The 12 Best Flat-Screen TVs That Don’t Cost a Small Fortune

android tv
Courtesy of TCL

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Investing in a new TV doesn’t have to require loans, credit card debt, or a second mortgage. There are plenty of $1,000+ flagship models on the market with premium picture features, optimized web performance and jaw-dropping designs, but you can still get your hands on a cutting-edge set for a much more affordable cost.

TCL and Hisense are great brands if you’re willing to forego brand loyalty for a good deal on a new TV. Televisions with native 4K resolution have become much cheaper to produce in recent years, meaning you can grab even a 55 or 65-inch TV without having to skip out on this month’s rent. You can find affordable OLED options if picture quality is your top priority.

In 2022, you can find incredible TVs at every price point. And while it might be challenging to find affordable 85-inch TVs or brand-new OLED TVs, you can still buy some impressive 4K TVs for under $500. Below, we’ll share everything you need to know to find the best affordable flat-screen TVs on any budget.

So if you’re looking for a secondary TV for your bedroom or kids’ playroom, or you just want to upgrade your home theater on the cheap, we’ve rounded up the best affordable flat-screen TVs for you to check out below.

  

How To Choose the Best Flat-Screen TVs

Gone are the days of dealing with those top-heavy TVs that were so deep you could barely fit them on the shelf. The best affordable flat-screen TV models today are more convenient, feature better image quality and are available for a fraction of the price compared to previous-generation TVs. Whether you’re looking for a new affordable 4K TV for your bedroom, guest room or maybe even your new college dorm, we’ve rounded up our favorite options below. 

And if you think you can’t afford one of the best 65-inch flat-screen TVs, think again. Now more than ever before, you can get the following premium features without having to tap into your 401k:

  • Large 65-inch and up TVs between $450 and $650
  • Displays with 4K resolution and Dolby Vision HDR Support
  • Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibility
  • Smart TV interfaces that let you access Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and Prime Video without an additional streaming device

Of course, there are still more expensive flat-screen TV models, especially when you venture into the OLED realm. But TVs are not nearly as cut and dry as they used to be. You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy a quality, big TV anymore.

If you’re trying to save some money, then here are our top tips for finding the best affordable flat-screen TVs

  • Be flexible on screen size. The price drop between 65-inches and 55-inches can be significant, and 55-inch TVs are bigger than you expect.
  • Look beyond Samsung, Sony and LG. While we’re big fans of the new QLED Samsung TVs, we’ve seen brands like TCL and Amazon release exciting new 4K TVs at much better price points this year.
  • Take advantage of price drops on older TVs. Even when Black Friday is over, you can still find great deals on TVs released in 2019 and 2020, which are still excellent devices.

Remember: Whether you are seeking an impressive 65-inch model or something smaller for your apartment or dorm room, there are many affordable options. We’ve rounded up the best affordable flat-screen TV options for you to check out below.

  

1. Amazon Fire Omni 65-Inch

BEST OVERALL

Who’s It For: Alexa device owners who love the voice assistant and want it built into every web-connected gadget they own, including TVs.

Why We Chose It: Amazon offers some of the best prices for TVs of every size, and the Omni series is beyond affordable and looks great, too.

Full Review: Amazon Fire TV Omni

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series 4K UHD Smart TV Courtesy of Amazon

While there are plenty of TVs out there that use Amazon’s Fire TV operating system, this is the first produced by Amazon itself. The brand new Omni series is designed to provide the best of the best for customers who prefer Fire TV to other operating systems. You can download Alexa Skills directly to the TV for expanded entertainment options; you can use the built-in mic and screen mirroring abilities to use your new TV for video calls with family, friends, or work colleagues. The voice-enabled remote has Alexa built-in for hands-free controls right out of the box. And with the suite of preloaded apps, you won’t have to spend hours setting up your new affordable flat-screen TV to enjoy the latest season of Great British Baking Show or the hottest new Marvel movies.

We recently named this the best 65-inch TV under $500, and while there have been some compelling competitors from TCL and Toshiba, we think this is the best budget smart TV for 2022.

  

2. TCL 4-Series 65-Inch Android TV (2021)

RUNNER UP

Who’s It For: Anyone looking for a top-notch TV for a relatively low price, without sacrificing essentials like impressive picture quality and a user-friendly smart TV interface.

Why We Chose It: TCL is the budget brand to beat all budget brands, and the 4-Series with the Android TV OS gives you access to Google Assistant and is one of our favorite systems for streaming apps, games, and casting.

Read More: TCL Just Rolled Out a Massive 85-Inch TV We Can Actually Afford

TCL LED android tv Courtesy of Best Buy

TCL is best known for its Roku-based TVs, but this AndroidOS model is one of the best, most affordable flat-screen TVs on the market. One of the most significant improvements over its Roku cousins is that this model has native voice controls via built-in Google Assistant and voice-enabled remote, no more needing to download a separate app or connect external devices for hands-free controls. For around $500, you can get a 65-inch model packed with tons of streaming features like a simplified hub menu, access to the Google Play store for thousands of apps like Spotify and Disney+, and a built-in Chromecast for sharing media from your phone or tablet.

