If you told people even a couple of decades ago that a 50 inch TV would be on the short side of medium, they might not believing you. But as technology grows rapidly, the sizes of TVs are growing even as their costs drop. That said, a 50 inch TV isn’t just for the budget user. Like with a movie screen, there’s an ideal distance to sit from your TV to promote healthy posture and reduce eye strain.
We’ll start by providing you with a rundown of the best 50 inch TVs along with specs. Then we’ll help you break down why you might want to seek out a 50 inch TV and go into more detail about how to interpret those specs and what sort of impact they’ll have on your viewing experience.
- 10 Best 50 Inch TV’s in 2020
- 1. Samsung UN50RU7100FXZA 50″ 4K UHD 7 Series Smart TV
- 2. Sony X800G 55″ TV 4K UHD Smart LED TV 2019
- 3. TOSHIBA 50LF711U20 50″ 4K UHD Smart LED Fire TV Edition
- 4. Insignia NS-50DF710NA19 50″ 4K UHD Smart LED Fire TV Edition
- 5. TCL 50″ Class 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV
- 6. VIZIO V-Series 50” 4K HDR Smart TV
- 7. Hisense 50H8F 50″ 4K Ultra HD Android Smart LED TV HDR10 (2019)
- 8. Sceptre 50″ Class FHD LED TV (X505BV-FSR)
- 9. LG 50UM7300AUE 50″ Class 4K UHD LED LCD TV
- 10. SKYWORTH Q20300 50″ 4K UHD LED Quad-CORE Android TV
- 50 Inch TV Buyer’s Guide
10 Best 50 Inch TV’s in 2020
1. Samsung UN50RU7100FXZA 50″ 4K UHD 7 Series Smart TV
The Samsung RU7100 is a TV that has a few limitations, but they're counterbalanced by its best qualities and a price tag that's more than reasonable. The 4K resolution is obviously a strong selling point for Samsung, but it also supports HDR support for brighter and richer colors. The color gamut on this Samsung isn't the best we've seen, but the colors on display are highly accurate, and you can count on the blacks to look blacker.
But with this TV, Samsung has specifically made a strong appeal to gamers. That's thanks to the low input lag that provides you with a more responsive experience in faster pace competitive gaming. Even playing video games at 4K, you can expect an input lag of barely 0.01 milliseconds. And there's a generous amount of HDMI inputs packed into this 50 inch Samsung TV so you can hook up all your favorite consoles, and most modern devices.
2. Sony X800G 55″ TV 4K UHD Smart LED TV 2019
The Sony X800G excels where the Samsung RU7100 does: in gaming. But the added price tag for Sony's TV brings some notable advantages. The fact that it's a few inches larger may be the most obvious, but its IPS panel design also provides great picture quality from practically any viewing angle. If it has a downfall, it's the opposite of the RU7100. This TV won't work well in dark rooms, but it also improves picture quality by reducing motion blur significantly.
Upscaling is included with this TV, so older movies and TV shows will look better than even their creators intended. There's also a Dynamic Contrast Enhancer that can help tighten up the clarity of the darkest and lightest segments on your screen. And the fact that this is an Android TV means that you have access to more entertainment than even a traditional smart TV could provide
3. TOSHIBA 50LF711U20 50″ 4K UHD Smart LED Fire TV Edition
Smart TVs are the future, and it's possible that the Toshiba 50LF711U20 is the future of what the standard smart TV will look like. Wired directly into the Amazon ecosystem, it gives you immediate access to a whole platform of content, but the tightness of the smart integrations may scare off those a little more shy about this sort of proprietary integration. For those who just want to control the TV with their voice and rent movies from their couch, and watch their favorite streaming services, it's one of the easiest TVs to get up and running.
The input lag here is also strong. Although not suited for the most serious of gamers, the 2 millisecond lag should be more than enough for streaming. And the video quality here is no slouch either. Despite not having the largest color gamut around, it does support HDR in addition to 4K.
