Cheap TVs tend to be a bit lighter on features compared to more expensive models but they can still offer some pretty good picture quality. Here are our recommendations for the best TVs under $500.
Best TV under $500
The Samsung UN40MU6300 UHD TV is the best TV under $500. It’s a versatile smart TV with good picture quality.
It has a great contrast ratio, which means it has deep and even blacks that are essential for a great picture. The MU6300 also has low input lag, making it a good choice for a gaming TV. It doesn't have the widest viewing angles, but it deals with reflections and gets bright enough to be suitable for most environments. It's only available in 40 inches under 500$, but it's still the best TV you can get at this price.
If you want a cheaper TV, the TCL 49S305 is a more basic 1080P LED TV that can be found for quite a bit less than the MU6300. It's a significant drop in picture quality, but it's a decent choice if you just want a simple Smart TV since its integrated Roku platform provides all the services that most people would need.
Best Value for Size under $500
The TCL 55S405 offers great value for money. It's the only 4k TV of this size currently available under 500$ and it does so while still being a decent performer overall.
Like almost all TCL TVs we've reviewed, it features the excellent Roku TV OS that gives an easy and quick access to almost all the internet content one needs. Its picture quality is not bad either. We found it had a decent contrast ratio giving it deep and uniform blacks. It's also a great gaming TV thanks to its exceptionally low input lag.
Because of its relatively low brightness and narrow viewing angle, it's not the best choice for a bright living room with wide sitting arrangements, but it's difficult to find a better deal at this price.
- LeEco Super4. Decent 4k TV, but value isn't great compared to the S405. See our review
- LG 43UJ6300. Bad picture quality for the price. See our review
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap TVs under $500 to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs that are less than $500. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.