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Feature Articles

Best devices for your home: Tech Awards 2020 Editor's Choice Results (Part 1)

By Team HardwareZone - 29 Feb 2020

Best 4K and 8K TV

Note: This article was first published on 21 Feb 2020.

The very best devices for your home (Tech Awards 2020)

Home is where the heart is, so goes the saying. It is also where we are most likely to spend most of our time – current circumstances surrounding Covid-19 notwithstanding. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in the best electronic devices and gadgets for your home. No one wants to be stuck at home watching a crummy TV and certainly, no one wants to live in a house with patchy Wi-Fi.

Fortunately, for Tech Awards 2020, we have gathered and tested all the major devices that you need for your home through these award categories that the editors have assessed for this segment:-

  • Best 4K and 8K TV
  • Best Wi-Fi 6 Router
  • Best Desktop CPU
  • Best Motherboard
  • Best Graphics Card
  • Best Gaming Notebook
  • Game of the Year
  • Best SOHO Printer
  • Innovation Awards

Other segments include the Best devices for Home (this article), Mobility devicesWork and Gaming. Not to forget, our Readers' Choice results for the Best Tech Brands

Read on and find out who the winners are in each category! For this segment, we begin with the centrepiece of all living rooms – TVs.

 

Best TV

There are really very few reasons left today to not buy a 4K TV if you’re looking to replace your crummy HD set. And you know what? Unlike past years, a top-end 4K TV with high picture quality can now be had without breaking the bank.

For those looking to get the very latest in TV tech, 2019 was the first year 8K TVs came to the fore. While the jump in resolution is the most obvious difference, there are other nuanced considerations that would-be buyers should be aware of too, especially for features that hinge on the availability of HDMI 2.1.

While this year's award segment was really set to find the Best TV, in our process of testing and gathering relevant comparison details, screen sizes and their respective prices played out an interesting twist for recommendations where 4K models were better suited up to certain screen sizes (and technically, it made sense too), while 8K models were a much better fit for larger screen sizes (even from a value perspective). As such, without further ado, let us tell you which is the best 4K TV and the best 8K TV you can buy right now!

 

Nominees:

  • LG C9 OLED 4K TV
  • Samsung Q900R QLED 8K TV
  • Sony A9G OLED 4K TV

 

Best 4K TV

LG C9 OLED 4K TV.

For 4K, you can’t go wrong with any of LG’s 2019 OLED TVs. But if we were to choose one, the LG C9 gets our nod because it offers terrific performance at a very reasonable price.

For a start, the LG C9 possesses all the hallmarks of a great OLED TV — perfect blacks, infinite contrast, great viewing angles and near-instant response times.

While not an 8K TV, the C9 is equipped with no fewer than four HDMI 2.1 ports and supports HDMI eARC. The latter means it can do lossless Atmos or DTS:X passthrough via Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio respectively to an external receiver.

The C9 plays nice with HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG formats. With a typical HDR peak brightness of around 750 nits, it offers very good HDR performance overall. That said, this isn’t the brightest TV we’ve test to date — if you’re super into HDR or need a TV that performs well under high ambient lighting, there are brighter options (e.g., Samsung’s QLED TVs).

Gamers will love the C9 for its very low 13ms input lag. Better yet, it supports both VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). In fact, a G-Sync update that arrived in late 2019 means that the C9 is one of the very few TVs today that will work well with not just recent Xbox One consoles but also systems that use an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card.

The best thing about the C9 is its price. Other than build quality, speaker and design, there’s not much that separates the C9 from its most expensive OLED siblings. For the most part, they offer the same picture quality. Versus the other TVs (see table below), its value at the 65-inch class is unmatched.

 

Best 8K TV

Samsung Q900R QLED 8K TV.

If you need a very big screen and 8K resolution, the Samsung Q900R QLED 8K TV is the one to get.

The Q900R’s greatest strength is its extremely high brightness, which means the picture will look good whether you’re using it in a bright family room or in a dark man cave. If you watch a lot of HDR content, this increased brightness can only be a good thing as it enhances realism.

Like Samsung’s flagship QLED TVs in the past few years, the Q900R offers a class-leading local dimming performance. Coupled with an Ultra Viewing Angle tech that solves past QLEDs’ narrow viewing angle problem, this is the most OLED-like (in terms of black levels) Samsung TV we’ve tested to date.

The Q900R also sports a very low input lag, FreeSync/VRR support and excellent motion handling. One minor gripe we’ve is that while there’s an HDMI 2.1 port on the One Connect box, there’s no eARC support.

Samsung’s QLED TVs, including the Q900R, also support Apple’s AirPlay 2 and are the first TVs to offer the new Apple TV app. LG has announced that its 2019 TVs will be getting the Apple TV app soon.

Strange as it may sound but we think that the Q900R offers good value for the money — especially for the 75-inch and above segment. At S$17K, the 75-inch 8K Q900R costs about the same as the 77-inch LG C9, which is a 4K TV, which costs more. And versus the S$60K 88-inch LG Z9, which is the only 8K OLED TV that LG sells here, the 82-inch Q900R, which costs S$30K, looks like a bargain.

Here's a comparison of various 4K and 8K TVs' SRPs:

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model LG C9 4K OLED Samsung Q900R 8K QLED Sony A9G 4K OLED
Design 8.5 9.0 8.5
Features 9.0 8.5 8.0
User-Friendliness 9.0 9.0 9.0
Performance 9.0 9.0 9.0
Value 8.5 8.0 6.5
Overall 9.0 9.0 8.5
Price (65-inch) S$5,999 S$10,999 S$11,999

 

References