Flagship TVs get a lot of press but for most of us, while we love the idea, the reality is we don’t all have $1000-plus to splurge.
This is why you’ll likely be looking at a cheaper mid-range or below model when picking your next TV.
Even a few years ago this would have been a shame, as it would have meant you’d have to miss out on some of the market’s top technologies and perks - jump back in time to 2015 and you’d see most of the sets featured in our best TV page were fairly expensive.
But fast forward to 2023 and all this has changed. In the past couple of years, companies including LG, Sony, Samsung, Hisense and more have made great strides in bringing their flagship TV technologies to more affordable sets.
This is why you’ll now find key things, like OLED panels - which based on our testing offer much deeper blacks than the LCD offerings on most cheaper sets - reliable audio and even decent smart functionality appearing on cheaper TVs at the moment.
As an added perk, if you don’t need a huge screen, most small TVs retail for less than their larger siblings, making them a great choice for bargain hunters, as well as people short on space.
Here to help find the right set for your specific needs we’ve created this guide detailing the best cheap TVs you can currently buy.
How we choose the best cheap TVs
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year, including a lot of TVs of all shapes, sizes and types. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?
The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years' experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our in-house testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency.
All the TVs we review are tested in comparison with rival products in the same category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than a single reviewer, helping to ensure consistency and avoid individual subjectivity.
From all of our TV reviews, we choose the top products to feature in our Best Buys, such as this one. 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 rest assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi?-approved product.
Samsung's 8-series has traditionally been positioned just below the company’s glamorous range-topping QLEDs. In the past, it has proven to be the sweet spot where picture quality and price intersect to maximum effect. And so it proves once more.
The TU8000 is astonishingly good value. For comparatively very little money you're getting a 55-inch TV that performs brilliantly, particularly with HDR content, and boasts the best, most app-laden operating system available at any price.
It's sound is only so-so and it's lacking the outright brightness and next-gen HDMI features of its premium siblings, but it's still undeniably brilliant for the money.
Read the full Samsung UN55TU8000 review
This 43-inch model is one of Samsung's cheapest 4K TVs but it boasts the company's core performance technology and impressive smart features. In fact, this set outperforms expectations to the extent that it's just about the best cheap TV on sale right now.
Whereas most TVs of this size skimp on features, this model has the same (brilliant) Tizen operating system found on Samsung's pricier TVs, complete with a well-stocked app selection.
Picture-wise, it supports HDR formats (though not Dolby Vision, which no Samsung sets support) and Auto Low Latency Mode, which makes this set a great option for PS5 and Xbox Series X owners on a budget. The contrast ratio isn't as impressive as a (much pricier) OLED or QLED panel, but the blacks are actually surprisingly deep for such as cheap TV.
With excellent picture performance for a TV of this size, and smart features galore, this model is our current pound-for-pound champion.
Read the full Samsung UE43TU7100 review
If you’re looking for something small for a bedroom or perhaps even to fit out a motorhome or camper, then this budget Roku TV-powered TCL may be just the size and price you need.
You won’t find much smaller or cheaper from a recognised manufacturer and, in TCL, you’re getting a TV from a maker that’s on the up.
The software comes in partnership with Roku, whose operating system provides the platform for all the settings and controls as well the apps and service, while the hardware is TCL. This rock-bottom price only gets you 720p resolution, but that could be all you need.
While there are a lot of cheap TV pitfalls, TCL has done well to avoid most of them. The backlighting is even, the picture is balanced and the sound is clear enough. Its colors lack subtlety and its motion handling is pretty poor but, for the very small size and price, this is a good option.
Read the full TCL 32S335 review
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