Best Cheap TVs 2018: Which budget TV should you buy right now?

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 HD 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 box needn’t mean taking out a mortgage or selling a kidney.

With companies such as Sony, LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Philips churning out one outstanding models after another, it can be hard to determine what is worth buying. Conversely, with so many top-notch sets on the market, it’s now easier than ever to get your hands on a great television.

No matter your budget, you’ll find something to suit your needs here. We’ve included TVs costing less than £1,000 as well as feature-rich models that offer plenty of bang for your buck.

The big manufacturers haven’t yet unveiled their 2018 range, but the 2017 products are still available and a lot of them have been heavily discounted. Here’s everything we saw from SonyPanasonic and LG in 2017. Philips is the only brand so far that has unveiled its new 2018 models.

Related: Best TV deals


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.

If you’re just after something super-cheap and cheerful for a bedroom, however, you might be surprised to hear that you can still get sets with DVD players built in, such as the £149.99 Alba 24-inch LED HD TV/DVD Combi shown above, or the Linsar X24-DVD.

For the best picture performance per pound, though, look no further than the list below.

Get £30 off all TVs 55 inches or above with code TRUSTED30TV at Order now and get it delivered tomorrow.


Key features:

  • 24-inch LCD TV
  • Built-in 16W Bluetooth speaker
  • Native Full HD resolution
  • Review Price: £199


The smallest TV in our roundup is the Philips 24PFS5231 – a portable 24-inch LCD TV that would be perfect as a second set or a space-saving solution. What it lacks in Ethernet/Wi-Fi support, it makes up for in dazzling audio and crisp picture quality.

Sure, it doesn’t support the fancy stuff such as 4K, HDR or 3D, and it doesn’t have a particularly powerful video-processing engine by Philips standards, either. But its picture is strikingly punchy, with sharp whites and deep blacks.

As an added bonus, this TV’s attractive matte white desktop base cunningly doubles as a Bluetooth speaker, letting you play music from your mobile or tablet without even needing to turn on the TV screen.


Read the full Philips 24PFS5231 review


Key features:

  • 32-inch LED TV
  • Full HD resolution
  • Smart TV features, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Multimedia playback via DLNA and Anyview Cast
  • USB port for multimedia playback and TV recording
  • Review Price: £220

The HD-ready Hisense H32M2600 offers much more than you’d expect for a budget small-screen TV, carrying off a decent picture with crisp and convincing contrast, reasonably punchy colours and clean motion. Its viewing angle leaves something to be desired, but you’re not going to find better in this price bracket.

There’s some basic smart functionality aboard the H32M2600, including Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer and, but sadly not the rest of the mainstream catch-up apps. You can also access photo, music or video content from other devices on your network

The Hisense H32M2600 boasts better than average audio performance, too, and there’s a well-designed remote with direct Netflix and YouTube buttons to complete the package.


Read the full Hisense H32M2600 review


Key features:

  • 32-inch LCD with edge LED lighting
  • Full HD resolution
  • Game mode
  • Samsung’s Tizen-based smart TV platform
  • Multimedia playback via USB and DLNA
  • Review Price: £270

The £270 Samsung UE32K5600 bucks the “cheapness first” trend in smaller sets to give TV and gaming fans a rare small-screen treat. Not least because it’s a handsome thing, dressed in a fetching metallic silver finish and perched on a striking brushed-metal X-shaped stand.

Picture-wise, the UE32K5600 is head-and-shoulders above its 32-inch peers. Excellent black-level response and an incredibly effective dynamic contrast system make darker scenes more natural, and reduce clouding around bright objects. Detail levels from Blu-rays are exceptional, and the sharpness remains impressively intact when there’s motion in the frame. There’s also minimal screen reflection – a welcome bonus.

In addition, the UE32K5600’s connections are strong for such an affordable small TV. Three HDMIs and two USBs should be ample for what will likely be a second-room TV. And for such a dainty set, it packs an impressively punchy amount of bass.

Read the full Samsung UE32K5600 review


Key features:

  • 48-inch 4K LED TV
  • Freeview Play
  • Netflix 4K streaming
  • Review Price: £499

If you’re upgrading from an early Full HD TV and you’re on a budget, the Finlux 48UXE304B-P is worth a look. This 4K HDR set has a smaller price tag than you’d expect for an upper mid-range TV – proof that decent picture doesn’t have to cost the earth.

The Finlux 48UXE304B-P looks great with HD content from Sky and Blu-ray, but hooking up a 4K source will really bring that picture to life. Images are crisp and colour-rich in both instances. There’s a little light-pooling in the bottom corners in dark scenes, but it’s barely noticeable and therefore isn’t a deal breaker.

There’s a decent sound system packed in behind that slim screen, but you’d be sensible to team it with a soundbar if you’re after booming audio.

Probably not your next TV if you’re looking to get the most out of HDR sources, such as the Xbox One S or PS4 Pro, but a perfect affordable progression from older HD sets.

Read the full Finlux 48UXE304B-P review


Key features:

  • 49-inch UHD Premium certified TV
  • 4K resolution
  • Edge-lit LCD panel
  • Review Price: £1099

Looking to make the leap into the world of stunning 4K TV? The Samsung UE49KS700 is an excellent choice. Sitting among the entry-level range of Samsung’s elite SUHD models, the 49-inch UE49KS700 also comes in sizes of 55, 60 and 65 inches, but this 49-inch model is the most affordable if you’re diving into 4k for the first time.

With and edge-lit LCD screen and native Ultra HD 4K resolution, the UE49KS700 offers a remarkably clear, defined and deeply textured picture. Contrasted pictures are punchy and impressive, but high dynamic ranges takes it even further.

