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 90 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 48-49-50 inch TV we've tested so far is the LG OLED48CXPUB. With its OLED technology, it doesn't have a backlight and it's able to individually turn off pixels, resulting in perfect blacks, which is ideal for watching movies in the dark. It delivers stunning overall picture quality, too.
This is a really well-built TV with a sleek design that looks great in any setting. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, an extremely wide color gamut for HDR content, and it has wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate when viewing from the side. It's an outstanding gaming TV because it has a fast 120Hz refresh rate, FreeSync support, a near-instant response time, and a low input lag. It's future-proof with four HDMI 2.1 slots and its built-in speakers are good for a TV, ideal if you don't want to buy a soundbar.
Unfortunately, like all OLEDs, it has the risk of a permanent burn-in, so it's not ideal to use as a computer monitor as static interfaces can damage the TV. Regardless, we shouldn't expect this to be an issue with people who watch varied content. Luckily, it also upscales lower-resolution content, such as from DVDs or Blu-ray players without any issues. All in all, most people should be happy with this TV.
If you're worried about the permanent burn-in risk and want a 49 inch TV that you can also use as a computer monitor, the Sony XBR49X950H is a great alternative. It doesn't have as wide of a color gamut as the LG CX OLED, but it gets much brighter, bringing out more highlights in HDR. Unlike the 55-inch variant, which we tested, the 49-inch model doesn't have the 'X-Wide Angle' technology, so we expect it to have worse viewing angles and a higher contrast ratio. This TV has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, outstanding reflection handling, and it's able to remove judder from any source. Sadly, it's not ideal for gaming as it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies and its input lag is a bit too high for competitive gamers. Still, it has an impressive response time.
Overall, if you want the best TV available in these sizes that we've seen so far, you can't go wrong with the LG, but if you prefer an LED TV, check out the Sony.
The best 49 inch TV for wide seating arrangements is the LG 49NANO85UNA. Its IPS panel provides wide viewing angles so that you can enjoy the same accurate image even when watching from the side. It offers decent overall picture quality, too.
It has very good out-of-the-box color accuracy, so unless you want the most accurate colors possible, you won't need to get the TV calibrated. It has a 120Hz refresh, a good response time, a black frame insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion, and it has a low input lag. It upscales lower-resolution content well and it's able to remove judder from any source, such as Blu-ray players or native apps. Even though it doesn't get very bright, it has impressive reflection handling if you want to place it in a bright room.
Unfortunately, even though it has a higher contrast ratio than most IPS TVs, blacks still appear gray when viewed in the dark. It has an edge-lit local dimming feature that doesn't add all that much either. It also supports HDR10 and DolbyVision, and it displays a wide color gamut, but it doesn't get bright enough to truly bring out highlights in that mode. Overall, this is the best 49 inch TV with wide viewing angles that we've seen so far.
The best budget 50 inch TV we've tested so far is the Hisense 50H8G. It delivers good overall picture quality and for a budget-friendly price, it competes even with higher-end, more expensive TVs.
This TV has a VA panel that produces excellent blacks when viewed in the dark and it has a full-array local dimming feature that improves the contrast ratio a bit. It performs equally as well in bright rooms as it gets bright enough to combat glare and it has decent reflection handling. Even though serious gamers might be disappointed with its limited 60Hz refresh rate, it still has an incredibly low input lag, good response time, and a black frame insertion feature to help improve the appearance of motion. It also displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text if you want to use it as a computer monitor.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, which is expected for a VA panel. It also doesn't get bright enough to truly bring out highlights in HDR. On the upside, it has built-in Android TV, which has a ton of apps available to download and it's fairly easy to use. Overall, this is the best 50 inch TV we've tested so far.
If you prefer the Roku operating system over Android TV, then check out the TCL 5 Series/50S525 2019. It doesn't have a local dimming feature like the Hisense H8G, but it still displays deep blacks due to its VA panel. The Roku interface is very easy to use and this TV has better out-of-the-box color accuracy than the Hisense. It's able to remove judder from any source, which is rare for a 60Hz TV, and it also has a good response time and low input lag. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very bright and it has narrow viewing angles. However, it has a wide color gamut and great gradient handling.
Overall, if you want the best 50 inch TV we've tested, look into the Hisense, but if you want the best 50 inch smart TV, check out the TCL.
07/14/2020: Complete restructuring. Added the LG CX and NANO85, the Sony X950H, and the Hisense H8G; removed the Samsung Q80T and Q70R, Hisense H8F, LG UM7300, and TCL 4 Series.
06/05/2020: Minor text and structure changes; added Samsung Q80T QLED, removed Sony X900F.
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.