When shopping for a 4K TV on a budget, you can opt for either a model with the largest screen size you can afford, or choose one with a smaller screen, better quality, and more available features. Making the right call depends on the way you plan to use the TV — a living room might benefit from a larger screen, while a bedroom setup might be better for a TV with a smaller screen.
HDR compatibility is one of the most important bits to consider when shopping for a 4K TV. Ideally, you should be looking for one that supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10 (today’s leading HDR content standards). Having a great smart TV platform is also important, though you can easily upgrade it via an external streaming device.
Local dimming is also a key feature to consider while shopping, because it helps 4K TVs deliver superior contrast than offerings that lack the functionality. TVs with full-array local dimming are usually the ones to go for, as they offer enhanced backlighting managements and better contrast, especially in darker scenes.
Now that you’re ready to shop like a pro, see our top picks for the best 4K TVs under $1,000.
TCL 6-Series 4K TV (55-inch)
The TCL 6-series is the best 4K TV under $1,000 for most consumers today. Priced below $650 for a version with a 55-inch screen (also just under $1,000 for a 65-inch panel), the TV has sleek looks and a picture quality that’s worthy of a higher price tag, thanks to full-array local dimming technology for superior contrast. With Roku TV on board, the device also offers easy access to all of today’s popular streaming services out of the box.
The TV offers support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, which is a crucial feature for a TV these days. Movies and shows using both high dynamic range standards are becoming increasingly common on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other popular streaming platforms.
The TCL 6-series ships with Roku’s incredibly intuitive remote control. You can control the TV with your voice by pressing a button on the remote control, which allows you to search for content and even change inputs on the TV.
Review editors from CNET and The Verge agree that the TCL 6-series is the best pick in its price range. They praised the TV for offering excellent image quality and a feature-packed smart platform.
Samsung NU8500 Series Curved 4K TV (55-inch)
Samsung’s NU8500 4K TV is the best option with a curved screen for less than $1,000. The TV has an elegant design with a clever setup to manage its cords, good picture quality, and a feature-packed smart TV platform with Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant and access to all major streaming services.
The NU8500 4K TV supports enhanced HDR10 content for a more dramatic visual experience. The TV has local dimming technology, too, though its implementation isn’t as impressive as in the TCL and Vizio products because of this TV’s edge-lit display panel.
The TV comes bundled with a sleek and intuitive remote control that’s handily one of the best out there. Samsung also offers a smartphone app that can replace your remote control.
TCL 5-Series 4K TV (43-inch)
The 43-inch TCL 5-series is our favorite 4K TV for small spaces. Not only is the TV incredibly affordable (it costs below $400), but it also offers elegant design and excellent picture quality for its price point.
Unlike many of its similarly priced competitors, the TCL 5-series supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision content, which makes compatible movies and shows look more vibrant than you would expect from an affordable TV.
Like the TCL 6-series we already mentioned, the 5-series comes with Roku TV out of the box. This means that you’ll have instant access to your favorite streaming services the moment you power the TV on.
Samsung Q6 Series QLED TV (49-inch)
The Samsung Q6 series 4K TV is the best-looking entry in its price range. It has a sleek profile, a clever cable management setup that eliminates a mess of cords, and a dedicated ambient mode that makes the TV seamlessly blend in with any wall decor while not in use. Samsung’s ambient mode also makes the Q6 perfect for seamlessly mounting on the wall.
Sporting Samsung’s cutting-edge QLED display panels, the Q6 4K TV has excellent picture quality, headlined by top-notch brightness, vibrant colors, available local dimming, and support for enhanced HDR10 content. Samsung’s smart TV platform is also one of the most intuitive in the business.
A sub-$1,000 budget will land you a 49-inch variant of the Samsung Q6 — a bigger screen option will cost you more. If you’re looking for a stylish and compact 4K TV, this is a great option.
Toshiba Fire TV Edition 4K TV (55-inch)
Developed in collaboration with Amazon, the Toshiba Amazon Fire TV Edition comes with the retail giant’s excellent Fire TV smart platform and Alexa voice assistant right out of the box. Available via a button on the remote control, Alexa will allow you to search and find content, control your connected gadgets, and take advantage of the thousands of skills the platform has to offer.
The picture quality of the Amazon Fire TV edition 4K TV is good, but not on par with the leading offerings from Vizio and TCL in this price range. We really wish that the TV supported Dolby Vision content, not just HDR10 like it does. It’s also missing local dimming.