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 under the latest test bench, but not all are available in these sizes. Below are our recommendations for the best 48-49-50 inch TVs. See our picks for the best smart TVs, the best TVs for PS5, and the best TVs for Xbox Series X.
The best 48 inch TV with an OLED panel is the LG OLED48C1PUB. While we tested the 55 inch model, we expect the 48 inch variant to perform the same, and we actually tested it as a monitor. It replaces the LG CX OLED, offering the same stunning picture quality and gaming features. It's a very well-built TV that has a premium design and should look nice in any setup.
The main advantage of an OLED panel is how it can individually turn off pixels. This results in a near-infinite contrast ratio as it displays perfect blacks, and there's no blooming around bright objects. It's a fantastic choice for watching movies in dark rooms. It supports Dolby Vision for HDR content, but not HDR10+, and displays a very wide color gamut. Its HDR brightness is just okay, and even though it may not be enough to make highlights pop, it still delivers a satisfying HDR experience.
Sadly, OLEDs like this one have the risk of permanent burn-in, which could happen after constant exposure to static elements, like if you watch the news all day. However, we don't expect this to be an issue for most people who watch varied content. Our unit also has bad out-of-the-box color accuracy, but this can vary between units. However, gamers should appreciate its HDMI 2.1, variable refresh rate (VRR) support, low input lag, and near-instant response time. Overall, this is one of the best TVs.
The best 50 inch TV in the LED category that we've tested is the Samsung QN50QN90AAFXZA. It's a flagship 4k TV that's packed with high-end features, especially for gaming. Unlike OLEDs, we don't expect LEDs to suffer from burn-in. The built-in Tizen is easy to use, and there's a ton of apps you can download. Although we tested the 55 inch model, we expect the 50 inch model to perform the same.
It features Mini LED backlighting, allowing it to get extremely bright in both SDR and HDR, and combined with its incredible reflection handling, glare shouldn't be an issue even in the brightest of rooms. It supports HDR10 and HDR10+, but not Dolby Vision for streaming HDR content. It displays a wide color gamut and highlights really pop in HDR thanks to its outstanding brightness. In dark rooms, its VA panel has a high native contrast ratio to display deep blacks, and the great full-array local dimming feature improves the contrast even further.
Unfortunately, its local dimming performs worse in Game Mode than outside of it because it raises the black levels, causing the screen to look more gray than black. Speaking about gaming, it has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 inputs, so you can play 4k games up to 120fps. Input lag is low, and it has a quick response time for a smooth gaming experience. All things considered, if you want a great all-around TV with an LED panel, then check out the Samsung.
If you don't want to spend too much money on an LED TV, then check out the Sony KD-50X85J. It doesn't have a local dimming feature like the Samsung QN90A QLED and currently doesn't have VRR support, but that could come in a future firmware update. However, the Sony has a higher native contrast because it doesn't have any viewing angle technology like the Samsung, so it displays deep and uniform blacks. It has fantastic out-of-the-box color accuracy, which is typical of Sony TVs, so it's unlikely you'll have to calibrate it to enjoy it to the fullest. It also has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 inputs, and even though it has low input lag at 120Hz, it's a bit higher than most TVs at 60Hz, but it's still good enough for gaming.
If you want an LED TV and want the best picture quality possible, check out the Samsung, but if you want to save some money, look into the Sony. Keep in mind that we tested the 55 inch model of the Sony, but the 50 inch model should perform the same.
The Hisense 50U6G is the best 50 inch TV that you can get in the budget category. It provides great overall performance, especially for its price, and it competes with more expensive options in terms of picture quality. We tested the 65 inch model, but we expect our results to be valid for the 50 inch model too.
It performs well in both dark and bright rooms. It has a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio that makes blacks look deep, and it has a decent local dimming feature to improve the contrast. There's minimal blooming around bright objects too, but this can vary between units. Visibility shouldn't be an issue in well-lit rooms thanks to its excellent reflection handling and high peak brightness. Even though it doesn't have any extra gaming features and is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, it still has a great response time and low input lag for responsive gaming.
Unfortunately, like most TVs with VA panels, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out when viewing from the side. It displays a wide color gamut but may not get bright enough to truly make highlights stand out in HDR. The built-in Android TV has a ton of apps available to download, but it can take some time to get used to. All things considered, this is the best 50 inch 4k TV in the budget category.
If you prefer something with built-in Roku TV, which feels easier to use and less laggy than Android TV, look into the TCL 50S535. It doesn't get as bright as the Hisense U6G, but it displays a 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 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. We tested the 55 inch model of the TCL, but our results should be valid for the 50 inch model too.
Jul 21, 2021: Replaced the Sony X90J with the Samsung QN90A because it's better; removed the LG NANO85 because it's unavailable, and added the Sony X85J as 'Cheaper Alternative'; updated Notable Mentions.
Jun 25, 2021: Replaced the Hisense H8G with the newer Hisense U6G; moved the LG NANO85 to alternative pick; updated Notable Mentions based on market availability.
May 27, 2021: Replaced the Sony X950H with the Sony X90J; removed the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020 as 'Gaming Alternative' and moved to Notable Mentions.
Apr 30, 2021: Replaced the LG CX with the C1 and moved it to Notable Mentions; added the Samsung QN90A, Samsung The Frame 2021, Samsung Q60A, and Sony X80J to Notable Mentions
Mar 31, 2021: Updated text for clarity.
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.