You're shopping for the best Android TVs the market currently has to offer. But "best" can be subjective. For example, is 4K enough, or do you want specific perks like HDMI 2.1, Dolby Vision/Atmos, or local dimming zones? Do you want an LCD or an OLED? Are you OK with the older Android TV OS, or do you want an upgrade to Google TV? Most importantly, what's your budget? We've gathered our top picks to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, so you'll find the choice that's right for you.
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What are the best Android TVs?
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Overall, the Hisense H8H Google TVs you can get in 2022 with a strong feature set that rivals TVs that cost hundreds more. You get hundreds of dimming zones with 336 on the smallest screen with great HDR support including Dolby Vision and HDR10+. For gamers, support for variable refresh rate and automatic low-latency mode makes it easy to switch between video and gaming content on your console.
Or, on the flip side, the Sony A80J could easily be considered the "best" Android TV for its impressive specs and color performance, but you'll have to spend a lot more to get one.
Budget shoppers who see 4K as more than enough should consider the TCL 4-Series for their next Android TV. It's one of the more affordable picks on this list but still looks pretty stellar for its low price.
Hisense U8H Mini-LED
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The Hisense U8H series should be at the top of your list if you're shopping for a Smart TV with Google TV. This is a mini-LED TV meaning it has hundreds of dimming zones allowing for greater image contrast that brings LCD TVs closer than ever to the contrast possible on OLED. The 55-inch model has 336 dimming zones while the 65-inch model takes that up to 504 zones. There's also a 75-inch model with 528 zones. This mini-LED tech makes this a great TV for HDR content which is supported via Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG.
Hisense has even included WI-Fi 6E so your TV will have the most optimal connection possible to eliminate buffering once and for all. Hisense also worked to address one of the greatest weaknesses of flat-panel TVs, the audio. Two 10W speakers make up your left and right channels with a 20W subwoofer in the center of the back of the TV. If you're looking for TV audio with more bass and don't have the space for a soundbar, the U8H series might be the solution you've been looking for.
If you're a gamer, Hisense has you covered as well with up to 4K 120Hz input on two HDMI ports with variable refresh rate (VRR) support and auto low-latency mode (ALLM). Paired with a PC or modern console like PS5 or Xbox Series X, the TV will automatically switch to the optimal mode for gaming and can keep the image looking smooth, even on demanding games that don't quite hit their frame rate targets all the time.
Bottom line: Hisense knocked it out of the park with the U8H This TV looks amazing, has ample features, supports modern gaming with VRR and ALLM, and comes in at a reasonable price.
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you don't think the Hisense U8G Quantum will be a good fit for you, another solid alternative for the best Android TV is the Sony X80K. This replaces the Sony X80J, as the company has released its new lineup of TVs for 2022. It's a slightly less premium television, and while that does mean a lower price, the added value could be worth it for some buyers. Plus, it's updated with Google TV, which loads faster and is more reliable than the older Android TV interface.
The Sony X80K is a 4K LED television with HDR and Dolby Vision. It features Sony's Triluminos Pro display technology for broader and more vibrant colors, along with the X-Reality PRO engine that helps upscale HD content to 4K. Powering all of this is the Sony X1 processor, which delivers one of the best 4K images you'll find in this price range.
Sony also focuses on the audio side of things with the X80K, delivering Dolby Atmos and its custom X-balanced speakers that provide rich sound in a compact form. Other highlights include four HDMI ports for all models and relatively low power consumption across the board.
As a budget TV, the Sony X80K won't have the more powerful specs of a Sony Bravia XR TV (see our later Sony picks). But we'd argue it still holds up as a reliable purchase that won't break the bank.
Bottom line: Not entirely sold on what the U8G has to offer? Sony's X80J is another great option. But, again, there are different size options to choose from, it's more energy-efficient, and the picture is gorgeous.
TCL Class 5-Series
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The TCL 5-Series sits comfortably in the middle of TCL's smart TV lineup but doesn't give up any of the best features you would expect in a modern TV. This 4K TV comes with HDR support including Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG. You also get ALLM so your TV can automatically switch to gaming mode with a modern game console. VRR is supported with 48Hz to 60Hz so if your games drop a few frames, you don't get any tearing.
