Best smart TVs reviews. The best 13 smart TVs you can buy in the UK in 2015. Best smart TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Panasonic. See also: 6 cheapest 4K TVs in the UK 2015.
If you're in the market for a brand new smart TV and want to learn more about which one to choose, you've come to the right place. Here is where we rank and review 2014's best smart TVs as well as offering expert buying advice so you can make sure you spend your money wisely. See also Group test: what's the best LCD display?
Smart TV buying advice
The first thing to consider is screen size. The bigger you go, the more expensive the smart TV is likely to be. Also if you're buying a TV for a living room that is on the small side, the last thing your home - and your bank balance - needs is a monstrous screen dominating the room.
We recommend between 37- and 50in for the average UK living room, although some people would consider 50in to be too large. You will, of course, quickly get used to the size, even if upgrading from a much smaller set.
Next, consider something more technical: what sort of screen technology you want your Smart TV to have. LED is the most common in modern TVs but plasma is the other option. Take a look at our Plasma vs LED comparison to find out more.
Ports and connections - You'll want as many HDMI inputs as possible, consider three a minimum. If you have older kit, look for Scart and component inputs. If you want to route audio from your TV to a separate amplifier and speakers, a digital connection is best, such as coaxial or optical S/PDIF. Analogue audio outputs such as phono or a headphone jack will give you only stereo - not surround sound.
Smart functions - This is a big part of modern TVs, and includes access to internet video, maybe even a web browser. Don't get carried away by gimmicks such as Facebook and Twitter integration, instead look at which video services are available. You'll usually find BBC iPlayer and YouTube, but there's rarely the full set of UK catch-up channels on offer. For that, you might want to invest in a YouView box (see BT and TalkTalk review). You can find out more in our set-top boxes and on-demand TV service reviews.
It's also worth having a look at the new range of media streamers which plug directly into your TV. Google's Chromecast and the Roku Streaming stick are essentially Wi-Fi dongles that connect to your TV via an HDMI port and turn it into a Smart TV, and offer a wealth on Internet TV services. Take a look at our Chromecast vs Roku comparison review, to find out more.
3D - Many but not all TVs support 3D. There are two main types: passive and active. They both have their pros and cons. If 3D is a priority, here's an article explaining the difference between passive and active 3D.
Networking - Integral to a smart TV is a network connection. Wi-Fi is more convenient as it's one less cable to run, but less common than a wired Ethernet port.
4K - The vast majority of TVs have a Full HD resolution (don't accept fewer than 1920x1080 pixels), but the newest models have so-called 4K resolution, which offers 4x the detail of Full HD. These are expensive and there isn't much 4K content. It's also risky buying a 4K TV as it's early days and standards aren't yet finalised. You don't want to be stuck with a BetaMax or a HD DVD in a world of VHS and Blu-rays.
The 13 best smart TVs of 2015 UK:
- Reviewed on: 5 July 13
- RRP: £899.99 inc VAT
The LG 42LA690V delivers a serious bang for your buck. With boutique looks and a feature set that wants for naught, it’s decidedly modernistic. Images are dynamic and colour rich, while overall ease of use is high. Our only caveat – and this is the most important feature for any television – is picture performance. Motion resolution is poor, which will be a deal-breaker for anyone that enjoys decent television picture quality.
Read our LG 42LA690V review review.
- Reviewed on: 26 April 13
- RRP: £699 inc VAT
All things considered, the Panasonic TX-L39E6 is a great smart TV for the money. It looks beautiful, delivers sharp, contrasty HD images and boasts an extremely sophisticated user interface and a decent selection of IPTV. We rate it easy to use and (caveats not withstanding) easy to live with.
Read our Panasonic TX-L39E6 review.
- Reviewed on: 14 October 13
- RRP: £1,999 inc VAT
Overall, we rate the PS51F8500ST as a class act. There are some minor niggles, and the price is certainly high, but its over performance is polished and as a connected proposition this plasma positively shines
Read our Samsung PS51F8500ST review.
- Reviewed on: 28 August 13
- RRP: £780 32-inch, £1230 46-inch, £1430 50-inch and £1650 55-inch
While Samsung's 40-inch UE40F6800 is unlikely to win any design awards, there's no doubting its overall performance. Images are fast and crisp, 3D is detailed and bright, and most significantly, the set features best-in-class internet TV content and has unbeatable multimedia file support. The UE40F6800 may not be particularly cheap, but when it comes to performance it doesn't disappoint.
