The 6 best TVs we saw at CES 2020 — from 8K OLEDs to a TV that can rotate like a smartphone

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CES/Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
  • Every year, the world’s top display manufacturers debut their latest and greatest TV models at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV.
  • This year’s CES was filled with many impressive new TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio, TCL, and more.
  • From a gorgeous bezel-less 8K QLED to 4K OLEDs that can hang on your wall like a piece of art, these are our picks for the very best TVs featured at CES 2020.
  • You can also check out the best products of CES 2020 overall, for home and kitchen, for computing, and more on Insider Picks.

CES 2020 has had no short supply of absolutely incredible displays. All of the major players in the TV market have demoed their upcoming lineups for the year, spotlighting their latest advancements in picture quality and smart TV connectivity.

For 2020, companies have come out in full force for 8K, with more new 8K TV models than ever before. 8K displays offer four times the total number of pixels found on traditional 4K Ultra HD TVs. Though actual 8K videos are still rare, these new 8K TVs all feature advanced upscaling capabilities, allowing them to enhance all the Full HD and 4K content we currently watch on streaming services and discs.

Whether that enhancement will be enough to justify the added expense all those pixels are sure to cost, however, will come down to your performance needs and budget.

Thankfully, TV manufacturers aren’t turning their backs on good old 4K just yet. Far from it, CES was still packed with several impressive Ultra HD TV models set for release throughout the year. Higher resolutions will always draw attention, but continued advancements in precision dimming, peak brightness, contrast, and viewing angles, reveal that there’s still plenty of wow factor left in a great 4K display.

After scouring the convention and examining all the latest specs, we’ve put together our picks for the very best new TVs revealed at the show. From 8K LCDs to unique vertical TVs, our selections emphasize a variety of factors – including image performance, design style, and potential value. On that note, pricing and exact release dates are still forthcoming for most of the models unveiled so far. That said, all of the TVs we’ve highlighted are expected to be available for purchase in 2020.

Here are the best TVs from CES 2020:

  • Samsung Q950TS 8K QLED TV
  • Sony XBR Z8H 8K TV
  • TCL 8-Series 8K TV
  • Vizio 4K SmartCast OLED TV
  • LG GX Gallery Series 4K OLED TV
  • Samsung Sero 4K TV

Samsung Q950TS 8K QLED TV

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Monica Chin/Business Insider

Samsung Q950TS 8K QLED TV (price TBD – mid-2020)

With a stunning bezel-less design and a bright 8K QLED panel, the Samsung Q950TS could be the premium TV to beat in 2020.

Gorgeous 8K TVs are common at CES this year, but Samsung’s new Q950TS has managed to stand out from the crowd thanks to one key advancement in style – it’s virtually bezel-less design. Yes, borders around the edges of TV screens are already pretty thin and unobtrusive on a lot of high-end display models, but Samsung’s latest design is the first to really perfect that coveted “all image” look premium buyers have been craving.

With an impressive screen-to-body ratio of nearly 99%, the Q950TS presents you with a TV that’s nearly all display. From an average viewing distance, this makes it appear as if the TV’s picture almost spills out to the very edges of the panel for a striking “Infinity Screen’ effect. If that wasn’t enough, the TV also features an incredibly thin profile that measures just 15 millimeters, completing a beautifully refined design.

Style isn’t worth all that much if a TV doesn’t actually have great image quality, however. Thankfully, the Q950TS is a strong competitor in that department as well. The TV’s 8K QLED LCD panel is capable of some of the brightest picture performance we’ve ever seen on a consumer TV, ensuring near reference level HDR playback. Despite how thin Samsung has been able to make the panel, the company has also still been able to pack in an advanced full-array local dimming backlight for great black levels. Beyond image, the Q950TS also includes a unique audio system with built-in drivers on the top, sides, bottom, and rear of the TV. Smart TV capabilities are very advanced as well, including support for special AI-powered picture and audio modes that can intelligently adapt sound and image based on the characteristics of your room.

Though we’ll have to wait a bit for actual 8K videos to watch, the TV’s advanced upscaling makes sure that all your 4K and Full HD videos look great. Samsung has not announced how much the Q950TS will cost when it launches later this year, but if previous 8K models are any indication, the TV’s enhanced resolution and styling will come with a hefty price premium. Models will be available in 65, 75, and 85 inches.