For clarity, this TV can control contrast in 60 individual zones across the panel to improve the contrast between different parts of the TV. You get three HDMI ports, one of which supports eARC to make connecting a soundbar as easy as possible. This might be necessary for some as this TV has a fairly underwhelming pair of 8W speakers. As this is a Google TV, you get Google Assistant included and you should have plenty of speed with 5GHz Wi-Fi 5 support.
One thing to note is that there is a Roku version of this TV available so make sure you're buying the right version when you check out.
Bottom line: There's a good chance you've overlooked the TCL 5-Series, but truth be told, it has a lot to offer. The TV touts a 4K resolution, HDR support, and three HDMI ports. No matter which size you get, the 5-Series is incredibly affordable.
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
On the opposite end of the price spectrum, we're met with the Sony X90K. While not as premium or pricey as other 2022 Sony TVs like the X95K LCD or A90K OLED, this is the best upgrade Android TV that most of our readers can reasonably afford, with specs that'll justify the price.
Compared to our previous fave, last year's Sony X90J, the X90K brings back full array dimming, great color performance, and AI upscaling to 4K. But it also includes Sony's Cognitive Processor XR that improves 4K content automatically with better contrast and depth of field, plus 4K/120Hz mode complete with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) for next-gen gaming on your PS5 or Series X.
By default, it also adds Google TV with the same apps as Android TV but with easier-to-navigate menus and better recommendations. You get passthrough to pair with the best soundbars, but the TV itself has two side tweeters that direct sound to match the action. So the X90K is the complete package.
Bottom line: The Sony X90J gives you a serious upgrade on our favorites if you're willing to spend twice as much. From HDMI 2.1 ports for next-gen gaming to superb visual quality, this LED TV gives you a quality experience without costing as much as an OLED. Plus, it has the latest Google TV interface.
TCL Class 6-Series
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
As the best gaming consoles have become more and more available, we've been seeing the arrival of HDMI 2.1 on more affordable TV sets. This includes many of the options on this list, along with TCL's Class 6-Series of TVs. With HDMI 2.1, you'll enjoy better bandwidth allowing for transfer rates up to 48 Gbps, along with vastly-improved Dynamic HDR and eARC.
To take your picture quality even further, TCL is making use of its Mini-LED display technology, which delivers an incredible contrast ratio, along with local dimming. Considering that the Class 6-Series is on the lower end of the price spectrum, don't expect to find the best local dimming performance, but it's still quite good for what you pay.
In addition to the gaming benefits offered by TCL's latest budget-friendly TV, there are a bunch of extra features packed into this TV. Google TV powers all of your media streaming needs, and the Class 6-Series sports a built-in microphone for hands-free Google Assistant activation. This also means that you'll be able to use the built-in Chromecast if you (or someone else) want to show off a quick video or photo montage from their phone.
Bottom line: Want next-gen gaming perks like 4K@120Hz, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) without paying a couple of grand? That's exactly what you'll get with the TCL Class 6-Series thanks to its Mini-LED display panel, and a whirlwind of built-in features.
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Just about every Android TV on this list uses an LED display. LED displays are the most common technology for just about any TV. Still, if you have a lot of cash burning a hole in your pocket and want access to the best picture possible, you want an OLED television — specifically, the Sony A80J.
Sony did everything it could to give the A80J a heart-stopping picture, and it certainly succeeded. The OLED panel allows the TV to have incredibly rich and deep blacks, in addition to extremely vibrant colors. Otherwise, it has similar perks to the 2021 X90J listed above: a super-fast processor that automatically upscales and optimizes the video, removes blur for fast-moving content, converts soundtracks to 3D audio. Play next-gen consoles connected to HDMI 2.1 ports or stream movies with Dolby Vision/ Atmos or HDR10.
This slot belonged to the Sony A8H, the 2020 predecessor with similar brightness and color performance at a lower price, plus a recent patch to Google TV. It's less available than it used to be, but if you don't need HDMI 2.1 or the new XR processor, you can save a few hundred bucks. Or, if you're truly loaded, you can upgrade to the gorgeous A90J for an extra grand or so.
Bottom line: OLED still beats every other TV type for deep blacks, contrast, and viewing angles, which is why it costs so much more than the competition. Compared to our previous pick, the excellent Sony A8H, the A80J adds Google TV support, a more powerful upscaling processor, and HDMI 2.1 ports. We recommend either, but the pricier A80J is a more future-proofed purchase.
