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What to look for in a budget TV in 2021

Like most consumer electronics, budget televisions are far more capable and feature-rich than ever. As a result, you no longer need to spend a lot of money to get a good TV. But not all affordable TVs are created equal, so there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a new budget TV. After all, there is a difference between a cheap TV and a cheap one!

The most important thing is to choose a TV with 4K resolution . 4K TVs used to be expensive, but today they are just as affordable as their 1080p counterparts. With such a small price difference, there aren’t many reasons to invest in lower than 4K resolution. Since you’re likely to use a TV for several years, you want it to be future-proof enough, and 4K resolution gives you that, whether you’re currently watching 4K content or not.

Second, you will want to choose a brand that is known for its quality products and good after-sales support. You will see several brands in the budget segment that offer televisions with attractive features, but many of them have poor long-term service support. Aside from the premium brands that everyone knows, Hisense, TCL, and Vizio are big TV brands, especially in the budget segment. They offer the right service support and are excellent value for money televisions.

With these two things out of the way, let’s jump to the best budget TVs on the market. If you want to dive into the most important TV features and technologies, we have a great guide covering everything you need to know before buying a TV .

Best Overall Budget TV: Hisense U7G

Hisense U7G with red backlight

The Hisense U7G it’s a great budget 4K TV for most use cases. It includes Quantum Dot technology for vibrant colors and a brighter screen, which combined with the U7G’s excellent contrast, results in an impressive movie viewing experience in a dark room. What’s more, local dimming , a feature that dims parts of the screen for better blacks, is present to improve even more the contrast ratio .

Even when you are in a bright room, this QLED will not disappoint you with a maximum brightness up to 1,000 nits. This high brightness also helps counteract glare from television.

The U7G is part of Hisense’s 2021 lineup, looks good and features slim bezels. It will go well in most living rooms and will not clash with your decor as a result. The company has also added support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 + for excellent HDR performance.

You’ll also get a host of gaming features, including two ports HDMI 2.1 , low input lag, good response time, a 120Hz panel and a variable refresh rate (VRR).

Finally, an Android TV platform brings it all together and provides access to tons of smart TV apps, including all the popular streaming services. Additionally, hands-free voice control support is built in for Alexa and Google Assistant.

The only area where the U7G struggles is with viewing angles, which is a problem most budget TVs will have. So if you’re looking to save some money and still get a great TV, the Hisense U7G is the way to go.

Best budget TV for games: Hisense U8G

Hisense U8G in black entertainment center

Although our choice of TV with the best overall budget It is excellent for games, if the games are the main reason To buy a new TV, you must to opt for him Hisense U8G . It’s the best budget gaming TV you can buy for under $ 1,000.

The U8G is a complete TV that looks great and has amazing build quality. Like the U7G, it features Quantum Dot technology, resulting in richer colors and a brighter display. The U8G is even brighter than the U7G, with a maximum brightness of around 1,500 nits . Therefore, even when playing in a well-lit room, you will get a good viewing experience.

The television also comes with outstanding native contrast that is aided by local dimming. Support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 + it’s present too, so whether you’re playing HDR games or watching HDR movies, everything will look fantastic on the TV.

In terms of gaming-specific features, the Hisense U8G has a 120Hz panel and two HDMI 2.1 ports so you can enjoy 4K games at 120fps. The TV also offers low input lag, excellent response time, and VRR support for next-generation games.

On the downside, you may have issues with local dimming when playing Xbox with VRR enabled, but disable game mode or lower resolution on Xbox It’s enough. Other than that, the Hisense U8G is truly one of the best budget gaming TVs out there.

Best budget Roku TV: TCL 55S535

TCL TV in wooden entertainment center

TCL, like Hisense, produces some of the best value for money televisions. The company is especially known for its association with Roku . Whenever you are looking for a Roku TV, you will see everyone recommending a TCL TV. It is not surprising that the TCL 55S535 It’s a great Roku TV, but it’s also a great TV overall.

As part of TCL’s 2020 lineup, the S535 is a 4K QLED TV, utilizing the technology Quantum dot for vibrant colors. It also has a superior contrast ratio that is further enhanced by local dimming. Also, the TV looks good and has slim bezels. You can even control it with your voice, thanks to support for Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Homekit.

