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 70 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. If you prefer getting a computer monitor in this size, check out the best 28-32 inch monitors.
The best 32 inch 4k TV that we've tested is the Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA. It's one of the few TVs in this size available with a 4k resolution, and it offers okay overall performance that most people looking for a simple TV should be happy with.
This performs best in dark rooms because of its VA panel. It has an excellent contrast ratio, producing deep blacks, and it has okay black uniformity, but there's no local dimming feature. It upscales lower-resolution content, such as from DVDs or cable boxes, without any issues. It's good for gaming, has an incredibly low input lag, a quick response time, and a Black Frame Insertion feature. It's a decent choice for use as a computer monitor because it displays chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text.
Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel, so you lose image accuracy if you walk around while watching TV. It displays a wide color gamut for HDR, but it doesn't get bright enough to truly bring out highlights in that mode. Luckily, it has built-in Tizen OS with a ton of apps available to download, so you won't need to buy an external setup. Overall, this is an okay 4k TV, making it the best 32 inch TV that we've tested.
The Hisense 32H4F is the best 32 inch smart TV that we've tested. It's a simple TV meant to be placed in a room either with a wide seating arrangement or where you'll be walking around a lot, like in a kitchen. The 32 inch model has a 720p resolution, but if you have the space, the 40 inch model is 1080p.
It comes with built-in Roku TV instead of the Android TV found with most Hisense TVs that we've reviewed. It's easy-to-use, the menu navigation feels fairly smooth, and there's a great selection of apps available to download. This is great because you won't need to buy an external box if you don't want to, keeping your setup clean. It has an IPS panel with very wide viewing angles, one of the best we've seen on any TV, so you won't lose image accuracy when viewing from the side. It has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, which is important because you can't actually calibrate it. Lastly, it has low input lag and a decent response time if you want to use it for casual gaming.
Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio, and blacks appear closer to gray. It doesn't get bright, so despite its decent reflection handling, it's best to avoid placing it in a well-lit room. It doesn't support HDR, which is somewhat expected for a 32 inch, 720p TV, but it still has amazing gradient handling even though it has an 8-bit panel. All things considered, if you're looking for a simple 32 inch TV with good smart features, you should be happy with this.
If you want to use a TV in a dark environment, then you should get something with a better contrast ratio, like the TCL 32S335. It doesn't have wide viewing angles like the Hisense H4F, but that's expected from a TV with a VA panel. Like the Hisense, the TCL is also a 720p TV with built-in Roku, but there's a variant with Android TV instead, so you can get the one you prefer. It doesn't support HDR and has bad out-of-the-box color accuracy that you can't calibrate, but this is something that varies between units. It has decent reflection handling, but it doesn't get bright enough to combat glare in well-lit conditions. Unfortunately, it's not ideal even for casual gaming as it has an only decent response time and high input lag.
If you want a more versatile 32 inch smart TV with wide viewing angles, then go for the Hisense, but if you plan on using it in a dark room, then check out the TCL.
The best 32 inch TV with a 1080p resolution in the budget category that we've tested is the Samsung UN32N5300. This is an older TV from 2018 that you can likely still find and won't cost you much. There's nothing special that really stands out, which is expected from a TV in this size, but it's still reliable and delivers decent picture quality.
It has an IPS panel that provides wide viewing angles. This makes it an ideal choice if you won't be watching TV sitting directly in front of it. One great feature is the built-in Tizen OS, which has a large selection of apps available to download, and you won't need to attach external boxes to enjoy your favorite content. It has a shared component and composite in inputs, so you can easily connect old devices like a DVD player. It upscales lower-resolution content well, and it's a good choice for moderately-lit rooms as it has decent reflection handling, but it doesn't get very bright.
Unfortunately, it's not the best choice for gamers as it has significantly high input lag. It also has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear closer to gray, and it doesn't display chroma 4:4:4, which isn't ideal if you want to use it as a computer monitor. On the upside, it has good gray uniformity, so solid colors across the screen look good. Although this TV doesn't offer many features, most people on a tight budget looking for the best 32 inch smart TV should be happy with it.
11/20/2020: Removed the Samsung The Frame 2020; updated text for clarity.
09/04/2020: Moved the TCL 3 Series to the 'Smart Features' alternative.
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 32 inch 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.