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Best cheap TVs

By Andrew Laughlin

You don't need to spend a fortune to get a good TV, but it is more difficult to shop at the budget end of the market. We show you how to choose the right set, and what could happen if you don't.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Though you could pay over £2,000 for the latest TV, you no longer need to sacrifice features for a cheap set, with 4K HDR models now available for less the £500.

Shopping for a budget TV is fraught with danger, however, and the sub £500 market is littered with Don't Buys and poor performing sets. Fortunately there are some stand outs that prove you don't necessarily have to pay top whack to get a good model, even if you have your heart set on a particular brand. Bear in mind, however, that the less you pay, the more the quality you'll get for your money can vary. 

Below we'll show you which models to spend your money on, and show you why the poor performers are definitely ones to avoid. 

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you're not yet a member, you can get instant access by taking a trial to Which?

Best cheap TVs

Lowest price (in stock) £419.00
Which? score 71%
Reviewed Sep 2017
Picture quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

This is one of the cheapest Best Buys money can buy, with detailed images and rich sound that other, more expensive, sets can't match.

Lowest price (in stock) £479.00
Which? score 68%
Reviewed Aug 2017
Picture quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

With Freeview Play and a 4K HDR screen, this TV shows that you don't need to scimp on features to get a big-screen TV for less.

Lowest price (in stock) £346.90
Which? score 68%
Reviewed Sep 2017
Picture quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

This 40-inch smart TV still has a touch of quality, despite its slightly smaller size and more reasonable price tag. It has a 4K HDR screen – said to give sharper detail with more defined colours. It comes with a good range of on-demand and catch-up apps.

Lowest price (in stock) £329.00
Which? score 68%
Reviewed Aug 2017
Picture quality:
4 out of 5
Sound quality:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

Good overall picture and sound quality and an easy to use Freeview Play smart-TV platform make this TV a joy to use, and all at a very reasonable price.

Lowest price (in stock) £139.00
Which? score 66%
Reviewed Jun 2014
Picture quality:
3 out of 5
Sound quality:
3 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Curved:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive

If you're after a second TV for a kitchen or bedroom, this model could fit the bill. It offers decent picture and sound quality as well, making it a good value option.

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of April 2018.

We've got a huge range of expertly-tested televisions waiting for you in our TV reviews.

Cheap TVs to avoid

Get it wrong with a cheap TV and you could be faced with awful picture quality, tinny sound and a frustrating interface. Each of the TVs below was made a dreaded Don't Buy in our lab tests, and there are some very clear reasons why.

Cheap TVs to avoid

Lowest price (in stock) £163.50
Which? score 40%
Reviewed Jun 2017
Picture quality:
3 out of 5
Sound quality:
1 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive
Smart TV:
Member exclusive

This TV demonstrates that even reputable manufacturers can slip up now and again. We were very disappointed with this 32-inch model, which offers terrible sound and unreliable picture quality.

Lowest price (in stock) £179.99
Which? score 37%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Picture quality:
2 out of 5
Sound quality:
2 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5
Screen size:
Member exclusive
Resolution type:
Member exclusive
Smart TV:
Member exclusive

Unnatural colours and a juddery picture spoil your viewing with this screen. Bad sound and a frustrating electronic programme guide (EPG) mean there are far better alternatives elsewhere.

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of April 2018.

Cheap TVs: What should I look out for?

  • Screen size: Typically, the smaller the screen the cheaper the TV, but, as you can see in the table above, you can find bigger screen models that impress in our tests. However, if you see a 50-inch TV or larger that costs less than £300 - it's unlikely to be a winner. Always check our reviews to find the best cheap TVs.
  • Type: Most manufacturers now favour LCD TVs with LED backlighting (generally referred to as just LED TVs). These sets used to be expensive, but they've come down in price significantly and are now very affordable. Rival plasma technology is now dead and while OLED is emerging, sets with the screen technology are very expensive currently.
  • Resolution: The vast majority of TVs released are 4K and most have HDR technology, too. The price of 4K TVs has come down considerably as a result, with many available for less than £400.
  • Built-in tuner: Virtually all cheap TVs have a built-in Freeview tuner, allowing you to watch subscription-free digital TV, but try to go for one with Freeview HD. That means you can access HD channels such as BBC One HD and ITV HD without needing a separate set-top box.

What you won't get at this price

  • OLED displays: OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode and it differs from LCD in that each individual bulb can be turned off, which makes for deeper blacks. OLED TVs are relatively new and still very expensive, the cheapest we've seen was still over £1,000.
  • Twin tuners: Many TVs let you record programs onto a USB hard drive, but some with twin-tuners can record two different shows at once or let you watch one while you record another. You'll only find two tuners on premium sets.
  • Smart remotes: Trackpads, pointer-control and microphones can all be found on smart remotes. LG's Magic Remote acts like a laser pointer, meaning you can zoom straight to the menu you want rather than flicking one at a time through the options. Generally you'll only find these remotes on more expensive TVs.
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