The Best Smart TVs in Canada

Is it time to upgrade your TV? While most of us have screens in our pocket that allow us to stream media anywhere, having a big screen at home to watch your favourite TV shows and movies cannot be beat. However, shopping for the right TV can be overwhelming. The televisions market is always saturated, and if you have not been paying attention to the developments of the year, looking for a new Smart TV can leave you feeling dumb.

That is why we have come back to update this article for 2022! 2 years is a long time in the television world, so we knew we needed to update this article with updated information and newer TV models. Whether you are looking for a quality gaming TV or something more affordable this year, we have a range of TVs to help you out.

Below, you will find our list of some of the top smart TVs in Canada.

Our top picks

How to choose a smart TV

When you are looking for a brand-new Smart TV, there are several important factors you will need to keep in mind. One of the most important features in determining a perfect smart TV for you will be the size. Think about where you will put your TV and the amount of space it will take up.

Size also is an important factor in determining the price. Luckily, most models of smart TV will have multiple sizes, so you can prioritize looking at specs that suit your needs. Most of the time, a TV from 55 to 65 inches (measured diagonally across the screen) will be ample for your purposes.

Ultimately, you should also think about what you will primarily use the TV for. Are you a cinephile looking to watch the classics in crisp resolution? Perhaps a high-resolution 4K TV with a powerful upscale engine would be perfect for you. Or are you a gamer who needs as little lag as possible while maintaining high picture quality, in search of a TV that can deliver 4K and high frame rate simultaneously? Regardless of who you are and what type of Smart TV you will be looking for, we will help you get on the right track with our guide to 2022’s best Smart TVs.

Let’s talk about resolution

Resolution is the most common things people brag talk about regarding their TV’s. Usually, resolution is talked about as a fill-in to talk about picture quality, however it is just one aspect that influences picture quality. Understanding how resolution works can help you figure out what you exactly want or need and potentially could help you save money.

In basic terms, resolution is a count of the number of pixels in your television. But not the total count. Oh no. In the day’s of 720p and 1080p (remember then?) the resolution of these TV’s referred to the count of the vertical pixels only. The modern resolutions of 4K and 8K are an approximate of the horizontal pixels on the screen, with upwards of 8 million and 33 million pixels respectively!

So, does the higher the resolution is mean the better the picture quality? Yes, but not in isolation. In reality, brightness, color, contrast, and other factors can impact picture quality as well. The content you are watching matters too, as sub-4K content means the TV needs to upscale the content – a process that involves multiplying the number of pixels of the content to match the number of the TV – which can lead to sub-4K picture quality in some cases. 4K content will look best on a 4K TV.

At this point, we do not really suggest buying a 1080p or HD TV unless there’s a reason – 4K is cheap enough these days that you can easily find one within budget.

HDR

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a video format with an enhanced picture quality due to an improved range of brightness and colours. According to Rtings.com, “when talking about HDR video, it is entirely about metadata”. This metadata is packaged with the video signal, with instructions for the television for how the TV should display the content. There are a few formats of metadata common in Smart TV’s, including HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Your TV won’t likely have every HDR format, but some do have multiple.

It’s not enough to just buy a HDR TV, you need to watch HDR content with that HDR TV. Certain streaming services support one or two HDR formats at a time, however none will offer all of the following formats. Knowing about what HDR format will interest you is one way to get a little extra from your TV, but ultimately, “the biggest factors are the TV’s overall performance and the content itself”.

The noteworthy HDR formats are:

HDR10

The widest supported HDR format is HDR10. HDR10 content is upgrade on SDR content picture-wide, but only offers static, unchanging metadata during a show’s entire duration. This means dark scenes during the climax of a movie or season have the same metadata settings as the bright, cheery resolution.

HDR10+

A dynamic upgrade of HDR10 helmed by Samsung, but plenty of other companies have been an adopted of it, including Panasonic. Amazon, Warner, Universal and Fox. However, there will always be holdouts, including Samsung’s biggest competitors

Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision is a widely-supported, dynamic metadata format, with some of the best image quality offered by an HDR format.

Streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as Apple’s iTunes support Dolby Vision. However, because companies need to pay Dolby to use their proprietary software, so there are some holdouts on this format, especially considering some major players have their eggs in another HDR basket (like Samsung).

HLG

Or Hybrid Log Gamma, was created as a joint-venture between the BBC and Japan’s NHK, that is backwards compatible with SDR TV’s. While the picture quality is not stronger than the other HDR formats, the bonus to SDR-only TV’s is valuable to broadcaster. BBC’s iPlayer, as well as some limited content on YouTube and DirecTV, have adopted HLG.

