The best OLED TVs of 2021 are the titans of today’s TV tech. Each of these 4K OLED TVs boast the most vivid, true-to-life colors that most of us will ever have seen on a screen – at least one inside our homes.
Thanks to the advanced OLED (organic LED) panel technology, the best OLED TVs offer brilliantly cinematic picture quality, with the likes of Sony, Panasonic and LG all making it the technology of choice for their premium television ranges. There's now even a Nintendo Switch OLED featuring the panel tech, and it's clear that the technology is having a real moment.
You're paying some of a price premium over traditional LED, and some QLED TVs out there are certainly offering some stiff competition, but these best TVs have certainly taken a stronghold of the market. What’s more, new sizing options are vastly expanding consumer choice when it comes to which of these 4K OLED TVs will suit you, with the first 83-inch OLEDs now entering the market, and 42-inch OLEDs set to land in the near future too.
In the guide below we’ve selected a range of the best OLED TVs that cover different price points and features. With each selected model we’ve explained why we picked it – and any flaws it may have.
It's worth noting that you won't find many 4K OLED TVs below AED 4,000, and most are a lot more expensive than that. Keep in mind that this OLED TV guide will change as 2021 progresses, once we've had the chance to review incoming models.
- What is OLED? Read our in-depth guide
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Best OLED TVs of 2021: ranked
If you only remember one TV from this list, make it the LG C1 OLED. This iterative update to the beloved LG CX may not reinvent the wheel, but it does continue its legacy of high-performing picture in an excellent all-round package.
One thing that is new is the a9 Gen 4 chipset, which adds in AI processing to between distinguish between objects and their backgrounds – something that's at the heart of a lot of advancements in today's TV market. This stellar OLED TV packs in four dedicated HDMI 2.1 ports (ideal fo next-gen gaming) and even comes with a new Game Optimiser menu that gives you the option to quickly adjust brightness, contrast and VRR on the fly. Phew!
The LG C1 isn’t flawless, as we did encounter issues around how the new a9 Gen 4 processor upscales faces, and how reflective the all-glass screen is during daylight hours, but the issues are few and far between.
There are, of course, higher resolution TVs out there right now like the LG Z1 OLED, which offers 8K resolution, and the new LG G1 Gallery Series that uses the coveted OLED evo panels that offer better brightness. However, we feel that the LG C1 OLED offers the best blend of price and performance and should be high up on your list for potential 4K OLED TVs to buy in 2021 and beyond.
Read the full review: LG C1 OLED
Sony hasn’t held back in pricing the new A90J 4K OLED TV, but we believe the performance does justify the hefty price tag.
Picture quality, from any source, is about as good as it currently gets from any 4K screen. In every meaningful department – motion control, contrast, edge definition, detail levels, you name it. For those moments when you’re reduced to watching sub-4K content, it’s great at upscaling, too.
The Sony A90J OLED is more than a few steps ahead when it comes to sound quality. Using the entire surface of the screen as a speaker is still novel and effective, and backing it up with two conventional bass drivers means the A90J sounds fuller, more direct and just, well, better than any alternative that doesn’t feature an off-board sound system.
Add in a smart new Google TV interface, the usual Sony standard of build and finish, feet that change position to accommodate a soundbar, an exclusive movie streaming service, and an authentically well-designed remote control – ignoring the inexplicable lack of UK TV catch-up services – and the A90J looks like the complete package. Although complete packages seldom come cheap.
Read the full review: Sony A90J OLED TV review
After something a bit more stylish? The LG G1 OLED is a knockout television that builds on the sleek design of last year's Gallery Series OLED and somehow makes it better.
The real hero here is LG's new OLED evo technology, which updates the panel structure to eke out even more brightness – without increasing blooming effects or, we're told, the chance of burn-in. The LG G1 looks to be a real revolution for the OLED TV maker, then, and certainly offers an upgrade over the cheaper LG C1 OLED – unlike last year, when the CX and GX models were worlds apart in price but effectively offered the same picture performance.
It's an expensive set, and the Dolby Atmos sound system isn't the best for bass – something that will effect all the other LG OLEDs in this guide. But the breathtakingly slim design makes it a real centerpiece television, with the contrast and color benefits of OLED pushed to new, lighting-enhanced heights. The new a9 Gen 4 AI processor is even more capable of smartly upscaling and processing onscreen objects, too, with motion processing in particular getting an upgrade.
