Not so long ago this screen size was considered large enough for the average living room, however, these smaller screens are now best suited for use in bedrooms, where space is limited or where budget is constrained. Most sets in this size do not offer the latest features – for example there is no point in having 4K compatibility and some sets are still available that do not even have full HD. Smart features are the main thing that differentiates these sets from each other, and when used in a bedroom a decent smart operating system avoids the need to have external devices connected thereby freeing up space. For occasional use it is usually unnecessary to have advanced features as the limited screen real estate would make it difficult to discern any real benefits. Despite the drawbacks and sacrifices made to specifications, there are some options that are attractively designed and offer some interesting features available. Unfortunately, it seems that the smart features on most of these sets are plagued by slow processing, probably due to the low price of the sets. For some users, it may be better to buy a non-smart set and use an external streaming device such as a Fire TV stick, Now TV, or Roku – these offer a better experience and are available cheaply.
Table of Contents
Sony Bravia KDL32WE613
- With intense highlights and enhanced textures, HDR preserves the detail in the brightest and darkest scenes found in PS4 games and Netflix titles, for a more dynamic and realistic picture compatible with all HDR PS4 Game titles via HDMI and HDR videos of built-in Netflix app only
- X-Reality PRO upscales and refines the pixels on screen for reduced noise and enhanced clarity
- Browse the web, watch your favourite YouTube clips and enjoy well known apps on the big screen
- Enjoy smooth and sharp details even in fast-paced action scenes with the Motionflow XR technology
- Programme your TV to record your favourite show with the simple connection of a USB hard drive
This stylish set from Sony has a wide array of features that is uncommon in this class of product. With intense highlights and enhanced textures, the built in HDR compatibility preserves the detail in the brightest and darkest scenes and is especially useful for PS4 games and Netflix titles viewed using the built-in app. Despite the lack of 4K, the picture quality is highly rated and features X-Reality PRO which upscales and refines the pixels on screen for reduced noise and enhanced clarity. Motionflow XR technology creates smooth and sharp details even in fast-paced action scenes.
Unusually for a small set, the sound is not ignored with the inclusion of S-Force Front Surround. This system mimics the way the brain correlates sound sources to create appropriate volume, limit time lag, and enhances the sound wave spectrum using the speaker channels. The Clear Phase technology uses a powerful computer model to analyse and compensate for inaccuracies in speaker response and the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) restores lost frequency components to create a more spatial sound reproduction.
Connectivity wise, there are 2 HDMI inputs, aerial input, 2 USB ports, headphone output, and built in Wi-Fi. Other built in features include Freeview Play, Netflix, YouTube, and an Opera Browser. The ability to record a digital broadcast onto a USB device is an added bonus with a dedicated record button on the remote control which also offers quick access buttons for Netflix and YouTube.
Users are generally impressed with the picture and sound quality; however, some users have had issues with the connected and streaming services dropping out on occasion and some bemoan the lack of Amazon Prime. There is no option to download more services, so you are stuck with what it comes with.
Samsung 2020 32″ T5300
- Full HD: enjoy crisp and clear Full HD picture quality with vibrant images
- Smart TV powered by Tizen: easily discover ever more ways to enjoy TV, only with Samsung Smart TV
- PurColour: see impressive colour, PurColour improves the quality of any image, uncovers hidden details, and helps show your content's true colours.
- Contrast enhancer: enjoy striking images with enhanced depth and colour contrast.
- What's in box: Samsung 2020 32" T5300 Full HD HDR Smart TV, One Remote Control, standard remote, batteries, user manual and power cable
Not the most attractive design, however this model has an extensive range of features including full Tizen OS and access to an expandable range of apps and services that makes this unit one of the best-connected models around. Luckily, resolution is full 1920 x 1080P and this set is very light at just 4kg making it suitable for small bracket wall mounting. Using Samsung’s “PurColour” enhancement system, hidden details in images are revealed with accuracy, and the contrast enhancer improves depth perception to bring images to life. Unfortunately, there are no special sound enhancements, although output is satisfactory given its size.
Connectivity wise there are 2 HDMI ports, with one being ARC compatible. There is only one USB port which allows live TV to be recorded to a USB hard drive or stick or can be used for viewing your own content using the built-in media player. An optical output and component and antenna inputs are also available, and it’s nice to see the inclusion of an ethernet socket on a unit in this price range.
Where this set excels is its smart capabilities. The Tizen system offers access to all major streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Disney and many more, and it operates well, and features can be accessed fast either using the remote control or via a smartphone app. The remote control has dedicated buttons for both Netflix and Amazon Prime for quick access.
Customers are very happy with the picture quality and range of services on offer. Some users have commented that there are issues with BBC iPlayer, however this can be resolved by performing a reset in most cases. Some users have mentioned that on the bottom of the menu bar there are adverts present which they feel is slightly intrusive.
- Watch Smarter
- More colours
- Free without wire
TCL is not a brand most will have heard of however their offerings are very low priced and with an impressive range of features. This model is equipped with the Android operating system which opens a world of services not normally available on smaller sets. This set has an attractive stand design and very thin bezels and weighs just 4kg. Unusually it is supplied with a two-year guarantee which even some of the well-known brands fail to provide.
Connectivity options are good with the inclusion of two HDMI ports (one being ARC compatible), one USB port, analogue input, headphone output, optical out, ethernet and an antenna input. Wi-Fi is built in as is Bluetooth for connecting headphones and other devices.
The picture quality is enhanced through the inclusion on several innovative features including HDR and micro-dimming which controls the backlight to recreate a more accurate image. For sound, the inclusion of Dolby Audio is a welcome feature which elevates the sound above what one would normally expect on a set with such small dimensions especially in relation to the clarity, but not necessarily the bass.
