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6 Best 50-Inch TVs Under $300 for 2023

Shopping for a 50-inch TV on a budget? While premium models offer exceptional picture quality and advanced features, you‘d be surprised by what you can get for under $300 these days. I‘ve thoroughly analyzed today‘s sub-$300 50-inch TV market – here are my top recommendations for every type of user.

Best Overall: LG 50-Inch UQ7570 Series

The LG 50-Inch UQ7570 Series stands out as the best overall 50-inch TV available for under $300. It delivers on the core essentials of a modern 4K TV like HDR support, smart platform, and gaming optimizations. And compared to other budget models, the image quality and performance are truly impressive.

LG packs this TV with display-enhancing technologies, including Active HDR for scene-by-scene adjustments and Filmmaker Mode to showcase cinematic content as intended. The α5 Gen5 AI Processor analyzes and optimizes both picture and sound quality on the fly. And with over 300 free streaming channels available through LG Channels, you‘ll always have something to watch.

Gamers will also appreciate this TV‘s Game Optimizer menu with presets tailored for different genres. Plus, it‘s NVIDIA G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync compatible for buttery-smooth gaming. The only downside is that it‘s not the latest 2023 processor – but for the price, the value is unmatched.

Key Features:

  • 4K Active HDR display
  • α5 Gen5 AI Processor
  • webOS smart platform
  • Dedicated Game Optimizer
  • Over 300 free LG streaming channels

Runner-Up: TCL 50-Inch Class 4-Series

As a runner-up, the TCL 50-Inch 4-Series also brings plenty to the table. Being a new 2023 model line, it runs the user-friendly Google TV operating system for accessing Android apps and using built-in Google Assistant. Picture quality is no slouch either with support for Dolby Vision HDR and HDR Pro Pack.

Where this TCL option really shines is gaming functionality. It features Auto Game Mode for quickly activating low latency presets when detecting a game console. And MEMC motion enhancement helps games feel smooth and responsive. With solid picture quality and smart features at this affordable price point, it‘s easy to recommend the TCL 50-inch 4-Series as an alternative to LG‘s offering.

Key Features:

  • Google TV (Android apps & Google Assistant)
  • Auto Game Mode
  • Dolby Vision & DTS Virtual:X
  • MEMC motion enhancement
  • Voice remote with shortcuts

Best for Multimedia: Insignia 50-Inch F30 Series

For those focused on streaming shows, movies, and gaming, the Insignia 50-Inch F30 Series brings exceptional value. It runs Amazon‘s Fire TV platform directly baked into the TV, providing access to over one million streaming movies and shows from providers like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max and more. Hands-free Alexa allows easy voice control as well.

Going beyond smart features, this TV actually delivers surprisingly great display quality for the price. It supports 4K resolution with Dolby Vision HDR and DTS Studio Sound for enhanced audio. For under $300, getting a crystal clear 4K smart TV with every mainstream streaming app at your fingertips is quite enticing. Just take note that the Fire TV interface may feel restrictive if you were hoping for Android app support found in some competing budget models.

Key Features:

  • Fire TV baked-in
  • Hands-free Alexa controls
  • 4K Dolby Vision HDR
  • DTS Studio Sound
  • Access to endless streaming apps

Best for Gaming: VIZIO 50-Inch V-Series

Gamers hunting for the best budget gaming TV will be thrilled with the VIZIO 50-Inch V-Series. It checks off all the right boxes like 4K resolution, HDR support, HDMI 2.1 inputs, and most importantly, VIZIO‘s IQ Active Processor and V-Gaming Engine. Together, these technologies automatically optimize gaming with features like variable refresh rate to prevent stutter and tear, as well ultra low latency Game Mode to minimize input lag.

The full array LED backlighting and Active Pixel Tuning are also worth mentioning. They produce superior contrast and image accuracy compared to edge-lit budget TV designs. Casual gamers and children may get away with more affordable options. But serious players who want a responsive, vivid 4K display for today‘s consoles without breaking the bank need to have VIZIO‘s 50-inch V-Series on their radar.

Key Features:

  • IQ Active Processor & V-Gaming Engine
  • Full array backlight w/ Active Pixel Tuning
  • 4K resolution w/ Dolby Vision & HDR10+
  • HDMI 2.1 inputs (60Hz @ 4K, VRR)
  • Ultra low latency Game Mode

Best Value: Hisense 50-Inch A6 Series

It‘s remarkable just how much TV you can get these days for a bargain price under $300. Case in point: the Hisense 50-Inch A6 Series delivers a stunning 4K Dolby Vision picture, smooth 60Hz gaming, and the Android TV platform with Google Assistant for just around $250. You‘ll be shocked such a feature-packed TV comes in under budget.

