10 Best TVs  Under $500 To Buy 

Buying a new TV can be a difficult task nowadays, and for many reasons. First of all, there are a lot of things that you should know, a lot of abbreviations to keep an eye out for, a lot of new technologies that come out every day etc. Keeping up with all of them is a tedious task. There is also the question of what you can and can’t afford, which of those new technologies are worth investing into, and which are pure marketing tricks, and many others. You will also run into plenty of brands, from the more reputable ones such as Samsung, LG, Sony etc., to some less known ones that usually offer more performance for the same price. But, those benefits are often not worth the tradeoff that is going with a cheap, relatively unknown brand. You usually lose some build quality, warranty, etc., which aren’t things you need to sacrifice when you’re buying something that you will use, potentially, for years to come.

Now that you know (a part of, at least) the many options and variables you will run into when shopping for a new TV, there is a good rule of thumb that you can use to start: your budget. Those 4K OLED TVs are nothing but a thing to look at if you can’t afford them, so if you want to get a new TV, start by setting a budget. If your budget is around $500, or below, you’re in luck, as below you will find 10 of the best TVs  under 500 you can get for $500. They usually don’t offer any groundbreaking features, but they’re excellent at what they do, and they are indeed the best in this price range. Without much further ado, read on for the list.


Samsung UN40J6200 (40”, 1080p, Smart)

To kick off this list, we begin with the Samsung UN40J6200. This is a 1080p panel with an LED backlight, and it has a diagonal of 40”. This is excellent for smaller areas, where you can’t really fit a 65” TV. At this resolution, 1080p is sufficient and looks pretty good. The TV with a stand has dimensions of 36.5” x 23.9” x 9”. As far as specs go, you will get two HDMI inputs, and two USB ports on the device, and there’s a Motion Rate of 120. The J6200 also has a Wide Color Enhancer feature, which gives much richer colors, even if the content is older, non-HD. There is Samsung’s SmartTV software, which gives you access to content and apps, and you can enjoy content from plenty of sources. There’s also the Samsung Apps store, where you can get new streaming, as well as social media services. For connectivity, there’s integrated Wi-Fi, and even a browser that lets you surf the Internet from the comfort of your own couch. Two Dolby MS10 10W speakers take care of the sound, and they should provide a decent listening experience.


  • The Full HD resolution is completely enough for enjoying new content and getting a sharp image.
  • The Motion Rate 120 ensures that you get a smooth viewing experience
  • Smart TV functionality opens a whole new world of media consumption


  • There is no quad-core processor, which might be a problem for more intensive apps
  • There is no Bluetooth for wireless audio


VIZIO E40-C2 (40”, 1080p, Smart)

Next on the list is VIZIO’s E40-C2. Like the Samsung before, this is another older model that you can still get, which means that it offers quite a lot of functionality, and the price is lower than it was on release. You get what is standard today, a 1080p LED panel with a diagonal of 40”, which is completely sufficient for a decent viewing experience. The TV, with the stands, has dimensions of 36.1” x 23.4” x 2.6”. There are two HDMI inputs, but only a single USB port, which might be a problem for some. The refresh rate is 120Hz. The VIZIO features 16 Active LED Zones, which result in much blacker blacks, as well as brighter brights. This is also a Smart TV, and VIZIO’s software is very well made. There’s integrated Wi-Fi for downloading apps and streaming media, and there are plenty of apps for that. Within the smart software you get a full-screen app launcher, which makes organizing and finding everything very easy. A potential downside is that the TV does have decent speakers, but there is no 3.5mm port for connecting your own headphones, which may prove to be a dealbreaker for some.


  • A 40” 1080p panel is completely sufficient
  • Smart functionality for content consumption is a great addition
  • The colors are very good with the Active LED Zones


  • No 3.5mm jack for headphones
  • Smart software sometimes stubborn


TCL 50FS5600 (50”, 1080p)

TCL is one of those brands that doesn’t charge much, but gives you a lot of bang for your buck. With the 50FS5600, you get a 50” 1080p panel, which is indeed noticeably larger than the previous offerings on the list. Once again, we have an older model, but it is well worth it as a competitor to modern offerings. There is 120Hz effective refresh rate, and an edge-lit LED backlight. The TV’s dimensions are 44.6” x 27.1” x 1.9”, and you’ll notice that aside from the stand, it is actually super thin. As far as inputs go, you get 3 HDMI, 1 MHL and a single USB input. There is a 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio which ensures a pleasant viewing experience, and TCL True Color Technology for enhanced contrast and color. A potential downside is that you get no smart functionality, which is somewhat of a standard these days. You do, however, get multiple front firing speakers, which give a very wide range of sound. On the back, you will also find a 3.5mm headphone jack, which lets you watch your media content without disturbing anyone else. The design is excellent too, as there are very small bezels which fit a big screen into less space.


