Huting down one of the best 32-inch TV sets on the market is no mean feat, especially when the big television manufacturers are always pushing their giant screens as the best TV money can buy instead.
But when your budget is a little more modest, or you’re simply looking for a set for a bedroom or annex, finding the best 32-inch TV can make all the difference for when it comes down to slipping away for some quiet screen time.
Now, if you’re after the most high-tech of television features, you’re unlikely to find them with a 32-inch TV. There are no OLED TV panels here, and you’ll often be hard pressed to find the point in digging out a 4K screen at this size either.
But even at a rock-bottom budget you can get a superb set with a Full HD 1080p resolution, crystal clear image quality and connected smart platform catch up features. Some even offer newer features like HDR.
The trouble is, there are so many 32-inch TV sets out there it can be hard to know which exactly is worth your hard earned dough.
Our TV experts have tested and researched the best options, whether you’re in the US or UK. And, the best bit, they cost just a fraction of the price of a giant OLED TV like the LG OLED C7. Read on for our pick of the bunch.
Apps and full array backlighting for less than you might expect
Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: N/A | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: VIZIO Internet Apps Plus | Curved: No | Dimensions: 505 x 733 x 184 mm
VIZIO is one of the biggest TV manufacturers in the US, but it hasn’t nailed the art of TV naming with the D32X-D1.
While the name might not exactly jump out at you, VIZIO’s small screen has a lot going for it – including a full 1080p resolution and an app tray full of the most popular streaming services including Netflix, YouTube and Hulu. We’d recommend plugging-in some speakers if you can, as the integrates ones are not great.
Samsung’s M5300 Series is the top of its class for 2018
Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: NA | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Smart Hub | Curved: No | Dimensions: 29.2 x 18.5 x 5.7 inches
Samsung has been a leader in the 32-inch screen space for years. Its top of the line modelis is the UN32M5300.
Why? It offers full 1080p images and its Tizen operating system for a price that most folks can afford. This grants access to loads of apps, and the TV’s built-in Wi-Fi stops you from having to plug it into your router.
Sure, the UN32M5300 doesn’t have the most connections in the world, with just two HDMIs. But hey, the small compromises are absolutely worth it.
Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: No | Curved: No | Dimensions: 480 x 720 x 160mm
The LG 32LJ610V is a bit on the ugly side by 32-inch TV standards, and it uses an IPS panel, making it a bad option for dark room environments. IPS TVs have great viewing angles, but worse contrast than ones with VA panels.
However, its picture is bright enough to stand out in light rooms, and best of all its webOS smart TV system makes it fantastically easy to use. Two out of three isn’t so bad, right?
It has two HDMI inputs, so make sure that’s enough.
Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1366 x 768 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Cloud TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 498 x 745 x 215
If you have shelves full of DVDs or a habit of popping the latest bargain bucket DVD title in with your weekly shopping, this new Toshiba model is one to consider. It has a built-in DVD drive.
It won’t rival some of the other models here on all-round picture quality, and it is not Full HD. But it still looks attractive despite its combi design, and supports the Freeview Play smart system in the UK. Which adds up to a lot of features for its £229 price.
You also get three HDMI ports, one more than several in this round-up.
Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1366 x 768 | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Cloud TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 490 x 731 x 187
The Sony KDL32WE613 is proof a 32-inch TV doesn’t have to miss out on newer tech. It supports HDR, usually only seen in much larger, more expensive TVs.
HDR isn’t equal across sets as it relies on a screen’s contrast and brightness, but it will let you squeeze more out of a top-end Netflix or Amazon Video subscription. Or console games. The TV also offers recording over USB, Wi-Fi and access to BBC iPlayer, YouTube and a fistful of other apps.
The stinger is it’s only 720p, not Full HD. If you’re going to watch close-up, the benefits of higher resolution may outweigh HDR.
We know that shopping for a new TV can be a massive hassle, more so when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. But, don’t worry, we here at TechRadar are experts at compiling lists that help you find out what features to look for when you’re looking for the best 32-inch TV for you.
When it comes to 32-inch TVs, one of the most important features to look for is ‘smart TV’ capabilities. When you’re looking for a TV for a second or third room, smart features can drastically improve the value and utility of TVs for the simple reason that it prevents you from having to purchase another set-top box or streaming stick. Instead, all of the functionality of those devices is built right in, saving you time and money. If you’re looking for a TV to fill a bedroom or study, a set with Wi-Fi capability that supports video streaming and file sharing should be at the top of your list. (109) add
Even if you find a great bargain, you should never settle for a TV that’s lower than a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, especially in 2018. Some retailers and manufacturers will try to mislead customers by labeling most 32-inch TVs as ‘HD Ready’ signifying that it features an HD resolution. However, the lower 1,366 x 768 resolution qualifies as ‘HD Ready’, but will deliver an image that is muddier and less clear than TVs with a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 display. Plus, these lower resolution TVs won’t even save you much money. They’re just not worth it.
One last thing to consider before you decide which TV you want, is whether or not it has all the ports you need. Devices like PS4, Nintendo Switch and DVD/Blu-ray players will need HDMI inputs, the Nintendo Wii or other legacy game consoles will need a component or even composite video input, PCs, if they don’t use HDMI, will likely use a DVI or VGA input and Sky/Cable set top boxes will need an additional HDMI. When you have a lot of different devices to connect, it will really make your life easier getting a TV that has enough ports to support everything you want to do with it. (109) add
Keep these tips in mind, and you should have no problem finding the small screen of your dreams.
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