4. Insignia NS-50DF710NA19 50″ 4K UHD Smart LED Fire TV Edition
You can think of this TV from Insignia as a budget contemporary to the Toshiba 50LF711U20. It's built on the Amazon operating system, so you'll have access to all of the streaming and rental services you could hope for, and it displays a resolution of up to 4K. But it bears a much lower price tag. Insignia may not be a household name, but their manufacture is handled by Best Buy, and they've done a great job investing in sturdy materials.
The input lag, again, is not going to work for the needs of the most serious gamers, but it clocks in at right around 2 milliseconds. And in a surprising turn, Insignia has put in what's maybe the best stereo system for a TV in this price range. It can't hit exceedingly high decibel levels, but you can count on it to deliver you rich and nuanced sound quality.
5. TCL 50″ Class 5-Series 4K UHD Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV
The TCL S525 is eminently affordable, but it's also one of the best TVs for gaming at any price point. There's a nicely expansive color gamut at work, and it also provides support for HDR. But the real selling point here is the consistently low input lag rate of about a millisecond. The contrast ratio here is also very strong, although the dimming options are limited, so you may want to place this TV in a more controlled environment.
And when you want to put the gaming controller down, you can count on this TV to provide you with all the essential streaming services too. As a Roku TV, it gives you access to a ton of different apps and a total of half a million movies and TV episodes. And the less proprietary format allows you to control this TV with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices.
6. VIZIO V-Series 50” 4K HDR Smart TV
Perhaps the best thing about the rapid speed at which TV technology grows is how quick the budget TV market has developed. The Vizio V-Series bears a price tag of barely $200, but it promises a 4K resolution, HDR support, and most of the modern smart features you could hope for. That value for the price makes this TV an easy contender for this best of list.
Rather than use one of the more popular third party interfaces, Viziohas made use of what they call SmartCast instead. You can't install your own apps, but most of the big players for renting or streaming content are covered. The anti-reflection quality here is also very strong, and you can view it from a wide variety of different angles. It's a great everyday TV, but not truly exceptional in any particular area. But the color quality is way better than it should be.
7. Hisense 50H8F 50″ 4K Ultra HD Android Smart LED TV HDR10 (2019)
Hisense may not be a household brand name, but that just means they're working double duty to stay competitive with the bigger players. The contrast levels, color reproduction, and 4K support are as good or better than even the best TVs at this price point, and it offers support for both Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10.
In terms of brains, this TV has definitely got them. Powered by the Android operating system, it offers pretty much any streaming app on the market today. You can even control it with your own voice since it's compatible with the Google Assistant platform. It also includes Motion Rate 240 technology for smoother performance both when watching movies and playing games. There's even an automated scene feature mode that will change everything from the brightness to the audio so that you can get an experience tailored to what you're watching in the moment.
8. Sceptre 50″ Class FHD LED TV (X505BV-FSR)
If you aren't too concerned about having the latest smart home features or cutting edge picture quality, the Sceptre offers a cheap solution that's best suited to the needs of older customers or if you're already in possession of a smart streaming platform like an Xbox One or Playstation 4. You'll certainly have a space to fit multiple devices because Sceptre has made the smart decision to include three different HDMI ports.
And Sceptre does a good job of capturing some of the smaller issues that other brands forget. The sound quality is well above average, and the lag times aren't the best around but are certainly appropriate for gamers who aren't highly competitive. Color reproduction is also very good here, and it can work as a monitor as well as a TV.
9. LG 50UM7300AUE 50″ Class 4K UHD LED LCD TV
Need a TV that can work as the centerpiece of your living room? There's a good argument to be made for the UM7300 by LG. It comes at a relatively low entry level price of less than $400 and promises wide viewing angles that make it one of the best choices for having group movie nights or cheering on your favorite team with friends. And the HDR and HLG support are both supplemented by LG's toned mapping technology for more accurate colors.
