These are the best TVs we recommend to buy based on our reviews. It's tough to find 2015 TVs at all at this time of the year, and 2016 TVs are now at the same price or cheaper than the ones they replaced. A lot of our recommendations are back to Black Friday prices for the Super Bowl.
Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs - Under $1,000
If budget is not an issue, you can find high-end TVs in this size range that supports HDR well.
The Samsung UN49KS8000 is by far the best TV between 48-50 inch if you want a versatile 4k TV. It has excellent picture quality for movies, not a lot of motion blur, input lag is low (20.9 ms) and can get bright enough for even the brightest living room. This is the most versatile 48-50 inch TV and the one to buy for most people.
If you can manage the slight bump in price, we recommend getting the 55-inch model instead since it represents better value for money.
The curved version, the Samsung UN49KS8500, has the same picture quality. If you can't find the flat KS8000, it is a good alternative.
For people that watch movies in the dark, the Vizio P50-C1 is even better thanks to its great full array local dimming. It is also a great choice for playing video games, with its very low 17.7 ms input lag and almost no motion blur. It isn't as versatile as the Samsung UN49KS8000 though since cable TV doesn't look as good and reflections are more presents. Unfortunately, it suffers quite a bit with HDR gaming since it's input lag is much higher on HDR inputs.
Note that the 50-inch version of the Vizio P Series has only a refresh rate of 60Hz, contrary to the 120Hz found on bigger sizes.
Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs - Under $800
Under $1,000, expect TVs between 48-50 inch to have a good picture quality but without the extra brightness or wide color support the pricier models have. They won't be as good for HDR.
For less than $1,000, it's difficult to beat the Vizio M50-D1. It offers contrasts and blacks on par with our higher end picks and is especially similar to the P50-C1. The main difference between the two other than the design are the HDR focused features. For a lot of people, though, this won't be of interest, so the M50-D1 is the best choice in this price range.
Note: The 55-inch version of this TV is only 60Hz, contrary to the 70 inch that we tested, so do not get this TV if you want the smoothest motion interpolation possible.
The Sony XBR49X800D is an excellent choice for a TV under 800$; it offers good picture quality, great handling of motion and low input lag. It's not as good for movies in a dark room as the Vizio M, but it is a much more versatile TV that does much better with upscaling lower resolution content like TV and sports. It's also much closer to the high-end models when it comes to HDR, and unlike the Vizio, the input lag isn't affected in HDR gaming.
For sports watchers, the Sony XBR49X700D is one of the best this year for that usage. It has some of the best motion this year, great viewing angles and gets quite bright compared to its competition. If you don't care about HDR, don't bother with the X800D above and get this one instead since it will match it everywhere else, and sometimes perform even better.
Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs - Under $700
These TVs are good value, but they usually either have a very limited support of HDR or don't support it at all.
The Samsung UN50KU6300 is a good budget 4k TV. It won't be as great as our top picks above for HDR content, but it still maintains a good average picture quality for a variety of content. It can get bright enough for every type of rooms.
Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs - Under $500
TVs of 48-49-50 inch that goes for under $500 offer basic picture quality without high-end features such as high brightness level, wide color support or anti-reflective screen coating. They often represent good value, though.
Under $500, the Hisense 50H8C is currently the best 50 inch TV. Its picture quality rivals some of our picks in the higher bracket, it's Opera TV smart features are nice and pretty responsive. Of course, it doesn't have that great of a build, but that is to be expected at this price. The viewing angles are also quite narrow, but in general, this TV should fit most people's needs in this price range.
For something quite a bit cheaper, the TCL 48FS3750 is your best bet. It doesn't have motion interpolation like pricier models, but its picture quality is respectable for normal non-HDR content. It also doesn't have much blur in fast action sequences like in sports and video games feels responsive on it. On top of that, its Roku features rival the best smart platforms available on the market.
Our recommendations above are what we think is currently the best 48 to 50 inch TV 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).
A few examples of 48" to 50" TVs that didn't make the cut:
- Samsung UN50JU7500. Available but priced too high compared to the better Samsung UN49KS8000. See our review
- Samsung UN50JU7100. Priced too high compared to better Samsung UN49KS8000. See our review
- Samsung UN50KU7000. Pretty much the same as the UNKU6300 but with a nicer design and higher price tag. See our review
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here are the list of all our reviews of TVs that have a 48-49-50 inch size. 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.
Questions & Answers
Update: Changed the recommendations to current models.
Update: Changed the recommendations to current models.
Update: We started the review some of them.
1. VIZIO E50-C1
2. Samsung J6200
3. LG Electronics 49LF5500.
I would mostly use it for streaming TV/movies and the occasional gaming. Or do you have another suggestion completely? My budget is closer to $500, but I can raise that if the upgrade is justifiable.