  

3. LG A1 48-Inch OLED TV

BEST BUDGET OLED

Who’s It For: Picture connoisseurs who want the inky blacks and immersive colors of an OLED screen for an awesome price.

Why We Chose It: When it comes to OLED TVs of any size, there’s simply no better name than LG.

Read More: The Best Affordable OLED TVs

lg a1 oled flat-screen tv Courtesy of Amazon

The A1 from LG is the most budget-friendly option for customers looking to buy an OLED TV. The 48-inch screen retails for around $1,000, making it one of the most, if not THE most, affordable OLED models available. And just because it won’t make your savings account cry doesn’t mean it skips out on features. You’ll still get incredible picture with billions of colors, excellent contrast and an enhanced processor for better upscaling and native 4K resolution. Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos technology create a theater-like experience at home with virtual surround sound and incredible detailing.

  

4. TCL 6-Series Flat-Screen TV

BEST FOR GAMERS

Who’s It For: Gamers who require the 120Hz refresh rate for proper frame-by-frame support of action-heavy online matches and single-player campaigns.

Why We Chose It: TCL doesn’t mess around regarding picture quality and motion performance, and the 6-Series is no exception.

Read More: Comparing the Best 65-Inch TVs for Sale in 2022

 

TCL 6-Series 55-Inch Flat-Screen TV Courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to out-and-out performance, you will not find a better QLED TV on this list. And while the 65-inch variant of the TCL 6-series approaches a price that might not be considered affordable, this is a steal for gamers considering this is one of the few TVs to support a true 120 Hz mode, which allows for silky-smooth gameplay if you have a next-gen console. There’s a solid argument to be made that, unless you’re splurging on an OLED, opting for a more expensive TV over the 6-Series is foolish since this thing competes with TVs costing twice as much when it comes to brightness and overall picture quality.

  

5. TCL 4-Series 65-Inch Roku TV (2021)

CONTENDER

Who’s It For: TCL fans who prefer the traditional Roku OS instead of Android or Google TV.

Why We Chose It: While Android TV is a smooth and intelligent OS, we wanted to throw the spotlight on another TCL model that Roku fans can get behind.

Read More: The Best 4K TVs for Gaming & Streaming in 2022

tcl 4-series tv Courtesy of Amazon

TCL earns the top two spots in our guide to the best affordable flat-screen TVs, and for good reason. You really can’t go wrong with either edition of the 4Series. Both models feature a user-friendly smart TV interface (in this case, powered by Roku TV), a crisp 4K LED display, and voice control for added convenience. We’ve previously named this the best 65-inch TV under $500, and while the Omni Series Fire TV from Amazon has since stolen that crown, this is a great option if you want to spend $400 or less on a new flat-screen TV. Previously, you could only find this 65-inch TV for under $500 via Walmart, but Amazon recently dropped prices on this model. (To be fair, Walmart currently has a lower price by exactly $1.99.)

  

6. LG 65NANO75UPA NanoCell TV

BEST LG TV

Who’s It For: Those of us who want to own an excellent TV from a top-shelf brand but don’t want to splurge for a flagship model.

Why We Chose It: LG TVs are some of the best sets you can buy, whether you’re dropping well over $3,000 for a supreme OLED or less than $800 for a balanced and colorful budget set.

Read More: The Best OLED TVs of 2022 Have Unbeatable Picture Quality

The LG UQ9000 TV. Courtesy of Amazon

LG is one of the go-to names in the TV marketplace, and the 70-inch UQ9000 is one of the best big screens you can find. Powered by LG’s a5 Gen5 AI processor, everything from native 4K content to upscaled HD and SD sources looks brilliant, colorful and clear on this remarkable screen. We also love the inclusion of Filmmaker Mode, which optimizes picture settings for any and all things cinematic.

While we wish UQ9000 could deliver a 120Hz refresh rate (60Hz only), the addition of LG’s impressive WebOS for all your streaming needs and triple-voice assistant support (Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit) is plenty to make us happy.

  

7. Sony 4K Ultra X80K

BEST SONY

Who’s It For: Those who swear by the Sony name and will accept no other TV brand in their home.

Why We Chose It: The Sony X80K delivers a stunning 4K picture with brilliant HDR support, and the Google TV platform is one of the best ways to get all your favorite streaming content.

Read More: Sony Is Slashing Prices on Everything From Wireless Earbuds to 4K TVs

Sony 4K Ultra X80K Courtesy of Amazon

Sony’s Google TV interface makes it a breeze to find your favorite content and Google Assistant or Alexa gives you voiceless control over your TV and other connected devices. As for the visuals, the 4K HDR X1 processor creates a vivid and detailed picture saturated with great color. Combine that with Motionflow XR, and watching action movies or live sports look incredibly smooth.

  

8. Hisense 65U7G

BEST FOR LIVE SPORTS

Who’s It For: Basketball, football and hockey fanatics who can’t stand the dreaded motion blur found on many 60Hz TVs.