The S535 supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, but its maximum HDR brightness is poor for truly exceptional HDR performance. It’s something to keep in mind if you plan to have this in a well-lit room.

Also, as TCL hasn’t included any HDMI 2.1 ports, it’s hard to recommend the next-gen gaming TV. So for that, you will be better off with our selection of games . But some gaming features, like Low Latency Auto Mode (ALLM), low input lag, and fast response time, are present. In short, the S535 is a great Roku TV at an affordable price.

Best budget TV under $ 800: Hisense U6G

Hisense U6G on gray floor

Hisense’s ULED 2021 lineup is fantastic, which is why we’ve already included two of their TVs on this list. But if you are looking for something under $ 800, the 55U6G is perfect for you. It could be the entry-level model of the company’s ULED line, but it shares some of the cool features from U7G and U8G such as Quantum Dot technology and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 + .

For the price, you get an attractive TV with slim bezels and decent build quality. It also has an impressive contrast ratio and local dimming support, but local dimming doesn’t work very well here.

This Hisense TV runs on the Android TV platform, giving you access to the Google Play store and all the major streaming apps. You can also use the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants to control the U6G, which is uncommon for this price threshold.

Unfortunately, the TV lacks next-gen gaming features like HDMI 2.1, but you get low input lag and response time Excellent . You just have to agree that your games are not in 4K.

Although we have chosen the 55-inch model and the main recommendation, you can also to opt for him 65-inch U6G if you have space. Both screen sizes are available for less than $ 800, so it’s up to your personal preference.

Best budget TV under $ 500: Samsung AU8000

Samsung TV wall mounted

The Samsung AU8000 It’s an entry-level 4K TV from the company’s 2021 lineup. Despite its lower price, this Samsung offering looks stylish and well-organized, as expected from Samsung. It will feel great whether you place it on a table or mount it on a wall.

The TV offers excellent contrast with deep blacks, but there is no local dimming support. Still, you will have a great time watching movies and TV shows on it. The TV also handles reflections very well, so it won’t let the sun ruin your picture.

Instead of Android TV like many of the selections on this list, the AU8000 runs on the Tizen platform by Samsung with apps for all popular streaming services. Support for Alexa, Bixby, and Google Assistant is also present for voice control. Also, if you have a Samsung phone, you can use its feature Tap to play to effortlessly mirror your phone screen to your TV.

Although the TV supports HDR10 + , its HDR performance is nothing to brag about due to lower brightness and the lack of Quantum Dot technology to provide richer colors. The AU8000 misses next-gen gaming features too, but that’s to be expected given its price. However, you do get low input lag and ALLM for decent casual games.

If you can pay a little more, the Hisense 50U6G it is another inexpensive option to consider. It usually retails for around $ 530, but depending on the discounts, you can get it for $ 500. The 50U6G is a great budget 4K TV with vibrant colors, excellent contrast, and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 +. Also, it runs on Android TV if you prefer that platform.

The best budget TV under $ 300: Toshiba 43LF621U21 Fire TV

Toshiba Fire TV on blue background.

Toshiba isn’t the most popular TV brand, but it does offer some decent budget TVs. The Toshiba 43LF621U21 it’s one of those televisions. It looks good and has a good build quality with mostly metal construction.

This Toshiba model provides excellent contrast with deep blacks, so you will have a good experience watching movies and TV shows in dark rooms. The TV handles reflections well, but it doesn’t get too bright, which can be a problem in well-lit rooms.

Toshiba uses the Fire operating system from amazon , which is easy to use and comes with support for almost all major streaming services and applications. You can also use Alexa to control the TV, which is a novelty in this price range. There is also HDR10 support and Dolby Vision to view HDR content.

Finally, advanced gaming features are missing, but the Fire tv at least it has low input lag and fast response time.

If you can spend a little more money, you can also to buy the Vizio V435-J01 . This is an entry-level 4K LED TV, but it has better color accuracy out of the box. Vizio’s budget TV also eliminates shake, a TV screen artifact that occurs when content recorded at 24 fps is displayed on a TV with a 60 Hz refresh rate.

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