While the most popular TV companies focus their efforts on making the best top-of-the-line TVs, they're starting to stray away from making cheap entry-level TVs. Some companies still do, and you can find an okay 4k TV for under $300, but it won't have many features, the picture quality won't be anything special, and they'll usually be available in smaller sizes. These are good to have as secondary TVs in bedrooms or kitchens but may not be ideal as a main TV for watching 4k movies or playing games.
Note: Most of these picks below are slightly over $300 because we haven't tested many TVs under $300. Also, prices of TVs are slightly increasing for a few different reasons, which is why some models that were under $300 now cost more. There are still many options available at retailers for under $300, but we haven't tested those, so we can't recommend them.
We've tested more than 90 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 4k TV under $300 that we've tested is the Vizio V435-J01. It's an okay entry-level 4k TV with a VA panel. The 43 inch model is a bit over $300, but you might be able to find it on sale for less than that. We tested the 65 inch model, but we expect the smaller 43 inch model to perform about the same. It has a VA-type panel with exceptional contrast and fantastic black uniformity, so even though it doesn't have a local dimming feature, it's a great choice for a dark room.
The V5 Series TVs run the Vizio SmartCast smart interface, which isn't the most powerful. It has an okay selection of built-in apps, but there's no way to add additional ones; instead, you have to cast any other content you want to watch from your mobile device. Despite the low cost, it has eARC support, allowing you to pass high-quality audio to a compatible receiver through a single HDMI connection, which is great if you have a dedicated sound setup.
Unfortunately, although it has good reflection handling, it can't get very bright, meaning glare might be an issue in a bright room. It supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision but can't get bright enough to deliver an impactful HDR experience, and it can't display a wide color gamut, so HDR doesn't add very much. If those issues don't bother you, it's one of the best TVs under $300 that we've tested.
If the lack of a proper smart interface bothers you, then check out the Toshiba 43LF621U21 instead. Like the Vizio, it's a bit over $300, but you might be able to find it on sale. It has worse contrast and black uniformity than the Vizio V5 Series 2021 but still looks great in a dark room. It has the Fire TV smart platform built-in, which is easy to use and gives you access to a great selection of apps, so you can easily find your favorite streaming platforms. It upscales lower-resolution content better, which is great if you want to watch cable TV or DVDs, and it gets a bit brighter and also has good reflection handling. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, and our unit has terrible accuracy before any calibration, but this can vary.
If you want the best TV in this price range, the Vizio is a good choice. If you prefer the best smart TV under $300, the Toshiba is a decent alternative.
The best small TV under $300 is the TCL 32S335. It's a very basic TV, and unlike the other TVs on this list, it's limited to a 720p resolution. This is fine for watching cable TV or DVDs, but it's a bit limited for watching movies. It's still an okay choice for an office or guest bedroom, and the built-in Roku TV interface is great for streaming content.
Roku is easy-to-use, and the app store has a ton of apps you can download. It has a Composite input if you want to connect older devices like DVD players, but you need an adapter, and it doesn't come with one. Its VA panel has a high native contrast to display deep blacks but surprisingly poor black uniformity, and overall, it's not as good as most VA panel TVs for dark room viewing.
Sadly, it doesn't support HDR, which is expected for a 720p TV, and it doesn't get bright, so it's best to avoid placing it opposite a bright window. Our unit has inaccurate colors out-of-the-box, and there's no way to calibrate it, but this can vary between units. Motion also looks blurry because there's black smearing with fast-moving dark objects. Besides these issues, it's a reliable small TV under $300.
The best TV under $300 for wide seating arrangements is the Hisense 43A6G. It's an okay all-around model whose 43 inch model has the same panel type as the 65 inch model we tested, so our results should be valid for the smaller size. As with the other picks in this recommendations, it's slightly over $300, but it's worth the price increase.
It uses an IPS-like panel with wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate when viewing from the sides, which is great if you have a wide seating arrangement. It's decent for watching TV shows because it upscales 720p content well, and while its peak brightness is disappointing, it still has decent reflection handling. It comes with Android TV, which like many of the other smart platforms, has an excellent selection of apps through the Google Play Store, and the built-in mic in the remote gives you access to Alexa and Google Assistant.
The main downside to a TV with an IPS-like panel is the low contrast ratio. This means that blacks look gray when viewed in a dark room, and it has disappointing black uniformity, and there's no local dimming feature to improve it. If you don't mind spending a bit more on something bigger, the 50 inch model should have a VA panel with higher contrast, but that means it has worse viewing angles. Overall, this is one of the best TVs under $300.
Oct 08, 2021: Verified our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text.
Aug 11, 2021: Complete overhaul of recommendation. Removed the Vizio V Series 2020, LG UN7000, Samsung TU7000, Hisense R6090G, and TCL 4 Series 2020; added the Vizio V5 Series as 'Best TV Under $300', Toshiba Fire TV 2020 as 'Smart Features Alternative', TCL 3 Series 2020 as 'Best Small', and Hisense A6G as 'Best With Wide Viewing Angles'.
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.
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.