Best cheap TVs 2024: 4K televisions for under £500, recommended by our experts

Best cheap TV: Quick Menu

QLED TV: Amazon Omni QLED 50-inch

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi? / Amazon Prime Video, Invincible)

1. The list in brief

2. Best overall

3. Best 55-inch

4. Best super cheap

5. How to choose

6. How we test

OLED TVs might rule the roost in flagship TV land, but many of us will struggle to justify forking out for one of those. Life is expensive enough as it is.

The good news, though, is that you can now get a surprisingly good and surprisingly fully-featured TV for less than £500 – quite a lot less in some cases.

You obviously won't get the very best picture quality at this level, or the fanciest features or styling, but you might be surprised by the quality and specs that £500 will buy you, from 4K HDR support to ALLM and even VRR. You can expect to get the same smart platform that you would on a flagship TV, too, though it might run a little bit slower.

It's the performance that matters most, though, which is why we have a team of reviewers with decades of combined TV testing experience. Our experts test cheap TVs in exactly the same way that they do the flagship models: in our state-of-the-art testing facilities, against similarly priced rivals and with great attention to detail. You can read more about our TV testing process at the bottom of the page.

Or you can simply scroll down to find the best cheap TVs that are available right now. There are lots of rubbish cheap TVs out there, but you won't find any of those on this page, which is reserved for only the best cheap TVs you can currently buy.

Written by
Tom Parsons
Written by
Tom Parsons

I'm What Hi-Fi?'s TV and AV Editor. I've been testing TVs and home cinema products (plus hi-fi kit and headphones) for over 16 years and I'm obsessed with picture quality and value in pretty equal measure. You might not get a flagship-level performance or spec sheet at this price, but you are entitled to expect a balanced and natural picture, an app-packed smart platform and a decent gaming experience. Sound should be clear but likely won't be much better than that, so budget for a cheap soundbar if you can.

The quick list

The table below offers a quick look at all the cheap TVs we recommend in this article. Every TV in it has been thoroughly tested by our team of experts in one of What Hi-Fi?'s viewing rooms, so you can trust our advice. 

The best cheap TVs of 2023

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Still need some convincing or more information? Scroll down and you'll see a detailed breakdown of why we recommend each TV in this list based on our direct experience using it in our dedicated test rooms.

Best overall

A budget TV with rare all-round ability


Screen size: 50 inches (also available in 43in, 55in, 65in, 75in)
Type: QLED
Backlight: Full-Array LED
Resolution : 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Operating system: Fire OS
HDMI inputs: 4
Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, Dolby Vision game mode
Optical output? : Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 66 x 112 x 8.4cm (50-inch model)

Reasons to buy

Balanced, consistent picture quality
App-packed, user-friendly OS
Surprisingly decent gaming specs

Reasons to avoid

Slightly smeary motion
Lacks the brightness of higher-end TVs

A lot of the on-paper appeal of Amazon's Fire TV Omni QLEDs is in the name: these are QLED TVs with the Fire OS smart platform built in. Dig into the specs a bit, and there's more to appreciate: full-array local dimming, for example, plus support for the VRR and ALLM gaming features, and for all four current HDR formats. What's surprising, though, is just how well the TVs perform; particularly this 50-inch model.

Many budget TVs attempt to dazzle you despite not having the requisite abilities, and they end up being nasty to watch as a result. The Omni QLED, on the other hand, has clearly been carefully tuned to work within its limitations. That means it will rarely if ever knock your socks off, but it does deliver a balanced and consistent performance that gets to the core of the movie or TV show you're watching and delivers it in surprisingly authentic fashion.

One great barometer for success is when you're not distracted by what a TV is doing, allowing you to focus entirely on what you're watching, and it's something that a lot of TVs – even many premium models – fail on. By nailing the basics and essentially not trying too hard, the Omni QLED passes this test.

Amazon has also kept things simple on the sound front, giving the Omni QLED a petty straightforward stereo sound system, and again, this works in its favour. Rather than attempt fancy Dolby Atmos processing, the TV delivers clear, clean and direct sound that more than does the job with everyday television. You will want to add a soundbar for movies if you can, though.

The Fire OS platform, which many will be familiar with from Amazon's Fire TV sticks, is really straightforward and packed to the gills with apps, and the prioritisation of Amazon's own content and services is far milder than it once was.