TCL 4-Series Smart Google TV
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
If you're not familiar with TCL and its line of TVs, you may want to start here, especially if you're budget-conscious and looking for real value. Since bringing its panels over to the U.S., the quality continues to grow, and a quality Android TV that won't break the bank probably won't disappoint you once you cast your gaze at it.
The 4-Series comes in six sizes (43, 50, 55, 60, 65, 75, and 85 inches). All four of these models support 4K playback with HDR10, ensuring you get a crisp image with vibrant colors. We're also happy to see three HDMI ports with one eARC port, which is good for this price range.
Not having Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos is a downer, but given just how cheap the TCL series is, that's to be expected. A bigger downer is that you're a bit "stuck" with connectivity, as the 4-Series is using Wi-Fi 5, as opposed to Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6e.
Bottom line: There's a good chance you've overlooked the TCL 4-Series, but truth be told, it has a lot to offer. The TV touts a 4K resolution, HDR support, and three HDMI ports. No matter which size you get, the 4-Series is incredibly affordable.
How to pick the best Android TV
The market for Android TVs may not be as expansive or varied as other ones out there; you're mostly restricted to a few brands like Hisense, Sony, and TCL. But these brands give you a wide enough range of prices, features, and upsides that you should be able to find a model that checks every personal box.
Out of everything currently available, we think the Hisense U8G Quantum is the best Android TV you can buy in 2022. As we've already explained, it brings a combination of great specs, useful features, and a relatively affordable price all in one package. That mix of everything is what allows it to stand out from the competition, and it's a setup that Hisense should be proud of. The U8G is a joy to use, offering an incredible 4K picture with all the fixings — HDR, Dolby Vision, etc. Its Android TV interface runs great, there are plenty of HDMI ports for all of your gadgets, and Dolby Atmos helps elevate your audio.
But despite all that, the U8H may not be the best Android TV for you in particular. You may need a lower price or could be willing to spend more for a visual upgrade. The Hisense has adopted some of the best modern features without letting the price balloon out of control. While its mini-LED backlighting won't quite stand up to a modern OLED, it gets close enough to deliver some incredible HDR results.
1. What is Android TV?
Android TV is a custom version of Android that Google created specifically for TVs, giving you quick and easy access to all of your favorite streaming apps. Just like Roku or Amazon Fire TV, you can use Android TV to watch shows from Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, YouTube TV, and plenty more. However, there are a couple of tricks up Android TV's sleeve that you won't find anywhere else.
For starters, it has Chromecast support built right in. If you're on your phone watching a video, looking at pictures in Google Photos, or something else, just tap the Chromecast icon on your phone to send the image/video right to your TV. You can also use your Android phone as a TV remote.
Google Assistant is also available, and it's accessed by using the Google Assistant button on the remote that comes with your TV. You can use the Assistant just like you would on your phone or smart speaker, meaning you can ask about the weather, control smart home devices, check your calendar, and virtually anything you can think of.
Finally, you get access to a lot more apps than other streaming platforms from the Google Play Store — about 700,000 by the last Google estimate. As a result, your Android TV will be a lot more versatile than most other platforms.
2. Should I buy an Android TV or a streaming box?
Instead of buying televisions with Android TV built into them, you can buy one of the best Android TV boxes and attach it to virtually any TV. So, is it better to build Android TV into your TV itself, or is a streaming dongle like Chromecast with Google TV good enough?
If you're already planning on buying a new television, you might as well get one with Android TV built-in. This list is proof that there are a ton of great options out there for all sorts of budgets, and since Android TV is already included, you can start watching your favorite shows and movies right out of the box.
However, if you already have a TV working perfectly fine but want to experience Android TV for yourself, going with a streaming box makes much more sense. It plugs into your TV via an HDMI cable, and once it's all hooked up and ready to go, it gives your old TV the Android TV interface you get on one of the TVs featured here.
You could buy a streaming box with Google TV and upgrade an Android TV-only television if you wanted. Or you could buy one of the best 4K TVs for Chromecast and just attach the $50 dongle to it. So you have plenty of options.
3. What is Google TV and is it different from Android TV?
We have a full explainer on Google TV vs. Android TV, but here's the gist: Google TV is a refresh of Android TV built off of the same foundation. So you'll get the same apps with either platform, but a streamlined and improved navigation experience with Google TV.
