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Best 32-inch TVs 2020: the best small TVs for any budget

Best 32-inch TVs 2020
(Image credit: Freeview)

Is a small TV the right television for you? If you don't have the space, the budget, or the will for a massive big screen television in your home – or just like the idea of a smaller screen you can fit on a bedroom shelf or utility closet when not in use – there are fortunately plenty of 32-inch TVs waiting to be easily carried through your front door.

It's increasingly hard to find 32-inch TVs these days, with 55-inch now being the flagship size for new screens, and screen-using devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops eating considerably into the small TV market. But there are still a handful of TV brands pushing perfectly-sized sets that – by virtue of their smaller size – won't cost anywhere near as much as their larger counterparts.

These 32-inch TV sets can still come packed with Full HD 1080p resolution – 4K resolution is a bit pointless on such a small screen – as well as sufficient image quality and the connected smart platform catch-up features you need.

Sure, you won't get the very latest best TV features in a small 32-inch TV, and OLED panels don't go down to such a small size, but if you don't need all those bells and whistles, why not go for one of the best small TVs below instead?

Luckily, our TV experts have researched the best options available, whether you're in the US or UK. While not every model has been hand-tested, we've used our knowledge of the TV market to gauge what each set is offering for the money – and how they compare with each other.

Read on for our pick of the best 32-inch TVs available in 2020 – starting with US models, with UK models below them – and be sure to check back to see what newer sets are added throughout the year.

Best 32-inch small TVs at a glance

  1. VIZIO D32X-F1 (US)
  2. Samsung UN32M5300 (US)
  3. TCL 32S305 (US)
  4. Sony KDL32WE613 (UK)
  5. Toshiba 32D3753DB (UK)

Best 32-inch small TVs (US)

Best 32-inch small TVs

Image Credit: Vizio

1. VIZIO D32X-D1

Apps and full array backlighting both add to a brilliant small TV

Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: N/A | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: VIZIO Internet Apps Plus | Curved: No | Dimensions: 505 x 733 x 184 mm

1080p resolution
Full array backlighting
120Hz effective refresh rate
Remote isn't great 
Sound quality isn't top class

VIZIO pretty much rules the roost when it comes to high-quality value TVs in the United States, with the 2018 D32-D1 being the best of them all. 

While the name might not exactly jump out at you, VIZIO's small screen has a lot going for it – including a full 1080p resolution and an app tray full of the most popular streaming services (including Netflix, YouTube and Hulu). We'd recommend plugging in some speakers if you can, as the integrated ones aren't great. 

That being said, if you're looking for something smart, small and affordable at a 32-inch size, you can't beat VIZIO's small screen wonder in our opinion.

Best 32-inch small TVs

Image Credit: Samsung

2. Samsung UN32M5300

Samsung's M5300 Series is one of the best small TVs

Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: NA | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Smart Hub | Curved: No | Dimensions: 29.2 x 18.5 x 5.7 inches

1080p resolution
Great app selection
Only 2 HDMI ports
Only optical audio supported

Samsung has been a leader in the 32-inch TV space for years, and at the moment its top of the line model is is the UN32M5300. 

Why? It offers full 1080p images and its Tizen operating system for a price that most folks can afford. This grants access to loads of apps, and the TV's built-in Wi-Fi stops you from having to plug it into your router. 

Sure, the UN32M5300 doesn't have the most connection ports in the world, with just two HDMI slots to pick from. But hey, the small compromises are absolutely worth it.

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Best 32-inch small TVs

Image Credit: TCL

3. TCL 32S305

A 32-inch TV from 2017 that still can hang with the best of them

Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: N/A | Resolution: 720p | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes (Roku TV) | Curved: No | Dimensions: 28.9" x 19.2" x 7.2"

Roku TV built-in
Super affordable
It's from 2017
Only 720p

Back in 2017, the TCL 32S305 was one of the best-selling 32-inch TVs. It was affordable, offered built-in Roku TV and decent picture quality considering the fact that it was limited to 720p. 

Since then, a number of better-looking TV have come along (cough Samsung M5300) but, if price is your main criteria, then you can't go wrong with 2017's best.

