The year has just begun and we have already seen many advances in the home entertainment technology. The last year 2018 was the time when Android TV has got in the top choices of people for home entertainment.
Aside from the most reputable company like Sony Bravia, Samsung, and LG, there are other players now coming forward with their version of OS or Android loaded TVs.
Think of the giant consumer electronics produces Xiaomi. They have introduced very good quality android TVs in the market.
So, it’s getting harder for the companies to keep the product price in range and provide great quality for the general buyers.
Also, getting harder for people like us to buy the best one in our budget. It is obviously true that the more you pay, the better the function and quality you got. But, this discussion is not all about money. Rather we tried to focus on the best Android TV for your budget.
Let’s check out some of the best we can find around the budget of $1000 and less.
How we choose these top 5 Budget Smart TVs?
We considered the following points before we made the top 5 list.
- The price and quality against it.
- Aesthetic view of the TV.
- And most importantly, user reviews who are already using the product.
We also considered the TV’s operating system. There are currently five operating systems: Android TV, webOS, Tizen, Roku TV, and SmartCast. Apart from Sony Bravia, Phillips also uses android OS for their smart TV.
I will tell you why this matters. Smart TVs might solve most of your problems with home entertainment. But, after years of use and when you find the TV software getting slower and laggy, certainly kills you inside.
You can’t switch between apps easily, many of them do not loads and even your most favorite YouTube apps loads slower.
There are limitations like you can’t add apps and games on it directly also kills the fun. Whereas on Android TV you can do most of the thing from your mobile and there are plenty of apps and games for you to play without paying any extra money.
So, our vote always goes to android TVs. If the TV is run on Android OS then you have a smart choice.
Sony is one of the pioneers in the market introducing smart TVs. Later they brought in the Android TVs in different sizes.
Sony XBR49X900F has great user feedback within our budget. This is a 4K Android TV and stunningly provides great streaming and picture quality.
If you let someone choose between a Samsung TV screen and Sony TV screen like this one, I bet they will always prefer Sony.
Sony XBR49X900F has good color vibrant with the X1 Extreme processor and 4K X-Reality PRO. With this built-in, the pictures are sharper clearer and there is auto noise adjustment.
While the design of the TV is not much different than the other smart TVs from Sony, it’s a cheaper one in the 4K TV range. The border of the TV is Sony’s signature design it has on all the Bravia models. Metallic, thin and strongly squared.
- Sony’s legendary X1 Extreme processor makes the picture quality more lively.
- Alexa & Google Home support included for changing channels, turning on the TV.
- The 49 inch includes 4 HDMI, 2 USB2.0, 1 USB3.0 & 1 Composite port to easily switch inputs.
- Dimensions: 53 x 7 x 29.2 inches.
- Bluetooth keyboard and speaker connectivity.
This model of Sony android TV comes in 5 sizes. The largest one is 85 inches.
If you consider the picture quality in a dark room then this is a great TV. The HDR image response does not make the screen too bright but you can still enjoy the vivid color and crisp quality video.
The sound quality is not that much gorgeous if you consider other TVs in the market. But, it’s definitely a better one in the Sony Bravia series.
- Great price and awesome 4K resolution with Sony X1 Extreme processor technology.
- Budget price.
- Android TV, so the entertainment channels are limitless.
- Easy to set up.
- Sound quality is not great. You might want to get an extra sound system for the TV.
- Sometimes it crashes, but not frequently. It’s the problem of the OS mainly.
Overall this is a winner in this budget. The HDR/4K video technology with Sony’s Triluminos color management system makes almost all image and videos look like 4K resolution. You can enjoy less blur in motion, less noise, and low light videos pretty clearly with all the thing boosted by the x-motion technology.
This is one of the top smart TV of 2018 and 2019. TCL runs on Roku so you have the freedom to choose from Google play movies, Netflix, Live TV etc.
The picture quality and sound is pretty awesome comparing to the price. Within the budget of $1000, you are getting LED display with intelligent HDR lightning that creates stunning 4K picture quality.
TCL has a previous version with LCD display, but we recommend the LED display with 4K resolution. Two sizes are available on Amazon 55 & 65 inches, both within your budget.
- Screen size 55 inches or 65 inches.
- Dolby vision with 4K ultra HDR included.
- LED backlight for background contrast control.
- Dimensions (w x H x D) of the TV without stand: 57.1″ x 32.9″ x 3″
- 3 HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 (one with HDMI ARC), 1 USB (media player), RF, Composite, Headphone Jack, Optical audio Out and Ethernet port.
- One of the best budget TV with good 4K picture quality and great sound.
- The TV wall mount is not included, you have to buy it extra.
