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The 5 Best 48-49-50 inch TVs - September 2018
Reviews

Best 48-49-50 Inch TV
198 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

The 48-49-50 inch sizes in TVs are becoming more uncommon. In 2018, 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 30 TVs available in a 48-49-50" size and below are our recommendations for the best ones you can buy in 2018.

  1. Best 48-49-50 inch TV: Sony XBR49X900F

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches: test

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    8.3
    Mixed Usage
    What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    8.5
    Movies
    What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    8.2
    TV Shows
    What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    8.1
    Sports
    What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.6
    Video Games
    What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    8.4
    HDR Movies
    What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.6
    HDR Gaming
    What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.3
    PC Monitor
    What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    The best 49 inch TV is the Sony XBR49X900F. The X900F is a great 4k TV with impressive picture quality. It can deliver deep and uniform blacks in a dark room due to the high contrast ratio and local dimming support. It has bright HDR highlights and rich, saturated colors. It also has excellent motion handling due to the fast response time and the ability to flicker the backlight to clear up blur.

    However, the picture quality degrades when viewed at an angle and thus, it is not suitable for wide seating arrangements.

    Overall, it is a great TV that is good at most usages and will keep most people satisfied with their choice. Last year’s Sony XBR49X900E has similarly good performance, but it is hard to find in stock.

    See our review

  2. Wide Room Alternative: LG 49SK8000

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 4k

    If the narrow viewing angles of the Sony XBR49X900F are a problem for you, get the LG 49SK8000PUA instead. The SK8000 has much wider viewing angles, great if you have a wide seating are or like to move around while watching TV. Dark room viewing isn't as good as with the X900F since the contrast ratio and local dimming of the SK8000 are worse; however, it is a better choice for gaming, as it has better low input lag and a more advanced black frame insertion feature that can improve the perceived clarity of motion.

    See our review

  3. Gaming Alternative: Samsung UN49NU8000

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If you want gaming features that the Sony XBR49X900F does not incorporate, get the Samsung UN49NU8000. The NU8000 does not have the great picture quality of the Sony X900F, as its local dimming support is bad, and it can't get as bright as the Sony in HDR. However, it has great motion handling, very low input lag and a variable refresh rate option to smooth out motion while gaming.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget 48-49-50 inch TV: TCL 49S517

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches: test

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.4
    Mixed Usage
    What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Movies
    What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.3
    TV Shows
    What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.0
    Sports
    What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.1
    Video Games
    What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    7.2
    HDR Movies
    What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.8
    HDR Gaming
    What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    7.8
    PC Monitor
    What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    If the Sony XBR49X900F is too expensive for you, the TCL TCL 5 Series 49S517 is the best budget TV we've tested available in a 48-49-50 inch size. The S517 delivers decent performance for most uses but lacks some more advanced features that would further improve performance. Dark room performance is great thanks to the excellent native contrast ratio, but unfortunately, there is no local dimming feature.

    For gamers or for use as a PC monitor, it has excellent low input lag and a very good response time, but it lacks motion interpolation and other features that could improve motion performance. It isn't quite bright enough for a brightly lit room, and while it supports HDR, there is little advantage to using it as it can't get very bright in HDR.

    Overall, the TCL 5 Series is a decent TV that should please most people.

    See our review

  5. Wide Room Budget Alternative: Sony KD49X720E

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 4k

    If you want a good budget TV with wider viewing angles than the TCL 49S517, check out the Sony KD49X720E. The X720E uses an IPS panel and has excellent wide viewing angles, great for a wide seating area or if you like to move around the room with the TV on. It doesn't perform well in a dark room, as blacks look gray and it has poor black uniformity. For gaming, it delivers similar overall performance to the TCL S517, with excellent low input lag and a fast response time.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung QN49Q6FN. Great TV, but too expensive for the size. See our review.
  • Samsung UN50MU6300. Priced too high for the performance, better go with TCL S517 See our review
  • Samsung UN49NU7100. Decent budget TV, but not as good as the Vizio E Series 2018. See our review
  • LG 49UK6300. Not good performance; the TCL S517 is a better pick. See our review
  • LG 49UJ7700. Decent TV with a wide viewing angle, but overpriced and very hard to find. See our review
  • Sony XBR49X900E. A very good TV, very similar to Sony X900F, but very hard to find. See our review.

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 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. 

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