TVs under $300 cover a wide range of needs. From basic 720p and 1080p TVs to more advanced 4k TVs, there is something for almost any use. TVs in this price range are getting better and better each year. While you won't get the brightest TVs with perfect picture quality, budget TVs are an affordable solution for a secondary viewing location, or if you have limited space and budget.
We've reviewed more than 70 TV in the last two years and below you'll find our picks for the best TVs under $300 that are available for purchase in 2020. If your budget is a bit more flexible, see our recommendations for the best cheap TVs and the best TVs under $500.
The TCL 5 Series/55S525 2019 is the best TV under $300 we've tested so far. Despite its budget price, this TV can deliver a good picture quality that's suitable for most content. It has a minimalist design with thin bezels that aren't distracting, and it has a decent build quality as well. Its VA panel has an outstanding contrast ratio and impressive black uniformity, making this TV a great choice for dark rooms; however, viewing angles may be an issue if you have a wide seating arrangement.
The most surprising thing about this TV is its out-of-the-box color accuracy. Aside from its gamma being too low, which causes scenes to appear brighter than intended, most colors are reproduced accurately. Although it has a great wide color gamut to produce rich, vibrant colors in HDR content, its peak brightness is rather limiting, as it's unable to bring out specular highlights. Response time and input lag are both low, though gamers may be disappointed by the 60Hz panel and the lack of variable refresh rate. On the bright side, if you get most of your content through streaming services, Roku's interface is easy to navigate and you have access to all of the most popular streaming apps through its app store.
For under $300, this TV is worth a try.
If you have a large room and you need a TV with better viewing angles than the TCL 5 Series/S525 2019, take a look at the LG 43UM7300. This TV has decent viewing angles thanks to its IPS panel, and it's suitable for use in bright rooms, as it has great reflection handling and decent peak brightness to overcome glare. Its color accuracy is acceptable, and it has an exceptionally low response time to keep motion blur to a minimum. Unfortunately, its contrast ratio is mediocre, so blacks tend to look more like gray when viewed in the dark, but that's expected of most IPS TVs. And while input lag is low enough for a responsive gaming experience, it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology.
If viewing angles are not an issue, the TCL has better overall performance, but if you tend to watch from the side, then go with the LG.
For the best value for the size, the TCL 4 Series 2019/55S425 is the best 4k TV under $300. This 55 inch 4k TV has decent picture quality and is currently just below $300. It delivers deep blacks in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio, but can't get very bright and doesn't have a wide color gamut to deliver a good HDR performance. The response time is fast and motion looks crisp. This is a great TV for gaming or use as a PC monitor, mainly thanks to the very low input lag that makes it feel very responsive. Just like the TCL 5 Series/S525 2019, this TV runs the Roku smart TV interface that's easy to use and has a large number of streaming channels.
Unfortunately, it isn't a good choice for a room with side seating arrangements, as the image degrades quickly at an angle. It's more suitable for a dim room due to the poor brightness levels.
Overall, this 55 inch TV is a great value for the money.
The TCL 3 Series 2019/40S325 is the best budget TV under $300 that we've tested so far. It's a passable entry-level TV with a great contrast ratio, decent response time, and excellent low input lag, all of which make it great for gaming. The 32 inch model is limited to a 720p resolution (except for the 32S327 variant), but the larger models have a 1080p native resolution.
This TV has a good selection of inputs, with three HDMI ports and a dedicated composite input (with the use of the included adapter). It has great smart features with hundreds of available streaming channels. This makes it an excellent choice for a secondary viewing location since you don't have to worry about having a separate streaming box.
Unfortunately, this TV can't get very bright, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle, which limits its versatility a bit. Overall, though, it's a great budget TV, and one of the best 40 inch TVs under $300.
If you don't sit straight in front of your TV, then check out the Samsung UN32N5300. This 32 inch 1080p IPS TV maintains an accurate image when viewed from the side, which is great if you often watch TV while walking around the room or doing chores. It also has a much brighter display than the TCL 3 Series 2019 and supports HDR, although there isn't much benefit from using it in this mode as it lacks a wide color gamut. On the downside, this TV can't deliver a good dark room performance, as blacks tend to look more like gray.
If wide viewing angles are the most important thing, get the Samsung; however, if you sit straight in front and often watch TV in a dark room, the TCL is a better choice.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs under $300 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), 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 TVs that are less than $300. 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.
03/03/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
01/07/2020: Replaced TCL 49S517 with TCL 55S525, minor text and structure changes.
11/05/2019: Updated picks and changed text for clarity.