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The 5 Best 48-49-50 inch TVs - Spring 2019
Reviews

Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs
223 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

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.

We've tested 32 TVs available in these sizes and below are our recommendations for the best 48-49-50 inch TVs. See also our recommendations for the best smart TVs and the best flat screen TVs.

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.

  1. Best 48-49-50 Inch TV: Sony XBR49X900F

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    8.3
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    8.5
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    8.2
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    8.1
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.6
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    8.4
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.5
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.3
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    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.

    See our review

  2. Wide Room Alternative: LG 49SK8000

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 4k

    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.

    See our review

  3. Gaming Alternative: Samsung UN49NU8000

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    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.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget 48-49-50 Inch TV: TCL 50S425

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.3
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    6.4
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.0
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.4
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    6.6
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.9
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.1
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    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.

    See our review

  5. Wide Room Budget Alternative: LG 49UK6300

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : "4k"

    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.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung QN49Q70R: A great TV, but still more expensive than the X900F. See our review
  • Samsung QN49Q6FN: Great TV, but not worth the extra cost over the NU8000. See our review
  • Samsung UN50NU7100: Decent budget TV, but not as good as the LG 50SK8000, which is worth the extra money. See our review
  • TCL S Series/S405 4k 2018: Very similar TV to the S425, but becoming hard to find. See our review
  • LG SM8600: Good TV with wide viewing angles, but still more expensive than the SK8000. See our review

All Reviews

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.

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