Editor’s Note: October 2022
Despite hot competition from new releases, especially OLED TVs, the Samsung QN900B 8K TV remains our top pick – it’s extremely expensive, but it’s also offers just the most astounding picture quality at this size. The detail is really better than 4K (even with 4K content), and the brightness and HDR is stunning.
But we have a new value-led entry to this list: The Samsung BU8500. Available in Europe (US launch not confirmed yet), this is a huge screen with impressive 4K quality for a ridiculous price.
Matt Bolton, Senior Editor – TV & Audio
The best 85-inch TVs aren’t just about being big. Their size means they bring a serious home theater experience to your living room. You’ll need plenty of space and a substantial budget in order to buy one, but if you do then the pros will far outweigh the cons.
With an 85-inch TV, you’re going to want a few key technologies on the TV to help make every pixel look its best. You’ll need advanced detail and motion processing because any imperfections will be very obvious, and you’ll want great HDR so that it images feel deep and vibrant.
This is a size where you should be seriously considering the best 8K TVs, because it means you get four times the resolution compared to the best 4K TVs, and at this size, you’re likely to be able to see the difference. However, it’s not essential by any means, and 4K TVs still look excellent at this size.
We’re not going to pretend that premium 85-inch TVs come cheap, but there are more affordable options as well as ultra-elite buys. But it’s all relative – the cheapest 85-inch TVs can be about as expensive as a high-end 55-inch TV. Once you get to this size, you’re paying huge premiums for the extra inches – if you can bear to go a little smaller, you may find that choosing one of the best 75-inch TVs enables you to get better screen and image processing tech and still save money compared to an 85-inch model.
We also think that you should factor in a surround sound system or one of the best soundbars if you’re getting a TV this size, so the audio matches the visuals for scale, so keep that in mind when budgeting.
Best 85-inch TVs 2022: the list
Our picks of the top 85-inch sets
Samsung’s Mini LED-sporting QN900B Neo QLED 8K TV offers stunning picture quality, exceptional color and brightness, terrific sound and outstanding black levels in a beautifully designed package.
Samsung’s ‘Quantum’ Mini LEDs are 1/40th the thickness of a regular LED, meaning thousands of smaller LEDs can be packed together in the backlight. That delivers far more accurate dimming zones and black levels that are practically indistinguishable from an OLED.
As the LEDs are far smaller, they’re able to achieve far more precision and less blooming; in our tests we didn’t encounter any issues with unwanted illumination. And thanks to Samsung’s Multi-Intelligence AI upscaling, the QN900A is consistently able to produce images from SD, HD and 4K that looked better than their source.
The only real negative here is the new Smart Hub UI, which adds extra steps and complexity to simple features that used to require a couple of quick button presses. We found that even fairly basic image adjustments now required us to quit what we were watching and go wading through menus. We sincerely hope Samsung rethinks that: while it’s not a huge issue, it’s still mildly irritating and makes this TV a nine out of ten rather than ten out of ten.
Read the full Samsung QN900B Neo QLED 8K TV review
The LG C2 is the smash hit from the company’s 2022 line-up, delivering a brighter OLED Evo screen that still offers the super-deep, super-precise black levels that OLED is known for. You’ve also got LG’s very best image processing, so everything on its 4K screen looks detailed and natural, even from a less-than-perfect streaming source.
In our testing, we were massively impressed with the contrast in Dolby Vision movies, as well as the work it does to make SDR content to look excellent too. We found that the brightness improvement over last year’s LG C1 (or other cheaper OLED TVs) was immediately noticeable, as was a wider, right color palette.
This is also the best gaming TV you can get when it comes to the sheer number of features. You’ve got four HDMI 2.1 ports, all ready for 4K 120Hz and VRR. It supports FreeSync and G-Sync. It’s one of a very small number of TVs to handle Dolby Vision gaming at 120fps from the Xbox Series X. And you can control and tweak all of this easily from its interface.
Read the full review: LG C2
A step up from the Sony X90J, the new X95J is a perfect upgrade. For the money, there are few TVs that can match it in terms of picture quality and feature set. It’s top of the class in the upper mid-range TV sector.
We’re not surprised. Last year’s Sony X900H/XH90 was one of the best TVs of the year for all of the same reasons, and now Sony’s has taken all of its strengths and added its new Cognitive Processor XR, which delivers incredible upscaling and contrast control.
