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Best cheap TVs 2020: Which budget TV you should buy?

Trusted Reviews ranks the best cheap TVs and the best value TVs – featuring smaller sets as well as bigger UHD ones.

What are the best cheap TVs?

Best cheap TVs 2020: Thanks to stellar work from the likes of Samsung, Philips, Panasonic, Hisense, LG and Sony, buying a cheap TV doesn’t mean putting up with a miserly set that’ll have you nodding your head in disappointment whenever you power it up.

Though key technologies, like OLED and HDMI 2.1, are yet to find their way to the sub-£500 market, there are plenty of great tellies to choose from that offer solid picture quality, robust features and decent HDR support.

If you’re not an avid cinephile, or a gamer looking to pick up a next gen console in the PS5 or Xbox Series X, it’s more than possible to pick up a telly that’ll meet your needs for years to come and doesn’t break the bank.

Whether it’s a new big screen set for your student digs, or a 43-inch telly for your spare room, there are still plenty of dire-affordable TVs that you’ll want to avoid.

Here to help you make the right purchase decision we created this guide detailing the best affordable and best value TVs we’ve reviewed that are still on sale. Scroll down to see our picks of the best affordable TV across every price point and size.

Here is a list of the best cheap TVs and best value sets we’ve tested. For more details, scroll down for brief summary:

  • Best cheap TV: Panasonic TX-50GX800B
  • Best cheap mid-range TV: Panasonic TX-58HX800B
  • Best cheap TV gaming : Samsung UE43RU7020
  • Best featured cheap TV: Samsung UE50TU8500
  • Best cheap smart TV: Hisense Roku TV B7120
  • Best value cheap TV: Panasonic TX-50GX700B
  • Best cheap TV 55-inch: Samsung QE55Q85R
  • Best cheap TV Android : Sony KD-65XF9005
  • Best cheap TV QLED: Samsung QE49Q60R
  • Best cheap Dolby Vision TV: Toshiba 58U2963DB
  • Best cheap big screen TV: Hisense U8B
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Panasonic TX-50GX800

Panasonic TX-50GX800B

Sets a new benchmark for price and performance

Pros:

  • Cinematic picture performance
  • Multi HDR support – HDR10, HLG, HLG Photo, Dolby Vision and HDR10+
  • Classic good looks

Cons:

  • Limited black level performance
  • Brightest HDR performance requires Dynamic image preset

Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are supported, so the GX800B will be able to drum up the best possible picture quality from 4K content. Picture performance is impressive with crisp detail, lush colours and a presentation that’s cinematic in its feel. Sound quality is respectable, and there’s Atmos compatibility for sound systems with the means to take advantage of it.

With an accessible smart service, good features and great price, the TX-50GX800B is one of the best cheap TVs around.

Panasonic TX-58HX800

Great for films

Pros:

  • Multi-HDR support with Dolby Vision and HLG
  • Versatile Panasonic smart TV platform
  • Low input lag

Cons:

  • Limited deep black performance
  • No Disney+

The HX800 series replaces 2019’s GX800 series and continues Panasonic’s rich vein of form when it comes to mid-range LCD LED TVs.

While the GX800 is still available to buy, the HX800 offers a more refined and updated performance. The smart platform is slicker (though it still lacks Disney+), and the picture quality is superbly cinematic, with plenty of fine detail, lush colour reproduction and supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+

Samsung UE43RU7020

Samsung UE43RU7020

Impressive, most impressive

Pros:

  • Good spec
  • Brilliant OS
  • Impressive upscaling
  • Rapid response time
  • Great overall picture performance

Cons:

  • Eco mode should be avoided
  • Nasty sound
  • Poor remote control

The RU7020 is the smallest and most affordable Samsung set. It avoids the cheap plasticky build that afflicts cheaper sets and boasts some decent features for its size and status. HDR10+ is available for dynamic HDR and gaming performance is a speedy 10ms, making this an excellent gaming monitor.

It also proves great with native 4K content, producing a convincing, natural look, and nor is it shabby at upscaling sub-4K content either. It’s best to consider a soundbar purchase with this TV, as the TV’s sound is rather weak.

Samsung UE50TU8500

Pros:

  • Intuitive, easy to use UI
  • Decent gaming performance
  • Simple setup process
  • Wealth of smart features

Cons:

  • HDR performance could be better
  • Underpowered speakers

The Samsung TU8500 is a top-notch choice for any buyer looking to make a jump from a HD set to 4K. It’s the mid-range LED TV in Samsung’s more affordable 2020 Crystal Dynamics series, and at this price you’ll struggle to find a set with better picture quality.

This is because it uses Samsung’s clever Crystal UHD tech. This nifty innovation pairs two panels running at different kelvin counts (5000k and 2000k) in a bid to boost immersion and generally make pictures look better.

As a result 4K content looks wonderfully sharp and the TV easily outclasses most similarly priced LED sets in terms of overall image quality. Add to this the easy-to-use Tizen OS interface, which supports all the major streaming services you could want; with a few nifty extras for Galaxy phone owners, and the TU8500 easily earns a place as one of 2020’s best cheap TVs.

The only slight compromise is, like all Samsung tellies, it doesn’t support Dolby Vision. On top of this, though it supports HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG HDR for broadcast, this TV won’t have the capabilities of more expensive sets, so black levels aren’t as deep and the HDR isn’t as bright or as expressive as entry-level QLEDs. That said, for a budget set, you can’t go much wrong with the quality the TU8500 offers.

