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The 5 Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs - Spring 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs

As larger sizes have grown in popularity, smaller models have become more difficult to find. The 48-49-50 inch market segment has been somewhat neglected by most manufacturers in recent years, but there's still a market for the best TVs in this size range, so if you're looking for a TV in this size, you'll likely still find one for your needs. They've gained popularity for gaming and PC monitor use, with many gamers switching to high-performance TVs instead of traditional monitors.

We've tested over 100 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, but unfortunately, 49 inch TVs are rare. Also see our picks for the best smart TVs, the best TVs for PS5, and the best TVs for Xbox Series X.


  1. Best 48-49-50 Inch OLED TV

    The best 48 inch OLED TV is the LG OLED48C1PUB. It provides excellent all-around performance and has features that are good whether you're playing video games or just sitting back to watch your favorite show. OLED TVs are unique because they can turn off each individual pixel, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, which is fantastic for dark room viewing. Although we tested the 48 inch model as a monitor, it still performs like the 55 inch TV we tested.

    If you're a gamer, you'll enjoy the responsive gaming experience on this TV. It has low input lag, meaning you won't notice any delay, and your actions will appear on-screen almost instantly. OLEDs also have a near-instantaneous response time, so motion looks smooth. You can take full advantage of the Xbox Series X and PS5 thanks to the HDMI 2.1 bandwidth for 4k @ 120 fps gaming and variable refresh rate (VRR) support. If you simply want to stream your favorite movies, the built-in LG webOS is easy-to-use.

    Unfortunately, OLEDs run the risk of permanent burn-in with cumulative exposure to the same static elements over time. You risk damaging the screen if you use it as a PC monitor or leave it on the same news channel all day, but it won't be an issue if you watch varied content. If this doesn't bother you, it's the best 48 inch TV we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best 48-49-50 Inch LED TV

    The Samsung QN50QN90AAFXZA is the best 50 inch TV with an LED panel. If you're worried about the permanent burn-in risk associated with OLED displays, LED TVs appear to be immune to it, so you can leave it on your channel all day and not have to worry about damaging the screen. We tested the 55 inch variant of this TV, and the results are also valid for the 50 inch version, but the 50 inch model doesn't have wide-angle viewing technology like the larger sizes.

    Although LED TVs don't have the same near-infinite contrast as OLEDs, it still performs well in bright and dark environments. Its VA panel has a high contrast ratio, and combined with its Mini LED local dimming feature, it displays deep blacks with minimal blooming around bright objects. Even in a well-lit room, glare won't be an issue because it has fantastic reflection handling and exceptional peak brightness. If you tend to watch HDR movies, you'll appreciate the wide color gamut and the high peak brightness in HDR, enough to make highlights pop, but it doesn't support Dolby Vision.

    Sadly, our unit has some uniformity issues that could get distracting during sports, like the dirty screen effect. It also has many gaming features like VRR support and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, but its local dimming performs worse in Game Mode. If that isn't an issue for you, it's one of the best TVs available in this size.

    See our review

  3. Cheaper Alternative

    If you don't want to spend a ton of money on a 50 inch LED TV, look into the Sony KD-50X85J. It doesn't have as many of the same features as Samsung QN90A QLED, but it has HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and has VRR support after a firmware update. Although it doesn't have Mini LED backlighting, picture quality still looks good as it gets bright and the VA panel delivers deep blacks, but there's no local dimming feature to improve the contrast. The built-in Android TV is easy-to-use, and it has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy. Sadly, like most VA panel TVs, it has a narrow viewing angle, and the image looks washed out from the sides, so it's not ideal for wide seating areas.

    If you want the best 50 inch TV with an LED panel, the Samsung is a great choice, but if you prefer something cheaper, then look into the Sony. We tested the 55 inch model of the Sony, and the results also apply to the 50 inch variant.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget 48-49-50 Inch TV

    The Hisense 50U6G is the best 50 inch budget TV we've tested. It's a versatile TV with great overall performance that should please you whether you want to stream your favorite shows or watch the latest movies. It has a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio, and its full-array local dimming feature helps improve the picture quality in dark scenes by deepening any blacks. We tested the 65 inch version, and the results also apply to the 50 inch variant.

