The best 55-inch TVs 2022 for all budgets, with OLED and QLED TVs

The best 55-inch TVs bring top-quality panels and processing tech, but at a not-outrageous size

Included in this guide:

The best 55-inch TVs 2022, image shows Panasonic JZ2000 in a living room
(Image credit: Panasonic)

The best 55-inch TVs are massively popular because they give you a rich, all-encompassing TV experience, but you don't require an absolutely massive room to make the most of them. They also tend to be the smallest size where the truly elite TV technology becomes available, though there are also plenty of more affordable models instead.

The best 55-inch TVs are unquestionably cinematic, offering not just a pretty big amount of screen real estate to view, but also brighter and more carefully controlled images to view on the it. When it comes to TVs, bigger tends to undoubtedly better – as long as you've got the space.

Many of the elite models in our list of the best TVs overall include 55-inch options, and for years this was the only size you could get the best OLED TVs in, though you can now find OLED models in our list of the best 48- to 50-inch TVs.

However it isn’t all about 55-inch OLED TVs, with some fantastic 55-inch LCD TVs also available, including the popular QLED TV options from Samsung. Whatever price bracket you're aiming at, or quality level you want to hit, there's a 55-inch TV for you.

And do you want to know the best part? There's never been a better time to buy with the best Black Friday deals making it more affordable than ever to take home that quality screen you've been coveting. Keep your eyes peeled on our live prices below that are always bringing you the lowest prices available on any given day and treat yourself to a little something special as we head into the holiday season. Go on, you deserve it! 

Best 55-inch TV: Is this the right size for you?

A 55-inch TV may initially sound too big, but once you consider recent tech and design trends, you might change your mind. For a start modern TVs are much thinner, and not just the OLEDs. 

A 55-inch HDR TV will only be 2 or 3cm deep, and minimalist designs, shrinking bezels and hidden speakers mean both OLED and LCD TVs are primarily a screen with no extraneous design features, and less thick edges. As a result you may be able to fit a 55-inch 4K TV into a space previously occupied by a smaller but older model.

For small living rooms, 55 inches will likely be the upper limit of what will fit, and it is worth taking some measurements to be sure. But it can give you an epic cinema screen feel if you're sitting around 10 feet away.

In larger living rooms, where you may be sitting further away, it's basically the standard size you should be aiming for if you're sitting around 14 feet from the screen. Any more than that, and you should take a look at the best 65-inch TVs, though these do come with a price hike (and, of course, are notably bigger).

Best 55-inch TV: What to look for

The top-quality 55-inch 4K TV market is dominated by OLEDs and high-end QLED TVs (or equivalent LCD technology). As a result, you can expect the LCD screens to use a direct LED backlight with local dimming, which help them get closer to the deep black range that OLED offers.

If you go down the price ladder, you'll lose the OLED panels, and the LCD panels will become simpler, with fewer dimming zones in the backlight, before moving to edge-lit LED panels as you go more budget. These will still offer strong brightness and colours, but won't be as capable when it comes to dark scenes.

Both TV techs will offer extensive HDR support and AI-enhanced image processing on fancier models. You might also be looking for higher-end sound systems (though with more budget models, you'll still want to add one of the best soundbars), comprehensive smart systems, and plenty of cool gaming features – many of the best gaming TVs come in this size.

Best 55-inch TV: the list

Philips OLED+936 on white background, which Ambilight glowing behind the TV

(Image credit: Philips/TP Vision)

1. Philips 55OLED936

The best OLED TV for most people

Specifications
Screen size: 55 inches
Other sizes available: 48 and 65 inches
Dimensions: 1228 x 806 x 266mm
Reasons to buy
+Outstanding picture quality+High performance Dolby Atmos speakers+Anti-burn-in technology+HDMI 2.1
Reasons to avoid
-Average input lag for gaming

In our Philips OLED+936 review, we said: "Our Philips OLED+936 TV review in a nutshell: jaw dropping!" The successor to last season's OLED+935 improves on virtually everything its predecessor offered, making an already good TV great. 

In addition to its spectacular new generation OLED panel, the Philips comes with a soundbar-esque speaker system attached, a dual-chip image processor with clever measures to reduce screen burn and very impressive Dolby Atmos via high quality Bowers & Wilkins speakers.

