While the average TV size creeps up every year due to the increased popularity of TVs 65" or larger, 55-inch models remain the most popular in 2017. As we're getting closer to the end of the year and its related sales, prices of 2017 have now dropped to more reasonable levels, making the few 2016 models still available difficult to recommend.
So far, we've tested 28 TVs available in a 55-inch size in 2017 and here are our picks for the best ones you can buy this fall.
Best 55 inch TV
If you have a large budget, you can find the best TVs on the market today in the 55" size. Cutting edge OLEDs TVs as well as high-end LED TV with fancy features like full-array local dimming won't be found in smaller sizes.
The LG OLED55C7P 4k HDR TV is the best 55 inch TV we've tested. This is an exceptionally well-rounded TV with few shortcomings or limitations and its infinite contrast ratio gives it an unmatched picture quality.
OLED TVs, unlike standard LED/LCD TVs, can shut down individual pixels completely which allows them to produce perfect blacks. OLEDs also have a significant advantage with motion, since fast moving objects don't leave long trails, which can be a common issue for standard LCD TVs.
Overall, whether you're a gamer or a videophile, OLED is sure to please you. The LG C7 is one of the entry-level models in LG's line of OLED TVs. More expensive models, such as the LG E7 and Sony A1E, offer the exact same picture quality but don't provide a very significant advantage for their price premium.
For a brighter TV, we recommend the Sony XBR55X930E 4k Android TV. It's one of the best LCD/LED TVs we've ever tested. At 1442 cd/m2, it's staggeringly bright. This is in stark contrast of OLEDs, which we've found to only ever sit under 1000cd/m2. This is only ever important for HDR or if you plan on using your TV in an exceptionally bright room, but it is a good reason to pick it over the LG C7 if you don't mind the narrower viewing angle and slightly higher input lag.
Best Mid-Range 55 inch TV
Great TVs with great picture quality and plenty of features can be found in this price range. Even more advanced HDR models are available nowadays. They generally won't be as bright or will not have the same blacks as OLED though.
For something less expensive, we recommend the Sony XBR55X900E 4k TV. This versatile 55 inch 4k TV is one of the best LED TVs we've tested.
Its picture quality isn't as good as OLED, but it still provides a very good experience. Some people might even prefer its upscaling and advanced motion features. It isn't as bright as the more expensive Sony X930E, but it's still a bright TV that will provide a great HDR experience.
Its viewing angle is quite narrow, so it's not great for wide living rooms. Beyond that though, it's difficult to find flaws in the X900E. Seeing how popular it's been this year, it's pretty safe to say that most people will be pleased by its performance.
Alternative for Daytime Watchers
If you plan on spending most of your TV watching time during the day, the Samsung UN55MU9000 is worth considering over the Sony X900E. It won't have the same picture quality in a dark room, but it beats it in environments with lots of windows where its better anti-reflection coating helps preserve the image.
Best Budget 55 inch TV
Budget TVs have simpler designs and worse build quality, but you can still find good TVs in this price range. They won't be quite as bright and will have more limited HDR capabilities overall, but they can offer good picture quality and excel in some usages.
The best budget TV we've tested available in a 55" size is the Vizio M55-E0 4k LED TV. It features a proper local-dimming feature, which is unusual in TVs found in this price range, and an overall picture quality that gets close in performance to much pricier TVs.
Its SmartCast smart platform, mostly built around Google's Chromecast system, might be a bit limiting for some. Fortunately, the Vizio M compensates by offering very good picture quality in a dark room. Its very high contrast helps it produce deep and uniform blacks, but you can also find a series of HDR features such as a wide color gamut and 10 bits of color depth, enabling you to enjoy higher picture quality from modern content.
It does have a narrow viewing angle though, but that's pretty common for most LED TVs. Its input lag isn't the best either, but it shouldn't be a big issue unless you're a more competitive gamer.
Alternative for Gamers
If your usage is more gaming-oriented, go for the TCL 55P607 4k LED TV. Much like the Vizio M Series, it features local dimming and wide color gamut for HDR, making it one of the budget TVs that narrows the gap with mid-range models. Unlike the M Series though, it has an impressively low input lag, making it a top choice for gaming.
For a true entry-level option, go for the TCL 55S405. It's a fairly basic TV, but it still has some decent picture quality and great smart features. Since it has the same very low input lag found on the TCL P-Series, it's a great option for a budget gaming TV.
- Samsung Q7F. Good TV, but poor value for money compared to the X930E. See our review
- Vizio P55-C1. Compared to other P Series sizes, this one uses an IPS panel. This makes it a worse choice compared to our picks. See our review
- Vizio E55-E1. Unlike most of the other sizes, it features a less versatile IPS type LCD panel. See our review
- LG 55SJ8500. Good LED TV with wide viewing angles, but its overall value for money is quite poor. See our review
- Sony XBR55A1E. Exceptional OLED TV, but hard to justify over the significantly less expensive LG C7. See our review
- LG OLED55E7P. Good TV, but poor value for money compared to the LG C7. See our review
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 55 inch TVs to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs that are 55 inches. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.