Beyond that, Google TV has improved AI features that follow what you watch to provide better recommendations. While Android TV focuses on your favorite apps, Google TV will push your favorite shows onto the home page regardless of the app, while also recommending new ones. This will appeal to people who can never decide what to watch, while others will find these recs unnecessary.
Google TV isn't strictly necessary for people who already love Android TV. In fact, Google has already updated Android TV to give it some of Google TV's recommendation tools. But Google will put more effort into perfecting the new interface, while the old one will probably get buggier and staler over time. So it makes sense to upgrade to Google TV if it's an option.
4. What's the difference between LED, ULED, and OLED?
Throughout this article, we mention a few different display types available for Android TVs — specifically, LED, ULED, and OLED. If you aren't entirely sure what these things mean, we've got you covered.
LED stands for "light-emitting diode," and it's the most common type of TV display. The panel itself is referred to as an LCD one, and it's an array of pixels that create the final image you see after a backlight shines through them. With an LED display, every pixel is lit up when used — even when there are black or dark colors on the TV.
ULED is an evolution of LED screen technology and stands for "Ultra Light Emitting Diode." It's a type of screen technology used specifically by Hisense, with the main benefit over LED being how the screen is illuminated. ULED screens offer great local dimming, which translates to less light bleeding/halo effects when there's a bright image on a dark background. ULED also gives you a wider color gamut for a more vibrant overall image, along with smoother animations. The Hisense U8G Quantum isn't lagging with its 120Hz refresh rate but can also mimic 240Hz playback thanks to its Motion Rate 240 feature.
As for OLED, this is the highest-end and most expensive type of TV display currently available. OLED (or "organic light-emitting diode") panels don't require a backlight for the pixels to create the image you see, seeing how OLED pixels can produce color and light independently. Compared to an LED, the biggest benefits of an OLED panel are more vibrant colors and deeper blacks.
Since the pixels of an OLED TV work individually, the entire screen doesn't light up for every image you see. So, if you're watching something with a lot of black colors, those pixels in the black area are actually turned off — making your content much more engaging and lifelike. However, OLED TV panels are costly to produce, which is why the Sony A8H costs as much as it does.
5. How many HDMI ports do I need?
Different TVs come with varying numbers of HDMI ports, but how many do you really need? It all depends on how many devices you plan on plugging into your TV.
Since Android TVs come with the Android TV interface built-in, you don't need a separate streaming box to access things like Netflix and Hulu — thus freeing up an HDMI port you'd otherwise need to use. Game consoles like the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch connect to your TV via HDMI, so if you have any of those, you'll need to make sure you account for them. Some soundbars also connect with an HDMI cable, such as the Sonos Beam. And, if you have a Blu-ray player for local 4K playback, that also plugs in with — you guessed it — HDMI.
As someone with a Chromecast with Google TV, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and Sonos Beam, I utilize all four HDMI ports on my TV. However, you may not have as many things plugged into your TV, and if not, four HDMI ports might be overkill. Just make sure the TV you get has enough for the devices you do have, as there's no way to add additional HDMI outputs after the fact.
6. Do I need HDMI 2.1?
Do you own or plan to own a PS5 or Xbox Series X, or want to use your TV as a PC gaming monitor? If so, yes. If not, most likely no.
HDMI 2.1 is a new spec that allows for 48 Gigabits per second to pass from an external device through the port and input on your television screen. This allows a huge amount of visual data to appear simultaneously, enabling 4K resolution images that refresh up to 120 times per second. HDMI 2.1 also allows for other gaming features like variable refresh rates — where the Hz goes higher or lower based on the current output of the gaming device, improving performance — or auto low latency mode (which reduces gaming lag).
The newest consoles or PCs can take advantage of HDMI 2.1 to run games with the best performance. But older consoles or TV streaming have no use for them. 4K at a lower refresh rate will be just fine for most other contexts. So don't worry if your TV only supports HDMI 2.0 unless you're a serious gamer.
Buying an Android TV might seem challenging at first, but as long as you take your time and know exactly what features and specs to look for, it doesn't have to be. If you decide to get anything mentioned in this guide, you can rest assured you're getting one of the very best ones the market has to offer. Good luck!