, a one-year accidental protection plan for Dh380, and a two-year damage protection plan and a one-year extended warranty for Dh484.
2. Best OLED TV: LG OLED TV 65-Inch CS Series
- Perfect black clarity and pure contrast
- Same chip as the C2 series - Alpha9 Gen5 AI processor
- Upscales content to 4K
- Massive gameplay support with G-Sync, FreeSync and 120Hz Dolby Vision
- Four HDMI ports
- Screen panel is extremely thin, therefore, fragile
LG is one of the best manufacturers of OLED TVs out there. Its 65-inch from the CS Series 2022 uses the fascinating technology of self-lit pixels to offer pure black areas on the screen. The TV's bezels are nearly non-existent, pulling you straight into the heart of the content. If you game occasionally, the unit supports Dolby Vision gaming in 4K at 120Hz, together with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium compatibility, so you might just give up your PC for this beauty. Like the Samsung Q70C, you're getting four HDMI ports, but three USB ports as well. Reviewers say that this model marries the best of the C1 and C2 series at a value price.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh399.67 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty. Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh284, a one-year accidental protection plan for Dh475, and a two-year damage protection plan and a one-year extended warranty for Dh605.
3. Best Android TV: Sony X85K Series 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD TV
- Android OS lets you access a wider media library
- 120Hz refresh rate with Xbox and PS5 consoles
- 4K HDR processor
- Supports HDMI 2.1
- Has Dolby Vision and Atmos
- Black areas aren't as deep as on an OLED TV
Sony's offerings are not too far behind. This is your shot at bringing home a 4K UHD LED TV that also happens to be a Google TV. Here, you're not bound by 4K content on limited apps, instead, you get access to Google Play Store for Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV and any other platform you're subscribed to. It handles action scenes and fast-moving sports extremely well with a 120Hz refresh rate and Motionflow XR technology. Like the LG CS TV, it has support for Dolby Vision and Atmos for an immersive cinematic experience. Keep in mind that this is a mid-range TV, and, while OLED models exist in Sony's 4K range, none are as pocket-friendly as the X85K 55-inch screen. Reviewers pick it up for gaming exclusively or their bedroom for the smaller display size. Check out slightly smaller 50-inch TVs, too.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh252.83 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh199, and a one-year accidental protection plan for Dh332.
4. Best Budget: Xiaomi 50-Inch TV A2 Premium 4K Ultra HD
- Android TV with Google Assistant
- TV doubles as a smart home hub
- HDR10 and Dolby Vision support
- Decent audio quality
- Only 60Hz refresh rate
Xiaomi TVs offer great value for money, and the rave five-star reviews under the 50-inch A2 4K model are enough proof. Dress the kids' bedroom or your own with a sleek, bezel-less screen that also runs on the Android TV operating system. Besides access to over 400,000 movies, the Xiaomi A2 doubles as a smart home hub with the built-in Google Assistant at this price. As for the colour and depth, it still makes way for 1.07 billion hues with decent contrast, made possible by HDR10. Do note that refresh rates sit at a standard 60Hz, even with Dolby Vision support. Check out more budget televisions under Dh1,500.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh76.92 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh57, a one-year accidental protection plan for Dh95, and a two-year damage protection plan and a one-year extended warranty for Dh121.
5. Best Family Unit: TCL 85-Inch 4K Ultra HD QLED Smart TV
- Large 85-inch 4K screen
- Google Android OS
- Dedicated game bar menu
- Refresh rate of 120Hz for gaming
- Dolby Atmos and Vision IQ
- Response time for gaming is slower than LG CS series
TCL's been consistent with keeping abreast of the latest technology and, then, combining all the best features into screens of various sizes. Take this 2022 model, for example. It has a large 85-inch 4K display, fitted with QLED technology, and runs on an Android OS. You're getting an unlimited content library that lucks out with a colour boost thanks to over a billion Quantum Dot nanocrystals. When gaming, the TV kicks up its refresh rate to 120Hz. Plus, you can tweak advanced controls on TCL's very own GameBar interface. If there's a sports match that can't be missed at the same time, split the screen into four parts so the family gets to keep an eye on their favourite content. There are three HDMI inputs, of which HDMI 1 supports 4K visuals to run at 120Hz. The picture quality is brilliant, say reviews, especially with Dolby audio and visual enhancement on Netflix shows. Browse a few 75-inch screens, too.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh401.87 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year accidental protection plan for Dh475.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.