Advanced HDR by Technicolor, or SL-HDR1, 2, 3

This format is not widely supported, with different niches depending on 1, 2 or 3, still in development, and could be potentially more useful down the line.

What else should I be looking at?

Refresh rate – go 60 hz or higher, but 120 hz is the ideal place to be for movie watching, sports viewing, and gaming alike.

OLED or QLED – OLED are the peak TV, and QLED are a less expensive second place in terms of picture quality. After these television types are the LCD TV’s of yesteryear.

Ports and hook-ups – HDMI ports are a requirement, and 4 is a good number for a TV to have. If next gen console gaming is in your TV’s future, definitely consider a TV with at least one HDMI 2.1 Port. These ports are the latest HDMI standard, transmits more information, faster, and  enable incredible gaming experiences with the XBOX One S/X and PlayStation 5, as well as transmit 8K content. Of course, other port options like S-Video, USB and standard A/V component ports are still included on many TVs.

The best 4K Smart TV

LG C2 OLED

Sizes available: 42″, 48″, 55″, 65″, 77″, 83″

LG has taken significant steps with their flagship 4K TV with the LG C2 OLED, and as a result can boast they have the top 4K TV for 2022. The LG C2 OLED offers superb visual performance for whatever you use it for.

OLED, or Organic Light-Emitting Diode, feature emissive pixels that produce their own light and function independently from other pixels – allowing for near-infinite colour contrast with over a billion shades and hues of colour – as well as some of the darkest blacks seen in televisions. Additionally, OLED televisions produce wider viewing angles than other TV types – so watching TV or movies with others is a rich visual experience for everyone. LG was a pioneer with type of pixel, and our 2020 list included the LG 4K Smart OLED as our top pick. We were happy to see LG continue the 4K dominance with the LG C2 OLED.

So, speaking of the OLED screen of this television – the picture is why we named this TV the best in its class for 4K televisions. Impressive HDR combined with the aforementioned OLEDs allow for nearly -infinite contrasts, so this TV offers colour, and lots of it. Brightness is strong, but not as strong as the other “blowing-the-competition-out-of-water” aspects of the picture. Viewing angles are overall good wherever you sit, minus some reduction in colour saturation at farther angles.

One of the new improvements of the C2 is the new Alpha 19 Gen 5 AI processor, which gives this computer the power to optimize picture and sound of any type. The Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro feature analyzes up to 5,000 blocks on the screen on the fly to optimize each frame. The processor of this television also does wonders in the audio department, upscaling and mixing the sound to 7.1.2 surround sound.

The LG C2 proves an ideal television for whatever you want – whether you are a movie-lover, sports fan, or gamer. For the latter, the C2 includes four HDMI 2.1 ports, you can connect any next-gen console from XBOX and Playstation to this TV.

You can wall-mount this TV using a VESA 300×200 mount, or use the included stand, but the latter is wobbly and ultimately not ideal. The back of this television includes cable management clips that will not stop the TV from sitting flush against the wall.

The smart system of this TV is not as unanimously received as some of the other components. The webOS system has some fans and some detractors – While it seems fast, you need to sign into an LG account and do everything through LG’s OS. Still, with separate user accounts, customized recommendations, and countless of available streaming services, we have yet to see an egregious complaint about the OS. Overall, users are very impressed by this television. It is on the expensive side, but it is worth it.

Pros
  • Impressive contrast ratio, ranging from perfect black and dark colours and vibrant bright colours.
  • Some of the most powerful upcasting on the market.
  • All the video games features a hardcore gamer could ask for, and more.
Cons
  • Small uniformity issues.
  • Expensive.

Best 8K TV

Samsung QN900A

For those looking for the optimal viewing experience for years to come, the Samsung QN900A is a powerhouse of an 8K QLED TV, offering pristine clarity, gorgeous colour and immersive sound. While this TV is only available at top-dollar, if you have the money for a top-dollar TV, buy this one.

While many are getting comfortable to the idea of 4K televisions, 8K may seem newer, more exciting and better – but it isn’t there yet. While 4K content is starting to become more accessible, 8K content is not there in 2022, as none of the major streaming services offer content natively in 8K. Going after an 8K TV might be a costlier investment right now, but also means you are futureproofing your television experience, ready to enjoy 8K when available.

