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The 5 Best 48-49-50 Inch TVs - Fall 2021 Reviews

In the OLED category, the best 48 inch TV is the LG OLED48C1PUB. It delivers stunning picture quality, especially in dark rooms, and comes with a few extra gaming-oriented features too. It comes with a sleek center-mounted stand that doesn't take up too much space, so you can easily place it on a table. The OLED panel delivers a near-infinite contrast ratio with perfect black uniformity, with no blooming around bright objects in dark scenes.

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. Gamers should enjoy the four HDMI 2.1 inputs, allowing you to play 4k games up to 120fps from either the PS5 or Xbox Series X. It natively supports FreeSync and HDMI Forum variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies, as well as G-SYNC Compatible for PC gamers. Motion looks very smooth thanks to the near-instantaneous response time, and it has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience.

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


Best 50-inch TVs 2021: 4K TVs for every budget

Best 50-inch TV Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best 50-inch TVs you can buy in 2021.

There was a time when a 48-inch, 49-inch or 50-inch TV would have been considered huge – in 2021 it's now considered by many manufacturers (and some consumers) to be almost small and, as a result, unworthy of the latest tech. 

It was only in 2019 that the first Samsung QLED was released at this size, and it took until 2020 for the first OLED TVs at this size to appear (and, as you'll see below, very good they are too).

But what if a 50-inch screen is the maximum size TV that you want or are able to fit in your room? We've got good news. Not only can you now get a true flagship TV (one of those aforementioned 48-inch OLEDs), you're also in prime mainstream territory, where manufacturers and retailers sell the most models and where competition is at its fiercest. In other words, the best 48-inch, 49-inch and 50-inch TVs should deliver excellent value for money.

When it comes to picture technology, almost all models at this size are now 4K, and there's no need to look for a Full HD model, because these 4K TVs are already very affordable indeed. 

Features should be strong across the board, so expect streaming apps from Amazon, Disney+, Netflix, YouTube and more to come as a standard. You can expect HDR, too, at least in HDR10 form but often in the more advanced HLG, Dolby Vision and/or HDR10+, ensuring the best possible 4K pictures. 

And with the LG 2021 TVs, Samsung 2021 TVs and Sony 2021 TVs all announced and on their way, you can expect to see prices drop on some of our favourite TVs released last year - so it's a great time to pick up a bargain. Read on for our pick of the best 48, 49 and 50 inch TVs. 

How we choose the best 50 inch TVs

Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year – and that includes plenty of TVs. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?

We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. 

All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same price category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure consistency and avoid any personal preference.

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics.

From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.

1. Sony KD-48A9

Sony’s first 48-inch OLED TV is superb.


Screen size: 48in

Type: OLED

Backlight: not applicable

Resolution: 4K

HDR formats supported: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision

Operating system: Android TV 9

HDMI inputs: 4


Optical output: Yes

Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 62 x 107 x 5.8cm

Reasons to buy

+Striking picture+Bold sound+Solid app selection

Reasons to avoid

-Expensive-Lacks next-gen HDMI features

It's official: 48 is the new 50. Time was that you couldn't get an OLED TV under 55in, but then LG launched the world's first commercially available 48in OLED set. And now Sony has one of its own, too - and it's the best TV you can buy around this size.

Sony has embraced the smaller size, making the KD-48A9 (known as the XBR-48A9S in the US) as petite as possible thanks to its tiny bezels and low profile pedestal stand. It does have a rather large enclosure bolted onto the back (to house the speakers, processing hardware and connections), but you'll only notice if you look at the set side-on.

Sony's X1 Ultimate processor makes images suitably stunning, there's plenty of dark detail on show, and it serves up pretty much every streaming app you could hope for. Motion control is still industry-leading, and in terms of sharpness and detail, there's never been a better TV at this size. If you can afford it, this is a superb option, and certainly the best 48-inch TV that we've tested.

Read the full Sony KD-48A9 (XBR-48A9S) review

2. Sony KD-49XH9505

If you can't stretch to the OLED, this is the next best option.


