With TV technology constantly evolving, mid- to entry-level HDTVs enjoy continually improved picture quality, along with a growing list of advanced features once reserved for the premium tier. Amid such change, we’ve updated our list of the best TVs you can buy for under $500 to help you squeeze every last dime out of your budget so you can afford the important things in life — like a goosebump-inducing soundbar, for example.
The latest choices in our list are bigger, brighter, and better than ever. All our selections offer 4K UHD resolution, and they’re also all smart TVs, so you can turn off your brain after a long day and let the screen do all the work. Get ready to save some serious green on a killer TV.
At a glance
|TCL 55-inch 5-Series 4K HDR TV||Best TV overall|
|Bose Soundtouch 300||Best slim TV|
|LG 49-inch UK6300PUE 4K HDR TV||Best TV for a wide viewing angle|
|TCL 55-inch 4-series 4K HDR TV (2017)||Best budget TV|
TCL 55-inch 5-Series 4K HDR TV
Why you should buy this: It offers great performance, a versatile Roku interface, and monster screen size for the money.
Who is it for: Anyone who wants a big, versatile 4K HDR TV without spending a ton of dough.
How much will it cost: $499.
Why we picked the TCL 55-inch 5-Series 4K HDR TV:
You may not have heard of TCL, but the company’s partnership with Roku — and a penchant for dialing up displays with impressive performance — has made it a powerhouse in the affordable TV segment in a hurry. This 55-inch beauty is an incredible value for its price that rides just under $500. We honestly still can’t believe you can get this much TV for this little cash.
So what are you getting for your money? How about solid 4K Ultra HD-performance, Dolby Vision HDR (as well as HDR10), Wide Color Gamut for accurate color rendering, and, of course, a Roku-based operating system for super-simple operation and even voice control. Add in three HDMI ports and HDCP 2.2 copyright protection for future-proofing, and we have a winner.
Samsung 43-inch NU7100 4K HDR TV
The best slim TV
Why you should buy this: You’re looking for a major brand, sleek style, and impressive color accuracy.
Who is it for: Gamers and those who place style on par with substance.
How much will it cost: $478.
Why we picked the Samsung 43-inch NU7100 4K HDR TV:
Slim, sleek, and smart, the Samsung NU7100 offers solid picture quality in a 43-inch model that’s as easy on the eyes as it is the wallet. Discerning viewers will love its impressive color accuracy and good black uniformity, while serious gamers will love its low input lag.
This TV’s HDR is not as impressive as more expensive models from Samsung and others, and it also doesn’t support Dolby Vision, but those who want style and substance in an affordable package will definitely want to give this TV a long look. If 43-inches won’t cut it, you can also move up to the 50-inch model for around $550.
LG 49-inch UK6300PUE 4K HDR TV
The best for a wide viewing angle
Why you should buy this: It offers a wide viewing angle, an intuitive interface, and serious smarts.
Who is it for: Those who want a TV that will look good from any angle, and listen to your every demand.
How much will it cost: $497.
Why we picked the LG 49-inch UK6300PUE 4K HDR TV:
If you want a TV with smarts and skills, you’ll love LG’s new UK6300 TV. The TV’s ThinQ A.I. grants the power of Google Assistant for intelligent voice control and search, while those who’d rather roll with Amazon can also use Alexa. LG’s constantly evolving interface, WebOS, is one of the best smart TV platforms out there, and the Wii-style Magic Motion remote is fun and easy to use.
When it comes to performance, this TV’s secret weapon is its wide viewing angle thanks to its IPS screen with in-plane switching, which lets you sit at virtually any angle without suffering notable color or contrast degradation. And while Dolby Vision HDR isn’t currently supported, you do get both HDR10 and the future-proofed HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), which will allow for HDR support over broadcast TV down the road.
TCL 55-inch 4-series 4K HDR TV (2017)
The best budget TV
Why you should buy this: It’s the absolute best value pick on our list, and beyond.
Who is it for: Those who want to save some cash, and don’t mind shopping last year’s leftovers.
How much will it cost: $380.
Why we picked the TCL 55-inch 4-series 4K HDR TV (2017):
If you’re getting déjà vu, don’t worry — you haven’t looped back up to the top of our picks. There’s a reason we go gaga for TCL when it comes to affordable TVs, and now that last year’s 4-series is a year older (if not wiser), it’s available at a crazy-low price.
Even though it’s getting a bit long in the tooth, the 4-series still offers plenty to love, including impressive 4K resolution, HDR support (though not Dolby Vision like its younger sibling), and a simple-yet-elegant Roku interface. At just $380, there is no better value on this list.