The best TVs under £500 go above and beyond what you might expect at such a price point. With 4K Ultra-HD resolution being the standard for most TVs these days, you can get a super high-quality TV with a crisp and clear image for a lot less than you’d expect.
It’s also important to remember that size isn’t always everything. In this list, you’ll find some of the best 55-inch TVs and best 48-inch TVs. However, you could choose to invest the same amount of money into something smaller, but higher quality, such as one of the best 40-inch TVs or best 32-inch TVs – most of which come in at under £500 too.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for here and feel you can stretch your budget a little further, then take a look at the best TVs under £1000, as you may find your perfect TV waiting there for you.
Best TVs under £500 in 2023: The top 3
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The best value TV under £500 is the Hisense A7H. This 50-inch all-rounder comes at a decent size and price and is well features.
The best TV under £500 for most people is the Samsung AU9000. This 43-inch offering is smaller, but it's got more advanced features and is great for gaming too.
The best 55-inch TV under £500 is the Samsung AU7100. If it's a larger panel you want on a budget then Samsung's step-down AU model is a real star.
Hisense continues to deliver superb value TVs for the middle market, and this model is incredibly well specified for the price tag: you're getting Quantum Dot LED (QLED), HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, 4K UHD, Freeview HD, Google Assistant and Alexa.
There are three HDMI ports, one of which is the eARC for your soundbar or sound system, all of which are HDMI 2.1 for next-gen gaming; one composite input; one USB 3.0 port; and one USB 2.0. There's also an optical audio output for connecting to your home cinema kit.
It's a very impressive package for the money, so if you're looking to get the most TV for the smallest price this should absolutely be on your shortlist. We've reviewed its predecessor in this Hisense A7G review, to get a taste of where this model has come from.
This is the fanciest non-QLED TV from Samsung's 2021 range, providing a level of care and attention that matches more expensive TVs, and including a surprising number of sleek high-tech features.
HDR is catered for, from the live broadcast-friendly HLG to HDR10+ dynamic metadata, and the 4K UHD resolution is augmented by integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity. The Tizen-based operating system is identical to that sported by the pricier QLED TVs, and a response time of around 10ms will appeal to gamers.
Best of all, performance could easily be from a more expensive screen. Samsung's innovative backlight keeps contrast looking dark without being washed out, and that combines with a reasonably bright picture overall, giving things a lovely pop.
The audio quality is nothing special, but it works perfectly well, and the TV supports passthrough of Dolby Atmos audio, so you could upgrade it with a great soundbar later. It's available in larger sizes for slightly more, too, if you can spare the budget – perhaps our full Samsung AU9000 review will tempt you.
This TV doesn't offer the strongest image quality of all the sets here, but it's packed with great smart TV features, plus Samsung's excellent build quality and looks, and enables you to get a big screen for a really cheap price.
Crucially, since you're able to go for a bigger size with this TV, it offers really good upscaling, so whether you're watching a lot of native 4K or are streaming a lot of stuff that the set will have to punch up to 4K, it does a great job. HDR looks good too, and HDR10+ support is good for making the most of its admittedly limited brightness.
It's also well-equipped when it comes to smart TV. Better than most budget TVs, this has the same options as more expensive Samsung TVs, though it's a little less smooth to use. But the important part is the feature list, including Bluetooth and AirPlay 2, and apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV and loads more.
All in all, it's a fantastic-value TV – if you want to go big at a low price while still reaching for pleasing image quality, it's our pick, as our full Samsung AU7100 review explains in more depth.
To lower the cost, check out the latest Samsung discount codes.
Best TV under £500 in 2023: Best of the rest
This TV ticks an impressive number of technical boxes for the price: you get a direct backlight instead of an edge-lit one (for punchier HDR), Dolby Vision HDR support to make the most of that display, and Dolby Atmos support for more involving sound.
The result is some of the best HDR we've seen on a TV of this price, with highlights still managing to jump out even in bright scenes. It's equally accomplished at getting every drop of detail out of 4K sources, again punching above its price bracket. In our review, we said "Between them, the intense sharpness and surprisingly potent handling of HDR leave almost all of the Toshiba 50UK3163DB’s similarly priced rivals looking staid and dull by comparison." Its only issue for movies is that its motion processing is a bit aggressive, but if you turn it off, you see some judder in slow horizontal pans in 24fps content.
Its smart TV platform is also pretty good, thanks to being very easy to use – though it's a shame that it lacks Disney+ and Apple TV. And it's a good choice for gaming, thanks to really low latency in gaming mode. Here's our full Toshiba 50UK3163DB review.
The Toshiba UL21 is a cheap 4K TV with loads going for it, you'll even be able to control it by voice using your Alexa or Google Assistant smart speaker.
