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Cheap 55-inch 4K TVs: Big discounts on LG, Samsung, TCL, Toshiba

Now’s the perfect time to snag the 4K TV of your dreams as Best Buy and Dell are having a flash sale on 55-inch 4K TVs. Namely, the LG UM6910PUC, Samsung NU7300, TCL 4 Series, and Toshiba Fire TV Edition are all in the discount bin, with pricing starting at only $280.

55-inch TCL 4 Series 4K TV — $280, was $320

TCL’s Roku TVs hit a sweet spot between affordability and decent picture quality. The TCL 4 Series is one such TV. It might be TCL’s cheapest 4K offering yet (in fact, some 1080p displays are actually pricier) but you still get the superb Roku TV experience, surprising HDR support (albeit limited), and excellent responsiveness for gaming. A couple of downsides are no local dimming and unimpressive motion handling.

The TCL 4 Series’ screen is packed with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels with direct backlighting and HDR (high-dynamic range) support. The result? A decent, if somewhat basic, 4K viewing experience. Color accuracy is fine but somewhat off. The orangey hues of Blade Runner 2049′s dystopian landscapes appeared a bit pink. This also isn’t the brightest screen we’ve ever encountered, so it would be best not to place it in a well-lit room. The same goes for the bad viewing angles. This is the type of TV that must be watched directly in front of the screen. The sound quality is also relatively weak and won’t stand a chance in rooms with lots of ambient noise. A soundbar ought to solve that issue.

At least this TV comes pre-built with Google Assistant for voice-powered convenience, and as usual, Roku TV remains one of our favorite TV platforms. What you’re getting is a wide variety of streaming services to watch from, including Netflix and Hulu, presented in an organized fashion. Finally, although this TV doesn’t offer HDR support when gaming, it does deliver great response times, a superb advantage when playing fast-paced games. Right now, the 55-inch unit of the TCL 4 Series 4K TV is on sale at Best Buy for just $280 instead of $320.

55-inch Toshiba Fire TV Edition 4K TV — $350, was $450

The Toshiba Fire TV Edition 4K TV is one of the new breeds of televisions that feature built-in Fire TV — Amazon’s state-of-the-art digital media player that delivers high-definition streaming content to your home. The generously-sized 55-inch screen comes to stunning life with 8 million pixels for the clearest, sharpest, and most vivid picture. The TV is also compatible with Alexa — use the Voice Remote to control basic TV functions like changing channels and turning up the volume, as well as launching apps, searching for content, and a whole lot more. Just press the microphone button and give a command like, “Find comedies” and Alexa will provide you with search options.

This 4K TV is powered by a quad-core CPU/multi-core GPU for fluid responsiveness and fast search results. You can connect it with dual-band Wi-Fi, three HDMI inputs, and multiple input/output options, including Ethernet and USB. You can even customize the input names and configure picture settings for each connected device.

The Toshiba Fire TV Edition 4K TV brings together local, national, and streaming channels to the home screen. It is HDR-compatible, so you can stream movies from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, and more in high definition. You can also connect gaming consoles and a cable or satellite box through one of the three HDMI ports.

The Toshiba Fire TV Edition 4K TV has been given an outstanding 4.6-out-of-5-star rating on Best Buy. It has been praised for its picture quality, built-in Fire TV, easy setup, and great price. Some customer complaints include the ubiquitous Amazon ads in the “recommended by your apps” bar that cannot be disabled and the lack of channel buttons on the Voice Remote. Changing channels has to be done through the “guide” function. Still, with Best Buy’s huge $120 discount on the Toshiba 55LF711U20, its price of $330 instead of $450 is pretty appealing.

55-inch LG UM6910PUC 4K TV — $399, was $449

The UM6910PUC is probably LG’s most affordable and basic 4K TV, but it’s still worthy of recommendation thanks to its decent picture performance, wide viewing angles, and excellent smart TV features. However, we would refrain from placing this TV in a brightly lit room as it can’t get very bright. It also has a low contrast ratio, poor black uniformity, and no local dimming.

This TV’s widescreen display is packed with 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, which is four times the resolution of Full HD. IPS panels typically have wide viewing angles, so this TV will look good no matter where you’re sitting. We did notice a couple of things that weren’t so great. This TV doesn’t have the most accurate color reproduction, and contrast wasn’t too good either. A supposedly orange sunset seemed rather pinkish, and nocturnal scenes appear grayed out due to lack of local dimming, the feature that’s responsible for dimming the backlight so that blacks appear deeper and darker. At least this TV supports multiple 4K Active HDR formats such as Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG.

LG’s WebOS remains one of our favorite smart TV platforms for plenty of reasons. Navigation is a cinch and the app archive is quite extensive. Popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube TV are readily available. Further, this TV’s quad-core processor has the power to improve the image’s quality and reduce distracting video noise and motion blur, which makes this TV good for gaming. The 55-inch LG UM6910PUC 4K TV may be LG’s most basic 4K TV model, but it comes at a great price that’s hard to resist. Get it for $399 instead of $449 at Dell today.

55-inch Samsung NU7300 4K TV — $498, was $548

The Samsung NU7300 4K TV tries to argue that a curved television is the future. What’s the point of a curved display, you might ask. Does it actually enhance the viewing experience? The answer is, to put it simply, no. It works just like any regular flat-screen TV, besides the slight improvement in viewing angles. As long it’s positioned directly in front of you, of course, because once you mount this TV on your wall it does more harm than good. Fortunately, the NU7300 has other things going for it, including a picture quality that’s undeniably good (although it’s not particularly bright) and smart features that are impressive for the price. Right now, the 55-inch unit of the Samsung NU7300 is available at Dell for $498 instead of $548 — a cool $50 off.

The Samsung NU7300 is made almost entirely of plastic, but the metallic trim on its outer edges is a nice luxurious touch. Ports include three HDMIs, a couple of USBs, and both Ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi network options. It basically has everything that you would need connecting peripherals, although a fourth HDMI would have been nice.

This TV is great at upscaling HD content to its native 4K resolution, resulting in a richly detailed and vibrant picture. Colors are enhanced but still look quite natural, the contrast ratio is excellent with uniformly deep blacks, plus this TV supports high-dynamic range (HDR) content from Netflix and other platforms. It also has excellent low input lag and decent motion handling which makes it good for gaming, but it doesn’t support any advanced gaming features, like FreeSync. Lastly, its brightness level peaks at just 300nits, which is fine but won’t really do HDR justice.

Arguably the NU7300’s greatest strength is its smart TV interface. Samsung’s Eden is super easy to navigate and customize, with menus and icons presented in a clean and organized fashion. All your favorite streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube are all readily available, plus Samsung’s voice recognition (you can use either Alexa or Google Assistant) and control system are simply top-notch.

The Samsung NU7300 doesn’t really make a strong case on why you should own a curved TV. However, if you’re after excellent picture performance and superb smart TV interface at a very reasonable price, this would make a wonderful option. Get a 55-inch unit at Dell for $498.

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