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The Best Smart TVs for Your Home

TCL
🕚 Updated August 2021

The evolution of the television set could be considered among the globe's finest technological achievements, or at the very least, it's a really cool one. We started with 50-pound glass boxes that had an unexpected tendency to go up in smoke. Today, there are hardly any wires, you can download the remote onto your phone, and you don't even need a cable provider to enjoy it.

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  Best Overall Best Budget Best Resolution Best Curved Screen Best for Dorm Rooms
 
  Toshiba
All-New 32-inch Smart HD 1080p TV
TCL
32-inch Roku Smart TV
Samsung
Flat 55-Inch 4K UHD 7 Series Ultra HD Smart TV
Samsung
55-inch Curved TU-8300 Series 4K UHD HDR Smart TV
Insignia
32-inch Smart HD Fire TV
 
Our SummaryThis TV brings users their favorite streaming content from various platforms, plus live TV with great HD qualityA smaller yet efficient console, this smart TV is easy to use and easy on your wallet.A smart TV that provides an extremely clear and high resolution picture, with a sleek look to boot.A 55-inch smart TV with a curved screen that contours to better fit into your space and offers enhanced color quality.A 32-inch smart TV with voice control that allows you to switch between your favorite streaming services hands-free.
ProsGreat selection of apps and movies, Fire TV built-in, comes with an Ethernet port and Bluetooth connectivity.High value for low price, compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant.Ultra slim design, multiple screen sizes and connectivity options.High-quality picture, less blur even with fast movement on-screen.Built-in Alexa voice control and Fire TV.
ConsThin, less durable stand and legs.Lower resolution than some other smart TVs.Expensive, no voice control on remote.Too large for smaller apartments or dorms or offices.Only one size available, and it's not very large.
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The Best Smart TVs for Your Home

A TCL Roku TV on a wooden shelf in a modern living room.
TCL

The smart TV capitalized on the sleek designs of flat screens and the imminent rise of Wi-Fi connections to give us a wholly unique television experience. From streaming services to voice command and other convenient task managing operations, if it requires an internet connection, then there’s likely a smart TV out there that can do it for you. If you’re finally ready to ditch the old TV set or you’re looking for another TV to add to your home, here are some smart TVs that we recommend.

Buying Guide for Smart TVs

A man watches TV that streams from his smartphone.
Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a smart TV?

With more and more people turning to streaming services in addition to (or even instead of) cable TV, smart TVs offer a distinct advantage that traditional TVs lack. Since smart TVs connect to the internet, they offer access to both network channels and online streaming services. Even better, they don’t require an external device like an antenna, satellite, Fire Stick, or Roku to do so. (Although in many cases, some of these can be used in tandem with a smart TV if desired.) You can connect your cable box to your smart TV while still granting access to popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. Most smart TVs have built-in apps for these various services, which allows you to remain logged in to your accounts and makes navigating between them that much easier. You can often organize, add, or delete these apps as desired, too.

As a bonus, many smart TVs give you the option to surf the internet, watch YouTube videos, and stream music right on your TV. Many models allow you to add music apps like Spotify or Pandora to your rotation. This is extremely useful for hosting or throwing parties, especially if you have a nice surround sound system to connect to your smart TV. And since smart TVs connect to the internet, they’re perfect for playing group video games online through systems like Xbox or PlayStation, too. Some might even be paired with or come equipped with digital voice control such as Alexa or Google Assistant, allowing you to change channels, lower or raise the volume, and search for a movie or app hands-free.

What should you look for in a smart TV?

Before you pick out your smart TV set, keep these factors in mind:

  • Resolution and Screen Size: Resolution refers to the number of detailed pixels on your television screen. The more pixels that are present, the less likely that you’ll see them at all. Also, consider how big of a screen you can or want to fit on your wall or TV stand for convenient and enjoyable viewing.
  • Display: Most modern smart TVs have adopted an LED display in which the screen is backlit by light-emitting diodes rather than the fluorescent lights of yesteryear. Some TVs adhere to OLED light sources, where each pixel acts as its own light source, or they’ve made the leap to ULED, the latest in display picture quality. These variations come with their own pros and cons, so make a point to weigh them individually.
  • Features: The smart TV has earned rightful acclaim for its continuous add-ons and updates, so find one with a bit of pizazz. Do you want Bluetooth capability, a built-in Alexa, or endless streaming services? Choose a smart TV with features that make watching your favorite shows easier and more exciting.

Do all smart TVs have the same level of connectivity?

There are a few factors to consider in your smart TV’s connectivity, and not all models will be equal in this area. Pretty much every smart TV on the market will be able to connect to your home Wi-Fi. Some also have an Ethernet port, which is handy for those who prefer to connect to the internet via Ethernet cable, or for anyone who doesn’t have reliable Wi-Fi at home. Smart TVs with an Ethernet port aren’t quite as common, though, so you might have to search a little harder to find a model that has one. Other models also offer a USB port, which some consumers find handy. Many smart TVs have Bluetooth capability as well. However, if this is a feature that you want, be sure to check the listing before buying. Don’t assume that every model on the market is Bluetooth-compatible.

