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 2019. 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 49S517. It delivers decent picture quality and deep blacks in a dark room thanks to its excellent contrast ratio. Although it can't get very bright, especially in HDR, it has a wide color gamut and can deliver HDR content with rich, vivid colors, and supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats. This TV has decent overall motion handling, with a fast response time that delivers crisp motion with little motion blur that's great for sports. It can remove judder from any source, which is great for watching movies. It has a remarkably low input lag, which is an attraction to gamers and gives the TV a very responsive feel while you use it as a PC monitor.
It runs the very easy to use Roku TV smart interface that has an abundance of streaming channels to cover any need. On the downside, this TV can't maintain an accurate image when viewed from the side and can't produce bright HDR highlights.
Overall, this is a TV with decent performance in most uses, and it won't break the bank.
If you aren't impressed with the viewing angles on the TCL 5 Series 2018, then check out the LG 43UM7300, one of the best smart TVs under $300. It isn't as big as the 49" TCL, but this is a good TV with decent picture quality. It has an outstanding low input lag, which is great news for gamers, and the image remains accurate when viewed from the side. Unfortunately, dark room performance is hurt by the low contrast ratio and bad black uniformity.
If you sit straight in front of your TV, the TCL is the better choice; otherwise, if you often watch TV from the side and don't need good black uniformity, then the LG is the way to go.
For the best value for the size, the TCL 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 2018, 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 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.
11/05/2019: Updated picks and changed text for clarity.