The best TV under £500: cheap 4K UHD and full HD best buy televisions

UHD 4K and full-HD with HDR TVs for bedrooms, games rooms and tighter budgets with big screens at small prices

Best TV under £500 including 4K

Can you get a great TV for under £500? You'll be pleased to know, the answer is, 'Yes, and in fact here is a buyers guide of all my favourites in that price bracket.' Welcome, my friends, to the Best TVs under £500.

You may have to take a hit in terms of the aesthetics, connections and build quality of the television, but for under £500 you can get a TV boasting 4K UHD resolution and HDR for images that really pop. Or you could settle for a full HD TV to use in your bedroom or elsewhere. 

• Need more advice? Our guide to buying a sub-£500 TV is at the bottom of the page

Bottom line: you don’t have to forgo all the toys if you want a more affordable telly. From screen sizes above 50 inches to HDR (including the more advanced Dolby Vision and HDR10+), what was once the preserve of the upper and midrange has made it down the 4K food chain.

These TVs under £500 are largely at that price because it's their RRP, but you will also find great cheap televisions that were previously more expensive – see our TVs under £1000 roundup – but have had a price cut. Similarly the real flagship, £1,500+ UHD OLED, LED and QLED Best 4K TVs sometimes also see sales and deals that bring them down under £1000. You don't have to wait until Black Friday for this; the best prices can be found at any time of year.

The best TVs under £500, in order

Best TV under £500: Panasonic TX49FX550B

1. Panasonic TX49FX550B

Best TV under £500, complete with 4K resolution and solid HDR

Specifications
Screen size: 49 inches
Other sizes available : 43-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch
HDMI: 3
USB: 2
Dimensions: 1105 x 624 x 73mm
Reasons to buy
+Freeview Play is great+HDR and HLG compatible
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision-Not ultra bright

• Buy from Amazon for just £379

This slick looking 4K flatscreen absolutely oozes class, especially given the price. It's oh-so-nearly a 50-incher (it's only an inch out – your guests will never know), it combines a neat minimalistic design with an easy-to-accommodate central pedestal stand, and very solid tech credentials.

HDR support includes HDR10 and HLG, the broadcast variant of HDR. It’s probably not worth getting too hung up about HDR at this price point, because sets in this category simply don’t have the native brightness to do much with it, but compatibility is always welcome.

Panasonic’s image processing is always a cut above, and advanced motion interpolation is on hand to combat blur. The TV is also DLNA compliant, which means it’ll stream files from any compliant NAS on your network.

A Freeview Play tuner ensures a full complement of catch-up TV players (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, UKTV Play, All 4 and Demand 5), to accompany the usual streaming service apps. If you need more, just plug an Amazon Fire TV or Roku stick into one of the three HDMIs available.

Best TV under £500: Samsung UE50NU7020

2. Samsung UE50NU7020

A lot of TV for not much money

Specifications
Screen size: 50 inches
Other sizes available: 43-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch
HDR: HDR10, HDR10+
HDMI: 2
USB: 1
Dimensions: 1125 x 650 x 60mm
Reasons to buy
+Samsung TV Plus guide +HDR10+ support
Reasons to avoid
-Limited connectivity

• Buy from Currys for just £399

Proof you don’t need to go too far upmarket to find clever HDR tech, this well-appointed Samsung tempts us with HDR10+, the non-branded, dynamic metadata alternative to Dolby Vision. Promising more precise HDR handling, HDR10+ is currently available on a small selection of UHD Blu-ray discs and (uncredited) shows on Amazon Prime Video. The TV further improves contrast with the help of sophisticated multi-zone UHD Dimming technology.

If sports is more your bag than movies, there’s Auto Motion Plus, an image smoothing technology designed to improve clarity in fast moving games.

For reasons best known to itself, Samsung doesn’t offer Freeview HD, but it does compensate with a well-stocked smart portal and its own curated Universal Guide, which recommends popular shows and content, based on your expressed interests. Just the thing to reduce box set befuddlement?

There’s also Samsung TV Plus, an ever-changing showcase for new movies, perfect if you want a big night in. The down side to all this joy is there’s only two HDMIs available and one USB. Still, other than that, you’re getting a lot of TV tech for a fairly paltry amount of cash.