I also heard Sony doesn't make its own TVs anymore. If true, should this be a concern? I would be open to a Samsung if it is compatible with a soundbar. Please advise. Thanks.
Sony doesn't make its own panels anymore, but it's nothing to worry about.
I decided to plug my Xbox into the HDMI 5 port. I noticed juddering, screen tearing, and millisecond freezing. I turned the TV off and back on, and it ran smoothly. I then decided to try a Blu-ray. I noticed jaggedness in fast-moving scenes, and the occasional choppy face.
Now I'm considering the Samsung J6300, a non-4k TV. I have no idea what to do. The Vizio really isn't a bad TV and I know I'm picking it apart to find a reason to go spend more money, but Id rather not.
Would I see a more solid screen presentation if I bought an Xbox One to use on the Vizio, or should I just go buy a 55" J6300 and say screw the 4k? Thanks in advance. I love this website.
I believe that though both Samsung and Sony use the panel from AUO for 50" TV, the panel should be different, since the W800C offers 3D. I also looked into LG TVs, but none of them on rtings.com have a rating higher than the Sony W800C, except their Smart TV platform.
So here is my question: I got my Samsung UN50J6300 for $700, and now Sony also offers their KDL50W800C for the same price. Did I get a really good deal on Samsung, even it is not a Samsung panel, or I will get more value with the Sony for the same price?
I understand that you've said you can't really tell the difference between different panel manufacturers, but I would rather just add more money and get the 55" TV, which is a Samsung panel. Also, is it true that none of the LG TVs can compete with Samsung or Sony?
For your information, I use my TV with average room lighting and mainly for TV, Movies, Gaming (I'm just a mid-level gamer), and for a PC monitor via HDMI. Thanks in advance.
None of LGs LED TVs have impressed us much this year, so yes, it's true that they aren't as good of a buy. For your needs, you'll be happiest with a Sony or a Samsung.
We are trying to keep our purchase under $1,000. Primary usage is streamed movies and TV, plus some PC gaming, though we are interested in using a TV as a PC monitor as well.
We recently purchased a Samsung UN50JU6500, and are very disappointed to it. For movies, we can get the settings set so brighter scenes look great, but then shadowy scenes look washed out. We can get shadowy scenes to look great, but then brighter scenes look muddy. It's exasperating! It also seems to just not have a high degree of luminosity, which is something we love, and images seem cloudy, colors somewhat washed-out.
So, we plan to take it back, and are trying to decide what would be a better replacement. Torn between the Vizio M50-C1 and the Samsung UN50J6300. And we are also considering the Samsung JU7100 despite the fact that it is about $300 more expensive.
Most important to us is a TV that is excellent for movies. PC gaming is also important - primarily RPGs and MMOs. And though at this point we sit 10ft from our TV, that may well change.
Lastly, we would enjoy being able to use our TV as a PC monitor, primarily for gaming on Steam, web surfing, and email. Very interested in finding a TV that can do all this well, plus be more future-proof in regards to changes in content availability and our physical setup, as we plan to keep our TV for at least 5 years, and preferably even longer.
Long story short, do you think it is worth it to go beyond our budget and spend $1300 on the JU7100 in order to get a TV that will do it all well, and be more future-proof to us? And if not, would you recommend the Vizio M50-C1 or the Samsung J6300 based on our needs and our (possibly changing) setup? At this time, the Vizio costs $50 less ($750) than the J6300 ($800) Thanks!!
The M-series is also decent, but it has more blur than ideal when displaying games, and it can't do chroma 4:4:4.
For whichever TV you get, using the settings we recommend (there are links at the top of our reviews) will get you great picture quality, without those issues you were experiencing with the JU6500.
In your example, the Sony 48W600B is a better choice for people who watch lots of TV, because it's better at upscaling. For people who play video games, the Vizio E's better motion handling is more worth it. Both are about equally good for movies.
Now, when it came to viewing angle, I've been considering it a non-issue in my case, as I sit dead center in front of the TV. BUT, I also sit somewhat UNDER the TV, as my TV goes into a built-in cubby above the fireplace in my family room; there is a vertical viewing angle of approx. 40 degrees. Doh!
Would I be better served in purchasing a TV with an IPS panel? Are there any such TVs with a really good picture for movies? Or would it be better to find a different location for my TV that is closer to eye level? Thanks so much!
Your overall best choice would be to move your current TV, as that will get you the best picture quality. If you decide against that option, switching for an IPS TV would improve on what you currently have.
Before asking a question, make sure you use the search function of our website. The majority of the answers are already here.