The best TVs under £1000 of 2021: top budget OLED TVs, QLED TVs and more

The best TVs for under £1000 include cheap OLED and bargain QLED and LED sets – but all deliver world-class images and do big-screen blockbusters justice

Best TV under £1000 Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, Hisense, Philips
(Image credit: Panasonic)

A lot people look for the best TV under £1000 because there's a definite meeting of the mid-range and high-end at this kind of price. It's where you can get most of the advanced features from the very best TVs – the real flagship sets – but at smaller sizes or with slightly less cutting-edge panel tech, to bring the price down. There's a huge amount of value here, giving you the best of both worlds – elite features at a more affordable price.

The only big flagship TV trends that have struggled to land in the best TVs under £1000 so far are the best OLED TVs and best 8K TVs… and that won't be true of OLED for much longer, with new models due in 2021 that will be cheaper than ever (and even current models only just breaking the £1000 barrier).

But spending up to £999 will most certainly buy you an LED (or QLED) TV that will do justice to the ever-increasing amount of stunning 4K content available, and will get you plenty of HDR compatibility as well. While TV manufacturers obviously reserve their up-to-the-minute technological tour de forces for the most expensive televisions, the gap between ‘top of the range’ and ‘staunchly mainstream’ is closing all the time. 

Looking at the best TVs under £1000 is also key for the growing number of people who want to go bigger and bigger with their TV. For this price, you can some of the best 55-inch TVs, but if you're happy to step down in features slightly, you can get some of the best 65-inch and even 75-inch TVs! What a time, eh?

Of course, spending more money can get you even better picture quality than the sets here, but you'd be amazed at how high the level of images here is – you'd have had to spend twice as much for just a few years ago to match this. For combining scorching picture quality, excellent design, superior sound and a whole raft of smart TV functionality, as well as cutting-edge HDR compatibility, these TVs really hit the spot.

Of course, if you want something even more affordable, we've also got the best TVs under £500. And, of course, sometimes more expensive TVs will drop under £1000 during a sale – keep your eye on our list of the best TV deals.

What is the best TV under £1,000?

Our pick of the current best TV under £1,000 is the Sony KD-55XH9005. It's an LCD screen with direct array backlight, meaning it's really bright (useful for cutting through the light in bright rooms), but also has good local dimming for rich contrast. It provides really rich HDR performance, and Sony's processing is second to none, so 4K images look perfectly sharp, HD video is upscaled to 4K expertly, and motion looks smooth with seeming artificial. It's also geared up for gaming, with a really low response rate, support for 4K at 120Hz over HDMI 2.1, and with Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode coming with an update – all of which are perfect for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

The best TVs under £1,000 in order

Sony XH90

(Image credit: Sony)

1. Sony KD-55XH9005

The best TV under £1000 overall – the best balance of size, image quality and features

Screen size: 55 inches
Other sizes: 65, 75, 85 inches
Inputs: HDMI x4, USB x2, composite video, ethernet
Dimensions: 1231x710x70mm
Reasons to buy
+Excellent rich HDR image quality+Great value for money+Next-gen HDMI 2.1 features
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't handle dark areas as well as OLED

• Read our full Sony XH90 review

After recent price drops, this impressive 55-inch set from Sony is now our overall pick as the best TV under £1,000. Some of the TVs below beat for image quality in certain areas, but nothing gives you this quality of picture at this size with such great technical features to make sure it's future-proof.

This LCD TV gives you bright HDR images that really dazzle with colour, but it's also quite capable when it comes to darker scenes, though not as strong as the Philips OLED TV below, of course. But it makes up for that with Sony's excellent processing, which makes motion look natural and smooth, and is fantastic at upscaling from HD to 4K, so everything looks detailed and crisp. Support for Dolby Vision makes the the most of its HDR screen, though there's no HDR10+ here (the rival to Dolby Vision used on Amazon Prime Video).

It uses Android TV for its smart TV functionality, which means it's really well-equipped for streaming apps, though the interface isn't quite as tidy and smooth as Samsung or LG TVs. And as a bonus, the built-in sound is better than most mid-range TVs – you won't have to immediately add your own soundbar (though you might still want to).

This is also Sony's only 4K with HDMI 2.1 functionality, including support for 4K video at 120fps, which makes it perfect for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. It will also support Variable Refresh Rates and Auto Low Latency Mode via an update coming shortly. eARC HDMI support is here too, for high-resolution audio output to your sound system.

Combine all that, and you get the best overall TV package under £1,000.

Best TV under £1000

(Image credit: Sony)

2. Sony KD-49XH9505

The best 50-inch TV under £1000

Screen size: 49 inches
Other sizes available: 55, 65, 75, 85 inches
Inputs: HDMI x4, USB x3, composite, ethernet
Dimensions: 1093x629x69mm
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic 4K HDR images+Top-tier upscaling and motion+Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos
Reasons to avoid
-No HDR10+-No next-gen gaming features

• Read our full Sony KD-49XH9505 review

This is Sony's flagship LED 4K TV for 2020, packing in all kinds of advanced technology and processing for supreme picture quality… and somehow you can get one of these sets for under £1000!?