One thing to note is that the 50-inch Amazon Omni QLED is officially £650, but we've included it here as it is regularly available for under £500. At that price it's an absolute bargain. Also, be wary of the 43-inch version of this TV. We haven't yet tested it (but will do so very soon), but it lacks local dimming so may well perform very differently.

Read the full Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED scores in depth
PictureIt's not up there with a flagship OLED, but for the money the picture is very impressive★★★★★
SoundNo fancy processing but the sound is clean, clear and direct★★★★☆
FeaturesQLED panel tech, numerous gaming features and an app-packed operating system★★★★☆

Best 55-inch

The 55-inch CU8000’s picture quality and features make it a bit of a bargain


Screen size: 55 inches (also available in 43, 50, 65, 75 and 85 inches)
Type: LCD with edge LED backlight
Resolution: 4K
HDR formats: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+
Operating system: Tizen
HDMI inputs: x3
Gaming features: ALLM, HGiG
Optical output?: Yes
Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 71 x 123 x 2.6cm

Reasons to buy

Good picture quality for the money
Content-rich smart system
Excellent value for what’s on offer

Reasons to avoid

Insipid, bass-light sound
No Freeview Play or Dolby Vision
Some HDR clipping in bright areas

Samsung isn't the undisputed champ of cheap TVs that it once was, but the 55-inch CU8000 proves that the brand is still capable of producing the odd bargain television.

For starters, it doesn't look like a cheap TV, thanks largely to a super-slim (as in, 3cm), robust chassis. It's got the same app-packed Tizen operating system of Samsung's flagship TVs, too, as well as support for the HLG, HDR and HDR10+ formats of HDR.

Of course, there are no Quantum Dots here. Instead, the CU8000 has an LCD panel with edge LED backlighting, but despite the relative simplicity of its hardware, it puts in a solid performance for the money.

It delivers relatively deep blacks for a TV at this level, as well as surprisingly bright highlights without any significant clouding, and colours are punchy and vibrant but also nicely balanced. Other than some 'clipping' of detail in bright highlights and fairly limited viewing angles, the 55-inch CU8000 is a very solid picture performer for the money.

Sound is fairly crisp and clear but also a bit thin. It's well worth adding a soundbar if you can stretch to one. That's also the case with most premium TVs, though, so certainly not something we hold against the CU8000 unduly. All told, this is a very good TV for the money.

Read the full Samsung UE55CU8000 review

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Samsung UE55CU8000 scores in depth
PictureDespite the fairly basic panel hardware, picture quality is balanced and consistent. Watch out for the narrow viewing angles, though★★★★☆
SoundCrisp and clear enough for everyday TV, but it's too thin and lightweight for movies★★★☆☆
FeaturesThere are no next-gen gaming features but that's no surprise at the price, and you do get an excellent smart platform★★★★☆

Best super cheap

This bargain-basement TV is much better than its price suggests


Screen type: LCD w/ direct LED backlight
Resolution: 4K
Operating system: VIDAA
HDR formats: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
HDMI: x3
4K@120Hz: No
Optical out: Yes
Dimensions w/o stand (hwd): 56 x 96 x 7.4cm

Reasons to buy

Incredibly cheap
Decent black levels
Well-balanced colours

Reasons to avoid

Soft-looking motion
Limited viewing angles
Limited brightness

The 43-inch Hisense A6KTUK is here to prove that you don't even need to pay £500 to get a decent TV. In fact, you can get one for less than half that.

While no super-stylish OLED, this Hisense doesn't look as cheap as it is. It's got some surprisingly up-market specs, too, such as direct LED backlighting and support for Dolby Vision (as well as HDR10 and HLG). It also features the full-fat VIDAA smart platform, which is packed with apps and pleasant to use.

Cheap LCD TVs often suffer from inconsistent backlighting that, in the worst cases, manifests in nasty blotches or 'clouds' (check out our review of the rival Samsung UE43CU8000 for an example of that). Not the Hisense A6K though, which is really even-handed – at least when viewed straight-on.