  • Large, 50” 1080p panel
  • Excellent front firing speakers
  • Automatic volume control


  • A single USB output might be insufficient
  • No smart functionality is a bummer


Samsung LN46A650 (46”, 1080p)

Even though this is a fairly old model, older than most offerings on the list, it is still pretty competitive and comes with quite a few features. There is a 46” 1080p panel, and there is a refresh rate of 120Hz. The Super Clear Panel gives you great colors and you will definitely enjoy your viewing experience. Dimensions are 44.5” x 30.5” x 11”, which, as you notice, results in some pretty disappointing bezels. This is one of the downsides of the TV. There is a 4ms response time, and you get plenty of connectivity to create a true media center. There are four HDMI inputs, which should be more than enough, and they support HDMI 1.3. The built-in Ethernet port lets you use InfoLink to get free RSS feeds, and there is a side-mounted USB port as well. The Transparent and Opaque Color bezel with infused color adds up to the sleek appearance of the TV, and there is a 178-degree viewing angle, which is enough for anyone. The speakers are hidden, and they have SRS TruSurround XT audio for a great listening experience.


  • 46” 1080p panel with a very wide viewing angle is incredible for any room
  • The response time is very quick
  • There are four HDMI inputs, more than enough for any situation


  • The model is fairly old, and thus bezels are unpleasant to look at
  • There is no smart functionality


Samsung UN40JU6500 (40”, 4K, Smart)

The first 4K competitor on our list, the UN40JU6500 gives an incredibly sharp image due to the sheer number of pixels which you’ll find in the 40” panel. The 120Hz effective refresh rate is great, and everything is smooth, and there’s LED backlight as well. The dimensions are 36.1” x 22.9” x 9.5”. You get four HDMI inputs, as well as three USB ports, which is undoubtedly more functionality than you’d need. That 4K panel gives you a very lifelike image, and exceptional details are present everywhere. It is like you’ve crammed four Full HD panels in the same space, and it is excellent. The Smart functionality gives you a single place for all your media consumption, and you can connect it to the internet to download even more apps and social media services. The PurColor technology gives accurate and vibrant colors, and the ultra-clear panel will minimize glare. The TV also has a trick up its sleeve – any content that isn’t native 4K will get upscaled to near 4K clarity, which gives a much better picture. The quad-core processor can run all of this with ease, and you won’t notice it twitching.


  • 40” 4K panel gives incredibly sharp picture​​​​
  • Smart TV functionality enhances media consumption
  • Quad-core processor lets you switch between apps easily


  • 40” might be a tad small for someone investing in a 4K panel
  • Menus are somewhat counter intuitive


Sony KDL40R510C (40”, 1080p, Smart)

With an effective refresh rate of 120Hz and a 40” 1080p panel, this is another worthy competitor. The design is great, and the TV’s dimensions are 36.5” x 22.9” x 6.6”. The edge-lit LED backlight ensures that you get rich colors, enhanced dark-scene details and outstanding contrast, which all result in a pleasant viewing experience. Sony’s Clear Resolution Enhancer picture engine reduces picture noise for crisper images, as well as greater on-screen depth. There is built-in Wi-Fi, so you can stream videos from popular services such as Amazon Video, YouTube, Netflix etc., which only enhances your media consumption experience. As far as ports go, there are plenty. First of all, there are two HDMI ports, as well as two USB ports. You also get a headphone output, so you can enjoy your media without disturbing everyone in the room. The viewing angles are great, and you will be incredibly happy should you choose to buy it.


  • A 40” 1080p panel which gives great colors and viewing angles
  • Headphone output proves to be quite useful at times
  • Smart functionality is great and responsive


  • Only two HDMI and two USB (2.0) ports


Samsung UN50H5203 (50”, 1080p, Smart)

A larger panel than the competitors, yet still 1080p. At this panel size, some people would rather pay a little extra for 4K, but with the UN50H5203 you might not have to. There is a Clear Motion Rate of 120 for a very smooth viewing experience, and the edge-lit LED backlight ensures great colors. The TV has dimensions of 44.8'' x 28.5'' x 9.8'', including the stand, and you’ll be able to fit it in plenty of places. As far as inputs go, you have two HDMI inputs, as well as two USB ports, which should be sufficient. Smart functionality works as expected, as services such as YouTube, Pandora, Amazon and Netflix all connect and configure easily and quickly, and work as you’d expect them. Built-in Wi-Fi is also easy to configure, and works flawlessly. For most functions, you can also connect a keyboard and mouse instead of using the remote. You get excellent picture quality, and the speakers are good as well. All in all, you get a pretty decent package for a competitive price, and all from a manufacturer that many know and trust.


