The Best 48-49-50-inch TVs (2021 Reviews)

Need a new 48-inch, 49-inch, or 50-inch TV? We've done all the heavy research in order to present you with the best 48", 49", and 50" TVs right now.

Whether you’ve got limited space in your room or simply don’t want a TV larger than 50″ – you’ll find the best 48″, 49″, and 50″ TVs right here, as well as everything you need to know about them!

TVPanelPeak BrightnessContrast Ratio 
VA2006000:1
VA5506500:1
IPS5501500:1
VA180026500:1
OLED800Infinite
budget pick

TCL 50S435

TCL S435 TV
  • Affordable
  • High contrast ratio
  • Low input lag
best value

Vizio M50Q7-J01

Vizio MQ7 2021 TV
  • High contrast ratio with local dimming
  • Decent peak brightness, wide color gamut
  • Low input lag and decent response time speed
premium pick

LG OLED48C1

LG OLED48C1
  • Infinite contrast ratio, high peak brightness
  • Wide color gamut, low input lag, quick response time
  • HDMI 2.1 with 4K 120Hz support

As you can see, you have quite a selection when it comes to ~50″ sized TVs, so be sure to check out the reviews below in order to ensure you’re getting the best one for you!

The models we selected offer the best value for the money in their categories, so it’s worth checking out the ‘Alternatives’ sections as well, depending on availability and region. We’ll also mention if there are any upcoming TVs worth keeping an eye on.

If you want to view our changelogs for this particular buying guide, you can do so at the end of this article.

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio
  • Low input lag and decent response time speed
  • Affordable

The Cons:

  • Low peak brightness
  • Minor ghosting behind fast-moving objects, mostly visible in darker scenes

About The TV

It seems impossible for us to write a TV buyer’s guide and not include TCL’s S435 series TVs, but that’s only because they offer such excellent image quality and smooth gaming performance at an affordable price!

Image Quality

The TCL 50S435 offers a high static contrast ratio of 6,000:1, which makes for deep and inky blacks resulting in vivid details in shadows of the picture.

Peak brightness, on the other hand, is not as impressive at measly 200-nits, but the TV can still get decently bright under normal lighting conditions.

It’s also hard to find a notably brighter TV at this price range, so if you plan on watching the TV in a particularly bright room with plenty of windows and sunlight, you should consider investing in a more expensive TV.

As expected from a budget TV, it covers ~80% of the DCI-P3 color space. So, colors will still be rich and vivid, but not quite as vibrant as that of the more expensive models with 90% or close to 100% DCI-P3 gamut coverage.

The TCL S435 supports HDR10 (High Dynamic Range), but due to its low peak brightness and lack of local dimming, among other things, HDR content won’t look particularly great – again, as is expected from a budget TV.

Features

Besides the exceptional contrast ratio for the price, the TV also offers impressive input lag and response time performance.

Input lag is the measured delay between your actions and the result on the TV; at just ~13ms of lag, you won’t be able to feel or notice any delays while gaming!

At 1080p, input lag is noticeably higher (~30ms), so we don’t recommend this TV for gaming consoles that run natively at that resolution (PS4, Xbox One, etc.).

Further, the pixel response time speed of around 18ms is sufficient to eliminate most trailing behind fast-moving objects, but since pixels take a bit longer to change from really dark into bright pixels, some smearing in dark scenes will be noticeable, but to a tolerable or even negligible degree, depending on how sensitive you are to it.

Just like most TVs, the TCL 50S435 uses PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) to regulate brightness below the maximum. At lower brightness settings, it introduces a 120Hz dimming frequency, which might bother some users sensitive to flickering after prolonged use.

The TV is based on Roku TV OS for smooth and simple navigation through the apps, it can remove 24p judder from DVDs and Blurays, and it supports 4:4:4 chroma for sharp text when connected to a PC.

Design & Connectivity

TCL S435 TV Design

The design of the TV is fairly slim, has thin bezels and 200x200mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include four HDMI 2.0 ports (HDMI4 with ARC for Dolby Digital and DTS audio passthrough), digital and analog audio ports, dual 8W integrated speakers, USB 2.0, composite-in, tuner, Ethernet and WiFi.