Hisense Roku B7120

Hisense Roku TV B7120

An accessible budget TV

Pros:

  • Satisfying 4K and HD picture
  • Decent sound
  • Speedy Game Mode
  • Lots of apps/channels

Cons:

  • Limited HDR performance
  • SD performance not great
  • Limited viewing angles

Roku can count their first UK TV as a success. 4K picture quality is satisfying, with good quality from most sources you feed it. We’d avoid SD channels as the B7120’s upscaler isn’t as good as others, but sound quality is better than expected with a large, clear sound.

There are plenty of apps and channels to watch, with simple access and an interface that’s easy to navigate. It’s not as feature-packed as other efforts on this list, but for those who want an accessible TV, this is a really strong effort.

Panasonic TX-50GX700B

Great value for its size and price

Pros:

  • Composed, believable images from any source
  • Good upscaling
  • Fine OS
  • Not bad sound

Cons:

  • Some backlight niggles
  • Not the most dynamic pictures

The GX700B sits below the GX800B, and as you might expect, features begin to drop off from the 2019 mid-range star. There’s no Dolby Vision, Atmos or voice control. But for those not fussed about those types of features, the GX700B serves up an impressive picture, with a strong sense of contrast, convincing colour balance and good motion stability.

Even the audio performance is decent, making the GX700B a great value TV for those looking to save some money.

Samsung Q85R

A great example of QLED tech

Pros:

  • Bright 4K HDR performance
  • Excellent upscaling abilities
  • Brilliant contrast
  • Expressive colours
  • One Connect cable management

Cons:

  • No Dolby Vision
  • Sound lacks weight

The Q85R boasts similar strengths to Samsung’s 2019 Q90 range with its bright screen, great HDR performance and excellent contrast.

It’s been replaced by Samsung’s 2020 Q80/Q85T series, which means the 55-inch version has just crept below the £1000. While the lack of Dolby Vision is a sticking point, especially for streaming apps, and the sound quality is a bit thin, if you’re looking for a cheaper but still high-quality set, the Q85R would be an excellent purchase..

Best TV

Sony KD-65XF9005

Great size and great picture

Pros:

  • Excellent contrast for a mid-range TV
  • Impressive colours and sharpness
  • Class-leading motion processing

Cons:

  • Android TV is still a clumsy smart TV system
  • Occasional backlight blooming around bright objects
  • Limited viewing angles

The XF90 is a direct-lit model, which is a rare treat these days, with direct backlighting and local dimming that are far superior to the common edge-lit/zonal dimming configuration.

If you are seeking good contrast and finding that the top OLED models are just out of your price range, the XF90 is well worth checking out.

Samsung Q60R

An enjoyable all-round package

Pros:

  • AI upscaling
  • Expressive colours
  • Robust build quality
  • Super-fast Game mode

Cons:

  • Limited HDR performance
  • No Dolby Vision

Samsung’s Q60R pitches the QLED TVs at a more affordable price (and audience), and it succeeds in most respects with an fairly accomplished outing

It doesn’t possess the same picture quality as the step-up models, partly as the panel is edge-lit, but it still has the Quantum processor 4K and with that comes very good upscaling performance and 100% colour volume for vibrant, expressive images.

Game mode is exceptionally quick, with a response of 10ms, and the SmartThings interface has all the apps you’ll ever need, including BT Sport and Apple TV, both of which you can’t find elsewhere.

Toshiba 58U2963DB

Toshiba 58U2963DB

A very good budget 4K TV

Pros:

  • Solid picture performance
  • Dolby Vision HDR
  • Good features and size for the price

Cons:

  • Minor backlight issues
  • Not enough brightness for true 4K HDR

The Toshiba 58U2963DB is a very good budget TV, at a great price and size. While picture quality and upscaling is not up to the standard of a Samsung or Panasonic, it’s a still manages to offer a pleasing picture quality.

Aside from the minor backlight issues, the U29 is a big improvement over the UL5, especially in terms of HDR performance. Don’t expect wonders from this TV, but do expect a satisfactory big-screen performance.

Hisense U8B

Hisense U8B

An inexpensive big-screen

Pros:

  • 65 big inches at a reasonable price 
  • HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision HDR
  • Vibrant presentation

Cons:

  • Limited black level performance 
  • Blooming and halo backlight issues

If you want to get a big screen without having to splash too much cash, Hisense’s U8B would make a decent option.

Images pop on the U8B with is vibrant picture presentation. Black performance is limited and, as is the expectation for TVs around this price, screen brightness isn’t at the level to do HDR images justice. However, this telly supports Dolby Vision, so can extract a better picture performance from some HDR content.

Factor in its smart TV platform, along with its range of features, and the U8B puts in a solid overall performance.


How we test best 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.

A variety of test footage is used to cover every type of scene, so we can assess a 4K TV’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as how it performs against the competition.

Sound quality isn’t forgotten, either – we give the built-in speakers a thorough listen to determine whether you’ll need to invest in a soundbar or speaker system to beef things up.

If you’re interested in checking out TVs at different price models, models and brands. Look through our main best ofs below models for everything from cheap 4K HDR TVs, to the latest from LG, Samsung and Panasonic.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor

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