The best 32-inch TV you can buy might not be the biggest or best smart TV on the market. But don't be fooled by these humble displays. They take advantage of the smaller scale and pack in an impressive amount of tech and features.
Today's 32-inch TVs can feature HDR support for better colors and contrast, for example, and with their small size and HD resolutions, they tend be much, much cheaper than larger TVs, so they could be the ideal buy during the cost of living crisis.
Not everyone has room in their homes for one of the most advanced big-screen TVs that dominate our list of the best TVs. What's more, plenty of people also turn to 32-inch TVs if they need a second screen for a kid’s room or office, where space is at a premium.
The HD resolutions used by 32-inch TVs are about a quarter as detailed (at most) as the screens of the best 4K TVs – but at such a small size, they're more than sharp enough. Step up to the best 40- to 43-inch TVs and it becomes worth hitting 4K resolution, but at this size, Full HD (1080p) or HD Ready (720p) will work well.
Below, we’ve selected the best 32-inch smart TVs that bring you a great picture, minimal design and even some added features. Bear in mind that many of these TVs are small and slim, which means if you buy one but want to add some oomph to your audio, you might want to consider a compact options from one of the best soundbars to go with it – the Sonos Ray will be the obvious pick for most people.
We’ve done our best to review many of the best 32-inch TVs featured in this list. But in the cases where there isn’t a review, our expertise allows us to spot a great TV when we see one. We’re confident that you’ll be able to find a compact display that’s right for you – especially as Prime Day 2022 deals approach.
Best 32-inch TV 2022: the list
Our picks of the small TVs
Proving that small TVs can still be stylish, our top pick for the best 32-inch smart TV is the 2021 version of Samsung’s The Frame TV range. It has a customizable frame that makes it ideal for wall hanging, and it has a special Art Mode, where it blends into your home by displaying works of art when not in use for TV and movies.
There have been previous versions of the Samsung The Frame TV, but this latest 2021 version feels like an upgrade in the picture department. In larger sizes, its QLED screen is 4K resolution, but the 32-inch model is Full HD with HDR. Thanks to the QLED, you can expect wonderfully rich colors from The Frame TV, with Samsung making use of a Dual LED backlight system, bringing together two color temperatures to make sure contrast is even and rich.
During our testing, we found this TV remarkably easy to set up. This was thanks to the inclusion of Samsung’s fantastic One Connect box. This breakaway box connects to the screen with a single clear cable, and houses all of the connections you’ll need for external devices – but can hide them away somewhere out of sight.
Read our full review: Samsung The Frame TV (2021)
VIZIO pretty much rules the roost when it comes to great-value TVs in the United States, with the Vizio D-Series emerging as one of the best small TVs out there right now.
While the name might not exactly jump out at you, Vizio's small screen hits dead center for balancing features and price. You don't get a 1080p Full HD screen, but you get a full array LED backlight, which means a brighter image that's easier to see during the day. You also get smart TV features full of the most popular streaming services (including Netflix, YouTube and Hulu) on the SmartCast platform, which is also used on Vizio's high-end sets.
You're getting a basic pair of 5W speakers built-in, so it might be worth plugging in some external audio hardware, but you're getting a good feature list for such a small TV and small price – including two HDMI ports, one USB port, and HDMI ARC support for a soundbar.
This is an untested model, but if you're looking for something smart, small and affordable at a 32-inch size, VIZIO's small screen offers a lot for the price.
The Toshiba WK3C Alexa TV combines straightforward TV viewing and voice assistant functionality in one very affordable package, making it one of the best 32-inch TVs out there.
The built-in (and hands-free) Alexa support covers what you’d get from one of the best smart speakers or one of the best smart TVs. During our testing, we had no trouble using the Amazon voice assistant to summon apps, look for content, or power the television on and off – though it’s an always-on affair, without the easy mute functions of an Amazon Echo.
The picture is surprisingly good, too, given the price and limitations of this HD resolution set. The processor handles HD sources, or those downscaled from 4K, very well. There’s a trace of motion judder that occurs across moving backgrounds, pictures far better in the foreground in general, but it’s a small issue that’s not overly noticeable on such a small TV. Freeview Play support is a great addition for UK viewers too.
All in all, the Toshiba WK3C is something of a steal for those who don’t need a higher-resolution screen. Just keep in mind that you're only getting HD (720p) resolution on both the 24-inch and 32-inch sizing options.
Read our full review: Toshiba WK3C Alexa TV
The TCL 3-Series isn't the most technically impressive model in our best TCL TVs guide, but it does offer a lot for the price. At a 32-inch size, this small TV packs in Full HD resolution, direct full-array dimming (no edge lighting then) and even the excellent Roku operating system found on a host of other TCL TVs.
Roku is the saving grace of this cheap TV, adding a sleek and well-organized smart platform with substantial app support: Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Hulu, and more. Three HDMI ports give you a lot of connectivity options too, while the 60Hz panel doesn't hurt either.
TCL TVs have a tendency towards quite aggressive overprocessing and high contrast images, which will only be more prominent on its cheaper screens – but for an affordable model that won't be a nightmare to navigate, the 3 Series is a good bet for one of the best 32-inch TVs.
And while we haven't reviewed this model ourselves, we've seen enough TCL TVs to get a good sense of what's on offer.
