While the finest TVs under $500 may not have the most cutting-edge technology or flagship-level performance, you can still get a nice 4K smart TV for a reasonable price.
Of course, you’ll have to manage your expectations a little, but don’t assume that by buying cheap, you’ll be forced to make significant quality concessions, disappointing features, and poor audio. If you don’t choose wisely, it’s conceivable, but that’s where this list comes in.
We choose the budget-friendly sets that manage to strike a balance between cost and performance, providing you with more-than-basic features and above-average performance to bring you the greatest TV for your money based on our reviews.
We’ve also selected the best TV under $400 and the best TV under $300 to help you stretch your budget a little further.
What are the greatest televisions for less than $500?
There are a lot of options when it comes to buying a TV on a budget, but they aren’t all good. With one of our recommended TVs, you can avoid buyer’s remorse.
The TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S535) is the finest TV under $500. It’s a 55-inch QLED TV with exceptional HDR performance, all while running on Roku’s fantastic smart TV platform.
The 50-inch Hisense H8F Quantum Series (50H8G) is the best TV under $400, according to our tests, since it offers a full-featured smart TV experience with Android TV, Chromecast, and Google Assistant built-in, as well as a QLED display with local dimming and HDR support.
And the TCL 4-Series Roku TV is the finest TV under $300. (43S435). It’s a no-frills alternative for budget customers, but it’s still a good 4K smart TV with plenty of features.
Roku TV from TCL's 5-Series (S535)
Screen Type: LCD with Quantum dot
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDMI ports: 4 HDMI 2.1
Size: 48.4 x 28.1 x 3.0 inches
Weight: 32.6 pounds
+Colors of faith
+Roku’s built-in intelligence
+Great value for money
-Audio quality is average.
TCL’s 5-Series Roku TV delivers what TCL does best: it combines superb features and performance with an obviously low price. With the 55-inch model costing around $500, you get QLED’s category-leading color and brightness, as well as Roku’s user-friendly smart TV interface, which puts hundreds of apps at your fingertips.
The QLED display not only has superb color accuracy and a wide color gamut, but it also has top-of-the-line HDR support, including Dolby Vision as well as basic HDR10 and HLG codecs. It’s also one of the greatest gaming TVs you can purchase for under $500, with input lag of 13.1 milliseconds. This is the best low-cost television available.
H8G Quantum Series by Hisense (50H8G)
Screen type: LCD with quantum dots
Refresh rate: 60Hz
HDMI ports: 4 (1 ARC)
Size: 43.8 x 25.4 x 3.1 inches
Weight: 28.2 pounds
+Excellent value for money
+Details are correct
+Integration of Google Assistant and Google Home at a high level
-The remote does not have a backlight.
-Feet are shaky
-Difficulties with timed sequences
The Hisense H8G Quantum Series (50H8G) has a lot to offer for a 50-inch TV at a terrific price. The H8G is one of the greatest TVs you’ll find for under $500, thanks to its Android TV smarts, QLED panel, and local dimming for superb HDR compatibility.
Although the quantum-dot screen improves color performance and local dimming improves contrast, there are still certain tradeoffs made in the sake of cost. Although the 60Hz display and average motion handling aren’t what you’d find on a higher-end TV, and the color reproduction isn’t ideal, it’s still one of the best 50-inch 4K smart TVs in this price range.
With built-in Chromecast and Google Assistant, Android TV provides a superb smart TV experience, with plenty of versatility to go with Google’s vast app library. The Hisense H8G is also one of the best gaming TVs under $500, with lag times of less than 14 milliseconds.
Roku TV from TCL 4-Series (43S435)
Screen Type: LED
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDMI ports: 3 HDMI 2.1 (1 ARC)
Size: 38.2 x 22.3 x 3.3 inches
Weight: 15.4 pounds
+Excellent 4K for the money.
+Excellent color fidelity
+Strong Roku abilities
-Dolby Vision isn’t supported.
-Minimal sound alterations
-It’s difficult to locate picture adjustments.
The TCL 4 Series Roku TV is one of the most cost-effective TVs available in any size. This 4K TV is frequently cheaper than similar 1080p TVs, and the 43-inch variant costs less than $300. It has good color fidelity and supports HDR10 for better contrast (but not Dolby Vision). It runs on Roku’s system software, which offers one of the greatest smart TV experiences and a large selection of apps. This set can also handle fast-paced games because to its low lag time of 14 milliseconds.
In exchange for its low price, the TCL 4 Series lacks a few features found on more expensive TVs. The HDR performance isn’t as fantastic as it may be because it lacks local dimming. It also has poor speakers with a lack of bass and power. If this will be your primary television, consider investing in a soundbar to compensate for the lack of sound.
Fire TV Toshiba C350 (2021 model)
Screen Type: LCD
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10
HDMI ports: 4 HDMI (1 ARC)
Size: 37.9 x 22.0 x 2.9 inches
Weight: 15.0 pounds
+Fire TV that responds
+In standard mode, the color is good.