The Android TV has access to numerous apps including all the major ones – Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney, YouTube, and many others and with the inclusion of the Google Play store you have access to hundreds of services. Chromecast is built in allowing you to stream content that is controlled via a smartphone and this allows access to services that are not natively supported in the Android OS.
Users are pleased with the picture quality and range of features on offer; however, some have mentioned that this unit is a little slow to start up and have experienced some lag when navigating through menus. The Android system has some limitations with certain apps needing to be sideloaded to work, and some have mentioned difficulties with BBC iPlayer.
JVC Fire TV Edition 32″
- With an HD Ready resolution, see your content with clarity and realistic colours. The virtually bezel-free screen keeps you focused on the content you watch, without any distracting borders.
- With Freeview Play, you can catch up on any show you've missed over the past 7 days, whenever you like. So, you can watch the programs you love on your own schedule.
- With the Fire TV experience built-in, enjoy thousands of apps, Alexa skills, and channels including Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Disney and more (subscription fees may apply).
- Fire TV Edition seamlessly integrates live broadcast TV and streaming channels on a unified home screen (TV aerial required).
- Easily control your TV with the included Voice Remote with Alexa—plus, launch apps, search for TV shows, play music, switch inputs, control compatible smart home devices, and more, using just your voice.
The Amazon Fire TV stick is widely acknowledged as one of the best streaming devices around and on this set the functionality is built in. The JVC Fire TV Edition is a new generation of television featuring the Fire TV experience and includes a Voice Remote with Alexa. With Amazon Fire TV built in, you’ve got access to the best streaming and catch-up services out there, from Prime Video and Netflix to BBC iPlayer and All 4. And with Freeview Play, you can catch up on any show you’ve missed over the past 7 days, whenever you like. So, you can watch the programs you love on your own schedule. The Voice Remote with Alexa lets you do everything you’d expect from a remote—plus, easily launch apps, search for titles, play music, switch inputs, control compatible smart home devices, and more, using your voice.
The “Voice Remote” with Alexa allows you to easily control TV functions like power, volume, navigation, playback, and input switching—plus, easily launch into Prime Video, Netflix, Freeview Play, and Apps with quick access buttons. In addition, you can enhance your entertainment experience by easily controlling your compatible smart home devices with Alexa. Simply use your voice to do things like adjust the lights, set the temperature, check your cameras and much more. It’s a far more streamlined service than the competition has on offer.
This set does not have full HD and is limited to a resolution of 1366 x 768. Connectivity wise, things are better with three HDMI ports with one being ARC compatible, a composite input, two USB ports and optical output. A headphone socket is also provided, and the set is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 which enables the connection of wireless headsets and with little lag. The unit is equipped with a pair of stereo speakers with a decent output of 12W. Picture quality is reasonable with both DTS HD and DTS Virtual X support but limited due to the resolution.
The design is attractive, with a metallic stand and very narrow bezels, especially to the sides where they are almost non-existent, however the unit is slightly bulky and not slim line although it can be wall mounted.
Some users have reported that the user interface is slow to respond and that full integration with the Alexa system is not achievable. This set is best suited for a bedroom or as a second or third set and is not good enough for use for video games due to the limited resolution and lack of picture enhancements and slow refresh rates.
- Picture quality: 50 Hz HDR: HDR10 / Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) Catch-up TV & streaming Freeview HD with Freeview Play / Freesat HD HDMI 1.4 x 3
- Boost your viewing experience Give your favourite movies and box sets a new lease of life with the LG 32LM6300PLA 32" Smart Full HD HDR LED TV. With Active HDR technology, the TV delivers pinpoint detail by remastering each scene as you watch. That means you'll see the brightest and darkest shades in the same image, and still notice the most subtle differences in colour. Whether you're catching up with soaps or following your team in league, everything you watch appears vibrant and sharp.
- Endless entertainment Never run out of shows and movies to watch. With webOS, there's something to keep the whole family entertained. Binge through the shows everyone's talking about on Netflix and Amazon Prime, discover new music with Spotify or even download games. And with Freeview Play, you get instant access to the past seven days of TV shows on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and loads more.
- Virtual Surround Sound When you're watching the latest blockbuster or the big match, you want big sound to match the great picture. The LG LM6300 features Virtual Surround Sound technology, which creates virtual audio channels to give you a more immersive viewing experience.
This LG 32″ Smart LED TV has full HD 1920 x 1080P compatibility and active HDR technology which delivers pinpoint detail by remastering each scene as you watch. This means that you will see the brightest and darkest shades side by side in the same image and still notice the most subtle differences in colour with no colour bleeding and vibrant and sharp detail. The webOS system ensures that there is always something to keep the whole family entertained with access to Netflix and Amazon Prime as well as Freeview Play which allows access to the past seven days of TV shows on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and many more.
For connectivity, this unit has 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB, component input, optical and ethernet, as well as Wi-Fi for wireless access. The set has a brushed dark grey texture with slim bezels and a tabletop stand; however, the width of the unit is not the smallest we have seen. The remote-control unit is chunky with a good feel and has quick access buttons for various streaming services. Sound quality does not disappoint given the sets size, and it has a virtual surround sound feature which improves the perception of spatial positioning in fast moving action scenes and sports, although the sound lacks volume and a soundbar may be required in larger rooms.
Given the low price, the full HD compatibility, and the inclusion of a wide array of catch up services, this unit is ideal for most users and customers are generally pleased with the exception that the remote control has proven difficult to operate for some and others have mentioned that navigating through the various menus, features and smart services is slow with some lag – maybe it could do with a faster processor.