  • 50” panel is pretty big and offers an immersive experience
  • Smart functionality is more than sufficient
  • Picture and sound are great


  • At 50”, 1080p might not look that great
  • Only a single Composite/AV port means you can’t have both at the same time
  • No AV audio, only digital optical
  • 8

    VIZIO M43-C1 (43”, 4K, Smart)

    One more 4K offering on the list. The VIZIO M43-C1 has an effective refresh rate of 120Hz and an incredible LED backlight array with 28 active LED zones. The TV’s dimensions are 37.9” x 24.0” x 8.3” with the included stand. Even though you might not be used to it, 4K Ultra HD is here for budget TVs such as this one, and it is incredible. This model by VIZIO is a no-nonsense 4K TV with plenty of functionality, and powerful performance. To put things into perspective, you will find 8.3 million pixels on that screen, which are a lot, by anyone’s standards. As far as the smart functionality goes, there’s plenty of it. You get a quicker and smarter revamped user interface, which ensures that every app or service you want to access is within reach, without you having to go through complicated menus. The expanded apps library gives you every app you might need, and the full-screen app launcher makes organization a piece of cake. There is also built-in Wi-Fi which is very fast and gives you an effortless internet connection.

     A single USB port might not be enough for some


    • 43” 4K panel at this price is amazing, and picture quality is great
    • Smart functionality gives you plenty of services​​​​
    • 5 HDMI inputs are more than sufficient


    • Only the fifth HDMI port gives you 4K@60Hz
  • A single USB port might not be enough for some
  • 9

    LG Electronics 55LB5900 (55”, 1080p)

    LG is a brand that has constantly been at the top of the game when we’re discussing TVs. With the 55LB5900 they give you plenty of functionality and incredible quality, synonymous to their name, for a great price. The 55” panel is pretty big, and sufficient for a moderately sized living room or large bedroom. The 1080p resolution is the current standard, and you get a pretty clear image. The TV has LED backlighting which ensures detailed colors and great contrast. The native panel refresh rate is 120Hz, and you get a buttery smooth image without any blur. The TV has a 400x400 wall mount, which is great if you don’t want it taking up space on a table. With this TV, you get incredibly deep blacks, and the viewing angles are also great. The audio is actually good, which is a rarity considering most integrated speakers are either down, or worse, back firing, and offer tinny sound. You get two HDMI ports, which should be enough for most. There is also a single USB 2.0 port.

     Stands aren’t very supportive


    • Very big panel with a 55” diagonal
    • Incredible colors and contrast
    • Integrated speakers are better than you’d expect


    • Two HDMI ports and a single USB port will be insufficient for some
    • Stands aren’t very supportive


    TCL 32S305 (32”, 720p, Roku Smart)

    To finish up this review, this is a truly budget offering for people who don’t ask for much, and/or are limited with space. The 32S305 has a 32”, 720p panel, which some might feel is not sharp enough, but at 32”, 720 is actually decent. The dimensions are 28.9” x 19.2” x 7.2”, which means that this TV is great if you don’t really have room for a giant, 65” TV. The direct-lit LED ensures that picture quality is on point, and 60Hz refresh rate ensures minimal blur with fast moving action scenes. There are 3 HDMI inputs, one of which has ARC, and a single USB port, as well as a headphone jack for those times when you want to enjoy content by yourself. There is dual-band Wi-Fi, which is excellent for the included smart functionality. While we’re at it, there is Roku TV built-in, with a simple and intuitive interface, so you can find your way around it with minimal hassle. You no longer have to go through complicated menus to find everything.


    • Very cheap, yet well made
    • 32” 720p is great for limited space
    • Built-in Roku TV gives you excellent smart functionality


    • People who have more room might want to go for a larger TV
    • 720p may not be sharp enough for your requirements


    Now, from everything you read so far, you might still be confused. Again, you got plenty of choices, and they all come with a different feature set, so let’s make things a bit simple. Let’s see who needs what, and that hopefully will help you decide which one of these 10 TVs you should go for, if your budget is below $500. We’ll only dive into the resolution and Smart TV vs regular questions, as those are the most discerning features here, besides the panel size, which is a matter of available room and personal preference.

    First of all, let’s solve the resolution dilemma. On the list, there are three different offerings: 720p, only with the cheapest TCL model, 1080p, which is what the majority of the panels use, and 4K, which is slowly becoming a standard. 720p is a fairly low resolution, and only looks good and sharp on small displays. As such, the 32” TCL is a good option for a very low budget or a very limited space, but if you can afford some more room, you would benefit from a larger one. 1080p is the current “standard”, as most of the panels available today are 1080p, and most of the content you can get is 1080p as well. 4K was only introduced into the mainstream market a few years ago, and it is only now that prices for 4K panels are starting to drop. However, budget 4K panels are still not that good, and you will have to sacrifice functionality or quality in order to get them. If you’ll be switching to another TV in two or three years, that is no problem for you, and by all means go for them. However, if you want it to last, get a high quality 1080p panel for the same price.

    As far as Smart vs regular goes, it depends on what you need your TV for. If you want it for simple TV watching, or to use it as a monitor for your computer or gaming console, you don’t need smart functionality. However, if that will be your primary media consumption piece of tech, investing in a Smart TV is a good idea. You will get plenty of apps for streaming and watching available, and you’ll come to appreciate them soon enough.

     So, now that you know what everything is, and who needs what, hopefully your choice is easier, and you can get one now.

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