A TV this cheap is never going to be capable of going super-bright, and in fact there's not much of a brightness difference when you switch from SDR to HDR content, but there's decent overall contrast, thanks largely to the surprisingly deep blacks that the set can reproduce. Colours are balanced and realistic, too, and plenty of shadow detail is revealed.

Inevitably, the Hisense isn't perfect, and images go a bit soft when motion is involved. Viewing angles are limited, too, so when viewing off-axis some mild backlight inconsistencies become visible. Still, for the money, this is a good picture performance.

Add decent sound that balances clarity and spaciousness fairly effectively (though lacks loudness and weight), and you've got a better overall package than really anyone has any right to expect at this sort of price.

Read our Hisense 43A6KTUK review

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Hisense 43A6KTUK scores in depth
PictureNot very bright but surprisingly balanced and natural★★★★☆
SoundClear and spacious but bass-light★★★☆☆
FeaturesThe VIDAA smart platform is app-packed and easy to use★★★★☆

How we choose

There's a huge amount to consider when choosing a new TV, but the biggest things are the money and space that you have available.

Size really does matter with TVs. At this level you're unlikely to find a genuinely huge TV but, as you'll see, 55 inches isn't out of the question. But should you go that large? You might find you can get an even better performance and feature set if you opt for a smaller model.

OLED and QLED TVs haven't dropped down to this level yet, though QLEDs are getting closer. In the meantime, you're looking at LCD sets with LED backlights. There are two types of LCD panel in play, though – IPS and VA – and they can perform quite differently to one another. You can click here for our full IPS vs VA explainer but, broadly speaking, IPS-based TVs tend to have better viewing angles while their VA rivals often have deeper blacks and better contrast.

4K is a must but also a norm, even at these sorts of prices, and you can expect to get HDR in at least the HDR10 and HLG formats, too. Some models may also support the more advanced HDR10+ format, but Dolby Vision is rarer.

Very few TVs sound genuinely good and that's unfortunately even more the case at this sort of price, so you should consider also buying a soundbar if you can. You needn't spend loads: our best cheap soundbars page features a number of recommendations under £100. If you are determined to keep things neat and rely on the in-built speakers, though, check our reviews to make sure that they're at least decent – there's no point in a great picture if the accompanying sound is rubbish.

On the gaming front, you shouldn't expect HDMI 2.1 connections or support for next-gen features such as 4K/120Hz or VRR, but ALLM may well be supported.

How we test

Testing a TV is a long and complex process because a modern TV simply does so much. Not only does it need to handle a variety of content resolutions – standard-def, 1080p, 4K and sometimes 8K – and both standard dynamic range and high dynamic range (the latter in a number of formats), all of which need to be specifically tested, it also has a sound system with various advanced settings and a full smart platform. A TV is an all-in-one device in the best sense, but that also makes it a challenging review proposition.

As part of our testing process we manually check that every major app – from Netflix to All 4, Prime Video to Spotify – is not only present, but also outputting in the video and sound formats that it should. Just because there's a Disney+ app doesn't necessarily mean it's working in Dolby Vision and/or Dolby Atmos. In fact, in many recent cases it hasn't been.

We also connect both a PS5 and Xbox Series X in order to establish which advanced gaming features are and aren't supported, and on which of the TV's HDMI ports. Is 4K 120Hz supported? How about VRR? Is there a Dolby Vision game mode? Is there an HGiG preset for more accurate HDR tone mapping? We check all of these things, and measure input lag using a Leo Bodnar device.

We then test the TV's picture quality using a huge variety of content, from old DVDs to the latest 4K Blu-rays and plenty of streamed movies and TV shows in between. Every TV is tested against the best model at its price and size – we have a stockroom packed full of Award-winners for this very purpose.

We don't accept the out-of-the-box settings that a TV comes in either. While we intentionally don't go down the route of professional calibration (you shouldn't have to have your TV professionally calibrated in order to get the best out of it), we do spend hours adjusting settings using a mixture of test patterns and real-world content until we are sure we're getting the most out of a TV so that it has the best chance to shine.

While we almost always advise that a new TV is combined with a dedicated sound system such as a soundbar or AV amplifier, many people still prefer to stick with their flatscreen's built-in speakers, so we thoroughly test these too, using a wide variety of movie and music content and with great attention spent to the TV's many processing modes and individual settings.

