The best 48-inch to 50-inch TVs are the perfect size for your home cinema setting. You’ll be surprised at how these TVs can fit into most average sized homes without looking to chunky. Typically they'll cost less than the best 55-inch TVs too!
These 48, 49, and 50-inch TV options provide a lot more screen surface area than the best 43-inch TVs, so will hit the ideal sweet spot for many buyers. There's all kinds of quality in this list, too, from the best OLED TVs to some of the more premium best TVs in small form-factor.
And if gaming is your thing, then these 48-inch and 50-inch TVs give you some great features, but to be more specific, check out our guide to the best gaming TVs too, if that's something that matters to you.
Best 48, 49, 50-inch TVs 2023: Top 3
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The best 48-inch TV for most people is the LG OLED C2. This OLED delivers stunning images, and while it's less bright at 48-inch than its larger panels, it's an ideal option if you want quality.
The best premium 48-inch TV is the Sony A90K. Sony's premium OLED only comes in 42- and 48-inch sizes, designed for AV nerds who want the best possible image quality at such a scale.
The best affordable 50-inch TV is the Hisense A7H. Looking to spend less? Hisense's A7G and A7H models bring 50-inch scale without the big price tag, and perform well too.
The LG C2 is the TV that keeps on giving: it appears in all manner of best-of guides because it's a great OLED panel, it's great for gaming (thanks to HDMI 2.1) too, and cinema fans love it for the super quality. It's also available in this 48-inch size, delivering for a whole other market who aren't after a massive panel.
As said in our LG OLED C2 review: "this is the best OLED TV for most people". LG is the king of all OLED (literally, it makes the panels for other brands) and so knows exactly what it's doing when it comes to delivering top-tier quality. It's less bright than the larger options also available in the range, and if you can find an LG A2 for less then that's also worth considering.
If you're a cinema superfan and want the best possible image quality, but at a not-giant scale, then Sony has a refreshing tonic for your consideration, as its X90K OLED TV only comes in 42-inch and 48-inch formats. Its target is clear: to deliver the best quality from a smaller TV panel.
It's not cheap though, which may be a hurdle for some. As we said in our A90K review: "you have to get beyond the asking price... when you do, you’re left with a tiny OLED TV that’s capable of big image quality." It's also adept for gamers, thanks to four HDMI 2.1 ports, whereas most competitors only offer two with that spec.
If you want a modest panel at a modest price then Hisense has a great LCD option. As said in our review: "the Hisense A7G is a 4K QLED TV that goes above and beyond its mid-range price tag."
There are some compromises, of course, such as the HDMI ports only being 2.0 designation, meaning no top-tier gaming features (no 120Hz, no VRR, no ALLM). But for 4K viewing of TV and movies that's no problem at all, plus there's HDMI eARC for audio passthrough should you want to add one of the best soundbars to beef audio up.
Best 48, 49 and 50-inch TVs: Best of the rest
Philips' OLED TVs never fail to impress thanks to Ambilight, whereby the picture is 'projected' in real-time beyond the TV's frame. That's what makes the Philips 907 so special, plus it sounds way better than many of its competitors, which is why its asking price begins to seem all the more reasonable.
As said in our Philips 907 review: "it doesn’t look any kind of bargain on paper, but once you realise there’s no need for further spending on a soundbar the Philips OLED 907 starts to seem better value. Then you see the picture quality of which it’s capable, and add in the unique effect of its three-sided Ambilight, and the price suddenly seems absolutely fair enough. This is a TV superstar."
If the Hisense further up page doesn't take your fancy then one of the best budget Samsung TVs is this one. As said in our Samsung BU8500 review: "Samsung has an ability to hit a price point without compromising all that obviously or in too many areas. It's good quality and good value if you don't want to fork out masses of cash on a top-tier telly.
No, you don't get top-tier gaming features and, no, you won't get OLED levels of precision from this LCD panel. But even so, what's so impressive about the BU8500 is just how mild its shortcomings are by comparison. There are lots of size options for low prices, too, so if you were to consider something larger than 50-inch but still for under £1000 then Samsung has got your back.
As said in our review: the Samsung Q80B is an impressive option if your budget won’t stretch to Samsung’s higher-numbered Neo QLED Mini LED models. The Q80B's vibrant picture performance is easy to like, there’s high frame rate gaming support, plus a solid smart platform with plenty of streaming options.
So what's the downside? Samsung doesn't support Dolby Vision, and in this Q80B model you're going to get some backlight blooming because it's not got as many dimming zones as the higher-end models in Samsung's range. No biggie, though, as it's well balanced for picture quality to asking price.
When we reviewed the Panasonic LZ980 in its smaller 42-inch format, we didn't think it was much to look at, as it's a bit overly thick for a small TV, but its images are "extraordinarily accomplished and enjoyable watch." There's a full raft of HDR support, plus gamers will be content with the HDMI 2.1 ports to enable faster refresh rates.
Panasonic is sometimes seen as the underdog, as it doesn't release commercial TVs in the USA, but it makes really great options for the UK market. So if you're looking for an OLED option that delivers big on image quality, and find it at the right price, then this is a very safe option indeed. It sounds a bit wheezy, though, so consider adding a decent soundbar too.
If you want something innocuous that you barely even notice as a TV then Samsung's The Frame is a superb option because 1. it displays art when it's 'off' and 2. its minimal reflection panel is so convincing that you'll think you're looking at actual paintings, not a television.
That matte screen does mean less pop for movies and such like, plus there's nothing here for gamers given the lower refresh rate and HDMI 2.0 type, but for TV and streaming you're not going to notice that at all.
As we said in our The Frame review: "even when it's switched off it will add life to your living room by displaying your favourite artworks or family photos. While the sound won't knock you off your feet, the picture is something to behold and there are loads of other useful features to discover as well."
Best 50-inch TV: Is this the right size for you?
While 43 inches remains the most popular screen size, a 50-inch 4K TV is perfect for today’s living spaces if you want a big upgrade to your visual oomph. As homes have gone more open-plan, so the demand for a bigger screen you can see from a greater distance has increased. In general, a 48- to 50-inch Smart TV can be viewed well from 10 feet away or more, though if you're a little close, you'll get a a good eyeful of that 4K detail.
Best 50-inch TV: What to look for
At this screen size you should be looking for 50-inch LCD TVs that are fully-specified. That means you can expect a direct LED backlight and local dimming in higher-end models, which will give you more vibrant colours and brighter highlights plus greater contrast for dark scenes in moves.
To really elevate those parts of movies, you'll also want extensive HDR format support – particularly Dolby Vision and HDR10+ where possible (though most TVs will limit you to one or the other).
Here in 2021, we're also looking for AI-enhanced image processing, which improves the ability to upscale from SD or HD to fill the 4K screen. And we expect Dolby Atmos support, comprehensive smart systems, and additional gaming features from more expensive sets.