Sony XBR Z8H 8K TV

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Les Shu/Business Insider

Sony XBR Z8H 8K TV (price TBD – mid-2020)

When it comes to pure picture quality, the Sony Z8H TV is the most impressive 8K TV we saw at CES 2020.

Though Samsung’s flagship 8K TV may have caught our attention more when it comes to style, Sony’s new Z8H 8K TV is shaping up to be the high-end picture quality champ to beat in 2020. Trade show demos are never the best to judge for accuracy, but detail and color looked more natural and life-like than the Samsung, creating a stunning sense of dimension. It’s a little bulkier and less sleek than some other premium sets, but what it lacks in style it makes up for with its impressive image.

Building upon Sony’s already stellar 2019 8K TV, the Z8H boasts all of the company’s most advanced LCD panel technologies, including 8K X-tended Dynamic Range Pro with full-array local dimming. Thanks to this advanced dimming, the Z8H proves that there are still some clear benefits that high-end LCDs can provide over OLED TVs.

Namely, this thing can get bright. Very bright. Why is that important? Well, beyond being great for rooms with a lot of ambient light, the Z8H’s high peak brightness and precision local dimming enable the TV to present intense HDR highlights closer to how they are intended to look when they’re graded on expensive professional monitors by Hollywood colorists. In other words, the Z8H has the potential to provide a truer cinematic experience than any other display coming out in 2020.

We’ll have to take a closer look at the TV’s advanced image features outside of CES to make a full judgment, but for high-end shoppers who want the most accurate TV on the market, the Z8H 8K TV could be the ultimate display for movie watching. There’s no word yet on exact pricing, but as Sony’s most advanced 8K TV so far, it will likely come with a very high price tag. Models will be available in 75- and 85-inch screen sizes later this year.


TCL 8-Series 8K TV

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Les Shu/Business Insider

TCL 8-Series 8K TV (price TBD – mid-2020)

TCL’s new 8-Series 8K TV introduces advanced dimming technology for deep black levels and impressive brightness.

TCL’s new flagship 8-Series 8K TV is aiming to take local dimming technology further than it’s ever gone before. Local dimming allows a TV to darken and brighten in specific sections across the panel, letting bright parts of an image shine while dark parts remain nice and inky. Dimming can be found on a lot of high-end LCD TVs, but the 8-Series is using a particularly advanced method – one that could give it a nice performance advantage over the competition.

Instead of traditional dimming with standard LEDs, the 8-Series 8K TV uses TCL’s new “Vidrian Mini-LED” backlight system. These Mini-LEDs allow the display to have more dimming zones than an LCD with a standard backlight. The 8-Series has around 1,000 zones versus a few hundred on conventional high-end TVs. This gives the 8-Series even greater precision when it comes to brightness and black levels. Though resulting contrast can’t quite equal the pixel-level dimming of an OLED, Vidrian Mini-LED technology presents a very promising development, blending great black level performance with the brightness advantages that LCD TVs are known for.

Mini-LED tech is actually already available on TCL’s 4K 8-Series TVs, but the new version used on its upcoming 8K TV is even more advanced with more balanced light control. The 8-Series didn’t quite stand out as much to us at CES as 8K TVs from Sony and Samsung did, but it still demonstrates a lot of potential – especially if TCL can maintain the competitive pricing it’s known for. We’ll have to wait a bit longer for details on the cost, but 65-inch and 75-inch 8-Series 8K TV models will go on sale later this year.


Vizio 4K SmartCast OLED TV

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Vizio

Vizio 4K SmartCast OLED TV (price TBD – 2020)

With its latest flagship 4K TV, Vizio could bring OLED displays to the mainstream.

While other companies are pushing big 8K TVs at CES, Vizio is taking another approach. Instead of jumping into higher resolutions, Vizio seems more concerned with perfecting the 4K TV – and that actually makes a lot of sense. 8K videos will likely remain few and far between for a while, and most 8K TVs are still far too expensive for the average buyer. With that in mind, the company has used CES to reveal its very first 4K OLED TV.

