Up until recently, the idea of buying a good TV at under Rs. 20,000 may have been unfathomable to some. Sure, options existed, but getting the right screen size, resolution and features was often out of your control. But things have changed for the better, and a flourish of new brands has made it possible to dream bigger even with a small budget. With the Rs. 1,000-per-inch barrier having been broken in a big way, buyers can expect much more for Rs. 20,000 today.
We've put together a list of the best TVs you can buy at under Rs. 20,000. These vary in size and brand, with some popular online options sitting alongside traditional brands. Take a look at the list below to figure out which is the best for you.
The best budget TV in India: Xiaomi Mi TV 4C Pro (32-inch)
Xiaomi made big waves in the TV space when it launched last year. Although the first product was the 55-inch 4K Mi TV 4, the Chinese manufacturer launched more affordable options soon after. The range in India now has a total of seven TVs available, with the 32-inch Mi TV 4C Pro being the second-most affordable option. Priced at Rs. 12,999, its our top pick among the budget TVs here.
The 32-inch Xiaomi Mi TV 4C Pro has an HD resolution (1366x768 pixels) LED panel with a 60Hz refresh rate, an improved design, and two 10W speakers with DTS HD tuning. Its also a smart TV, and allows for Google voice search through the microphone-enabled remote. We recommend it over the slightly more affordable Mi TV 4A (32) largely because of the newer voice enabled remote and better sound, but it's almost the same as the Mi TV 4A Pro (32).
It's our top pick because of the combination of features on offer for the price; it's a full-fledged smart TV with a decent panel for most viewing needs, at a price that is lower than what many non-smart TVs sell for. With Patchwall OS, users have the ability to stream content from a variety of sources, and also use the TV remote to also control a set-top box with the optional Mi IR cable. Additionally, there are also Google services built in, including an internal Chromecast for casting video and audio, YouTube, and Google Play to download additional apps and services specially for the TV.
For users looking to access online content, the Xiaomi Mi TV 4C Pro is the most affordable way to do it. The interface is fairly feature-filled, and buyers may not need to invest in a separate streaming device.
Runner-up: TCL 40S62FS (40-inch)
The TCL range in India is perhaps the most exciting when it comes to specifications, and the TCL 40S62FS has an excellent set of specifications to boast of. Priced at just under Rs. 20,000, this TV has a 40-inch full-HD resolution display panel, offering buyers the option of a larger screen along with features such as smart connectivity, stereo speakers, dolby audio and screen mirroring, to name a few. There are dedicated apps for Netflix and YouTube also built in, giving users easy access to online content.
TCL does have the Android TV interface on some of its higher-end TVs — the TCL 40S6500 is only slightly more expensive and has official Android TV — but this particular model features the TCL launcher. However, there's no denying the value on offer purely when considering the panel resolution and size for the price.
While the panel is fairly sharp, the colours tend to be a bit exaggerated with bright content and motion is occasionally not smooth. If most of your viewing is focused on cable or DTH with the occasional online streaming, you'll find that the TCL 40S62FS does a good job for the price.
Also consider: Samsung UA32N4000 (32-inch)
While the two TVs we've recommended above are good for the price, they are also online-focused and therefore a bit more tricky to audition and buy. If you'd prefer to walk into a nearby TV showroom and check out the TV before you buy it, we have an option for you. The Samsung UA32N4000 is among Samsung's most affordable options, and is priced at Rs. 19,800. With a 32-inch HD (1366x768 pixels) display panel, the TV promises good entry-level performance with SD and HD content, along with the reliability and reputation of Samsung, one of the world's leading TV manufacturers.
Ease of purchase aside, the TV also has decent connectivity options with two HDMI ports, one USB port with a built-in media player that supports most major audio and video formats, and an India-specific feature called Indian Cinema Mode, which tunes the picture to enhance performance with Indian movies. It's among the best options under Rs. 20,000 from the ‘traditional' brands, and you do of course have the ability to take a look at the TV at your nearest TV retailer before you buy it.
How did we select these options?
While these picks haven't gone through our in-depth review process, we have been able to take a look at either these models or equivalent ones of a different size from the same brand. We've used these experiences, along with our idea of the right specifications and value offerings, to narrow down our list. The specifications, features, size and value-for-money factor have been key decisions in selecting the TVs in this list.
Though at least one 4K TV is available around this price, but our experience with it wasn't great. You can, however, get decent full-HD options at under Rs. 20,000 at sizes up to 43 inches. With that said, the most feature-filled and value-for-money options are 32-inch TVs. Most options in this range are LED-LCD TVs, as are all of our picks here.
There are a handful of brands here, and we've used online pricing or what is listed on the companies' official websites to narrow down this list to fit within the budget of Rs. 20,000. Because of the obvious advantage that online brands have here, you'll see many of the recommendations here are online-focused brands and products. However, we've also picked a couple of traditional options that you can buy in regular retail stores.
Is it worth picking up a smart TV at this price?
Adding smart connectivity increases the price of any TV. And when your budget is just Rs. 20,000, this is an important factor in the purchase. However, depending on the brand you choose and the size of the TV that you want, you may be able to slip in smart connectivity. On the other hand, you could buy a more affordable ‘dumb' TV, and simply use the price difference to buy a streaming device and add smarts to your setup.
However, if much of your viewing is limited to cable or DTH content, it may not be worth picking up a smart TV. In such a case, you could simply invest in an affordable non-smart TV that is more focused on size, resolution or panel quality.
Best TV Under Rs. 20,000: The competition
iFFalcon by TCL F2 (40-inch): This sub-brand from Chinese TV manufacturer TCL might have a rather strange name, but it's on par with its parent company in terms of products. What's interesting about this TV is that it is a lot like the TCL 40S62FS with similar specifications and features, but at a lower price of Rs. 16,999. On paper, this appears to be an excellent offering.
Vu Play 43S6575 (43-inch): Among the biggest screens you can buy at under Rs. 20,000, the Vu Play 43S6575 is an excellent affordable option for anyone looking for a bigger screen, and is priced at Rs. 17,999. The full-HD resolution 43-inch panel and 20W sound output are this TV's biggest advantages, along with two HDMI ports and one USB port. There is no smart connectivity on this TV, though.
Cloudwalker Cloud TV 43SF04X (43-inch): This 43-inch full-HD TV comes from a relatively lesser-known brand, but promises a lot for Rs. 19,499. You get a 60Hz refresh rate, a smart remote with a built-in air mouse, smart connectivity with key apps supported, three HDMI ports, and two USB ports. The Cloudwalker TV offers among the best specifications on TVs priced at under Rs. 20,000.
Blaupunkt BLA43AF520 (43-inch): German brand Blaupunkt is typically known for its car audio systems and equipment, but last year got into the business of TVs. The product range is available in India, starting at Rs. 12,999 onwards. Although the range stretches across prices and sizes, the BLA43AF520 is its most capable option at under Rs. 20,000, with a 43-inch full-HD display panel at Rs. 18,499.
Sony KLV-24P413D (24-inch): While it might seem odd to buy a 24-inch TV when you could spend a bit more and get a 40-inch or 43-inch one, you are buying into Sony with this one. Typically considered to be the maker of the best LED TVs in the world, Sony does have significant appeal. And if you're looking for a small TV for a specific use — such as in a child's bedroom or a dining room — this compact Sony with an HD (1366x768 pixels) panel could do the trick. It's available online for Rs. 12,990, and is the most affordable Sony LED TV right now.
Which is the best budget TV to buy in India right now? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.