Alternatives

The TCL S425 line-up from 2019 has a bit faster response time speed (12ms) and low input lag at 1080p, but it’s hard to find it at a reasonable price. It also cannot remove 24p judder from native streaming apps.

  • Toshiba Fire 2020 (50LF621U21) – lower contrast ratio (4000:1), but higher brightness (350-nits) and faster response time (13ms). It cannot remove 24p judder from any source and has no 4:4:4 chroma support, so it’s a bad choice to be used as a PC monitor.

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio and local dimming
  • Decent peak brightness
  • Impressive color gamut
  • Low input lag and decent response time speed; AMD FreeSync
  • HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support

The Cons:

  • Minor ghosting behind fast-moving objects, mostly visible in darker scenes

About The TV

Now, if you want a bit better TV, the Vizio M50Q7-J01 is the best TV for ~$500!

Image Quality

Apart from the notably higher 550-nit peak brightness in comparison to the S435, the Vizio M7 Quantum TVs also offer an incredible 95% DCI-P3 gamut coverage for vibrant colors!

The contrast ratio is also higher at 6500:1 and the TV has local dimming with 30 zones. These zones can dim parts of the image that need to be dark, without greatly affecting the parts of the screen that should remain bright.

Since there are only 30 zones, it’s not particularly effective, but some scenes where dark and bright objects are far apart can look notably better. Other scenes can look worse, so you’ll have to choose whether to turn local dimming on or off, depending on content.

Additionally, the Vizio M50Q7-J01 supports all major HDR formats, including HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG.

Features

Gaming performance is also better than that of the TCL S435. You get imperceptibly low input lag of ~11ms, while the pixel response time speed is very good at ~12ms.

On top of that, the Vizio MQ7 TVs support AMD FreeSync, allowing you to synchronize refresh rate with frame rate for tear-free gameplay between 40 and 60FPS if you have a compatible Radeon graphics card or an Xbox console.

The TV uses PWM to regulate brightness, but at a high 480Hz frequency, which shouldn’t bother even those sensitive to flickering.

It’s based on SmartCast OS, supports 4:4:4 chroma, and can remove 24p judder from DVDs, Blurays, and native streaming applications. There’s also a BFI (Black Frame Insertion) feature available called ‘Clear Action.’

This technology inserts black frames between regular ones in order to reduce perceived motion blur, but sacrifices picture brightness in the process.

Design & Connectivity

VIzio M50Q7 J01 TV Design

The Vizio M7 Quantum 2021 boasts a modern and slim design with thin bezels and 200x200mm VESA compatibility.

Connectivity options include four HDMI 2.0 ports (HDMI1 with ARC/eARC for Dolby Digital/DTS and Dolby Atmos/DTS:X audio passthrough, respectively), USB 2.0, digital (optical) and analog (RCA) audio ports, dual 10W built-in speakers, composite-in, tuner, Ethernet, and WiFi.

Alternatives

If the Vizio M7Q is not available, check out the following models.

  • Vizio M7Q 2020 – a bit lower contrast ratio (5000:1) and brightness (500-nits), but a wider 99% DCI-P3 color gamut; hard to find at a reasonable price though
  • TCL 50S535 – higher contrast ratio (7500:1), a bit lower peak brightness (400-nits), can remove 24p judder from any source, but has no HDR10+ or FreeSync support
  • Hisense 50U6G – higher peak brightness (750-nits), but lower contrast ratio (5000:1) and no FreeSync

The Pros:

  • Wide viewing angles
  • High peak brightness
  • Wide color gamut
  • Low input lag and decent pixel response time speed
  • FreeSync + 120Hz support
  • HDMI 2.1

The Cons:

  • Low contrast ratio
  • Minor ghosting behind fast-moving objects, mostly visible in darker scenes

About The TV

If you want a TV with a native 120Hz refresh rate for a responsive gaming experience, the LG NANO85 is the only ~50″ model available around the $600 price point, with other models going for ~$1000.

Image Quality

The LG 49NANO85 has an IPS type panel, so it offers superior viewing angles to the VA counterparts, allowing you to watch the TV from basically any angle without the image degrading in quality.

