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LG 32-inch TVs reviewed: can they match big screen sets?

Mid-range 49-inch and 55-inch Panasonic models have also been through our tough TVs test lab.

We’ve tested new 32-inch TVs from LG, the 32LK6100PLB and 32LK6200PLA. Will either of these sets be able to match the quality of bigger-screen models?

32-inch TVs used to make up the bulk of each brand’s line-up, but now we’re lucky to get more than two. The advent of 4K means 50-inch or larger screens are favoured because you don’t see the benefit of the increased resolution on smaller screens.

These new LG 32 inchers are Full HD rather than 4K, but is size and resolution the only difference between these and LG’s ultra and super UHD TVs?

The best 32-inch TVs – take a look at the small screen TVs we recommend.

LG 32LK6100PLB and LG 32LK6200PLA 32-inch TVs

Both LG’s new 32-inch TVs are basically the same, the only difference is colour: the 6100PLB is white and the 6200PLA comes in the evocatively named iron grey.

They can’t quite match LG’s super UHD TVs when it comes to design. Manufacturers are doing their best to make bezels as slim as possible, but these TVs have chunky plastic frames instead. It has a certain charm, but stood next to an LG OLED or Samsung QLED there’s no competition when it comes to style. Of course those TVs are also five times the price, though the 6100 and 6200 aren’t exactly cheap at £400.

What about 4K?

4K content isn’t nearly as common as HD, but if you subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Video then you can watch most of their original programming in 4K. You’ll miss out on the higher resolution with these TVs, but not HDR. These TVs are compatible with the current industry standard HDR10 and HLG, which is likely to be format of choice when TV channels start broadcasting HDR.

LG’s TVs have got smarter in 2018 and the 32-inch models are no different. All LG TVs use the webOS software that gives you access to catch-up TV services and streaming apps. More interesting is the voice control features. These let you search for TV shows, movies and jump to specific TV channels. If you’re not sure what you want to watch you can even search by genre and request to see everything starring your favourite actor. The catch is that these TVs don’t come with the remote you need. You’ll have to spend extra for LG’s Magic Remote, which has a handy on-screen pointer, as well as the built-in microphone.

All these features are great, but they won’t mask poor picture quality and sound. It’s no secret that the quality of 32-inch TVs has waned in recent years. Do these LGs prove there’s life in 32-inch TVs or are they just another disappointment? Head to our expert reviews of the LG 32LK6100PLB and 32LK6200PLA to see if either buck the trend of mediocre 32-inch TVs.

Do you have to go big to get the best TV?

LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony are certainly making more big screen TVs, but are they better, worse or just as good as their more modest cousins? We looked at the average scores of the TVs we’ve tested this year and last to see if small TVs’ inferior size is made up for with impressive picture and sound quality.

It’s clear that the average score improves as the screens get bigger, but there are outliers in every bracket. Some small screen TVs bucked the trend with top-notch images and audio. At top end, there are 55 and 65-inch TVs the look dreadful and sound even worse. Browse all our TV reviews to find a set that suits you.

Go bigger – Panasonic TX-49FX700B and Panasonic TX-55FX700B

If you’re after something a bit larger, these mid-range sets from Panasonic could fit the bill. They are 4K and are compatible with HDR10+, which is an upgrade to the current industry standard, HDR10, and was developed by Samsung. Panasonic and Samsung TVs share the same HDR format, but Panasonic doesn’t share the South Korean brands proclivity for QLED TVs. Panasonic has more in common with LG when it comes to making high-end models. Two OLEDs sit at the top of Panasonic’s 2018 line up, but they are pricey. It’s these mid-range LCD TVs that people are more likely to buy.

The 700 series looks good. It has narrow bezels and a two footed base, which is adjustable so you can move the feet further towards the middle of the TV and makes it easier to fit on smaller media units. There’s plenty of smart features, too. You won’t want for apps and it includes Freeview Play in its electronic programme guide. This neat software lets you scroll back through the previous week’s TV and watch without needing to open any catch-up apps.

Do you need to spend big on one of Panasonic’s OLED TVs to get the best it has to offer, or can you get Best Buy quality in these more modest LCD sets? Head to our Panasonic TX-49FX700B and 55FX700B reviews to find out.

Best Buy TVs – we reveal the very best from our tests.

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