The Samsung QN900A, being a QLED TV, means you get amazing picture quality and a strong colour contrast, but lack the strength of local dimming or the perfect blacks of an OLED model. The Quantum Mini LED’s that make up the QN900B’s screen are tiny – 1/40th the thickness of a regular LED – and offers excellent precision in picture quality. The Quantum matrix technology within the screen of this TV produces stunning arrays of over a billion colours, with Quantum HDR that allows for some of the very best colour range and contrast available. This TV also is very bright, able to fight off glare easily. The “Ultra-Viewing angle” layer of the screen works to improve the scope of optimal viewing angles.

Of course, with any smart TV, we need to talk about the brains behind it. The Natural Quantum Processor 8K use several neural networks for a powerful AI that is the brains behind the smart features of this TV including a comprehensive Smart Hub, improved sound and 8K upscaling. These features, respectively:

  • Samsung’s SmartHub helps you find shows and the including Gaming Hub lets you to access your consoles and cloud games.
  • The two features most notable for their boost to this Smart TV’s sound are SpaceFit Sound and Object Tracking Sound+. The former auto-optimizes sound options to fit the space the TV is in, while the latter tracks movement of the image and uses AI to match the audio, allowing for an immersive audio-visual experience.
  • Having a strong upscaling engine will be essential until native 8K content is easily available outside of YouTube and Vimeo.

Speaking of gaming, this television’s performance is top notch. It’s got all the basic requirements for modern gaming: low input lag, fast response time, and not one but two HDMI 2.1 ports for console gaming. FreeSync and G-SYNC are naturally supported.

More and more TVs are trying to fit your space perfectly, and while the QN900B is only available in larger sizes, we like that this TV can be deceptively understated. The QN900B features a bezel so thin you would think it’s not there. The TV is wall-mountable with a VERA 400×300 mount, or on the included stand, which impressively takes up little space while providing sturdy support. An attachable component called the Slim One Connect lets you organize your cables neatly, improving the look of your space.

Overall, this TV is one of the more impressive TVs on this list. This means that this TV is expensive, several times more expensive than other TVs. Considering how new and novel an 8K TV is, this makes sense, but unfortunately we are likely a few years away from 8K content being more common.

Every other feature of this television is strong, and will perform alongside other top-rated TV’s until that day comes where Netflix or Amazon Prime offer that elusive 8K.

Pros
  • Excellent picture quality, either native or upscaled into 8K.
  • Increased backlighting accuracy from their previous 8K offering.
  • Packs all the modern gaming features you need.
Cons
  • Hugely expensive.
  • 8K content is not as prevalent, so buying an 8K TV in 2022 is extra.

Best QLED Smart TV

Samsung QN90A

Sizes: 43″, 50″, 55″, 65″, 75″, 85″, 98″

They are only a letter apart, but the tech that separates OLED and QLED televisions is quite different. For some, the QLED will be the way to go. If you are looking for an awesome QLED TV, the Samsung QN90A is an excellent choice.

QLED technology, or short for Quantum light-emitting diode, is a technology that Samsung has led the charge on, which adds a quantum dot layer to your typical LED television. This quantum dot filter enhances the contrast and the colour, boosting image quality over non-quantum dot LCD TVs. Combine this with HDR10+ dynamic tone mapping, and the QN90A has an impressive gamut of colours that extenuates your content-watching or gaming experience.

QLED televisions like the Samsung QN90A certainly offer strong colour and contrast, but the viewing experience of the QN90A offers other benefits that make it one of our top QLED picks. The ultra-viewing angle allows a whole room to get great views, no matter where you are sitting in your living room. Anti-reflection minimizes annoying glare that can ruin a TV experience at certain times of the day. Motion Xcelerator Turbo+ feature minimizes blur, and provides additional clarity of motion, making it a great choice for gamers and sports fans alike. Talking about gaming, the QN90A offers many features that improve gaming experience, including Ultrawide gaming views (with ratios of 21:9 and 32:9) and an easily accessible game bar that allows you to change game settings on the fly. Additionally, the QN90A offers support for both variable refresh rate, and one HDMI 2.1 port, for gamers. These features combine to make the QN90A a great television to enjoy both console and PC gaming, viewing live sports of your favourite team, and watching the hottest shows and movies on your favourite streaming service or on the included, subscription-free Samsung TV Plus app.

A Neo Quantum 4K Processor is the brains within this powerful TV. Like many of the best processors on the market today, the QN90A’s processor utilizes deep-learning AI to process the signal and source of the content, upscaling where necessary to provide optimized experience.

The sound of this TV is noteworthy too, with as couple of included features to help you get the most out of your content’s audio. The first one is Object Tracking Sound+ that delivers directional, dynamic sound, tracking the direction of objects onscreen. The second notable feature is SpaceFit Sound. which optimizes your TV’s sound to the room it is in. The third, and perhaps would be my favourite, is the Active Voice Amplifier – which analyzes the signal and uses its AI to amplify dialogue specifically. With so much attention to sound, getting cinema quality audio with the Samsung QN90A is easy.

