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 best TV under $300 we've tested so far is the TCL 5 Series/55S525 2019. At such a low price, this TV gives you bang for your buck. It has a decent picture quality with an outstanding contrast ratio and impressive black uniformity, but the poor peak brightness is a bit disappointing, especially for HDR content. However, it does have wide color gamut support, which delivers vivid, vibrant colors. Where this TV shines, though, is in its ease of use and for gaming. The Roku OS is user-friendly and responsive, albeit with some ads present on the home screen, while the low response time and input lag allow for a great gaming experience. Unfortunately, it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology.
Although the TV's mainly made out of plastic, the build quality is decent. The remote has few buttons, but it has a voice control feature built-in, making it easy to navigate. Lastly, as this TV uses a VA panel, the viewing angles are poor, and the backlight tends to flicker at lower brightness.
All in all, if you're looking for a TV without breaking the bank, this is a good choice.
If you have a wider seating arrangement and need better viewing angles, check out the LG 43UM7300. The IPS panel doesn't quite have the contrast ratio found on the TCL 5 Series/S525 2019, but the image remains decent when viewed from the side. It also has excellent reflection handling, which is great for bright room viewing, and the low response time and input lag should please most gamers. Unfortunately, although this TV supports HDR, the low peak brightness and lack of wide color gamut provide a somewhat lackluster performance in HDR content.
If you mainly sit right in front of the TV, the TCL is a better choice overall, but if having a wide viewing angle is a must, 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. 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" 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 3 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.
01/07/2020: Replaced TCL 49S517 with TCL 55S525, minor text and structure changes.
11/05/2019: Updated picks and changed text for clarity.