    Even in bright rooms, it gets bright enough to fight glare and has decent reflection handling, meaning visibility won't be an issue unless you have direct sunlight on it, but it's still fine for rooms with a few lights around. It's good for watching sports or TV shows because it has good gray uniformity, so colors appear uniform across the screen as there's no dirty screen effect, and fast-moving objects look good. It doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content, like from cable boxes, and native 4k content displays perfectly if you want to stream content.

    While it doesn't have any advanced gaming features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth or VRR support and is limited to a 60Hz panel, it still has great gaming performance. You won't notice any delay while gaming, thanks to its low input lag, and it works with gaming consoles up to 4k @ 60Hz. All in all, it's the best 50 inch smart TV if you're on a budget.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget 49-49-50 Inch TV With Variable Refresh Rate Support

    The TCL 50S546 is the best 50 inch smart TV available in the budget category with variable refresh rate support. It's a competitor of the Hisense U6G, and while you don't get the same great overall picture quality, it's still very good overall. The VRR support is an advantage if you're a gamer and want a tear-free gaming experience, but because it's limited to a 60Hz panel and HDMI 2.0 bandwidth, the VRR range is limited. Although we tested the 65 inch model, the results are also valid for the 50 inch version.

    It's great for gaming as it has a quick response time for smooth motion handling and a low input lag. It's a good choice for dark room gaming because it has an incredibly high native contrast ratio, and while its local dimming feature isn't anything special and doesn't improve the picture quality that much, it still has excellent black uniformity. It's also a good choice for well-lit rooms as it has great peak brightness and decent reflection handling.

    Sadly, the main issue with this TV is that it has terrible out-of-the-box accuracy, resulting in a visible red tint, and even calibrating it doesn't fix the big issues. It also has trouble displaying 480p content properly as it stretches out the image, so it's not a good choice for watching DVDs. If those issues aren't a concern for you, it's a great budget TV with VRR support.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG OLED48C2PUA: The LG C2 OLED is the newer version of the LG C1 that gets brighter but considering it has many of the same features and costs more, it's worth getting the C1. See our review
  • Sony XR50X90J: The Sony X90J is a high-end TV that performs better than the Sony X85J because it has local dimming, but it's not that much cheaper than the QN90A, so if you want to save a bit of money, it's better to go for the X85J. See our review
  • Vizio M50Q7-J01: The Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 is a budget TV comparable to the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 as it also has VRR support. It has better overall picture quality thanks to its excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, but it costs more, and there are some bugs with its smart interface. See our review
  • Samsung QN50Q60AAFXZA: The Samsung Q60/Q60A is a low-cost QLED with decent picture quality, but for its price, it's worth getting the Hisense U6G because it has a local dimming feature. See our review
  • LG OLED48A1PUA: The 48 inch LG A1 is a no-frills alternative to the LG C1 and doesn't have any gaming features, so get this if you don't need all the gaming perks like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support. See our review
  • LG C2 OLED: The LG C2 OLED is a slight improvement over its predecessor, the LG C1 OLED, but it's currently significantly more expensive. If you can find the C2 for less than the C1, get the new model. See our review
  • Samsung QN90B QLED: The Samsung QN90B QLED is a bit brighter than the Samsung QN90A QLED in some scenes, but the QN90A is slightly better overall. The QN90B isn't worth spending more on over the QN90A. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 26, 2022: Replaced the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 with the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 for consistency and moved to its own category as the 'Best Budget TV With VRR Support'; added the LG C2 to Notable Mentions.

  2. Mar 24, 2022: Updated text for clarity and added the Insignia F50 QLED to Notable Mentions.

  3. Feb 23, 2022: Updated text for clarity and verified picks for availability; added the Hisense A6G to Notable Mentions.

  4. Jan 24, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity; added the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021, Vizio M6 Series Quantum 2021, and the Amazon Fire TV Omni Series to the Notable Mentions.

  5. Dec 20, 2021: Verified our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text.

All Reviews

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.

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