Best Cheap TVs 2019: Which budget TV should you buy?

Best Cheap TVs 2019: Want a new TV that doesn’t cost the earth? Then you’ve come to the right place. Our roundup of the best cheap TVs and the best value TVs – featuring smaller sets as well as bigger UHD ones.

All of these models are about getting top tech for less, and they prove that buying a new telly needn’t mean taking out a mortgage or selling a kidney.

With 2019 TVs on the cusp of release, this list focuses on 2018 efforts which you can get for a lot less now. If you’re looking for bargains, there are still a number of TVs from 2017 available, but they won’t have the latest tech and features recent TVs have and availability will be more limited.

If you’re looking for a 4K performer under a £1000 then a good shout is the Philips 55PUS6753, which also features the brand’s marvelous Ambilight lighting system. What about something smaller and cheaper? Hisense’s A6200 is an impressive performer in that regard for around £400. If you can push above a £1000, an OLED TV is a possibility in LG’s OLED55B8PLA.

If you want to wait for the 2019 TVs, then they’re not far off from reaching retail floors. But if you can’t wait, there are bargains to be had with TVs from 2018.

Read on for the best cheap TVs you can currently buy.


Hisense A6200

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1. Hisense A6200

Solid performance and video streaming services for under £400

Pros:

  • Great SDR quality
  • Smart TV simple but works
  • Solid set of features
  • Exceptional value

Cons:

  • HDR very limited

Hisense continue to offer solid features at a competitive price, as shown by the A6200.

Or to give it its full name, the H50A600UK. It sports an old-school look in terms of design and while it lacks frills, it’s more than adequate for the price.

Connections are decent with three HDMI 2.0 inputs included. You’re not short of video services either, with 4K HDR versions of Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Rakuten. Freeview Play provides access to UK catch-up services, with the iPlayer app supporting 4K and HLG. The panel is a direct LED backlight, uncommon at this price. It’s capable of respectable black levels and bright, colourful images with SDR content.

Viewing angles are compromised though, and the set’s HDR performance is limited. Audio quality is competent enough, but consider investing in a soundbar to beef it up. If you’re a gamer, input lag is measured at around 24ms.

For its price, the A6200 offers a respectable and engaging (SDR) performance.

2. Philips 55PUS6753

One of the best value 4K TVs we’ve tested recently

Pros:

  • Crisp, clean 4K pictures
  • Good blacks levels for the price
  • Good value

Cons:

  • It’s not very bright
  • Rather torturous set-up menus
  • Bass-light sound

At £700, the Philips 55PUS6753 occupies that enticing budget area for 4K sets. And at 55in, there’s bargain potential to be had.

Like the Hisense above, the Philips has a VA-type, direct LED panel. That helps the set’s black levels, mitigating the grey tones that can often blight TVs at this price point. It also contributes to the telly’s HDR talents. While it is not the brightest – at 350 nits it doesn’t get close to the UHD Premium specification – its HDR colour performance is on the clean and precise side.

For smart features you get the standard batch with a few caveats. Netflix, Amazon (without HDR), Rakuten (no 4K or HDR), YouTube and Freeview Play for catch-up TV. Connections are your usual lot: three HDMIs, two USB ports and hard-wired/wireless internet connectivity options.

While this set isn’t best suited for bringing the most out of HDR, it’s a good 4K performer for under £1000.

 

Samsung UE55NU8000

3. Samsung UE55NU8000

A competitively priced TV with a state-of-the-art smart system

Pros:

  • Great definition
  • Strong contrast
  • Excellent app support
  • Separate connections box
  • Easy assembly

Cons:

  • Some backlight bleeding
  • Slightly crushed blacks
  • No 3D support

Samsung’s QLED TVs attract all the headlines, but it hasn’t neglected its bread and butter 4K sets such as the UE55NU8000.

This edge-lit LED TV packs in a 120Hz panel, giving it an advantage in generating a smooth image, important for fast moving scenes or sports such as football.

It’s a sleek and attractive TV too, with a design that’s more minimalist than attention-grabbing. There’s a comprehensive suite of smart features and support for BBC iPlayer in 4K and HLG. It bucks the trend at this price with four HDMI ports, but that does result in just two USB connections. For those into gaming, input lag is a low 18ms.