We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in Bath and Reading, where our team of expert reviewers do all of our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. What's more, all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure consistency and avoid any personal preference.

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics.

From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you are getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.

What size TV should you buy?

While it might be tempting to think that bigger is better, the size of set that’s right for you is closely dependent on how close to the screen you’ll be sitting, and the resolution of the source material you’re watching.

Luckily, an organisation called SMPTE (which stands for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) has published detailed guidelines on exactly how far you should sit in order to optimise the performance of your TV.

If you’re sitting the correct distance from your TV, you’ll see lots of detail, good edge definition and smooth, clean motion, but if you’re sitting too close to the screen, then you’re going to see more picture noise and artefacts.

On the other hand, sit too far away from the TV and you’ll struggle to pick up all the picture detail your TV has to offer.

The following distances are a good place to start:

  • 65in - minimum 2.5m (Full HD) or 2.1m (4K)
  • 50-52in - minimum 2.2m (Full HD) or 1.7m (4K)
  • 46in - minimum 1.9m (Full HD) or 1.5m (4K)
  • 40-42in - minimum 1.7m (Full HD) or 1.3m (4K)
  • 32in - minimum 1.3m (Full HD)

Should you buy a 4K or Full HD TV?

This question is pretty much moot now, as the vast majority of TVs are now 4K. It's actually rather hard to find Full HD (1080p) models, even at relatively small sizes.

If you're buying a TV below 32 inches and can save a lot of money on a Full HD model, by all means go for it (4K won't be a huge benefit at that sort of size anyway), but otherwise 4K is both worthwhile and, in all likelihood, your only option.

Should you buy an HDR TV?

High Dynamic Range is without a doubt a much bigger deal than 8K, and certainly something you should consider before buying your next TV.

Essentially, the higher the dynamic range (brightness and colours), the more lifelike the picture. HDR offers greater subtlety and depth of gradations of colours, plus stronger contrast.

There are various types of HDR out there, and with different TV brands backing different variants, it can be a minefield trying to find the best option. Allow us to explain.

First up is HDR10, which is essentially the core HDR format that every HDR TV should support.

HDR10 is a static HDR format that applies the HDR values on a scene-by-scene basis (i.e. whenever the camera cuts to a new scene). Dolby Vision, on the other hand, applies this image information (called metadata) on a frame-by-frame basis. This dynamic form of HDR, when implemented properly, has the potential to improve upon the standard HDR10 presentation.

HDR10+ is a rival format to Dolby Vision. Created by Samsung, it also uses dynamic metadata but, whereas Dolby Vision is licensed, HDR10+ is a free, open format that any company can deploy as it sees fit.

Of these two 'dynamic' HDR formats, Dolby Vision is by far the most prevalent, both in terms of TVs and content, and if you have to choose between one and the other, that's the one we'd recommend. That said, you can now buy TVs from the likes of Philips and Panasonic that support both Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

Finally in our rundown of HDR formats is HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), which was developed specifically for broadcasting by the BBC and Japan's NHK. It's used to deliver all of the HDR content offered by the BBC and Sky, so can be considered very important. Luckily, it's now almost as common as standard HDR10 in TV spec lists, so you should have little problem finding a model that supports it.

What inputs and outputs does your TV need?

These days, it's all about HDMI, which is used to connect everything from set-top boxes to video streamers, Blu-ray players to games consoles. Thanks to ARC/eARC (Audio Return Channel / Enhanced Audio Return Channel), a single HDMI connection can even be used to output sound to an AV receiver or soundbar at the same time as it receives a video signal.

Currently, three HDMI connections is standard on budget and mid-range TVs, while four is the norm for premium models.

The specification of the HDMI connections tends to differ depending on the price of the TV, too, with premium models now commonly getting at least one or two HDMI 2.1 sockets. These have greater bandwidth than their HDMI 2.0 counterparts and can support advanced formats such as 4K@120Hz and 8K@60Hz. Fancy gaming features such as Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate are often supported via HDMI 2.1 sockets, too, though not always. It's sensible to check the specs thoroughly if there are particular features you're after.

After HDMIs, USB ports are the most abundant on modern TVs. You can use these to keep devices charged (often particularly useful for stick- or dongle-style streamers), and some TVs allow the connection of flash drives and hard drives for the recording of live TV content.

