32 inch TVs are still popular for small rooms or kitchens. However, manufacturers rarely release new models in this size. Usually, the picture quality or overall performance of these TVs is below average, as they tend to be inexpensive budget models, so you could benefit significantly from going up to the 40-42-43 inch TV sizes.
We've tested over 60 TVs in the last two years, and here are our recommendations for the best 32 inch smart TVs you can buy. Also, make sure to check out our recommendations for the best smart TVs, the best small TVs, and the best budget TVs.
The best 32 inch TV that we've tested so far is the Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA. It's a simple, entry-level 4k TV that's only available in a 32 inch size, and despite its limited features, it still provides reasonable overall performance. It performs best as a gaming TV, but it's also a decent choice if you want to use it as a computer monitor.
Despite its small size and low price, it has an excellent design and is reasonably well-built. It has a VA panel that has an amazing contrast ratio, displaying really deep blacks, but it doesn't have any local dimming feature. Gamers should appreciate its good response time, Black Frame Insertion feature to clear up motion blur, and extremely low input lag. HDR content looks decent, as it displays a great wide color gamut, but it doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights. It doesn't support Dolby Vision, but instead, it supports HDR10 and HDR10+.
Sadly, as is the case with VA panels, it has narrow viewing angles, which isn't ideal if you want to place it in a kitchen and walk around while watching shows. If you use it as a computer monitor, the edges of the screen may appear darker if you sit too close, but on the upside, it displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text. It also doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in. All in all, this is the best 32 inch TV that we've tested so far.
If you want a TV with improved HDR performance, check out the Samsung QN32LS03TNFXZA. The 32 inch model has a 1080p resolution and doesn't display a 4k signal like the Samsung Q50/Q50R QLED, but it displays a slightly wider color gamut and gets much brighter in HDR to bring out some highlights. It's an extremely well-built TV with a unique design that allows it to sit flush against your wall like a picture frame. It has an external input box because of this, called the One Connect Box, so there's only one wire going towards the TV. It has an incredible contrast ratio, excellent black uniformity, it gets really bright, and it has decent reflection handling. Sadly, with its VA panel, it has narrow viewing angles, and the 32 inch version is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't have variable refresh rate (VRR) support, while the large models have it.
Overall, the Q50R is the best 32 inch 4k TV we've tested so far, but if you want something with slightly better HDR performance and don't mind a 1080p resolution, The Frame 2020 is a good choice.
The best 32 inch smart TV that we've tested so far is the Hisense 32H4F. It's a basic, entry-level TV with a 720p resolution. This should be fine if you're planning on watching cable TV or DVDs with this TV, but avoid it if you want to watch 1080p Blu-ray discs.
It has an IPS panel with extremely wide viewing angles, one of the best we've seen on any TV so far. This is great if you want to place it in a kitchen or a small room where you'll be walking around a lot and watch to see the same accurate image the whole time. It has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, which is important because you can't actually calibrate the TV. It has built-in Roku TV, which is very easy to use, and you get a ton of apps available to download. If you don't want to buy a cable box and want to watch your favorite shows directly from the TV, it's a good choice for that.
Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio with an IPS panel, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. It doesn't support HDR, it doesn't get very bright, and it has some uniformity issues, although this may vary from unit to unit. If you want to use it in a fairly bright room, it has decent reflection handling. Overall, this is the best 32 inch smart TV with built-in Roku that we've tested so far.
If you want a small TV for dark room viewing, then look into the TCL 32S325. It doesn't have wide viewing angles like the Hisense H4F, but instead, it has a great contrast ratio, displaying deep blacks when viewed in the dark. The 32 inch model has a 720p resolution, but there are some retailers that sell the 32S327, which has a 1080p resolution. If you have space, the 40 inch model also has a 1080p resolution. Like the Hisense, this TV has Roku TV built-in. It has excellent color accuracy, it has good reflection handling, and it upscales 480p content well. Unfortunately, this TV also has uniformity issues, it doesn't get very bright, and there's no HDR support.
If you want the best 32 inch TV we've tested so far with good smart features, check out the Hisense, but if you watch TV in dark rooms, look into the TCL.
The best 32 inch TV with a 1080p resolution in the budget category we've tested so far is the Samsung UN32N5300. It's great for smaller rooms or the kitchen, as it delivers decent picture quality, and its IPS panel has wide viewing angles, which is great if you tend to watch while walking around.
It has a 60Hz refresh rate, and its response time is okay, with some motion blur behind fast-moving objects. Its reflection handling is okay, although it's best to avoid placing it opposite bright sources of light. If you get most of your content through streaming, then this TV has you covered. Samsung's Tizen OS is a great platform that's well-stocked with apps, and its interface is easy to navigate. There are some ads and suggested content on its home page that can't be disabled, but it's a minor annoyance given its overall performance and budget price.
Unfortunately, its input lag is quite high for a modern TV, and its contrast ratio is pretty low, so it's not the best option for watching in dark environments. Furthermore, while it supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut and isn't able to bring out highlights due to its mediocre peak brightness in HDR mode. Overall, it's an okay budget TV with a 1080p resolution.
09/04/2020: Moved the TCL 3 Series to the 'Smart Features' alternative.
08/06/2020: Minor updates to text for clarity.
07/08/2020: Added Samsung The Frame 2020 as an alternative, removed the TCL 1 Series as an alternative to the main pick, and changed the Hisense H4F from 'Best Cheap' to 'Best Smart Features' pick.
12/10/2019: Replaced the Vizio D Series 1080p 2017 with Hisense 32H4F.
Our recommendation above is what we think is currently the best 32 inch smart TV 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) 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. 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.