The 48-49-50 inch sizes in TVs 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 70 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 and the best flat screen TVs.
The best 49 inch TV we've tested is the Samsung QN49Q70R. It delivers an impressive picture quality with deep blacks in a dark room thanks to its high native contrast ratio and full-array local dimming support. It can get fairly bright and is suitable for almost any room. This TV has excellent overall motion handling with very fast response time, and plenty of motion features like motion interpolation, black frame insertion, and judder removal.
Unfortunately, the image loses accuracy when viewed from the side, just like most VA panel TVs. Also, the 49 inch variant differs slightly from the 55 inch one that we tested. The 49 inch has a 60Hz panel and doesn't support FreeSync, which might disappoint some gamers. On the upside, it has a remarkably low input lag in any of the supported resolutions, provided you enable 'Game' mode, and offers a very responsive gaming performance.
This TV also looks and feels quite premium, and has a smooth and easy-to-use smart interface. Overall, if you're slightly limited in space and need a 48-50 inch TV, this TV is one of the best Samsung TVs of 2020, and is the best TV in this size for most uses.
If you need a TV for a very bright room with a lot of light sources, check out the Sony XBR49X900F. Its black uniformity isn't as good as the Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED, and it has much higher input lag, but it has better reflection handling, and more accurate colors out-of-the-box. This is a well-rounded TV that's great for all uses, as its motion handling is great for sports and gaming, and its peak brightness and wide color gamut makes it great for HDR content. Its bright screen can overcome glare in well-lit rooms quite easily, and its semi-gloss finish helps dull the reflections of bright lights.
Overall, the Samsung is a better option for gamers thanks to its lower input lag, but if you watch TV in a very bright environment and want something that does a better job with reflection handling, go with the Sony.
The best 50 inch TV for the money that we've tested so far is the Hisense 50H8F. It's a fairly well-rounded TV that's good for most uses, and offers a good price-to-performance ratio. It looks slightly more premium than its price point suggests and it uses Android TV for its smart interface, which gives you access to a huge amount of apps.
The TV has deep and uniform blacks, though unfortunately, its local dimming feature is only decent. It can get fairly bright, though, and HDR content looks very good thanks to its wide color gamut. It has outstandingly low input lag and does a great job at up-scaling 1080p content, making it a great choice if you game on a PS4 Slim or Xbox One S.
Unfortunately, it isn't the best TV for sports since it has a relatively slow response time that results in noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has poor viewing angles, which isn't great if you have a large group of people over to watch the game. Overall, however, this is a great TV for most uses that offers excellent value.
If you want a TV for watching sports or have a setup where you tend to watch the TV from the side, go for the LG 49UM7300. It isn't as good for movies or games as the Hisense H8F, but its IPS panel delivers much better viewing angles. This TV doesn't support local dimming, and its contrast ratio isn't as high as the Hisense, meaning blacks won't appear as deep and rich. It also can't get quite as bright and HDR doesn't pop nearly as well. On the upside, it has significantly faster response time so there won't be nearly as much noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects.
If you don't watch sports and want the best value all-around 50" TV, get the Hisense, but if you're looking for a TV only for watching sports, or need wider viewing angles, go for the LG.
The best 50 inch TV in the budget category that we've tested so far is the TCL 4 Series 2019 50S245. This entry-level TV has fairly standard bezels and a plastic stand and build, which is expected from a TV at this price point. It has an outstanding contrast ratio which gives it a decent black uniformity and good overall black levels. Despite being a budget TV, it's surprisingly great for gaming, thanks to its very low input lag and fast response time that delivers crisp motion.
Unfortunately, the TV can't get very bright, which may be an issue if you tend to watch TV in a very bright environment. Also, while it supports HDR10, its low peak brightness and fairly limited color gamut mean that HDR won't pop nearly as much as it should. This TV uses Roku's very smooth and easy-to-use smart interface, which is great and supports a wide variety of apps. You can also use your phone or tablet as a remote thanks to its great remote app, which is handy.
Like most TVs with a VA panel, its viewing angles are disappointing and you'll want to arrange your living room so you're sitting directly in front of the TV to avoid having an inaccurate image. Overall, while this TV may not perform as well as higher-end TVs, especially for HDR content, it's an excellent choice for video games, or if you need something inexpensive with decent overall performance.
If you like the TCL 4 Series 2019's smart features but want a TV that's better for movies and has a wider color gamut to get more out of HDR, then check out the TCL 5 Series/50S525 2019. This TV has the same outstanding low input lag as the other TCL, but it doesn't display motion as crisp due to the slightly slower response time. However, this TV is brighter, has better dark room performance, can remove judder from any source, and has a wide color gamut that helps deliver HDR content better.
Overall, if you just want a secondary TV or something inexpensive with decent performance, get the S425, but if you watch a lot of movies or want something that'll be slightly better for HDR, it's worth it to spend a little more for the S525.
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.
02/14/2020: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.