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, the best flat screen TVs, and the best 4k TVs.
The best 48-49-50 inch TV that we've tested is the LG OLED48CXPUB. With its OLED technology, it doesn't have a backlight, and it individually turns off pixels, resulting in perfect blacks, which is ideal for watching movies in the dark. It also delivers a stunning overall picture quality.
It's really well-built 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 outstanding for gaming because it has a fast 120Hz refresh rate, FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) 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. We reviewed the 48 inch model of this TV as a monitor, and you can see the review here.
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 it. 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 it.
If you're worried about the permanent burn-in risk associated with OLED TVs, the Samsung QN50Q80TAFXZC is a great LED alternative. It doesn't have wide viewing angles like the LG CX OLED because it lacks Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology found on the larger models, but that means the 50 inch model has an even better contrast ratio, displaying deep blacks. It has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy and performs well in bright rooms because it gets bright enough to combat glare and has outstanding reflection handling. Unfortunately, it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't have VRR support like the higher-end models, but it has incredibly low input lag if you still want to use it for gaming. It displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, and it has good HDR peak brightness, so highlights pop the way they're supposed to.
All in all, the LG is one of the best TVs we've tested in this size range, but if you want an LED alternative, the Samsung is the best 50 inch 4k TV.
The best 49 inch TV we've tested for watching HDR content is the Sony XBR49X950H. It's a premium LED TV packed with features and offers exceptional dark room performance. It's well-built and has a nice design that fits well into any setting.
The 49 inch model doesn't have the 'X-Wide Angle' technology found on the larger models, so that means its contrast should be better, producing deeper blacks, but that comes at the cost of narrow viewing angles. It's great for watching HDR content because it displays a great wide color gamut, the full-array local dimming feature further deepens any blacks, and it has excellent peak brightness in HDR, so highlights pop the way the content creator intended. It also has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you likely won't need to get it calibrated unless you really want to. It removes 24p judder from any source and interpolates motion up to 120fps, both of which help with the appearance of motion.
Unfortunately, it's not the best TV for gaming, especially for a premium model. It has a 120Hz refresh rate and quick response time, but it doesn't have VRR support, and its input lag may be too high for competitive gaming but should be fine for casual gamers. The built-in Android TV has a ton of apps available to download, but it's not the easiest to use, so it may take some time getting used to. Overall, most people should be happy with this for watching HDR content.
The best 49 inch TV for wide seating arrangements is the LG 49NANO85UNA. It's a simple, upper-mid-range model packed with smart features. The built-in WebOS is easy-to-use, and LG's app store has a ton of apps available to download, which is great for streaming your favorite content without buying an external box.
It has an IPS panel that provides wide viewing angles. The image remains accurate even when viewing from the side, so this is great if you tend to watch TV with your family or friends. It has good color accuracy, it displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, and it upscales lower-resolution content, such as from cable boxes, without any issues. It has a 120Hz refresh rate and VRR support, which is ideal for gaming. The response time is quick, and it has a low input lag.
Unfortunately, like any IPS panel, it has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark. It has a local dimming feature, but it's not very effective, and it makes scenes look worse. Even though it doesn't get very bright, it has impressive reflection handling if you need to place it in a bright environment. If you're looking for the best 49 inch TV and you have a wide seating arrangement, look into this one.
The best 50 inch TV in the budget category that we've tested is the Hisense 50H8G. It's a well-rounded model that competes with higher-end, more expensive TVs in terms of picture quality.
It has a VA panel that displays deep blacks thanks to its excellent contrast ratio, and the full-array local dimming feature helps improve the contrast ratio a bit. It performs equally in bright rooms as it does in dark rooms because it gets bright enough to combat glare and has decent reflection handling. Even though it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't have many extra gaming features, it's still a good choice for gaming because it has a quick response time, a Black Frame Insertion feature to reduce motion blur, and low input lag. Lastly, it has built-in Android TV, which offers an excellent selection of apps available for download if you don't want to buy an external box.
Unfortunately, like most VA panels, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not suggested for wide seating arrangements. Its out-of-the-box color accuracy is just okay, and it has some uniformity issues, but this varies between units. However, HDR content looks decent on this TV because it displays a wide color gamut, but it doesn't get bright enough to truly bring out highlights. All in all, you're getting good value for the money, making it the best 50 inch TV in the budget category.
If you prefer the easy-to-use Roku TV, then check out the TCL 5 Series/50S535 2020 QLED. It doesn't get as bright as the Hisense H8G, but it has much better out-of-the-box color accuracy, and it displays a wider color gamut. It performs well in dark rooms because of its remarkable contrast ratio that delivers deep blacks, and it has a decent-performing local dimming feature, which is a nice touch for a budget TV. It's good for casual gaming because of its good response time, Black Frame Insertion feature, and incredibly low input lag. Sadly, it has uniformity issues as there's dirty screen effect in the center, but this may vary between units. It's also not the best choice for use in well-lit environments because it only has decent reflection handling. On the upside, it removes 24p judder from any source, which is rare for a 60Hz TV.
If you're on a budget and want the best 50 inch smart TV, you can't go wrong with the Hisense, but the TCL is a good alternative with built-in Roku TV.
10/09/2020: Replaced the TCL 5 Series 2019 with the 5 Series 2020; removed the Samsung Q60T and moved the Sony X950H in its spot as 'Best HDR'; added the Samsung Q80T.
09/10/2020: Added the Samsung Q60T as 'Best Gaming'.
08/13/2020: Minor updates to text for clarity; no changes to recommendations.
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 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.