The TV Awards category is always one of the most keenly contested and this year’s What Hi-Fi? Awards was no different. TV technology iterates at an alarmingly rapid rate, so while each year’s new TVs may not mark a wholesale change from the previous year’s, there’s always something of note to pique the early-adopter’s interest.
This year QLED and OLED have matured and settled into a battle for supremacy, pitting brilliant colours against detailed but dark blacks, while also offering interesting sound solutions and a thorough helping of features. And there were also more affordable models, in more manageable screen sizes, meaning this year’s best TVs should offer something for everyone.
First in line is the Samsung UE43RU7470, this year’s Best 40-43in TV, and a bit of small-ish screen bargain. This cheap TV winner still offers premium features such as good HDR performance, voice control and all the streaming apps you could need, while delivering a picture with plenty of detail, a broad range of colours and brilliant upscaling.
The Best 49-50in TV under £800 is also a win for this Korean giant, thanks to the Samsung UE49RU8000. We called it “an example of the mid-range at its very best. This is a TV that offers most of the performance of the company’s excellent flagship 49in set with a significant discount. It is, in other words, a great buy.” And now an Award-winning Best Buy.
Our preferred premium model at this size, the Best 49-50in TV over £800, is the Sony KD-49XG9005. While it isn’t an OLED and doesn’t feature absolutely all of the bells and whistles in Sony’s arsenal, it’s closer to the top of the company’s 2019 range than one might expect. What’s more, it’s an absolute belter of a television, continuing the fine work of the XG9505 range, which we also reviewed in the 65-inch size.
For a big-screen bargain, we’d look no further than the Panasonic TX-58GX800B, our pick as the Best 55-58in TV under £1000. The 50in version of the GX800 is great, and this 58in model offers all of the same qualities in a significantly larger size for very little extra money, making it even better value when compared to rival sets. There’s HDR10+ and Dolby Vision on the spec sheet, plus natural pictures with bags of detail. No wonder it’s a winner.
Prepared to spend a little more? The LG OLED55C9PLA is our choice as the Best 55-58in TV over £1000. With its incredible colours, intense blacks and razor-thin panel, this is just another in a long line of totally brilliant OLED TVs from LG. And with £500 off the UK price right now, this one’s a real steal.
Rounding off our TV Awards are two premium TVs that take up a lot of room but deliver cutting-edge, class-leading pictures in return. The Samsung QE65Q70R is a premium performer at midrange money, showcasing the best of Samsung’s QLED technology and taking home a third TV Award for Samsung. It’s our Best 65in TV under £2000.
And finally, the LG OLED65C9PLA is LG’s second TV Award, winning the Best 65in TV over £2000. Each year LG squeezes more performance out of its panels, producing a picture that defies expectations, and this year is no different. The C9’s picture is natural but dynamic, offering impressive contrast and colours. It’s even impressive sonically.
But which TV will be our overall Product of the Year? All will be revealed at the What Hi-Fi? Awards event on 5th November…