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Best TV under $500 in 2024 – our favorite smart TVs under 500 dollars

Here are the best TVs that you can get for under $500.
Last Updated on January 4, 2024

If you’re looking for the best TV for under $500, we’ve got you covered right here with our list of top picks.

Finding a TV for under 500 dollars is far easier than you’d think, as nowadays, even the leading brands are offering excellent, affordable TVs that deliver the goods. Now the rule of thumb is that if you’re looking for a TV with more premium features for less, then it makes sense to go for the small dimension TVs, specifically 43-inch sets. That being said, if you head towards brands that are well known for quality in the budget-mid range, such as Hisense, TCL, Amazon Fire, and more, you’ll be able to score a large TV for under $500 easily.

It also goes without saying that keeping an eye on the major sales is a great idea if you’re sticking to a budget. We’d recommend watching out for the best Black Friday 65-inch TV deals if you’re looking for a large TV under five hundred dollars that packs more premium components, such as a QLED panel for example.

One technology you won’t find at under $500 (unless it’s renewed potentially) is OLED TVs. Simply put, they’re really only available around the $900 plus mark.

We’ve used our expertise to select what we think are some of the best TVs for under $500 you can get on the market today, and we’ve also included our top tips for finding the right one for you. Let’s dive right in.

Products at a Glance

How we picked

We’ve used our expertise to evaluate the current offerings on the market, taking into account customer reviews, specs, design, and value for money. Our aim is to give you as much information as possible about the product and demystify any challenging jargon along the way, so you can make an informed decision. We update our selections based on new releases, new technology, and more, so we can give you the most up-to-date selection possible. Remember, we have multiple guides on practically every type of TV you can think of, so if you’re thinking about modifying your budget and seeing what’s available, be sure to check out our top picks for the best TVs under $300.

 

Our Recommended

Best TV under $500 in 2024 – our favorite smart TVs under 500 dollars

1
PROS
  • Thin bezel design
  • Gaming features like AMD FreeSync
  • HDR Pro+ Dolby Vision
CONS
  • Not a 'true' 120hz TV

If we had to pick one of the best 55-inch TVs under $500 on the market, that provides great value for money, we’d say this TCL 55-inch Q6 is well worth considering.

First off, it packs a stunning QLED display, which is quite rare for under $500 at this size. QLED is essentially better than LED and does make a difference when it comes to overall visuals, especially with clarity, color, and brightness.

What’s interesting is that this TV also has a few gaming features that can work nicely if you’re connecting a console to it. It’s not going to stand up to some of the best gaming TVs on the market, as many of these are 120hz and HDMI 2.1, however, the Q6 does boast a Game Accelerator, Auto Game Mode, and AMD FreeSync. What do these all mean? Well, in short, they all add up to a more responsive feel when gaming and a smoother look when playing fast-paced games.

In terms of everyday usage and movie nights, it features HDR PRO+ with Dolby Vision, which will enhance contrast, color, and brightness to bring whatever you’re watching to life.

Overall, this is a very good TV that ticks all the boxes, and then some, for under $500.

2
PROS
  • 50-inch 4K display
  • HDR support
  • Object Tracking Sound Lite
CONS
  • Not QLED

If you want the best 50-inch TV under $500 for general use and streaming your favorite shows, then you should check out this TV from Samsung’s CU8000 series.

The 50-inch TV has a 4K LED display, so you can expect the TV to deliver high-resolution visuals with decent contrast. Further, the TV is equipped with a Crystal Processor that upscales content to 4K quality, so you can get better visuals.

In addition to this, the TV supports HDR as well as has a Mega Contrast feature, which should give you the content you’re viewing added contrast and depth. Plus, if you are into watching sports or fast-paced action movies, then the TV also offers a Motion Xcelerator, which can reduce motion blur.

As far as audio is concerned, the TV has an Object Tracking Sound Lite feature, which should deliver an immersive audio experience. Plus, you can pair it with Samsung’s Q series speakers or sound bars to get a more cinematic experience.

3
PROS
  • Stunning design for the price
  • ALLM for low input lag when gaming
  • Excellent value for money
CONS
  • LED panel is quite standard
  • Side profile a little chunky

Finding a decent 65-inch TV for under five hundred dollars is certainly challenging, and as mentioned, you may want to check out the sales if you want more premium technology. That being said, we think the TCL 65-inch S4 TV is the way to go if you’re looking for cinematic immersion for less.

Again, as with many of the best TCL TVs you’re getting solid performance at an affordable price point. With this TV you’ve got an LED, 60hz display that comes packed with all the usual features you’d expect. You’ll find Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos, and of course 4K resolution. It even has some gamer-orientated features like ALLM, which automatically adjusts the TV for the lowest posible input lag. That goes a long way to giving you a much more responsive feel when you’re playing fast-paced games.

When it comes to design, from the front, we think it looks great with its practically bezel-less form. Sure, it could stand to have a slimmer side profile, but that’s rare with any TV that’s not OLED in all honesty.

4
PROS
  • Gaming features like ALLM and VRR
  • Chromecast built in
  • Sports mode
CONS
  • Not optimal for PS5 and Xbox Series X
  • Slightly older model

As far as finding an excellent 50-inch TV under $500, we think this Hisense 50A6H is also a good call for most people.

