Best affordable LED TVs UK 2022: cheap TVs with great resolution, from Samsung, Sony and LG
You don’t have to bankrupt yourself to get a decent LED TV. Here are the best cheap options on the market
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Expensive TVs get all the attention. You hear about “OLED this” and “QLED that”, look at their sky-high prices and feel like giving up. Thankfully, there are plenty of good options if you want to spend a few hundred pounds rather than a grand or more.
All the big names are the largely same. We’d recommend looking at TVs from companies like Samsung, Sony and LG rather than a name no-one has ever heard before that you encounter in a supermarket aisle.
That said, TCL and Hisense should not be ignored. You may not have owned one before, but these are major TV manufacturers out to court new fans with relatively low prices and lots of features.
Best affordable TVs at a glance
- Best for no-nonsense image quality for less money: Samsung UE50TU7020, £339
- Best for the next step-up Samsung: SAMSUNG UE50AU9007KXXU 50” , £429
- Best for techy bargain hunters: HISENSE 50A6GTUK 50” Smart 4K Ultra HD, £298
- Best bang for your buck: TCL QLED 55C715K, £399
- Best for wider viewing angles: LG 50NANO756PA 50 inch 4K UHD HDR Smart NanoCell £ 749
- Best for built-in Chromecasting: Sony KD-43X80J, £599
- Best for small, but stylish: SAMSUNG The Frame QE32LS03TCUXXU 32, £369
Things to consider when buying a TV
We have good news and bad news for those with a relatively tight budget. Let’s start with the good stuff.
4K resolution or less?
4K resolution is a given unless you’re looking to spend less than £300. And the savings are so slight we recommend 4K models unless you are after a tiny TV for the spare bedroom. The TV market is no longer all that friendly to those who think a 43-inch set is “massive”.
Smart services come as standard in all the best budget TVs too. They have baked-in Wi-Fi and support for essentials like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
You might miss out on one or two services here and there but we don’t think this should sway too many of you. Smart sticks like the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite and Google Chromecast cost just £30.
What are the downsides of a cheaper TV?
Ready for the bad stuff? TV manufacturers may tell you their sets support HDR but will you not get a killer HDR experience from a cheap TV.
Good HDR demands high contrast, high brightness and local dimming. No cheap TV has ultra-high brightness or good local dimming, which is where parts of the backlight can be made brighter than others. All LED/LCD TVs use a backlight, rather than having light-up pixels like an OLED TV.
What is the difference between an IPS and a VA TV?
One of the most important picture quality decisions you need to make here is whether to buy a “VA” or “IPS" TV. Don’t worry, this is less techy and imposing than it sounds.
These are two types of screen panel. VA offers good contrast but usually so-so viewing angles. It’s great for movie nights in dimmed rooms, and means the blacks in the picture will really look black.
IPS TVs are much more forgiving if there will be a whole family’s worth of people splayed around the TV on several chairs or sofas.
They have wider viewing angles, but lower contrast. This will make blacks appear slightly grey or blue-grey when you turn the lights out.
Pick IPS for convenience, VA for a more cinematic picture.
All of the picks below are available in multiple sizes, but the features and performance are similar, if not 100% identical, across those sizes. For the best value per inch, go for a 50in or 55in model.
If you find, after purchasing your TV, the sound a little lacking, consider a sound bar for a more cinematic experience.