Cello might be a humble British TV brand, but it knows how to cater to those on a tight budget and those in need of a smaller-than-standard screen. The Cello Smart Android TV starts at just £179 for a 24-inch size, and comes in at £199 for a 32-inch TV size.
For that price you're getting Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, and surprisingly comprehensive smart TV features. The Cello Netgem smart TV that used to be in this guide made do with a very basic operating system – without even Netflix support – and the move to Android for the latest TVs from this range can only be an improvement.
Sure, there are better interfaces than Android for higher-end sets, but it's highly unusual at this price, packing in Chromecast, Google Assistant support, and the best streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Rakuten. You even have Freeview Play – for the UK's terrestrial broadcaster catch-up services.
Picture performance is decent for the price, too, with consistently lit pictures and generally smooth motion from HD/SDR sources.
Read our full review: Cello Smart Android TV
Best 32-inch smart TV FAQ
What are the perks of a small 32-inch smart TV?
Size isn't everything, as the best 32-inch TVs can attest to. Many of these smaller screens offer much sharper 720p or 1080p picture quality thanks to their compact display. This means there's much less risk of the displayed image appearing blurry as a result of poor upscaling on a larger 4K-capable TV. Some even offer HDR, injecting that smaller, sharper screen with a burst of color.
The smaller size of a 32-inch TV also means that they're offered a good degree more in the way of portability. Need to move the TV to a different room or house? It's far more manageable with a smaller 32-inch TV than with a 4K giant.
How much does a 32-inch smart TV cost?
Prices vary between brands, but even the best 32-inch TVs are cheaper than even the most basic, entry-level 4K tellies. Prices can also vary depending on what features you're looking for.
UK buyers on a budget might look for the Cello Smart Android TV, which costs £199 for a 'gets-the-job-done' level experience. For something a tad more premium, the HDR-capable Sony KDL32WE613 will cost you around £259 for the 32-inch model.
In the US, the Vizio D-Series' 32-inch model, which is our top choice at the moment, is somewhat equivalent to the Cello Smart Android TV, costing just $179 for a basic, but functional experience. The TCL 3-Series is similarly affordable at $219 but with a few quality features like full 1080p HD, 3 HDMI ports and loads of streaming apps built in.
What to look for in a 32-inch smart TV
Shopping for a new TV can be a hassle. Especially as there are so many TV tech terms to learn and a lot of incredibly confusing naming conventions.
But, don't worry, the experts here at TechRadar are veterans at compiling lists that help you find out what features to check for when you're looking for the best 32-inch TV for you.
Ports and inputs
Another thing to consider before you decide which 32-inch TV you want, is whether or not it has all the ports you need. This is incredibly important, but often the last thing you might think about when you're agonizing over which display to buy.
Devices like the Nintendo Switch and DVD/Blu-ray players will need HDMI inputs; the Nintendo Wii or other legacy game consoles will need a component or even composite video input; PCs, if they don’t use HDMI, will likely use a DVI or VGA input; and Sky or cable set top boxes will need an additional HDMI.
If you're hoping to use a next-gen console on your new smaller TV, like the PS5 or Xbox Series X, these both need HDMI 2.1 ports to take advantage of their upgraded performance. But they will work with TVs with older ports, too, definitely check compatibility before you buy one.
When you have a lot of different devices to connect, it will really make your life easier getting a 32-inch TV that has enough ports to support everything you want to do with it.
The right kind of panel
There are essentially two types of LCD panel technology out there for 32-inch TVs: IPS and VA. IPS panels offer slightly wider viewing angles, while VA panels support much better contrast.
With big screen 'main' TVs likely to be used for watching films, sometimes with the lights dimmed, the lack of contrast with IPS screens can become a big issue, causing dark scenes to look washed out. So if you're looking for a 32-inch TV to go into a relatively dark environment, a VA panel is a must.
IPS panel contrast issues are less problematic in bright rooms such as conservatories and kitchens, though, and the (slight) IPS viewing angle advantage can also be handy in such large environments where viewers may be using the TV while walking around the room.
Far too many 32-inch TVs treat sound as an afterthought, even though it's a key part of any viewing experience. It can be tricky to judge a TV's likely audio performance, though, without hearing it for yourself.
All you can do is look for rated speaker output specifications (even though these are notoriously unreliable) and clues in a TV's design: forward firing speakers, built-in bass woofers, enough space on the rear to allow air to move around, and so on. In our pick of the best 32-inch TVs for the UK above, the Sharp 1T is a solid option for sound thanks to a built-in system from Harmon/Kardon.
Small TV alternatives
Best small TV alternatives: what about a smart display?
It's worth considering whether other, smaller displays might fulfil your needs as well. Once your screen gets smaller than 32 inches, you're moving into monitor or even smart display territory.
A monitor might be a better idea if you want to double up your TV with a computer screen – and you'll often get better specs and higher refresh rates thrown in, compared to the same size for televisions. (Check out our guide to the best monitors for more.)
Smart displays, too, are effectively small screens that can be easily placed anywhere around the house, and tend to come with basic app support, such as YouTube. Amazon's Echo Show range (Echo Show 10, Echo Show 5) pack in Amazon Prime Video, while the Google Nest Hub Max boasts Netflix support – making a little TV binge while you're cooking pretty straightforward.
Original reporting in this article was by John Archer.