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Best TVs under $500 in 2022

Best TVs under $500 Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round up of the best TVs you can buy under $500 in 2022.

A TV is one of the biggest purchases you're likely to make – but it doesn't have to be. Because while most big-screen TVs will set you back hundreds of bucks, or even thousands if you really want the best on offer, you can find some pretty decent TVs for less than $500. And they're not all small – our list includes a 55-inch model which, while not quite as impactful as a 65- or 75-inch TV, will suit many lounges just fine.

They're surprisingly well-equipped for their price tags, too. The TVs below include 4K resolutions, Dolby Vision HDRDolby Atmos sound, and even 120Hz gaming.

How to choose the best TV under $500 for you

So what should you look for from the best TVs under $500? Screen size is a key consideration. At this price level, the 32-inch size is most common, but 43- and even 55-inch sets do creep into this price bracket.

Picture quality isn't going to blow you away for less than $500, but there are some surprisingly impressive results, especially around black levels and color brightness. 

Finally, TVs at this level don't pack great sonics, so you'd be better off investing in one of the best soundbars on the market – it will mean more outlay, but trust us, it will be worth it.

Now for our pick of the best TVs under $500.

Best TVs under $500: Samsung UE43TU7100

(Image credit: Samsung / Fear The Walking Dead, Amazon Prime )
A strikingly good bang-for-buck proposition.

Specifications

Screen: LCD with edge LED backlight
Resolution: 4K
Operating system: Samsung Tizen
HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Inputs: 2x HDMI, USB
Dimensions w/o stand: 96.3 x 55.9 x 6.1cm

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive sharpness and detail
+
Tonally balanced
+
Intuitive, app-packed interface

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly sluggish operation
-
Only two HDMIs

One of Samsung's cheapest 4K TVs is also one of the best TVs under $500. Admittedly it only has two HDMI ports, but that's enough for a games console and a soundbar. You won't need a streamer thanks to the Tizen operating system, which has all the usual streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+. The 4K set supports HDR too, making for better contrast.

It doesn't have voice controls, but can take spoken commands via an Alexa- or Google Assistant-powered smart speaker. And Apple AirPlay 2 lets you send content to it wirelessly from your phone.

The picture is very good for the money. The black levels have surprising depth, while there's plenty of pop and punch. It's a sharp and detailed performer, equally at home with 4K content as it is upscaling HD video. Add in the perfectly passable sonics, and you have a pretty compelling TV for under $500.

Read the full Samsung UE43TU7100 review

Best TVs under $500: TCL 32S335

(Image credit: Future / Bosch, Amazon Prime)
Small, smart and really rather good for the money.

Specifications

Screen: LCD
Resolution: 720p HD
Operating system: Roku TV
HDR formats: N/A
Inputs: 3x HDMI (1x ARC), USB
Dimensions w/o stand: 44 x 73 x 7.4cm

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent apps and OS
+
Lively color palette
+
Well-balanced audio

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor motion handling
-
Limited shading ability

By today's standards, 32 inches is tiny for a TV. But if you're looking for a set for a bedroom, study or kitchen, it might well be the perfect size.

This is one of the best small TVs around. Its screen resolution is only 720p HD, but at this size, you probably won't notice the difference. Your outlay gets you three HDMI sockets (one of which is eARC) and Apple AirPlay wireless tech, but no Bluetooth.

It runs the Roku operating system, which supports all the usual streaming apps and has a customisable home page. Plus that means you can use the Roku app on your smartphone as a remote control.

The Roku universal search engine is also one of the best around – it makes finding something to watch a cinch.

And the picture quality? For the money it's very impressive, with even backlighting and decent black levels. It won't challenge bigger, pricier sets, but we wouldn't expect it to at this level. A superb second set, and one of the best TVs under $500.

Read the full TCL 32S335 review

Best TVs under $500: Hisense 43A6GTUK

(Image credit: Hisense/ You Vs Wild: Out Cold, Netflix)
A fine TV that punches above its cheap price tag.

