Best cheap 4K TVs in 2021

Samsung Au8000 Crystal Uhd 4k Tv LifestyleSource: Samsung

Best
cheap 4K TVs
Android Central
2021

Regardless of why you need a new TV, you’ll end up wanting or needing one at some point. And not everyone wants to throw thousands of dollars at a television, but thankfully, you don’t need to. With the advancements in technology, you can get a 4K TV with a bunch of awesome features without needing to empty the piggy bank. Plus, when you find televisions that offer as great of a value as with the Samsung AU8000, you don’t need to spend a boatload of dough. These are the best cheap 4K TVs you can get today!

Best overall: Samsung Crystal UHD AU8000 Series

Samsung AU8000 4K TV Lifestyle image

Source: Samsung

One thing in the tech world is undeniable — Samsung makes some fantastic displays. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the budget smartphone market or the high-end television market, you’ll find great displays everywhere you go. The Samsung AU8000 doesn’t fall on the “high-end” of the spectrum, so you won’t find Samsung’s QLED panel here, but it still checks a lot of boxes.

There’s a TV size option for just about every application you can think of. Sizes range from 43 inches up to 85 inches, so all of your needs are covered (and then some). The ultra-thin bezels on the AU8000 will keep your attention on the movie, and 4K upscaling will help you watch those movies from the 90s that haven’t been remastered yet.

The Samsung AU8000 checks a lot of boxes for those looking for a new TV, including having some “smarts” from Alexa, Bixby, and Google Assistant. You will find also Dolby Digital Plus audio and three HDMI ports built-in, although none of them are HDMI 2.1. The only other downside is that the picture quality is a little dim in bright rooms compared to more premium TVs.

Pros:

  • Ultra-thin bezels
  • Many sizes to choose from
  • Built-in Alexa, Bixby, and Google Assistant support
  • 4K Upscaling
  • Dolby Digital Plus

Cons:

  • No HDMI 2.1 ports
  • Appears a little dim in bright rooms
  • No Samsung QLED panel

Best overall


Samsung AU8000 4K TV Render

Samsung Crystal UHD AU8000 Series

It’s tough to find a better display with more options in the price range

The AU8000 can’t touch the display prowess of Samsung’s QLED panels, but it can certainly enhance your experience.

Upgrade pick: Sony X85J 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

Sony X85j 4k Tv Lifestyle

Source: Sony

On paper, you may not think that the Sony X85J is a “budget-friendly” television, thanks to the long and impressive feature list and high price, but for what you get, it’s a great value. The TV is Dolby Atmos certified, has 4K upscaling, and ultra-slim bezels so you can get the best picture quality possible. That’s not even mentioning the various other features to enhance the playback quality of whatever you are watching.

While the picture is great and the sound quality is just OK, there is one additional feature in the X85J that you may jump up and down about. Android TV is built right in so you can cast your favorite content, download familiar apps, and get a smooth interface without plugging in a Chromecast or Shield TV. To turn things up another notch, Sony has included Amazon Alexa and Apple AirPlay support.

MotionFlow XR, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, and a native 120Hz refresh rate fill any gap where the display itself falls short. There aren’t any major drawbacks to the Sony X85J apart from the hefty price tag and the fact that the viewing angles aren’t all that great.

Pros:

  • Native 120Hz refresh rate
  • Dolby Atmos certified
  • 4K Upscaling
  • Android TV built-in
  • Alexa, AirPlay support

Cons:

  • Picture quality lessens at certain angles
  • Expensive

Upgrade pick


Sony X85J 4k TV Reco

Sony X85J 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

All the bells and whistles

You’ll get a dreamy Sony panel that you can be confident will show all the details, and it’s much cheaper than it should be.

