Not everyone needs a huge big-screen TV. In fact, for most, smaller TVs are perfect for their living spaces. Our list of the best small smart TVs has you covered. whether you’re looking for 43-, 40-, 32- or 24-inch models, the smallest smart TVs go big on functionality and are typically very affordable.
Why opt for something smaller than, say, 55 inches? Smaller smart TVs are the perfect size for guest rooms, kitchens, dorm rooms and bedrooms, although at the top end of the size scale they could easily work as your primary TV, too.
Unlike larger TVs, don’t be afraid to sit close to a small smart TV. To see the maximum amount of details (about 3.5 feet or closer would be ideal, according to our What size TV should you buy? guide) so be sure to scootch up.
Every TV here has been thoroughly tested by the Tom’s Guide team, with each set undergoing a rigorous series of evaluations for color accuracy and reproduction, lag time and brightness. So you can buy sure that when you buy one of the smallest smart TVs you really are making a quality purchase.
What are the best small smart TVs?
We test some small smart TVs specifically, but more often focus on the 55- and 65-inch versions that have the same features and performance. When a manufacturer makes a great 55- or 65-inch TV, we expect the smaller model will be just as good, so we’ve based some of our picks on our experience with the larger versions. In other cases, we haven’t tested the specific models but rely on our experience with similar TVs from these brands to make our assessments.
The best small smart TV is also the best 43-inch TV: The TCL 4 Series. It has Roku’s excellent operating system, which gives you almost every app you want and is super easy to use. Along with its very good picture, it’s a great TV for gaming thanks to low lag time — which means you can play fast games without the TV becoming a hindrance. It’s also one of the best budget TVs you can buy.
For a surefire sales win, keep an eye out for the Toshiba C350 Fire TV, which gets steep discounts anytime Amazon or Best Buy have a sales event. Our testing found it’s a pretty great budget TV even without a discount, offering a 4K display, Amazon-powered smart functions and surprisingly great gaming performance.
We’ve yet to test it, but we’re also incredibly excited about the new LG C2 OLED, available for the first time in a 42-inch screen size. It packs all the power of LG’s larger OLEDs at a more reasonable price and size. Keep your eyes peeled for it!
The best small smart TVs in 2022
The TCL 4-Series demonstrates that 4K is mainstream now, with respectable picture quality and the very convenient Roku TV smart interface. This 4K TV oftens sells for less than you’ll find bargain 1080p TVs. It has good color accuracy and supports HDR10 — but not Dolby Vision — for improved contrast. It uses Roku’s system software, which provides one of the best smart TV experiences available and has plenty of apps to choose from. With a low lag time of 13.1 milliseconds, this set also will handle fast-paced gaming well.
In exchange for the great price, the TCL 4 Series is missing a few features that more expensive TVs deliver. It lacks local dimming, so the HDR performance isn’t as good as it could be. It also has weak speakers, with little bass and limited power. If this is going to be your main TV, consider adding a soundbar to overcome the sound issues.
Read our full TCL 4-Series Roku TV (S435) review.
The Toshiba C350 Fire TV is the 2021 addition to the small family of Amazon-powered smart TVs, offering good features and decent performance for its extremely affordable price. Our review found it to be a decent example of the Fire TV template, combining good-enough 4K picture quality, impressively short lag times, and Amazon’s great Fire TV smart features, like built-in Alexa voice control, a pretty big app store and (of course) an interface that puts Amazon’s Prime Video service front and center. With even the largest 55-inch model selling for less than $500 (and likely much less during sales events), it’s one of the smartest affordable TVs you can get.
The C350 doesn’t come with the latest bells and whistles, such as HDMI 2.1 or Dolby Atmos support, but it does Dolby Vision and HDR10 — though not very well. But with excellent color accuracy, low lag time and a good looking design, it’s still a solid TV for the price, and better than many Fire TV models we’ve seen in the past.
Read our full Toshiba C350 Fire TV review.
If low prices are what you’re after, then the Vizio V-Series (2021 model) might be just the budget-friendly 4K smart TV you’re after. The Vizio V-Series’s smallest variation is 43-inches, which only just fits our “small” TV description. With exceptional affordability, decent smarts from Vizio’s SmartCast software and great gaming capabilities, we think it’s a fantastic bargain, even when it’s not on sale – and it frequently is, with steep discounts occurring throughout the year.
