For the last several years, TVs once considered too large for most rooms—we're looking at you, gigantic 65-inch TVs—have slowly become more and more affordable. But there's still a place in the world for small TVs. Though high-quality 32-inch LED TVs have gotten harder to come by, they're still out there. And they're still the perfect solution for spaces where a bigger, pricier TV might not work, like dorm rooms, guest rooms, garages, or smaller apartments.
If you just want the best 32-inch TV that we've tested, that honor goes to the 2018 Vizio D-Series(available at Amazon for $179.99). However, on top of that very affordable model, there are a number of other options you can find in 2018 that offer a great viewing experience. Unfortunately, we haven't tested nearly as many 32-inch TVs in the last couple of years as we used to—they just aren't nearly as ubiquitous as they used to be.
While you can usually find a too-good-to-be-true priced 32-inch TV in retailers like Costco and Wal-Mart, we've tested the likes of Sceptre, Element, and SuperSonic before, and have found it's usually worth it to spend a little more on the bigger house brands. While we haven't tested everything here, we've tested similar series from these brands and are confident in recommending the 32-inch TVs on this list.
These are the best 32-inch TV's we tested ranked, in order:
32-inch Vizio D-Series (2018)
32-inch Sony W600D Series (2016)
32-inch TCL 3 Series (2018)
32-inch Samsung N5300 (2018)
32-inch LG LJ550M (2018)
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This is (one) of the two 32-inch 2018 D-Series models from Vizio. While we've tested the larger 60-inch D-Series and found it to be a satisfactory TV, the D-Series—traditionally Vizio's most budget-facing and spec-straddling series year after year—tends to shine in the smaller sizes, where its lack of polish is less important compared to its price tag. Further, the other Vizio series this year (E, M, P, and P Quantum) don't have smaller TVs on offer, making this 32-inch D-Series model an especially valuable prospect in terms of its pricing and availability.
This 32-inch model has full-HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution, two HDMI ports, built-in WiFi,Vizio's "SmartCast" Google Cast-based software, full-array local dimming (like all of the other 2018 models), decent viewing angles and a good-enough looking design for most folks. Available around $200, it's one of the best 32-inch options for 2018, all considered.
The only issue we've seen is that this D-Series model can be a bit hard to track down(it isn't currently available from Vizio.com, for example). However, if you can locate it (and make sense of the D-Series' traditionally difficult-to-parse model naming convention), this one should suit your 32-inch TV needs nicely.
I'm Lee Neikirk and I've been testing and reviewing TVs at Reviewed since 2012. People spend so much of their time seeking entertainment and inspiration from the screens they look at every day, and your TV is usually the biggest one. I feel like making sure you have a good TV is one way of ensuring that the time you do spend in front of it can improve your quality of life, even if only just a little bit.
In our TV testing lab, we have the latest CalMan calibration software, a QuantumData signal generator, and individual light/color measuring meters—not to mention about 200 Blu-rays and sundry AV equipment. We use industry-backed and scientifically sound tests to determine things like a TV's HDR peak brightness of what percentage of the DCI-P3 color standard it achieves. We also watch an awful lot of Netflix. Our top priority is to discover what the consumer will actually experience at home—regardless of what the meters say.
I personally tested and reviewed almost every TV on this list myself, and for those I didn't, it was still tested via the methodology and human vision-related weighting metrics I designed in conjunction with Reviewed's staff scientists and tech experts.
A good TV doesn't have to be a colossal TV. In fact, a smaller TV is generally more affordable and can fit just about anywhere. Some of them even offer HDR, which heightens a picture's dynamic range. That said, most of them aren't going to have the flashy features you'd expect in a larger model. In other words, you're not going to find any OLED screens or 4K resolutions at this size.
Next let's talk about resolution. We think it's safe to say that most 32-inch TV's have a resolution of 720p instead of 1080p resolution (full HD). This is because a lot of household brands try to compete in that size anymore. A 720p resolution is acceptable, for sure, but it's not going to be as clear as a 1080p. That's not to say that there aren't any great 32-inch TV's with full HD out there.
You'll also want to take viewing distance into account. Before you purchase the TV, you should consider where you'll be sitting in relation to it. The simplest way to do this is to measure the distance between you and the TV and then multiply it by 0.84. This should give you the screen size you'll need.
The last thing you should take into account is the size of the TV stand. If you're not mounting the TV to your wall, you'll want to make sure you have the room for the stand, as most of them are pretty wide.
Other 32-inch TVs We Tested
Maybe you aren't interested in the 2018 D-Series—not to worry, there are other good 32-inch TVs out there. While we haven't tested all of the TVs we're recommending here, we've generally tested their brother and sister models within each manufacturer's lineup. If you're looking for a different design or something a little fancier, check out one of the recommended models below.
32-inch Sony W600D Series (2016)
While this is a 2016 model, when we tested it a couple of years ago we found it to be a surprisingly excellent 32-inch option. You can still find it kicking around online and at some retailers for around $300.
While it's pricier than the 32-inch D-Series, it delivers a sleek design and picture quality that (for 2016) was as good as TVs twice as expensive. The fact that Sony still carries it on its website and hasn't really replaced it within the lineup yet is a testament to this TV's abilities.
For what you're paying, you're getting full-HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution, smart features, and a very lightweight but sturdy product that's dressed a cut above most of the TVs in this price range. If you can track this one down, it's a winner.
While we haven't tested the TCL 3 Series directly, but we have tested the 5 Series and 6 Series for 2018, and found them to be very high-value TVs overall.
The 32-inch 3 Series is a 720p (not "full" HD) resolution TV with—probably its best feature—the Roku streaming services platform built right in. There's nothing fancy here (no HDR, or 120 Hz refresh rates, or anything like that), but for $170 we're willing to be this one gets the job done.
While the image quality of the 3 Series will be fine for most TV and movies, we're not sure we'd pair it with a modern video game console with a 1080p output, just because the image will have to be down-sampled to fit the 3 Series' native 720p resolution. However, if you have any last-gen consoles, have at!
This is one of the only 32-inch Samsung TVs you can get in 2018 (at least at this point in the year), and we haven't tested it, so take this recommendation with a grain of salt.
However, this full-HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution TV has Samsung's "micro dimming pro" contrast, built-in WiFi, and smart features, so it seems like a well-rounded product overall. At $280, it's a little pricier than some of the other TVs on the list, but it's also more impressively appointed.
This is also one of LG's only 32-inch TVs available in 2018.
Unlike the Samsung N5300 above, this LG has a 720p resolution , but it's also only around $200 . You're getting a webOS 3.5 platform here, a sleek, silver finish, and—we assume—good enough picture quality.
Also, like the TCL and Samsung TVs, we haven't tested this one, so take this recommendation with just a hint of salt.
Lee has been Reviewed's point person for most television and home theater products since 2012. Lee received Level II certification in TV calibration from the Imaging Science Foundation in 2013. As Editor of the Home Theater vertical, Lee oversees reviews of TVs, monitors, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers. He also reviews headphones, and has a background in music performance.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.