Now that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S have been released, 4K is the resolution of choice for most gamers. That’s only if you have a TV that can support the new consoles’ upgraded standards, of course. And 4K is just the tip of the iceberg – there’s frame rates, refresh rates and all manner of tech specs to sift through.
What to look out for in the best 4K TVs for gaming
Picture quality: The output of a display isn’t just about whether it’s 1080p or 4K. Other factors, such as HDR capabilities, screen type (OLED/LED) and refresh rates are just as important. It’s also worth investigating if software updates are available or needed to unlock features that further improve the display.
Input lag: In games, every millisecond counts. From the shot of a gun in Call Of Duty: Warzone to an uppercut in Tekken 7, even the shortest delay in your reaction time can turn victory into defeat. Some TV models have a gaming mode to reduce lag via an integrated processor – but the tradeoff is lower picture quality.
Display panel: There are two types of displays you’ll be looking at: OLED and LED LCD. If you’ve got some disposable income, the former should be your go-to because it’s able to achieve absolute black and astounding contrast. This will make your games look gorgeous on the big screen, and even capture shadows perfectly. However, if you’re not looking to blow your budget, there are plenty of respectable LED LCD options available, too. You won’t be able to see the freckles on your Cyberpunk 2077 character’s face, but they’ll get the job done.
Price: Prices of televisions can fluctuate from one month to the next. It depends on a variety of factors: from availability to newer models of televisions from other manufacturers.
The best 4K TVs for gaming
The LG OLED55BX6LB has an OLED display, so blacks will be blacker and colours will pop. And when the four HDMI inputs round the back are taken into account, the television set can perform at a high standard with whatever you throw at it.
It also features ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) that can switch the TV into ‘Game Mode’. Combine that with the 4K and HDR capabilities and it results in one of the best televisions you can buy for your new console.
Samsung 2020 Q90T
Samsung uses its own OLED technology, called QLED, which has allowed the company to improve its TVs’ picture quality year upon year.
We can confidently say that the display on the Q90T is one of Samsung’s best. In some settings, it can reach 2,000 nits of brightness, which can flood a room with light if desired.
It also features Samsung’s Quantum Processor 4K, which optimises the picture for multiple situations, such as gaming. It can smoothen motion and deepen blacks to refine the display of a game that’s being played. It also features HDMI 2.1, so 4K at 120Hz is achievable here.
While pricey, Samsung’s aim to make its displays stand out are justified here. You’re paying for the attention to detail and even the design of the television, which almost looks like a window.
Sony Bravia KD55XG81
Sony’s Bravia televisions are well regarded in their category, and we particularly favour the KD55XG81 for gaming. It has everything you need to make the most of your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S, such as 4K resolution, HDR Dolby Vision and a ‘Motionflow’ feature to reduce the input lag when gaming.
We like that it has Android TV built in, which means it’s incredibly easy to navigate the settings when customising the picture. Plus, it makes switching over to other streaming apps easy when you need to take a break from Fortnite or Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
HISENSE may be a brand you haven’t heard of, but don’t underestimate its gear. Its U8QF models feature a bright 1,000-nit 4K OLED display that can switch to a ‘Game Mode’ which significantly reduces the input lag to 14.2ms – invaluable when it comes to gaming.
Design-wise, a thin, stylish black bezel showcases the TV’s display fantastically. We also like the fact that you can decide to switch between two types of HDR: Dolby Vision and HDR10+. For TV junkies, this is mainly a personal preference. But for gamers, we recommend Dolby Vision for the better brightness peaks and bit depths when playing a game such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
The 65U8QFTUK is cheaper than the other models on this list, which is mainly due to the lack of HDMI 2.1. So, unfortunately, this model can’t support a 120Hz refresh rate. But the picture quality and the game mode – not to mention the price – make up for it.
The more affordable sibling of the Samsung Q90T is another value-for-money proposition. The Q70T also features the brand’s Quantum 4K processor, which grants it top picture quality regardless of display size and refresh rate.
We think the ‘Game Enhancer’ mode is the highlight here. It transforms the television into a gaming display, so it can showcase a next-gen game in great colours and no screen burn, alongside low input lag between 19ms and 9ms.
There’s also no Dolby Vision, but HDR10+ ensures vibrant colours and colour consistency – overall, not a bad bet for gaming 4K TVs if you’re on a budget.