TV’s have been getting thinner and thinner, and the QN90A is extremely thin, able to sit flush to the wall when wall-mounted, with a max thickness of just a hair over 1-inch (2.7 cm). Some users reported the stand for this television not being super stable, so we suggest this TV is better suited for wall-mounting. The super thin bezel emphasises the screen without drawing attention to the bezel itself.

Overall, users have found this a great TV. Users complimented the QN90A’s next level brightness with impressive HDR picture. The sound is another quality users complimented, finding the sound immersive and room filling. Whether gaming though console or with a high-end video card for 4K PC gaming, gamers reported excellent experiences while using this TV for their favourite titles. However, there are some definite detractions about this television. Firstly, and this is a big one: there are unavoidable ads on the menus. Many users complained about this, and I completely understand why. After spending a decent chunk of cash on a premium television, it is almost offensive to be force-fed ads that you have no control over on that very same TV. Too bad many other companies are doing the same. While it might not be enough to dissuade an otherwise interested shopper, I personally might just look elsewhere.

Gamers: Get the features you need

Everyday, millions of people boot up their console or computer to play video games. Getting a screen – whether TV or monitor – that suits your gaming needs is essential for getting the most out of each game. For computer gaming, it can be expected that a monitor should do you better, but a Television monitor can definitely add more size than most monitors are able to. TVs are typically selected for console gaming. Modern consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S require certain things from your TV

Either console or computer gaming will require certain things if you plan to pair a smart TV with them. Some inclusions we highly recommend for these gamers include:

HDMI 2.1 – for modern console gamers, HDMI 2.1 is a must to get the most from your consoles. HDMI 2.1 supports 48 Gbps bandwidth , which can support data-intensive content like uncompressed 8K content with HDR or 4K gaming at 120 hz

Low latency – Latency is delay that results when information is digitally transmitted. Latency can slow down the signals you are sending through your controller, meaning you get a laggy experience when you might need pristine speed most. Low latency when we are talking about gaming is approximately 30 ms or less.

VRR (Variable Response Rate)  – this feature “allows your screen to adjust how often it refreshes the image to match the frame rate from your console or PC”. Since framerate can vary during gaming but not movie-watching, for example, VRR is more important for gamers than non-gamers. There are specific VRR formats developed from different companies, primarily FreeSync from AMD and G-SYNC from Nvidia, which are commonly found in monitors and TVs alike.

Gaming modes – Certain gaming modes are common between different TV’s and companies, including “Auto-Low Latency Mode” which prioritizes the TV’s capabilities towards reducing the latency.

The best gaming Smart TV

LG C1 OLED

Boasting impressive 4K Gaming is one thing but being truly optimized for gaming is whole other ballpark. The LG C11 OLED is the one TV we think stands above the others in gaming performance specifically.

First off: Picture quality. Of course, any gaming TV in 2022 is going to be 4K, so what makes this TV so good for gaming? First off, the LG C1 is an OLED TV, gaining significant advantage over non-OLED TVs in terms of contrast, capable of abyssal blacks and bright explosions of colour, simultaneously, with no blooming. This makes the TV perfect for turning of the lights and getting lost in the 4K picture. Another thing we like is the exceptionally wide viewing angles this TV has.

The α9 Gen4 AI Processor provides the smarts of this smart TV. The processor utilizes deep learning algorithms to optimize picture and sound automatically, resulting in both native and upscaled 4K content looking gorgeous.

Additionally, there are plenty of bonus features that improve the viewing and gaming experiences – Dolby Vision IQ analyses factors including genre of the content and the sound of the content and adjusts image settings on the fly, while Dolby Atmos delivers multi-dimensional surround sound. One mode we find very cool is “Filmmaker mode,” which turns off motion-smoothing features, preserves original aspect ratios , colours, and frame rate. The result is exactly as the filmmaker intended.

