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Happy Holidays! This article is part of our Holiday 2021 Gift Guide where you can find the best-of-the-best recommendations from How-To Geek, LifeSavvy, and Review Geek to help you pick the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

What to Look For in a Roku TV in 2021

Apart from the platform that’s built into the television set itself, Roku smart TVs aren’t that different from other televisions on the market. If you’re looking for an excellent Roku TV, you want the television to be great in general, as well as come with Roku built-in.

One of the most important things to consider with any television is picture quality. You want the television to offer a sharp and vibrant image with an excellent contrast ratio. As there are no OLED Roku TVs on the market, features like quantum dot, full-array local dimming, and Mini-LED become very important. These technologies help LED TVs improve their picture performance multi-fold.

If you are buying a Roku TV for gaming, there are additional features that you need to look for, like low input lag, fast response time, HDMI 2.1 support, and variable refresh rate (VRR). These not only ensure you get a fantastic gaming experience but also ensures your TV is future-proof.

Budget and TV size also play a significant role in your purchase decision. As such, our recommendations include the best Roku TVs in a variety of budgets. For screen size, Rtings has an excellent tool that can help you figure out the right TV size for your room.

For a deeper dive into which TV features are most important, we have a great explainer on everything you need to know before buying a TV. Now, let’s jump into our recommendations.

RELATED: How to Buy a TV: What You Need to Know

Best Roku TV Overall: TCL 6-Series R635

TCL 6 series TV on yellow background
TCL

Pros

  • Excellent contrast ratio
  • Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG support
  • Quantum dot technology helps with vibrant colors

Cons

  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Underwhelming local dimming performance

Over the last few years, TCL has managed to carve its place out in the crowded smart TV market. The company did this by providing quality televisions like the TCL 6-Series R635. It’s undoubtedly the best overall Roku TV on the market, offering excellent value for money and fantastic picture quality.

Priced at $849 for the 55-inch model, the R635 is a 4K TV enhanced by quantum dot technology and Mini-LED backlighting for a bright and vibrant picture. There is also support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG, so you’ll get a punchier image whether you are watching HDR content on Netflix or broadcast TV.

While there is no HDMI 2.1 port on the R635, the television does come with a THX-certified game mode, a 120Hz panel, VRR support, and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) for a good and responsive gaming experience. ALLM detects your gaming console and automatically switches to the built-in game mode. While the TCL 6-Series is good, though for a top-of-the-line gaming experience, check out our gaming pick later in the article.

The TCL R635 also looks excellent and has a good build quality. In addition, you get eARC support on one of the four HDMI 2.0-capable ports on the television, so it’ll allow you to pass through high-quality audio to your soundbar or speaker system.

RELATED: What Is eARC?

But the TCL 6-Series 635 is not perfect. It uses a Vertical Alignment (VA) type display panel, so the TV has excellent native contrast. However, the presence of a VA panel means that the TV will have narrow viewing angles. The set also suffers from blooming and black crush due to a limited number of local dimming zones.

But if you are okay with these compromises, the R635 is one of the best Roku TVs around. You can purchase the TCL R635 in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch sizes.

Best Roku TV Overall

TCL 6-Series R635

If you are looking for the best Roku TV on the market, you can't go wrong with the TCL 6-Series R635. It offers an exciting set of features at a reasonable price.

Best Roku TV Under $500: Hisense 50R6090G

Hisense 50R6090G on blue background
Hisense

Pros

  • Excellent contrast ratio
  • Dolby Vision and HDR10 support
  • Good 4K upscaling

Cons

  • No next-gen gaming features
  • Narrow viewing angles
  • No local dimming

Although Hisense primarily sells Android TV models, the company has a few good Roku TV models in its portfolio, like the 50R6090G. The R6090G is one of Hisense’s entry-level 4K TVs. Despite its relatively lower price tag, this set looks decent and has slim bezels, so it’ll look great in your home.

The television offers excellent contrast with deep black levels, thanks to the VA panel. Hisense has also included support for Dolby Vision and HDR10, so you’ll have a great time watching movies and TV shows. Moreover, it handles light reflections well and can easily upscale 720p and 1080p content to 4K.

Unfortunately, there is no quantum dot technology or local dimming, both of which are available in Hisense’s more expensive counterparts. The 50R6090G also doesn’t have much in the way of next-generation gaming features.

But at this price range, some sacrifices need to be made. You’ll still get extremely low input lag and decent response time, which should be fine for occasional gaming.

If you can afford to spend just a bit more, the TCL 50S535 (which is our pick for the best Roku TV for movies) is another great budget option to consider. It has an MSRP of $599, but it typically goes on sale so you can get it cheaper.

In addition, the 50S535 has quantum dot technology and local dimming, which help it provide vibrant colors and an excellent contrast ratio—if you can increase your budget just a bit, it’s worth the upgrade.

Best Roku TV Under $500

Hisense 50R6090G

Hisense is known for producing some excellent value for money TVs, and the 50R6090G is no different. It looks decent and offers a fantastic picture for its price tag.

Best Roku TV Under $300: Hisense 43R6E3

Hisense 43R6E3 on pink background
Hisense

Pros

  • Good native contrast ratio and deep blacks
  • Dolby Vision and HDR10 support
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Low HDR brightness
  • Average performance

The Hisense 43R6E3 is one of the most affordable 4K Roku TVs on the market. If you’re looking for an inexpensive Roku television for a guest room or a dorm room, it’s your best bet.