Another connectivity factor to consider is how many outside devices you plan to link to your TV. This includes cable boxes, gaming systems, and speakers. These sorts of devices will require an HDMI cable and port to connect to your smart TV. The average smart TV will have three HDMI ports. However, depending on the number of gaming systems or speaker sets that you own, you might want to opt for a model with more HDMI ports. Some smart TVs might only have one or two ports, but this is fairly rare.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the streaming services and apps available will largely depend on the smart TV brand that you buy. This is especially true if you use more niche, less mainstream apps. Be sure to check a smart TV’s listing before purchasing to ensure that it’s equipped with the services you use and subscribe to.

Our Selections for the Best Smart TVs

Best Overall

Toshiba All-New 32-inch Smart HD 1080p TV

This TV brings users their favorite streaming content from various platforms, plus live TV with great HD quality.

Pros: There’s a lot to love about this smart TV. It offers an excellent array of app and movie options as well as built-in Fire TV. It also possesses both an Ethernet port and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can connect other devices to it. And it offers 4K resolution without the huge bump in the price tag that usually accompanies it.

Cons: While the TV stand and legs come included, they’re thinner and shorter than most and don’t offer a height adjustment option. The smart TV itself is only available in two sizes, which are both on the smaller side.

Bottom Line: There’s a lot to love about this smart TV. Unless you really want an extra-large screen or a home theater, the odds are good that it will be a fabulous choice for your home.

 

Best Budget

TCL 32-inch Roku Smart TV

A smaller yet efficient console, this smart TV is easy to use and easy on your wallet.

Pros: This TV is extremely budget-friendly, especially by smart TV standards. Considering the number of streaming services and apps that it’s compatible with, it provides good value at a low price. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to use Alexa or Google Assistant to voice control your smart TV, as both work with this model.

Cons: The tradeoff for the lower price tag is that this smart TV doesn’t offer quite as high resolution as many similar models. Not that the picture quality is poor by any means, but it won’t be as bright or as sharp as some, and your screen size options are pretty limited.

Bottom Line: This smart TV is a great choice for those on a budget, those who like the Roku platform, or those who want to use Alexa or Google Assistant with their television. If you’re willing to pay more money for a clearer screen picture, though, you’ll want to opt for a different smart TV.

 

Best Resolution

Samsung Flat 55-Inch 4K UHD 7 Series Ultra HD Smart TV

A smart TV that provides an extremely clear and high-resolution picture, with a sleek look to boot.

Pros: This smart TV has a sleek, ultra-slim design that’s the ideal balance of subtle and modern, and it pairs well with the extremely high-quality imaging and resolution. There’s a good selection of screen sizes to choose from and three different soundbar options (for an added fee). You also have several connectivity options.

Cons: Like many smart TVs, this model runs on the expensive side. This is definitely not a good option for those who are on a tight budget. The remote doesn’t offer keyboard or voice control features. Also, it doesn’t have as long of a service life as some other smart TVs.

Bottom Line: If high resolution is the most important factor in a smart TV, then this model is definitely worth your consideration. And thanks to the multiple connectivity options, the odds are good that you won’t have to buy new connection cables for this TV and/or your devices. If you’re on a strict budget, you’ll want to skip this one.

 

Best Curved Screen

Samsung 55-inch Curved TU-8300 Series 4K UHD HDR Smart TV

A 55-inch smart TV with a curved screen that contours to better fit into your space and offers enhanced color quality.

Pros: The picture quality is excellent, with a high 4K resolution. Also, the crystal processor ensures that all images, even quick movements, are smoothly transferred in that great 4K resolution. The curved screen provides an equally good view no matter which angle you view it from as well as offering a more immersive look. And it can wirelessly hook up to your computer or PC, allowing you to blow up your documents or images on a larger screen.

Cons: Since this smart TV is only available in two large sizes, it’s not a great choice for smaller homes. People who live in dorms or small apartments might find it too bulky for that reason. And some users found the remote confusing or challenging to operate.

Bottom Line: As long as you have the space for it, this smart TV is a great option for watching fast-paced sports in your den or for blowing up images on your home office computer. Graphic design artists who like to work on their PC or laptop might find this smart TV a worthwhile investment, too. However, the available sizes might be too large for those with limited living space or smaller home offices.

 

Best for Dorm Rooms

Insignia 32-inch Smart HD Fire TV

A 32-inch smart TV with voice control that allows you to switch between your favorite streaming services hands-free.

Pros: Both Alexa voice control and Fire TV come built-in to this TV, so you don’t need to worry about whether it’s compatible with either or both. Whether you prefer to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, never fear—this smart TV is Wi-Fi compatible and has an Ethernet port, allowing you to surf the web via whichever method you prefer. The remote comes with built-in buttons for several popular streaming services, including Netflix, and the feet on the included stand are nice and sturdy.

Cons: This smart TV is on the smaller side, which some consumers might find less than ideal. It’s only available in that one size, so if you like this smart TV’s features but want a bigger model, you’re out of luck. An HD antenna is required for the Fire TV to integrate optimally.

Bottom Line: This smart TV is great for a dorm room, small apartment, or bedroom. It provides the more compact size necessary for these environments, with more features and streaming options than those found on normal small TVs. You’ll want to pass on this one if you’re looking for a big flatscreen or home theater smart TV.

Final Thoughts

We expect more and more out of our technology and devices these days, and TVs are no exception. If you’re in the market for a new TV or you’re looking for an upgrade, a smart TV is almost certainly going to be worth your while. While most models will be pricier than a classic television, between the internet connectivity, convenient access to streaming services, and potential for voice control, many consumers consider them to be more than worth the extra cost.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »

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