Many of the best Hisense TVs are both affordable and packed with features you wouldn’t typically expect to see for the price point. One of the most appealing features of this TV is the support for VRR, which means no matter the game’s performance, the TV will adjust its refresh rate to match the game. You’ll experience reduced screen tearing and a tweaked visual experience for your games overall. And with Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10, any compatible content should really pop.

Another interesting mode that the Hisense TV has is the Sports Mode. If you turn this on during a sports event, the TV will adjust its color and motion to sync with the fast-paced action.

Overall, it’s a good option for those looking to save some cash and score something that’s great for everyday use and gaming on consoles like the Switch, PS4, and Xbox Series S.

5
PROS
  • Alexa built in
  • QLED display
  • Great size for smaller living spaces, bedrooms, or kitchens
CONS
  • Lacking gaming features

As mentioned, you can generally find better panel technology under $500 when you lean towards the smaller screen sizes, so with that in mind, we’d say this Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED 43” TV offers the most bang for your buck.

The big standout feature here is the QLED display, which should deliver a much richer viewing experience than your standard LED TVs. Again, since it’s an Amazon Fire TV, it’s very easy to use out of the box, and super easy to stream your favorite shows on a number of different popular platforms. If you’re into using Alexa, you’re in the right place too, as this TV has built-in microphones for hands-free usage. It even has adaptive brightness built in, which means it’ll change how bright it is depending on your surroundings. That’s great if you’re watching in a well-lit room, or want to reduce any eye strain when watching at night.

When it comes to gaming, as with many TVs under $500 you’re likely not going to be getting the best TV for PS5 or the best TV for Xbox Series X. That being said, for a smaller living space, bedroom, or guestroom, we think this TV ticks all the boxes.

 

How to find the best TV under $500

So if you’re looking for the best TV under $500, and wondering which one to go for, here are a few things you’ll want to consider.

First off, if you want to get the best TV for under $500 you absolutely want to get it in the sales. Black Friday 4K TV deals are absolutely the best of the year, and you can find premium TVs drop to under $500. That being said, what you’re unlikely to find are OLED TVs, but we’d recommend keeping an eye out for Black Friday OLED TV deals just in case.

Next, consider what your primary usage of the TV is. If you’re looking for a cinematic experience, go larger and make sure it has HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos. If you’re using it for gaming, you’ll want to lean towards brands like Hisense, which has some more advanced gaming features for the price range. It also pays to go a little smaller in size, especially as larger screens can put you at a disadvantage when playing more competitive titles.

One word of warning when it comes to refresh rates: don’t be fooled by various gaming modes claiming 120hz and 240hz modes. These are not the same as native 120hz TVs, which are generally much more expensive, and will allow for 4K, 120hz gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X. Expect to pay upwards of $750 – $800 for these TVs.

And if you’re using it for everyday streaming, go for one of the budget-mid-level brands, like Amazon, TCL, Toshiba, and others.

 

 

 

What is the difference between a $500 TV and a $2000 TV?

There are a few things that drive up the price of a TV, and these are the areas you’ll want to pay close attention to when finding the right set for you.

Panel type

More advanced panels cost more, as they deliver better picture quality relative to brightness, contrast, and color. LED panels are the cheapest, followed by QLED, then mini-LED, and finally QD-OLED and OLED. At $500, you’re going to find mostly LED and smaller-size QLED TVs. Both are still good, but won’t deliver as much contrast as the like of Mini-LED and OLED.

Refresh rates

A 120hs refresh rate TV is far more expensive than a 60hz display. 120hz is essentially the same refresh rate as a high-end gaming monitor, and TVs with this tend to also have gaming features, which further drive up the price. At under $500, TVs will likely not have 120hz refresh rates or gaming features like VRR and ALLM. At over $2000, you’ll almost always see 120hz, 4K TVs.

Chipset

Without going too in-depth here, more expensive TVs tend to have more impressive chips that use AI to enhance picture and audio. This can affect how well a TV upscales 1080p content to look more like 4K, or how well it adapts its brightness and contrast to the type of content you’re watching. TVs under $500 will have a decent chipset, but you likely won’t be getting the very latest from the brand.

Design

With TVs under $500, the build quality will be understandably cheaper than more premium TVs, and you won’t get much in the way of fine detailing. One place to look for this is on the back of the TVs. If you compare the back of the LG C3 to the back of one of the TVs on this list, it’s night and day. Does it matter? Not really if you plan on wall-mounting it…

Adaptive Sync technology

In short, at under $500, it’s nearly impossible to find a TV with G-Sync or AMD FreeSync. Both technologies drastically help to reduce screen tearing when framerates accelerate or decelerate, and are usually found in the best gaming monitors. More expensive TVs will often have these, especially TVs over $2000.

Our Verdict

We’d say that the TCL Q6 55-inch QLED TV ticks basically every box you could think of when it comes to looks, performance, features, and value for money. It’s an excellent size for most living spaces that won’t dominate your room, and will be good for both gaming and movie nights too. Design-wise, we think it looks super premium for the price, and TCL has done an excellent job in creating an excellent-looking TV for those who are sticking to a budget.