Best for Amazon: Toshiba C350 4K UHD Smart Fire TV

Toshiba C350 Fire Tv 4k Lifestyle

Source: Toshiba

After being all but forgotten, Toshiba finally released the updated version of its 4K UHD Fire TV Edition. This comes in a few different size options — 43, 50, and 55 inches — gives you access to 4K Ultra HD content and is based on Amazon’s Fire TV platform. You can finally get rid of that Fire Stick hanging off the back!

The C350 Fire TV has Dolby Vision certification and HDR and HDR10 playback compatibility for great picture quality. You’ll also be able to stream from your favorite services without needing to plug something else into your TV. With the included Voice Remote, you’ll get Alexa in your hands, and can just ask to turn something on with the press of a button and your voice.

The Toshiba C350 Fire TV is such a great value, even if you don’t use Amazon’s services, but we wish that more size options were available. Going over 55 inches would have been a sight for sore eyes, but you’ll have to hope that these options are enough. Gamers also might have a bit of an issue using the Fire TV, as the refresh rate comes in at just 60Hz, so you may experience some stuttering with next-gen consoles.

Pros:

  • Alexa built into remote
  • HDR-Compatible
  • Compatible with VESA wall mounts
  • Dolby Vision certified

Cons:

  • Only three sizes to choose from
  • Refresh rate limited to 60Hz

Best for Amazon


Toshiba C350 Fire Tv 4k Reco

Toshiba C350 4K UHD Smart Fire TV

Perfect for the Amazon household

The updated Toshiba C350 Fire TV provides a great viewing experience with a Fire TV built right in.

Best for Android TV: Skyworth S6G 4K UHD Android TV

Skyworth S6g 4k Uhd Android Tv Lifestyle

Source: Amazon

As is the case with smart home speakers and mobile voice assistants, the battle for your smart TV seems to come down to Google’s Android TV versus Amazon’s Fire TV. The problem is there aren’t as many Android TV options available, short of picking up a Shield TV or using a Chromecast. That presents a portion of the market up for grabs, which the Skyworth S6G is capitalizing on.

The TV itself features ultra-thin bezels, measuring in at just 1mm thick. In addition to getting Android TV, the S6G also gives you built-in Bluetooth and an Ethernet port, which will definitely come in handy. The same goes for the included smart remote, which has a dedicated Assistant button and shortcuts for Netflix, Youtube, and the Play Store.

While having Android TV is great, dealing with software updates can end up being a pain. That’s when you’ll likely want to take advantage of the Ethernet port, so your updates can install faster than if you are using Wi-Fi. Gamers will also want to take a second look at theS6G with its limited 60Hz refresh rate, which should be fine for last-gen consoles but won’t work as well for the next-gen batch. Finally, those who still rely on RCA inputs will want to pick up some adapters, as the S6G does not have any RCA ports installed.

Pros:

  • Android TV built-in
  • 1mm bezels
  • Smart remote includes Google Assistant
  • Built-in Bluetooth and Ethernet

Cons:

  • Refresh rate limited to 60Hz
  • Does not include RCA inputs
  • Only one size option

Best for Android TV


Skyworth S6g 4k Uhd Android Tv Reco

Skyworth S6G 4K UHD Android TV

Android TV and built-in Cast

With the S6G, you’ll get a gorgeous 55-inch 4K UHD display, along with Android TV onboard.

Best for Roku: TCL 50S535 QLED Roku TV

Tcl Class 5 50s535 Roku Tv 4k Lifestyle

Source: TCL

TCL’s budget-minded TV has been updated for the year and is quite an impressive value given the price point and what you get. For your streaming needs, the built-in Roku provides the foundation for downloading all of your favorite streaming apps and services. There’s even a Roku TV app that can be installed on your phone to control your TV, along with using your preferred voice assistant.

TCL really nailed it in regards to picture quality. The 50S535 uses QLED technology that delivers a truly premium visual experience. It is also certified for Dolby Vision HDR, which is fantastic considering the price point. Regardless of whether you need a 50-inch TV or a 75-inch one for game days, there’s an option for everyone here. You also get Dolby Digital sound certification in tow.