Why We Chose It: Hisense is a great budget brand, and the 65U7G looks, feels and performs like a much higher-priced TV.

Read More: Hisense’s U7G ULED 65-Inch 4K Smart TV Is a Must for Gamers

Hisense 65U7G Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re looking for an affordable flat-screen TV to watch a live game, this option’s Ultra Motion 120Hz refresh rate makes the picture look and feel like you’re there. It’s also great for fast-moving action movies to eliminate blur or jittering from the screen. And with Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and HDR technology, the picture quality and the sound will be cinema worthy.

  

9. TCL 5-Series 50-Inch Flat-Screen TV (2020)

MID-SIZED OPTION

Who’s It For: Those of us searching for a TV for a smaller living room, bedroom or dorm-living situation.

Why We Chose It: It’s hard to come by full-array local dimming on any budget-priced TV, let alone a fantastic TCL set with HDR support and Alexa/Google Assistant compatibility.

Read More: These 13 Small TVs are Proof That a Great TV Doesn’t Have to Be Big

TCL 75-inch 5-Series 4K QLED TV Courtesy of Amazon

Editor’s Note: If you click the Amazon link above, Amazon currently has this product listed as the 2021 model; however, we believe this is an error and that it should be appropriately classified as the 2020 model 5-Series.

If you want a TV set with undeniable quality but still emphasizes affordability, it’s hard to beat the 2020 TCL 5-Series. This year’s iteration received a significant upgrade over its predecessor in the form of full-array local dimming, which boosts overall brightness and will help improve the quality of Dolby Vision and HDR10. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of other 50-inch TVs that are considered affordable, there’s enough performance here to make this a worthy choice for those who aren’t overly concerned with not having the absolute brightest picture or features such as a 120Hz refresh rate. The 5-Series even throws in Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility for hands-free navigation, which makes this a great affordable flat-screen TV.

  

10. Vizio M-Series Quantum 55-Inch Flat-Screen TV

ALSO CONSIDER

Who’s It For: Vizio diehards who expect every big screen to be optimized for movies, gaming, and streaming.

Why We Chose It: Vizio is a tried and true name in the world of budget TVs, and the almighty M-Series is a force to be reckoned with.

Read More: Vizio M51AX-J6 Soundbar Review

Vizio M-Series Quantum MQ7 Courtesy of Amazon

Had this 55-inch Vizio M-Series Quantum TV been a little cheaper, a little brighter or featured better Smart TV software, it may have topped our list of best affordable flat-screen TVs. But even if we don’t think the MQ7 is a better value than the TCL 4 or 5-Series, it still has all the markers of an excellent TV. This 4K display promises a beautiful picture out of the box, with support for Dolby Vision. And thanks to a 120 Hz variable refresh rate, AMD FreeSync support and low input lag, it’s also an excellent TV for gaming.

The SmartCast software doesn’t quite rise to the quality of the Roku, Android TV or Fire TV, so you may or may not find yourself spending an extra $50 on a streaming stick in the future. (Alternatively, this TV supports Google Cast, so you can also use your phone or tablet to load up streaming content.) Despite these gripes, there aren’t many other cheaper TVs that can outperform the Vizio M-Series.

  

11. Toshiba 75-inch Class C350

BEST 75-INCH TV

Who’s It For: Anyone who has used and loved the Amazon Fire TV smart TV platform and wants a big screen for the OS to live and play on.

Why We Chose It: It’s tough to find a great 75-inch set for a solid price, and the Toshiba C350 is the needle in the 65-inch-plus haystack.

Read More: The SPY-Tested Toshiba M550 Fire TV Is 56% Off on Amazon This Week (Yes, Really)

Toshiba 75-Inch Class C350 Courtesy of Amazon

This large TV proves you can get a giant, quality TV without emptying your savings. You get 75-inches of display powered by the Regza 4K Engine and LCD panel that produces solid picture quality. Combine that with Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10, and your TV’s picture quality game goes up another level. And the Fire TV platform, which makes searching for your favorite content a piece of cake, is icing on the cake.

  

12. Samsung AU8000 43-Inch 4K Flat-Screen TV

BEST 43-INCH TV

Who’s It For: Samsung-or-die TV watchers and anyone else that wants a beautiful-looking smaller TV.

Why We Chose It: It’s not the best TV ever made, but with its 4K resolution, HDR support, and relatively small footprint, the 43-inch AU8000 is a steal in our books.

Read More: The Best Samsung TVs of 2022

Samsung AU8000 Flat-Screen TV Courtesy of Amazon

While most 43-inch TVs focus on value rather than performance, a few affordable flat-screen TVs this size have a pretty good picture. The Samsung AU8000 won’t set any benchmarks for innovation (made evident by the lack of local dimming and 120 Hz refresh rate), but it does offer 4K resolution, HDR10 support and very low input lag for the gamers out there. If you insist on a 1080p TV and are willing to jump up to a 50-inch set, we’d recommend spending an extra $30–$50 and going with the 50-inch Hisense H8G. But if you’re also intent on buying something under 50 inches, this is the best 43-inch flat-screen TV that’s also still affordable.

  

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