The best TVs under £1000 of 2020: 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)

Why the Best TV under £1000? We chose this price limit for this roundup because it's well below what you'll pay for an ultra-serious 'flagship' TV, but still gives plenty of scope for getting a TV with the latest and greatest features, top smart TV options, and advanced processing. 

There was a time (not all that long ago) that getting a big TV with a full-on specification would cost you properly eye-watering amounts of money. Unless you wanted (and were prepared to pay for) an authentic ‘flagship’ screen, there would have to be sacrifices and compromises made if you want a TV under £1000.

Not any more. Admittedly, cheap OLED TVs for less than four figures are currently hard to come by (and often will be a false economy), which is why there's only one our list – the best OLED TVs tend to cost hundreds more. If you see one that cheap, be sure it's from a company such as LG or Philips who won't have cut corners.

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. 

Yes, our picks of the very best TVs overall can get you even more cinematic image quality – but in many cases, you're paying for bigger-size panels. You'll be surprised at how much more you have to spend before the upgrades really start to make themselves visible.

For combining scorching picture quality, excellent design, superior sound and a whole raft of smart TV functionality, as well as cutting-edge HDR compatibility, there are half a dozen TVs here that really hit the spot.

Of course, if you want something even more affordable, we've also got the best TVs under £500.

What is the best TV under £1,000?

Our pick of the current best TV under £1,000 is the Philips 55OLED754. It gives you the fantastic contrast of a quality OLED screen, with a full suite of HDR support, too. And at 55 inches, it's still a generous size. Given the normal price of OLED TVs, it really is an astounding deal – and even the regular concern that OLED screens aren't that bright isn't an issue here, because it's still brighter than most similarly priced LED TVs, but with all the advantages of the infinitely rich detail in dark areas that OLED's self-emissive pixels give you.

OLED vs QLED: what they are, and which is right for you

If you want an LED screen, the Samsung QE55Q80R is an astoundingly good balance of picture quality and value for money. Bright QLED images are mixed with localised dimming to produce HDR that stops you in your tracks – and the saturated colours are equally stunning. It's excellent for movies and TV, but is also ideally suited to gaming, including for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. It just had a big price cut that brought it into our sub-£1000 budget, so when we say its image quality looks like should cost way more, remember that it very recently did.

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.

Right, that’s enough of this introductory banter. Let’s take a closer look at these big-screen beauties…

The best TVs under £1,000 in order

Best TV under £1000: Philips OLED754

(Image credit: Philips)

1. Philips 55OLED754

Our T3 Awards 2020 winner for the best TV under £1000

Screen size: 55 inches
Other sizes: 65 inches
Inputs: HDMI 2.0 x4, USB x2, component video, ethernet
Dimensions: 710x1230x50mm
Reasons to buy
+Ambilight is fun+Very affordable for OLED+All HDR formats covered+Rich OLED contrast and colours
Reasons to avoid
-Ordinary user interface-Can be tricky to balance motion just so

At the top of the page we suggested any OLED TV that ducked under four figures might be considered a false economy. Well, here’s the exceptional Philips OLED that proves the rule – so exceptional that it's our T3 Awards 2020 winner for the Best TV Under £1,000.

Pennies less than a grand buys you a blandly handsome, super-skinny TV with a stack of connectivity, a pretty humdrum user interface and the sort of inkily deep black tones for which OLED technology is widely celebrated. 

And with support for each and every HDR format included, there’s no chance your OLED754 will do anything but make your 4K content look its absolute best. Which means stable, detailed, dynamic pictures with strong contrasts and excellent motion-handling (once you’ve finessed the numerous motion settings available).

And, of course, this screen features Philips’ party-piece: Ambilight. At the back of the chassis, three sides of the TV are studded with little LEDs that shine on to the surface the screen is in front of, giving an impression of an image far bigger than the screen itself. Unique selling points are hard to come by in TV-land, and Ambilight is both amusing and effective.

Read our full Philips OLED754 review to see more on why we rate it so highly.

(Sadly, this TV is not available in the US.)

Best TVs under £1000: Samsung Q60T

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. 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: Panasonic HX800

(Image credit: Panasonic)

3. 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

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 QE49Q70R

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung QE49Q70R

Small Samsung QLED = big Samsung bargain

Screen size: 49 inches
Other sizes available: 55, 65, 75, 82 inches
Inputs: HDMI 2.0 x4, USB x2, composite video, ethernet
Dimensions: 710x1100x70mm
Reasons to buy
+Detailed, composed, convincing images+Great interface+Minimal bezel
Reasons to avoid
-Lack of Dolby Vision support

Samsung will give you any number of reasons why its proprietary QLED technology is superior to the OLED alternative its rivals use in their flagship TVs. But we reckon one of the most compelling is QLED’s availability in sizes that can’t automatically be described as ‘massive’. 

This 49-inch charmer has more or-less everything offered on bigger, pricier QLED screens. So you get a stack of inputs, one of the best interfaces/operating systems around, support for a huge number of streaming and catch-up apps, two (count ‘em!) remote controls, minimal bezel around the screen, and HDR10+ support. Only a lack of Dolby Vision spoils the spec-sheet – it's a shame, since that's the advanced dynamic HDR option with the best support, but you still get regular HDR from those sources.