We like the fact that this model is a native 120Hz TV with two full-spec HDMI 2.1 ports for the Xbox Series X and PS5, Variable Refresh Rate, and Auto Low Latency Mode – and its full array panel has very precise local dimming for better black levels. Setting it up is easy and the TV uses the new Google TV platform that puts recommended content front and center.
So why go for this instead of the cheaper X90J? The X95J offers X-Anti-Glare technology, higher brightness and better contrast. It’s more expensive than the X90J but it’s definitely the TV to go for if you like the very best in home entertainment kit.
Do you want the best TV you can buy at any price point? Then this is your new TV. The LG G2 OLED makes pretty much every frame of any source you care to mention look even more sublime than it has on any LG OLED before. That’s because a new backlight enables LG to get significantly higher brightness from its already impressive OLED panel.
Although the G2 OLED shares the same ‘Gallery’ design name as its GX and G1 predecessors, it looks completely different. The previous dark frame and chamfered edges have been replaced by an attractive two-layer effect where a thin black rear ‘slab’ sits proud of and slightly narrower than a chunkier front tier. That houses the screen in a very fetching and opulent-looking silver metal coat.
All four of its HDMI ports are capable of handling the maximum 48Gbps of data supported by the HDMI 2.1 standard. This means that hardcore video gamers could simultaneously attach an Xbox Series X, PS5 and cutting-edge PC graphics rig to enjoy full-fat 4K at 120Hz, variable refresh rates and automatic low latency mode switching from all of them, and still have a spare HDMI for a 4K Blu-ray player or streaming box.
If you’re familiar with LG’s OLED TVs you’ll already know how good they are. But the extra brightness the new heatsink allows is a significant upgrade to an already impressive panel, giving colors more volume and punch and delivering consistently enthralling visuals whether you’re watching something with subtle colors or a neon-drenched sci-fi film.
If it weren’t for the fairly high price, this TV would be at the top of our list. If you’re a cinephile with spare cash, you won’t regret investing in this superb OLED TV.
Read the full LG G2 OLED TV review
The Samsung 85BU8000 is a huge-screen TV that’s made to be affordable. You don’t get the advanced QLED panel or mini-LED screen of Samsung’s high-end TVs, because this is focused on giving you the biggest size for the lowest price… but in our testing we found that the image quality is still impressively high, because Samsung knows what it’s doing.
We actually reviewed the Samsung BU8500, but the only difference between it and the BU8000 is the stand design. The image quality and features are the same – but only the BU8000 comes in an 85-inch size, which is why it’s the one in this list.
We said in our review that “In every significant area of picture-making, the Samsung’s never less than competitive – and its backlighting is beautifully implemented, which helps the impression of quality no end.” It offers great detail with 4K sources, which is what you need in a TV of this size, since you’ll really see any imperfections. Contrast is good too, though it’s not very bright – HDR won’t be as punchy as more expensive TVs, and in bright rooms, dark scenes will be harder to see.
But the overall package is great for the price – the biggest weakness is that you’ll probably want to get a soundbar too, because while the audio quality is acceptable, it’s not exactly a match for lovely 85-inch pictures.
Read the full review: Samsung BU8500
Sony’s 4K OLED isn’t cheap, but it’ll make you happy. The performance is first-class and it’s one of very few OLED TVs to come in an 83-inch size.
Picture quality from any source is as good as we’ve seen from any 4K screen. In every meaningful department – motion control, contrast, edge definition, detail levels – it delivers spectacular visuals. And for those moments when you’re reduced to watching sub-4K content, it’s great at upscaling, too.
The Sony A90J OLED is also impressive when it comes to sound quality. Using the entire surface of the screen as a speaker is still novel and effective, and backing it up with two conventional bass drivers means the A90J sounds fuller, more direct and just better than any rival that doesn’t have a separate sound system.
Add in a smart new Google TV interface, the usual Sony standard of build and finish, feet that change position to accommodate a soundbar, an exclusive movie streaming service, and an authentically well-designed remote control and the A90J looks like the complete package. It’s just a shame that Sony’s taking so long to add UK catch-up services, which were promised “soon” at launch. And Xbox Series X gamers should watch out too: there’s no VRR support – though you’ll find the 4K/120Hz capability and auto low latency mode to match any PS5 console.
Read the full review: Sony A90J OLED TV review
The Samsung QN90A isn’t the best 4K TV from last year’s Samsung lineup – that’s the QN95A. But given the fact the QN95A isn’t available in the US or available in an 85-inch size anywhere, the QN90A is a very acceptable alternative, especially since they’re nearly identical in image quality.
