Should You Buy a Walmart Onn TV?

Walmart's new electronics house brand sets are inexpensive, but they don't rival sets from the top brands for performance

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A large Walmart Onn TV with its display showing a city skyline.

Based on the number of online searches being conducted, an awful lot of people are looking for information on Walmart's Onn electronics brand, and especially Onn TVs. 

Interest has become even stronger since Walmart announced a few early Black Friday sales on Onn-brand TVs, including a 65-inch 4K Roku set for $228, which sold out within hours of it becoming available.

At its next early Black Friday, online-only sale, Walmart will have another Onn 4K Roku TV, the 50-inch Onn 100021258, for just $128. The sale will also include a 55-inch TCL 4K Roku Smart TV (model 55S20) for $148. 

The sale kicks off at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11.

Onn is one of a handful of private-label brands in the electronics industry, meaning the sets are manufactured and sold by just one retailer. Best Buy's Insignia TVs and sound bars, AmazonBasics cables and accessories, and Target's Heyday products are other examples.

More on TVs

Walmart has declined to tell CR what companies make Onn products, including televisions. But the Onn TV warranty, which applies to Onn TVs 42 inches and larger, says that Element Electronics will handle repairs made under warranty. Element is based in South Carolina, and its TVs have typically been subpar in CR's testing. 

There's a good reason people are interested in Onn TVs: They are often very inexpensive compared with similar-sized sets from other brands. The 65-inch model in our ratings—not the one featured in the sale described above—is selling for about $400, making it the lowest-priced set we've tested in this size. And as we've already seen, prices will be even lower during Black Friday and holidays sales promotions.

While those prices are dirt cheap, lots of other televisions will also be selling at a discount in the coming weeks. The question for many shoppers is whether Onn TVs are any good.

Consumer Reports currently has three of Walmart's Onn TVs in our TV ratings, which are available to digital members. (We also tested three Onn sets last year.) All the sets we test are bought at retail and rigorously tested in our dedicated labs for picture quality, high dynamic range performance, viewing angle, and more.

Though none of the Onn models we've tested seem like a great choice for the main TV in your home, it really depends on how you're going to use it, and how you choose to balance the trade-off between performance and price.

Test Results for Walmart Onn TVs

The three Onn TVs now in our ratings are the 65-inch Onn 100012587, the 58-inch Onn 100018971, and the 24-inch Onn 100012590

At about $400, the 65-inch Onn TV isn't just the least expensive set this size in our ratings, it's also tied for having the second-lowest Overall Score among TVs 60 inches and bigger. 

The picture-quality scores, for both HD and 4K, are lower than for most sets this size. (It earns above-average marks for both versatility—thanks to its Roku TV smart TV system—and data security.)

Among the problems are below-average color accuracy and some backlight non-uniformity, which means you may see brighter cloudy areas in very dark scenes, or in the black bars when you watch a letterboxed movie.

The TV also lacks the kind of fine detail we expect from 4K images, and it doesn't do a great job upscaling regular high-definition content to the set's higher-resolution 4K screen. That's a task TVs handle routinely these days. On this Onn set, the edges of objects appear jagged rather than smooth. 

Although still fairly low in the ratings, the 58-inch model does noticeably better in several areas, enabling it to offer satisfying overall HD and 4K picture quality. In particular, color accuracy on this model is excellent, and we see the picture detail we expect when displaying 4K content. And at $300, it's currently the least expensive set this size in our ratings.

However, neither set is capable of delivering an effective high dynamic range (HDR) experience with content that supports it. HDR is a feature that can produce brighter, more colorful images with greater contrast, closer to what we see in real life. Like many of the lower-priced TVs in our ratings, the Onn sets aren't capable of doing an effective job with HDR, mainly because they can't get bright enough.

The third set, a 24-inch 720p Roku TV, also has decent picture quality, but like a lot of TVs this size, it has a fairly narrow viewing angle, and its sound quality is among the worst of the small TVs we've tested. But at $89, it's among the least expensive sets in our ratings.

This year's tests on Onn TVs are fairly consistent with what we found with three sets we tested last year, though these newer 4K models at least support HDR, even if they don't do a great job with it. Last year's 4K models didn't support HDR at all—in fact, the TVs actually degraded shows and movies with HDR, making images look washed out.

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