Whether you’re braving the high street or shopping on your laptop, January is an excellent time to buy a TV. We round up some of the deals we’ve spotted to see if they’re worth going for.
It’s just a few days now until the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – the largest consumer tech show in the world – and the influx of new TVs that come with it, so retailers are keen to shift 2017’s TVs to make the room for the latest models.
That means there’s no shortage of cheap TVs knocking around, but not all of them will provide exquisite picture and sound quality.
We’ve picked five popular sets with eye-catching discounts, so you can see whether any of them deserve a place in your living room.
Top five TVs – the best TVs money can buy.
LG 49UJ635V, £419 – from Argos and John Lewis
This 49-inch TV was going for £500 before Christmas and now the price has dropped by almost a fifth.
You get a lot of TV for your money. It’s 4K and supports HDR (high dynamic range), so you’ll be able to watch shows and films in the highest resolution.
There are plenty of smart features built in too, so you can access streaming apps, such as Netflix and Amazon Video. Freeview Play handles catch-up. This useful software combines an electronic programme guide with catch-up apps, including iPlayer and All 4. This makes it easier to see what shows are coming up and see those you might have missed.
This TV has all the latest features, but that doesn’t mean it has the sound and video quality to impress in our tests. See what our experts thought in our LG 49UJ635V review.
Sony KD49XE9005, £949 – from John Lewis
This TV from Sony may be the same size as LG’s, but it’s more than twice the price, even with John Lewis’s £150 discount.
On paper, the difference between the two TVs is much smaller than the price. It’s 4K, supports HDR and has a full suite of catch-up apps, including All 4 and ITV Hub, but the smart-TV system does differ. It uses Android TV, which means you can access apps from the Google Play Store, and YouView, which lets you look back and catch up with the previous week’s shows.
Still, a few more apps isn’t enough to justify the price, but spectacular sound and picture will. Read our Sony KD49XE9005 review to see if this TV is worth your money.
Samsung UE32M5000, £229 – from Co-op Electrical
32-inch TVs are falling out of favour with manufacturers, but there are plenty of people who don’t need a 50-inch (or larger) TV dominating their living room.
It’s a small TV by modern standards, and it isn’t 4K either. 4K content isn’t exactly plentiful, so having a TV with a max resolution of 1080p isn’t the end of the world. But the lack of smart features could be more of an issue.
To access Netflix or BBC iPlayer, you’ll need to connect an internet TV box, which will occupy one of the two HDMI ports. Ultimately this is a low-cost, no-fuss TV, but any amount of money is too much to spend on a set that doesn’t look or sound good. Head to our Samsung UE32M5000 review to see if the industry’s lack of interest in smaller TVs leaves this one in Don’t Buy territory.
Samsung UE55MU7000, £799 – from John Lewis
55-inch TVs are where manufacturers are focusing their resources. This 7 Series TV sits on the bottom rung of Samsung’s premium-range ladder and it has the same look as the 8 and 9 Series, with its thin bezel and stylish design.
It’s 4K and supports HDR for greater contrast and depth of colour but, with much of the available content still being Full HD, the picture quality on this TV will need to impress when it’s displaying more than just the highest resolution.
Smart features are built in too, so you’ll able to access plenty of streaming and catch-up apps, but there’s no Freeview Play, which is a disappointing omission on a premium TV.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this TV doesn’t have much to set it apart from Samsung’s mid-range offering, but the difference in quality should come in how the internal technology processes the image to make the colours appear more natural, and the image more defined. It should sound better, too.
It should look, as well as sound, better but does it? Our Samsung UE55MU7000 review has the answer.
LG 55UJ635V, £539 – from Argos
The 55-inch version of the LG TV at the top of the page is also on offer. It shares the same features as the 49-inch model, but it’s not always the case that bigger TVs from the same range get the same score.
Our experts have noticed differences in sound and picture quality that mean larger TVs can perform poorly compared to smaller models and vice versa.
Is the 55-inch LG the pick of the bunch, or is the 49-inch model the TV to go for in the January sales? Here’s our LG 55UJ635V review.