Watch out though: the G1 is really designed to be wall-mounted, and it won't come with a TV stand or feet out of the box. You can buy a floorstanding Gallery Stand alongside, or find a third-party solution for placing on a counter, though.
Read more: LG G1 OLED TV review
Sony's A8H OLED TV takes everything we love about Sony's premium TVs and repackages it at a more reasonable price point. It's not as new as the A90J OLED (also in this guide), but given it costs half the price, it's a shoe-in for savvy buyers after the best OLED TV at an affordable price.
You're getting premium OLED picture performance, with Sony’s top-line X1 Ultimate processor, Sony’s Pixel Contrast Booster (for more intense image highlights), and a new OLED version of the X-Motion Clarity feature Sony initially developed for its FALD LCD TVs.
The impressive sound system, too, combines a two-subwoofer bass system with screen-shaking Acoustic Surface Audio tech, making for a real treat as a TV to watch movies and TV shows. If you can deal with the slightly low brightness, you'll get to experience some of the most refined pictures of any 4K OLED TV to date.
In terms of price, the 55-inch model comes in at AED 5,499, while the larger 65-inch comes in at AED 7,999.
Read the full review: Sony A8H OLED TV
The Philips OLED 805 is a winning combination of excellent picture quality, powerful processing, and lovely build quality – but it's the Ambilight feature that's the real star of the show here.
Ambilight projects a cornucopia of colors around the edges of the television, and this 805 model can do so from three sides – not quite the four-sided Ambilight of the flagship OLED+935, but still plenty to create an immersive light show.
But the 805 OLED isn't just for show: thanks to Philips' beefy P5 Picture processor, its able to give real force to OLED images, with enhanced contrast and spectacular colors – even when upscaling from HD/SDR. Philips improves on last year's 804 model too with both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support, meaning you won't have to choose between a dynamic HDR format.
There isn't Apple TV app support, though – and the Android smart TV platform can feel unwieldy at times. Overall, though, it's a small price to pay for what's on offer.
Read the full review: Philips OLED 805
LG's entry-level B Series range is a fantastic way to sample the excellence of OLED at a reasonable price – even if it's soon to be replaced by the LG B1 OLED.
The BX doesn’t bring many changes over the previous B9, other than this latest model receiving a slight boost to processing with the new a7 Gen 3 chip – which is itself a step down in capability from the a9 Gen 3 chip used in the LG CX and Gallery Series OLED models.
It offers the same picture advantages as its predecessor, though, including excellent color vibrance, deep blacks and contrast to make its pictures truly pop. However, the same picture defects remain, too – there's some motion stutter around suddenly moving objects, as well as persistent grain and banding in dark scenes. While the true blacks are beautiful, making use of OLED’s ability to turn pixels off entirely, less decisive shadows aren’t as brilliantly realized.
However, the BX still offers a gorgeous and enjoyable picture for the money, with an excellent webOS smart TV platform and a very tempting price for a budget OLED TV.
Keep an eye out for the LG A1 OLED, which is a new entry-level OLED model for 2021 too.
Read our full LG BX OLED review
Best OLED TV competitors: what else is out there?
OLED is, for many, the premium TV tech of the moment. Though once weighed down by inaccessible price points, a flurry of cheaper mid-range OLEDs and smaller panel sizes has helped bring OLED closer to the mass market.
However, it's not the only option out there. Samsung's competing QLED televisions outperform for brightness, while the introduction of Mini LED backlights has only improved light emission and overall contrast – the areas that OLED generally has the upper hand with, thanks to its per-pixel brightness control.
For those with truly cash to splash, you'll be choosing between a high-end OLED TV and Micro LED – a self-emissive panel technology that Samsung has leant into in recent times, but which has proved difficult to offer either affordably or at mainstream sizing (76-inch is the smallest we've seen so far, as of 2021). Samsung's plans to offer QD-OLED hybrids could spell trouble for tradition OLED manufacturing too – as could TCL's plans to manufacture its own inkjet OLED TV panels at a significant price reduction over traditional OLED production methods.
It's a more complicated picture than simply OLED, then, though for deep blacks and true-to-life color – at a size you can actually get into the average living room – OLED may still be the best choice