4K TVs are at their prime right now, but 8K technology is slowly making its way into our screens. 8K displays are a sight to behold, coming in well over 70 inches to take advantage of all those incredible pixels. Along with that size, you're getting some of the best features that TV manufacturers offer, including mini LEDs and full array local dimming for unbeatable contrast ratios and stunning crispness. There’s also no lack of HDR support. And if you're a gamer planning to hook up a PS5 or Xbox Series X, these TVs are ready to take on those consoles with the best gaming technology available.
There may not be a ton of screens packing 8K technology just yet, but we've found a few that could work for you. Just be mentally and financially prepared, as these don't come cheap. If your budget isn't substantial, you might also consider some high-end 4K TVs, which shouldn't disappoint unless you're sitting unreasonably close. You can even find good quality from some cheap 4K TVs, but if you're hooked on 8K and want to be at the forefront of technology, our favorites are below.
TL;DR – These are the Best 8K TVs:
- Samsung 75" Class Neo QLED QN900B Series
- TCL 75" Class 6-Series 8K Mini-LED QLED Smart Roku TV
- LG 75" Class NanoCell 99 Series
- Sony 85" Class Z9K 8K HDR Mini LED Google TV
- LG 86" Class 99 Series QNED 8K Smart NanoCell TV
Samsung 75" Class Neo QLED QN900B Series
Best 8K TV
Samsung is offering the latest and greatest with its Neo QLED technology that uses Quantum Mini LED backlights. Those tiny LEDs can be packed closely together for more fine-tuned control of local dimming to get flashy highlights while shadow details remain deep and dark. The massive 75” Class Neo QLED QN900B Series TV does a stellar job putting this technology on display while also toting virtually invisible bezels to showcase its punchy colors, insane clarity, and extreme brightness.
The Samsung 75" Class Neo QLED QN900B Series TV has all the high-end features you could ever want, including HDR gaming along with a 120Hz refresh rate to go for speed in games—though you'll have to choose between 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz (144Hz). VRR and ALLM are even baked-in to ensure the smoothest and most enjoyable gameplay possible. And given that 8K is still in its infancy, it's hard to find 8K content to consume, so AI upscaling comes in handy to improve the picture quality of whatever the source may offer.
TCL 75" Class 6-Series 8K Mini-LED QLED Smart Roku TV
Best Budget 8K Gaming TV
We’re using “budget” lightly here, but you'll be hard-pressed to find another quality 8K TV like TCL’s 75" Class 6-Series 8K Mini LED TV for under $2,500. TCL still packs this TV with high-end features, especially shining where gaming is concerned, as you’ll be able to plug in the latest consoles using the two HDMI 2.1 ports that support ALLM and VRR. You’ll even be able to take advantage of a high refresh rate with 120Hz/4K, or if you’ve got a PS5, you can test out 8K/60Hz for some butter-smooth frames.
TCL has gone beyond a QLED panel with basic backlighting, opting for Mini LED backlighting for serious brightness where it’s necessary and yet still deep shadows by way of 240 local dimming zones. That strong balance of highlight and shadow plays well alongside the quantum dot colors to deliver a rich, vibrant picture, and you even get 10-bit color depth in HDR content. However, its 8K AI upscaling and motion processing are nothing to write home about.
LG 75" Class NanoCell 99 Series
Best Smart 8K TV
For an 8K TV that has some serious smarts built-in, look no further than the 75-inch LG NanoCell 99 Series. This massive display runs on LG’s solid webOS to easily stream your favorite content to the TV without a single cable running out the back beyond a power cable. There are also voice assistants, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, along with an 8K AI processor to help improve the visuals in everything you watch, even if you’re not watching native 8K footage.
With wide viewing angles, high peak brightness, and solid reflection handling, you'll enjoy watching the 75-inch LG NanoCell 99 Series from any position. This panel offers direct, full-array backlighting, but the local dimming and contrast ratio leaves something to be desired and causes a bit of blooming. If you can get past those flaws, gamers can really appreciate this display with its Auto Low Latency Mode and HDMI 2.1 support alongside a 120Hz refresh in 4K, though you don’t get VRR to prevent screen tearing.
Sony 85" Class Z9K 8K HDR Mini LED Google TV
Best 8K LED TV
The full-array LED backlighting on the Sony 85XR-Z9K offers insane depth and detail with excellent blacks and high peak brightness thanks to the XR Contrast Booster. Its color performance is equally impressive with XR Triluminos Pro on TV to reproduce billions of colors naturally and accurately. All this technology helps deliver a crisp 8K resolution and HDR imagery that may well blow you away, which is necessary on such a massive, pixel-peeking 85-inch screen.
The Sony 85XR-Z9K is a powerful gaming partner, boasting the latest HDMI 2.1 connectivity to pair it with devices capable of outputting 8K/60Hz video or even 4K/120Hz. Two of those HDMI 2.1 connections enable support for variable refresh rates and Auto Low Latency Mode, ensuring every frame of gameplay is smooth and tear-free. And when you’re not gaming, you can take advantage of the Google TV baked-in and AirPlay 2 support, making it simple to stream your favorite movies and shows.
LG 86" Class 99 Series QNED 8K Smart NanoCell TV (86QNED99UPA)
Best Mini LED 8K TV
Mini LED displays have begun to proliferate, and the LG 99 Series QNED puts them brilliantly on a massive 86-inch display. The incredibly bright Mini LEDs help deliver a stunning, colorful picture with precise full-array local dimming, offering the deepest blacks and high peak brightness well beyond what you’re used to from traditional LCD TVs. And you can watch this TV from just about anywhere with its wide viewing angles and excellent reflection handling.