Type: LCD with direct LED backlighting

Screen size: 49-inch

Resolution: 4K

HDR support: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG


Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 62.9 x 109.3 x 6.9 cm

Reasons to buy

+Punchy, rich picture performance+Vastly improved sound+Snappy user experience

Reasons to avoid

-Same design as previous generation-Some backlight bloom

The Sony HX may look very similar to the previous generation but the performance has been improved across the bar.

Inside is the new X1 Ultimate chip, which aims to improve definition and contrast, and provides a faster experience around the Android TV interface. You get all the apps you'd expect, from Amazon Prime Video to Disney+ and Netflix, plus support for catch-up TV apps, AirPlay 2, Dolby Vision and HDR10.

As for the picture, expect rich, punchy colours, excellent handling of fast motion and good black detail. It looks great with high-quality Dolby Vision and HDR video, while gamers will be happy with the lower input lag and overall vibrancy. Sound quality has taken a big step forward, too, with an openness and dynamism that's rare in a TV of this size and price.

Better picture, better sound, this remains one of the best 49-inch TVs we've seen.

Read the full Sony KD-49XH9505 review


The first 48-inch OLED of the 4K era – and it's an absolute stunner.


Screen size: 48in (also available in 55in, 65in, 77in)

Type: OLED

Backlight: not applicable

Resolution: 4K

HDR formats supported: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision

Operating system: webOS

HDMI inputs: 4


Optical output: Yes

Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 62 x 107 x 4.7cm

Reasons to buy

+Flagship-level OLED performance+Dramatic but natural picture+Forward-looking feature set

Reasons to avoid

-Missing UK catch-up apps-Pricey for its size

The OLED48CX was the first 48-inch OLED TV that we reviewed – and we were, and remain, very impressed.

Picture quality is superb. The perfect blacks and near-perfect viewing angles combine with bright, punchy whites and vibrant but natural colours. LG's motion processing was a big step up in 2020 and its upscaling of 1080p and standard-def content remains among the best in the business.

On top of all that you get certified HDMI 2.1 sockets that support next-gen features such as eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), HFR (High Frame Rate), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), and all current formats of VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). All of these are useful if you're looking to upgrade to the PS5 or Xbox Series X.

All of the UK's catch-up apps, including BBC iPlayer, were missing from LG's smart platform when we reviewed the set but these should be added with an update.

Read the full LG OLED48CX review

4. Samsung UN50RU7100

This 50-inch Samsung TV is a great buy for those on a budget


Screen size: 50-inch

Type: LCD

Backlight: Edge-lit

Resolution: 4K

HDR formats: HDR10


Optical output: Yes

Dimensions: 10.3 x 44.3 x 28.7 inches

Reasons to buy

+Good colors+Decent sound+Smarter than most

Reasons to avoid

-Bland design-Middling HDR performance-Basic remote control

The Samsung RU7100 is a budget 4K TV that balances its feature set and price perfectly for those looking for something not-too-pricey and not-too-cheap.

The RU7100 has three HDMI ports, including one with ARC support, two USB ports, an optical audio output for older surround sound systems, wireless connectivity and Bluetooth for connecting headphones.

Samsung's smart platform remains one of the best in the industry, from the refined home screen and menus to Samsung's excellent app selection, which includes Apple TV and Disney+.

All told, from its decent picture quality and sound, to the fantastic smart TV experience we’ve come to expect from Samsung sets, there’s plenty to love here, all without a hefty price tag.

Read the full review: Samsung UN50RU7100

5. Vizio V505-G9

A seriously affordable 50-inch 4K TV


Screen size: 50-inch

Type: LED

Backlight: Full-array LED backlight

Resolution: 4K

HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision


Optical output: Yes

Dimensions: 44.13 x 25.59 x 2.42 inches

Reasons to buy

+Decent picture quality+Good HDR format support+Built-in Google Chromecast

Reasons to avoid

-Basic port selection-Middling HDR performance-Quiet audio

With a price tag of less than $500, what the 50-inch Vizio V505-G9 offers in features and performance is quite appealing. There's Google Chromecast support, a good selection of locally installed apps and Vizio’s dedicated channel of free streamable content.

It does pretty well in the performance stakes for this level too, offering a decent 4K picture, broad HDR support and a relatively attractive design, making it one of the better cheap TVs you can buy.

