Ah, November. The chill is in the air, the leaves turn, the holidays beckon. And for TV shoppers, Black Friday might be the most exciting "holiday" of the year.
If you're looking for the best deals on TVs, this is the place to start. We'll be highlighting not only the cheapest TVs we find — the infamous in-store-only "doorbusters" designed to get you to the retailer Friday morning — but also deals on TVs we actually recommend, many of which you can find online.
Black Friday is Nov. 23 this year, but most retailers have already published their Black Friday sale prices in an attempt to get you into stores, or online. We'll be working with BestBlackFriday.com to bring you the best deals as soon as we know about them, right here.
Before we get to the deals, here's what you need to know.
- This update incorporates the latest sales from Best Buy, Wal-mart, Target, Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's, Dell, Shopko, Meijer, JCPenney, Belk and Samsung.com.
- The only major missing link is Amazon, and we expect to post it within the week.
- Deal availability varies per store, and links to specific TVs at stores might not show the Black Friday 2018 price until the sale starts.
- CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured below.
Alright, let's get to it.
Best deals on TVs that are actually good
We're gonna start with the best of the best. These are the best prices on TVs we've actually reviewed, or TVs we know enough about to solidly recommend for the price.
65-inch Vizio P-Series Quantum, model PQ65-F1: $1400 (save $700)
Store: Costco and Target
Availability: Online and in-store Nov. 16 through Nov. 26
This is probably the best price on the best TV all year. Only available in a 65-inch size, the Quantum delivers image quality that's the next-best thing to OLED TVs. And since OLED sets aren't seeing steep discounts this year, this is the best deal for videophiles on a budget.
Update: Originally this sale was $1,400 and Costco only, but it will also be available at Target for $1,500. Since a membership isn't required for Target, we're using its link below (as of press time, 11:40 a.m. ET on Nov 16, it's out of stock online at Target).
65-inch TCL 6 Series Roku TV, model 65R615: $900 (save $70)
Store: Best Buy
Availability: Online and in-store now.
This is most likely the best price you'll get for TCL's superb 65R615. This model is exclusive to Best Buy but basically identical to the one we named our favorite TV for the money in 2018. You simply can't get a picture this good for any less.
If you prefer a 55-inch size it's just $600 at Best Buy, which is again the best price we expect to see for this level of picture quality.
75-inch Vizio P-Series: $1,700 (save $300)
Store: Costco, Target and Walmart
Availability: Online and in-store Nov. 16 through Nov. 26
We love the TCL 6 series above but it tops out at 65 inches. Meanwhile our favorite truly huge TV is the 75-inch Vizio P-Series, and this is the best price we've seen. The P has excellent image quality that trounces any of the entry-level LG and Samsung TVs on sale for less this Black Friday — only the Quantum is significantly better and it too maxes out at 65.
55-inch Vizio M-Series, model M55-F0: $450 (save $150)
Store: Sam's Club
Availability: Online only Thanksgiving day, Nov. 22 starting at 12:01 a.m. ET
It doesn't have quite as good a picture — and a much worse Smart TV system — compared to the TCL 6 series, but at this price for the 55-inch size, it's definitely the superior value. This is the cheapest TV we recommend for Black Friday 2018 that scored an "8" for picture quality.
65-inch Sharp or TCL Roku TV: $400
Availability: Online starts Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. ET. In-store starts at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
This is an insane price on a big TV with Roku, the best smart TV system CNET has ever tested.
Walmart's ad says the TV is either the TCL 65S4 or the Sharp LC‑65Q7300U, and that brands and models vary per store. We haven't reviewed either model directly, but TCL tells us the 65S4 has "similar form and function" to the 55-inch 55S405 we reviewed in 2017 (pictured). We expect similar picture quality from both sets — decent but nowhere near as good as the 6 series, for example. Still, at this size, price and level of smart TV convenience, these Roku TVs are a steal.
50-inch Vizio E-Series, model E50-F2: $350 (includes $100 gift card)
Availability: Thanksgiving day, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. ET
We called the E-Series the cheapest home-theater-worthy TV, in large part because it's the least-expensive with full-array local dimming — a feature that goes further than any other for improving LCD picture quality. This 50-incher is currently available at Dell's site for $350, but if you want $100 Dell.com gift card, you'll have to wait for the sale. (The image above depicts the 65-inch size we reviewed.)
For a home-theater-worthy size, Costco, Walmart and Target have the 70-inch E70-F3 for $750 online and in-store Nov. 16 through Nov. 26.
It's also worth mentioning that the cheaper D-Series is on sale at numerous outlets, but image quality won't be as good on that set since it lacks local dimming. The best alternative is the TCL S405 series.
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43-inch Toshiba 4K Amazon Fire Edition TV: $130 (save $150)
Store: Best Buy
Availability: Doorbuster (in-store only starting 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, limited quantities)
No, we haven't reviewed this TV, but at this we feel comfortable recommending anyway. Fire TV isn't not our favorite smart TV system — that honor goes to Roku — but it's still very good, and this price is pure insanity. The cheapest 43-inch Roku TV, the 43S305, costs $220, and it's 1080p, not 4K.
Best Buy is also selling a 50-inch Fire TV Edition from Insignia for not-quite-as-good-but-still-phenomenal price of $280.
And there's a 65-inch Element Fire TV Edition at Meijer for the [insert adjective here] price of $400.
So what about those other Black Friday TV sales?
The fact is that most TVs on sale for Black Friday fall into two distinct categories:
- Dirt-cheap sets from unknown or older brands (Element, Westinghouse, Magnavox, Polaroid)
- Entry-level or one-off ("special purchase") sets from popular brands like Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio
We don't review any of the former category and very few of the latter so we can't recommend them directly. That said we don't expect any of the to outperform the Vizio E series or the TCL 6 series above, and in many cases they'll cost more. In other words, in the latter case you're often paying extra just for a brand name.