The LG 99 Series QNED TV lets you enjoy content with an assortment of HDR profiles, and it can intelligently upscale content to 8K. You can keep HDR running even while you game, and you’ll enjoy the fast 120Hz refresh rate of the panel for gaming if you drop down to 4K, though it doesn’t support a variable refresh rate.
What's next for 8K TVs?
It'll likely be a while before we see 8K TVs start to take over the market. 4K TVs are proliferating, but 4K and HDR content is still catching up, which will leave many consumers with little reason to jump beyond 4K. That said, TV manufacturers aren't stopping at 4K. 8K panels are where we're seeing big manufacturers show off some of their latest technologies.
Samsung introduced its Neo QLED technology in the Samsung Neo QLED QN900A 8K TV and continues to show it off with each new model. This display technology released in early 2021 uses small LED backlights, called Quantum Mini LEDs, for full-array local dimming. These backlights are smaller than those found in Samsung's other TVs, letting the company pack more of them behind the display for finer control of local dimming to compete with OLED displays. But, since the Quantum Mini LEDs aren't made of organic materials, they won't face the same burn-in risks. They also don't require much room height-wise, so Samsung will be able to make even thinner displays with them.
Sony's Bravia XR Z9K Series also puts mini LEDs to good use, delivering an 8K image. These new displays put an emphasis on their intelligence, using a new Cognitive Processor XR that will enhance visuals based on where viewers are likely to be focused. The processor is intended to take non-8K video and upscale it to 8K in a more effective and lifelike way. This should smooth out motion and color gradation while also enhancing clarity. And, Sony applies those smarts to audio as well.
LG has started using mini LED technology in their 8K offering. Plus, more budget-friendly manufacturers like TCL are also getting in on the action with some new 8K displays as well.
The Gaming Features That Matter in an 8K (or Any) TV
Right now, most 8K TVs occupy the top end of the market, so there’s not a lot to consider when shopping around (especially when there are only a handful of models anyway). Still, if you’re wondering whether these TVs will be good for gaming, here’s what you need to know.
Size: 4K TVs already provide an incredibly sharp picture, so 8K is, frankly, a small step up for most screen sizes. If you want to go 8K, go big. Because the resolution of 8K TVs is so high, you can go for some truly large screens, like 80-inches and up, before you can start discerning the individual pixels on a display.
Both Samsung and Sony offer their 8K TVs in gargantuan sizes, so if you want to make sure that money is going toward something noticeable, buy the biggest panel you can—you won’t be disappointed.
High Dynamic Range (HDR): Any of the current 8K TVs excel at HDR, thanks to their high peak brightness and wide color gamuts—allowing them to produce a more vibrant image than the standard dynamic range TVs of yore. There is Dolby Vision, which is currently available on some Blu-ray discs and streaming services. Dolby Vision supports more colors, brighter highlights, and scene-by-scene information for a more dynamic image. HDR10+ is another format, and a competitor for Dolby Vision that is more open, and becoming more common. And, unsupported standards will just show as HDR10, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Refresh rate: Refresh rate determines how many times per second the display can refresh the image—the more times it can do so, the more frames it can display, leading to smoother motion. While the major consoles currently run games at 30, 60, and 120 frames per second, PCs—and perhaps future consoles—can run games at higher frame rates for superfluid action.
Thankfully, most 8K TVs support refresh rates of up to 120Hz for 4K graphics. 8K is only supported at 60Hz even with the highest tier video connections (i.e. DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.1).
Response time: Response time is often confused with input lag, but while both tend to be measured in milliseconds, they affect different characteristics of your monitor. Response time measures how fast a pixel can change from black to white, or between two different shades of grey. The slower it’s able to make that change, the more likely you are to see “ghosting,” or trails behind moving images on the screen. That means games and movies will look blurrier, so low response time is crucial for having a clear image. Thankfully, all the options above have excellent response times.
Input lag: This refers to the delay between pressing a button on your controller and seeing the effect on the screen. Many things can affect input lag, but TVs, in particular, are notorious for having high input lag due to the amount of processing that happens behind the scenes. That’s why you want a TV with a dedicated “Game Mode” that turns this processing off for the least lag possible—below 30-40ms is ideal. Again, since the current crop of 8K TVs is made up of super high-end displays, all the options on this list have low input lag when Game Mode is turned on.
Variable Refresh Rate (FreeSync, G-Sync): If you’re using an Xbox Series X/S, PS5, or PC that supports FreeSync or G-Sync, you may want a TV that also supports the variable refresh rate tech. This allows the display to adjust its refresh rate to match the frame rate output of your PC or console, eliminating nasty screen tearing.
Is 8K Even Worth It Yet?
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably yelling at your screen, chastising us for ignoring the elephant in the room—but don’t worry, we're just saving it for last.
Here’s the thing: these 8K TVs may be glorious, but so are this year’s crop of 4K TVs, and there is limited 8K content to watch right now—heck, there’s still a lot of stuff you can’t even watch in 4K. And even if you did have 8K content, it’s likely to be the most subtle upgrade in picture quality yet.
With 8K TVs costing thousands more than their 4K counterparts, we’re pretty firmly in the realm of diminishing returns right now. By the time 8K content is available, the TVs are likely to be a lot more affordable, meaning there’s little reason to buy one right this second.
We can see an argument for buying a “future-proof” TV now and not having to upgrade for many, many years—and some people may prefer that approach. But just remember that even an 8K TV won’t necessarily be future-proof by the time 8K becomes ubiquitous—just ask early 4K adopters who missed out on HDR.
If you’re extremely flush with cash and want the best TV money can buy, go for it—as I said, you won’t be disappointed by the picture quality these sets offer. If you have any semblance of a budget, you’re probably better off with a super high-end 4K set.
Kevin Lee is IGN's SEO Updates Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam.
Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.