On the whole this delivers a punchy SDR image. Images come across as natural, detailed and realistic looking. Step up to HDR content though, and the TV has a few issues with blacks appearing grey and haloing around bright objects.

With a mostly impressive 4K picture, good design and plethora of smart features, the UE55NU800 is a good budget 4K TV for the price.

4. LG OLED55B8PLA

LG’s cheapest OLED is a fine performer

Pros:

  • Great price for an OLED TV
  • Typically good OLED picture
  • Beautiful design

Cons:

  • Picture quality falls short of step-up 2018 models
  • Not the brightest with HDR models
  • Needs care with set-up

If you’re wondering what all the fuss is with OLEDs, LG’s OLED55B8PLA is a good place to start.

It’s LG’s cheapest OLED set, but they’ve trimmed a few features to reach that price point. It uses the brand’s older Alpha 7 processor and so  the B8 isn’t as bright, the motion-handling isn’t as adept and its upscaling powers aren’t as potent as the step-up C8 model.

That being said, the B8 still offers a great 4K picture. Contrast is immensely good, with deep blacks sharing the screen with clean whites and stunning looking colours. SDR images are outstanding and of course there’s OLED’s skill with wide viewing angles. Wherever you sit you’re likely to see a beautiful image.

The LG OLED55B8PLA offers a good compromise of features, performance and price. With the set likely to become even cheaper in the next few months, if you’re after an OLED doesn’t break the bank, the B8 is the one to go for.

Best Cheap TVs

5. Hisense 65U7A

If you’re on a tight budget, this TV could be a winner

Pros:

  • Good SDR picture quality
  • Solid smart platform
  • Decent video-streaming support
  • Excellent fit and finish

Cons:

  • Lacklustre HDR performance
  • Only two HDMI 2.0 inputs
  • Limited viewing angles

If you’re after something larger, Hisense’s 65U7A is one of the bigger, cheaper options available.

It’s impressively constructed with a minimalist style that belies its budget origins. For connections you get four HDMI 2.0 ports, two of which support 4K/60p: two USB ports (one USB 3.0), Freeview HD and an optical digital audio output as well as your other standard connections. Input lag using Game Mode is a decent 31ms.

In terms of picture quality, the 65U7A serves up a solid performance with SDR content, which is bright, colourful and detailed. Black levels are reasonable too, though perhaps the highlight is the Ultra Smooth Motion feature. Images are bright, smooth and full of detail using this mode, especially when watching sports. HDR performance is not as great, affecting the set’s potential for the brightness and contrast HDR affords.

The 65U7A is a solid performer in most areas. For those on a tight budget, there isn’t as big a TV that gets as close in terms of performance and value at this price.

2019 TV guides


How we test cheap TVs

Every TV that passes through our doors gets put through a series of tests and naked eye checks to gauge its overall picture quality and optimal settings. Key things we look out for are screen uniformity, black level, maximum brightness and colour vibrancy/accuracy. We also check input lag to make sure gamers won’t lose their edge when playing online.

Best Cheap TVs – What to look for

Gone are the days when spending more than £1,000 got you a chunky, 32-inch box with a disappointing screen. TVs have improved no end, and are now slimmer, more attractive and better-sounding than ever before. Most important of all, though: they offer a far better viewing experience too.

If you’ve had an ear to the ground in the world of TV tech, you’ll have likely heard the terms 4K and UHD bandied about. We explain both technologies in more detail in our article What is 4K TV and Ultra HD? Put simply, however, 4K is a picture technology that quadruples the pixel count of Full HD, creating sharper, more lifelike images.

Some brands choose to interchange 4K with the term UHD. Technically, however, there’s a difference. Used correctly, 4K describes the 4,096 x 2160 resolution first introduced in digital cinemas. UHD refers to the 3,840 x 2,160 resolution you’ll find in 16:9 ratio TVs, which is what you actually take home.

Full HD isn’t dead, however. While not quite as new and exciting, Full HD TVs remain excellent options. This is largely because the core technology at the heart of the best screens – such as black levels, contrast ratio and colour accuracy – is consistently higher than ever before.

For those who yearn for a more complete home cinema setup, you may also want to consider investing in a soundbar, as excellent audio can make a huge difference to your viewing experience. Best of all, you can now pick one up for less than £100.