For most people, viewing angles on VA panel displays aren’t an issue unless you have a lot of people in the room watching the TV at various angles.

The main downside of the IPS technology is the lower contrast ratio.

The NANO85 has a contrast ratio of around 1500:1, so blacks will appear somewhat grayish in dark or dim-lit rooms. Local dimming is supported, but as there are only several dimming zones, it’s not very effective.

The lack of contrast won’t be as evident in brighter rooms, which is where this TV excels, thanks to its high 550-nit peak brightness.

The TV also has a decent ~90% DCI-P3 gamut coverage; moreover, the colors are consistent and won’t shift in saturation when viewed at an angle.

Supported HDR formats include HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG.

Features

With a pixel response time speed of ~16ms, some trailing will be visible in fast-paced games, but to a tolerable degree.

Input lag, on the other hand, is imperceptible at ~16ms at 60Hz, and ~6ms at 120Hz. Thanks to its HDMI 2.1 support, the NANO85 supports up to 120Hz at 4K UHD resolution, making it a great pick for the Xbox One X/S and PS5, as well as PC gaming.

120Hz is also natively supported at both 1080p and 1440p, which is good news since most games are too demanding for a high frame rate at 4K, even with high-end hardware.

What’s more, the TV supports FreeSync and even though it’s not officially certified as ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ by NVIDIA, you can use it with HDMI 2.1 compatible graphics cards with a 48-120Hz VRR range.

In some cases, however, brightness flickering is noticeable when your frame rate fluctuates around 48FPS as LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) is triggered. The intensity of flickering varies across different units of the TV, and depends on the game.

The TV uses PWM dimming at 240Hz, which shouldn’t bother most users. It’s based on WebOS, supports 4:4:4 chroma, and can remove 24p judder from any source.

Both 30FPS and 60FPS framerate interpolation is supported for the soap opera effect, and there’s a BFI feature called TruMotion for less motion blur.

Design & Connectivity

LG 49NANO85 TV Back

The thin and modern design supports 200x200mm VESA mount compatibility, while connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports (HDMI3 with ARC/eARC for Dolby Digital/Atmos) and two HDMI 2.1 ports (HDMI3 and HDMI4).

Other inputs include three USB 2.0 ports, digital audio, two 10W built-in speakers, composite-in, tuner, Ethernet, and WiFi.

Alternatives

The LG 49NANO85 is the only ~50″ 120Hz TV you can get that does not go for ~$1000 or more. Samsung’s Q60R series at this price range, for instance, only offer 120Hz and FreeSync on 55″ or larger variants.

So, if you don’t like the LG 49NANO85 because of its IPS panel, you’ll have to either get a larger 120Hz TV or invest in one of the two TVs we’ll get into next.

The Pros:

  • Exceptional contrast ratio
  • Impressive peak brightness
  • Wide color gamut
  • Low input lag, fast response time speed
  • HDMI 2.1, 4K 120Hz support

The Cons:

  • Expensive

About The TV

The Samsung QN50QN90A is the best ~50″ LED-backlit TV you can buy!

Image Quality

The Samsung QN90A is by far the brightest TV in this list with a stellar 1800-nit peak brightness for incredibly vivid highlights of the HDR picture.

The contrast ratio is also impressive for a LED-backlit display at around 26,500:1 thanks to its Mini LED backlight and great local dimming algorithm, while the ~95% DCI-P3 gamut coverage ensures rich colors.

OLEDs still offer noticeably deeper blacks with no backlight bleeding or haloing, but they don’t get nearly as bright and suffer from the risk of burn-in.

Supported HDR formats include HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG.

Features

The Samsung QN90A TV also has a fast ~9ms pixel response time speed, which results in only minor and mostly negligible visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.

Input lag is imperceptible: ~10ms at 60Hz and ~6ms at 120Hz.

The TV supports 120Hz at 1080p, 1440p and 4K UHD, allowing you to take advantage of its high refresh rate on any compatible device.

