32 inch TVs are still popular for small rooms or kitchens. However, manufacturers are rarely releasing new models in this size. Usually, the picture quality or overall performance of such TVs are below average as they tend to be inexpensive budget models. So you could benefit significantly from going up in 40-42-43 inch TV sizes.
We've tested 5 TVs available in a 32" size and here are our recommendations for the best ones you can buy in 2018.
The best TV we’ve tested available in a 32’’ size is the TCL S Series 32S305 720p Roku TV. It is a budget LED TV with a decent picture quality. It has a very good contrast ratio, great for dark room viewing, but unfortunately, it isn't very bright. It is powered by the same excellent Roku platform as the other TCL TVs, which gives you access to thousands of streaming channels and apps.
Overall, it is a good basic TV that you can use to catch up with your favorite TV show or watch a sports game while doing something else.
If you want a simple TV without the smart features of the TCL S305, get the TCL 32D100. It does not have the smart Roku TV platform or any other smart features platform. It is a very simple TV that can act as a display if you already have an Apple TV or an Android TV box and thus do not care about smart features. The picture quality is decent, but the TV does not have any features to enhance it.
The Samsung UN32M5300 is better than the TCL S305 and TCL D100 for most people, but it is discontinued and difficult to find. If you are able to find it, it offers wider viewing angles thanks to the IPS panel. Dark room performance isn't as good as the S305, as blacks appear gray in a dark room. It has a faster response time and an optional motion interpolation feature, so motion looks smoother and has less motion blur trail.
The Samsung M4500 is a disappointing 1366x768 TV. It isn't very bright, but it has great reflection handling and excellent native contrast. Even for an SDR TV, it has a mediocre color gamut and bad color volume.
The M4500 has a good response time, so motion looks crisp. It can improve the clarity of fast-moving objects thanks to the optional black frame insertion feature or through the use of motion interpolation. It has relatively high input lag, but for older game consoles this shouldn't be an issue for anyone.
Surprisingly, this budget TV runs the full Samsung Smart TV interface, called Tizen. It has the same apps and features as the much more expensive Samsung TVs and has access to the full Samsung App Store, which has one of the widest selections of apps available. If you don't care about picture quality and just want a smart TV with good features for the kitchen or another secondary viewing location, it could be a decent choice. However, the M4500 isn't a good TV and our previous 3 picks are better recommendations.
The Vizio D Series 1080p 2017 is a mediocre TV with very basic smart features. It has decent viewing angles and good reflection handling thanks to the IPS panel, but it isn't bright enough to overcome even mild glare and performs poorly in a dark room. It has excellent low input lag, great for gaming.
It isn't recommended for use as a PC monitor since it doesn't support 4:4:4 even when set to 'Computer' mode, so text appears blurry.
The 32" model has only 2 HDMI inputs, which may be limiting to some. Overall, it isn't a very good TV and is not recommended for a primary TV. If you can find it for cheap, it is an acceptable TV for a secondary viewing TV, like in a kitchen or garage.
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 that have a 32 inch size. 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.