Only the smallest size of this model comes within our budget, but 49 inches is still a generous size, but one that's small enough to fit in most living rooms without problem. But crucially, there's still all of Sony's wizardry going on here.

The XH9505 includes Sony's X1 Ultimate image processor, which works on making sure that all the detail of 4K video is brought out, and on upscaling HD into 4K so it looks pristine on the screen, and there's no TV that does this better, meaning you get the most from this TV whatever you're watching. The same processor is the best out there for handling motion, making sure that fast-moving action is clear and smooth while still looking natural. And we really rate Sony's ability to take SDR video and punch up the colours and contrast to look closer to real HDR, but again without making things look artificial.

Combine that with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio support, plus eARC for lossless connectivity with a soundbar, and you've got a really well-equipped TV for movies and television. The Android TV operating system has all the key apps available, though is a little clunkier to navigate than some others.

The only disappointment here is the lack of gaming features ready for the PS5 and Xbox Series X – there's no Variable Refresh Rate and no support for 4K video at 120fps. The Sony XH90 TV mentioned above is the Sony TV to get if you want those features, which ironically is the model down from this one in Sony's current selection, but you do get 55 inches of screen for the money.

Best TVs under £1000: Samsung Q70T

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung QE55Q70T

The best TV under £1000 for gaming

Screen size: 55 inches
Other sizes available: 65, 75, 85 inches
Inputs: HDMI x4, USB x2, ethernet
Dimensions: 1230x706x57mm
Reasons to buy
+Great QLED image quality+Next-gen gaming features+Excellent software
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision HDR-Sound is mediocre

The Samsung Q70T sits in the middle of Samsung's 2020 4K QLED TV range, bringing pretty much all the high-end technical features you could want, but with a slightly less advanced panel, making it great value overall, and an impressive balance of quality and price.

The image still gives you the wide, rich colours of QLED, with bright HDR highlights. It uses an edge-lit backlight, rather than the direct backlight of the Sony above or the Samsung Q80T (which sits just above it in the range), which means it's not as strong for black levels and deep contrast. This means it's less cinematic than some TVs around the same price, but for overall image punch, it's a really impressive set.

But what really tempts us is that Samsung has still filled this set with high-end tech, including next-gen gaming features. The Q70T supports the Variable Refresh Rate and 4K at 120fps features of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and when combined with ultra-low latency in its gaming mode (which it will switch to automatically when you fire up a console), this is the best gaming TV option for this price overall. That said, the Sony XH9005 sometimes dips to this price on offer, and that offers slightly better image quality overall with all the same features, so on occasions when they're the same price, that would be our choice.

• Read our full Samsung Q70T review

Best TVs under £1000: Panasonic HX800

(Image credit: Panasonic)

4. Panasonic TX-58HX800

Even more TV for your money, and comprehensive HDR support

Screen size: 58 inches
Other sizes available: 40, 50, 65 inches
Inputs: HDMI 2.0 x4, USB x2, composite video, composite video, ethernet
Dimensions: 820x1300x60mm
Reasons to buy
+Lots of screen for the money+Lavishly detailed 4K images+Every HDR base covered
Reasons to avoid
-Not that bright-Only three HDMI ports

• Read our full Panasonic HX800 review

You wouldn’t know to look at it, but the HX800 series is one of Panasonic’s most affordable LED ranges. You wouldn’t know it from a glance at the spec-sheet, either: the TX-58HX800 may only be an edge-lit design rather than feature the local dimming of its pricier stable-mates, but it holds a full hand of HDR compatibility, up to and including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. 

And you wouldn’t know by operating it, because its My Home Screen 5.0 user interface is clean, rapid, logical, and can be customised in any number of ways, though it's lacking Disney+ support currently.

Most of all, though, you wouldn’t be able to tell this is more on the budget end by watching it. Given the best chance, with some dynamic HDR material, it reveals vivid, detailed contrasts and wide-ranging, punchy colours. It’s confident where motion and sport are concerned, and keeps picture noise to an absolute minimum. 

It's not the brightest here, it's true, (both sets above are much brighter), but the tuning on its picture for realism in films overcomes that easily – it still looks rich and engaging in ways that many TVs with brighter panels don't manage still.

Its 58-inch size is an unusual one so far (55-inch and 65-inch being more common), but we've heard from the industry to expect more 58-inch models in the future, so you can be ahead of the trend here.

In short, judged on its own terms – as a big 4K TV with an extensive specification and exemplary usability at a fiercely competitive price – the TX-58HX800 is just about as good as it gets.

Best TVs under £1000: Samsung Q60T

(Image credit: Samsung)

5. Samsung QE55Q60T/QE55Q65T

The best budget QLED TV

Screen size: 55 inches
Other sizes available: 43, 50, 65, 75 inches
Inputs: HDMI x3, USB x2, ethernet
Dimensions: 1230x710x60mm
Reasons to buy
+Lovely 4K images+Great upscaling+Splendid OS
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision HDR-Sound is mediocre

• Read our full Samsung Q60T/Q65T review

Samsung's latest entry-level QLED screen comes in two flavours, but the differences are cosmetic – these are the same TV, but you'll see different versions at different retailers.