Add to that two remote controls – one traditional, one “smart” – and all the on-demand services you need, including the UK’s big catch-up apps, Netflix and Amazon video, and you’re looking at the best 4K under your £900 budget.

Read the full Samsung UE49KS7000 review


Key features:

  • 50-inch LCD TV
  • Native 4K UHD resolution
  • Firefox smart TV system
  • Multimedia playback from USB or DLNA sources
  • Review Price: £699

The Panasonic TX-50CX680 might not come loaded with the full suite of 4K Studio Master processing tools found higher up the brand’s range, but it’s an outstanding television for the price. Vibrant colours, high contrast and respectable audio teamed with Panasonic’s excellent Firefox OS operating system make this an incredibly tantalising television for consumers wanting to see every fine cinematic detail.

Minor caveats include the audio, which can sound a little caged and muffled under duress, and slight distorting with high voices. Motion processing is also somewhat lacking, with juddery pictures when there’s a lot to handle.

If you’re after unrivalled clarity and brightness for your buck, however, this is a worthy contender for your TV stand – as long as you’re not bothered by the lack of HDR and 3D support, that is.

Read the full Panasonic TX-50CX680 review


Key features:

  • 55-inch 4K Ultra HD TV
  • HDR support
  • Android TV smart platform
  • Two HDMI inputs support 4K
  • Review Price: £750

At 55 inches, the Philips 55PUS6401 is the largest in a family of three budget 4K flat screens with HDR compatibility and Ambilight technology. Yes, this TV comes with mood lighting.

If that’s the kind of thing that floats your boat, you won’t have much trouble overlooking a couple of the downsides that come with the 55PUS6401. They include poor backlight uniformity, reds that have a tendency to look a little orange, and audio that leaves a lot to be desired.

Throw in a soundbar and embrace that ever so garish mood lighting, however, and your movie and gaming nights will reach a whole new level. Colour performance on the whole is rich and vibrant, and the TV-fed 4K content looks stunningly crisp; UHD movie downloads from Sky come drenched in delicious detail and texture.

Get £30 off all TVs 55 inches or above with code TRUSTED30TV at Order now and get it delivered tomorrow.

Read the full Philips 55PUS6401 review

Hisense 65M5500

8 of 10


Key features:

  • 65-inch Ultra HD 4K LCD screen
  • HDR compatible
  • 4K support in Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube apps
  • Two HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 support for UHD
  • Review Price: £899

This second-generation 4K UHD set from Hisense is one of the first from the brand to support HDR (high dynamic range) – and in our books, the Hisense 65M5500 is still up there as one of the best HDR-compatible TVs in its price and size range.

If you’re already looking at 65-inch TVs, you’re probably not short on space, but it’s worth being aware that you’ll need expansive TV furniture to accommodate this beast’s widely spaced feet.

Picture-wise, it has its highs and lows. 4K content is good, and all picture modes deliver beautifully fine detail with precision. Backlight uniformity isn’t perfect, and there’s some inevitable light splodging where you don’t want it – but that’s only really obvious on full black sequences, and you can’t have it all for this kind of budget. Volume is good, but audio isn’t great. You’ll need to invest in a good soundbar if you’re an audiophile.

It’s also bang on-point if you want to watch 4K movies or game with an HDR-enabled PS4 or Xbox One Slim. In short, it’s big, cheap and cheerful.

Read the full Hisense 65M5500 review


Key features:

  • 65-inch 4K Ultra HD TV
  • HDR compatible
  • Four HDMI (two 4K compatible)
  • Netflix, Amazon Video, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
  • Review Price: £1200

If you’re a casual movie fan upgrading from HD, or you own an older HD TV and you’re looking to step up on a smaller budget, the Hisense H65M700 is a stellar option. With a design that wouldn’t look out of place in a lineup of more expensive TVs, great HDR impact and dynamism and impressive sound, it’s a tempting proposition.

Granted, the H65M700 doesn’t reach the 1,000 nits boasted by more modest 4K HDR TVs, but its picture is pleasingly uniform, with vibrant colours, good detailing and little in the way of those pesky halo effects – even at its brightest setting. If you’re merely looking for a step up from regular SDR Blu-ray, you’ll see a clear difference.

It comes with Netflix and Amazon Video on board, both in their 4K versions. There are four HDMI inputs, two of which are HDMI 2.0 and compatible with HDCP 2.2, which means they’ll accept a 4K signal from your UHD Blu-ray player, Xbox One S or Sky Q.

Read the full Hisense H65M7000 review


Key features:

  • 65-inch LCD TV
  • Direct LED lighting with local dimming over 128 zones
  • Three-sided Ambilight
  • Native 4K resolution
  • HDR compatible
  • Review Price: £1999

It’s the last in our roundup, but it’s by no means the least. There really isn’t a TV out there at the same price that delivers such a consistently immersive HDR experience as the Philips 65PUS7601. Boasting Philips’ Ambilight technology, some of the most powerful motion processing around, and exceptionally deep blacks for an LCD TV, it’s far too tantalising to resist if you have the cash.

If you’re searching for that perfect 65-inch set that can deliver the inkiest of jet blacks without light blooming around bright objects, you can’t really get much better than this – unless you want to stretch your budget to the likes of the almost doubly priced Samsung UE65KS9500.

Pictures are capable of looking more spectacular and immersive than those of other TVs in its category, and it delivers an impressively strong sound performance. Its clever remote comes with a QWERTY keyboard on the back to make navigating the 65PUS7601’s – albeit complex – menus easier. It even knows which way up you’re holding it to prevent accidental button pressing.

If you’re a gamer, the 65PUS7601 is an almost obscene amount of fun, partly because of its size, intensity of its pictures and use of Ambilight, but also because lag input measures a mere 30ms on the Game preset.

Read the full Philips 65PUS7601 review
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