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 so far is the Samsung QN49Q70RAFXZA. This TV has truly impressive performance and it's packed with great features. It has a minimalist design that fits easily into any setting and it feels very well-built. Its native contrast ratio is outstanding and further improved by its full-array local dimming. Black uniformity is equally excellent, with almost no blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. Visibility shouldn't be an issue in most rooms, as it can get impressively bright, but reflections can be bothersome if you're in a room with a lot of windows.
As expected of most VA panel TVs, the viewing angles are poor, causing images to appear washed out when viewed from the side. Gray uniformity is decent, although there's some vignetting around the corners and some dirty screen effect, which can be distracting when watching sports. Also, while most gamers should be satisfied with the TV's low input lag, the 49 inch variant of this TV has a 60Hz refresh rate and it doesn't support FreeSync. If you need those features, you would need to go up to the 55 inch variant.
On the bright side, Samsung's Tizen OS is easy to navigate and there's a good selection of apps. However, there are some ads on the home screen and they can't be disabled. Overall, although it doesn't have quite the same features as the larger variants, most people should be happy with this TV.
If you watch in a room with a lot of windows or bright lights, you should go with a TV that has better reflection handling, like the Sony XBR49X900F. It uses the same type of panel as the Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED; however, its semi-gloss finish is much better at diffusing light. This TV can get very bright, which helps to overcome glare, and it can also deliver an incredible HDR experience. Its input lag is low enough for casual gaming, though it may be a bit too high for competitive gamers. This TV runs on Android, which can be somewhat laggy at times, but you do get access to the Google Play Store, and you can also control the TV using your voice through the Google Assistant.
Overall, the Samsung is a better TV, especially if you want the lowest input lag for gaming, but if you're in a very bright room and visibility is a concern, then go with the Sony.
The best value TV for size that we've tested so far is the Hisense 50H8F. It's a decently well-built TV with impressive performance, and it comes with features that are usually found on high-end models. Its VA panel has an outstanding native contrast ratio, boosted by its full-array local dimming, and combined with its exceptional black uniformity, it's perfect for those who like to watch in the dark. It also performs well in bright rooms, as it can overcome glare easily, but its reflection handling is only decent, so it's best to avoid bright sources of light shining directly on the screen.
Response time on this TV is decent, although there's more noticeable blur trail behind fast-moving objects. Thankfully, it has a black frame insertion feature that can help reduce motion blur, and it can interpolate lower frame rate content as well. The refresh rate is limited to 60Hz and there's no FreeSync support; however, its input lag is low enough for most casual gamers. When it comes to HDR, this TV supports it and it can also display a wide color gamut. That said, it can't get bright enough to really make highlights stand out in HDR content. Like most VA panels, its poor viewing angles cause the image to degrade when viewed from the side, making it less suitable for large rooms and wide seating arrangements.
There are many benefits that come with Android TV, such as an immense library of apps from the Google Play Store and voice control through the Google Assistant. It's easy to use and you can also cast content from a mobile device. Overall, this is a feature-packed TV that punches well above its weight.
If you often watch from the side, then you're better off with a TV like the LG UM7300. Unlike the Hisense H8F, it has an IPS panel that provides much better viewing angles. However, it does come at the cost of a much lower contrast ratio, so it's not the best option for dark room viewing. Also, HDR content doesn't look much different from SDR content due to its mediocre peak brightness and the lack of wide color gamut support, which may be disappointing for some. On the plus side, it has a significantly better response time that results in less motion blur and its input lag is amazingly low, providing a responsive gaming experience. LG's WebOS also comes with voice control, and you can easily find anything that you need from the app store.
Overall, the Hisense delivers a better picture quality, especially if you like watching in a dark room, but if viewing angles are an issue, then go with 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.
05/08/2020: Minor text and structure changes; no change in recommendations.
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.