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The 5 Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs - Spring 2023 Reviews

Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs

As larger sizes have become popular, manufacturers aren't making many smaller models. While most manufacturers have neglected the 48-49-50 inch market segment in recent years, there's still a market for some good TVs in this size range. They're available in various price ranges, from premium models to more basic cheap models, so choosing the right one depends on your budget and if you want the best performance or are fine with making a few sacrifices.

We've bought and tested more than 385 TVs. Below are our recommendations for the best 48-50 inch TVs. 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. Most brands have started releasing their 2023 lineups, and although 48-50 inch TVs aren't as popular as they used to be, make sure to vote on which ones you want us to buy and test. To learn more about the 2023 models, check out our 2023 TV lineup page.

  1. Best 48-Inch TV

    The best TV we've tested with a 48-inch screen size is the LG OLED48C2PUA. Premium OLEDs like this one aren't available in 50-inch sizes, and instead, you have to get something a bit smaller with a 48-inch screen. It's an excellent TV with stunning picture quality, especially if you use it in a dark room. HDR content looks incredible thanks to its wide color gamut and nearly infinite contrast ratio, resulting in deep blacks and bright highlights, with no distracting blooming around bright areas of the screen. Its wide viewing angle makes it a good choice for a wide seating area, as the image remains consistent from the sides.

    It has a great selection of extra features, and the built-in webOS smart interface is easy to use and has a great selection of streaming apps, so you can easily find your favorite shows. It's also fantastic for new-gen gamers, as it supports 4k @ 120Hz gaming on all four HDMI inputs, meaning you can take full advantage of the latest gaming consoles or a PC with a recent graphics card. It also has good processing with okay upscaling if you watch lower-resolution content, and it smooths out low-quality content well, so you won't see much macro-blocking, and it preserves details.

    See our review

  2. Best 50-Inch TV

    If you want the best 50-inch TV and don't want anything smaller, consider the Samsung QN50QN90BAFXZA. It's a different type of TV than the LG C2 OLED because it doesn't display the same perfect blacks and isn't as good in a dark room. However, it gets much brighter in SDR, which is ideal if you want to use it in a bright room with glare. The reflection handling is also fantastic, and while the 50-inch model doesn't have the same screen coating as the 55-inch and larger variants, there at least isn't any distracting rainbow-like effect with strong light sources.

    This TV also gets extremely bright in HDR, enough to make highlights stand out, but it doesn't display images the way the creator intended, as most are over-brightened. Luckily, it displays a wide range of colors and has incredible color volume, meaning colors look vivid and life-like. Like the LG, it also has extra gaming features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and variable refresh rate (VRR) support, and the 50-inch model has a 144Hz native refresh rate, which is great if you want to connect a gaming PC.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range 50-Inch TV

    If you're looking for the best 50-inch smart TV in the mid-range price category, consider the Sony KD-55X85K. It doesn't feature Mini LED backlighting like on the Samsung QN90B QLED, meaning it doesn't get as bright in HDR, and it doesn't display perfect blacks like the LG C2 OLED either, but that's the trade-off you need to make for getting something cheaper. Regardless, it's still a great overall TV with a good contrast ratio, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to further improve the picture quality in dark scenes. If that's important to you, the Sony X90J is another option with local dimming, but it has more blooming around bright objects and costs more.

    Besides the differences in picture quality, the X85K has many of the same features as the LG and Samsung with HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, eARC audio passthrough that works with all common audio formats, and a 120Hz refresh rate that helps make it an excellent choice for gaming. It also comes with Google TV, an easy-to-use smart platform with many apps to download.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget 50-Inch TV

    If you want something in the budget category and don't want to spend a ton of money, then consider the TCL 50S555. It has fewer gaming features than the Sony X85K as it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't have HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, but if you don't plan on gaming with it, it provides good performance. It's great for watching movies in a dark room thanks to its superb contrast ratio, but even though it has a local dimming feature, which the Sony doesn't have, it doesn't mean it's better in dark scenes as there's more blooming around bright objects.

    It runs the Roku smart interface, which is simple and easy to use, with a great selection of streaming channels, but the remote it comes with doesn't have a built-in mic for voice control. If that's something you want, or if you prefer another smart system, the Hisense U6H is another good budget TV with Google TV as its smart platform, but it doesn't get as bright and has a worse contrast ratio than the TCL.

    See our review

  5. Best Cheap 50-Inch TV

    If you want a basic TV that won't break your wallet, the Hisense 50A6H is a decent cheap 50-inch TV. It's a simple display with limited picture quality and fewer extra features than the TCL 5 Series/S555 2022 QLED. Still, it's a great choice for an office, guest bedroom, or even a student dorm because it has a wide viewing angle that keeps the image consistent even when viewing from the sides, which is great if you watch TV while walking around. It runs the Google TV smart interface, which has one of the widest selections of streaming apps available, and the included remote has a mic that you can use with Google Assistant.

    Unfortunately, it isn't a good choice for a dark room, as it has a very low contrast ratio, so blacks appear gray in the dark, and there's no local dimming feature to improve it. If you're in a dark room, the TCL 4 Series/S455 2022 is better, as it has a much higher contrast ratio. However, it costs a bit more and has worse image accuracy than the Hisense.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung QN50QN90CAFXZA: The Samsung QN90C/QN90CD QLED is a newer version of the Samsung QN90B QLED, but until the price of the QN90C drops, or the QN90B is hard to find, it isn't worth getting the QN90C. See our review
  • Sony XR-48A90K: The Sony A90K OLED is a competitor of the LG C2 OLED with better processing, which is important if you watch many older shows or DVDs. However, because the LG gets brighter and costs less, it's still worth getting it over the Sony. See our review
  • Insignia NS-50F501NA22: Insignia F50 QLED is a cheap TV with better picture quality than the Hisense A6H, but it can become harder to find. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 16, 2023: Added the Samsung QN90B QLED as the 'Best 50-Inch TV For Bright Rooms' for consistency with some other articles; replaced the Sony X90J with the Sony X85K because it's cheaper; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.

  2. Mar 24, 2023: Verified our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text.

  3. Feb 15, 2023: Verified our picks for accuracy and consistency, and refreshed the text.

  4. Jan 16, 2023: Replaced the Hisense U6H with the TCL 5 Series/S555 2022 QLED, as it's a bit better for the same price. Also replaced the Insignia F50 QLED with the Hisense A6H, as the Insignia is discontinued and hard to find.

  5. Dec 12, 2022: Verified our picks for accuracy and consistency, and refreshed the text.

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 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.