Read the full Vizio V505-G9 review


How to set up your TV and get the best picture

Best cheap TVs

Joe is Content Director for Specialist Tech at Future and was previously the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across print and online for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung, reported from CES, the Bristol Show and Munich High End for many years, and provided comment for sites such as the BBC and the Guardian. In his spare time he enjoys mixing vinyl and cycling.

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Best 50-inch TVs in 2021

The best 50-inch TVs give you a full featured smart TV and 4K resolution, but just a smidge smaller than the more popular 55-inch models out there. Which means that when you want a 4K smart TV, but find that a 55-incher might be too big or a little too expensive, you can get the right size without compromising on quality or features. From smart home compatibility and streaming services to high-dynamic range (HDR) and 4K resolution, you can get big quality in a 50-inch TV.

Our guide, What size TV should you buy? shows that a 50-inch TV is best for viewing when you’re sitting about four feet from the unit. That makes them a great match for a bedroom or small apartment.

Going with a 50-inch TV means you may miss out on some higher-end features, which are generally found in 55-inch and bigger TVs. But you will be able to save a few dollars versus the bigger sets that you’ll find.

Best 50-inch TV Black Friday deals

Black Friday deals are on the way, and there's already a solid array of discounts available. Be sure to check out our Black Friday TV deals page for all the latest sales to make sure you get a great TV in time for the holiday season. 

What are the best 50-inch TVs?

We don’t usually test 50-inch TVs specifically, but more often focus on the 55- and 65-inch versions that have the same features and performance. When a manufacturer makes a great 55- or 65-inch TV, we expect the smaller model will be just as good, so we've based our picks for 50-inch TVs on our experience with the larger versions. 

Our top 50-inch TV pick is the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV, which features an impressive set of features and performance to match. With its crisp and vivid Neo QLED screen that combines quantum dot color with mini-LED backlighting, there’s no other 50-inch TV that comes close. And the premium smart functions and gaming features are some of the best in the business. But you’ll pay for the privilege of the experience, with this set costing twice as much as many other 50-inch TVs.

If you’re on a stricter budget, check out the TCL 5-Series Roku TV (50S535). It offers QLED quality for less, and pairs it with the reliable Roku TV interface for a wealth of apps and content options. Gamers will love it, too, thanks to it's speed 13.1-millisecond lag time and HDMI 2.1 support to handle the latest game consoles.

The best 50-inch TVs in 2021

1. Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV (QN50QN90AAFXZA)

A premium QLED in the size you want


Screen size: 50 inches

Screen type: Neo QLED

Refresh rate: 120Hz

HDMI ports: 4 (1 ARC, 1 HDMI 2.1)

Size: 43.9 x 25.4 x 1.1 inches

Weight: 30.9 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Beautiful, thin design+Neo QLED delivers incredible brightness+Impressive anti-glare abilities+New solar-chargeable remote

Reasons to avoid

-Visible blooming at times-Just one HDMI 2.1 port-No Dolby Vision support

The Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV combines Samsung's highly refined quantum dot technology with the tight control of mini-LED backlighting, resulting in one of the best TV displays you'll ever see. Brilliant color and unmatched brightness make for superb performance, and Samsung pairs that with a bounty of smart TV functions and genuinely intelligent features, like a solar-powered remote control that eliminates the need to swap out batteries – delivering eco-friendly design and unbeaten convenience at the same time.

The whole thing is packed into a gorgeous 1-inch-thick design that contains a huge array of smart features, potent Dolby Atmos sound and some of the best performance we've ever seen. HDMI 2.1 connectivity comes standard, along with gamer-friendly features and impressive 12.6-millisecond lag time for an unparalleled gaming experience. It's the best 50-inch TV we've seen this year, and the winner of the 2021 Tom's Guide Award for Best TV, and a second award as the best gaming TV of the year.

Read our full Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV review.

2. TCL 5-Series Roku TV (50S535)

An affordable 50-inch QLED TV


Screen size: 50 inches

Screen Type: LCD with Quantum dot

Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

HDMI ports: 4 HDMI 2.1

Size: 43.9 x 25.2 x 3.0 inches

Weight: 26 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Faithful colors+Built-in Roku smarts+Excellent price

Reasons to avoid

-Mediocre sound-Modest brightness

The TCL 5 Series Roku TV does what TCL does best, delivering a surprisingly great mix of features and performance at an excellent affordable price. With the 50-inch model selling for less than $500, you get the superb color and brightness of QLED, as well as Roku's user-friendly smart TV interface, which puts thousands of apps right at your fingertips.

