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 more than 70 TVs in the last 2 years; some are available in smaller sizes, and below you'll find our picks for the best small TVs available for purchase. See also our recommendations for the best 32 inch TVs.
Note: Since many new TVs aren't available in smaller sizes, you'll notice that some older models remain as picks in our recommendations.
The best small TV we've tested that's available in a 28 inch size is the TCL S Series/28S305 2018. Its small size makes it suitable for rooms where space is scarce, like a kitchen or a dorm room. This mediocre TV can't get very bright, so it may not be the best choice in a very bright room as you'll likely notice a lot of glare and reflections. It can display deep blacks thanks to the high native contrast ratio, which improves dark room performance, but the overall picture quality is just mediocre.
This TV has a 720p resolution and is powered by the same excellent Roku TV smart platform found on higher-end TCL models. There are many apps and streaming channels to choose from. You'll most certainly find what you're looking for, and you can also stream files from your mobile device.
Unfortunately, this TV doesn't have a very wide color gamut and it doesn't support HDR, though this is to be expected for a TV at this price point. It also may not be the best choice for watching sports or playing games, as its motion handling is only decent and it doesn't have any motion interpolation features. Overall, this is a mediocre TV, but one of the best TVs available in this size.
If you only have space for a 32 inch TV but still want something comparable to most 55" or 65" options, the Samsung Q50/Q50R QLED QN32Q50RAFXZA is the best 32 inch TV that we've tested so far. This is one of the first 4k 32" TVs available, and it even supports HDR10 and HDR10+. It's a great choice for video games thanks to its outstanding low input lag and great response time, though unfortunately, it doesn't sport any advanced gaming features like FreeSync.
The picture quality is quite good overall thanks to its excellent contrast ratio and good, deep blacks, despite not having a local dimming feature. While its HDR peak brightness is disappointing, resulting in HDR content not popping quite as it should, its SDR peak brightness is decent, and it should be able to combat glare and reflections in moderately bright rooms. Thanks to its size and ability to properly display chroma 4:4:4, it's even a great choice to double as a computer monitor, great for tight spaces like a dorm room.
Unfortunately, like most TVs with a VA panel, the image degrades quite a bit when viewed at an angle, so it's best for setups where you'll be sitting directly in front of the TV. There are also some noticeable motion artifacts, which may bother fans of sports or action movies. Overall, however, this is a good all-around TV that finally brings higher-end features to a smaller size TV.
The Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2019 M437-G0 is the best 43 inch TV we've tested. This versatile TV performs well regardless of the content that you're watching. It has a decent build quality, and it has thin bezels that aren't distracting. Its VA panel has a superb contrast ratio and impressive black uniformity, making it a great choice for dark rooms. There's also a full-array local dimming feature that further improves its contrast; however, it does cause some visible blooming around bright objects in dark scenes, especially around subtitles. Sadly, like most VA panels, its viewing angles are sub-par, which is less ideal for large rooms with wide seating arrangements.
Out-of-the-box, this TV has an impressive color accuracy. It has an excellent wide color gamut, which is great for HDR content, but the TV's peak brightness is mediocre and isn't able to really make highlights pop. Response time is great and there's an optional black frame insertion feature that can help reduce the appearance of motion blur. For gaming, the input lag is exceptionally low, but there's no support for any variable refresh rate technology and the panel is limited to 60Hz.
When it comes to smart features, Vizio's SmartCast platform is easy to use but it doesn't run very smoothly. There's a good selection of apps and they come pre-installed; however, there's no way to add more. Overall, though, it's still a great TV and most people should be satisfied with it.
If you need a TV with better viewing angles, then check out the LG 43UM7300PUA. You won't get the outstanding contrast ratio and black uniformity of the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2019, but this TV's IPS panel has wide viewing angles, so the image looks good even if you're not seated directly in front. Unfortunately, it doesn't support a wide color gamut and it doesn't have a local dimming feature. On the bright side, LG's WebOS is a significantly better platform that's user-friendly and runs well, with tons of streaming services available through its app store. It comes with a unique remote that you can use like a pointer and there's a built-in microphone if you want to use voice control.
For most people, the Vizio is the better choice, but if you tend to watch TV at an angle, then the LG is the one to get.
If you want a small TV with great smart features, the best small smart TV is the TCL 5 Series/43S525 2019. It's a decent LED UHD TV with a wide color gamut, great dark room performance, and outstanding low input lag for gaming or use as a PC monitor.
This TV has great smart features thanks to its Roku smart interface. 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 Chromecast.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have a local dimming feature and doesn't support motion interpolation. It can't get very bright and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Overall, however, it's a decent 4k TV that utilizes one of the easiest-to-use and smoothest smart systems available.
If you're looking for a TV in the same price range as the TCL 5 Series/S525 2019 with better gaming performance, get the TCL 4 Series/43S425 2019. It's not as bright as the other TCL, but it has good dark room performance and the same great smart features. Gamers will appreciate the very low input lag that offers a responsive gaming experience and the fast response time that delivers very crisp motion with just minimal blur trail behind fast-moving content. Overall, this decent TV isn't expensive and will serve you well as a secondary gaming TV or a PC monitor.
If you're looking for the best small smart TV, go with the 5 Series, but if you're looking for something specifically for gaming, consider the 4 Series.
04/14/2020: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
12/18/2019: Replaced the Samsung Q60R with the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2019 and made small changes to text for clarity.
10/21/2019: Selected the Samsung QN32Q50R as the best 32 inch TV, and adjusted text for clarity in other recommendations.
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.