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 are 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 7 TVs available in this size, and here are our recommendations for the best 32 inch smart TVs you can buy in 2020. See also our recommendations for the best small TVs and the best budget TVs.
The best 32 inch TV we've tested so far is the Samsung QN32Q50R. Unlike almost every other 32" TV on the market, this TV is capable of delivering a 4k resolution image. The overall picture quality is decent and delivers good performance in most uses, though it only gets decently bright, making it more suitable for a darker room. It displays deep blacks in a dark room and has a wide color gamut for vivid HDR colors, but due to the poor HDR brightness, it fails to deliver the creator's intent. It has a very low input lag that'll please gamers, although you won't find any of the advanced gaming features found on higher-end Samsungs.
Just like most VA panel TVs, it can't display an accurate image when viewed from the side, so you have to sit straight in front to enjoy the best picture quality. Also, the TV displays some strange motion artifacts on some content, although the response time is fairly fast.
Overall, if you're limited on space, this TV has good performance for a 32" screen and serves its purpose well. It's worth noting that given its price point, it may be worth it to consider a larger size if space allows, as you can often find the 43" or larger Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED available for the same price.
If you're looking for a secondary 32 inch TV for a spare room and don't want to spend too much, consider the TCL 3 Series/32S325 720p Roku TV. It doesn't have the high 4k resolution or HDR compatibility like the Samsung Q50/Q50R QLED , but is significantly cheaper and has better viewing angles. While its picture quality won't blow you away, it's still quite passable, especially at this price point. It has a 720p resolution (except for the S327 variant, which is 1080p), though in a smaller size like this, the difference likely won't be too noticeable for most people, and its high native contrast ratio ensures nice, deep blacks when used in a dark room.
If you're looking for the best TV available but are limited to a 32" due to space restraints, go for the Samsung, but if you want a smart TV for considerably cheaper and don't mind a lower quality image, get the TCL.
If you only use your TV for Free-To-Air channels and don't need the online-streaming capabilities of a smart TV, get the TCL 1 Series/32D100. It isn't 4k like the Samsung Q50/Q50R QLED, and it doesn't have any smart features, but it's cheaper and can still be connected to a streaming box like an Apple TV or Roku if you change your mind later on. Its picture quality is decent, and it delivers nice deep blacks in a dark room, thanks to its high native contrast ratio. Unfortunately, it seems to be getting more difficult to find available, though that may change.
If you want a more feature-packed 4k TV, the Samsung is a much better option, but if you just need a simple screen to display Free-To-Air channels, go for the TCL.
If you find the Samsung Q50/Q50R QLED expensive and you don't mind a 1080p TV, check out the Samsung UN32N5300, as it's the best 32 inch TV in the budget category we've tested to date. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles and delivers decent picture quality. It can get fairly bright in SDR and you shouldn't have any issues unless you have a very bright room. It has a low input lag for casual gaming, but more serious gamers will need something faster.
Although this TV supports HDR, you won't get much benefit from using it in this mode as it can't get very bright and doesn't have a wide color gamut to deliver a full range of colors. Its native contrast ratio also isn't very high, so blacks tend to appear more grey in a dark room, though this is expected for a TV with an IPS panel.
Overall, if you're looking a small secondary TV that still has good smart features, 1080p resolution, and great reflection handling at a decent price, this TV is a good choice.
The Hisense 32H4F is a basic but cheap TV. It has a sub-par picture quality with a non-standard native resolution of 768p, which is limiting. On the upside, it has good reflection handling, good viewing angles thanks to its IPS panel, a fast response time for crisp motion, and low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. However, this TV has no support for HDR, can't display deep blacks in a dark room, and can't get very bright, so you shouldn't place it in a bright room.
Overall, this TV isn't for anyone looking for picture quality, but it won't break the bank and will serve you well in a garage or a kitchen.
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.
01/02/2020: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
12/10/2019: Replaced the Vizio D Series 1080p 2017 with Hisense 32H4F and changed some text for clarity.
11/10/2019: Updated the models to reflect market fluctuations in prices and availability.