One of the most popular TV sizes is 55 inches, even if larger TVs like 65 inch and 75 inch models are becoming more popular. Finding the best 55 inch TV for your needs all depends on your usage and viewing conditions. If you tend to watch movies in dark rooms, OLEDs may be the way to go; however, if you want to place it in a well-lit environment, LED TVs can get significantly brighter. There's no perfect TV and most of the time choosing one model over the other comes down to personal preference.
We’ve tested more than 100 TVs under the latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the best 55 inch TVs to buy. See our picks for the best TVs, the best 65 inch TVs, and the best smart TVs.
The best 55 inch TV we've tested is the LG OLED55C1PUB. It's a versatile TV that delivers stunning picture quality, especially in dark rooms. Its OLED panel can turn off individual pixels, resulting in perfect black levels without any blooming around bright objects. This makes it a remarkable choice for watching movies in dark rooms.
Individual pixels on OLEDs emit light in all directions, resulting in wide viewing angles. It's great if you want to watch shows or sports with a large group of people because the image remains accurate no matter where you sit. Motion handling is also fantastic thanks to the near-instantaneous response time, so fast-moving content like in sports looks smooth. Gamers should also appreciate its HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, low input lag, and variable refresh rate (VRR) support for a responsive and tear-free gaming experience at high frame rates.
Sadly, like any other TV, there are a few downsides. OLEDs are known for their risk of permanent burn-in, which could be problematic if you constantly watch the same content with static elements, like if you're using it as a PC monitor all day. However, we don't expect that to be an issue for most people. Also, while HDR content looks excellent thanks to the high contrast and wide color gamut, it doesn't get bright in HDR, and there's some banding in gradients. If that isn't a problem for you, it's one of the best 55 inch TVs we've tested.
If you tend to watch movies and prefer something with the absolute best performance for watching movies, then look into the Sony XR-55A90J. You won't get VRR support like on the LG C1 OLED, and it has higher input lag, meaning it's worse for gaming, but for watching movies in HDR, it's a better choice. It uses a different type of OLED panel that allows it to get brighter, especially in HDR, so highlights pop more. Also, it uses a different processor with much better gradient handling, so there's minimal banding in scenes with shades of similar colors, like a sunset. Sony TVs are known to have excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, and this one is no exception, so you likely won't need to get it calibrated, but this may vary between units.
If you want an OLED panel and you're looking for the best 55 inch TV, then the LG is an excellent choice as it's versatile. However, if you're a movie lover and want the best TV for that, then look into the Sony.
The Samsung QN55QN90AAFXZA is the best 55 inch TV we've tested with an LED panel. Choosing an LED over an OLED is advantageous if you worry about the risk of permanent burn-in because they're immune to it, which is great for watching the news or using it as a PC monitor. It uses Mini LED backlighting that gets much brighter than any OLED, and combined with its fantastic reflection handling, visibility won't be an issue even in the brightest of rooms.
It's packed with gaming features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, VRR support in the form of native FreeSync and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. Motion also looks smooth thanks to the quick response time, and it has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. In terms of picture quality, its VA panel has a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks, and the local dimming feature helps it further deepen any blacks. It also has fairly wide viewing angles, thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology.
It's an excellent TV for watching HDR movies, but sadly it doesn't support Dolby Vision, which is disappointing as some streaming content will be limited to HDR10, and you can't take full advantage of the TV's capabilities. Also, while its local dimming is great, it performs worse in Game Mode because it raises the black levels more. If these small issues don't bother you, then it's the best 55 inch smart TV with an LED panel that we've tested.
If you want an impressive LED option that costs less, check out the Hisense 55U8G. It has fewer features than the Samsung QN90A QLED, like the lack of Mini LED backlighting and the viewing angle technology, but it's still an excellent choice for watching movies. It has a VA panel with a higher native contrast ratio because of the lack of the viewing angle layer, and, combined with the great local dimming feature, it displays deep blacks. It gets bright enough to fight glare and has excellent reflection handling even in bright rooms. Gamers should enjoy the HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and the VRR support, but it has issues with motion handling in Game Mode as there are red ghosting and motion artifacts that could become distracting.
If you're looking for the best 55 inch TV and want an LED panel, the Samsung is an excellent choice, but if you don't mind compromising on viewing angles for something cheaper, then check out the Hisense.
The Hisense 55U6G is the best 55 inch TV you can buy if you're on a budget. It's great and has features for people looking for a TV for different uses, from gaming to watching TV shows, and it performs well both in dark and bright environments. Its VA panel has a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks, and it also has a decent local dimming feature. Although we tested the 65 inch version, our results are also valid for the 55 inch model.
It gets bright enough to fight glare even in well-lit rooms, and its reflection handling is decent. Although it's limited to a 60Hz panel with HDMI 2.0 bandwidth and lacks VRR support, gamers should still appreciate its low input lag and quick response time for a smooth and responsive gaming experience. If you're the type of person to just sit back and watch your favorite TV shows, it doesn't have issues upscaling lower-resolution content, and the Android TV offers a ton of streaming apps you can download through the Google Play Store.
Unfortunately, it's not the best choice for wide seating arrangements because it has narrow viewing angles and the image appears washed out from the sides. Also, its HDR performance is a bit limited because its HDR peak brightness is just okay, and some highlights don't stand out. If this doesn't bother you, it's one of the best 55 inch TVs you can get.
Jan 17, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity.
Dec 17, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy; added the Hisense U6GR to Notable Mentions.
Nov 19, 2021: Updated text for clarity and verified picks for availability; added the TCL 6 Series/R646 2021 to Notable Mentions.
Oct 22, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity; added the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED to Notable Mentions.
Sep 24, 2021: Validated our picks for accuracy and availability and refreshed the text.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best 55 inch 4k TVs currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer the make your own decision, here is the list of all of our 55 inch TV reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most TVs are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault TVs on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.