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: Some of these picks are slightly over $300. Since the start of the global pandemic, the price of technology, including TVs, has increased drastically, and even TVs that used to be widely available for under $300 are now selling for significantly more. There are also many cheaper models from budget brands like Insignia and Onn, but we haven't tested many of those models.
We've tested more than 100 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 Hisense 43R6090G is the best TV under $300 that we've tested. It's an okay TV overall, with an amazing contrast ratio, good reflection handling, and excellent low input lag for gamers. Unlike most of Hisense's TVs, it runs the Roku smart interface, which has a huge selection of streaming apps, including many free ones, so you're sure to find your favorite shows and movies to watch. It also supports casting from supported devices, so even if you can't find your favorite streaming service, you can cast it from your phone.
This TV upscales older content well, and it has surprisingly good accuracy out of the box, but this can vary between individual units. Although it lacks a local dimming feature, it looks great in a dark room, thanks to its outstanding black uniformity and deep blacks. It's decent for gaming, with low input lag and a decent overall response time, but it lacks advanced gaming features like variable refresh rate support or HDMI 2.1, so it's best for casual gamers.
Unfortunately, this TV isn't as well-suited for a bright room, as it can't get bright enough to overcome glare, despite its good overall reflection handling. It also has narrow viewing angles, so it's best enjoyed from directly in front. Overall, it's best-suited for a guest room or office, especially in a basement, but it's an okay TV for the price.
If you want something a bit cheaper than the Hisense 43R6090G, check out the Toshiba 43LF621U21 instead. The Hisense is better overall, with better contrast, better color accuracy, and lower input lag; however, the Toshiba is an okay TV, with impressive contrast, decent visibility in a brighter room, and good reflection handling. It has a great response time and fantastic low input lag, making it a decent choice for casual gamers, but it doesn't support any advanced gaming features like HDMI 2.1 or variable refresh rates. It runs the Fire TV smart interface, with a clean, easy-to-use interface and a great selection of streaming apps.
Overall, the Hisense is the best TV for around $300 that we've tested, but if you're looking to save a bit of money and want something that's actually under $300, then the Toshiba is a good 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.
Dec 07, 2021: Replace the Vizio V5 Series with the Hisense R6090G, as the Vizio has drastically increased in price.
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.
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.