This is a budget TV and you are getting a great picture quality with good sound.
This is not a new model, but still one of the favorites in our list as a budget TV. Although most people were skeptical about the curved TV and the price were high in the initial release, but you can get it now under $1000 easily.
This 2017 model comes in 2 sizes 55 and 65 inches. Both are within our selected budget range.
One of the things I liked about smart TV is, if you ever lose your remote, you can still operate the TV on your mobile phone. Do search and stream from your mobile. This is a huge leap from our traditional TVs.
The curved TV from Samsung is pretty smart in outlook. It has crystal clear sound and you can enjoy every inch of your curvy screen. Samsung calls this QLED screen, but basically, they are the same as the OLED screen.
Those you know OLEDs are perfect to watch even the darker movies and high-speed videos. There will be no blur or motion tracking.
For gaming purpose, this is a better choice as you can see a wider 360-degree view playing first-person shooter games.
With 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 RF input, 1 Digital Audio output, and 1 RS232C serial interface this is definitely a great choice if you want to play games.
- Samsung smart view app to ease the use of a remote.
- Easy to setup.
- Great quality picture and surround sound.
- One remote to control all your connected device.
- Replacement parts are almost impossible to find.
Coming back to the top manufacturer LG. They have produced some great quality LED, smart and 3D TV’s. Although 3D TV wasn’t that much popular in the market. People are more into buying smart TVs these days.
The 55 inches ultra HD 4k smart tv from LG is a super quality smart TV. The budget is in our borderline or a bit high.
- The 55SK9000 is equipped with the LG AI ThinQ. Smart home devices can be controlled with LG smart remote and also it supports Alexa devices.
- Dolby Atmos audio technology included cinemas. It feels like surround sound.
- 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 RF, 1 Composite in, 1 Ethernet, 1 Optical, 1 RS232C (Mini Jack) and Audio Return Channel Support via HDMI.
- Dimensions (Wx H x D): TV without stand 48.5″ x 27.9″ x 2.5″, TV with stand: 48.5″ x 30.6″ x 9.8″
- You will be amazed to see the true color and depth of the pictures on the screen. The AI ThinQ with 4K UHD technology that optimizes the images scene by scene always provides you with the best quality movie experiences.
Things we like
- Great picture and sound quality. True color and field depth is just awesome.
Things we don’t like
- Wall mount not included.
05. Mi Android TV from Xiaomi
Now, this is an interesting thing, most people do not know that the mobile company Xiaomi from China has some splendid smart TVs in the market.
You might not have heard about them because retails shops are not selling these in the states. Although you can easily order one from Aliexpress.
Why you should consider the Xiaomi Android TV?
Because they are simply beautiful. Thinner and less pricey than any premium grade smart TV available in the market.
Xiaomi has a good reputation for providing a great quality display at less price. I have used their Mi Notebook Air and this is you already know one great notebook it looks like the Apple MacBook Pro.
So, Xiaomi has several sizes and two models available for smart TVs. The Mi TV 3s & Mi TV 4A. Xiaomi also has a curved smart 65 inches TV.
The picture quality, design, and the sound, in every section this TV is a good choice.
Our budget is under $1000, so we choose the 32 inches smart TV from Xiaomi.
- 1GB RAM & 4GB ROM with 64 bit quad-core processor (Cortex A53 4 core).
- Built-in AI to recommend content better depending on your viewing pattern.
- 178-degree viewing angle.
- Size: 733×180×478 mm
- Weight 3.9 KG
Things we like
- Built-in AI works pretty good and becomes more accurate over time.
- 4K HDR display from Samsung, great picture and video quality.
- Definitely a good price.
- Great noise cancellation capability.
Things we don’t like
- You are not getting much warranty time with Xiaomi.
Alternatives to Smart TVs
It’s not mandatory to buy smart TVs to enjoy the smart options in your entertainment hub. There are plenty of other options for you to explore. You can use smart boxes to integrate the smart functions in your existing TV.
Android is our preferred operating system, so we suggest you get an Android TV box. There are many companies that are selling good quality TV box under $100.
There was some lag in the 4C boxes when it is on standby mode overnight and you are going to power it on with your remote.
All the Mi devices can be connected with the Mi-Home app and you can easily control the box with Mi remote app from Play store.
Other mention-able TV boxes with android are:
You can always try a cheap one before going to buy expensive TV boxes with higher RAM and Storage.
Finally, there is an Apple TV box. These are all amazing device to experience 4K movies, songs, and live sports. If you are a fan of Netflix and YouTube then you can simply go with any 4K TV boxes.
Let us know which way you prefer to enhance your experience? Should we add anything into our list?