Best TV under £500: LG 49UK6400PLF

3. LG 49UK6400PLF

Smartest looking smart TV under £500

Specifications
Screen size: 49 inches
Other sizes available: 43-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch
HDR: HDR10, HLG
HDMI: 3
USB: 1
Dimensions: 1110 x 650 x 81mm
Reasons to buy
+Bold design 
+LG webOS smart portal +Freeview Play
Reasons to avoid
-Again, not the brightest HDR you’ll find

• Buy from John Lewis for just £399

In a world dominated by cookie-cutter black bezels, this low-cost LG stands out from the crowd. It’s actually finished in deep Havana Brown, and comes with a matching stand, just the thing if you want to make a subtle design statement. 

If the unusual livery doesn’t swing it, take a look at the set’s integrated smart platform. LG’s webOS interface, comprising a horizontal bar of customisable tabs, is arguably the best out there, and a long-time favourite of this parish. It’s both intuitive to use, and rich in viewing choice, offering everything from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to Now TV and the Sky Store. 

Image quality is boosted by HDR and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) HDR support, so this sharply dressed 4K TV should be a good match for UHD Blu-ray players and set top boxes alike.  

The icing on the cake is a Freeview Play tuner, complete with integrated catch-up TV services (BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, My5 and UKTV Play).  There’s also on-screen access to music sites Spotify and Napster.

Best TV under £500: LG 50UK6950PLB

4. LG 50UK6950PLB

Best TV under £500 for Freesat lovers

Specifications
Screen size: 50 inches
Other sizes available: 43-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 70-inch
HDR: HDR10
HDMI: 4
USB: 2
Dimensions: 977 x 575 x 81 mm
Reasons to buy
+Remarkably similar to the TV above but with Freesat HD as well as Freeview HD+And it's one inch wider!
Reasons to avoid
-You do pay a slight premium for this

• Buy from Curry's for £499 (it's a Curry's exclusive) 

Another very pleasing LG TV, this is really not a million miles removed from the 6400PLF listed immediately above but it has a full complement of 4 HDMI sockets (2.0) and a Freesat HD tuner alongside the Freeview HD/Freeview Play setup of its cheaper sibling.

The 4K video served up is very similar, and there's support for HDR10, but not HLG. It's also the same, excellent WebOS smart platform. If reception via a terrestrial area is suspect in your area, this Freesat HD-enabled telly is the perfect alternative to the 6400PLF.

Best TV under £500: Hisense 43A6500

5. Hisense 43A6500

Best smaller TV under £500

Specifications
Screen size: 43 inches
Other sizes available: 55-inch, 65-inch
HDR: HDR10
HDMI: 3
USB: 2
Dimensions: 961 x 566 x 67mm
Reasons to buy
+Freeview Play +HDR10 support
Reasons to avoid
-Stripped back smart platform
-Feeble sound

• Buy from John Lewis for just £399

Hisense is a master at making credible budget TVs. They’re typically far better looking than you might expect, given their price tag, and image quality is often entirely reasonable. The A6500 is a great example, and a snip at its current price.

With its silvery finish and widely spaced feet, it’s hardly a shrinking violet. The provision of HDMI inputs is also generous. 4K images are pin sharp and there’s entry-level HDR support, although don’t expect high-end peak white dazzle. 

The Hisense smart OS may look a little basic, but it’s built on a sprightly quadcore platform and offers a good number of streaming apps, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Wuaki.tv and YouTube. There’s also the perennial bonus of Freeview Play, complete with catch-up TV apps and roll-back 7-day programme guide. 

That said, you’ll probably want a soundbar. While Hisense employs TruSurround Audio processing, you really can’t expect too much sonic finesse from such a slim cabinet design.

6. Toshiba 55U7863DB

Best TV under £500 with broad HDR support

Specifications
Screen size: 55 inches
Other sizes available: 49-inch
HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
HDMI: 3
USB: 2
Dimensions: 1237 x739 x 55mm
Reasons to buy
+Multi-HDR support with Dolby Vision+
Freeview Play
Reasons to avoid
-Not particularly bright
-Spartan smart platform

• Buy from Currys for just £399

Formerly one of the big dogs in the TV business, Toshiba is back to curry favour with some nicely tricked-out, low-priced screens, and the pick of the bunch is this 7-series model, which boasts a big 55-inch display and ticks some serious boxes.  

