Quality electronics cost less than they used to, so today you can get a great TV at a low price. Entry-level models might not have the same excellent features as their expensive counterparts, but you can find great options at prices that won’t break the bank.
Most entry-level TVs that you can buy today are very similar. For example, they are generally all smart TVs with built-in streaming to better reflect how consumers use TVs today. In other words, you can binge-watch favorites on paid services rather than sit through traditional network commercials.
TVs under $300 generally have 60Hz refresh rates and LCD panels. Some offer 4K resolution with HDR playback options. The differences in some entry-level TVs come from gaming functionality and more user-friendly interfaces.
So, after reviewing dozens of options, here’s our ranking of the best TVs under $300 you can buy today.
- Best Overall: Amazon Fire TV 50″ 4-Series
- Best 50-Inch TV Under $300: TCL 50-Inch Class S4
- Best 4K TV: Hisense 50-Inch Class A6 Series
- Best Smart TV: LG UHD UQ75 Series 43”
- Best 43-Inch TV Under $300: Samsung 43-inch Class CU7000
Best Overall: Amazon Fire TV 50″ 4-Series
Our pick for the best overall TV under $300 goes to the Amazon Fire TV 50″ 4-Series. You’ll appreciate its excellent picture quality that lets you see fine details, whether your room is bright or dim.
This smart TV supports content in 4K Ultra HD, HLG, HDR 10, and Dolby Digital Plus so you’ll get a vibrant image no matter what you watch. In addition, you can watch live, free TV programs or stream music. We particularly like the built-in Alexa feature you can use to find and play whatever you want.
Then its Adaptive Sound helps regulate volume through different scenes. So, if you doze off on a Saturday afternoon, the loud chase scene won’t immediately wake you!
Another attractive feature of this Fire TV is the access to games. You can play games just as you would stream movies. Prime members can choose from a rotating selection of free games on Amazon Luna, or you can pair the TV with your favorite gaming console.
Of course, there is always something annoying with just about every product made. And one of the most significant downsides to the Fire TV is that it comes with apps and notices that not every user wants. You may need to delete some apps to keep the ones you like running more smoothly.
|Solid option for gaming thanks to the Amazon Luna app.
|Some of the pre-installed apps can be annoying.
|The adaptive sound allows you to regulate the volume for each scene.
|Built-in Alexa makes it easy to access your favorite content.
Check out the Amazon Fire TV 50″ 4-Series on Amazon.
Best 50-Inch TV Under $300: TCL 50-Inch Class S4
Big-screen TVs under $300 are challenging to come by, but a 50-inch TV, such as the TCL 50-inch Class S4, could be a good compromise.
This model impresses with its 4K resolution and excellent LED display. The panel’s HDR Pro, comprising HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision, delivers crisp images with a great amount of detail. A high motion rate prevents lag and stutters during fast-moving scenes, and we also like the adequate brightness and color accuracy.
Another highlight is the auto-game mode (ALLM) that automatically adjusts settings for the lowest input lag and latency for your game. The Roku TV Smart OS platform offers access to a wide selection of apps and over 250 live TV channels.
Somewhat disappointing is the sound, despite the Dolby Atmos built-in claim. In the end, this TV is super-affordable and fairly large. It offers decent picture quality, and for better sound, you can always pair it with external speakers or a soundbar.
|It is one of the largest entry-level 4K TVs.
|The sound quality leaves a lot to be desired.
|Surprising image quality for a TV in its price range.
|The smart platform offers access to a wide range of live TV channels and streaming apps.
Check out the TCL 50-inch Class S4 on Amazon.
Best 4K TV: Hisense 50-Inch Class A6 Series
- 4K ultra-high definition
- Hisense's AI UHD Upscaler
- Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10
- Game Mode Plus (60Hz panel, variable refresh rate, and auto low latency mode)
- Sports Mode to optimize sports content
This Google TV, the Hisense A6 Series, lets you watch your favorite shows across many streaming platforms.
In other words, you’ll never miss a football game, or anything else you might want to watch. The voice-activated remote helps you quickly find your favorite TV shows, so there’s no more scrolling to find the right channel.
A highlight is the dedicated Sports Mode that makes the motion look smoother when activated. We also like the Game Mode, which adjusts the settings to improve responsiveness. But watching sports and playing games are not the only things this TV does well.
The image quality is fairly good, and the 4K resolution allows you to enjoy a great amount of detail. A built-in Chromecast lets you share content from your phone, laptop, or tablet on your TV in seconds.
On the downside, the volume controls are a bit crazy, and adjusting the brightness to reduce glare can be a nightmare. However, these nuisances are easy to overcome, and this TV is definitely worth your while.
|The Google TV platform offers access to a variety of apps and services.
|Volume control is rather challenging; there could be random volume jumps.
|Dedicated sports and gaming modes make it easy to adjust the image settings.
|You can use the built-in Chromecast to easily share content from your mobile devices.
Check out the Hisense A6 Series on Amazon.
Best Smart TV: LG UHD UQ75 Series 43”
- 43" display
- Enhance your picture and sound with AI from the a5 Gen5 AI Processor
- 60Hz refresh rate
- Find your faves fast with built-in access to Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV app, Disney+, HBO Max, and instant access to over 300+ free LG Channels with everything from comedy to movies to sports
- Discover something new or find your faves with free access to programming on over 300+ LG Channels
- Make it the best gaming experience by quickly adjusting all your game settings in one location
The webOS might be less popular than Roku or Google TV, but the LG UHD UQ75 Series 43″ TV is still the best smart TV under $300 you can buy today.
