Smart TVs are all-in-one devices that allow you to access your content via all of your favorite streaming sources without having to plug in an external device.
Ditch the Chromecast, Firestick, or Roku and just use your TV to watch Netflix, Hulu, and all of the other apps you subscribe to.
Smart TVs connect to the internet for access to a full menu of media services. They can also run apps like a smartphone.
While a lot of companies have smart TVs, there are several who offer budget options. You don’t have to pay a fortune to get the best, most recent technology in your home. You don’t have to sacrifice quality, either.
However, you will have to make some sacrifices. You can get a smart TV with a quality picture for a great price, but it might be a 43-inch rather than a 65-inch. You may also have to settle for 720p instead of 1080p. But it all just depends.
The great news is that you’ll be able to find these smart TVs under $300 with up to three HDMI ports and a USB port. Here are some of the best smart TVs under $300 in 2020.
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Tips for Buying a Budget Smart TV
Smart TVs offer the latest technology. Many of them are compatible with smartphone apps that allow you to use your smartphone as a remote control. You can also mirror your smartphone or cast your screen to the TV this way.
When looking for smart TVs, it’s important to remember that as time as passed, this technology has gotten quite a bit cheaper. What you’re looking for instead is TV manufacturing quality.
You may be surprised to find that you can get very large smart TVs for under $300 these days. However, the larger your screen, the more you sacrifice TV quality or crisp and clear picture resolution.
If you’re looking for a budget smart TV and you are used to high resolution images, you may look for smart TVs that have smaller screens. Aim for about 43 inches to get the best value, size, and resolution combination.
However, if you don’t care about image quality and you want a huge, affordable smart TV for a large living room so that everyone can gather around and watch together, you likely won’t notice much of a difference in resolution and would be happy with a larger screen size.
This 55-inch smart TV from TCL has an LED display with 4K UHD resolution. It’s one of the biggest smart TVs you can buy for under $300. In fact, TCL’s MSRP is $500, but Amazon sells it cheaper.
While the resolution doesn’t compare to higher quality TVs, the 4K UHD resolution is really good and it suffices for most people, especially for the price.
It has over 4000 streaming channels available, so you’ll never miss your favorite shows. For those who really enjoy their entertainment without moving from the couch, you can enjoy controlling this TV from the smartphone app.
You can use your phone as a remote, use your voice or keyboard to search, share content to your TV, or plug headphones in for private listening. You can also cast movies to your TV with your YouTube or Netflix mobile smartphone app.
If you’re not into all the smartphone frills, it comes with an incredibly simple remote. Most smart TVs boast remotes with minimal buttons. They’re easy to use and skirt all of the confusion surrounding complicated layouts and searching for the button you need.
For parents, there are parental control settings included, and you can also plug in your external devices with three HDMI ports and one USB port. If you’ve used a Roku device before, you’ll be plenty familiar with the menu because it uses the Roku platform.
VIZIO V-Series V505-G9 Smart TV
Offering the same 4K UHD resolution as the TCL above, you won’t get an unmatched picture, but the beauty of a 4K LED display is that most people won’t notice.
The great thing about VIZIO is that you will get unmatched quality. They build long-lasting hardware that you’ll get years worth of your investment out of.
You practically can’t break a VIZIO, but we also don’t recommend you try. If you broke it, you wouldn’t be able to watch it.
This is a 50-inch TV, so it’s slightly smaller than the TCL, but still bigger than a lot of smart TVs in this price range. It rings up at $288 thanks to Walmart. In fact, VIZIO is owned by Walmart, so you’ll get the best prices and the better quality on these bad boys than you might expect.
It has a built-in Chromecast and is compatible with Apple AirPlay, so you can connect any type of smartphone for easy streaming to your TV as well as hands-free voice control. With laptop screen mirroring, you can present or share from your laptop, too.
The Quick Start Mode is the most unique feature, enabling you to start your TV automatically with just the tap of a cast button or with your voice.
Don’t let the Walmart brand scare you. Those who have owned a VIZIO can attest to their quality. It’s far greater than you would expect, and definitely worth more than a glance.
Believe it or not, you can get a 50-inch Samsung for under $300, too. You won’t sacrifice picture quality with the 4K 2160p resolution, but you’ll miss out on one of your HDMI ports. It only comes with two.
However, for all of the apps you’ll get to stream, it’s hard to believe you’ll need to plug in any external devices at all. Unless you’re into gaming, that is.
