48-49-50 inch TV sizes are becoming more uncommon. In recent years, 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 over 80 TVs in the past two years, but not all are available in these sizes. Below are our recommendations for the best 48-49-50 inch TVs. See also our recommendations for the best smart TVs, best TVs for PS5, and best TVs for Xbox Series X.
The LG OLED48CXPUB is the best 48 inch TV that we've tested with an OLED panel. It's a high-end model packed with features, especially for gamers, and it delivers stunning picture quality. Its OLED display can turn individual pixels off, resulting in perfect black levels, making it a fantastic choice for use in dark rooms. We also tested the 48 inch model as a monitor, which you can read here.
It has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 support on four inputs, allowing you to play 4k @ 120Hz games on both the PS5 and Xbox Series X. In terms of gaming, it has native FreeSync support with G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. Its response time is near-instantaneous and it has very low input lag. Fans of HDR content should be happy with its wide color gamut and infinite contrast ratio, but it may not get bright enough to truly make highlights pop.
Sadly, like any OLED, it has the risk of permanent burn-in. This could be a problem if you constantly watch the same content with static elements, like if you leave it on your favorite news channel all day. However, we don't expect this to be an issue for people who watch varied content, and LG has implemented a few settings to help reduce the risk, like a 'Screen Shift' option. All in all, this is one of the best TVs that we've tested.
The best 49 inch TV with an LED panel that we've tested is the Sony XBR49X950H. It's Sony's top LED model from 2020, and it delivers amazing picture quality. Like most high-end LED TVs, it has a VA panel with a high contrast ratio that's further enhanced by a full-array local dimming feature, making it a great choice for dark rooms. It's also well-suited for bright rooms thanks to its outstanding reflection handling and high peak brightness.
It delivers a great HDR experience. It has near-full coverage of the DCI P3 color gamut and gets extremely bright, enough to make highlights pop in HDR content. Fast-moving scenes look incredibly clear and smooth as it has quick response times, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a Black Frame Insertion feature to further reduce motion blur. As for gaming, its input lag is outstanding but a bit high compared to other recent 4k TVs, and sadly, it doesn't support VRR to reduce screen tearing.
Unlike the larger models, the 49 inch lacks Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer, so we expect the viewing angles to be narrower and not as ideal for wide seating areas. Its Android TV interface is user-friendly, and there are tons of apps available through the Google Play Store. There's also voice control through Google Assistant if you need help finding content. So, if you're worried about OLED burn-in and want an LED TV instead, this one is worth considering.
If you want to use your TV for gaming and prefer something cheaper and with better gaming performance, then check out the Vizio M50Q7-H1. It doesn't get nearly as bright as the Sony X950H, but that shouldn't be an issue if you tend to game in dark rooms. Its VA panel has an excellent native contrast ratio and it has a full-array local dimming feature, but it doesn't perform that well. Despite being limited to a 60Hz panel, it still has VRR support, which is a nice addition to a budget-friendly model. Input lag is very low and the response time is quick enough to deliver clear motion. Sadly, even though it displays a very wide color gamut for HDR content, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop.
If you want the best 49 inch TV with an LED panel, go for the Sony, but if you want something for gaming, consider the Vizio.
The best 49 inch TV that we've tested for wide seating arrangements is the LG 49NANO85UNA. Thanks to its IPS panel, it has wide viewing angles, so the image remains fairly accurate when viewed from the side. This makes it a great choice for watching TV shows or the big game with some friends and family. It's a decent TV overall, and it comes with a couple of extra gaming features.
This is an upper mid-range model from LG's 2020 lineup and is well-suited for gaming. It has a 120Hz refresh rate and quick response times, resulting in smooth motion in fast-moving scenes, and there's even a Black Frame Insertion feature to improve motion clarity further. It has VRR support, but it doesn't seem to work properly as there's still a fair amount of screen tearing when gaming. It can display a wide color gamut in HDR; however, it doesn't get very bright, not enough to bring out highlights.
Sadly, it has a low contrast ratio that results in blacks looking gray, so it's not the best option for dark room viewing. Even though it has a local dimming feature, it's edge-lit and doesn't improve the contrast. On the upside, it has HDMI 2.1 ports, making it a good choice for new consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X if you want to game in 4k at 120Hz. Overall, it's one of the better TVs available in this size.
The best 50 inch TV in the budget category that we've tested is the Hisense 50H8G. It sits below the Hisense H9G in their 2020 lineup and offers good overall performance that competes with more expensive options. It's fairly well-built and has a nice, borderless design. It's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't support VRR, but most gamers should appreciate its quick response time and low input lag.
It has a VA panel with an excellent contrast ratio and a decent full-array local dimming feature that improves the contrast. It also has decent black uniformity, so it's a great choice for watching movies in dark rooms. Even in bright settings, it has decent reflection handling and great peak brightness, so visibility shouldn't be an issue. It supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision for HDR content, displays a wide color gamut, but it doesn't get extremely bright in HDR, so some highlights may not pop the way they're supposed to.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel, and its out-of-the-box color accuracy is just okay, but this may vary between units. The built-in Android TV can feel a bit laggy and not the easiest to navigate, but there's a massive selection of apps available to download. Regardless of these small problems, you're getting a good model for a low cost, making it the best 50 inch 4k TV in the budget category that we've tested.
If you prefer something with built-in Roku TV, which feels easier to use and less laggy than Android TV, then look into the TCL 50S535. It doesn't get as bright as the Hisense H8G, but it displays a much wider color gamut for HDR content. It performs best in dark rooms because it has a remarkable native contrast ratio, good black uniformity, and a decent local dimming feature that improves the black level even more. Sadly, it's best to avoid using it in a well-lit room because it doesn't get bright enough to combat glare, and the reflection handling is only decent. Like the Hisense, it has a 60Hz panel and doesn't have VRR support, but it still has a very good response time and really low input lag that most gamers should enjoy.
If you want the best 50 inch smart TV that you can get at a low cost, check out the Hisense, but if you're a fan of Roku, look into the TCL.
Mar 31, 2021: Updated text for clarity.
Mar 05, 2021: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
Feb 17, 2021: Updated text for clarity; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
Jan 22, 2021: Moved the Vizio M7 Series Quantum to 'Gaming Alternative' to the Sony X950H; added the TCL 5 Series 2020 as 'Roku Alternative' to the Hisense H8G.
Dec 23, 2020: Removed TCL 5 Series 2020 QLED, moved Vizio M50Q7-H1 to 'Gaming Alternative' for Hisense H8G.
Dec 04, 2020: Removed the Samsung Q80T; named the Sony X950H as 'Best LED' and added the Vizio M7 as the alternate; renamed the LG CX to 'Best OLED'.
Oct 09, 2020: Replaced the TCL 5 Series 2019 with the 5 Series 2020; removed the Samsung Q60T and moved the Sony X950H in its spot as 'Best HDR'; added the Samsung Q80T.
Sep 10, 2020: Added the Samsung Q60T as 'Best Gaming'.
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 48-49-50 inch TV reviews. 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.