TECH REVIEW

Black Friday TV deals 2020: best offers on 4k and smart televisions – from Currys to Argos and Samsung

Black Friday TV deals 2020: best offers on 4k and smart televisions – from Currys to Argos and Samsung

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the constant source of pleasure and distraction television can provide from the world. And if your set is a little worse for wear, Black Friday marks the canniest time to pick up a replacement set – or upgrade to a smart TV, if you haven’t got one.

Companies such as Currys, AO, Richer Sounds and Argos are among the top places to find Black Friday TV bargains.

What should you consider?

If you have bought, or will buy, an Xbox Series X or PS5 we recommend looking for a TV with at least one HDMI 2.1 port and support for 120Hz. Without it, you can’t make use of the 120fps at 4K feature of the new consoles.

If you’re not planning on gaming, there’s no reason to spend over £1000, as you won’t need the processing speed. Opt for one of the lower budget options on the list.

Most of the other tips we might have given you in 2018 or 2019 don’t apply so much anymore. You can’t really buy many non-4K TVs, everything these days supports HDR and ultra-slim TVs are the norm.

Don’t worry if the set you fancy doesn’t support the streaming service you prefer:  you can fill any gaps with an Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku Express. Such TV sticks are also regularly discounted around Black Friday.

Some basic truths haven’t changed. Spend more and you tend to get higher brightness and contrast, and better motion handling. If you’re shopping in the big leagues, look at either a Samsung QLED or an OLED TV from LG, Philips, Sony or Panasonic. You can’t go wrong with any of those.

Shopping with confidence

Bear in mind Currys has a money-back promise on Black Friday sales – they will refund the difference if you find your purchase cheaper elsewhere. You can buy in confidence today and not worry it’ll pop up cheaper elsewhere in a week’s time. (Terms and conditions apply, check their website for details).

LG CX OLED, from £1299

LG CX OLED
LG CX OLED

LG OLEDs have been the Black Friday hot ticket for several years. There are two series to watch out for during Black Friday 2020. The first is the LG CX. Its 55-inch model is available at £1299 from Currys, a £300 discount. Buy here 

The 65-inch version is currently £1799, a £700 discount. Buy here

LG’s CX series is a showcase for 2020 OLED tech, with four HDMI 2.1 ports, good speakers and the best image processing LG offers. OLED’s per-pixel lighting makes these TVs among the best around for image quality purists. Inky blacks will look deeper and richer than a cinema projector.

LG BX OLED, from £1098

LG BX OLED, from £1098
LG BX OLED, from £1098

The LG BX OLED TVs sit one step below the CX line. And they may well be a better buy than the LG CX for many of you.

You get the infinite contrast of OLED, the HDMI 2.1 inputs Xbox Series X and PS5 owners want and sensational all-round image quality. So what’s the difference?

Only two of the four HDMI inputs are “2.1” sockets, the BX set is marginally dimmer and has an older processor, which affects the quality of upscaling, which comes into play when you watch sub-4K streams or broadcast TV. But if £1000 is already straining the budget, just buy this lower-end TV and pretend the pricier one doesn’t exist. You’ll be happy with your buy.

Currys is currently selling the LG BX OLED 55-inch for £1098, a saving of £101. Buy here

AO is selling it for £1098. Buy here

Argos is selling it for £1099. Buy here

Samsung QE55Q90T, from £1199Samsung QE55Q90T, from £1199

Samsung QE55Q90T, from £1199

OLED TVs are great if you’ll mostly watch TV or play games in dim rooms. But the Samsung QE65Q90T has appeals of its own. You’ll find the 55-inch version going for £1199 online at Currys, a £200 saving. Buy here

This is a QLED TV, which can go much brighter than an OLED. Samsung’s top TVs also have the best reflection-busting display layers in the business.

You won’t find a better TV if you want to watch near a bright window during the day. The Samsung Q90T also has superbly low input lag, perfect for gaming, and the ultra-high brightness makes the most of HDR footage.

Samsung QE49Q85T, from £899Samsung QE49Q85T, from £899

Samsung QE49Q85T, from £899

The Samsung Q85T series is a great option if you want to spend under £1000 and can’t quite fit in a 55-inch TV. It’s available for £899 at Currys, for the 49-inch model. Buy here

Pleasingly, though, the 55-inch model is currently on sale at Samsung, down from £1099 to £899. This would be our pick. Buy here

This is a bright, high-contrast TV with superb colour and Samsung’s celebrated reflection-busting display coating. It’s a true high-end set at a more reasonable price.

Peak brightness is not quite as high as the Q90T’s and fewer local dimming zones mean it won’t look quite as good in a cinema-style dark room. But all-round performance is great and you get one HDMI 2.1 port, ready for a next-gen console.

OLED alternatives: Sony KD55A85 and Philips 55OLED805Philips 55OLED805, £1199

Philips 55OLED805, £1199

Sony, Panasonic and Philips all make TVs based on LG’s OLED panels. Same core components, slightly different results.

The KD55A85 and its different-size siblings are the Sony efforts for 2020. You can currently get this 55-inch version cheapest at Currys for £1399, £200 off its original price. Buy here

Philip’s latest OLED is the 55OLED805, currently available for a £300 mark down at Appliances Online, retailing at £1199. Buy here 

In most cases we’d recommend LG’s BX and CX TVs instead, because these Philips and Sony sets do not support 4K at 120Hz, which the Xbox Series X and PS5 can handle. However, each does have a specific appeal.

The Sony KD55A85 has even better video processing than LG, for slightly superior colour and contrast. It’s a home cinema purist’s dream.

Philips’s 55OLED805 has the company’s famous Ambilight tech, which projects coloured light onto the wall behind the TV. Ambilight can reduce eye fatigue and improve immersion particularly for games. Plus it comes with Google Assistant, for voice-activated ease of use.

These two, the lower-cost Philips in particular, are worth a look if you don’t plan on getting an Xbox Series X or PS5. And both, along with the LG OLED TVs, are real 5-star sets.

Hisense 50U7QFTUK, £449Hisense 50U7QFTUK, £449

Hisense 50U7QFTUK, £449

If all this talk of £1000-plus TVs sounds like the stuff of a Russian oligarch’s lifestyle given your budget, check out the Hisense 50U7QFTUK.

Normally retailing for £599, the 50-inch model is now marked down to £449 at Currys. There are also 55 and 60-inch models available.

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Its image is sharp, the Hisense 50U7QFTUK supports HDR and has enough brightness to make HDR video look good. It’s a far cry from what we used to see at £450. This TV doesn’t handle motion as well as the pricier sets in the round-up of Black Friday bargains, you’ll be happy with what you get for the money, particularly if you’re just looking to watch telly with the family.

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