The next-gen OLED panel in this 55 and the 65-inch model means it's brighter than previous Philips TVs, and is a real rival to the Panasonic JZ2000 or Sony A90J – but it costs much less than either, and it even beats the LG G1 on price, And that doesn't come with a elite sound system like the OLED+936 does.

 In addition to Dolby Vision, there’s HDR10+ Adaptive, HLG, regular HDR10 and game specific HGiG HDR. Sony and LG don't offer support this broad, and neither does Samsung on its QLED TVs.

There are twin HDMI 2.1 ports, which is good news for gamers. The Philips supports Variable Refresh Rate (including Nvidia G-Sync and FreeSync Premium), 4K 120Hz and Auto Low Latency Mode. Lag isn't class-leading – Philips says 10ms but we measured 21 – but it's fine for all but the very fastest games.

Picture quality is exceptional, and the built-in Ambilight offers Hue-style lighting that reacts to whatever's on screen. Ambilight is the kind of thing that sounds okay when you read about it, but looks amazing when you actually experience it in your home. 

Every TV here is exceptional, but right now this is the OLED TV we'd buy.

Sony XR-55A90J

(Image credit: Sony)

2. Sony XR-55A90J

One of the best 55-inch TVs you can buy right now

Reasons to buy
+Astonishing picture quality+Impressive sound+Excellent motion handling
Reasons to avoid
-No VRR yet-Missing UK apps

It's hardly cheap, but the Sony XR-55A90J is an astonishing OLED TV. It delivers the kind of picture quality we expect from Sony's highest-end models but also improves the user experience to bring it closer to the likes of LG when it comes to features and usability.

The key here is the new Cognitive Processor XR, which adds clever intelligence to Sony's previous X1 picture processor. It uses real-time analysis of the sound and picture to enhance both, delivering visuals that are closer to the way we see the world than other TVs can offer. The OLED panel is brighter than before, and the screen uses Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology to vibrate the screen and deliver positional audio. There are also twin woofers for low-end thump.

If you love Sony picture quality but don't love Android TV, you'll like the Google TV OS here: it's much faster, much easier and much better, although the personalisation is fairly limited: it'll suggest shows from Disney+, Apple TV and Prime Video but not Netflix or Sony's own Bravia Core streaming service, which offers free streaming of movies including IMAX Enhanced content if your broadband is fast enough.

The Sony XR-55A90J is a stunning TV, but there are some minor niggles and one major one. The major one is that right now, UK users don't have Youview, which means there's no BBC iPlayer, All 4, My5 or the ITV Hub. They were promised "later in 2021" back in May, and there's not much of 2021 left. 

In addition to the usual HDMI, USB, aerial and satellite sockets there are also speaker terminals, because this TV can be the centre speaker in a surround sound setup. Two of the USBs are HDMI 2.1, and annoyingly one of them is the eARC one – so if you're intending to connect your TV to your sound system, you're down to a single 2.1 HDMI. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but if you plan to have this TV for a long time it may limit what you can add in the years to come.

If you're a serious gamer you need to know that at the moment, this set doesn't support variable refresh rates (VRR), which Xbox and PC gamers can use on rival sets (the PS5 doesn't support VRR yet either). It does run at 4K/120Hz, although if you also want Dolby Vision gaming you'll need to switch into Enhanced Format mode and then switch back when you're done.

LG OLED55C1

(Image credit: LG)

3. LG OLED55C1

The best 55-inch OLED TV for most people

Reasons to buy
+Excellent picture quality+Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos+Awesome smart platform
Reasons to avoid
-No HDR10+ support-Middling sound

The LG C1 is the best 55-inch OLED TV for most people, coming in at around half the price of the Panasonic JZ2000, but still delivering superb image quality. It delivers the gorgeous colours and perfect blacks that are the hallmarks of OLED, but also boasts just about every conceivable smart feature, including best-in-class gaming support.

It also uses LG’s AI-enhanced processing to deliver remarkably clean and detailed upscaled images. This impressive 55-inch 4K TV can produce stunning images with both SDR and HDR content. In the case of the latter it also supports HLG and Dolby Vision, with only a lack of HDR10+ to disappoint.

The C1 includes fully four HDMI 2.1 inputs that include support for eARC, 4K at 120fps, variable refresh rates and auto low-latency mode, which is incredibly rare at this price – most similar TVs will have two such inputs at most. You also get incredibly low input lag time, which is great for gaming, while the option to add souped-up sound system with Dolby Atmos immersive audio over eARC is really welcome, since the built-in speaker are pretty pedestrian. 