Specifications

Screen: LCD w/ direct LED backlight
Resolution: 4K
Operating system: Android TV
HDR formats: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Inputs: 3x HDMI (1x eARC)
Dimensions w/o stand: 56 x 96 x 7.4cm

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional value for money
+
Brightness with HDR impressive
+
Friendly smart system

Reasons to avoid

-
Pale colors
-
Unhelpful picture presets
-
Some color banding

A 4K HDR TV for a little over $300 is nothing short of astonishing. Not only that, it also supports features such as Dolby Vision HDRDolby Atmos sound, and even 120Hz gaming.

Xbox Series X owners will also be delighted to hear that the 43A6GTUK’s support for Dolby Vision HDR extends to the console’s new Dolby Vision gaming support. 

Android TV is onboard, giving you easy access to the major streaming services plus the Google Play Store for renting and purchasing movies. And the set serves up a pretty decent picture, with even backlighting and impressive black levels for the money. There's practically no evidence of clouding even when viewing the TV in near darkness, and shadowy areas retain a decent level of detail. For the money, you really couldn't ask for more.

Read the full Hisense 43A6GTUK review

Best TVs under $500: TCL 55S425

(Image credit: TCL)
A 55-inch, 4K HDR TV with Roku built-in for under $500.

Specifications

Screen: Direct-lit LED
Resolution: 4K
Operating system: Roku TV
HDR formats: HDR10
Inputs: 3x HDMI (1x ARC), USB, composite
Dimensions w/o stand: 72 x 124 x 7.8cm

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable 4K TV with HDR
+
Solid Roku TV experience
+
Good for gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
No local dimming
-
Unimpressive motion handling
-
Limited HDR support

TCL is known for its budget TVs, and this 55-inch set is one of its finest. The Roku operating system powers everything while putting all the usual apps and services at your fingertips.

The TCL 55S425 offers three HDMI ports, one with ARC, for hooking up your home cinema kit, as well as a single USB 2.0, an RF connector for an antenna, a composite video input, an optical digital output and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s also an ethernet port for hardwiring the TV to your router, as well as 802.11ac wi-fi.

It can also be voice controlled through the Roku app or a compatible smart speaker.

The 4K display offers direct backlighting and HDR10 support. The picture is sharp and, for casual viewing will do the job just fine. Color accuracy is a bit off in areas, with orange hues often skewing a little more towards pink than we’d like, but it’s not bad for the money and overall fares better than other budget sets in this area. Highly recommended.

Read the full TCL 55S425 review

Best TVs under $500: TCL 32S327

(Image credit: TCL)
The full HD TCL 3 series is smart enough and soft on your wallet.

Specifications

Screen: LCD
Resolution: 1080p HD
Operating system: Roku TV
HDR formats: N/A
Inputs: 3x HDMI (1x ARC), USB, coaxial, composite
Dimensions w/o stand: 43 x 73 x 7.6cm

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptionally affordable
+
Roku operating system
+
Alexa and Google voice control

Reasons to avoid

-
Not 4K
-
Some smeary motion
-
Not very loud

The 32-inch TCL 32S327 is the smallest model in the company’s 3 Series range, and is Full HD, rather than 4K. That said, it's got a price tag to match.

Connectivity is decent for the price, with three HDMI ports (one supporting ARC), one each of USB, coaxial and composite video inputs and an optical out. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack as well.

The Roku OS brings you over 4,000 apps and services, including Netflix, HBO Now, Disney+ and Google Play. Voice assistance is included here too, but requires that you link the TV to a Google- or Alexa-powered speaker.

Colors look pretty good, with reds, blues and greens reproduced accurately and with vibrancy. Move too much past a 45-degree viewing angle and you will start to see some fade, but many LCD sets at this price suffer far more in this regard.

Pictures look sharp and detail levels are pretty good, too, with some level of insight to textures in clothing and landscapes. You will notice some blurring around fast action scenes, though, and we weren’t able to rectify that with the motion processing options.  

As for gaming, we measured a lag time of 12.3ms, making the 32S327 a viable gaming TV too. It obviously won’t support 4K or HDR gaming, but at a full HD level we found it to be precise and responsive. A great TV at this price level.

Read the full TCL 32S327 review

How we test TVs

Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year – and that includes loads of TVs. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?

We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, 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. 

All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same price category, and 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 above, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi?approved product.

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Joe Svetlik
Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.