Best TVs under £1000 Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?’s guide to the best TVs under £1000 that you can buy in 2020.
After a house and a car, a TV could be one of the biggest purchases of your life. And seeing as you’ll be stuck with it for at least a few years, you don’t want to make the wrong decision.
That’s where we come in. We’ve previously rounded up the best TVs money can buy, as well as the best options at 55 inch and 65 inch sizes, small TVs, plus our pick of the best Samsung TVs and LG TVs. Now it’s the turn of TVs under £1000.
Whether you want a big screen TV, smaller model for a second room, or just want a good all-rounder, there’s something for you.
When buying, look out for which HDR formats your set supports. Extras such as Ambilight (which projects screen-matching lights onto the wall behind the TV, making it more immersive) are a real plus, as are plenty of HDMI sockets to plug in all your sources (set-top box, games console, Blu-ray player etc).
The TVs below are a varied bunch, but they’ve all got one thing in common: they all come recommended after extensive use in our testing room. So which is right for you? Let’s find out…
The Sony KD-49XG9005 has recently had a discount that brings it just below £1000, and means it can go straight in at the top of this list.
Brilliantly balanced, natural colours, lots of detail and super-sharp edges combine to deliver a picture that’s both authentic and enticing, not to mention consistent across all sources. And it requires almost no tweaking to get the TV performing at its best.
The Android TV operating system, while still a bit behind the Samsung and LG alternatives, is steadily improving and boasts all of the apps you’re likely to need. Sony has also added YouView to ensure all of the usual UK catch-up services are on board.
Read the full Sony KD-49XG9005 review
The Samsung UE43RU7470 seems like impossibly good value. It ticks all the right tech boxes – 4K, HDR (including HDR10+), and peerless selection of streaming apps that includes the brilliant Apple TV and arguably the best user experience in the business. All of this wrapped up into a lifestyle-friendly 43 inches and with a wallet-friendly price.
To top it all off, the performance is excellent. A more premium (and therefore almost certainly bigger) TV will go even brighter than this, but the RU7470 is punchy in its own right and takes a much more sophisticated and subtle approach to colours and definition than you might expect. All told, it’s a lovely TV to watch and to live with.
It’s worth noting that UE43RU7470 is a Currys exclusive, but that Samsung says its performance is identical to that of the UE43RU7400 and UE43RU7410, with the only differences between the three models being aesthetics. Having not tested all variants we can’t vouch for that, but there’s little reason to doubt Samsung’s claim.
Read the full review: Samsung UE43RU7470
Looking to go big for relatively little money? Then you simply have to check out the TX-58GX800B. The 50in version of this TV is already good value, but for just a little extra cash you can add an extra 8in of screen, turning an engaging viewing experience into something really cinematic.
Not that size and price are the only things that this Panasonic has going for it. It also boasts both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, an operating system that looks a bit basic but is very simple to use and contains all of the vital apps, and a performance that’s effortlessly natural and detailed.
The viewing angles aren’t amazing and you really need to add a soundbar to get an audio performance worthy of the picture, but for the money this is an absolute belter.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-58GX800B
The Samsung UE49RU8000 is an example of the mid-range at its very best. This is a TV that offers most of the performance of the company’s excellent flagship 49in set with a significant discount. It is, in other words, a great buy.
In many ways, it has the look and connectivity of a flagship TV, with four HDMIs (one of which is ARC-enabled), two USBs, an optical output, aerial and satellite inputs, and an ethernet socket for those who prefer a wired connection to the built-in wi-fi. There’s Bluetooth, too. The streaming library includes Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV and Rakuten in 4K and HDR; BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and Demand 5 for all of your catch-up needs; Plex and VLC for local streaming; and Spotify, Tidal and Deezer for music. Last but not least, there’s the Apple TV app.
The picture delivers detailed, sharp and clearly defined edges that render each scene with excellent depth and solidity. Colours are vibrant but realistic, and there’s plenty of punch in the colours, even if it can’t match the flagship models (as you’d expect). For an affordable TV that still delivers great performance, this is a bit of a bargain.
Read the full review: Samsung UE49RU8000
This set offers both of the main HDR formats (HDR10+ and Dolby Vision) and yet costs under £800. That’s phenomenal value, especially considering sets twice that price can’t match its HDR skillset.
Design-wise, we like the cut of its jib – it’s almost as slim as an OLED, which is again very impressive given its price. The picture is no slouch either, proving wonderfully natural and balanced, with colour accuracy a particular highlight. The best TV for under £800, bar none.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-50GX800B
A 49in premium TV is something of a rarity. OLEDs don’t currently go below 55in, and neither does Samsung’s flagship Q90R (or the Q85R and Q80R, for that matter).
With the Q70R series, though, Samsung has opened up the options and is offering a 49in version. In other words, this is the best (or, at least, most advanced) TV that Samsung will sell you if you can’t squeeze in a 55incher. That alone makes it a tasty proposition.
Thankfully, this is more than just a great on-paper proposition. Punchy and vibrant QLED colours, great detail and sharpness, and a great operating system bursting with apps (including Apple TV) make this an excellent option if 49in is as big as you’re willing or able to go.
Read the full Samsung QE49Q70R review
A thousand pounds off is nothing to be sniffed at, and that’s exactly what you’ll get if you buy this set – it’s currently available for half its original £2,000 asking price. Ker-ching. So what does your grand get you? Not only does this 55-inch OLED have HDR, it also boasts Philips’ Ambilight technology to make the picture more immersive. It all adds up to a stunning viewing experience – characters pop from the screen, colours are lush and vibrant and the contrast shows a yawning gulf between the light and dark parts of the picture. In a word, amazing.
It might not be the best affordable Samsung TV you can buy (that accolade goes to the UE43RU7470 above) but the UE43RU7020 is simply the most affordable Samsung TV you can buy – and it’s still a good performer.
The 7020 does without the 7470’s snazzy One Remote and Bixby voice control but otherwise offers the same, excellent user experience and access to practically every app you could ever desire.
Picture-wise, its colours are a little less spot-on, thanks to a downgrade in colour processor, but the picture performance is otherwise strong, particularly for the very low price.
Read the full Samsung UE43RU7020 review
The 40in version of the GX800 isn’t that much more affordable than its bigger siblings, above, making it less good value overall, but if you simply don’t want to go bigger than 40in yet still want a strong performance and plenty of bells and whistles, it’s still a strong contender.
The big news is support for all of the major HDR formats, including both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and the basic but easy-to-use operating system gives you access to all of the most important apps, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and the usual catch-up services.
The picture is a touch less sophisticated than that offered by its bigger brothers, but this is still a bright and punchy performance in its own right, with a nice, natural colour balance.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-40GX800
Even the most optimistic of tech buyers would have limited expectations of a TV costing just £349, particularly one branded Polaroid and exclusively available through Asda supermarkets.
But the Polaroid P49UPA2029A smashes those expectations. It’s a 49in TV that crams in 4K, a healthy smart TV platform and support for HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, yet costs more or less a third as much as the Sony KD-49XG9005 at the top of this list.
Clearly this Polaroid isn’t up there with the Sony in terms of performance, but you might be surprised at just how accomplished it is for the money. Bright, sharp and detailed, and more than capable of making the most of 4K HDR signals, it really is worth a trip to Asda.
Read the full Polaroid P49UPA2029A review