However it’s the webOS smart system that’s the cherry on top: it’s responsive and intuitive, with built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Throw in a comprehensive set of video streamers, and the LG C1 is hard to fault – it's one of the best TVs in the world for its price.

Sony 55X90J

(Image credit: Sony)

4. Sony 55X90J

The best mid-range 55-inch TV for sports and upscaling

Reasons to buy
+Dolby Vision and Atmos+Good smart TV platform+4K 120Hz support
Reasons to avoid
-No Variable Refresh Rate for gamers-Some glare-Average audio

The Sony X90J is the 'sweet spot' TV for the company in 2021, boasts a host of high-end image enhancing features designed to deliver a superior picture performance, just without the very highest-end panel technology, delivering a great price balance overall. There a direct full-array LED backlight and local dimming, which results in really strong HDR colours, wider viewing angles, deeper blacks, improved shadows, and increased brightness. 

That's powered by Sony's Bravia XR 'Cognitive' processing, which means the best-possible upscaling and motion handling – it makes less-than-4K video look pristine, and adds detail into fast-moving sport, without anything looking artificial. We really dig into all this in our full Sony X90J review, as you would expect.

The X90J supports Dolby Vision, although there’s no HDR10+, and it produces bright, detailed and colourful images with SDR and HDR. The twin HDMI 2.1 inputs are great news for gamers, though it's a shame that it lacks VRR at the moment – it's promised to come in an update in the future, but we've been waiting a long time for that. 

The Google TV software is really easy to use, and is really solid for streaming service support, meaning it's easy to watch your favourite stuff at the best image quality.

Panasonic JZ2000

(Image credit: Panasonic)

5. Panasonic JZ2000

The best 55-inch OLED TV for awesome cinematic pictures

Reasons to buy
+Bright, rich OLED pictures+Great Dolby Atmos audio+Dolby Vision & HDR10+
Reasons to avoid
-Very premium price

The Panasonic JZ2000 isn't like most OLED TVs: it has a special panel design that means it can go brighter, in exchange for being a bit thicker (but only the same size as your average LCD TV), but quite a lot more expensive.

The results speak for themselves, though – this offers the most refined, cinematic pictures we've ever seen, thanks to a combination of OLED's incredible handling of contrast and HDR, with Panasonic's tuning of the sets pictures in conjunction with professional Hollywood colourists, so it's as close to what they use when making the movies as possible.

For movie fans, this is as good as it gets in 4K TVs, in our opinion. It's a smash for TV too, thanks to excellent upscaling and processing, so everything you watch makes the most of its panel. It even has support for great new gaming features, such as 4K 120Hz.

As an added bonus, there's a built-in Dolby Atmos sound system, including forward-firing speakers under the screen, and upfiring speakers on top for real height. Of course, most people spending this money on a TV will probably get a dedicated sound system, but this does give you the option of saving your money.

Sky Glass in blue on white background

(Image credit: Sky)

6. Sky Glass

The best 55-inch TV for streaming

Reasons to buy
+Incredibly easy to set up and use+Sky TV is built-in+Voice control
Reasons to avoid
-You need reliable internet -Subscription costs will add up 

While its screen tech won’t compete with some of the priciest options on this list, the Sky Glass is a 4K QLED TV with a decent 55-inch display and it packs in a powerful soundbar with Dolby Atmos surround sound support. 

If that isn’t enough to convince you, then the best part about it is that you get everything Sky has to offer built-in when you pay the monthly subscription fees. You’ll be able to flick through Live TV, watch original Sky content and access all of the other satellite channels without hooking up a separate box or streaming stick. There’s just one wire to get it all up and running so you’ll be saving on space and cable mess.

You don’t need a satellite dish for it to work either because it relies entirely on an internet connection. In the Sky Glass review, you can see that the only major downside is that you do need to have decent broadband at home, if not then you’ll be better off sticking to a TV paired with the Sky Q box instead. 

There are plenty of other smarts as well including voice control as well as recommendations tailored to you from across all of the TV you have access to including streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix. 

