Best 32-inch TVs of 2017: the best secondary TVs for any budget
Now that 55-inch TVs are the most popular size on the market, and 4K TVs are continuously rising in popularity, it seems that nobody is really talking about the best 32-inch TVs anymore. They’re not the new style, so is there any life left in the 32-inch market?
Well, if you look back just a few years, the best 32-inch TVs were being sought after by every AV enthusiast on the block. They might not be the newest and hottest technology on the market, but you shouldn’t let yourself believe that there’s no life left in the once-prevalent TV size. Quite the opposite, actually. To this day it is one of the most in-demand categories in the TV world – just for a reason that you might not immediately guess.
The use case that really makes the 32-inch TV shine is as a second TV. They’re extremely useful if you want to put TVs in second, third or fourth rooms of your home, as they offer a great balance between affordability and utility: it’s large enough to be comfortably viewable even in typically large rooms, such as kitchens and conservatories, but not so big that it overwhelms smaller areas such as bedrooms or studies.
Which TVs does TechRadar recommend?
We know that shopping for a new TV can be a massive hassle, moreso when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. But, don’t worry, we here at TechRadar are experts at compiling lists that help you find out what features to look for when you’re looking for the best 32-inch TV for you.
When it comes to 32-inch TVs, one of the most important features you should look for is ‘smart TV’ capabilities. When you’re looking for 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. 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.
Even if you find a great bargain, you should never settle for a TV that’s lower than a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, especially in 2017. 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, the lower 1,366 x 768 resolution qualifies as ‘HD Ready’, but will deliver an image that is muddier and less clear than TVs with a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 display. Plus, these lower resolution TVs won’t even save you much money. They’re just not worth it.
One last thing to consider before you decide which TV you want, is whether or not it has all the ports you need. Devices like PS4, 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/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 TV that has enough ports to support everything you want to do with it.
Keep these tips in mind, and you should have no problem finding the small screen of your dreams. However, just in case you can’t find something, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of the best 32-inch TVs of 2017.
1. Sony KDL-32RE4 (UK only)
Sony’s 32RE4 packs HDR into a 32-inch screen
Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Smart Hub | Curved: No | Dimensions: 543 x 156 x 826 mm
We’ve chosen to highlight Sony’s 32RE4 because, uniquely, it supports high dynamic range video. The screen won’t be bright enough to do HDR full justice, but any sort of HDR impact is welcome. Gamers may be particularly drawn to it given the HDR potential of the Xbox One S and PS4 consoles. Unlike 4K, HDR doesn’t need a big screen to deliver palpable picture quality improvements. Just remember you’ll need to feed the TV HDR sources to unlock its HDR potential.
2. VIZIO D32X-D1 (US Only)
Apps and full array backlighting for less than you might expect
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
VIZIO has never been known for catchy or easy to remember model names, so it’s only fitting that one of the best small screens from the company has a name like D32X-D1. While it might not have the catchiest name in the world, 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 like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu.
3. Samsung UN32M5300 (US Only)
Samsung’s M5300 Series is the top of its class for 2017
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
Samsung has been a leader in the 32-inch screen space for years. The top of the line model from the South Korean manufacturer this year is the UN32M5300. Why? It offers full 1080p images and its Tizen operating system for a price that most folks can afford. Sure, it doesn’t have the most connections in the world, but hey, the small compromises are absolutely worth it.
4. LG 32LJ610V (UK Only)
LG’s 32-inch screen is great for bright, open rooms
Screen size: 32-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: No | Curved: No | Dimensions: 480 x 720 x 160mm
The 32LJ610V is a bit on the ugly side by 32-inch TV standards, and it uses an IPS panel, making it a bad option for dark room environments. However, its picture is bright enough to stand out in light rooms, and best of all its webOS smart TV system makes it fantastically easy to use. Two out of three isn’t so bad, right?
5. Toshiba 32D3753DB (UK only)
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
If you’re still rocking shelves full of DVDs or you’ve got a habit of popping the latest bargain bucket DVD title in with your weekly shopping, this new Toshiba model features a built-in DVD drive.
It likely won’t rival the other models here on all-round picture quality, 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 £299 price tag.
- Head on over to page two to read more about 32-inch TVs!
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