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The 6 Best Small TVs - Spring 2019
Reviews

Best Small TVs
218 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Even though 55" and 65" have become the most popular TV sizes, smaller TVs are still very important to a lot of people. These sizes are great for a secondary TV, like in a guest room or kitchen, or even for student dorms. Although you usually won't get the most advanced features or the best picture quality, there are still many decent TVs available in smaller sizes.

We've reviewed 27 TVs, and below you'll find our picks for the best small TVs available for purchase in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best 32 inch TVs.

Note: Since new TVs tend to launch at very high prices, it's unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until the latter half of the year. Because of this, the 2018 models remain as picks in our recommendations.

  1. Best 28 Inch TV: TCL 28S305

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    6.3
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    5.8
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    6.9
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    7.0
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    4.6
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    4.1
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    6.6
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 1080p (except 28", 32")

    The best small TV we've tested that is also available in 28" is the TCL 28S305. Its small size makes it suitable for rooms where space is scarce, like a kitchen or a dorm room. The S305 is a mediocre TV. It can't get very bright, so it's not a good choice if your room is bright. It can display deep blacks thanks to the high native contrast ratio, and this improves dark room performance, but the overall picture quality is just mediocre.

    The TCL 28S305 has a 720p resolution and is powered by the same excellent Roku TV smart platform found on higher-end TCL models. There is an abundance of apps and many streaming channels to choose from. You will most certainly find what you're looking for, and you can also stream files from your mobile device.

    Overall, the TCL28S305 is a mediocre TV, but the best from the ones available in this size.

    See our review

  2. Very Hard To Find Alternative: Samsung UN28M4500A

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 720p

    If you are a fan of motion interpolation and want a 28" TV that supports it, then get the Samsung UN284500A (if you can still find it). It is a budget TV available in 24", 28", and 32". You will not get the smart features found on the TCL S305, but the M4500 can interpolate content up to 60Hz and can get slightly brighter than the S305. Unfortunately, the input lag is higher than average, and the overall picture quality is bad.

    See our review

  3. Best 32 Inch TV: Samsung UN32N5300

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    6.3
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    4.8
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.4
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.6
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    6.4
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    4.4
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    4.5
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    6.9
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 1080p

    If you want a small TV with wide viewing angles, check out the Samsung UN32N5300. The N5300 is a basic 1080p TV with mediocre picture quality. It has decent viewing angles thanks to its IPS panel, but dark room performance is lacking. It has good gray uniformity and almost no dirty screen effect, which makes it a good TV for watching sports. It has a fast response time but no other motion-enhancing features.

    Its input lag is low, but is still one of the highest we've measured so far. This does not make it a good choice for those who seek a responsive TV to use for gaming or as a PC monitor. It supports HDR content but can't deliver a good HDR performance.

    Overall, it is a mediocre 32'' 1080p TV, more suitable for smaller rooms.

    See our review

  4. Best 43 Inch TV: Samsung UN43NU7100

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.5
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    6.8
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.5
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.2
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.3
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    6.9
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.8
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.1
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you're looking for a larger option, the best small TV in the 43 inch size is the Samsung UN43NU7100. It has decent picture quality and an excellent dark room performance, due to the high native contrast ratio and remarkable black uniformity. It is better suited for an average lit room, as it has good reflection handling but cannot fight glare in a very bright room. It supports most common resolutions and has a low input lag, both of which make it a good choice for those who wish to use it for gaming or as a PC monitor.

    The NU7100 supports HDR but there is little benefit in using it in this mode due to its limited brightness and lack of a wide color gamut. The viewing angles are bad and the TV is more suitable for a seating arrangement that favors watching directly in front.

    Overall, most people should be happy with this decent, entry-level 4k TV.

    See our review

  5. Best Small Smart TV: TCL 43S517

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.5
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.5
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.1
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    7.1
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.8
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    7.9
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you want a small TV with great smart features, the best small smart TV is the TCL 43S517. It is a decent LED UHD TV with a wide color gamut, great dark room performance, and low input lag, for gaming or for use as a PC monitor.

    The S517 has great smart features. There are hundreds of streaming channels (apps) available, so you won't need to worry about having an external streaming box like an Apple TV connected to the TV. It can also stream files directly from your mobile device, similar to a Chromecast.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't have a local dimming feature, and the smaller models don't support motion interpolation. Like the Vizio E Series 2018 E43-F1, it isn't very bright and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Overall, it is a decent 4k TV that should please most people.

    See our review

  6. Cheaper Alternative: TCL 43S405

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you are looking for a cheaper alternative that still incorporates the smart features found on the TCL S517, then get the TCL 43S405. This TV is gradually being replaced by the S425. Even though it is a simpler version of the S517, it has all the same great smart features. It cannot get as bright, but on the upside, it has great dark room performance, a low input lag that makes the TV very responsive, and a low motion blur that keeps fast content clear. The S405 is a decent, cheap 4k TV that works well as a secondary TV or as a PC monitor.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Vizio D Series 4k 2018: Decent 4k TV, but the Samsung NU7100 is a bit better overall. See our review
  • Samsung NU6900: Decent 4k LED LCD TV, but the Samsung NU7100 has better motion handling. See our review
  • Toshiba Amazon Fire TV 2018: Decent 4k TV, but the TCL 43S517 and 43S405 are better choices. See our review
  • Samsung The Frame 2018: Good 4k TV, but extremely expensive. See our review
  • TCL 4 Series/S425 2019: This is the replacement of the S405. It is very similar but still more expensive. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best small TVs to buy for most people in each price range. 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 small 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.

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