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Best 32-inch small TVs (UK)

Best 32-inch small TVs

Image Credit: Sony

1. Sony KDL32WE613

HDR in a 32-inch TV

Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1366 x 768 | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Cloud TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 490 x 731 x 187

Has HDR
Recording over USB
Only 720p

The Sony KDL32WE613 is proof a 32-inch TV doesn't have to miss out on newer tech. It supports HDR, usually only seen in much larger, more expensive TVs. 

HDR isn't equal across sets as it relies on a screen's contrast and brightness, but it will let you squeeze more out of a top-end Netflix or Amazon Video subscription, or your favorite console games. The TV also offers recording over USB, Wi-Fi and access to BBC iPlayer, YouTube and a fistful of other apps. 

The stinger is this 32-inch TV set is only 720p, not Full HD. If you're going to watch close-up, the benefits of higher resolution may outweigh HDR. 

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Best 32-inch small TVs

Image Credit: Toshiba

2. Toshiba 32D3753DB

Toshiba's 32-inch screen is for cinephiles with DVD collections

Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1366 x 768 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Cloud TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 498 x 745 x 215

DVD combo
Freeview Play
Only 720p resolution

If you have shelves full of DVDs or a habit of popping the latest bargain bucket DVD title in with your weekly shopping, this new Toshiba 32-inch model is one to consider, with its built-in DVD drive. 

It's not going to rival some of the other models here on all-round picture quality, and it isn't Full HD either. But it still looks attractive despite its combi design, and supports the Freeview Play smart system in the UK, which adds up to a lot of features for its £229 price.

You also get three HDMI ports, one more than several other 32-inch TV sets in this round-up. If the set is too small for you, though, you can check out the 43-inch Toshiba UL5A for 4K resolution and an Alexa voice control upgrade.

  • This product is only available in the UK as of this writing. US and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Samsung UN32M5300.

Small TVs: what to look out for

We know that shopping for a new TV can be a massive hassle, more so when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. 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.

Smart features / Wi-Fi

With 32-inch TVs, one of the most important features to look for is 'smart TV' capabilities. When it comes to a TV for a second or third room, smart features can drastically improve the value and utility of TVs for the simple reason that it prevents you from having to purchase another set-top box or streaming stick. You may regret not getting the likes of Netflix, Amazon or Disney Plus on there – or just the humble Freeview Play catchup service in the UK.

Instead, all of the functionality of those devices is built right in, saving you time and money. If you’re looking for a TV to fill a bedroom or study, a set with Wi-Fi capability that supports video streaming and file sharing should be at the top of your list.

Best 32-inch small TVs

(Image credit: Freeview)

Full HD resolution

If you can, we recommend avoiding TVs with resolutions lower than 1080p. Sure, a 720p image will look fine on a smaller screen, but if you want all the details in the images, a 1080p TV is the way to go. Keep in mind that some retailers and manufacturers will try to mislead customers by labeling most 32-inch TVs as 'HD Ready', signifying that it features an HD resolution; however, even though the lower 1,366 x 768 resolution technically qualifies as 'HD Ready', it's going to deliver an image that is muddier and less clear than TVs with a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 display ('Full HD').

Ports and inputs

One last thing to consider before you decide which 32-inch TV you want, is whether or not it has all the ports you need. Devices like the PS4, 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.

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.

Best 32-inch small TVs

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Sound quality

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.

Best 32-inch small TVs

(Image credit: Samsung)

Good for gaming

The 32-inch screen size is understandably popular with gamers, but some 32-inch TV sets handle gaming much better than others. Motion issues are particularly critical to gaming, so if you’re able to see a few sets running, look out for the motion-related issues mentioned in the previous section.

How quickly a 32-inch TV renders image data received at its inputs – something known as input lag – is also a critical issue for gaming. Unfortunately, though, this is seldom a specification that's quoted by manufacturers, and while it's something we cover in our TV tests, getting 32-inch TVs to test is proving next to impossible these days.

At the very least, though, any 32-inch TV a gamer buys ought to at least carry a Game picture preset. This shows that a brand has at least thought about gaming by providing a mode optimized for it – and usually one of the key features of such game modes is keeping input lag to a minimum.

Original reporting in this article was by John Archer.