Let’s get deeper into the video game aspect, since we named this the best 4K smart TV for gaming, after all. First off, this TV has the basics needed for high-end gaming in 2022: low input lag, fast response time of 1ms, Variable Refresh Rate, easily capable of 4k at 120 hz. Each of the four HDMI ports included on the television are HDMI 2.1 ports, making it a perfect companion with the PS5 and Xbox Series X.The Game Optimizer panel offers a place for all your video game settings, including both G-SYNC and FreeSync settings. Additionally, the LG C1 supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, HGiG and HLG, but note that there’s no support for HDR10+. The results of these features are “fast moving content in higher resolution and smooth, synchronized graphics”

We dived into the tech quite thoroughly, but a Television is not JUST what’s under the hood. A great TV fits your home well. For starters, the screen of the C1 comes in five different sizes – ranging from 48-inches to 83-inches, letting you pick the size of TV that fits your home. The super-thin design means your TV will only draw attention to itself when its on. The thinness of this TV is uneven however, and so a wall mounted TV will sit close to the wall, but not completely flat. Talking about wall mounts, this TV can be mounted with a VESA 300×200 wall mount, or can sit on the included TV stand, which dependably sits the television. A slot in the back makes

Overall, users were huge fans of the impressive picture and gaming attributes of this TV. Users, putting it mildly, were blown away on average. Granted, this TV is on more of the expensive side of things, but you could’ve probably expected that for what this TV offers. The colour, the clarity, the sound, the gaming options were all raved about. In fact, we found little that users commonly critiqued this television for. Users did recommend getting help installing this heavy television set. Some reviewers noted that this TV might be lacking in the brightness required to overpower sun or glare, but otherwise, we cannot say anything bad about this television set. It’s a monster and performs as such for whatever purposes you need.

Pros
  • Incredible picture quality granted by the OLED screen.
  • Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos built in.
  • All the standard video gaming requirements are surpassed with flying colours.
Cons
  • Can struggle in glare or bright, sunny rooms.
  • High price point.

Non-smart TV

As demand has rose for smart TV’s, demand has plummeted for those non-smart TV’s. These “dumb TVs” as they have been dubbed lack the functionality and some of the features the processor and the other smart components provides – so there’s no onboard streaming services, no voice control, and no upscaling. Unfortunately, these TVs seem to skimp on other features like 4K resolution and are typically harder to find in 2022.

So, why might one want to buy a “dumb” TV? Well, for starters, less tech comes with less of the invasive practices that big tech employs. Your Smart TV pays attention to what you watch, when you watch, and how long you watch, and the TV company will track that information. You can avoid ads that jump out when you turn on the TV, which if you are like me, is something that is really starting to bug you.

It seems that Non-Smart-TVs are a dying breed, but there’s other options: 4K monitors, outdoor TV’s and business displays are some other options you can consider for a simplified viewing experience.

The best non-smart TV

Insignia N10 Series

Size: 19”, 24”, 32”, 40”, 43”

If you are looking for a cheap TV with none of the bells and whistles, the Insignia N10 Series is a good place to start. A basic model with no smart tech anywhere, this is a great TV for kids or those who have very basic requirements for a TV.

We’ll be honest, the picture quality of the N10 Series is highly outdated. Maxing out at full 1080p HD is not impressive at all in 2022. The Refresh rate is only 60Hz. There is not High Dynamic Range features, because of course not. It’s an unfortunate fact, but there really is not a “dumb TV” on the market that keeps up with the specs of Smart TVs at the current moment. The limitations on screen size (maxing out at “mid-sized”) also are unfortunate.

The back panel offers inputs for what most used need – 3 HDMI ports is a decent amount to connect a console, a Fire TV or Roku stick, and still have an extra port. Granted, none of these are HDMI 2.1 ports, but we think you are probably starting to see the picture here. Other inputs include a USB port, an RF Antenna Input, a headphone aux jack, and a composite video input.

So, what might make you swing for such TV? Well, there are a handful of times where a simpler TV is better. You can throw on a TV show for your kids unsupervised without worrying about them stumbling on content they shouldn’t watch. It’s also very inexpensive, across the entire series. You also don’t need to worry about privacy in your home due to this TV. That’s definitely a worthwhile factor for some users.

Overall, for what this TV offers, users seem impressed.  While behind the other televisions on this list in picture quality and colour, this is still high-definition TV by definition, so watching movies and gaming can still look good with the Insignia N10 series

Pros
  • A simple, “dumb TV” that you don’t have to worry about privacy or supervision with.
  • Very inexpensive.
Cons
  • Lacking in technology that makes for poorer picture, colour, and sound.

Budget choice

Televisions can be quite expensive, especially if you do not want to miss out on some key features. The following TVs are more dependable ways to get the features needed for the average person in 2022 dependably. Other ways are to wait for clearance or end-of-year sales or look at older TV models in general.

Best budget-friendly 4K TV

Hisense Roku QLED UHD Smart TV

Sizes: 55″, 65″

The Hisense U6GR is a great 4K LED TV that is both pretty and budget-friendly.