There's also the inclusion of TruMotion 120. That blur reduction technology, as well as the approximately one millisecond input lag (even at 4K) for pretty strong gaming performance. The WebOS interface is LG's personal design, but it's also a pretty impressive one. All of your apps are available at your fingertips, and you generally don't have to worry about any lag when you're moving between apps.
10. SKYWORTH Q20300 50″ 4K UHD LED Quad-CORE Android TV
Skyworth is a brand that flies mostly under the radar, but this is another case where the lack of brand appeal can help you save quite a bit of money. This TV costs less than $350 but is also built off of the Android operating system for access to just about any modern streaming or subscription service you could hope to use. And Google Assistant lets you control your TV with your voice.
The Q20300 makes use of an A53 quad-core processor that limits loading time for apps, games, and other content. Equal care has been put into the sound system here. While TV speaker systems are increasingly growing more cut rate, this Skyworth TV comes with support for DTS TruSurround and is packed with two 10 watt speakers. And with its stylish angles and ultra thin bezel, this TV looks great on the outside too.
50 Inch TV Buyer’s Guide
Are you looking for a 50 inch TV? You’d be fine tracking down one of the TVs our list and within your budget and call it a day. Or you could dig a little deeper to figure out what specs are going to matter the most for you. Screen size and picture quality are both important, but they’re just scratching the surface. We’ll help you better understand the most important considerations you should think on when shopping for a new TV.
When we talk about picture quality, we’re usually referring to the resolution. Resolution tells you how detailed the picture is, although it can be confusing to read for people who aren’t familiar. What outputs on your screen may look like a continuous picture to you, but the screen is actually composed of a whole lot of tiny pixels. The resolution numbering tells you how many vertical by horizontal pixels you can squeeze into the screen.
4K (which is composed of 3840 x 2160 pixels) is the new standard for high definition, and with 8K still a ways off from any serious integration in the consumer space, it will likely be the standard for some time to come. But if you’re on a micro budget, or if picture quality isn’t that big a concern for you, you can opt for Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). But for the most part, a 4K TV is going to be within your price range, and well worth the extra investment.
High Dynamic Range
Resolution may be the best means for measuring picture quality, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the coloring of your picture. While the color of your picture depends largely on the type of screen used in TVs, a great way to expand on it is High Dynamic Range. Fortunately, HDR is a popular enough choice among consumers (and a cheap enough choice to produce without dramatically ramping up costs) that it appears in most modern TVs. But there are a few formats that fall under the HDR definition, too. We’ll break them down below.
- Because it’s free to use, HDR10 is supported by most manufacturers, and it has a high level of compatibility with content that’s designed with HDR in mind. The one downside is that HDR10 is static, so it can’t change the HDR settings over the course of a movie or TV show. A more advanced format, known as HDR Plus, is also available although none of the 4K TVs on our list feature it.
- TVs that support Dolby Vision are going to get the best picture quality available. Put a Dolby Vision TV side by side with any other TVs, and you’re sure to see the difference. And for their part, Dolby has done a pretty good job of marketing their technology to content creators – but there’s still less options to choose from than you’d find with HDR10.
- Introduced by the BBC, HLG is unique in its backwards compatibility. Where all of these HDR formats can affect the color quality of a high definition picture, it can’t impact the picture of standard definition TVs. That is, apart from HLG. Where it falls down is in its ability to change picture contrast and black levels. If you want the best contrast available, the black levels in HDR10 or Dolby Vision are a significant step up.
Smart TV features aren’t simply reserved for the best TVs. With very few exceptions, any TV you find today is going to provide you with access to popular streaming services, live TV, and rentals right through the navigational interface, and for those smart features to function, it needs an operating system – much like a phone or a computer. That means that you’ll probably spend a lot of time in the navigational interface, and finding the right TV can save you a lot of time over the course of your TV’s life.
- Amazon Fire TV might be the most common operating system installed on TVs, but Amazon’s market dominance also means access to features as wide ranging as Alexa and direct integration with the Amazon Prime video and music marketplaces, although the market for third party apps is a bit limited.
