The 55 inch category remains the most popular choice for TVs, even though larger options are slowly but steadily gaining market share. There are many things you can look for when searching for the best 55 inch TV. It 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 in a well-lit environment, LED TVs can get significantly. 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 60 TVs available in this size in the past two years, and below are our recommendations for the best 55 inch TVs to buy. See our recommendations for the best TVs, the best 65 inch TVs, and the best smart TVs.
The LG OLED55CXPUA is the best 55 inch TV with an OLED panel we've tested. It can individually turn off its pixels, resulting in an infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, making it an ideal choice for watching movies in dark rooms. It's very well-built and comes with a unique center-mounted stand. It also has wide viewing angles if you have a wide seating arrangement.
It's packed with features that are geared towards gamers. It has a 120Hz refresh rate with variable refresh rate (VRR) support to reduce screen tearing. It has low input lag and a near-instant response time that results in smooth motion. It upscales lower-resolution content without any issues, like from cable boxes or Blu-rays. It has outstanding reflection handling and has decent brightness, but it's best to avoid placing it in a room with direct sunlight. Lastly, it has impressive out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest.
Sadly, it has the risk of permanent burn-in, which is common among OLED TVs. We only expect this to be an issue if you constantly watch the same content with static elements, like the news, but it shouldn't be a problem if you watch varied content. It displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, but it may not get bright enough to make some highlights pop the way they're supposed to. Overall, it delivers excellent picture quality, making it the best 55 inch smart TV we've tested.
The Samsung QN55Q80TAFXZA is the best 55 inch TV we've tested with an LED panel. It's one of the flagship models from Samsung's 2020 QLED lineup, delivering excellent picture quality and a ton of extra features in a simple but premium design that should look great as the centerpiece of any living room.
Thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, you get a balance between contrast and viewing angle. It's a VA panel, so it has a great contrast ratio, and while it's not as high as other VA panels, it's enough to produce deep, uniform blacks. The trade-off is that you also get wider viewing angles than you'd expect on a VA panel, allowing you to watch from an angle without the image looking too washed out. The TV also has an excellent response time, so motion looks clear with minimal motion blur for fast-moving content like sports or video games.
However, more serious gamers may be disappointed that when 'Game Mode' is enabled, the TV's local dimming and HDR brightness perform significantly worse. On the upside, it has a low input lag, VRR support, and an HDMI 2.1 port. All things considered, this is one of the best 4k TVs you can get in a 55 inch size, and most people should be happy with it.
If you want a TV that gets even brighter, check out the Sony XBR55X950H. While it lacks some advanced features that the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED has, like VRR and HDMI 2.1 support, it gets brighter in both SDR and HDR. That means it can bring out the brightest highlights in HDR content, and it also supports Dolby Vision, unlike the Samsung. It has a similarly high contrast ratio to produce deep blacks and a good local dimming feature to further improve black levels. However, its response time and input lag are not as good as the Samsung, so it's not as well-suited to gaming.
If you want the best 55 inch TV with an LED panel that also comes with the latest gaming features, go with the Samsung, but if you want a TV with more brightness, the Sony is an excellent alternative.
The Hisense 55H9G is the best 55 inch TV for watching HDR content that we've tested. It has a simple design that fits into most settings, with a unique stand that supports the TV well. It has a high contrast ratio that's greatly enhanced by a full-array local dimming feature, allowing it to produce deep blacks for a fantastic dark room viewing experience.
It supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision and delivers an excellent HDR experience. It has a great color gamut with outstanding coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space, and it gets very bright, enough to make highlights stand out the way that the creators intended. It handles reflections amazingly well in bright rooms and overcomes glare easily. It has an excellent response time to deliver clear motion in fast-moving scenes and an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that further improves clarity.
Sadly, like most VA panel TVs, it has narrow viewing angles, so it isn't ideal for large rooms with wide seating arrangements. It has a 120Hz panel; however, it doesn't have any HDMI 2.1 ports and can only display a 4k signal at 60Hz. If you want to game with it, it supports the next-gen consoles in HDR and has very low input lag. Its Android TV interface is relatively user-friendly, and you can summon the Google Assistant through voice control if you need help. Overall, it's a versatile TV that performs well in nearly every type of content and one that most people should be happy with.
The Hisense 55H8G is the best 55 inch 4k TV that we've tested in the budget category. It's a well-rounded TV with thin bezels that give it a premium design, and it should look good in any setup. It's well-built and comes with Android TV, which has an excellent selection of apps available to download but may not be the easiest to use at times.
Its VA panel allows it to produce deep blacks thanks to its excellent native contrast ratio. It has a full-array local dimming feature that further deepens any blacks, and it has decent black uniformity, making it a great choice for watching movies in dark rooms. Even if you want to watch TV in a well-lit room, it gets bright enough to combat glare and has decent reflection handling. If you want to use it for watching HDR content, it supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, displays a wide color gamut, and has okay HDR peak brightness.
Unfortunately, our unit has some uniformity issues with dirty screen effect in the center, which could get distracting during sports, but also may vary between units. It also has narrow viewing angles, but that's expected from an IPS panel. Although it lacks any gaming features like VRR support, it still has a quick response time that results in smooth motion and very low input lag. It supports 4k @ 60Hz gaming in HDR on the PS5, but not on the Xbox Series X. Regardless, the Hisense is the best budget 55 inch TV that we've tested.
If you want a TV that comes with an easier-to-use operating system than the Android TV on the Hisense H8G, then look into the TCL 55S535. It has much lower peak brightness than the Hisense, so it's best to avoid placing it in a well-lit room. However, the built-in Roku TV is easy-to-use, the menu navigation is very smooth, and you can easily find your favorite apps in the app store. It performs best in dark rooms thanks to its remarkable native contrast ratio and decent local dimming feature that further improves the picture quality in dark scenes. Sadly, even though it displays a very wide color gamut for HDR content, it doesn't get bright enough to truly make highlights stand out in that mode, and it doesn't support HDR10+ either.
If you're on a budget and want the best 55 inch TV for your money, check out the Hisense, but if you're a fan of Roku and don't mind compromising on peak brightness, look into the TCL.
Apr 08, 2021: Reviewed accuracy of picks; no change in recommendations.
Mar 09, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for clarity; added the Samsung TU8000 to Notable Mentions.
Feb 19, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added TVs to Notable Mentions to reflect market availability.
Jan 20, 2021: Updated text for accuracy; no change in recommendations.
Dec 17, 2020: Moved the Samsung Q80T to 'Best LED' and moved the Sony X950H to 'Brighter Alternative'.
Oct 22, 2020: Added the Hisense H9G as 'Best for HDR'.
Sep 22, 2020: Replaced the Sony X900H with the X950H; replaced the TCL 6 Series 2019 with the 5 Series 2020.
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.