Need some reasons to get excited? How about multi-HDR support with both HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision! This set even boasts a wide colour gamut panel. It’s a perfect low-cost partner for a 4K UHD Blu-ray player, although in truth, with a peak brightness of just 300 nits, this telly is never going to be capable of class leading HDR. Still, the application of dynamic metadata means you can rest assured it’ll do the best with whatever Dolby Vision source material you feed it.

If that’s not enough to sway you, there’s also Amazon Alexa control compatibility courtesy of a remote-replacing Skill, and an Onkyo-made speaker system. The Toshiba smart OS is admittedly a little spartan, but Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube are all in there. There’s all the catch-up TV you can eat, thanks to a Freeview Play tuner.

Toshiba 43U6863

7. Toshiba 43U6863

You can now get this petite 4K stunner for under £300

Specifications
Screen size: 43-inches
HDR: HDR10
HDMI: 3
USB: 2
Dimensions: 965 x 560 x 89mm mm
Reasons to buy
+Wide HDR support+Freeview Play
Reasons to avoid
-Bijou screen size-Limited brightness

You might well do a double take when you see the specification for this small-screen UHD screen. Not only does it boast HDR compatibility, but it reads Dolby Vision metadata too. Dolby Vision is widely thought of as a high-end feature, given that it's largely been the preserve of expensive OLED sets, yet here it is on this humble LED LCD.

Like all low brightness 4K displays, this model is probably best thought of as HDR compatible. It’s just not going to have the peak brightness that can make HDR compelling (with 350 nits claimed). We appreciate the compatibility though.

The set isn’t wide colour, yet looks bright and cheerful. Detail is high but you’ll need to pull up to the screen to make the most of its 3840 x 2160p resolution. 43-inches is a wee bit small for UHD to have an impact.

Still, usability is above average. The TV rocks a Freeview Play tuner, with roll-back programme guide and integrated mainstream catch-up services ( BBC iPlayer, ITVHub, All 4 and Demand 5 ), and there’s Netflix 4K available too.

The design may be cookie cutter, but there are three HDMI inputs plus a good selection of legacy inputs, including composite and VGA. There’s also a digital audio optical output for use with a soundbar or system. There are also two USB sockets, one of which will timeshift programmes if you’re not around to watch, and Miracast screen mirroring.

Want more? A comprehensive USB media player will unspool most popular video and music formats.

8. LG 43UJ670V

Best Smart TV platform under £500

Specifications
Screen size: 43-inches
Other sizes available: 49-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch
HDR: HDR10, HLG
HDMI: 4
USB: 2
Dimensions: 974 x 571 x 79 mm
Reasons to buy
+Excellent webOS platform+Freeview Play+HDR HLG compatible
Reasons to avoid
-
Smallish screen size


Shop cannily and you’ll find this high-spec 43-incher for a sniff under £500. It comes with HDR-emboldened 4K visuals and LG’s rightly rated webOS 3.5 smart platform – just you and a clickable bar, that's our kinda night in. 

The set also boasts a Freeview Play tuner, with integrated mainstream catch-up. Streaming apps include Netflix 4K, Amazon Video, YouTube and Now TV.

The IPS panel used here means you’ll enjoy good off-angle viewing. For the best black level performance, view in a room with some ambient light, rather than full dark room conditions. A contrast booster provides a lift to SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) sources. 

The set supports standard HDR10 and HLG, although there’s no sign of Dolby Vision, which is favoured higher up the LG range. Ultra Luminance, a local dimming technique, is used to maximise peak highlights. 

Design amounts to an ultra thin bezel and curved pedestal stand, but I like it. To make the most of the integrated sound system, a DSP processor offers virtual surround effects. Connectivity is solid, with four HDMI inputs, a legacy AV connection, plus a digital optical audio output.

All in all, a formidable 4K package for the price tag.