In addition to the excellent color accuracy and full color gamut offered by the QLED display, it offers top-of-the-line HDR support, with Dolby Vision in addition to basic HDR10 and HLG formats. With input lag clocking in at 13.1 milliseconds, it's also one of the best affordable gaming TVs you can buy. And it's roughly half the price of Samsung's equivalent QLED TV, making it one of the best values in smart TVs.

Read our full TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S535) review. 

3. Hisense H8G Quantum Series (50H8G)

A great value 50-inch TV


Screen size: 50 inches

Screen type: LCD with quantum dots

Refresh rate: 60Hz

HDMI ports: 4 (1 ARC)

Size: 43.8 x 25.4 x 3.1 inches

Weight: 28.2 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Great overall value+Accurate picture+Deep Google Assistant and Google Home integration

Reasons to avoid

-Remote isn’t backlit-Feet feel flimsy-Struggles with face-paced sequences

The Hisense H8G Quantum Series is neck-and-neck with Vizio’s M-Series Quantum when it comes to the best value in a 50-inch TV. Like the M-Series, the H8G employs quantum dot technology to boost color performance. This slick-looking set benefits from a full-array local dimming backlight, which helps it contrast. 

The H8G is bright and sharp overall, and it’s low lag time could make it a better affordable choice for gamers than the M-Series. We did see some issues with blurring during fast motion scenes, likely a result of the 60Hz refresh rate. While it’s color reproduction wasn’t as good as the M-Series, it was still respectable. Its implementation of Android TV is one of the best we’ve used and almost any app you could want is available. You can also send content from your mobile device to the TV via Chromecast. Whether you pick the Vizio M-Series or the Hisense H8G, you’ll get a lot for your money. 

Read our full Hisense H8G Quantum Series review

4. Toshiba C350 Fire TV (2021 model)

The best Amazon-powered smart TV


Screen Type: LCD

Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10

HDMI ports: 4 HDMI (1 ARC)

Size: 44 x 25.4 x 2.9 inches

Weight: 21.6 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Responsive Fire TV+Good color in standard mode+Low lag time

Reasons to avoid

-Flat HDR-Inconsistent backlighting

The Toshiba C350 Fire TV is the 2021 addition to the small family of Amazon-powered smart TVs, offering good features and decent performance for its extremely affordable price. It's a decent example of the Fire TV template, combining good-enough 4K picture quality, impressively short lag times, and Amazon's great Fire TV smart features, like built-in Alexa voice control, a pretty big app store and (of course) an interface that puts Amazon's Prime Video service front and center. With the 50-inch model selling for under $400 (and likely much less during sales events), it's one of the smartest affordable TVs you can get.

The C350 doesn’t come with the latest bells and whistles, such as HDMI 2.1 or Dolby Atmos support, but it does Dolby Vision and HDR10 — though not very well. But with excellent color accuracy, low lag time and a good looking design, it's still a solid TV for the price, and better than many Fire TV models we've seen in the past.

Read our full Toshiba C350 Fire TV review.

5. TCL 4-Series Roku TV (50S435)

A solid 50-inch 4K smart TV


Screen size: 50 inches

Screen Type: LED

Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

HDMI ports: 3 HDMI 2.1 (1 ARC)

Size: 44.2 x 25.8 x 3.3 inches

Weight: 21.4 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Excellent value-priced 4K+Good color fidelity+Solid Roku skills

Reasons to avoid

-No Dolby Vision support-Minimal sound adjustments-Picture adjustments are difficult to find

The TCL 4 Series Roku TV 50S435 is one of the best TV values you'll find in any size. It has good color accuracy and supports HDR10 — but not Dolby Vision — for improved contrast. It uses Roku’s system software, which provides one of the best smart TV experiences available and has plenty of apps to choose from. With a low lag time of 14 milliseconds, this set also will handle fast-paced gaming well. The best part? This 4K TV often sells for less than you’ll find bargain 1080p TVs.

