Prepare yourself for madness! Of the TV pricing kind!
Black Friday 2017 is coming, and the circulars, sales lists and dedicated websites are chock-a-block with TVs priced far, far below what's been heretofore considered normal. From 32 to 80 inches, $70 (!) to $2,500, these sets are set to fly off the shelves, both physical and virtual, the day after Thanksgiving.
With the help of BestBlackFriday.com I've gathered the TV deals from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Dell and others in one convenient clickable place, and highlighted the deals I really like. That said, I haven't reviewed all of them, and I don't expect great (or even very good) image quality out of most of the cheapest ones. But maybe it's "good enough" for you.
Now forget all that and scope these mind-boggling deals!
Updated November 14 with Amazon.
Updated November 15 with Jet.com, also replaced "Price per diagonal inch" with "Price per square inch of screen" because screen area is a better indication of relative size and cost than linear diagonal inches. Thanks to Professor Sean Murphy at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg for the suggestion.
Updated November 17 with five new TVs, two from H-E-B, one from Target and two OLEDs from LG.
Updated November 22 with five TVs, three of which are from Vizio's M series, which won CNET's Editors' Choice. This will likely be the final update before Black Friday, November 24.
Caption byDavid Katzmaier
/ Photo by Target/Best Buy/Dell/David Katzmaier/CNET
Our take: Cheapest TV of the year. Tied for cheapest price per inch with another no-name set from Amazon. And before you ask, we have no idea if it's any good. (We don't know what brand it is, or even have an image of it -- that's just a generic 32-inch TV we found online.)
Amazon does its own version of Black Friday doorbusters, with rotating deals designed to keep you glued to your phone or computer, so to get this insane deal you've gotta be vigilant. And lucky.
Our take: In case you missed it, this is a DOORBUSTER!!! Midwest retailer Shopko has stores in 25 states, and if you want a really cheap TV, this certainly qualifies, although it's not quite as wow-worthy as some deals.
Our take: We have no idea whether this TV is any good, but like so many other Black Friday TV deals, that's not the point. This is one of the cheapest TVs for the size we've ever seen, and is sure to cause some busted doors.
Our take: Nestled behind two Samsungs in Walmart's Black Friday flyer, this Vizio is a better deal than either one. We're pretty sure it's a D-Series (without local dimming) but Walmart isn't specifying, so we can't say for sure.
Our take: This Polaroid also happens to be the second-cheapest 4K TV on the list so far. That's not a big deal since the TV is so small, but having a Chromecast built-in is nice, saving you $35 on that dongle and allowing some Google Home commands.
Our take: Sure, it's a well-known brand's 4K TV, but it's $200 more than that Polaroid on the last slide. So why did we include it? Because Dell is selling it online, so you don't have to brave the crowds, and is also throwing in a $100 gift card for use on its site.
Our take: Just like Amazon's cut-rate 32-incher, this no-brand set outclasses everything at its size in price per inch. It happens to be 4K, not that it matters at this size, but we're not sure if it has any built-in smarts. (We don't even have an image of it, that's just a generic 49-inch TV.) No matter, you can afford a Roku after the savings on this thing. And speaking of Roku, we think the 50-inch Sharp a few slides away is a better deal.
Our take: Texas superstore H-E-B's cheapest TV deal might not be 4K, but we actually like it better than Amazon's no-name 49-incher. That's not because of the Hitachi brand, but rather because it's powered by Roku's excellent operating system.
Our take: One of our favorite budget 4K TVs this year, TCL's S405 has the advantage of Roku smart TV awesomeness. This price isn't spectacular -- just $10 less than the current prices elsewhere, which is why this particular Roku isn't our pick at this size. Stay tuned...
Our take: The "LG" and "4K" are nothing special, nor is the price-per-inch... unless you're a frequent Kohl's shopper. That's because buying this set on Black Friday nets you $120 in kohld hard Kohl's Cash. Brrrr!
Our take: The most well-equipped TV on this list is actually a Samsung from 2016. In our review we lauded its sleek design, including a killer remote with the ability to control all of your AV gear. Paying this price for a 2017 model (the UN49MU6250) gets you a lot fewer pictures, and no improvement in image quality.
Our take: This 4K Roku TV is perhaps the best deal of 2017 Black Friday so far. It has all the awesomeness of Roku's system and one of the cheapest prices per inch around. Not a misprint. $180 for a 50-inch 4K TV. Crazy.
Our take: At the other end of the price-per-inch spectrum is this Vizio. So why did we include it? First, it's the best-performing LCD TV on this list, with truly excellent image quality (but stay tuned for a deal on OLED TVs, which perform even better). Second, it includes a $100 Dell gift card beyond the already steep discount. Easy pick, especially since you can buy it in your jammies. This one will go fast.