Tips on Buying Smart TVs
Do you have a relatively modern TV and just want to upgrade (perhaps moving the old one to the bedroom, or giving it to your son/daughter to use)?
Or have you been in the dark ages TV-wise for the last 20 years and want to ditch that massive cumbersome curved screen CRT that hogs your hearth and draws sniggers from your friends?
Maybe you’re redecorating your sitting room, and want to have a flat screen and make more room on the floor.
Whatever the reason, you now have a great deal of choices before you. But given that you’re unlikely to be buying another television for a few years, maybe even 5-10 years, it makes sense to buy the best you can afford, and with the best proven technology, so as to future-proof it for a reasonable time.
The televisions at the apex of technology at the moment are smart TVs. So, having made up your mind that you are going to plunge in to smart-world, what do you need to look out for? Are there any pitfalls? What should you go for? Here are some tips that may help you in your choice:
First of all, a Smart TV will be giving you something more than great picture quality and fine audio. Those are available on non-Smart televisions too. They are no-brainers and from reviews, as one might expect, no Smart TV delivers poor quality in those area.
So let’s concentrate on the things that make a Smart TV, smart, and worth buying.
The User Interface
Pay close attention to the way that internet services and apps are presented on screen. Are they well laid out? Easy for you to read? Easy to scroll through and select?
The Smart TV portal of each manufacturer is their ‘window’ on the internet. They’re all different, and worth deep analysis to choose the one that’s going to work best for you.
Go and look at a few demo videos online- and see what people say who have bought the Smart TVs you’re interested in. You may have the greatest set of features in a Smart TV on the planet, but if you curse and get frustrated every time you’re trying to access one of the features, it can’t be the interface for you!
The Content & Internet Based Services
Don’t be fooled, Smart TVs aren’t (yet) as smart as they soon will be. Yes, you can get internet access via browsers or apps on Smart TVs right now, but the future promise is an integrated one, where smartphones, tablet PCs, and laptops become one with the TV.
This will truly open up a social TV experience.The real breakthroughs will come with convergence of multiple devices and the TV itself.
The Sony & Samsung Smart TVs seems to be in the lead on this at the moment with some interaction between handheld and TV screen.
We’re also looking for an interactive and personalized experience. One where content and services options are presented to individuals based on what they’re watching or past preferences.
That’s almost like Big Brother TV! But of course these will only be suggestions, not mandatory! Those kinds of features are still to be realized. For example, think about Netflix or Hulu suggests their viewers about programs.
If you’re buying a set built by one of the major manufacturers, take a look at their portal. You want one with the biggest range of standard built in Smart TV apps, and perhaps more important an apps store that gives more options to buy extras.
There’s every possibility that cloud gaming will take over from the discs and cartridges that we all know. Cloud gaming refers to the storage of and access to games within a virtual cloud outside of the console environment.
Pay attention to availability of cloud gaming apps and access on any Smart TV you’re interested in. Cloud gaming will be big news in future and is avidly being discussed now.
This is a good place to introduce the term ‘second screen’. You’ll see this mentioned more and more, and it refers to those devices you use currently while watching TV separately.
These include smartphones and smart devices we use. True smart TV will come when these devices are fully integrated with the TV, either by using as a remote control, beginning watching content on one screen and finishing watching on another.
You can enter info on one screen and see it on another. Watch out for future developments in this area.
A minimum of four required for you to plug in other devices. Three at a pinch. The two in non-Smart TV are simply not enough!
Pretty much every TV comes with its own remote control. But you may end up with as many as five remotes when you’ve got other equipment in your lounge.
Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic all have access to apps that can use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to work in conjunction with other mobile devices to work as remotes for your Smart TV.
Choose wisely a model that have the best connectivity and can be combined to use as one remote for all.
Smart TV processors have been enhanced to the point where their performance often eliminates any motion blur, but there are still some TVs where it is noticeable.
To avoid a set with obvious motion blur, you really do need to see it in action displaying some form of fast paced sport – tennis or football will give good test results. This is essential with the Olympic games coming up. You’ll want to see the 100 meters final as crisp as candy!
Shopping Around For The Best Deals
Once you have a good feel for the handful of Smart TVs that’ll give you what you want, it’s time to hunt around for the best deals and pricing. There are a number of places to look, ranging from the easy option of online ordering to the more time consuming visits to “real” stores.
It’s always worth looking out for when a model gets replaced by a newer version. Often this results in discounted prices for the older models, which actually might well be high performing Smart TVs in their own right.
Sometimes the older model is better- the new one has something new added which has unbalanced the whole thing and made the sum of the parts less than the whole!