The majority of TVs are now smart-enabled with integrated internet accessibility, allowing movies, music, and video streaming, internet browsing, and syncing between your other smart devices. However, nowhere does it say that a great TV with all the features you want has to be vastly expensive, and with technology becoming more advanced, yet accessible, every day, the price of high-quality TVs is dropping to a welcome low.
To reflect this and show you that achieving a decent visual adventure doesn’t need to break the bank, we’ve personally tested a range of top-performing TVs, all for under $500. The ones that survived our stringent challenges are featured here:
1) TCL 50S425 50’’ 4K Smart LED Roku TV
TCL 50S425 50 inch 4K Smart LED Roku TV (2019)
2 used from $379.99
TCL have yet again produced a winner and this unobtrusive, but stylish TV, once activated, would stand out in any crowd. It offers 4K’s superior image resolution and produces a cinema-like quality for the home audience, both enhanced by the direct-lit LED screen. The luminescence of colors, textural clarity, and generous contrasts are impressive for such a low-end price tag, while the 120Hz refresh rate allows smooth, jerk-free scrolling.
Audio-wise, TCL hits the right notes, too. With a rich, multi-tonal soundscape that rolls, with luxurious confidence, to the highest peak, before sliding to the depths, creating an audio adventure that works so well.
With 3 HDMI ports, 1 USB, ethernet, and more, and being both Google Assist and Alexa enabled, just adds to this TV’s universal appeal.
2) Insignia NS-24DF311SE21 24’’ Smart HD TV – Fire Edition
Insignia NS-24DF311SE21 24-inch Smart HD TV - Fire TV Edition
This offering from Insignia manages to combine a decently solid performance with some great features, yet still remains well below out cut off price band.
The image resolution is impressive, and although not as sharp as 4K, you wouldn’t notice unless two TVs were placed side by side. The colors are richly realistic, and the contrasts crisp and clear. Unlike many cheaper TVs, there’s no irritating white halo, while the black are accurately dark and deep.
Allowing both internet access and media streaming, the Fire TV OS seamlessly integrates both streamed content and live, and with Alexa on hand, you can enjoy a fully personalized viewing experience.
The multiple input/output options, including 3 HDMI, ethernet and USB ports, add to the personalization, creating a satisfyingly optimized smart hub for your home.
All in all, this TV offers a great home entertainment system, at a better-than-great price.
3) SAMSUNG 55’’ 4K UHD/HDR Smart TV with Alexa 2021
SAMSUNG 55-Inch Class Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series - 4K UHD HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-in (UN55TU8000FXZA, 2020 Model)
Samsung are synonymous with quality TVs, and this 2021 model follows that tradition easily.
Thanks to the innovative Crystal 4K processor, image resolution is second to none, and the full color gamut glows with a vibrant ultra realism. Contrasts are sharp and clean, the textures touchably accurate, and screen reflections are minimal.
Alexa and Bixby vie for your attention, creating an effortlessly functional smart home hub, and with an incredibly low input lag, this is an impressive game-ready machine. Coupled with the solid audio performance, the smooth rolling graphics encourage full immersivity, and whether you’re gaming or watching your favorite soaps, this solidly decent Samsung is more than worth the small price ticket.