New TVs from leading brands are beginning to fill the store shelves, and 2017 models are being sold at bargain prices to make room. With big discounts on old models, this could be your last chance to buy them.
TVs both big and small from leading brands including Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic are having their prices slashed – some by over 50%.
Whether you’re after a modest 40-inch set or a mammoth 65-inch one, there’s a bargain-priced TV to suit you if you can live without having the latest model.
But are all these temptingly priced TVs worth owning? We’ve found a selection that have hit their lowest price or thereabouts, and you can see in our reviews which are brilliant bargains and which best avoided.
Cut to the chase and take a look at the top five TVs we’ve tested.
Great bargains on 40 to 49-inch TVs
The focus may be firmly on TVs 55 inches and above, but there are still some good smaller TVs to be had. Our reviews reveal all the key details.
Panasonic TX-40EX700B – £414 from John Lewis
- 40-inch LCD TV
- Launched at £670
If you were hoping to spend closer to £400 than £500 and you don’t mind losing a few inches, then the Panasonic TX-40EX700B, with its striking curved base, looks to be a good option.
It’s small, but it’s still smart. You’ll get access to streaming apps that make the most of the 4K HDR screen and it has Freeview Play, too. Freeview Play lets you scroll back through the previous week’s TV to watch what you’ve missed, without using catch-up apps. We’re big fans.
It may have the same features as bigger Panasonic TVs, but can it match them when it comes to picture and sound? Our Panasonic TX-40EX700B review has the answer.
Sony KD43XE8005 – £579 from John Lewis
- 43-inch LCD TV
- Launched at £1,000
Despite being almost half its launch price, the 4K 43XE8005 is still at the more expensive end of 43-inch TVs. It has HDR and YouView, which lets you watch shows you’ve missed from within the electronic programme guide without opening any extra catch-up apps. But is that enough to justify a price that’s only slightly less than the bigger Samsung 7 Series?
If the picture is stellar at all resolutions and the sound is balanced, then this Sony would be a 43-inch TV we can recommend, which is unfortunately a rarity these days. Does it cut the mustard? Find out in our Sony KD43XE8005 review.
Samsung UE49MU7000 – £618 from ao.com
- 49-inch LCD TV
- Launched at £1,050
This 4K TV is part of Samsung’s 7 Series. It’s a mid-range TV with HDR10, so it should make the most of UHD Blu-rays and 4K HDR streams from Amazon Video and Netflix. It’s mid-range, but it should be that bit more special than the basic 6 Series. One place this is evident is the design. The thicker black bezels on the 6 Series are shaved down and are silver for a much sleeker overall look.
Design is one thing, but its picture and sound quality matter most. Can the 7 Series compete with similarly priced TVs from other brands? Here’s our full Samsung UE49MU7000 review.
Hot deals on 50 to 55-inch TVs
Falling prices and the ever-increasing amount of 4K content means manufacturers are pushing bigger TVs that are better at displaying ultra-high-resolution content.
Many high-end TVs don’t come in sizes smaller than 55 inches, so in this bracket you should see the best models a manufacturer can muster. But bigger doesn’t always mean better.
Panasonic TX-55EZ952B – £1,579 from John Lewis
- 55-inch OLED TV
- Launched at £2,800
With more than a grand knocked of its price since launch, this top-of-the-range Panasonic TV is now at its cheapest ever price.
It’s an OLED, which means there’s no backlight. In picture quality terms that should translate to better contrast and better motion-handling. Why? Because each bulb creating the image can be turned on and off individually, offering greater control over what parts of the screen are lit. LCD TVs use backlights, which create larger areas of light and have less contrast control as a result.
OLED doesn’t automatically equal Best Buy, though. The benefits the display offers won’t fix poor sound or unnatural colours. Did Panasonic’s first OLED live up to the promise of the technology? Find out in our Panasonic TX-55EX952B review.
Samsung UE55MU7070 – £719 from Currys
- 55-inch LCD TV
- Launched at £1,400
One year on from its launch in 2017, this 7 Series is almost half price. It’s a 4K set from Samsung that also supports HDR10, the current industry standard. To take advantage of the screen, you’ll probably want a subscription to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. This is where most 4K HDR content can be found.
4K is only one piece of the puzzle. The vast majority of the TV we watch is in SD or HD, and a Best Buy needs to be just as good at displaying those resolutions. See if this TV is great at displaying all resolutions in our Samsung UE55MU7070 review.
LG OLED55B7V – £1,399 from John Lewis & Currys
- 55-inch OLED TV
- Launched at £3,000
Although Sony and Panasonic now have their own OLED TVs, it was LG that started the trend. It now releases five OLED ranges each year.
The B7 is the entry level OLED set from 2017, but it’s high-end if you take into account the LG’s LCD TVs that all sit below it. Being OLED means the TV should have superior contrast than LCD displays because OLEDs have more control over what parts of the screen are lit.
Does LG’s increased experience with OLED technology comes across in its 2017 models, or does this newer technology pale in comparison to LCD? Read our LG OLED55B7V review to find out.
LG 55UJ634V – £479 from Currys
- 55-inch LCD TV
- Launched at £900
This price of this TV may not have fallen off a cliff, but it was relatively cheap to start with. Despite its low price, you’re still getting a 4K TV with HDR10 support and the same webOS smart platform that you’d find in LG’s £8,000 Signature OLED. Its thicker black bezels aren’t quite as stylish as the brushed metal, barely-there bezels found on LCD TVs further up the range. But that’s not the end of the world if it can match them when it comes to image quality, too.
Is this 55-inch TV the bargain of the year, or have corners been cut to get the price so low? Find out in our LG 55UJ634V review.
For more, check our regularly updated guide to the Best TV deals for 2018.
Is it worth spending more on a 2018 TV?
The 2018 55-inch LG C8 OLED costs twice as much as the equivalent C7 from last year. Is it really worth double the price? The truth is that TVs drop in price significantly in the year following their release. The C7 is just one example of an eye-wateringly pricey TV that looks a lot more affordable 12 months on.
In fact, our research has found that TVs first reach their cheapest point around eight months after launch. But then you’ve got information on the new TVs on the horizon to tempt you.
The difference between 2017 and 2018 TVs isn’t huge, but there are some interesting advancements. 2018 TVs are still 4K, but they support more HDR formats. The C7 supported one at launch (HDR10), but the C8 supports four.
As more HDR content is mastered with a specific format in mind it may, and should, look better on a compatible TV. 2018 TVs are smarter, too. Voice search has improved significantly to the point that you can search for specific shows on LG, Samsung and Sony TVs rather than needing to use on-screen keyboards.
At the end of the day the choice is yours. But if you feel you won’t benefit from these sorts of advancements, it could certainly make sense to look for a saving on a slightly older set.