The Q60T range is pushing a real sweet-spot in Samsung’s extensive ranges of  4K TVs. Pictures from 4K sources are outstanding: vivid-yet-natural colours, strong contrasts, lavish detail levels and smooth motion. Upscaling from lesser resolutions is accomplished too, with super-low picture noise and a fine colour balance. 

Add in a Tizen-based operating system/user interface that’s a match for the best around – responsive, logical and not too in-yer-face – plus an incredibly rapid sub-10ms response time when in ‘Game’ mode and the Q60T starts to look compelling. Then there’s the customary Samsung quality of build and finish – nothing about the way this TV presents itself suggests it’s built to hit a lower price.

Consider everything the Q60T does brilliantly, and you’ll find it easy to overlook its shortcomings, especially since there aren't many of them: the sound this Samsung makes in no way does justice to the pictures it delivers, like all Samsung TVs it goes without Dolby Vision, and though it's great for gaming in terms of its rapid response times, it doesn't support the new 4K/120fps and Variable Refresh Rate features of the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. If you're not a next-gen gaming nut and are happy beefing it up with a soundbar, those aren't even flaws at all…

Best TVs under £1000: Samsung TU8500

(Image credit: Samsung)

6. Samsung UE65TU8500

The best 65-inch TV for under £1000 – big screen, mid-range budget

Screen size: 65 inches
Other sizes: 43, 50, 55 inches
Inputs: HDMI x3, USB x2, composite video, ethernet
Dimensions: 1450x829x58mm
Reasons to buy
+Great quality, big screen+Excellent smart platform
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision-Not the brightest

• Read our full Samsung TU8500 review

The Samsung TU8500 is the highest-end TV in Samsung's range that doesn't have a QLED screen. It's subsequently not quite as bright as the Q-range TVs above, and doesn't have quite such an eye-catching colour range, but compared to other TVs in the same price bracket, it offers high-quality, sharp 4K images and great contrast, with accurate blacks.

Samsung is using an interesting new backlight tech with two different colours of LEDs, and it does a great job of keep blacks looking deep, while also providing a good overall brightness level, only really struggling with HDR, which lacks the pop of more expensive TVs.

The real trick here is that while the images are 'good for the price', the apps and software you use on the TV are 'good for any price at all', because it uses Samsung's full Tizen smart TV system, so the usability is on par with the flaggiest of flagships. If you're looking for a lovely big TV that doesn't let itself down on image quality, and has every streaming option you could want in an easy-to-use system, this is absolutely perfect.

Best TV under £1000: Philips PUS7805

(Image credit: Philips)

7. Philips 75PUS7805

The best huge TV under £1000

Screen size: 75 inches
Other sizes: 43, 50, 55, 58, 65, 70 inches
Inputs: HDMI x3, USB x2, ethernet
Dimensions: 1581x894x86mm
Reasons to buy
+Universal HDR support+Good image processing+Ambilight is great
Reasons to avoid
-Not the brightest

If you want your money to buy the biggest and punchiest screen it can, this Philips is absolutely the way to go. There's a ridiculous amount of technology in here, yet it remains slightly mind-blowing value and a good performer.

Essential to making ownership of a panel this big worthwhile is good image processing, and Philips' P5 picture processor is a really strong for this, applying great upscaling to make HD video look tolerable on the giant screen, and handling motion well to make sure it's nice and clear.

There's also support for both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision dynamic HDR formats, meaning that you really get the most from the panel when it comes to contrast and colours. It's not the brightest and most dazzling for HDR content, but there's very little to complain about for a mid-range TV overall, and even less when you consider the size and value.

As an added bonus, it includes Philips' Ambilight tech, which spreads colours matching what's on-screen onto the wall around the TV, just in case the full 75 inches of TV wasn't immersive enough for you…

How we chose the best TV under £1,000

From eye candy UHD visuals and superior sound to drop dead gorgeous design, these are the TV sets you should be shortlisting right now.

All demonstrably benefit from the extra clarity that 4K offers, a fact that will be particularly noticeable when upgrading from a 1080p telly. The good news is that there’s now less of a shortage of native UHD content to exploit this resolution boost. From Apple TV and the burgeoning UHD Blu-ray catalogue, to Netflix, Amazon and Sky, there’s plenty of stuff to show off your new panel’s prowess.

And of course gaming is increasingly a source of spectacular 4K, thanks to the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X (and soon the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X).

All these TVs feature HDR onboard. It’s worth noting that not all screens that claim to be HDR offer a genuine HDR experience, with properly bright spectral highlights. Many lower cost models are merely 'HDR compatible' (which means they know when they’re receiving HDR content, but they don’t have the wherewithal to do much with it). Naturally, we're looking for the ones that truly make the most of HDR.

The other area where corners are inevitably cut with less flagship TVs is sound. You can always add a soundbar or soundbase to rectify this sorry state of affairs.