- Roku was one of the first brands to offer streaming boxes, and the Roku TV is still a decent, if a bit boring, choic for a smart TV. And the fact that Roku focuses their attention exclusively on making devices, they aren’t locked out of any streaming apps due to competition. In fact, you can even create your own private channels with a Roku TV.
- The clean and efficient design of the Android TV is pretty much unmatched. Navigation is easy and intuitive, and Google’s incredible talent for knowing what their customers want before they do is reflected in the inclusion of a very smart panel for recommended viewing. The inclusion of a Chromecast built in allows you to stream right from your phone, or you can use your voice to control your screen through Google Assistant.
- Samsung has spread the Tizen OS far and wide. It’s used in the Samsung Galaxy watch and phone models – and for their part, Samsung has put together a pretty impressive operating system. A Samsung TV with Tizen will allow you to watch free TV right on your screen in addition to a vast catalog of streaming services. Samsung also has one of the peppiest designs of TV operating systems, so Samsung TVs will give you with quick and smooth performance when jumping between channels or services.
- Vizio’s SmartCast platform isn’t going to win any awards, much less beat out the Samsung Tizen. But this operating system is fast, and it builds off the Google OS architecture to provide a basic level of familiarity on your screen. But if you already have a gaming console or another device that can handle the smart services, you can get a great Vizio for a fraction of the price of Samsung TVs.
- WebOS – created by LG – is one of our favorite smart TV operating systems. It’s agnostic to the big names in streaming, and that means an open marketplace where you can access all the important apps. The UI is smartly designed and built to run efficiently, and you can even share content directly from your phone with the Miracast feature. All in all, it’s our pick for the best operating system for a smart TV, but it may not be worth pushing aside a TV you really like for the OS alone.
While a modern TV may make it look like there’s seamless movement on your screen, that’s a lot of work. Modern TVs refresh the screen picture multiple times a second to create the sense of smooth movement. This is known as the refresh rate, and for most users the refresh rate will be inconsequential. Most films – for instance – are filmed at 24 frames per second (or 24 Hz), while live TV needs to refresh at 30 to 60 Hz to get the best affect. Since most TVs have a 60 Hz refresh rate, that’s not a big deal.
Where the refresh speed does factor in is for gamers. Games tend to require a lot more effort to render seamlessly, and a mild difference in refresh rate can mean a world of difference to the most competitive gamers. Refresh rate isn’t going to be a factor for most gamers, but you should make it a consideration if you’re serious about it.
The inputs tell you how many, and what type of, devices you can connect to TVs. HDMI inputs are going to be the most important here, since most modern devices come with HDMI ports for connectivity. That said, manufacturers understand this. Most TVs are going to come with three or more HDMI inputs, which should be enough unless you have a ton of devices in your collection.
If you have older devices like out of date video game consoles, VCRs, or DVD players, you may want to pay special attention to the secondary inputs. The inclusion of a component port can be more useful than HDMI inputs if you’re working with older devices. And having one or more USB drives lets you directly share your family picture album or vacation videos with the advantage of a bigger screen size.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the Best 50-Inch 4K TV?
If you want the best TV on the market, 4K TVs are the only way to go. And among the 4K TVs we’ve found, we love the Samsung RU7100. There are other, more expensive TVs with a wider array of features, but the ratio of cost to value with this Samsung TV is pretty hard to match. And almost all of the qualities you’d hope to find are right on the money with the Samsung RU7100.
Who Makes the Best TVs?
If you want the best TV, Samsung may be your best choice. Their TVs are consistently high quality and generally fold in the best and coolest features and specs you’ll find at a give price point. That said, there are a ton of great televisions on the market, and Samsung is far from the only player in the game.
50 inch TVs are, for many users, the Goldilocks screen size television viewing. They’re big enough to provide a cinema experience without being so big as to drown out the room – and they’re available at prices that are going to be affordable to most people. We invite you to check out our other guides if you’re looking for a larger TV or seeking out a gaming monitor. And be sure to read a review if you’ve tried any of the TVs on our list.