We’ll need more one-on-one time with the display to really make a firm judgment, but based on the CES 2020 demo, Vizio’s OLED appears to offer all of the same high-end picture performance perks that OLEDs from LG and Sony are known for. Specifically, the display offers pixel-level contrast with perfect black levels. Vizio also says that peak brightness will hit a max of about 800 nits, which is on par with the best that LG offers.

But since LG and Sony have already been selling 4K OLED TVs with similar specifications for several years, what’s the big deal about this model? Well, it has to do with the Vizio brand. Vizio is known for balancing great image quality and affordable prices, often selling TVs with high-end picture performance for a lot less than the competition. There’s no word yet on exactly how much the company’s first OLED will cost, but when we asked about pricing, Vizio reiterated its commitment to making great displays that are “attainable for everyone.”

If that goal translates into a cheaper asking price than LG and Sony’s OLED TVs, then the company could have one of the year’s best TV values on its hands. Vizio’s 4K OLED SmartCast TV will be available later this year in 55- and 65-inch sizes.


LG GX Gallery Series 4K OLED TV

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Monica Chin/Business Insider

LG GX Gallery Series 4K OLED TV (price TBD – mid-2020)

LG’s new GX Gallery Series is so thin that it can hang flush on your wall like a piece of art.

For the most part, LG’s upcoming 2020 OLED 4K TVs look pretty similar to the company’s currently available models – but since those 2019 TVs were already so impressive, that’s not really a bad thing. That said, there are still some key upgrades to be found on the new displays being showcased at CES, including a cool new design option with the GX Gallery Series.

When it comes to picture quality, the GX Gallery Series OLED will offer the same great image performance that all of LG’s 4K OLED TVs are known for. Most notably, the OLED panel allows the TV to achieve an infinite contrast ratio for superb black levels and impressive HDR playback.

The 2020 models also feature the company’s latest α (Alpha) 9 Gen 3 AI Processor, which should enable the TV to optimize its picture for different kinds of content. Advanced gaming features like Nvidia G-Sync and HGiG Mode are also included. These features will give gamers a smoother experience with better HDR performance via a compatible console.

What makes the GX Gallery TV stand out from the rest of LG’s new OLED models, however, is its physical design. With an incredibly thin panel measuring only 0.79 inches (on the 65-inch model), the gallery series can be hung flush on your wall like a piece of art. It’s not quite as razor-thin as the company’s more expensive WX Wallpaper TV, but LG has now been able to keep all of the display’s processing and components within the panel itself. This means you don’t need to use a separate box or soundbar to hook up all your devices to.

Pricing has not been announced yet, but the GX Gallery Series 4K OLED TV will be available later this year in 55, 65, and 77 inches.


Samsung Sero 4K TV

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Les Shu/Business Insider

Samsung Sero 4K TV (price TBD – 2020)

Designed for the social media generation, Samsung’s Sero TV can rotate into portrait mode like a giant smartphone.

Though it doesn’t offer the same high-end home theater experience that most of our other picks provide, Samsung’s Sero 4K TV is definitely one of the most unique displays to come out of CES 2020. The 43-inch TV is designed to rotate from a standard horizontal position to a vertical position, making it a better match for videos recorded on smartphones.

The Sero can easily sync with mobile devices, making it a convenient way to view personal videos, social media clips, and YouTube content captured in portrait mode. In fact, the TV can even automatically change its orientation to match videos being played when paired with a Samsung Galaxy phone. Beyond this unique rotating feature, the display boasts solid performance specs with a 4K QLED panel and all of the smart TV bells and whistles that Samsung is known for.

The vertical mode might seem like a gimmick, but Samsung is hoping it will attract millennial buyers who are used to watching videos on their phones. In other words, this is a TV being geared toward people who have otherwise stopped watching TVs.

If nothing else, that’s a very interesting gamble for Samsung to take on – one worthy of some recognition, even if it is pretty gimmicky. Whether or not it actually catches on with the younger generation it’s aiming to capture, however, remains to be seen.

Samsung plans to bring the Sero 4K TV to the US later this year. Pricing has not been announced yet.