In terms of picture quality, the Hisense U6GR offers 4K HD resolution, combined with Dolby Vision HDR, and full-array Local Dimming Zones, for strong picture quality across films and games. The QLED quantum-dot improves the range of the colours and shades to numbers rivaling amounts offered by high-end OLED and QLED televisions. Combined with exceptional peak brightness – more than enough to fight glare – this TV offers strong picture quality. What puts it below the more expensive OLED and QLED televisions is primarily movement blurring – with a longer input lag than the more expensive televisions, movement can blur more than premium televisions.  Additionally, the Automatic Brightness Limiter feature, designed to dim large bright areas on the screen might be something to consider for sports fans, as testers reported the ice of a hockey rink might be dimmed automatically. Sports fans, take note.

At the brain of the television is a quad-core processor managing the necessary algorithms for generating the wide spectrum of shades and colours. However, this TV does struggle with upscaling 480p signals, and the response time of this TV can lead to motion blur behind faster objects. The Roku OS proves to a great operating system, offering many apps with loads of free content, as well as all the classic streaming services.

Despite some motion blurring, the Hisense U6GR is still an alright choice for gaming, with VRR support, and input lag levels that are acceptable for gaming. Unfortunately, there is no HDMI 2.1 support, so you cannot get the most out of your next gen console with this TV.

The cable-management system consists of clips on the back, which is able to organize all your cables in a neat manner. The U6GR is wall-mountable with a VESA 300×200 mount, but due to the cable management system will not sit flush against the wall – but will sit flat against the wall without the cable management system. In case you are not planning on mounting the TV on a wall, Users commented that the stand, consisting of two plastic feet, have some front-to-back wobble.

Overall, users find this TV offers excellent value with the price. Is it limited? For sure. But when this TV can be significantly cheaper than others, complaining about a lack of HDMI 2.1 or lack of Bluetooth is silly since you are saving money by excluding these features. Don’t like this TV’s feature set? Look elsewhere. However, since this TV offers strong picture quality for movies and gaming, at an inexpensive price, we think that lacking certain features is not a dealbreaker.

Best smart TV for the money

TCL 6 Series Roku TV

Sizes: 55″, 65″, 75″

The TCL 6-series is the TV series that keeps on giving. Utilizing mini-LED technology – a technology found on higher-end TV’s – in a mid-range TV is an awesome way to get the most out of your money when shopping for your next TV. For the money, you will get a lot of value of the TCL 6 Series Roku TV.

The 6-series is a wide product line for TCL, consisting of a wide range of sizes and either Google or Roku smart TV systems. Due to its wide range of apps and its interface, we prefer the Roku version, but the Google OS is still a good choice.

This television includes a QLED screen with TCL’s mini-LED backlight display technology, which combines for expansive expressive colour and striking contrasts between light and dark. Combined with excellent 4K resolution, this TV looks so good – almost too good to be true! This TV includes the impressive HDR due to Dolby Vision, and impressively immersive sound via Dolby Atmos. Where this TV’s impressive performance falters is limited brightness, which might be susceptible to glare, and admittedly poor motion handling. Still, comparably limited brightness and poor motion handling do throw a slight hindrance in the performance of this TV, but the value is there.

There are a handful of features added to improve the gaming experience with the TCL Roku 6 Series.The Series 6 includes “Game Studio Plus,” a suite of gaming features to improve the gaming experience. These features include Variable Response Rate, a feature called Auto-Game Mode that turns off unneeded video processing elements to prioritize those needed for gaming, as well as THX Certified Game Mode for 1440p/120HZ gaming. However, this television offers no HDMI 2.1 ports among the 4 HDMI ports on this TV, and cannot push 4K image quality at 120 fps. As a result, we would stop short of recommending this TV for gaming if that’s your primary concern – this TV is best suited for 4K streaming. This TV might not be as good for gaming or sports viewing than a more expensive TV, and that is okay considering the savings you will get with this choice.

On the back side of this TV are all the ports you might need, including four HDMI ports, a USB port, a coaxial connection (for cable or antenna use) and an AV input, among some other connections.

This TV runs on AiPQ engine which enables the HDR, 4k upscaling and smart contrast features. With a smart TV system provided by Roku, there is a huge selection of apps available on this TV, and our preferred interface on the TV too, although the Google OS will have most of your favourite streaming services too.

Even as a cheaper TV, the TCL Series 6 does not look outdated or cheap. The TCL 6-Series is thin, with 2.8 inches at its thickest point, and a bezel that is less than half an inch (0.9cm) wide. The 6-series can be wall mounted with a VESA 300×300 wall mount, or the wide TV stand that is included. The integrated cable management system helps to de-clutter your space, keeping your wires organized and separate.