This 2022 model is not the newest, but it delivers outstanding image quality. You can expect vivid colors, sharp contrast, and sufficient brightness to avoid glare. The α5 Gen6 AI Processor enhances both the picture and the sound.
The panel frequency of only 60Hz is not a surprise considering the price tag, but it could make this model less-than-ideal for gaming. That said, the webOS comes with all imaginable apps under the sun. You get built-in Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max, as well as instant access to over 300 LG channels.
The operating system allows you to set up separate accounts for family members, so everyone can get personalized recommendations based on their interests. Despite the low frequency, the system also includes a Game Optimizer that improves the gaming experience.
Like most entry-level models, this TV isn’t flawless, and it doesn’t come with an LG Magic remote. Nevertheless, it is one of the best options for the money.
|Very good image quality for a budget television.
|You might have to purchase the LG Magic remote to get the most out of this TV.
|It comes with loads of built-in services, including Netflix, Prime Video, and HBO Max.
|AI upscaling ensures excellent sound quality.
Check out the LG UHD UQ75 Series 43″ TV on Amazon.
Best 43-Inch TV Under $300: Samsung 43-Inch Class CU7000
- Superlative image quality
- The operating system offers quick access to a variety of apps and streaming services
- Perfect for streaming movies and gaming
- Quad Core processor
The Samsung 43-inch Class CU7000 is the best 43-inch TV under $300 you can buy if you want superlative image quality.
Like the LG, this Samsung model isn’t the newest. However, it delivers dazzling 4K images and easy access to movies, ambient content, and TV shows. What makes it special is the PurColor feature that allows you to perceive a wider spectrum of colors. This technology delivers true-to-life picture quality similar to what you’d expect from a top-of-the-range model.
Contrast HDR is another feature that improves the image quality, while the Motion Xcelerator prevents lags and delivers smooth transitions during fast-moving scenes. As expected from a Samsung smart TV, this model runs on Tizen OS.
The operating system is similar to LG’s, and not as intuitive as Google TV or Roku. Nevertheless, you still get access to a bountiful range of apps and streaming services. The design is also nice, and the only true downside is the remote control, which could be upgraded.
|Stunning picture quality, sharp contrast, and great resolution.
|The remote control is not intuitive, has very few controls, and it could interfere with other electronics.
|The operating system offers quick access to a variety of apps and streaming services.
|Works well for watching the TV, streaming movies, and gaming.
Check out the Samsung 43-inch Class CU7000 on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best TVs Under $300
When choosing the best TV under $300, there are five main considerations (after price) for most buyers.
- Screen Size
- Image Resolution
- Refresh Rate
- Smart Features
- High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Let’s review each feature in more detail.
The size of a TV screen is an essential factor to consider when purchasing because it affects the viewing experience. Larger screen sizes can enhance your immersive experience, making watching movies and TV shows more enjoyable.
In addition, a larger screen size can make it easier to see small details in the image, such as text or fine landscape details. However, some TVs may lose resolution on larger screens. So, the best screen size ultimately depends on the viewing distance and room size.
The image resolution of a TV is another important factor as it affects the overall picture quality. Higher resolution TVs, such as 4K, offer more detail and clarity in the image, making your viewing more lifelike.
TVs with lower resolutions, such as 720p or 1080p, may have a less sharp image and less detail. But that doesn’t mean they’re a terrible choice. The resolution alone does not determine the overall picture quality, as factors such as the TV’s panel type, color accuracy, and contrast ratio also play a role.
The TV’s refresh rate makes a difference for viewers who plan to watch sports or play games. A higher refresh rate gives a smoother and more fluid image, reducing motion blur and making fast-paced action easier to follow.
For sports fans, a higher refresh rate can provide a more lifelike experience, making it feel like they are there. Maybe not in the front row, but at least close to the field!
Gamers may also benefit from a higher refresh rate as it can provide a more responsive playing experience, allowing them to react quickly to on-screen actions.
One important smart feature to look for is the TV’s operating system, which will determine what apps and streaming services are available. Voice control is another useful feature if you want to control your TV using voice commands.
Additionally, a TV with built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity can make connecting to other devices like smartphones or speakers easier. Finally, a TV with a user-friendly interface and easy-to-navigate menus can make finding and accessing your desired viewing content simpler.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a feature in modern TVs that enhances picture quality by providing a fuller range of brightness and color.
With HDR, darker areas of the image appear deeper and more detailed, while brighter regions appear more vibrant and vivid. This feature allows TVs to display a broader range of colors, from bright highlights to deep shadows, resulting in a realistic-looking image.
HDR content is becoming increasingly available from streaming services, and many newer TVs support multiple HDR formats such as HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG, even in TVs under $300.
What to Know Before Buying TVs Under $300
When considering TVs under $300, some essential specs include screen size, resolution, and connectivity options. For example, a 32-inch screen size is a common choice in this price range, though many models offer larger screens.
Likewise, a 1080p resolution is standard for some TVs under $300, though others provide 720p or even 4K at smaller screen sizes. Connectivity options may include HDMI ports, USB ports, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Lastly, it is vital to consider the brand and user reviews to ensure good build quality and reliability.