A trio of HDMI 2.1 ports deliver gaming-friendly features like auto low latency mode and impressively short lag times of just 13.1 milliseconds. If you want great gaming performance for less, this is definitely the budget gaming TV to get. But keep in mind that this is a 60Hz display, so variable refresh rates and high refresh rates are off the table. And general performance is decent enough, but the brightness isn’t great and the audio would benefit from adding a soundbar.
Read our full Vizio V-Series (2021 model) review.
While most small TVs have standard LED LCD screens, the Samsung Q60T brings one of the more premium screen technologies available, QLED, or quantum-dot LED, to its 43-inch version. Our review found its QLED screen produces more intense colors than a regular LED and competes with an OLED screen for vividness and deep blacks. The Q60T delivers a very sharp picture, and thanks to that QLED screen, good colors. It handles HDR well, producing excellent contrast. Thanks to the Tizen smart operating system, you’ll have access to tons of apps.
But the Q60T costs several hundred more than the TCL 4 Series, and while it has a good picture, there are some flaws. This model has a slower processor and lower refresh rate than previous versions, which resulted in some blurring during fast motion scenes. Its color accuracy was also below other QLED sets. But if you want one of the best screens in a 43-inch TV, the Q60T is the one for you.
Read our full Samsung Q60T review.
If you’re seeking a tiny TV and can afford to pay a little more than what the Insignia LED HD Fire TV costs, the Vizio D-Series is a step up in terms of tech. With several compact sizes of 1080p HD instead of the Insignia’s 720p, you’ll get a better image. Available in 32-, 40- and 43-inch versions, the D-Series also has a full-array backlight which our testing found makes for a brighter and better overall image.
The D-Series picture quality doesn’t match Vizio’s next-tier model line, the V-Series (featured earlier on this list), but the smallest V-Series is 43 inches. The D-Series comes with the same smart operating system as the V-Series, Vizio’s SmartCast, which has improved over the years but still lacks some apps and isn’t the easiest to use. But if you want a small 1080p TV, this could be your best option.
Read our full Vizio D-Series (2021 model) review.
How to choose the best small smart TVs for you
When looking for a small smart TV, follow our TV Buying Guide tips. If you put some thought into what you need from a TV, you’ll be able to enjoy your purchase for years to come.
Size: How small is small enough? The difference between the screen size of a 24-inch TV and a 43-inch TV is pretty significant. If your space will allow for a larger unit, we recommend you go bigger — even if you think you’ll be happy with the smallest screen, a bigger one helps make the experience of watching more engaging.
Price: Expect to pay $100-$200 for the smallest TVs on this list, and expect to pay more like $300 or more on the larger end of “small.” Some of these TVs sell for $500 or more.
Features: Consider which ports you need and how many. The number of HDMI ports you need depends on how many devices you plan to plug in — a streaming stick, game console or cable box, for example. Most of these TVs have three HDMI inputs, but some have only two. If you plan to use a sound bar, you may need an optical digital audio or a 3.5 mm auxiliary output. You may also want a TV that supports Bluetooth so you can listen on your headphones without disturbing people around you.
How we test small smart TVs
When it comes to evaluating TVs – big or small – we’re serious about getting it right. That’s why every TV we review is put through a rigorous testing process that measures key standards of picture quality and performance.
Our lab tests involve testing for color accuracy and color gamut using an X-Rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, an AccuPel DVG-5000 video test pattern generator and SpectraCal CalMAN Ultimate calibration software. These tools are relied on by professional calibrators throughout the industry, and we’ve paired them with custom workflows to gather the information needed for our reviews. These measurements are taken first in standard mode to simulate the average watching experience, and then taken again in other display modes to find the top color and brightness performance offered by each set.
Our testing measures contrast and maximum brightness, as well as lag time. Using a Leo Bodnar Video Signal Input Lag Tester to test video signal delay, we time how long it takes for content to travel from the original video source to the screen, measured to the millisecond. Shorter response times equate with faster gaming performance, letting us objectively know which TVs are better for gaming.
We use all of these objective test results to make comparisons about quality and performance between different TVs, but our evaluation doesn’t end there. We also spend hours with each set, watching shows and movies, and using carefully selected video samples to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each set and help us tell you which TVs look and sound the best in a real home viewing environment.
And there’s more to today’s TVs than just viewing, so we also check out the smart TV functions and evaluate everything from the interface to the remote control design. This lets our reviews speak to the technical capabilities of today’s smart TVs and how they fit into your connected home.
Check out our additional TV coverage to narrow down your TV shopping by brand, price range or screen size. Check out our picks for the best TVs in each.
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