This Samsung comes with Game Mode, offering an optimized gaming experience with minimal input lag. You can get a leg up on your competition with a huge TV that doubles as your secondary monitor.
Dolby Digital Plus allows you to enjoy excellent sound quality on all of your content, no matter what it is. It can enhance any audio to immerse you in the experience and make you feel like you have surround sound when you don’t. The richness and clarity of sound are noticeable differences that audiophiles may not want to pass up.
Thanks to the octa-core processor, this TV responds instantly to almost everything, even when you’re not in gaming mode.
Forgot whether that show you were watching the other day was on Netflix or Hulu? The single universal guide makes it easy to search for your favorite shows and movies everywhere, without selecting an app first.
Samsung, like TCL, provides an optional smartphone app that allows you to control your TV from your phone. Forget losing the remote or having to get up to dig under the couch cushion for it. It’s already in your hand.
This LG smart TV is 49 inches. You lose out on an inch to sneak in under our $300 price point, but you get a quality TV from a trusted manufacturer. Unfortunately, you also lose out on some apps, too.
The LG Smart TV webOS just doesn’t offer the breadth of apps that a lot of other smart TVs do. The good news is that the image is crystal clear, even from an angle. You’ll get a wider viewing area which makes this TV idea for a larger room.
You can stream form over 160 free IP channels so that you get your favorite news and sports in addition to your streaming subscriptions. Plus, you get access to LG’s exclusive Channels app so you can enjoy unlimited free content.
If you already have LG ThinQ AI smart home devices, you might want to consider the LG UM6910PUA Series instead. While you can only get the 43-inch TV for under $300, you can control your entire smart home from your TV screen.
Philips Smart TV with Google Assistant
This smart TV is only 43 inches, so it’s one of the smallest on our list for 2020. It runs on AndroidTV, so while iPhone users can enjoy their favorite content, they can’t easily connect their smartphone to it.
You can download apps via the Google Play Store so you have access to all of the apps you need, and you can easily mirror your Android phone without having to fiddle with a Chromecast.
The Google Assistant makes it easy to search your TV for your favorite content, control your volume with your voice, and get access to everything you would on a smart home assistant like weather, traffic, and more.
Because it’s a Google device, you can connect all of your other compatible smart home devices to it and control those, too.
When it comes to budget smart TVs, you may have some lingering questions. Here are some frequently asked questions that may help.
You can count on plenty of competition in the smart TV market this year. In fact, when it comes to OLED TVs, brands like Philips, Vizio, and Konka will compete alongside all of the others that are already here.
That means you can count on OLED TV prices to drop amid all of the healthy market competition. If you’ve been waiting to buy a smart TV, 2020 is your year. Keep an eye out for great deals.
LG, Vizio, and TCL continue to top the list of best, cheap smart TVs. The manufacture quality, and while they may sacrifice a few inputs for the sake of a bigger screen or higher quality image, you’ll get the smart TV of your dreams.
Other players in the market are Samsung and Philips, but well-known brands like these tend to be slightly more expensive. To come in under budget, you have to go smaller. Some people are willing to make that sacrifice and some aren’t.
You can count on TCL to win this category. Higher-priced Hisense models tend to be built better, but if you’re looking for affordability in a TV that doesn’t look or act cheap, TCL has a leg up.
Hisense is more expensive than TCL by about $50 to $100, and to get a quality Hisense model, you need to spend the money. With TCL, you will get a great TV no matter what.
TCL tends to perform a bit better at comparable price points than LG. It offers good picture quality and amazing features at a lower price. You’ll get a great value from TCL and you won’t be disappointed.
However, LG features better viewing angles. If you need a TV that will satisfy a large room or extreme viewing angles, LG is the better bet. You can have a lot of friends and family gathered around this TV and everyone will still be able to see it, no matter where they sit.
You don’t have to break the bank to buy a great smart TV in 2020. In fact, prices may drop dramatically in the next few months. If you’ve been waiting for the right time, it’s now. For less than $300, you can get a smart TV with 4K resolution, and you don’t even have to sacrifice screen size in a lot of cases.
If you are willing to sacrifice screen size or a few inputs, you can get fantastic image quality that’s beyond compare for the same price. You may even find a TV with the same great picture at extreme viewing angles.
And with the wide range of smart TV technologies out there, you can get one that’s compatible with your smartphone and all of your other smart home devices.
Don’t discount cheap smart TVs, because chances are good you can get exactly what you want at a lower price than you thought. While these are some of the best smart TVS under $300 in 2020, there are many more out there.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!