Overall, users who purchased this TV find the value it offers incredible. The picture, the price, and the overall loaded featureset are all hits among owners of this TV. Users complimented the ease of the operating system, too, which is a plus in our eyes. Some users with negative experiences found the long-term longevity of this TV, which is unfortunate when combined with only one-year of warranty protection. However, the vast majority of users raved about the quality of the TV only.

Pros
  • A less-expensive version of a 4K QLED tv.
  • Strong QLED colours.
  • Built-in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for optimized vision and sound.
Cons
  • Does not offer strong motion capabilities, so it is not ideal for gaming or sports.
  • Some longevity concerns.

Best smart TV under $500

TCL 4 Series 4K LED Television

Sizes: 43”, 49”, 50”, 55”, 65”, 75”

TCL’s 4-Series was our choice for this category two years ago and this line is still holding up as a top value pick on a Smart TV, with the three smaller sizes coming in at just under or around the $500 mark. Equipped with 4k Ultra HD and HDR10 dynamic range, the Series 4 maintains the picture quality modern smart TVs are renowned for, while available for a fraction of the price.

With a strong contrast ratio (despite its lack of local dimming) the TCL 4 Series is a solid television for watching TV or movies in a dark room. While low-input lag at 4k resolution means the 4 Series is no slouch for gaming either, it has no VRR support and a slow response time, the latter of which may result in motion blur.

The 4 Series is available with three different operating systems: Roku TV, Google TV, and Android TV. By our comparison, each size of TV is priced with the same MSRP as others with the same size but different OS. We can recommend springing for Google or Android, depending on what might fit your home ecosystem, but if you do not have a preference, you cannot go wrong with Roku.

At such a cheap price tag, the 4 Series proves you can have the modern convenience of a Smart TV at any budget. Overall, users enjoy this TV, but the price is definitely its biggest selling point – what this TV includes at this price range is more important that what it does not.

Pros
  • Budget price point.
  • Includes HDR10 and low-input lag for
Cons
  • No settings to disable motion blur.
  • Limited list of specs and features.

The best clearance smart TV

Hisense U8G

Sizes: 55″, 65″

While the OLED TV’s we have included above will show your favourite team in all their glory, something that is cheaper that still offers excellent picture quality is the Hisense U8G. This powerful LED TV offers great picture and sound. While it is not Hisense’s most up-to-date model, this television can be had for a great budget price.

LED pixel TVs are lagging behind what is currently possible in the TV aspect, but most of the time, users want a good TV that is affordable, not the best TV. Despite the LED display, the Hisense U8G offers impressive picture quality, with a strong contrast ration and high-peak brightness. The depth of some of the black shades are not as deep as OLED televisions, but this might not be the biggest deal in the world unless tracking the puck on the ice is difficult for your eyesight. The picture is especially smooth – with very few motion artifacts – but those were really only seen in game mode – so sports and movie watching should be unaffected. Glare is not much of an issue since this television has a high peak brightness and strong reflection handling. Unfortunately, for the best viewing angles for a viewing party, this TV does come up a little short – the optimal viewing angles are directly in front of the screen.

The technological aspects of this TV are up to par, but ultimately don’t surpass the heights other TV have. The interface for this GTV is Android, which offers a large number of apps including most of the mainstream streaming services. The back of the TV supports lots of formats and connectivity, with two HDMI 2.1 inputs, you can enjoy 4k @ 120 hz with a variable refresh rate.  Albeit, gaming has more artifacts than other modes of this TV.

There are a number of nice features that can make this TV fit cleanly into your room. It is thin and light enough to be wall-mounted, but also has a sturdy base that can protect the TV from falls. Clips in the back help to organize your cables.

The Hisense U8G is a TV that’s nearing the end of its lifespan on store shelves and can be had for cheap. If you like the feature set of the U8G, yet cannot find this TV (or find a good deal on it), then look into 2022’s Hisense U8H QLED TV, which is the successor of the U8G. Overall, you can generally save money with a older TV model, but don’t just settle

Pros
  • Strong featureset including strong picture quality.
  • Most of the gaming features you need.
  • Inexpensive price.
Cons
  • Narrower viewing angles.

Our methodology

For some, buying a TV is about getting the biggest discount. For others, knowing you have selected the perfect TV for your gaming console, Sunday night sports games, or movie nights. This article is for those in the second category.

For this buying guide, we researched each Smart TV’s specifications and performance with different kinds of uses in mind, across different sizes and price points. We found that due to a range of prices and screen sizes available, users prioritized picture quality, user interface and seamlessness of use in their Smart TVs.