In exchange for the great price, the TCL 4 Series is missing a few features that more expensive TVs deliver. It lacks local dimming, so the HDR performance isn’t as good as it could be. It also has weak speakers, with little bass and limited power. If this is going to be your main TV, consider adding a soundbar to overcome the sound issues.

Read our full TCL 4-Series Roku TV (S435) review.  

6. Vizio V-Series V505-H19

Our favorite affordable Vizio set


Screen size: 50 inches

Screen type: LCD

Refresh rate: 60Hz

HDMI ports: 3 (1 ARC)

Size: 44.1 x 25.6 x 2.42 inches

Weight: 21.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

+Super affordable price+Good connectivity+Good response for gamers

Reasons to avoid

-Low brightness-Weak audio

If low prices are what you're after, then the Vizio V-Series V505-H19 might be just the budget-friendly 4K smart TV you're looking for. With exceptional affordability, decent smarts from Vizio's SmartCast software and great gaming capabilities, it's a fantastic bargain, even when it's not on sale – and it frequently is, with steep discounts occurring throughout the year.

A trio of HDMI 2.1 ports deliver gaming-friendly features like auto low latency mode and impressively short lag times of just 13.1 milliseconds. If you want great gaming performance for less, this is definitely the budget gaming TV to get. But keep in mind that this is a 60Hz display, so variable refresh rates and high refresh rates are off the table. And general performance is decent enough, but the brightness isn't great and the audio would benefit from adding a soundbar.

Read our full Vizio V-Series (2020 model) review.

How to choose the best 50-inch TVs for you

When looking for a 50-inch TV, follow our TV Buying Guide tips. If you put some thought into what you need from a TV, you’ll be able to enjoy your purchase for years to come. 

Size: First, decide if you’re locked into a 50-inch model. If your space will allow for a larger unit, we recommend you go bigger — even if you think you’ll be happy with a smaller screen, a bigger one helps make the experience of watching more engaging. And moving up to a 55-inch TV will bring more options and features.

Price: Expect to pay around $300 for most 50-inch TVs, although those with better features or an established brand name can cost $500 or more. 

Features: Consider which ports you need and how many. The number of HDMI ports you need depends on how many devices you plan to plug in — a streaming stick, game console or cable box, for example. Most of these TVs have four HDMI inputs, but some have three. If you plan to use a sound bar, you may need an optical digital audio or a 3.5 mm auxiliary output. You may also want a TV that supports Bluetooth so you can listen on your headphones without disturbing people around you.

If you've narrowed down your TV shopping by brand, price range or screen size, check out our picks for the best TVs in each.

Best TVs | Best 4K TVs | Best smart TVs for streaming | Best TVs for gaming

The best TVs under $1000 | The best TVs under $500

Best TV brands | Best Samsung TVs | Best TCL TVs | Best LG TVs | Best Roku TVs | Best OLED TVs | Best QLED TVs | Best 8K TVs

The smallest smart TVs | Best 43-inch TVs | Best 55-inch TVs | Best 65-inch TVs | Best 70-inch TVs | Best 75-inch TVs | Best 85-inch TVs

And don't forget to watch out for the latest TV reviews.

How we test 50-inch TVs

Testing the best 50-inch TVs is a thorough process. We put every TV through our custom set of lab tests, measuring color gamut, color accuracy and brightness to objectively see which sets are the best for these key indicators. We also test for lag time, measuring to the millisecond how long it takes for content to travel from the original video source to the screen. We use these results to make numbers-based comparisons about color and display quality.

We spend hours with each set to see how our lab results translate into anecdotal performance. We also compare competing sets using a range of content across several sources. With that information, we can tell you which TVs look best, sound best and offer the best viewing experience.

Of course, we also consider the smart TV functions and apps for each TV, looking at everything from the remote control design to the voice interaction. 

Michael Gowan covers soundbars, TVs, portable speakers and other audio- and video-related topics for Tom’s Guide. He’s written about music and technology for more than 20 years for a raft of publications including Wired, Men’s Journal, PC World and Macworld. When he’s not reviewing speakers, he’s probably listening to one anyway. 

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