You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get a solid TV. TV manufacturers have been working hard to make better low-cost TVs, and as a result, you can get a great TV for only a few hundred dollars. Sure, they don’t necessarily have all the bells and whistles on offer by their more expensive siblings, but they still have a lot going for them. Still, because of how many options there are, it can be tricky to find the best budget TVs.
There are a number of things to consider before buying a new TV. Perhaps the first thing to consider is the size of the TV. These days, TVs are available in a huge range of sizes — though the bigger ones are usually pretty expensive. For most, we recommend a TV of around 55 or 65 inches.
You’ll also want to consider the TV resolution. In 2021, you shouldn’t buy a TV that has a resolution under 4K. 4K is the standard, and even cheap TVs have a 4K resolution. Some TVs have an 8K resolution, but they’re very expensive. And, you’ll want to think about the display type. You can read more about display types here.
For more about what to consider when buying a new TV, check out our full guide. And, read about the different HDR formats here. Alternatively, read on for the best budget TVs. Note, we’re only considering TVs under $1000 for this list, but we’ve included TVs at much lower price points too.
Best budget TV overall: Hisense U8G ULED Android TV
Pros: Android TV, ULED tech is great, relatively low input lag
Cons: A budget stretch, viewing angles aren’t the best
Looking for the best TV you can find under $1,000? How about one that’s exactly $1,000 — if you buy the 55-inch model. While the 65-inch model comes at a higher price, if you can max out your $1,000 budget, the Hisense U8G is absolutely the way to go.
This TV has a lot going for it. For starters, the TV makes use of Hisense’s awesome ULED tech, which helps give it beautifully vibrant colors and deep black levels. Not only that, but the TV has a 120Hz refresh rate, and it supports standards like Dolby Vision and HDR 10.
The software in the TV is Android TV, and generally, it works well here. Android TV is pretty easy to navigate, and will give you access to all your Google-based services, like Google Assistant. You can also use it to stream content from your phone.
So what are the downsides to the Hisense U8G? Well, the main one is that the TV doesn’t necessarily have the best viewing angles, so if you have a wide living room, it may not be the best choice. Also, the TV is a budget stretch on this list, so if your budget is lower, keep reading. Despite those issues, if you can afford the Hisense U8G, it’s definitely worth buying.Hisense U8G ULED TV List Price:$999.99 Price:$849.00 You Save:$150.99 (15%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Best inexpensive Roku TV: TCL 6-Series with Roku
Pros: Excellent image quality, Mini-LED tech, Roku is solid, well-designed
Cons: Viewing angles aren’t the best
TCL has long built some of the best TVs out there, and if you’re in the market for an incredible TV with Roku built in, the most recent TCL 6-Series TV is the way to go.
The TV uses the QLED tech popularized by Samsung, which essentially means that you’ll get vibrant colors and a bright image. Safe to say, no matter what you watch, the TV should deliver. Not only that, but you’ll get things like a 120Hz refresh rate with variable refresh rate tech — so you’ll be able to take advantage of your recent gaming consoles. That’s pretty awesome for gamers. Note, you can only get a 120Hz refresh rate at a resolution of 1,440p.
The TV comes with Roku built into it, though an Android TV model is on the way. Roku may look a little dated, but it’s very easy to use, and supports all the best streaming services. Not only that, but the operating system also supports Google Assistant and Alexa, as well as Apple’s AirPlay and HomeKit.
The TCL 6-Series is pretty great, but it’s not necessarily perfect. The viewing angles on the TV are a little narrow, so again, this isn’t the best choice for those with a wide living room. And, like the Hisense U8G, the TV does push the limits of the word “budget.” But if you want a Roku TV and can afford to spend this much, the TCL 6-Series is a great way to go.TCL 55-inch 6-Series TV List Price:$825.00 Price:$695.00 You Save:$130.00 (16%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Best TV under $800 price point: Hisense U7G
Pros: Excellent image quality, Android TV, low input lag
Cons: Not the highest-quality panel
If the Hisense U8G is a little out of your budget but you still want an excellent TV, then the Hisense U7G is the way to go. This TV offers many of the best features of the U8G, including the ULED tech — but comes at under $800.
The Hisense U7G has an excellent image quality. It also leverages Hisense’s ULED tech, plus it has full array local dimming to make for darker black levels. That’s not to mention the fact that the TV has excellent brightness and good reflection handling.
Like the U8G, the U7G also has Android TV built into it, so you’ll be able to take advantage of all your favorite Google-based services. This TV is able to handle Android TV relatively well, which is great to see.
The Hisense U7G is an excellent TV, but it’s not perfect. Often on lower-end TVs, companies use slightly lower-end display panels. When you’re watching movies and TV you won’t really notice it, but from time to time you might see some variation in colors on the display. Again, most won’t see it at all. And despite that, the Hisense U7G is still easily the best TV under $800.Hisense U7G 4K Android TV List Price:$1,099.99 Price:$899.99 You Save:$200.00 (18%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Best TV under $500: Vizio V-Series
Pros: Solid image, pretty smart
Cons: Not the brightest, a little low-tech
If your budget is limited to $500 or less, you don’t have a ton of options. But that’s exactly where the Vizio V-Series comes in — as a way to get a solid image and reasonable tech for under $500.
The TV may not have the flashiest design, but the image quality is actually pretty good. You’ll get a 4K resolution, with a relatively low input lag. And, the TV is good at handling reflections, so you shouldn’t have to deal with too much glare. That’s good news.
The Vizio V-Series has some great smart features too. You’ll get Vizio’s SmartCast TV operating system, which supports the majority of streaming services, and supports things like Google Cast and AirPlay 2 — so you can stream content from your phone. It also works with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple’s HomeKit.
There are some downsides to the Vizio V-Series. Notably, the TV doesn’t get quite as bright as some other options, and there’s no local dimming, so black levels aren’t quite as deep. Still, the TV has a lot going for it in the price range.Vizio V-Series 55-Inch TV Price:$492.00 Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Best TV under $300: TCL 4-Series
Pros: Android TV, inexpensive, only meets budget at smaller sizes
Cons: Image leaves a little to be desired, a bit slow
If your budget is really limited, then the TCL 4-Series is probably the way to go. The TV doesn’t necessarily offer many high-tech features, and the image quality is nowhere near as good as that on the more expensive options. But it’s still solid, and beats out any of the competition in this price range.
While cheap, the TV still offers a decent image for the price. Notably, it has a 4K resolution, and a good contrast ratio despite the fact that it doesn’t get super bright. Not only that, but lower-resolution content looks pretty good on this TV.
The TV also comes with Android TV, which is good news for those who want a smart experience. As mentioned, Android TV lets you access your favorite Google services, plus it allows you to stream content from your phone or computer. And, you’ll be able to use Google Assistant to control smart home devices and find out information from the web.
So what are the downsides? The image has a few things going for it, but it doesn’t compete with the higher-end options. And, the design is a little boring. But if you have a $300 budget, the TV really can’t be beat.TCL 4-Series with Android TV List Price:$349.99 Price:$289.00 You Save:$60.99 (17%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission