The Best TV Deals in the UK
By Martin Pratt
The cost of 2018's best sets are dropping. We've found that many of the TVs in the January sales are holding their bargain price, so it's a good time to buy.
To steer you in the right direction we've rounded up some of the biggest bargains on some of the best TVs, so you can be sure your next purchase will be a success. Our recent research has found that the price of many 2018 TVs have fallen rapidly in the last few months, so that feature-laden set you were eyeing up in earlier in the year may be more affordable than you think.
The TVs in the table below aren't necessarily the best we've tested, but are all available for a significant discount. You'll also find plenty of buying advice to help decide exactly which features and brands are worth paying more for. But be quick, these discounts often don't last for long.
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This month's best TVs deals
It was already one of the cheapest OLEDs when it launched earlier in 2018, and now it's cost is tantalisingly low. It's an absolute tour-de-force. Astonishing image quality, glorious sound, a brilliant remote, smart menus; we could go on and on singing this TV's praises and it's currently £1,299.
Prices, recommendations and test scores correct as of January 2018.
Top TV features worth paying for
4K ultra-HD TVs cost as little as £500. With four times the number of pixels as Full HD, 4K screens are more detailed so worth spending that little extra money. Full-HD pictures look better on a 4K screen, but 4K content makes full use of the technology. More and more of this is arriving through pay TV and streaming services. Find out more about 4K ultra-HD TV.
Most 4K TVs come with High Dynamic Range (HDR). These give brighter whites, darker blacks and wider gamut of colours. But you need HDR content to see the benefits. It’s not a ‘must have’ yet but, with the BBC running trials into broadcast HDR, it could become a staple in a few years. Find out more about HDR TV.
Organic LEDs, or OLEDs, are found on some high-end TVs and produce dazzling pictures with smooth motion, deep blacks and vibrant colours. We’ve been impressed by their picture quality in the lab, but that’s not to say you should discount traditional LED-backlit TVs. Find out more about OLED TVs.
QLED is the new name for Samsung’s OLED-rivalling quantum-dot TVs that we’ve seen in the past few years. Here, light hits a layer of quantum dots which produce bright, vibrant colours. The three we’ve tested earn Best Buys, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen from some older Samsung sets. Find out more about QLED TVs.
TV brands worth paying for
Four brands dominate the TV market: Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic. But some less well-known TVs manufacturers – the likes of Bush, JVC and Celcus – may catch your eye with prices that are difficult to refuse. Is it ever worth punting for one of these smaller brands?
Well, the numbers speak for themselves. Between June 2014 and June 2018, we reviewed 629 TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic. They have a respectable average test score of 64% and 148 of those have been deemed worthy of a Best Buy.
We’ve tested 140 TVs from other brands. But these only manage a lowly 48% average test score, just marginally above the Don’t Buy mark. In fact, 44% have been judged to be Don’t Buys. And the number of Best Buys? Merely two.
Best time to find great TV deals
We see similar trends for TVs every year, with prices steadily declining, interspersed with typically three periods of more severe discounts. All our TV reviews feature graphs like the one above, showing you how the price has changed over time.
Pretty much all of the TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic hit the shelves in the Spring. But frankly, you should never pay full price for a TV. Merely weeks after TVs are released we’ve seen discounts for as much as £1,500 on these brand new sets. Wait until later in the summer, and prices could be a smidgen lower again.
There are some deals to be had around Black Friday (23 November 2018) and Christmas, but you shouldn’t be blinded by big discounts – our research has shown that not all Black Friday deals are as good as they might seem. A better way to shop is to know what you should expect to pay. All our online reviews show price-tracking data, so you know whether a deal really is as good as it seems.
But the time to strike is when the next generation of TVs launch the following Spring. With manufacturers looking to clear old stock to make way for new, higher-priced models, older TVs have their sticker prices slashed. A savvy shopper in Spring could save as much as 50% picking up one of these now year-old TVs.
Where to buy a bargain TV
It's worth shopping around to find the retailer with the best price. Then, once you know the very lowest it's being sold for, you can decide whether it's worth paying a little bit more for the same TV from a retailer you've tried and trust.
That said, don't be afraid to take the plunge on a retailer you haven't heard of before. Some independent stores can offer great deals both online and on the high street. For instance, if you've chosen a slightly older TV, some independent retailers may have an ex-demo model going cheap. But do your research beforehand, especially when buying online. Search for other customers who have bought products from that website and shared their experiences. You'll find reviews of retailer websites on Trustpilot.
Many major retailers also run price-match schemes. Currys/PC World promises to beat the price you'd pay at AO.com, Argos, Asda, John Lewis and Tesco. John Lewis will match the price of any retailer with a high street shop (so no online-only stores). So long as a product is new and boxed, in stock and offered with a similar guarantee, Richer Sounds will drop their price to a fraction below what's offered elsewhere. While AO.com boldly claims to price match every product against any retailer.
We also give our own seal of approval to a select number of retailers. Look out for a Which? Recommended Provider logo in store or online. Based on overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend it to a friend from our annual survey, only the retailers with the best customer scores earn this coveted accolade.
Seen another TV at a great price? Be sure to check our extensive TV reviews to make sure you're saving money on a set that performs.