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The 5 Best TVs Under $300 - Spring 2019
Reviews

Best TVs Under $300
211 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

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 usage. 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 a limited space and budget.

We've reviewed 210 TVs 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.

Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the beginning of the year as last year's models are gradually replaced by newer ones.

  1. Best TV Under $300: Samsung UN43NU6900

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.4
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    6.7
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.5
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.3
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.2
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    6.8
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.7
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.0
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    The Samsung UN43NU6900 is the best TV under $300 that we've tested so far. The NU6900 delivers decent overall picture quality, with excellent darkroom performance thanks to outstanding black uniformity and excellent contrast.

    It has a very good response time, but there is some noticeable motion blur behind fast moving objects, and there can be duplications in motion due to the backlight flicker. It has a standard 60 Hz refresh rate, and does not support the variable refresh rate feature found on higher-end Samsung TVs, but it does have an optional motion interpolation feature.

    As a budget model, the NU6900 lacks some of the more advanced features found on more expensive models, like local dimming, and it can't display a wide color gamut. It also only has 2 HDMI inputs, so you might not be able to connect all of your devices. Overall, though, it is a decent 4k TV and is a great choice for a guest room or kitchen TV.

    See our review

  2. Best Value for Size Under $300: Toshiba 50LF621U19

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.1
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    6.5
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.4
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.2
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    7.6
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    6.6
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.2
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    7.6
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    The Toshiba Fire TV 2018 50LF621U19 offers the best value for size under $300. It is a decent, but basic, 4k TV. It delivers decent overall picture quality, with deep and uniform dark scenes, and it has the powerful Alexa voice assistant, which is great.

    The Fire TV delivers decent overall picture quality. It has a great native contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity, excellent for dark scenes in a dark room. It also has very good peak brightness with SDR content, and decent reflection handling, which is great if you have a bright room. It has a great response time, and it has a decent motion interpolation feature.

    Overall, although the Toshiba Fire TV doesn't offer the best HDR experience, it does offer excellent value for size, as it is one of the cheapest 50" TVs on the market.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget TV Under $300: TCL 32S325

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    6.3
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    5.8
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    6.9
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    7.0
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    4.6
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    4.1
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    6.6
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 1080p (except 28", 32")

    The TCL S305/S325 is the best budget TV under $300 that we've tested so far. It is a passable entry-level TV with a great contrast ratio, decent response time, and excellent low input lag, great for gaming. The 28" and 32" models are limited to a 720p resolution, but the larger models have a 1080p native resolution.

    The TCL S305 has a good selection of inputs, with 3 HDMI ports and a dedicated composite input, and it has great smart features, with hundreds of available streaming channels. This makes the S305 an excellent choice for a secondary viewing location, as you don't have to worry about having a separate streaming box.

    Unfortunately, the TCL S305/S325 can't get very bright, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle, which limits its versatility a bit. Overall, though, it is a great budget TV.

    See our review

  4. Better Sports Alternative: Samsung UN32N5300

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 1080p

    If you want something better for watching sports, check out the Samsung N5300. The UN32N5300 is a 32" 1080p IPS TV, with wider viewing angles than the TCL S305 and a much brighter display. Unlike the S305, the N5300 also supports HDR, although it can't get bright enough to take full advantage of HDR content, and it lacks a wide color gamut. The wide viewing angles make it a better choice for sharing the game with a small group of friends, or if you have a lot of side seating. Unfortunately, those wide viewing angles come at a cost: the N5300 doesn't perform as well with dark scenes, as blacks tend to appear gray.

    See our review

  5. 1080p Alternative: Vizio D32f-E1

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS (except 50")
    Resolution : 1080p

    If you like the TCL S305, but would prefer a true 1080p 32" TV, check out the Vizio D Series 2017. It is a mediocre 32", 1080p TV with wide viewing angles. Unfortunately, it can't get very bright, and it has mediocre motion handling. It has an IPS panel, which is great if you have a wide seating area. The D Series 2017 has been replaced by the D Series 2018, and now the D Series 2019 as well. Unfortunately, we haven't tested them, so we don't know how they perform.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Insignia Fire TV Edition 4k: Decent 4k TV, but slightly worse overall than the Toshiba Fire TV, and more expensive. See our review
  • Samsung M5300:  Slightly better than the N5300, but difficult to find. See our review
  • TCL 1 Series/D100: Mediocre TV, and the 32" model is only 720p. Cheap, but not very good. See our review
  • Samsung M4500: Very basic 720p TV with poor picture quality. See our review

All Reviews

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. 

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