Variable refresh rate (FreeSync and G-SYNC Compatible) is supported, as well as BFI (at both 60Hz and 120Hz) and framerate interpolation. It can also remove 24p judder from any source, supports 4:4:4 chroma and it’s based on Tizen OS.

The Samsung QN50QN90A uses PWM dimming at a very high 960Hz dimming frequency, so it won’t bother most people sensitive to flickering.

Design & Connectivity

Samsung QN90A TV Design

The TV has a slim and modern design with thin bezels and 200x200mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include four HDMI ports (only HDMI-4 is HDMI 2.1, HDMI-3 with ARC/eARC for Dolby Digital/Atmos), two USB 2.0 ports, digital audio out, 40W 2.2 channel sound system with a woofer, tuner, Ethernet, and WiFi.

The Pros:

  • Infinite contrast ratio
  • High peak brightness
  • Impressive color gamut
  • 4K 120Hz support
  • Low input lag and rapid response time speed
  • HDMI 2.1
  • FreeSync/G-SYNC Compatible support

The Cons:

  • Risk of permanent image burn-in

About The TV

If you want the absolute best ~50″ TV, there’s the LG OLED48C1.

Image Quality

While the LG C1 has a notably lower 800-nit peak brightness than the Samsung QN90A, the main advantage of the OLED technology is basically infinite contrast ratio as there’s no backlight and each pixel is self-emissive.

This results in true blacks, amazing HDR image quality, and no backlight bleeding.

Additionally, the colors are exceptional thanks to the wide ~97% DCI-P3 gamut coverage and OLEDs also have the best viewing angles making the image flawless at basically an angle.

The main disadvantage, however, is the risk of permanent burn-in and temporary image retention.

If you leave your TV on for a long time with an image that has static elements (like TV channel logo), there’s a risk that it will permanently ‘burn in.’

As long as you’re careful though, this won’t be an issue and there are plenty of built-in features (screen savers, pixel refreshers, etc.) that help prevent burn-in and image retention.

For a more detailed explanation of OLED screen burn-in, you can check out our dedicated article. You can also read our full LG OLED48CX review for additional information.

Features

Yet another big advantage of OLEDs is the instantaneous <1ms pixel response time speed, which prevents overshoot and trailing behind fast-moving objects.

Input lag is excellent as well, amounting to ~14ms at 60Hz or ~7ms at 120Hz for no perceptible delay while gaming.

Both FreeSync and NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible VRR technologies are supported up to 120Hz at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K for tear-free gameplay.

Using the OLED Motion Pro feature, you can insert black frames in order to reduce perceived motion blur at both 60Hz or 120Hz.

The TV is based on WebOS, it can remove 24p judder from any source, supports 4:4:4 chroma, and there’s a framerate interpolation feature for the soap opera effect.

Supported HDR formats include HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG, but there’s no HDR10+ support.

PWM is not used to regulate brightness, but there’s a very slight and essentially unnoticeable shift in brightness every ~8ms.

Design & Connectivity

LG OLED48C1 TV Design

The OLED panel allows the TV to be exceptionally slim, as you can see in the image above. It also has a 300x200mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include four HDMI 2.1 ports (HDMI2 with ARC/eARC for Dolby Digital/Atmos), three USB 2.0 ports, both digital and analog audio jacks, dual 10W speakers with a 20W subwoofer, composite-in, tuner, Ethernet, and WiFi.

Alternatives

If the C1 is out of your price range, you might find the 2020 CX model for a lower price. It has the same key specifications and features.

There’s also the LG OLED48A1 variant with a 60Hz panel for ~$100 – $200 less.

Conclusion

Did you find the best ~50″ TV for you?

Overall, you can’t go wrong with the LG OLED48C1 or the Samsung QN50QN90A, depending on your preference.

In case you’re on a tight budget, the TCL 50S435 offers excellent image quality and performance for the price, but we recommend saving up for the Vizio M50Q7-J01 to get the best value for your money.

The LG 49NANO85 is a good option if you want 120Hz, but can’t afford LG’s or Samsung’s models.

Updates +

  • November 25, 2021:
    – Checked up on the guide to ensure that our picks are still the best options available.

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Rob Shafer
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.