Read our Samsung UE40F6800 review.
- Reviewed on: 16 April 14
- RRP: £3999 inc VAT
Overall, the HU8500 can be considered a head-turner of a TV. Although we are not entirely convinced by the value of the curve, we will concede it looks pretty cool. Picture performance is excellent, particularly with native 4K content streamed via Netflix. Once you've enjoyed UHD it's difficult to go back.
Read our Samsung UE65HU8500 review.
- Reviewed on: 8 August 14
- RRP: £799 inc. VAT
Overall, the Samsung UE40H640 should be considered a great value net-connected flatscreen television. It boasts engaging 1080p image quality, working well with both sport and movie content, offers a wide variety of connected functionality and generally looks the business. We like it a lot.
Read our Samsung UE40H640 review.
7. LG 47LB730V
- Reviewed on: 17 July 14
- RRP: £899 inc. VAT
Overall, the LG 47LB730V can be considered a reasonable performer for the price – made entirely more desirable by the inclusion of webOS. Elegant and inventive, this is Smart TV the way it should be done. Consequently, if you're a heavy user of streaming services, be they catch-up or subscription, this screen should be high on your audition list.
Read our LG 47LB730V review.
- Reviewed on: 23 October 14
- RRP: £1000 inc. VAT
Overall, this 6 Series Philips has much going for it. Both sound and vision are a cut above the norm and while it wouldn't be our top choice if connected Smart functionality was top priority, or we wanted a screen specifically optimized for sports, it's made significantly more desirable by the moody magic of Ambilight.
Read our Philips 55PFS6609 review.
- Reviewed on: 2 August 13
- RRP: £5999 inc. VAT
Even without native 4K content to play with, it's difficult not to become a little infatuated by the KD-65X9005A – it really is an outstanding television. Indeed, it may well be the best the brand has ever made. From design to usability, audio to video, it's just a treat to use. If this model is anything to go by, the super-large TV scene is going to become very interesting over the next 18 months. Even if you have no plans to buy right now, track down a 4K audition sooner rather than later. It's always nice to be in at the start of something big.
Read our Sony KD-65X9005A review.
- Reviewed on: 8 November 13
- RRP: £5499 inc. VAT
It may be early days for 4K Ultra HD, with commercial content still at least a year away, but this HDMI 2.0 debutant hints at what we can expect. In the meantime, thanks to the provision of DisplayPort, you can hook up a PC and enjoy the set's ultra hi-res 2160p talents straight away. The WT600 is a landmark display in every sense.
Read our Panasonic TX-L65WT600 4K LCD TV review.
- Reviewed on: 12 March 14
- RRP: £900 inc VAT
Overall, the Sony KDL-50W829 can be regarded as something of a star. The interface could be more responsive, although priced at less than a grand, it delivers an uncompromising picture performance, and well-rounded feature spec. Its Smart connected functionality is solid, although it lacks a full complement of catch-up. We particularly like the new One-Flick Discovery search and recommendation bar. In all, the W8 is a superb Full HD flatscreen that won’t break the bank.
Read our Sony KDL-50W829 review.
- Reviewed on: 16 June 14
- RRP: £2100 inc VAT
Ultimately, the Panasonic TX50AX802 is a thunderously fine UHD flatscreen, capable of outstanding 4K picture quality. Detail, dynamics and colour depth are all firstclass. The set also looks great with fullHD and upscales Bluray content with considerable finesse. While the lack of Netflix 4K support is a disappointment, the inclusion of Freetime remains a trump card. Overall Smart functionality is fine.
Read our Panasonic TX50AX802 review.
- Reviewed on: 7 July 14
- RRP: £3600 inc. VAT
Overall, the KD-65X8005B is a barnstormer of a 4K bigscreen television. We've seen some great Ultra HD performers this year, but none are so comprehensively satisfying as this new X9, and our caveats remain minor. From design to AV performance, the KD-65X9005B impresses. Pleasingly, it's also priced for the new format. Now if only Sony could sign-up those missing catch-up TV providers for its Smart portal.
Read our Sony KD-65X9005B review.