TVs under $300 cover a wide range of needs. From basic 720p and 1080p TVs to more advanced 4k TVs, there's something for almost any use. Over time, the options available to you at this price point have gotten better and better. While you won't get the best TVs with perfect picture quality, budget options are an affordable solution for a secondary viewing location or if you have limited space and resources. Note that some of these picks are slightly over $300, but that's because not many 4k TVs that we've tested are available for under $300.
We've tested more than 70 TVs on the latest test bench, and below you'll find our picks for the best TVs under $300 that are available for purchase. If your budget is a bit more flexible, see our recommendations for the best TVs, the best cheap TVs, and the best TVs under $500.
The best TV under $300 is the Vizio V405-H19. It's a basic entry-level 4k TV that offers okay value for a low cost and performs best in dark rooms. Although we tested the 65 inch version, we expect the 40 inch to perform the same. It's fairly well-built for a budget model, and even though it's made with basic metal and plastic, there aren't any issues with construction.
It has a VA panel with an excellent native contrast ratio that makes blacks look deep and inky; black uniformity on our unit is great, but this can vary between units. Even though it doesn't get very bright and it's not enough to fight a ton of glare, it has good reflection handling if you want to use it in a well-lit room. If you're a casual gamer, it has very low input lag, but motion looks a bit blurry due to its slow response time. The built-in SmartCast OS is easy-to-use, and you can cast anything you want from your phone, but there's no app store to download extra apps.
Unfortunately, it doesn't deliver a good HDR experience because it lacks a local dimming feature, can't display a wide color gamut, and doesn't get bright enough to make highlights stand out. This means that HDR content doesn't look all that different from SDR content. Also, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out from the sides. Besides these issues, this is one of the best TVs under $300.
If you're looking for something wide viewing angles, then check out the LG 43UN7000PUB. With an IPS panel, it has much lower contrast than the Vizio V Series 2020, but the image remains accurate when viewing at wide angles. There are also fewer bugs on the LG webOS than Vizio's SmartCast, and you can download extra apps on it. The UN7000 gets a bit brighter and has better reflection handling as well, so it shouldn't be an issue if you want to use it in a room with a few lights. It doesn't have issues upscaling lower-resolution content, which is great for watching cable TV. However, if you want to watch HDR content, it also doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights, and the low contrast makes blacks look gray.
If you want the best TV under $300, you should be happy with the Vizio, but if you have a wide seating arrangement, the LG is a decent alternative. Keep in mind that we tested the 55 inch of the LG, but the 43 inch model should perform the same.
The best 4k TV under $300 for gaming is the Samsung UN43TU7000FXZA. It's an entry-level TV that performs reasonably well for most content. Like most Samsung TVs, it has a VA panel with a high contrast ratio, allowing it to produce deep blacks. It has okay reflection handling, but it doesn't get very bright, so it's better suited for a dark to moderately-lit room. We tested the 55 inch model, but the 43 inch should perform the same.
It upscales lower-resolution content well without causing any artifacts. If you get your content mostly from streaming services, Samsung's Tizen OS is a good platform with plenty of available apps. The interface is user-friendly, and it runs smoothly for the most part. You have to put up with some ads and suggested content on the home screen, though, and there's no mic built into the remote for voice control. The response time is okay, but it has a 120Hz backlight flicker that causes image duplication. On the upside, its somewhat slower response time results in fewer stutters in low frame rate content like movies.
Sadly, it has sub-par viewing angles that cause the image to look washed out from the sides, which isn't ideal for large rooms with wide seating areas. It has an exceptionally low input lag to provide a responsive gaming experience; however, the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. Overall, while it lacks advanced gaming features, it should satisfy most casual gamers on a tight budget.
The Hisense 50R6090G is the best smart TV under $300 that provides a good value for the size. The 50 inch can frequently be found for under $300, giving you solid performance for a decent-sized TV. We tested the 55 inch and expect the 50 inch to perform the same. It comes with Roku TV, which is very smooth and user-friendly with a ton of apps to choose from. While it doesn't have as many features as higher-end TVs, it's a decent overall TV that's hard to beat for value at this price and size.
Its VA panel has an amazing contrast ratio, producing deep blacks that look great in the dark, which is ideal for watching movies. Its peak brightness isn't bad, and it has good reflection handling, so it's best suited to dark to moderately-lit rooms. Our unit also has good out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you don't necessarily need to get it calibrated. It has a decent response time resulting in fairly smooth motion, and its input lag is low. It doesn't have any extra gaming features, but most people should be satisfied with it.
Unfortunately, it has poor viewing angles, making the image look washed out from the side, but that's to be expected from a VA panel. Also, while it supports HDR, it doesn't get nearly bright enough to make HDR content pop, and it doesn't have a wide color gamut. That said, it upscales lower-resolution content without issue. All in all, most people should be pleased with it, especially if you need a slightly larger TV for under $300.
If you want to save a bit of extra money, check out the TCL 50S435, which you can regularly find under $300. Its response time and input lag are lower than the Hisense R6090G, and it doesn't get as bright, but it's not a bad TV overall, and it's slightly cheaper. On top of that, it has an outstanding contrast ratio, producing inky blacks that look great in the dark, although there's some noticeable backlight bleed that may be distracting to some. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very bright, so it can struggle to overcome glare in well-lit rooms. It also has narrow viewing angles, so it's not ideal for wide seating arrangements. Like the Hisense, it can upscale lower-resolution content well, and our unit has great out-of-the-box color accuracy.
If you want a great TV that offers the best value for size in under $300, with better brightness and a faster response time, go with the Hisense, but if you want to save even more money, consider the TCL. Note that while we tested the 55 inch variant, the 50 inch model should perform the same.
Jun 15, 2021: Replaced the TCL 5 Series 2019 with the Vizio V Series 2020 because the latter is newer; replaced the LG UN7300 with the cheaper LG UN7000; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
Apr 16, 2021: Checked picks for accuracy and availability; no changes to recommendations.
Feb 16, 2021: Replaced the Toshiba Fire TV 2020 with the Hisense R6090G, because it offers better value for roughly the same price.
Oct 19, 2020: Replaced the TCL 4 Series 2019 with the Toshiba Fire TV 2020 and added the Hisense H6570G as an alternative; added the Samsung TU7000 as best gaming; removed the TCL 3 Series 2019 and Hisense H4F.
Aug 20, 2020: Replaced LG UM7300 with LG UN7300.
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 available under $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.