The television looks decent and has narrow bezels, but apart from that, it’s mostly a practical design. Thanks to the TV’s VA panel, its native contrast ratio is good, and the company has also included Dolby Vision and HDR10 support. However, the 43R6E3 doesn’t get very bright to make effective use of the HDR support.

Still, the 43R6E3 offers a decent viewing experience for its price tag, and you won’t be disappointed. As expected, there are no advanced gaming features, but Hisense has included a game mode that offers relatively low input lag and okay response time.

If you can spend a little more money, TCL 43S435 is another excellent budget Roku TV. It has an MSRP of $349, but you can get it for as low as $305. The TV offers an excellent contrast ratio and can display deep blacks, so it is an upgrade from Hisense’s set. If you can wait until it the TCL model is on sale, you won’t regret it.

Best Roku TV Under $300

Hisense 43R6E3

The Hisense 43R6E3 is a good option for anyone looking for an inexpensive Roku TV. It costs less than $300 and provides a decent viewing experience.

Best Roku TV For Gaming: TCL 6-Series R648

TCL 6-Series 8K TV on grey background
TCL

Pros

  • Two HDMI 2.1 ports and 120Hz panel
  • Support for both [email protected] and [email protected] gaming
  • Vibrant colors and bright picture
  • Support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG

Cons

  • TV struggles in upscaling 1080p and 720p content
  • Expensive than other Roku TV models

The TCL 6-Series R648 is your best bet for a gaming-specific Roku TV on the market right now. It has everything you need in a gaming TVlow input lag, fast response time, VRR support, and ALLM mode.

It also packs a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 ports and support for 4K gaming at 120 fps. Moreover, as an 8K TV, you can also game in 8K at 60fps. This is perfect for the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series consoles.

TCL has also added support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG on this 6-series TV. So you can enjoy both games and video content in HDR. Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services that have tons of HDR content to watch.

But TCL’s impressive feature-set doesn’t end here. The R648 uses quantum dot technology, Mini-LED backlighting, and local dimming to provide exceptionally bright and vibrant pictures with deep blacks. As a result, the TV arguably offers the best picture quality in the entire TCL TV lineup.

The R648 also just looks great. Its centralized metal stand is a nice change from the increasingly common wide legs. The TV set is a bit thick, and TCL could have done a better job of refining its borders. But considering everything that it offers tech-wise, you can’t complain about the looks much.

Although we recommend the TV for its gaming chops, not the 8K resolution, some of you may think that’s a bit too much and whether it’s wise to spend money for a feature you don’t necessarily need. Sure, you may not need an 8K TV, but even without its 8K resolution, the TCL R648 is a great TV that’s stellar at upscaling 4K content.

The TV also costs less than some of the 4K OLED TVs, so it’s a great argument for future-proofing your home theater setup. Still, if you are unsure, you can always choose from our best gaming TV picks and use a Roku streaming device to get the Roku OS experience, even if the built-in smart TV platform is different.

The TCL 6-Series R648 is available in 65-inch and 75-inch sizes.

Best Roku TV for Gaming

TCL 6-Series R648

TCL has gone all out with its 6-Series R648 8K TV. It's a great TV and packs all the next-generation gaming features you'll need for the PS5 or Xbox Series consoles.

Best Roku TV For Movies: TCL 5-Series S535

TCL 5 Series TV on entertainment center
TCL

Pros

  • Superior contrast with deep blacks
  • Vibrant and lifelike colors
  • Apple AirPlay support

Cons

  • Low HDR brightness
  • No next-gen gaming features
  • Poor viewing angles

If you like to watch a lot of movies, the TCL 5-Series S535 is an excellent 4K Roku TV to purchase. Like most TCL televisions, it offers great value for money and easily outperforms many competing budget models.

This set uses quantum dot technology and comes with full-array local dimming, so you get vivid and lifelike colors thanks to its exceptional contrast ratio. There is also very little blooming to affect the picture.

In addition, TCL has added support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG, so you’ll be able to enjoy HDR content. It also upscales Full HD and HD content very well, which will come in handy if you’re watching cable or broadcast TV.

Although thick, TCL S535 has a fairly nice design that uses metal for decent build quality. There are four HDMI 2.0 ports on the TV, and one of the ports also supports eARC to pass through uncompressed high-quality audio to your soundbar or speaker system.

While you miss out on HDMI 2.1 and the TV panel only has a 60Hz refresh rate, it is suitable for casual gaming with its low input lag, excellent response time, and the ALLM mode.

Unfortunately, the TCL S535 struggles on the brightness front. The TV doesn’t get too bright, which hampers its HDR performance. Higher brightness is generally needed to bring out the highlights in HDR scenes.

But if you’re looking for a Roku TV to watch movies on, the S535 is the set to get. You can buy the TCL 5-Series S535 in 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch sizes.

Best Roku TV for Movies

TCL 5-Series S535

If you're a movie buff, there is no better Roku TV than the 5-Series S535. This TCL set offers vibrant and lifelike colors and can easily upscale content to 4K.

The Best TVs of 2021 for Gaming, Movies, and More

Best TV Overall
LG C1
Best Budget TV
Hisense U7G
Best 8K TV
Samsung QN900A 8K
Best Gaming TV
LG G1
Best TV for Movies
Sony A90J
Best Roku TV
TCL 6-Series R635
Best LED TV
Samsung QN90A
Profile Photo for Gaurav Shukla Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla is a technology journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting and writing about consumer technology. His work has appeared in XDA Developers and NDTV Gadgets 360.
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