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The 5 Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs - Black Friday 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs
339 Televisions Tested
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The 48-49-50 inch market segment has been somewhat neglected by most manufacturers in recent years. As larger sizes have grown in popularity, smaller models have become more difficult to find, and many brands have even started reducing the features available on the smaller models. The trend has started to change, though, with 48 and 50 inch models, in particular, increasing in popularity, mainly as better TVs have become available in those sizes. They've also gained popularity for gaming and PC monitor use, with many gamers switching to high-performance TVs instead of traditional monitors.

We've tested over 90 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. Unfortunately, none of them are available in a 49 inch size, as there are very few recent TVs available in that size. If you're looking for the best 49 inch TV, take a look at the list of available models here. 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: LG OLED48C1PUB

    8.8
    Mixed Usage
    9.3
    Movies
    8.2
    TV Shows
    8.7
    Sports
    9.2
    Video Games
    8.6
    HDR Movies
    9.0
    HDR Gaming
    8.9
    PC Monitor
    Type OLED
    Sub-Type
    WRGB
    Resolution 4k

    In the OLED category, the best 48 inch TV is the LG OLED48C1PUB. We tested the 55 inch model as a TV, and our results should be valid for all sizes, but we also tested the 48 inch version as a monitor. It's a stunning TV overall and an impressive choice for a dark room, with deep inky blacks and perfect black uniformity, with no distracting blooming around bright objects.

    It has a slew of extra features, mainly for gamers, including four HDMI 2.1 inputs, FreeSync, G-SYNC, and HDMI Forum VRR support, and outstanding low input lag. The OLED panel has a nearly-instantaneous response time, resulting in crystal-clear motion with no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. It delivers impressive picture quality, with a wide color gamut, great gradient handling, and excellent gray uniformity.

    Unfortunately, our unit has bad out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest, but this can also vary between units. Sadly, OLEDs have the risk of permanent burn-in, which can pose a problem if you watch the same news channel all day or if you want to use it as a PC monitor, but we don't expect this to be an issue for most people. Overall, it's the best 48 inch TV with an OLED panel.

    See our review

  2. Best 48-49-50 Inch LED TV: Samsung QN50QN90AAFXZA

    8.6
    Mixed Usage
    8.5
    Movies
    8.6
    TV Shows
    8.5
    Sports
    8.8
    Video Games
    8.6
    HDR Movies
    8.8
    HDR Gaming
    8.8
    PC Monitor
    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k

    The best 50 inch TV in the LED category that we've tested is the Samsung QN50QN90AAFXZA. We tested a larger model, but we expect most of our results to be valid for the 50 inch size. It's an impressive 4k TV, with a new Mini LED backlight, one of the first on the market. This new backlight technology delivers impressive brightness levels and allows for finer control of the local dimming system, reducing blooming around bright objects.

    It's one of the brightest TVs we've ever tested and, combined with its fantastic reflection handling, you don't have to worry about glare, even in a bright room. The 50 inch model doesn't have the same wide-angle viewing filter as the 55 inch we've tested, but we still expect it to have decent viewing angles, especially for a VA panel. It also looks excellent in a dark room, with an excellent contrast ratio and fantastic black uniformity. It's also an excellent gaming TV, with HDMI 2.1 ports, low input lag, and a fast response time.

    Unfortunately, its local dimming performs worse in Game Mode than outside of it because it raises the black levels, causing the screen to look more gray than black. It supports HDR10 and HDR10+, but sadly, it doesn't support Dolby Vision, which might disappoint some people. All things considered, if you want the best 50 inch 4k TV with an LED panel, then check out the Samsung.

    See our review

  3. Cheaper Alternative: Sony KD-50X85J

    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k

    If you don't want to spend too much money on an LED TV, check out the Sony KD-50X85J. It's a bit simpler than the Samsung QN90A QLED, with no local dimming feature and much lower peak brightness, but it's still a good TV overall. It has a much higher native contrast ratio, so it doesn't rely on a local dimming feature to deliver deep blacks. It has fantastic out-of-the-box color accuracy, which is typical of Sony TVs, so it's unlikely you'll have to calibrate it to enjoy it to the fullest. It also has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 inputs, low input lag, and thanks to a recent firmware update, it now supports variable refresh rate technology. It has a great response time with less smearing in dark scenes, and it has a completely flicker-free backlight.

