Let’s face it, “cheap OLED” is an oxymoron. OLED panels are the top of the crop when it comes to finding the best image quality in your 4K television. That means you’re going to pay a little something for it, but it doesn’t mean you have to fork over your life savings. You can if you want. LG’s 88-inch Z9 8K OLED TV goes for a paltry $30,000 at Best Buy and Amazon. We’re going to assume that’s not the sort of OLED you’re in the market for with this roundup featuring a few possibilities that are slightly more affordable.
However, OLED works by using an organic compound that responds to electric current. Each and every pixel in an OLED panel responds individually to the electricity being sent to it, which no amount of local dimming in an LCD panel can possibly replicate. That’s eight million individual responses in a 4K OLED TV compared to maybe 1,000 zones in a really good LCD panel.
OLED is very much the superior technology. You’ll notice how good it is on your new TV once you’ve found one you can afford.
Best cheap OLED TVs
Not a whole lot of companies tend to venture into OLED territory mostly because it’s hard to make OLED TVs affordable right now. In the U.S., only Vizio, LG, and Sony make TVs with OLED panels. You can also find a few models from Panasonic, that actually happen to be affordable ones, but those are mostly only available in Europe.
Vizio OLED55-H1 55-inch OLED 4K SmartCast TV
LG A1 48-inch 4K OLED smart TV
LG BX 55-inch 4K OLED smart TV | $100 off
LG C1 48-inch OLED 4K Smart TV | $100 off
LG GX Series 55-inch OLED 4K Smart TV | $300 off
Sony A80J Bravia XR 55-inch OLED 4K Google TV | $300 off
LG CX 65-inch OLED 4K Smart TV | $300 off
Sony A8H 65-inch OLED 4K Android TV
What to look for in an OLED TV?
Like I said before, right now LG and Sony are the big names in OLED. However, Vizio’s newest OLEDs just released last October and they’ve put LG and Sony on notice. Vizio has managed fantastic OLED TVs that start at prices lower than the competition and will probably get lower over time. I love Vizio TVs. I even own a P Series Quantum X from 2019. One thing that sets Vizio apart is always finding a way to price its TVs very competitively. The new OLEDs from Vizio start at around $1,300, which may make them the least expensive options for anyone looking at OLED. As far as the panels go, the OLED is just as good as LG and Sony. You get deep blacks and fantastic image quality. The smart platform might not be as good and the brightness might be a little less, but these TVs are definitely competitive.
Outside of Vizio’s new lineup, the best way to save on OLED is to keep an eye out on previous generation models. Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, and other major retailers will often have 2020 versions on sale when they have the 2021 versions in stock. And we are finally starting to see some of the 2021 panels go on sale as well. Unfortunately, many of these deals are pretty limited since once a TV is discontinued the quantity dries up. It’s a constant game in the TV market, and you’ve got to have some patience if you really want to save.
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