9. Samsung 40MU6120

Best looking 4K TV under £500

Specifications
Screen size: 40-inches
Other sizes available: 50-inch, 58-inch, 65-inch
HDR: HDR10
HDMI: 3
USB: 2
Dimensions: 904 x 520 x 54 mm
Reasons to buy
+HDR compatibility+
Solid app support
Reasons to avoid
-40-inches is considered  small, these days-No Freeview Play

In more upmarket circles, Samsung is all about QLED, its metal-coated marketing alternative to OLED. But glance further down the range, and it’s clear the brand hasn’t abandoned the mainstream buyer. 

This 6 Series screen combines above average good looks with a specification that’s firmly forward facing; not only is this 2160p set HDR enabled, but it offers voice functionality via the slim remote.

It’s an 8-bit panel (standard at the budget end of the market), but Samsung offers a raft of colour enhancements, dubbed Active Crystal Colour technology, to really make hues pop. 

Design wise it’s on-trend, with a thin bezel, hairline finish and angular pedestal. Connected functionality is via the brand’s 2017 hub, which offers YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Video amongst other streaming apps. The TV also supports smartphone to screen mirroring, and DLNA media playback. 

Audio is via two downward firing speakers, with 20W of amplification. There’s a trio of HDMIs, plus an optical output for an external digital audio system. Small, but perfectly formed.

10. Sony KDL-40RE453

Best full HD TV with HDR under £500

Specifications
Screen size: 40-inches
HDR: HDR10
HDMI: 2
USB: 2
Dimensions: 910 x 543 x 70mm
Reasons to buy
+HDR on the cheap+Decent images for the price
+Especially good for gamers
Reasons to avoid
-Two HDMIs is a bit 2007-Fairly specifically aimed at PS4 owners

For most buyers, 4K and HDR are synonymous, but it is possible to have HDR on a lower resolution, full HD telly. TV brands are still looking to maintain interest in 1080p, and one way to do so is by including HDR support in smaller, cheaper screens. Sony was the first to offer HDR on HD, but this year will also see Panasonic joining in. It's almost a trend.

Where HD HDR makes most sense is for PlayStation 4 (non Pro) owners, as the machine supports HDR without extra resolution. 

Design-wise the KDL-40RE453 is, at worst, inoffensive and could even be described as quite sharp. The thin bezel frame has a faux aluminium finish that I rather like, coupled to a non-wobbly central pedestal. 

But why opt for an HDR HD screen over 4K, you may well ask? Apart from the fact you should be able to save a few quid – although not a guarantee given how cheap 4K TVs are getting – there's also an issue of brightness. On a small screen TV it may be difficult to see the extra resolution of 4K sources unless you sit close, but the larger pixels on an HD screen will naturally tend to look brighter than a screen with four times the pixel density. 

A 50Hz panel, the RE45 features a basic level of motion handling (rated Motionflow XR 400 Hz by Sony), but looks suitably filmic. Sony’s always reliable X-Reality PRO image processing is on hand to lift detail.

Connections are a bit limited, admittedly – just two HDMI inputs, a pair of USBs (one a fast v3 for timeshifting onto an external USB hard drive), and a digital optical audio output – but that's not shocking at this price.

Overall, the RE45 is an intriguing option, especially for PS4 gamers looking to eke maximum picture performance from HDR games, for minimum cash. Give it a gander – but keep an eye on those deflating UHD prices too…

Our tips for buying a cheaper TV

So what should you look for when buying a cheap 4K telly, and what compromises can you expect to make?

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. Just don’t expect to see a huge jump in resolution over Full HD at this size. 

There’s an insurmountable relationship between screen resolution and viewing distance that means at a normal TV viewing distance, you’re unlikely to benefit from those extra pixels.  Step up to 50-inches or thereabouts though and you’ll begin to appreciate the extra clarity that UHD can offer.

All TVs worth their salt are net connected, via Wi-Fi or ethernet. Be sure the smart platform on your favoured set offers what you need in terms of catch-up TV and streaming services. It’s also worth double checking that your shortlisted set has enough HDMI ports for your games consoles, Blu-ray players and set top boxes – 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 350-nit, entry-level sets typically won’t be bright enough to dazzle with spectral highlights in the same way an 800-nit Überpanel 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.