As larger sizes have grown in popularity, manufacturers aren't making as many smaller models. While the 48-49-50 inch market segment has been somewhat neglected by most manufacturers in recent years, there's still a market for some good TVs in this size range; if you're looking for a TV in this size range, you'll likely still find one for your needs. They're available in a variety of price ranges, from premium models to more basic cheap models, so choosing the right one depends on your budget.
We've bought and tested over 365 TVs. Below are our recommendations for the best 48-49-50 inch TVs that you can buy. Also see our picks for the best smart TVs, the best 55-inch TVs for something bigger, or the best 40-42-43-inch TVs for something smaller.
The best TV we've tested in this size range is the LG OLED48C2PUA. OLEDs like this one are available in 48-inch sizes, so while it technically isn't the best 50-inch TV, the small difference in size isn't noticeable, and it delivers fantastic overall performance. OLEDs are different from other TVs because they can turn each individual pixel on and off, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, making it a remarkable choice for dark room viewing. Even if you want to use it in rooms with ambient light during the day, the reflection handling is remarkable and has good SDR peak brightness.
If you watch HDR content, it supports Dolby Vision, which is a common format among streaming devices. It displays a wide range of colors and has great gradient handling. Its HDR peak brightness is okay, but if you care about peak brightness, then consider the Samsung QN90B QLED, which gets even brighter, but its black levels aren't as good, and it costs more, so the LG still delivers the best overall performance.
If you want to save money, you can get a mid-range TV like the Sony X90J. It's a bit cheaper than the LG C2 OLED and doesn't have the same perfect black levels, so you're losing out on the remarkable dark room performance, but instead, you get a higher peak brightness with the X90J. It's a 2021 model that's still available and offers great performance. Visibility isn't a problem in well-lit rooms thanks to its excellent SDR peak brightness, and the reflection handling is also decent. Even in dark rooms, its contrast is incredible, and it has a great local dimming feature to further improve the contrast.
It comes with the Google TV smart platform, which is user-friendly and has a ton of apps available to download. Its voice assistant feature makes it easy to open apps and search for content, allowing you to stream your favorite content easily. Even if you watch content from a cable box, it doesn't have any issues upscaling lower-resolution content, making images look life-like.
Should you be on a budget, then the Hisense 50U6H is the best 50-inch TV you can get at a low cost. While many other TVs cost more than the U6H, they don't provide any better value as this TV outperforms its competition for the price. It looks great for a budget-friendly TV as its VA panel helps produce a high contrast ratio with good black uniformity, and its local dimming feature helps further improve the picture quality in dark scenes. Although it doesn't get as bright in HDR as the Sony X90J, which you have to expect for a budget-friendly TV, it still displays a wide range of colors, and HDR content looks good.
It's a good choice if you want to enhance your setup with a soundbar as it supports eARC passthrough. It allows you to connect devices directly to your TV, pass high-quality audio to a compatible receiver, and pass both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X signals, which is something not all TVs can do.
If you want a basic option, a cheap TV like the Insignia NS-50F501NA22 is a good alternative to the Hisense U6H if you want the best 50-inch smart TV at a low cost. As expected for a cheap TV, you lose out on features and performance, but it still offers okay value for a low-cost model. What makes it better than other cheap TVs is that it uses quantum dot technology, similar to the Hisense U6H, to display a wide range of colors in HDR. It uses the Fire TV smart platform, which is user-friendly, and there are a ton of apps you can download, making it easy to stream your favorite content.
Like the Hisense, its native contrast ratio is excellent, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further improve the contrast. There are also a few drawbacks with this TV as it has problems properly upscaling lower-resolution content from DVDs, so if you watch a lot of this format, it's better to go for a TV like the TCL 4 Series/S455 2022. However, it costs a bit more and doesn't get as bright as the Insignia.
Sep 26, 2022: Replaced the LG C1 and the Hisense U6G with the newer LG C2 and Hisense U6H; replaced the LG A1 with the Sony X90J because it's cheaper; removed the Samsung QN90A and added the Insignia F50 QLED as the 'Best Cheap TV'; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Jul 07, 2022: Restructured the article to better match how users are searching for TVs. Reduced the number of picks and added the LG A1 OLED as the 'Best Mid-Range TV'. Removed out-of-date Notable Mentions that are no longer relevant.
Apr 26, 2022: Replaced the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 with the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 for consistency and moved to its own category as the 'Best Budget TV With VRR Support'; added the LG C2 to Notable Mentions.
Mar 24, 2022: Updated text for clarity and added the Insignia F50 QLED to Notable Mentions.
Feb 23, 2022: Updated text for clarity and verified picks for availability; added the Hisense A6G to Notable Mentions.
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.