While that might seem like a solid way to decide, if you are looking for something specific in your next flat screen, we have done the hard work and found the best TV in each category so you can pick the perfect TV.

We focused on user reviews on Amazon and professional reviews from trusted sources, such as rtings.com. Our team spent over 20+ hours reviewing and compiling the best TVs in the market for a range of purposes and budgets. We made our choices using trusted sources of smart TV reviews, including rtings.com, and user reviews found on Amazon Canada.

Frequent smart TV questions

What is a smart TV?

Simply put, a Smart TV is a TV that has access to the internet and internet-based applications, like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Spotify. You do not need a game console, Chromecast or Fire stick to access your favourite streaming services.

What is a 4K TV?

The “4K” in “4K TV” refers to its resolution, which is a horizontal display of approximately 4000 pixels. Currently, 4K is the standard high definition, with little to no content being released for higher resolutions in 2022, including 8K.

Do smart TVs have cameras?

Some Smart TVs do in fact have cameras, but the TVs we’ve listed in this guide do not have cameras. Due to security concerns, many tech experts advise against getting a smart TV with a camera unless you have plans specifically for the TV’s camera use.

Can I use Disney Plus with my smart TV?

Smart TVs have the capability to download a variety of apps to watch or browse through a variety of content, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify and for some smart TVs, yes – Disney Plus.

How do I know if I have a smart TV?

Smart TVs are considered smart when they can run internet-based applications, like streaming services, without an accompanying device like a Roku stick or an Amazon Fire stick.

Can I download apps to my Samsung TV?

Yes! Almost all Smart TVs will have some kind of app store or have a wide range of apps downloaded already. However, you will not be able to play Fruit Ninja on your new TV – most of these apps are streaming services, with some Smart TVs have smart home capabilities.

Where can I get a smart TV?

Retail stores like Best Buy, The Brick and Canadian Tire are excellent places to pick up a TV and bring it home today, but Amazon also is a great option for socially distanced TV shopping.

What is the best smart TV brand?

There are certain smart TV brands that excel in certain things, and many different smart TV brands are competing in terms of sales and innovation, so there is no real singular best brand. This guide has highlighted many of the major players in Smart TVs, however, including Samsung, Sony, LG, TCL and Hisense.

What are the smart TV advantages and disadvantages?

Smart TVs often come out of the box ready to use – minimal setup and no required extras are a big advantage to going smart for your next TV. Since most modern TVs have Smart TV capabilities, most models carry the latest and best technology available. The price point may pose as one disadvantage: it may be worthwhile getting a Roku stick for your old TV instead of a new Roku Smart TV. Another frequently pointed out pertinent disadvantage of Smart TVs are the privacy risks involved with smart home technologies, according to tech security specialists.

Smart TVs use automatic content recognition to track what you are watching to show relevant ads, and older smart TVs that do not have the latest update may be a vulnerable point on your network.

Is a refurbished smart TV worth it?

If you are looking to save some extra cash, buying a refurbished or second-hand Smart TV is not an inherently bad idea. Buying a Smart TV with minor cosmetic issues or missing features may suit your needs perfectly, however, we recommend taking care in selecting a refurbished TV, as well as getting an Extended Warranty so you are covered if issues arise down the road.

Should I get a smart TV or a Chromecast?

A non-smart TV with a Chromecast, Fire Stick or Roku Stick will have most of the same functions that modern Smart TVs have, except for some exclusive apps or features. If you are satisfied with your TV’s picture quality and just need a new way to stream all your favourite shows, one of the listed devices would do great.

What is the best movie app for smart TVs?

Depending on your taste, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Crave and Disney+ are premium choices for watching both TV and movies, whereas Crackle, Popcornflix and Tubi are solid free options.

Can I connect my phone to smart TVs?

Some Smart TVs can connect to a cellular device, using them as a remote or for other purposes.

Can I connect my laptop to smarts TVs?

Most Smart TVs should have no issue connecting to a laptop through HDMI, however, some are unsupported with certain types of file types. Newer models of Samsung TVs, for example, do not support codecs such as divX and DTS.

Do smart TVs have Bluetooth?

Some Smart TVs do have Bluetooth accessibility, meaning you can hook up your wireless headphones or (other Bluetooth integration). However, not all Smart TVs have Bluetooth accessibility, and so it is worth finding out if a model does have Bluetooth before you decide to purchase it.

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Updated date

August 26th, 2022

About the author

Sam Beetham

Sam Beetham is a writer who has accomplished his childhood dream of rating things professionally. When not gazing deeply into the LCD display, he can be found cooking, designing DND dungeons or working on music with his band.
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