The best cheap TVs: 4K and 1080p

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1. Insignia Fire TV Edition (2020 model)

Available Screen Sizes: 43, 50, 55, 65, 70 inches | Screen Type: LCD | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | HDMI ports: 3 HDMI, 1 USB | Size: 48.9 x 28.6 x 3.3 inches | Weight: 29.3 pounds

Positive
  • Responsive Fire TV OS
  • Smart Home integration
  • Various Alexa tools
  • Wide sound
Negatives
  • Poor contrast
  • Less than accurate colors

The Insignia 4K Fire TV Edition (2020 model) is a smart TV for people who wants to “ball” on a budget and need access to modern luxury like Alexa and a wide variety of streaming services. The cheap 4K TV offers HDR support (Dolby Vision) and a huge library of apps. However, its real selling point is its price and wide range of smart capabilities, which makes this one of the best cheap TV deals you can get. 

While it’s true that you get what you pay for — the performance isn’t top-of-the-line, the gaming support is middling and the Fire TV platform is a little too Amazon-centric for our liking — it’s still a great choice for casual viewers. And that’s before the TV deals kick in. 

2. TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635)

Available Screen Sizes: 55, 65, 75 inches | Screen Type: QLED | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | HDMI ports: 4 HDMI, 1 USB | Size: 48.3 x 28.1 x 2.8 inches | Weight: 41.9 pounds

Positive
  • Excellent QLED and mini-LED display
  • Great gaming performance
  • Roku TV offers a huge app selection
  • Improved Roku remote
Negatives
  • Sound is a little weak
  • Roku is missing some of the latest apps

When it comes to value, the TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635) is our top pick. The Editor’s Choice TV offers premium picture quality and a great smart TV experience for less than its competition. The R635 also ups the ante with mini-LED backlighting in addition to QLED. The result is impressive color and brightness, with some of the best HDR performance we’ve seen on anything this side of an OLED display.

Features like THX Certified Game Mode also help make the 6-Series one of the best gaming TVs available. From the design’s smart touches, like cable management in the stand, to the always-solid Roku TV platform, the TCL R635 is one of the best TV deals you’ll find right now. 

3. Samsung 65-inch NU6900 4K Smart TV

Screen Size: 65 inches | HDMI Ports: 2 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | HDR Support: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ | Dimensions (without stand): 57.4 x 33 x 2.4 inches

Positive
  • Attractive design
  • Great contrast and decent black levels
  • Decent smart TV experience
Negatives
  • two HDMI ports
  • Limited color gamut
  • No voice interaction

The Samsung 65-inch LED NU6900  has most of the features you would get from the best smart TVs. While the LCD TV may not offer Samsung’s quantum-dot QLED display, everything on offer is poised to match whatever entry-level TV you might find on the market.

For that affordable price you can get 4K resolution, HDR support and Samsung’s excellent smart TV platform, at one of the best size-to-price ratios around. We’re not so hot on the limited port selection or the lack of some more premium smart features, but the NU6900 is still a great option for anyone who wants to get a solid 4K smart TV without spending a lot. The attractive design, strong contrast and a decent smart TV experience make it a great set for the price.

4. Toshiba 55-Inch 4K Fire TV Edition

The most affordable TV with Amazon Alexa inside

Screen size: 55 inches | HDMI ports: 3 | Refresh rate: 60 Hz | HDR Support: HDR10 | Dimensions (without stand): 28.7 x 49.1 x 3.7 inches

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Positive
  • Amazon’s Fire TV OS is easy to navigate
  • Built-in Alexa
Negatives
  • Confusing app store
  • Mediocre picture and sound

The Toshiba 55-inch 4K Fire TV Edition (55LF621U19) is Amazon’s second crack at selling its own smart TVs, which have one big selling point: Amazon’s Prime Video and Alexa voice controls are baked right in. In addition to Prime Video’s extensive catalogue of movies and shows, you’ve got one of the best voice assistants on the market as close as your remote. And it’s not some half-measure – the Alexa on your TV can do everything Alexa can do on the Amazon Echo, with skills for smart home control, looking up weather and restaurants and much more. All of this is built into the 55-inch Toshiba 4K TV, which sells for an affordable sub-$500 price.

The switch from last year’s Westinghouse models to Toshiba bring all sorts of improvements, like improved display quality, HDR support and a more refined user experience, but it’s held back by mediocre picture quality and middling audio. Edge-lit backlighting and limited HDR support just drive home the most frustrating thing about most of Amazon’s TV’s – no matter how good Amazon’s Fire TV is as a smart TV platform, the TV also has to stand  on its own merits.

5. TCL 3 Series 32-inch 32S327

Screen size: 32 inches | Resolution: 1080p | HDMI Ports: 3 | Refresh Rate: 120 Hz | Dimensions: 28.8 x 17.1 x 3.0 inches | Smart TV: Absolutely

Positive
  • Good for gaming
  • Alexa and Google voice control
Negatives
  • Mediocre performance

The TCL 3 Series 32-inch 32S327 Roku TV is a small set that’s soft on your wallet. For $170, and often less, it offers both full Roku access and a smart home device that cooperates with your Alexa or Google Assistant ecosystems. While the set doesn’t have a microphone for fielding queries, you could say “Hey Alexa, show me rom-coms” near one of the best Alexa speakers and receive a selection of movies across Roku channels. 

Though the 325327’s performance is far from premium, the 1920 x 1080p resolution satisfies for the screen’s size. And it’s even better than the Vizio D-series for gaming, with a lag time of 12.3 milliseconds.

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