On the subject of live TV, you can expect practically every TV to have an aerial socket via which it can receive Freeview broadcasts, but many also have a satellite connection. Be warned, though; the presence of a satellite connection doesn't guarantee that there's a Freesat tuner on board. Without one, you'll receive only a patchy and disorganised selection of satellite TV channels.

Other useful connections include optical and stereo outputs, which can be used in lieu of HDMI ARC to connect legacy audio equipment. Headphone outputs are still fairly common, too, though Bluetooth is also supported by most TVs now and Samsung TVs in fact now feature the latter but not the former.

Lastly, while some TVs feature composite inputs (often via an adapter), most – even at the budget end – have phased out legacy connections such as SCART. So those clinging on to old video cassette recorders, for example, should be aware of that.

Which TV smart features and streaming apps do you need?

As with 4K, it's now hard to buy a TV that doesn't have a smart platform packed with streaming apps. Almost every TV will have Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on board, and Disney+ is fast approaching a similar level of ubiquity. Apple TV (which is great for pay-as-you-go movies as well as the Apple TV+ subscription service) is becoming increasingly common, too.

You'd have thought that BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and My5 would be present on every TV available in the UK, but there always seems to be one brand that's lacking (it was LG in 2020 and Sony in 2021) so do check before you buy if any of those are important to you.

Other apps that are less common but potentially worth looking out for include BT Sport, Now, Britbox, and music apps such as Spotify and Tidal.

Should you buy an OLED, QLED or LCD TV?

LCD TVs, which require a backlight usually made up of white LEDs to show a picture on the LCD panel, are available in a wide variety of screen sizes and, thanks in part to the technology's low cost of production, at affordable prices.

OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is a panel technology that uses self-emissive particles – so there's no need for a backlight. This allows OLED TVs to be unbelievably slim, while also offering convincing pitch-dark blacks, strong contrast and superb viewing angles. LG, Sony, Panasonic and Philips are the big brands with OLED TVs in their line-ups and, broadly speaking, they're excellent.

QLED (Quantum-dot Light-Emitting Diode), meanwhile, is Samsung’s response to OLED. A QLED TV is an LCD TV but with a quantum dot coating over the backlight. However, the quantum dots (tiny semiconductor particles) in current QLEDs do not emit their own light. So QLED TVs, like conventional LCDs, rely on a backlight. The advantages of a QLED TV? You tend to get brilliantly vibrant colours, plus bright, sharp and crisply detailed images. Samsung's QLEDs have got better and better over the years, existing as a fine alternative to OLEDs TVs. Interestingly, though, Samsung has now launched its own range of OLED (QD-OLED) TVs.

Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.

  • Robwhr
    What Hi-Fi? said:
    The best cheap 4K TVs combine great picture performance with the latest smart TV features, without breaking the bank.

    Best cheap 4K TVs 2020: the best budget TVs : Read more

    just bought 50pus8402 from Currys, Android, Freeview Play, 3 sided Ambilight, absolutely superb, much better spec than the sapphy Os of the one you listed in your top 10

    only £399 down from £799
  • R6ex
    TCL has cheaper and better stuff than those listed.
    I especially like their C715 or C716 and S535 or even S635
    QLED budget TV.
  • robos
    R6ex said:
    TCL has cheaper and better stuff than those listed.
    I especially like their C715 or C716 and S535 or even S635
    QLED budget TV.

    Only someone without personal experience with TCL can recommend it. I own 55C715 QLED, its a complete disaster. While the screen might be OK, the UI is terrible, slow, laggy. It requires frequent restarts. It lacks some basic settings, like audio output/mute built in speakers. I thought that I can solve that by adding xiaomi tv box, but it was a failure, since TCL has problems with CEC, so I had to have 3 remote controls on table, 1st to start up and switch off TV, second for TV box and 3rd for volume on DAC. Unacceptable.

    I will sell that TCL TV and buy Samsung UE55TU8000. Because I had opportunity to try that and it was much better than TCL
  • tipyguilford
    Hi there, may i please ask if you would reccommend the $500 FFalcon 4K 55" from Jbhifi. seen some bad reviews for it, but i think how bad can a tv be if its just playing a picture. I will use it for streaming and on my ps4 pro to play games.