+Fast response time
-Flat HDR (High Dynamic Range)
-Backlighting that isn’t constant
The Toshiba C350 Fire TV is the newest member of Amazon’s small family of smart TVs for 2021, and it packs a punch in terms of features and performance for its low price. It’s a good example of the Fire TV design, combining acceptable 4K picture quality, surprisingly low lag times, and Amazon’s great Fire TV smart features, such as built-in Alexa voice control, a sizable app store, and (of course) an interface that places Amazon’s Prime Video service front and center. It’s one of the smartest affordable TVs you can get, with even the largest 55-inch model selling for less than $500 (and potentially considerably less during sales events).
The C350 lacks the latest features such as HDMI 2.1 and Dolby Atmos support, but it does support Dolby Vision and HDR10 – albeit not very effectively. However, with superb color accuracy, little lag time, and a nice design, it’s still a good TV for the money, and better than many previous Fire TV models.
F30 Fire TV Edition by Insignia (2020 model)
Screen Type: LCD
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDMI ports: 3 HDMI, 1 USB
Size: 48.9 x 28.6 x 3.3 inches
Weight: 29.3 pounds
The Fire TV OS is responsive.
+Alexa comes with a slew of features and smart home connections.
-Colors that aren’t quite right
When Amazon announces a sale, Amazon’s Fire TV Edition TVs are often the first to go on sale, making them among of the most affordable and popular TVs on the market. The Insignia F30 Fire TV Edition, on the other hand, is the greatest Amazon Fire TV (2020 model). The 55-inch model is one of the most cheap 4K TVs on the market, with a typical price of $429. The Insignia also outperforms other ultra-low-cost TVs with a reasonable port variety and performance, which is more than we can say for many of the other low-cost TVs on the market.
While you do get what you pay for – performance isn’t spectacular, gaming support is mediocre, and the Fire TV platform is a touch too Amazon-centric for our tastes – it’s still a solid option for casual watchers, and it’s priced to sell.
V-Series by Vizio (2020 model)
Screen Type: LED
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
HDMI ports: 3 HDMI 2.1 (1 eARC)
Size: 44.1 x 25.6 x 2.4 inches
Weight: 21.5 pounds
-Poor audio quality
+Extremely low price
+A positive reception from gamers
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly 4K smart TV, the Vizio V-Series (2020 model) might be just what you’re looking for. Even when it’s not on sale – which it is regularly, with deep discounts occurring throughout the year – it’s a remarkable bargain, with outstanding price, reasonable smarts from Vizio’s SmartCast software, and great gaming capabilities.
A trio of HDMI 2.1 ports provide gaming-friendly features such as auto low latency mode and lag durations of just 13.1 milliseconds. This is the budget gaming TV to acquire if you want amazing gaming performance for a low price. However, because this is a 60Hz panel, variable refresh rates and high refresh rates aren’t an option. And while the overall performance is adequate, the brightness is lacking, and the audio may benefit from the addition of a soundbar.
How do you pick the greatest TV for under $500?
If you want a TV for less than $500, you’ll have to sacrifice some of the nicer features and design elements in exchange for a lower price. However, you may still obtain some great features without breaking the bank. Here are a couple items that are still within your pricing range.
4K resolution: Because 4K resolution is so inexpensive and the quality is so much better than 1080p or 720p, we always recommend it. Getting a genuine 4K TV won’t save you much money unless you’re on a tight budget, but you’ll notice the difference.
Screen size: While a premium 65-inch TV may not always be available for under $500, a decent 55-inch model is still available, so don’t settle for a tiny 43-inch set unless it’s the correct size for the space.
If there’s one thing we recommend, it’s high dynamic range support (HDR). Even the most basic HDR support improves color, highlights, and shadows, giving you a better picture in every way. It’s much better if you can get a TV with Dolby Vision, but you’ll likely pay more for it.
Connectivity: More HDMI ports are usually better, so you don’t have to fumble with plugs on the TV every time you want to watch a Blu-ray or play a game.
Gaming: We recommend shopping for sets with greater refresh rates of 60Hz for affordable gaming TVs, but the latest Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles can actually go higher. Another consideration is lag time, so read individual reviews to identify sets with a lag time of less than 20 milliseconds for the greatest results.
What features are worth the extra money?
While budget TVs are fine, there’s no disputing that investing a little more money will bring you some features that you won’t find for less than $500. Consider investing a little more if any of the following features sound like a must-have for your new TV.
Screen size: During sales events, you might be able to locate one or two 65-inch TVs for under $500. And going bigger will always be more expensive. If you want something bigger, like a 75-inch TV, you’ll have to pay extra.
Picture quality: While 4K resolution is impressive, today’s premium TVs push picture quality to new heights with improved color, brightness, and contrast, as well as super-smooth motion handling. If you want the highest picture quality, technologies like quantum dots, mini-LED, and OLED are worth the extra money.
Sound quality: Today’s inexpensive televisions are good at a lot of things, but sound quality isn’t usually one of them. To get better audio than the tiny speakers jammed inside a narrow TV chassis could possibly produce, we recommend connecting your new TV with one of the best soundbars.
Are you looking for a specific television brand, price range, or screen size? Take a look at our selections for the greatest TVs in each category.
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