Meanwhile the better, higher-end name-brand sets we do review are also on sale, but they're not nearly as cheap as these entry-level models.
All of that said, if you're OK taking a flyer on a cheap TV, or you really want a Samsung, Sony or LG instead of a Vizio or a TCL, there are plenty of other sale prices to be had. Here's a selection.
Cheapest Black Friday TVs (that aren't necessarily good deals)
Below you'll find the cheapest TVs we found for Black Friday, regardless of whether we recommend them or not. While a few are available online, many are classic doorbusters — in-store only during the store's Black Friday sale, available only in limited quantities.
We picked the TVs on the list below from a much larger collection of pretty much every Black Friday TV 2018 TV sale price (aside from Amazon, which isn't available yet), painstakingly created by the folks at BestBlackFriday.com — many store links go to the deal details there. If you want to see all of the TVs, here's the whole magilla in a Google Spreadsheet.
Note that upper price range sale prices actually go higher for each screen size, but we cut it off at the cheapest major-brand sets, typically Samsung and LG.
32-inch TVs: $80
39- and 40-inch TVs: $100-$130
- Walmart has a 40-inch 1080p Hisense TV for $100. As far as we know this is the cheapest TV of the year so far at $0.14 per square inch of screen. That's also cheaper by area than any 2017 Black Friday TV we tracked.
- Target has a 40-inch 1080p Westinghouse for $125.
- Best Buy has a 39-inch Insignia and midwestern supercenter chain Meijer has a 40-inch Element, both for $130.
43-inch TVs: $130 to $280
- Best Buy's crazy 43-inch Fire TV deal, highlighted above, is the only 43-inch TV under $200. It, and every other 43-inch and larger TV on this list, is 4K resolution, but the extra pixels are irrelevant at this screen size and definitely not worth paying extra for.
- The next-cheapest is a Westinghouse at $200, available from East Coast and Ohio wholesale club BJ's.
- None of the other deals beat the regular price of our favorite 43-inch TV, the TCL 43S30 ($220 right now).
- They include an LG 43UK6090 at Meijer ($220), the same TV at BJ's ($260), Sam's Club, Best Buy and Target ($270), as well the Samsung NU6900/6950 (all $280) at Best Buy, BJ's, Costco, Meijer and Target.
49- and 50-inch TVs: $200 to $330
- The cheapest in this range is a 49-inch Polaroid with Chromecast built-in for $199, courtesy of Shopko, a superstore with branches in about half of the states in the U.S. The catch? This price is only after a mail-in rebate.
- Prices increase incrementally from there, with an Element TV at Meijer ($220), a Westinghouse at Target ($230), a Philips at Target ($250), a Sharp at BJ's ($270) and that Insignia Fire TV at Best Buy mentioned above ($280). Costco also has a TCL Roku TV, model 50S423, for $280.
- And then there's the Samsung, model NU6900/NU6950 ($330), available at BJ's, Best Buy, Target and Shopko.
55-inch TVs: $200 to $400
- There are more 55-inch TVs for sale this Black Friday than any other size, and this is also where the second-cheapest price per screen lives. Both Target and Meijer have a 55-inch Element TVs for $200, clocking in at just $0.15 per square inch of screen — the second-best of Black Friday. Better yet, the Meijer is a Roku TV.
- Roku TVs are also available for $250 from other retailers. Best Buy has a Sharp LC-55LBU591U while Walmart rocks a Hisense 55R6000E.
- Shopko tempt shoppers with a Polaroid for $300, but it's a tough sell for $50 more sans Roku, and again you'll need to mail in to get the rebate.
- Samsung's NU6900 series is at it again, priced at $400 in pretty much every store: Best Buy, Dell, Meijer, Shopko, Target and Walmart. LG is charging the same price for the UK6090 series at Sam's Club and, yes, JC Penny.
65-inch TVs: $400 to $650
- There are a few 58- and 60-inch TV deals, but their price per inch falls well short of the best 65-inch TV prices, so we're ignoring them here.
- The best prices at this size come courtesy of the $400 Roku (at Walmart) and Amazon Fire TV Edition (at Meijer) sets noted above. From there prices go to $530 for a Philips at BJ's.
- The next price tier is $600, occupied by the Samsung UN65NU6070 at Best Buy as well as a bunch of LG 65UK6090PUA sets sold by Sam's Club, Costco, Dell, JCPenney and Meijer.
- Finally there's the $650 Samsung 65NU6950, sold by the folks at BJ's, Costco, Samsung.com, Shopko and Target.
70-, 75-, 82- and 86-inch TVs: $700 to $2,500
- Every TV in this size range, with the exception of the $730 Vizio E70-F3 at Costco highlighted above, is from either LG or Samsung, and only at a handful of stores.
- The cheapest is the 70-inch LG 70UK6190PUB at Best Buy for $700.
- Best Buy also has a 75-inch LG from the same series, model 75UK6190PUB, for $1000.
- The 75-incher from Samsung is $1,200, model 75NU6950/6900, available at BJ's, Best Buy and Samsung.com. That's a relatively hefty $0.50 per square inch, if you're keeping track.
- The 82-inch Samsung UN82NU800D jumps up to $2,500 — a substantial increase to $0.86 per square inch — at BJ's, Costco and Best Buy.
- Not big enough for ya? LG's 86-inch 86UK6570AUA costs the same $2,500 ($0.79 per square inch) at Sam's Club, BJ's and Costco.
That's it for the Black Friday TV deals we've found so far. Check back for updates as we uncover more.
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