Samsung QN85A

(Image credit: Samsung)

7. Samsung QN85A

The best QLED 55-inch TV for the price, made for stunning HDR

Reasons to buy
+Superb HDR performance+Comprehensive smart platform+Excellent gaming features
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision or Atmos

The Samsung QN85A is the company’s most affordable model with its next-gen Mini-LED technology in, known as 'Neo QLED'. A direct backlight with many more lights in than before, and more precise local dimming, ensures a picture with 100% colour volume, deep blacks, added shadow detail and levels of brightness that even the best OLED TVs can't match.

This gives it stunningly vibrant HDR images (and is useful in brighter rooms, since it means sunlight won't wash out the image as much), and while it still doesn't handle deep blacks as well as OLED does, it's closer than you might think, and for a great price. Our full Samsung QN85A review talks more about where the picture quality excels, and where it falls back compared to higher-priced sets.

The AI-enhanced Quantum Processor also delivers a superior picture with SDR and HDR sources, with the latter looking particularly impressive. There’s support for HDR10+, and about the only complaint regarding this TV is the lack of Dolby Vision.

The QN85A doesn’t support Dolby Atmos either, but it can send the immersive audio format from its built-in apps via eARC. And there’s a lot of apps, with video streaming from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Apple TV+, Disney+, and the UK catch-up services. There’s also a handy Universal Guide to help you make sense of all this choice. 

Other useful features include easy setup using the SmartThings app, and the ability to work with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The QN85A is also a great 55-inch 4K TV for gamers, with a very low input lag and support for 4K at 120Hz, variable refresh rate, and auto low latency mode.

Samsung AU9000 best 55 inch TVs 2021

(Image credit: Samsung)

8. Samsung 55AU9000

The best cheap OLED 55-inch TV

Reasons to buy
+Great picture from HD sources+Superb Tizen interface+Super-slim frame
Reasons to avoid
-Weedy audio

If you want a brilliant budget TV buy, this is the one to go for: as our Samsung AU9000 review puts it, this is "a high-achieving affordable TV. For most people... this could be all the television they'll ever need." Provided you have a soundbar or plan to invest in one of the best soundbars, that is: Samsung has focused on picture quality here and the audio from its built-in speakers isn't brilliant.

Let's take the soundbar for granted and concentrate on what's good here, because there's a lot to like. There's HDR10+ Advanced HDR, the latest version of Samsung's superb TIzen interface, fantastic image quality and really good upscaling from Full HD to 4K. Upscaling from SD isn't so successful but it's still quite good.

There are three HDMI ports including an eARC one for your soundbar, and there' are also Ethernet, an aerial post, twin USB 2.0 and a CI card slot. Dual-band Wi-Fi delivers smooth streaming and there's Bluetooth 5.2 too. The HDMI sockets aren't HDMI 2.1 but the Samsung does have gamer-friendly features including 32:9 resolution for PC gamers, Auto Low Latency Mode and AMD FreeSync.

The AU9000 is a really great TV with satisfying and convincing visuals, one of the best smart TVs around and really great picture quality. It's an excellent all-rounder.

Hisense R55B7120UK

(Image credit: Hisense)

9. Hisense R55B7120UK

The best cheap 55-inch TV

Reasons to buy
+Excellent software and apps+Strong image quality and upscaling+Incredible value
Reasons to avoid
-Dark details and motion handling-No Dolby Vision or HDR10+

This Hisense TV offers truly impressive image quality for its price, but what really puts it over the competition is having Roku's excellent and user-friendly smart platform built in, giving you a fantastic range of streaming services.

Obviously, a budget TV isn't going to compete with the high-end models here for overall image quality, but it gets all the important things right, including strong upscaling from HD to 4K, which is great given how much of what we watch isn't natively Ultra HD yet.

The picture is well-balanced overall, giving you natural and pleasing images – they're just not as bright as more expensive sets, or quite as convincing with black levels. But as we said, for this price, we're more than happy with what it delivers.

For those looking for a nice big screen, easily understood software for finding things to watch, and a low price, this is just about unbeatable. Read our full Hisense R55B7120UK review for more.

Stephen Withers
Stephen Withers

Steve Withers is a professional calibrator and freelance journalist who regularly contributes to T3, reviewing audio and video products, and writing articles. Steve has been writing about audio and video products for over ten years and, along with T3, he also contributes to TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Expert Reviews, AVForums, Pocket-lint, Home Cinema Choice, and Wired. Steve is Level 2 certified with THX, the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and the Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). As such, he remains abreast of all AV technology developments and the latest industry standards as we transition into a new era in home video and audio.