Our take: There are more 55-inch TVs than any other size on our list, so strap yourself in. It begins with page 1 of Target's circular, and fittingly this Westinghouse sports 4K resolution (like every 55-incher on the list) and a truly insane price. This is the last you'll see of a price per sq. inch under 20 cents. ("Cars" and "Stranger Things" discs not included.)
Our take: It's $200 less than that Vizio and 5 inches bigger, for a price-per-inch that beats anything this size or larger. Of course we don't expect picture quality anywhere near that Vizio, but as a dirt-cheap Black Friday TV, this is truly special.
Our take: Nestled between discounted game consoles on page 1 of Kohl's circular is a television that can display actual 4K video. Kohl's sees Wal-Mart's 55-inch 4K TV and Haiers it with $90 of Kohl's cash.
Our take: Three different traditional stores are offering the exact same Samsung TV for the same price, and it's not a bad deal. The best is probably Kohl's because it also includes $150 in Kohl's Cash.
Our take: We'd ignore this Samsung because it likely has the same image quality as the ones in the previous slide and costs $100 more. But it's Dell so it's available online, no door busting required, and comes with Dell's $100 gift card to soften the blow.
Our take: Just like its 50-inch brother from a few slides ago, this Vizio earns my pick because it's a great TV for a great price. Of course, it can't compete against the 55-inch OLED TV on the next slide, but you can buy two and a half of these for the price of one of those.
Note that image shows the 65-inch version we reviewed, not the 55-incher on sale for Black Friday. Unfortunately, that 65 didn't get a BF price cut, but it's still a good deal at $1,000. Stay tuned for a sweet Costco deal on the 70-inch M, however.
Our take: And now for a different kind of deal. If the all the mediocre no-name TVs on this list have started to blend together, consider this LG a blast of fresh air. Available from retailers nationwide starting Sunday, Nov. 19, through Cyber Monday, Nov. 27, this is the lowest price on the best picture quality we've ever tested. Sure, you could buy *six* of those $250 55-inchers for this price, but then they don't have perfect black levels.
Our take: If you happen to be deep in the heart of Texas, regional retailer H-E-B has a great deal on a big TV. It's one of the cheapest per square inch on our list at this size or larger, and brings all the goodness of Roku's sweet apps.
Our take: Our first Sony sighting is a doozy. At $100 cheaper than our favorite 60-inch pick from Vizio on the next slide, this set is sure to create plenty of satisfied buyers if they manage to nab one.
Our take: Call us crazy for picking this 60-incher over the Sony, but here's why. It uses local dimming, unlike the Sony, so we actually think it will perform better. On top of that it comes with a $200 gift card from Dell, and best of all you don't need to bust down Best Buy's door on Friday morning to get one.
Our take: The "K" in the model name above is a dead giveaway that this is a 2016 TV, but who cares? It's the cheapest 65-inch TV we've seen so far from any maker, and it's an actual Samsung, so the chances of its picture being "good enough" are good enough. 'Nuff said.
Our take: The most expensive TV on this list aside from that 80-inch Vizio you'll see in a few slides, the 65B7A still qualifies as a tremendous deal. Just like its 55-inch brother, this TV offers the best picture quality ever at the lowest price ever. So what if it's 1,000 square inches smaller than that 80-incher? It's still big and beautiful, and you know you want it.
Our take: Many of the best deals on truly gigantic TVs we've found so far are: A) members of well-reviewed Vizio's E-Series, and B) on sale at wholesale club stores like BJ's and Costco, as well as Vizio's own website. Here's the first...
Our take: ...And here's the second. This is (a closeup on the leg of) the exact same TV from the previous slide, but this one costs $20 (or one penny per square inch) more. It makes the list because you can buy it right now without a BJ's membership.
Our take: Beyond the two ultracheap no-name sets at 32 and 49 inches, this Sony and its bigger brother are the only really worthwhile TV deals we've seen at Amazon. It's a very good price for a Sony, but if you're less into brand names and styling, the cheaper Vizio on the previous slide probably has a better picture.
Our take: Are you starting to detect a pattern to my picks? Actually it's kind of a tough call between this 70-incher, a member of my Editors' Choice-winning M series, and the 70-inch E from a couple of slides ago. For another $300 you get a significantly better TV, however -- and in our book that's worth paying, even on Black Friday. It's a Costco exclusive, but you know someone with a membership, right?
Our take: Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before. Here, once again, is our favorite series of non-OLED TV for 2017, in a truly massive size, for a price that's really tough to beat. And it's available now.
Our take: When I listed this TV originally it was only available at Amazon, and the model number was unknown. Mystery solved: it's Sony's baseline 4K X850E, and you can get it now from Best Buy, Amazon and elsewhere. That said, both of the Vizios from the previous two slides likely deliver a superior picture.
Our take: We're pretty sure this is another E-Series, but since Costco doesn't specify, it's tough to say for sure. We can say that this price for a TV this massively gigantic is pure, gross, unadulterated insanity, with a side of cray-cray. Too bad you can't buy four.