Whatever you're watching, the screen looks great. It supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10 both of which make for a decent viewing experience on a budget.
While it's not perfect, the screen is very bright and detailed with vibrant colours especially when you consider just how affordable this set is. The sound is even more impressive, it easily fills up the whole room and the Dolby Atmos support means you'll feel more immersed in the action than you would with some of the other options here.
You'll be able to access your favourite streaming and catch up services from this TV without a separate media device because apps like Netflix, Prime Video and BBC iPlayer come pre-installed on the smart TV platform. Admittedly, it's not as easy to navigate as more accomplished systems like Android TV or Roku but it's not impossible either. Find out more about it in the Toshiba UL21 review.
Got a hankering for a nice big 4K UHD TV (without the nice big price ticket that so often goes along with it) from a brand with proper credibility? Want a big slice of the performance that’s generally associated with more expensive alternatives? LG is ready to sort you right out.
The 49UM7400 is by no means the sveltest or best-specified TV in LG’s extensive line-up. But thanks to its 4K resolution, its support for the HDR basics, its full suite of smart TV apps and its eminently watchable picture, it just might represent the sweet spot of LG’s entire LED range.
There’s no denying the LG’s black tones could be deeper, but that should be balanced against the TV's great screen uniformity and smooth motion handling. Upscaling of sub-4K content is very well handled too, and gamers will appreciate the super-low 12ms response time. It even summons meaningful bass from its little speaker array, even if there’s not much width or separation to its sound.
This is full features, married with strong image quality, making it a great buy if you want a degree of future-proofing with your buy. Four HDMI ports is more than most of the sets here, and means you'll always have room for whatever new thing you need to connect. Dolby Vision support makes the most of HDR videos from key streaming services. Freeview Play and good smart TV app support makes it easy to actually stream those things (with the exception of Disney+, sadly).
Image quality is really good, if not quite excellent. As our full Hisense A7500F review says: "Its imagery is sharp and colour rich. It passes the T3 eye candy test. More discerning videophiles will be less enamoured with its limited contrast and brightness capped HDR performance – although it should be pointed out this is exactly where we’d expect a set with such budget-capped aspirations to sit."
Speaker quality is thoroughly middling – fine, but we'd recommend adding even a budget soundbar to give it an instant improvement – and the only real downside is that off-axis viewing struggles, so it's best in a living room where everyone gets to sit pretty much bang in front of the TV. Our Samsung TU7100 vs Hisense A7500F guide compares it to the closest Samsung model, if you want more on just those two.
Scaling back screen size when you're on a limited budget might not be the thing to do if you're furnishing a living room, but for anywhere else in the home a smaller TV can make a huge amount of sense. Particularly when it's something as neat as the LG 32LM6300, one of the highlights of our guide to the best 32-inch TVs.
You might look at it and think it unspectacular; we prefer 'functional', with a FHD display, a basic but very tidy design equally adept at wall-mounting and living on its stand, and a solid selection of connections including three HDI ports and built-in Wi-fi.
Delve deeper and you find some very solid processing tech, itself helmed by LG's excellent webOS smart platform. There's a quad-core processor which makes use of direct backlighting for some brilliant sharpness and colour reproduction. There's HDR support, covering HDR10 and HLG signals. There's even a low-lag gaming mode, covering what we'd imagine would be one of the key uses of a screen this size.
This is a great screen for streaming content, and it includes Freeview HD and satellite tuners too; the audio rocks, as well, with a virtual surround mode that really pops.
Our tips for buying a cheap 4K TV
So what should you look for when buying a cheap 4K telly, and what compromises can you expect to make? You can read about how we test here.
Screen sizes obviously vary dramatically, depending on brand and price. A growing number of manufacturers are now pushing out smaller (40-43-inch) 4K panels to meet booming demand.
All TVs worth their salt are net connected, via Wi-Fi or ethernet, so check whether they support all the streaming and catch-up services you want them too. But bear in mind that just because a set doesn't include everything, that doesn't have to be a deal-breaker – the best media streamers include a huge range of services, and cost from only around £40, so if you're making a big saving on the TV, you still won't break the bank.
It’s also worth double checking that your shortlisted set has enough HDMI ports for your games consoles, Blu-ray player, set-top box and maybe that extra streamer if it's – this is an area where compromises are often made to get the retail price down.
Freeview Play is a handy bonus as it serves as both your programme guide looking forward and also lets you seamlessly delve into catch-up TV that you might have missed, without needing to load up separate apps.
HDR (high dynamic range) compatibility is a bonus, although these entry-level sets typically won’t be bright enough to dazzle with spectral highlights in the same way an 800-nit OLED panel will.
Another element that is usually majorly skimped on with cheaper TVs is the audio. So if you've got a few quid left over, consider buying a best soundbar or soundbase.