Best budget 4K TV Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?’s round-up of the best cheap 4K TVs you can buy in 2019.
Good news: you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great TV. The best cheap TVs combine impressive pictures, good sound and the necessary features for enjoying the wide world of home entertainment in 2019, and that includes the latest 4K and HDR picture processing.
The TV industry moves faster than most, with big brands such as LG, Samsung and Sony eager to sell new TVs every year, and the TV technology behind those new sets making genuine advances every year. And it’s not just the screen manufacturers. Broadcasters and streaming services have pushed HD, 4K and now HDR (high dynamic range) video, in an effort to lure new viewers and improve the quality of their content.
The good news is this technology does trickle down, meaning the best budget TVs can still deliver great picture quality and have the latest specs and features. Take a look below for our picks of the best bargain 4K TVs. And with Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, it’s a great time to be keeping an eye out for 4K TV deals.
For a size of TV that is all too often overlooked, we’re delighted to see that Samsung has served up a stunner for the average household with the modestly priced and brilliantly performing UE43RU7470 range. This Samsung seems like impossibly good value. It ticks all the right tech boxes – HDR, 4K, an excellent smart platform and arguably the best TV user interface around – and delivers a detailed, colourful picture. Bargain.
Read the full Samsung UE43RU7470 review
This Philips 50-inch 4K HDR TV has the company’s eye-catching Ambilight picture technology, all that screen, and all the smart TV apps you need. What’s more, it delivers a picture performance that’s genuinely brilliant for the price. It can be a little bit fussy to use but there’s no arguing with the deal on offer here.
Read the full Philips 50PUS6703 review
Looking for a 4K TV in a sensible size and at an extremely reasonable price? You’ve found it. This Samsung MU range TV may not have all the bells and whistles of Samsung’s top-of-the-range sets but it does come with an impressively good picture performance for the money, as well as just enough apps and features. Amazon Video and Netflix are here, as is HDR support and a smattering of HDMI inputs. Deep black levels, natural colours and decent performance regardless of the resolution, make for a great value 40-inch TV.
Read the full Samsung UE40MU6400U review
Panasonic collaborated with Hollywood colourist Stefan Sonnefeld in the creation of the HCX processor for its top-of-the-line 2018 OLED TVs. One year later, that same bundle of silicon is now the beating heart of the GX800 range. But the Panasonic TX-40GX800 is no OLED; it’s just a plain old LED – and an edge-lit LED at that. That makes for nice, slim design.
For a 40-inch TV at this price point, we would expect a good-looking 4K set with as much HDR codec support as possible and we might also hope that Dolby Atmos featured. Thankfully, the Panasonic TX-40GX800 does all of this – it’s perhaps just a little bit more expensive than we might like given the size and overall performance. But still a fine 40-inch TV.
Read the full Panasonic TX-40GX800 review
This is a big, cheap OLED TV. And with this Hisense O8B using an LG panel, it’s tempting to assume that you’ll get a similar performance for significantly less money. And that’s almost true. It’s well connected, has all the inputs, outputs and features you would expect, including support for the latest HDR video formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG.
You have to do some tweaking but once set up, you’re treated to an image that’s rich without being noticeably unnatural, sharp without obvious over-processing, and bright without looking blown out. It can’t quite match the performance of the LG C9, which is now not a lot more money, but it remains a fine TV in its own right.
Read the full review: Hisense H55O8BUK
Expectations may have been low, but the degree to which this 49-inch Polaroid 4K TV exceeds them is still impressive. Comprehensively specified, easy to use and surprisingly capable of getting to the heart of what you’re watching, this is a much better TV than its name, availability and price tag might suggest. Ultimately, you can get a more dynamic and sophisticated performance by going smaller or spending more, but if you absolutely must have a 49-50in TV and are on a limited budget, the Polaroid P49UPA2029A is well worth the low price tag.
Read the full Polaroid P49UPA2029A review
It’s strange how a 43in screen TV is now considered on the small side. These days, as TV manufacturers are more concerned with pushing next-gen flagship tellies, we rarely receive anything smaller than 49in for review. The few models we have seen were rather disappointing affairs too – so much so, that we couldn’t find one worthy of a 2018 Award. This Philips 43PUS6703 is also short of Award-worthy, but it’s still one of the best ‘small’ TVs of the last few years, with a punchy, detailed and natural picture by prevailing standards. Just don’t buy it for its HDR performance.
Read the full Philips 43PUS6703 review
Despite its affordable price tag, this Panasonic majors on supporting just about every HDR format going – crucial if you want to see 4K video looking its best. In fact, Panasonic thinks HDR is more important on budget sets than premium sets, and certainly the evidence here is pretty compelling.
The picture produced is natural, clean and crisp, and delivers smooth motion. Black levels are pretty good, too. It can’t match flagship TV performance, and off-axis performance struggles the same way most cheaper LCD TVs do, but otherwise we can’t complain about this Panasonic.
Amazon and Netflix are here in all their 4K HDR glory, there are enough HDMI and USB connections, plus optical and headphone outputs. Despite typically lightweight sound from a flatscreen TV, we still think the performance here is good enough to make this a great budget 50 inch 4K TV.
Read the full review Panasonic TX-50GX800B
An LG OLED panel with Philips’ Ambilight TV technology sounded good to us and luckily this TV turned out to be as good as it sounds. In fact, even without Ambilight it would be one of our favourite televisions of the last couple of years. The Android OS interface ensures most of the apps you’d expect to be here are present, though Amazon Video was missing when we tested it. In short, this is a superb TV, and yet another enhancement of LG’s OLED tech. If HDR is your prime concern (and it should be) this should be right at the top of your new telly shortlist.
Read the full Philips 55POS9002 review
For a bargain price, Hisense will sell you a 43in 4K HDR screen with an edge LED backlight. The HDR is actually something of a busted flush, but the H43AE6100UK is in many ways quite the bargain. Hisense takes the liberty of pre-installing most apps so that they’re more or less ready to go when you are, and that includes Netflix and Amazon, both in 4K and HDR. Colours are decent – vibrant within the set’s brightness limits but also natural and relatively nuanced. There’s reasonable detail and sharpness, too. Unfortunately the HDR performance proves poor but for this money, in every other aspect, it’s cheap and cheerful.
Read the full Hisense H43AE6100UK review