The seemingly endless selection of televisions often makes it difficult for buyers to find the right model. The Stiftung Warentest has therefore taken a closer look at the market and tested various models between 24 and 58 inches. The result: Customers do not necessarily have to pay a lot of money for a good Smart TV.
In its current product test, Stiftung Warentest has focused on televisions from 2020, the price of which is a maximum of 800 euros. The experts took a closer look at both the small models with a screen diagonal of 24 to 43 inches and the particularly popular sizes between 49 and 58 inches. First of all: a 55-inch smart TV was particularly impressive in the test.
The best televisions according to Stiftung Warentest
The Stiftung Warentest rated several points as part of the test. The focus was primarily on the picture and sound, but also on the handling of the respective TV set. The connection options and the environmental properties were also assessed.
Really good smart TVs only from 43 inches
Of the smallest models in the test, i.e. the televisions with a screen size of 24 to 32 inches, none of the devices could convince the Stiftung Warentest. For these models, the test results were only “satisfactory” or “poor”.
Quite different with televisions from 43 inches. A total of several models from the manufacturers LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony were found here that achieved the test rating “good”. The 43-inch LG 43UN73906LE, for example, placed at the top of this category. The Stiftung Warentest was particularly impressed with the versatility of this model and therefore rated it “very good”. The LG 43UN73906LE not only has three HDMI inputs, Bluetooth 5.0, two USB ports and a digital output. It also supports voice control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant as well as the recording of TV programs and timeshift. Thanks to the ALLM ( Auto Low Latency Mode) support , the LG TV is also well suited for gamers.
Stiftung Warentest awarded a “good” rating in each of the categories of image, sound, handling and environmental properties. The Smart TV with WebOS and its 4K panel with 60 Hz, HDR10 Pro and HLG scored points here. The HLG standard makes it possible to transmit an image in HDR quality via cable or satellite. The LG 43UN73906LE is currently available in stores for 450 to 500 euros.
The price-performance winner in this class is the Samsung GU43TU8079. At around 360 euros, it is even cheaper than the LG TV and also achieved a good overall result in the Stiftung Warentest test. The experts awarded the grade “good” in the categories image, handling, versatility and environmental properties. In terms of sound, the Samsung GU43TU8079 only achieved a “satisfactory” rating. However, due to the flat design, many smaller televisions cannot score with a rich sound. TECHNOLOGYBUTTON therefore always recommends that buyers couple the TV to a soundbar or music system.
Best TV in the 50 inch category
The test winner in the 50 inch category – the Samsung GQ50Q60T – also achieved a good overall result. Samsung’s Q60T costs around 640 euros in this size. It is a model with a QLED display, so it comes very close to the much-vaunted OLED properties. The equipment includes 4K, a triple tuner, Tizen OS, Bluetooth and three HDMI. The Q60T also allows voice control via Google Assistant, supports AirPlay 2 and HDR10 +. The Samsung television achieved a good result in all tested categories. There were no outliers up or down. Stiftung Warentest particularly praised the low power consumption and the image quality during fast movements (e.g. action and sport).
Overall winner of Stiftung Warentest: 55-inch TVs from LG
With an overall grade of 1.9, the LG 55SM8050PLC did the best not only in sizes 55 to 58 inches. With this result, he is also the overall winner in the television test conducted by Stiftung Warentest.
Due to its diverse connections and options, it received a very good rating in this category. The experts still rated image, sound, handling and environmental properties as “good”. 4K, HDR10 Pro, time-shift television and the sound optimizations Ultra Surround and Clear Voice 3 are part of the equipment. The support of numerous streaming services was particularly praised in the test. The apps from Netflix and Disney + are already available and access to Amazon Video and Apple TV is possible directly via the Smart TV. The equipment also includes AirPlay 2, voice control via the Google Assistant, USB recording (PVR ready) and a whopping four HDMI connections. The television uses WebOS as a system and is currently available in stores for around 500 euros.
Tips for buying a television
If you are looking for a new television, the results of product tests such as those from Stiftung Warentest are always a good way to get an overview of good models. However, you can reduce the selection a little in advance by answering a few questions yourself.
What size should my smart TV be?
When choosing a new TV, buyers often turn to the larger models. But a smart TV shouldn’t be too big, because then you may have problems viewing the picture. Therefore, adhere to the following guideline:
- If the distance between the sofa and the TV is around two meters , a smaller TV with a screen diagonal of up to 49 inches is ideal
- If, on the other hand, the seat spacing is around three meters , you can confidently choose the popular size of 50 to 65 inches .
- In even larger rooms with a greater distance from the sofa, there is also space for the large Smart TVs from 65 inches .
LCD or OLED?
OLED televisions are often significantly more expensive than models with an LCD screen. This is due to the screen technology used. LCD TVs are usually built very flat and are therefore ideal for hanging on the wall. They are also considered to be quite durable. The disadvantage: the backlight is usually attached to the edge and is large. For this reason, individual pixels are also illuminated when they should actually remain dark. As a result, black likes to look a bit gray, the contrasts are less pronounced.
Not so with OLEDs . Here each pixel is illuminated individually. If it is switched off, it appears deeply sharp, which is how the high contrasts and rich colors come about. In the past, some users were afraid that the picture could burn in if they stood for a long time. Modern OLED TVs have been improved in such a way that this no longer happens.
The QLED technology from Samsung is a kind of intermediate. This is actually an LCD panel with extensive backlighting. However, Samsung uses a second layer with so-called quantum dots, which act as a light and color booster. This creates the high contrasts and rich colors that are reminiscent of OLEDs.
Does it really have to be 4K?
Meanwhile, 4K / UHD televisions predominate on the market. They have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Their price has dropped significantly, so that it is hardly worthwhile to use a television with Full HD resolution. However, buyers do not have to resort to the slowly emerging 8K resolution. There is still far too little content for this and such high-definition televisions are simply too expensive.
A smart TV should also have all the necessary connections. Before buying, therefore, check carefully which devices you want to connect.