Smart TVs needn’t cost an arm and a leg, especially if you’re willing to give up the idea that bigger is better. Here are five models we found that offer a good balance between price and features, and are large enough to almost cover your bed.
Smart TVs have become the centre of the entertainment system for many (smart) homes, thanks to their ability to conveniently stream our favourite entertainment content, or turn into an (oversized) second screen when trying to figure out a complicated spreadsheet while working from home.
They are also status symbols, increasingly available in dimensions that sound comically large (80” – really?), until you finally were invited to your rich friend’s penthouse and realised how empty the living room would look without a TV large enough to be mistaken as some kind of art installation.
However, we don’t all need to spend several thousand dollars to enjoy the power and convenience of a Smart TV. Here are five models we found that provide a good balance between features and price.
For a fairer comparison, we’re using the 55” versions of all models mentioned. (That’s almost as wide as a queen-sized bed!)
5 wallet-friendly Smart TVs for all your Netflix and gaming needs
|Smart TV||Panel type||Price||Optional add-ons|
|TCL P8M 55” 4K UHD||QLED||S$699 at Lazada||– Choice to mount on existing bracket, fixed or swivel bracket for an additional fee|
|PRISM+ Q55-QE PRO||Quantum IPS||S$999 at PRISM+||– Free delivery- Wall-mounted brackets from S$79- Tripod/Quad stands from S$169|
|SAMSUNG AU7000 55” SMART 4K UHD LED TV||LED||S$1,099 at Courts||– Courts 5-year warranty at S$198|
|VIZIO 55” M-Series M55Q7-J01 4K Smart TV||LED||S$1,296 at UBuy||– n/a|
|SONY 55” X80J||LCD||S$1,799 at SONY||– Free wall-bracket and installation worth S$159|
TCL P8M 4K UHD (55”) – S$699
Also available in: n/a
TCL is a China-based brand that is known for producing Smart TVs aimed at the budget-conscious crowd. If you’re looking for a no-frills machine with basic features that is of reasonably good quality, give this brand a chance.
The TCL P8M 4K UHD is a 55-inch Smart TV that sports a sleek design and all-metal construction that not only looks and feels premium, but also helps to more effectively dissipate heat build-up.
Adding to its aesthetics is the slim bezels used for its display panel, creating a sophisticated piece of hardware that looks good whether on or off.
Underneath the hood, HDR 10 technology and micro-dimming support the device’s 4K output, which you can use to enjoy crystal clear streams from Netflix, YouTube and all your favourite entertainment channels found on Google Play.
The TV also comes with Chromecast built-in, so you can use it as an impromptu projector screen when sharing video clips and photos with family members or visitors.
Delivery is included in the price, but you can also opt for bracket installation for an additional fee.
PRISM+ Q55-QE PRO (55”) – S$999
Also available in: 65”, 86”
Home-grown Smart TV brand PRISM+ is quickly winning fans with its range of budget-friendly, high-quality smart TVs,
With its latest line-up, the QE PRO series PRISM+ has also achieved the honour of being Singapore’s first officially recognised Android TV brand.
This means that the Q55-QE PRO comes bundled with Google Play Store, in-built Chromecast and Google Voice Assistant, providing a richly featured user experience. With the right mix of apps and devices, you could make your PRISM+ Smart TV the control centre of your smart home.
The inclusion of Google Play support gives you access to over 5,000 apps on your TV, including must-haves such as Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, meWatch, Crunchyroll, Twitch, etc. You can also seamlessly screencast from your other devices through the built-in Chromecast function.
To ensure a rich and immersive viewing experience, the PRISM+ Q55-QE PRO utilises Quantum IPS panel technology, which maintains picture quality across a higher range of viewing angles. This makes it easier for everyone to enjoy what’s on screen, no matter where they are seated.
Delivery and assembly is included in the retail price. However, you can also choose to install wall-mounted brackets or free-standing supports at an additional fee.
SAMSUNG AU7000 SMART 4K UHD LED TV (55”) – S$1,099
Also available in: 43”, 50”, 58”, 65”, 75”
If you’re a Samsung fan looking for a good deal on their Smart TVs, you’re in luck. The AU7000 series is currently on sale, and you may pick up a set either at Samsung’s online store, or various partner retailers.
But don’t expect anything too fancy though. The AU7000 series is an entry-level model meant to convince budget-conscious buyers still undecided about getting onto the Samsung bandwagon. As such, it’s best feature is its value-for-money price point.
That’s not to say it’s a bad product – this is, after all, Samsung we’re talking about. The TV is perfectly capable of delivering a full 4K viewing experience (thanks to its Crystal Processor), with colour management duties handled by Samsung’s PurColour technology.
HDR viewing is also supported, but sporting action and fast-moving images may suffer from a high degree of motion blur.
Another often levied criticism is that the TV isn’t particularly bright, but at this price point, the AU7000 likely isn’t the only model with this drawback.
Surprisingly, the AU7000 offers pretty decent gaming capabilities, with low input lag of around 10ms, and the included Auto Low Latency Mode.
This model runs the Tizen operating system for connectivity. Voice activation is available only via Google Assistant. It also supports Tap View, where if you have a Samsung Galaxy device running Android 8.1 or higher, you can instantly mirror your phone simply by tapping it on the TV.
VIZIO M-Series M55Q7-J01 4K Smart TV (55”) – S$1,296
Also available in: 43”, 50”, 65”, 70”, 75”
Released in 2021, VIZIO’s M-Series 4K Smart TVs are a wallet-friendly choice aimed at the younger, tech-savvy millennial crowd.
The M55Q7-J01 brings together true 4K viewing with Quantum Colour display (capable of 1 billion+ colours), superior next-gen gaming capabilities, and SmartCast for streaming – all in a sleek, slim-bezeled package with an industrial finish.
It is one of the rare budget-range Smart TVs built to support gaming needs, with a dedicated ProGaming engine AMD FreeSync for lower lag and smoother graphics even in the thick of the action.
The TV also boasts superior connectivity, able to work seamlessly with Apple HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Voice Assistant.
Also, the included SmartCast feature means you should have no trouble finding all your favourite streaming and on-demand entertainment content at the click of a button.
VIZIO is headquartered in the United States, and their products are designed for American homes. As such, you may need to purchase a step-down power convertor to ensure the TV works properly in Singapore.
SONY X80J (55”) – S$1,799
Also available in: 43”, 50”, 75”, 85”
An entry-level model in Sony’s 2021 Smart TV line-up, the X80J is noteworthy for providing a good balance between performance and price.
The inclusion of Sony’s renowned technology is the main driver of value here. For starters, even though the TV uses LCD panel technology, it relies on the powerful X1 processor to accurately reproduce a 4K HDR viewing experience, whether for movies or still images.
Colour reproduction and contrast is similarly managed by software algorithms, tuned to create natural shades, and remaster every object for greater depth, textures and realism.
The TV also includes Motionflow XR capabilities, which creates and inserts extra frames to ensure smooth and sharp viewing during fast action sequences, and conveys a more cinematic experience. Other advanced features include ambient light and sound optimisation.
As for connectivity and apps, you’ll find no lack of content between Google TV, built-in Chromecast and Apple HomeKit/AirPlay.
The SONY X80J is a premium Smart TV powered by some of Sony’s best technologies. Recommended if you’re looking to experience what the Sony hype is all about, without making too large of a financial commitment.
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By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.