Best smart TVs reviews. The best 8 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 2015'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 widely adopted screen technology, but plasma is the other option. Take a look at our Plasma vs LED comparison to find out more.
With LED displays, there are two options to consider - edge-lit or back-lit. Edge-lit displays have LED lamps around the edge of the screen, which enables them to be incredibly thin. Though the technology has vastly improved since its introduction, there are sometimes complaints about inconsistent lighting of the screen, and even patchy colours. Back-lit models have LED lamps spread across the rear of the screen, which makes them thicker then edge-lit displays, but the consistency of lighting and colour should be a lot better.
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 on-demand video services and may even feature a web browser. Don't get carried away by gimmicks such as Facebook and Twitter integration, instead look at which video services are available. The best smart TV's will have their own App Store where you'll be able to download Netflix, Amazon Video and all catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and All 4. Alternatively, you might want to invest in a YouView box (see BT and TalkTalk review) which has on-demand services built in. 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. However, it might be best to avoid 3D TV's as it seems that 3D is a dying market, with many broadcasters pulling support for their 3D channels.
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. Some TV's will also support a wireless dongle, plugged in via a dedicated USB port at the back of the TV.
4K - The vast majority of TVs have a Full HD resolution (don't accept fewer than 1920x1080 pixels), but the newer models have so-called 4K resolution, which offers 4x the detail of Full HD. While many of the latest 4K TV's are expensive, you can find great deals on 4K TVs (especially around Christmas), though it's worth noting that there isn't a lot of 4K content available right now, so you'll be watching 1080p TV upscaled to a 4K resolution.
The 8 best smart TVs of 2015 UK:
- 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.
6. 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: 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.