The problem with Roku providing the backbone for your television controls and streaming needs is that you will have to deal with occasional ads appearing. These aren’t super-intrusive, but can definitely be an annoyance when you’re browsing around or trying to find a new app to install. Lastly, next-gen gamers may also have a bone to pick with the 60Hz refresh rate.

Pros:

  • QLED display
  • Dolby Vision HDR-certified
  • Roku TV built-in
  • Ultra-thin bezels
  • Plenty of sizes available

Cons:

  • Ads can appear from time-to-time
  • Only 60Hz refresh rate

Best for Roku


Tcl Class 5 50s535 Roku Tv 4k Reco

TCL 50S535 QLED Roku TV

Get Dolby Vision and Roku TV for streaming

This QLED television not only gives you access to Roku’s TV services but also offers a crisp 4K picture experience.

Best for Dolby Experience: Hisense U6G 4K QLED Smart TV

Hisense U6g 4k Uled Smart Tv Lifestyle

Source: Hisense

It’s tough to argue against the quality of a QLED television, especially considering everything the Hisense U6G has to offer. This TV is both certified for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos while offering a great HDR experience and up to 600 nits of brightness. For context, most laptops usually offer around 300 nits, so getting double of that is pretty solid with the U6G.

The U6G comes in four different sizes, ranging from 50-75 inches. One great addition that is making its way to more TVs is the built-in Android TV for your streaming needs. You’ll get access to your favorite streaming apps, an intuitive interface, Chromecast, and Google Assistant support all-in-one package. If you want an alternative assistant, there’s support for Alexa too. The QLED TV also has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in.

Gamers can rejoice with the Automatic Game Mode, but this Game Mode has to do a little bit of work since the U6G is only equipped with a native refresh rate of 60Hz. Hisense had to cut corners somewhere, and refresh rate is one place it decided to do so. Another downside is with its weight, as some sizes of this model weigh a bit more than similar TVs at this price point. Having Dolby Atmos certification is fantastic for this television, but if you rely on an Optical Audio Output, you’ll be out of luck since Hisense did not include one.

Pros:

  • QLED display
  • Dolby Atmos and Vision certified
  • Android TV built-in
  • Automatic Game Mode improves gaming

Cons:

  • 60Hz refresh rate only
  • No Optical Audio outputs
  • Heavier than similar models

Best for Dolby Experience


Hisense U6g 4k Uled Smart Tv Reco

Hisense U6G 4K QLED Smart TV

Almost the complete package

With Hisense’s U6G television, you get built-in Chromecast, 600-nit peak brightness, and QLED technology.

Bottom line

With so many cheap 4K televisions available, it can be tough to figure out which models are good, and which you should just ignore. However, when you come across the Samsung AU8000, you realize you can still get the complete package. It has ultra-thin bezels, 4K Upscaling, and a number of size options. It has Alexa, Bixby, and Google Assistant support out of the box and it is powered by Samsung’s Tizen OS.

You really can’t go wrong with the AU8000, as it’s already rated as one of the best Samsung TVs you can buy, and you don’t have to empty the bank just to get one for yourself. There’s just about every major feature you could want, short of newer versions of HDMI. But there are even ways for you to get your favorite shows, movies, or games up and running while looking fantastic.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author:

Andrew Myrick is a regular freelancer at Android Central and iMore. He has been a tech enthusiast ever since the original iPhone was released and continues to flip-flop between devices. You might as well hook him up to an IV filled with coffee to get him through the day. If you have any questions, you can find him on Twitter, and he’ll get back to you.

Author: Namerah Saud Fatmi profile picture

Namerah Saud Fatmi is a freelance writer for Android Central. She has a passion for all things tech & gaming and has been an honorary Goodreads librarian since 2011. When she isn’t writing, she can be found chasing stray cats and dogs in the streets of Dhaka or slaying dragons in the land of Skyrim. You can reach her on Twitter.

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