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: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the beginning of the year as last year's models are gradually replaced by newer ones.
The best 49 inch TV is the Sony XBR49X900F. The X900F 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, the X900F 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 SK8000 has much wider viewing angles, 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 X900F, since the contrast ratio and local dimming of the SK8000 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 X900F, check out the Samsung UN49NU8000. The NU8000 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 NU8000 doesn't look as good in a dark room as the X900F, as it has a much less effective local dimming feature and a slightly slower response time.
The TCL 4-Series (S405/S425) is the best budget 48-49-50 inch TV that we've tested so far. It delivers decent overall picture quality, with a great contrast ratio and very good black uniformity, great for watching movies in a dark room.
Like all TCL TVs we've tested, the S405/S425 has great smart features, with a simple, easy-to-use interface, and access to hundreds of streaming channels. It has decent overall motion handling, with a great response time, but there is noticeable flicker in the backlight, which may bother some people.
Unfortunately, the S405/S425 loses accuracy when viewed at an angle, and it can't get very bright, which limits its versatility. Overall, though, it is a decent 4k TV that should please most people.
If you want a good budget TV with wider viewing angles than the TCL 49S517, check out the Sony KD49X720E. The X720E uses an IPS panel and has very good wide viewing angles, great for a wide seating area or if you like to move around the room with the TV on. It doesn't perform well in a dark room, as blacks look gray and it has poor black uniformity. For gaming, it delivers similar overall performance to the TCL S517, with excellent low input lag and a fast response time.
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.