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. TVs in this price range are getting better and better each year. While you won't get the best 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 80 TV in the last two years 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 that we've tested so far is the TCL 5 Series/55S525 2019. It's a good overall TV, offering great value for its price thanks to its good picture quality and user-friendly features.
It has great out-of-box color accuracy, so you won't need to get your TV calibrated if you don't want to. It displays a wide color gamut, which is important for HDR content, although it doesn't get very bright in HDR and fails to make highlights pop. As is the case with most VA panel TVs, the contrast ratio is outstanding and the black uniformity is also great, making this TV an excellent choice for dark room viewing. Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of its viewing angles, which are poor, and you'll lose image accuracy when watching from the side. However, gamers will be happy with the extremely low input lag and impressive responsive time, resulting in clear motion.
Like any other TCL TV, this one has built-in Roku as its operating system, which is easy to use and has a huge selection of apps available, so you'll likely be able to find what you need. For its price, it's a great choice, making it the best TV under $300 that we've tested so far.
If you have a large room and you need a TV with better viewing angles, take a look at the LG 43UM7300PUA. It doesn't have the same dark room performance as the TCL 5 Series/S525 2019, but it 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 aren't an issue, the TCL has better overall performance; if you tend to watch from the side, then consider 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.
This TV 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 wide 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 the best budget value for its size under $300.
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 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, this is a great budget TV, and is one of the best 40 inch TVs under $300.
If you prefer a smaller budget TV, the Samsung UN32N5300 is a decent choice. It doesn't have the same color accuracy like the TCL 3 Series 2019, but it's available only in a 32 inch size and since it uses an IPS panel, the viewing angles are great. This is a good choice if you want to place this TV in a kitchen or in a room where you'll be moving around a lot, since you won't lose any image accuracy when viewed from the side. It's a 1080p TV, which is still good for playing content from a cable box, and although it supports HDR, it doesn't get very bright and can't display a wide color gamut. It uses the Tizen smart OS that offers a ton of app selection and it's easy to use.
If you're looking for the best budget TV under $300, the TCL is a decent choice, but if you want something smaller with better viewing angles, look into the Samsung.
04/22/2020: Changed the Samsung N5300 to the 'Smaller Alternative' instead of the 'Better Viewing Angle Alternative.'
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.
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.