Hisense manages to integrate some of its higher-end technologies into the affordably priced A6 line, including Quantum Dot Wide Color Gamut and UHD Upscaling. This allows non-4K content to take advantage of the over 8 million pixels. Gamers are treated to HDMI 2.1, Auto Low Latency Mode, Variable Refresh Rate, and a dedicated Game Mode Plus to prevent lag. And Google TV provides endless entertainment options. If you want maximum bang for your buck, the Hisense 50-Inch A6 Series more than fits the bill.

Key Features:

  • Google TV (Android apps & Google Assistant)
  • Quantum Dot Wide Color Gamut
  • Dolby Vision HDR
  • UHD Upscaling
  • Game Mode Plus (VRR, ALLM)

Most Affordable: Komodo by Sceptre 50-Inch

Sometimes you just need an extra screen on a tight budget. In that case, check out the Komodo by Sceptre 50-Inch. It can often be snagged for around $200, making it the most affordable 50-inch option around. You‘ll have to accept some trade-offs like no smart platform or advanced gaming modes. But as far as basic 4K performance, it certainly delivers.

The Komodo TV actually manages to incorporate 4K resolution along with MEMC motion enhancement for smooth video playback. And while the 60Hz refresh rate may seem low for gaming, the ultra-low input lag is perfectly adequate for casual players. Just make sure you have a streaming device or game console to access any apps since it lacks onboard smart software. But all things considered, getting a sharp-looking 50-inch screen for this price with decent response times makes for a solid bargain buy.

Key Features:

  • 4K resolution
  • MEMC motion enhancement
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • Low input lag
  • Wall mountable design

How to Choose the Best 50-Inch TV Under $300

Keep these tips in mind when evaluating budget 50-inch TVs:

Prioritize picture quality – Look for vital specs like 4K resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), and backlighting technology. Full array backlighting delivers better results than edge lighting designs. Mini-LED and OLED are not realistic at this price.

Consider voice assistants – Hands-free control through built-in voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant is convenient. Make sure it works with your existing smart home ecosystem.

Access to streaming platforms – Smart TVs that run Fire TV, Android TV/Google TV, and Roku TV provide the most app and streaming options. LG webOS is more limited but offers some free channels.

Focus on gaming amenities – Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and HDMI 2.1 inputs allow for smooth high-frame rate 4K gaming. Some TVs also have dedicated gaming picture modes.

Expectations for a $300 50-Inch TV

While the TVs on this list provide strong overall performance and features for the price, don‘t expect the world at less than $300. Here are some realistic picture and sound limitations:

  • You‘ll max out at 4K resolution without more advanced panel technologies like OLED or QLED featured in high-end models. But 4K still marks a major upgrade from 1080p.

  • Brightness and black levels take a hit on cheaper LED-lit panels compared to mini-LED or OLED designs, affecting contrast and HDR pop. Still very solid for most brightly-lit rooms.

  • Audio power and quality is average at best, making it worthwhile to bundle a soundbar. Expect muddled dialogue and limited bass out of the box.

  • While gaming input lag is impressively low across the board, some TVs have better smoothing and vividness tailored to gaming than others.

If your budget allows in the future, stepping up to even a mid-range model provides better picture accuracy, brighter highlights, deeper blacks and a wider, more immersive soundstage. But those looking for a solid everyday 4K TV under $300 have plenty of quality options now.

Using a 50-Inch vs Smaller/Larger TV

A 50-inch screen strikes a versatile balance of size. It works well as an affordable living room TV for watching at moderate distances. Bedroom usage is also feasible if space allows. Here’s how sizing up or down compares:

32-Inch TV – Best for bedrooms, dorms, kitchens and other small spaces. But limited sense of movie theater immersion and may feel small beyond 5-6 feet away.

43-Inch TV – Allows for fuller cinematic experience and visibility for media/gaming from most seating positions.

55-65 Inch TV – Ideal as main TV for larger living rooms farther than 8 feet back. Provides captivating, theater-like viewing.

75-85 Inch TV – Overpowering if closer than 10 feet away. Mainly for spacious rooms farther back where the extra real estate feels most impactful.

No matter what you choose, make sure to test out viewing angles and distances once installed so text remains readable for your seating arrangement.

The Best Budget 50-Inch TV Awaits

While today‘s premium TVs keep getting bigger, brighter and more advanced to showcase 4K HDR content, even budget-friendly models have reached impressive new heights. As this guide outlines, those searching for the top-rated 50-inch TV under $300 can find excellent options with beautiful 4K picture quality and smart features.

For the best overall package, the LG 50-Inch UQ7570 Series consistently outperforms competitors. Gamers should grab the lag-free VIZIO V-Series. And streaming fans will love the content-packed Insignia F30 Series. The affordability means you can opt for a larger screen size in more rooms than ever before. Just have realistic expectations around limited brightness and audio.

Hopefully these recommendations help you zone in on a cheap 50-inch TV tailored to your needs. Feel free to reach out with any questions!