    If you want an LED TV and want the best picture quality possible, check out the Samsung. If you want to save some money, look into the Sony. Keep in mind that we tested the 55 inch model of the Sony, but the 50 inch model should perform the same.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget 48-49-50 Inch TV: Hisense 50U6G

    8.1
    Mixed Usage
    8.3
    Movies
    8.0
    TV Shows
    8.0
    Sports
    8.3
    Video Games
    8.1
    HDR Movies
    8.2
    HDR Gaming
    8.0
    PC Monitor
    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k

    The best 50 inch smart TV we've tested in the budget category is the Hisense 50U6G. It's great overall and provides good value for its price, even more than other more expensive options. It comes with Android TV, which is fairly user-friendly and has a ton of apps available to download, but it may take some time to get used to. We expect the 50 inch model to perform the same as the 65 inch we tested.

    It's great for watching movies, especially in dark environments. It has a high native contrast ratio thanks to its VA panel, allowing it to display deep and uniform blacks. It has a full-array local dimming feature that performs decently well and improves the picture quality in dark scenes. The TV removes judder from native 24p sources, which helps with the appearance of motion in movies, but it lacks a motion interpolation feature. If you prefer using it in a well-lit room, it gets bright enough to combat glare and has excellent reflection handling.

    Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel, so the image looks inaccurate from the side. Also, while it has a quick response time and low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, it lacks any HDMI 2.1 inputs or VRR support, meaning you won't get a nearly tear-free gaming experience. If you're not a gamer or that isn't an issue to you, and you're on a budget, it's the best 50 inch TV we've tested.

    See our review

  5. Gaming Alternative: Vizio M50Q7-J01

    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k

    If you prefer a few more gaming features, then check out the Vizio M50Q7-J01. It doesn't get as bright as the Hisense U6G, so it's not a good choice for gaming in bright rooms. It's a good TV, with excellent accuracy out of the box, fantastic contrast, and great black uniformity. It's a better choice for gaming, as it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, which can help reduce screen tearing in some games. It's limited to HDMI 2.0, which isn't surprising for a budget TV, so it can't take full advantage of the latest consoles, but since most games still target 4k @ 60Hz gaming, it's not that big a compromise for most gamers.

    If you're on a budget and want the best 50 inch TV we've tested, the Hisense performs well both in dark and well-lit rooms. However, if you prefer something with VRR support, then check out the Vizio. We tested the 55 inch variant, but the 50 inch model should be the same.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Sony XR50X90J: The Sony X90J is a high-end TV that costs a bit less than the Samsung QN90A and has a local dimming feature, but it's not worth getting this over the Sony X85J if you're after a cheaper option than the QN90A. 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, but it's not that much cheaper, so it's worth getting the C1 instead. See our review
  • Samsung UN50AU8000FXZA: The Samsung AU8000 is a decent budget TV, but it's not nearly as good as the Hisense U6G. See our review
  • Sony KD-50X80J: The Sony X80J is an entry-level model from Sony, but since the 50 inch model has a different panel type than the 55 inch model we tested, we don't know how it performs. 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 or the Vizio M7 instead. See our review
  • Sony XBR-48A9S: The Sony A9S is a 2020 model with an OLED panel like the LG C1, so it delivers similar picture quality, but it costs more and doesn't have any gaming features. See our review
  • Vizio V505-J09: The Vizio V5 Series is a cheap entry-level model, but the 50 inch may be hard to find, and it doesn't have good gaming features like other Vizios. See our review
  • TCL 50S535: The TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED is an alternative to the Hisense U6G. It doesn't get bright and doesn't have gaming features like the Vizio M7, either. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Nov 04, 2021: Validated our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text throughout.

  2. Oct 08, 2021: Verified our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text throughout.

  3. Sep 15, 2021: Replaced the TCL 5 Series with the Vizio M7 Series 2021 for consistency and renamed it to 'Gaming Alternative', and moved the TCL to Notable Mentions.

  4. Aug 16, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the Sony A9S and Vizio V5 Series 2021 to Notable Mentions.

  5. Jul 21, 2021: Replaced the Sony X90J with the Samsung QN90A because it's better; removed the LG NANO85 because it's unavailable, and added the Sony X85J as 'Cheaper Alternative'; updated Notable Mentions.

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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