Best of all, the QE49Q70R looks an absolute treat. Just a little finessing of the picture settings will soon have you lapping up a picture that’s stable even under the most testing conditions of movement and contrast, lays bare even the finest details, and generates deeply inky (but still textured and subtle) black tones.

It upscales lesser material well, even making poverty-spec standard-def stuff palatable. Add in sound that’s robust by flatscreen standards, and the Samsung is a compelling proposition all round.

We've chosen the smaller model as our pick here, but you can go bigger – the 55-inch model also comes under budget. Of course, the 55-inch Q80R in the number one spot has fancier tech than this, but you could save a little more on the 55-inch Q70R and not feel like you're missing out.

•Check out our guide to Samsung's 2020 TV range, and how its new models compare

Best TVs under £1000: Sony KD-43XH8505

(Image credit: Sony)

5. Sony KD-43XH8505

The best 43-inch TV under £1000 – big images, compact size

Screen size: 43 inches
Other sizes available: 49 inches
Inputs: HDMI x4, USB x3, composite video, ethernet
Dimensions: 970x570x60mm
Reasons to buy
+Extensive specification+Endlessly watchable images
Reasons to avoid
-No HDR10+-Clumsy Android OS

The Sony KD-43XH8505 represents prodigious value for money, despite being a tiddler compared to other models here. If a 43-inch screen is the biggest TV you can or are willing to accommodate, it’s difficult to suggest you can buy better picture-making prowess than this – we've picked out more of the best 43-inch TVs, but you usually find this size in our list of the best TVs under £500. Not many go as premium as this.

Thanks to Sony’s X1 picture processor, the TV’s ‘Netflix Calibrated’ and ‘IMAX Enhanced’ certification and some of the very best edge-lit backlighting around, the XH8505 serves up state-of-the-4K-art picture quality. Colours are utterly convincing, detail retrieval where skin-tones and textures are concerned is sky-high, contrasts are robust, and motion is stable even in the most testing circumstances.

Add in balanced and quite expansive sound, the usual Sony pride of ownership and exemplary build quality, and the price looks more and more realistic. Certainly the 8505 performs well enough to make forgiving its lack of HDR10+ compatibility (only in use on Amazon Prime Video and some Blu-rays) and its altogether overconfident Android OS (clunky to use, but with solid app support) easy enough. 

Best TVs under £1000: Samsung UE75RU7020

(Image credit: Samsung)

6. Samsung UE75RU7020

The best 75-inch TV for under £1000 – BIG screen, mid-range budget

Screen size: 75 inches
Other sizes: 43, 50, 55, 65, 70 inches
Inputs: HDMI x3, USB x2, component video, composite video, ethernet
Dimensions: 1650x970x60mm
Reasons to buy
+So much screen for the money+Poised, realistic images
Reasons to avoid
-Upscaled low-res content can look noisy-Sounds a bit weedy

It can be done. You can own a massive (75-inch) TV from a renowned brand (Samsung) that performs beautifully but doesn’t break the bank. What you need is a UE75RU7020.

The RU7020 range dates from 2019, and it’s a regular LCD-based series rather than one of Samsung’s more celebrated QLED alternatives. But neither of those things should sway you if what you fancy is big-screen spectacle – think about the amount of screen your money’s buying, and then have a look at the quality of images that screen is producing.

No, the black tones aren’t the out-and-out blackest around, but they’re deep, varied and carry plenty of detail nevertheless. Thanks to equally detailed and clean white tones, contrasts are solid too. The colour balance is just so, edge-definition is convincing, and picture noise is suppressed sturdily – which is all the more impressive on a screen of this size. 

In fact, the only time the size/price ratio betrays itself here is when the Samsung is asked to upscale sub-1080p content to fit its acreage of screen. In every other respect, the UE75RU7020 is the best sub-£1k massive 4K TV around.

Best TV under £1000: Hisense H65U8BUK

(Image credit: Hisense)

7. Hisense H65U8BUK

If you want the biggest TV possible for under £1,000

Screen size: 65 inches
Other sizes: 55 inches
Inputs: HDMI 2.0 x4, USB x2, composite video, ethernet
Dimensions: 840x1450x60mm
Reasons to buy
+Huge amount of screen for the money+Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos-capable
Reasons to avoid
-No HDR10+

There’s no two ways about it: if you want your thousand pounds to buy you the biggest TV possible, you’ll have a job improving on this 65-inch monster from Hisense.

It’s neither the most elegant, nor the most luxurious, TV you’ve ever seen. But the H65U8BUK has it where it counts - the specification is competitive (if you overlook the lack of HDR10+, but it's a fairly new technology still), the operating system is perfectly adequate and, most important of all, there are some real areas of picture-making expertise on show here.

As an upscaler, the Hisense manages to keep a grip on stability and doesn’t let too many jagged edges show. Up the video source quality to 4K, though, and although its backlighting means true black is hard to come by, its 4K images are stable, detailed and stay just the right side of ‘overblown’ where colour temperature is concerned. And, let’s not forget, this is as big a TV as less than £1,000 can currently buy. Look no further for your biggest bang for buck.