The 48-49-50 inch sizes in TVs are becoming more uncommon. In 2018, only a few of the TVs we've tested are available in a 48-50 inch size, while the 55-inch size is a lot more popular. However, you can still find some great TVs if you have limited space.
Note: Since new TVs tend to launch at very high prices, it's unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until the latter half of the year. Because of this, some of the 2018 models remain as picks in our recommendations.
The best 49 inch TV is the Sony XBR49X900F. This is a great, well-rounded TV with excellent dark room performance and outstanding motion handling. It has an excellent fast response time and a nearly flicker-free backlight. It has great low input lag, which is important for gaming or when used as a PC monitor.
Unfortunately, it has bad viewing angles, and the image degrades rapidly when viewed at an angle. The local dimming feature is decent but can be a bit too aggressive, causing a loss of fine details compared to better local dimming found on high-end TVs like the Sony Z9F.
Overall, it is a great TV that should please most people, regardless of usage.
If the narrow viewing angles of the Sony X900F are a problem for you, then get the LG 49SK8000PUA instead. The LG SK8000 has much wider viewing angles, which is great if you have a wide seating arrangement or like to move around while watching TV. Dark room viewing isn't as good as with the Sony, since the contrast ratio and local dimming of the LG are worse; however, it is a better choice for gaming, as it has better low input lag and a more advanced black frame insertion feature that can improve the perceived clarity of motion.
If you want a great 49" TV with less input lag than the Sony X900F, check out the Samsung UN49NU8000. This TV has much lower input lag for a more responsive gaming experience, especially if you are playing on older consoles that are limited to 1080p. Unfortunately, the Samsung NU8000 doesn't look as good in a dark room as the Sony, as it has a much less effective local dimming feature and a slightly slower response time.
The best 50 inch TV in the budget category is the TCL 4-Series/S425 2019. The TCL S425 is 4k TV with decent picture quality that can display deep blacks in a dark room thanks to its high native contrast ratio. It has good reflection handling, but can't get very bright neither in SDR nor in HDR, so it's more suitable for a dim room. It can't produce a wide color gamut and HDR doesn't look like its creator intended. This TV has a very fast response time that delivers crisp motion. It's a TV that will please gamers and those who want to use it as a PC monitor, thanks to its very low input lag that makes it very responsive.
Unfortunately, the image deteriorates when viewed from the side, as expected for a VA panel TV, and there is no local dimming option to further improve dark room performance.
Overall, for most people, this TV is a good value for the money.
The LG 49UK6300 is a decent budget TV with wider viewing angles than the TCL S425. You will not get the deep blacks of the TCL, but on the upside, the LG has an IPS panel and the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle. This TV has decent picture quality with a fast response time that only leaves a small blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It has a very low input lag, among the best we've measured, which is great for those who plan to use it for gaming. Unfortunately, the uncommon "RGBW" pixel structure can cause smaller details to lose sharpness, especially when used as a PC monitor.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 48-50 inch televisions 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 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.