The QN90A has Samsung’s superb mini-LED backlight, delivering vastly improved brightness control and contrast compared to last year’s QLEDs. The result is a brighter TV than Samsung’s already impressively bright QLEDs, and it delivers a deeply satisfying array of colors.
All Neo QLED TVs sport the high-end Neo Quantum Processor 4K, which uses a neural network to analyze images for better HD upscaling. They also come with Motion Xcelerator Turbo+ for better motion handling. We found the combination to be very impressive across a variety of video sources.
We did encounter a few niggling issues, though. Our test model’s pedestal stand was a little wobbly, and we were disappointed by the sound quality: at this price we’ve come to expect significantly better audio performance. The OTS+ sound system here isn’t as good as the OTS+ Pro speakers found in the QN95A, and the difference is significant. None of these factors are deal-breakers by themselves, but they should give you a slight pause before dropping a huge wad of cash on this 85-inch TV because it’s far from cheap.
Read the full review: Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV
With an extremely bright mini-LED panel, excellent gaming features, six-speaker spatial audio and a competitive price, Samsung has created a very impressive and relatively affordable 85-inch TV. Mini-LED is a more affordable alternative to OLED and while it can’t match OLED’s performance with black and dark greys, it more than compensates with retina-zapping brightness that makes action movies and documentaries look spectacular.
The Neo Quantum 4K processor does a good job of upsampling HD content, and the QN85B supports HLG, HDR10 and Adaptive HDR10+ – but as usual there’s no sign of Dolby Vision, an ongoing irritation with Samsung TVs: it’s the most popular HDR format of all.
But there’s lots to like here too, including four HDMI 2.1 inputs with eARC and support for 4K 120Hz, VRR and ALLM, making this one of the best 85-inch TVs for gaming. There’s a 60W audio system on board and while it’s not as punchy as the best soundbars or best AV receivers it’s not bad for such a slim TV.
If you’re planning to watch a lot of gloomy movies, we think you’d be better off with an OLED. But there’s no doubt that Samsung’s mini-LEDs are superbly bright, lots of fun and excellent value for money.
Read the full review: Samsung QN85B
The Samsung QN800B is still undergoing our exhaustive tests, but we can confirm that in most respects it delivers a very similar experience to the superb QN900B for considerably less money, making this enormous 8K TV affordable for buyers who’ll baulk at the more expensive Samsung’s price tag.
The QN800B is a Neo QLED TV with a very bright panel and the usual HDR support (and usual absence of Dolby Vision) and eight multi-directional speakers for Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound. Samsung’s Neural Quantum Processor 8K promises what Samsung claims is its sharpest 8K picture yet, and the anti-reflective screen should ensure good viewability even in bright daylight. The slim One Connect box eliminates cable clutter and the exceptionally slim design means it’s unobtrusive (well, as unobtrusive as an 85-inch TV can be) whether on a stand or wall mounted.
For gamers there’s HDMI 2.1 with VRR/4K@120Hz/8K@60Hz and FreeSync Premium Pro, and Samsung’s Motion Xcelerator Turbo Plus is designed to remove blur between fast-paced images in 4K gaming. And no matter what you’re viewing, Multi View can divide the TV into up to 4 individual displays so you can keep on top of sports while watching something else.
This is a very impressive TV with a very impressive price. Check back soon for our full review.
85-inch TV FAQs
How far should you sit from an 85-inch TV?
Estimates vary depending on who you ask, but the general rule of thumb is between 1.5 and 2.5 times the diagonal screen size: For 85-inch TVs we recommend sitting between 10.5 and 15 ft (3.5 and 5m) away. That should make the picture take up most of your field of view without straining your eyes.
How big is an 85-inch TV?
The exact height, width and depth of an 85-inch TV will vary depending on the set in question. A TV with a Mini LED backlight will be a bit thicker than a super-slim OLED screen (which won’t need a backlight at all). If a TV has a built-in soundbar, that could add some visible height and weight, while other screens may opt for more discreet placement around the TV’s casing.
As an example, the Samsung Q60T QLED comes in a massive 85-inch size, and measures 108.3cm tall, 189.6cm wide, and 6cm deep – which are the measurements to consider if you’re going to wall-mount the screen. When placed on the included TV stand, the Q60T’s height jumps to 118.6cm, and the depth pads out to 39.2cm.
Last year’s flagship QN900A QLED, is almost identical in sizing, measuring 107.2cm tall and 187.6cm wide. It is decently slimmer at 1.54cm, but adding in a TV stand means the depth actually caps out at 34.4cm, making for a similar profile overall.