With today’s 55-inch televisions, desirable features that used to be optional or cost top dollar, such as built-in smart TV capability or 4K resolution. But now they come standard even on the least expensive models of 55-inch TV models.

But with 55 inch TV picks as one of the most popular options, it’s hard to know which one best fits in your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to televisions, there are a lot of confusing terms and abbreviations that get bandied about. Here we will try to clarify some of these terms.

1. What Is 4K Resolution?

4K is a generic term that refers to a horizontal screen resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels. It does not have to add up to exactly 4,000 pixels to be considered 4K resolution. The standard 4K resolution for televisions is in fact 3840 x 2160.

This is also referred to as ultra-high definition, sometimes abbreviated as UHD. What it means in practical terms is that a 4K television screen has a picture made up of over eight million tiny dots.

2. What Does HDR Mean?

Another confusing abbreviation that you’ll see a lot in reviews and technical specifications is “HDR.” HDR stands for “high dynamic range.” Basically, HDR refers to a higher contrast between light and dark colors on your television screen, resulting in clearer, more vibrant colors.

To put it another way, if resolution refers to the quantity of pixels on your TV screen, dynamic range refers to the quality of pixels, and HDR represents a higher quality.

3. What’s the Difference Between LED and LCD Displays?

Confusingly, these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Technically, LED displays are a subset of LCD, or liquid crystal displays. The difference comes from how each type of screen is lit. LED televisions get their name from light-emitting diodes that provide illumination to their liquid crystal display screens, whereas TVs designated as LCD displays are lit by fluorescent lights.

LED televisions have several advantages over LCD televisions, in that they provide a clearer picture, the diodes can be dimmed to display a truer black, the colors are more realistic, and they are more energy efficient. However, an LCD display is brighter than an LED display and therefore works more successfully with HDR images.

4. What About LED Versus OLED Versus QLED?

These terms refer to panel technology, or how the display is lit. Light-emitting diodes have a lot of advantages over fluorescent lights as backlighting for a liquid crystal display. However, while very small, LED are much larger than pixels. By contrast, organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) work on the same principle as LED, but they are so small, thin, and flexible that each can serve as an individual pixel.

The reason that they are called “organic” is that they are constructed from a carbon-based material that glows when fed electricity. OLED results in TVs that are lighter, thinner, and more efficient to run. It also has better color contrast, but costs more upfront than an LED and traditionally has been the least bright, although more recent models have seen some improvement in that regard.

What is QLED?

QLED is a term that was coined by Samsung (although they do not own a copyright on it) that refers to “quantum dot” technology. Like OLED, quantum dots are light-emitting units small enough to function as pixels, but unlike OLED, they are made of inorganic material, so the display has the potential to last longer, and they are typically brighter than OLED.

QLED is supposedly less expensive than OLED as well, although the one QLED unit included on our top ten list is also the most expensive.

Rating Criteria

Determining the best 55-inch TV was a challenge, as the main distinguishing characteristic among them seems to be panel technology. Therefore, we chose both a best LED display and a best advanced display, based on price and ratings by reviewers.

Top 10 List of Best 55 Inch TV Brands/Models

People on a tight budget, or those who are not interested in getting the latest bells and whistles in a TV, will probably be satisfied with a less-expensive LED display. However, those who desire the best picture quality and are willing to make a greater investment will be more interested in a more advanced display, such as an OLED or a QLED.

Our top 10 list includes LED models as well as more advanced models, so there should be something for everyone.

Sony XBR55X900F

Sony XBR55X900F 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV and UBP-X700 4K Ultra...
  • BEYOND HIGH DEFINITION: 4K HDTV picture offers stunning clarity & high dynamic range color...
  • ENHANCED QUALITY: With the X1 Extreme Processor enjoy controlled contrast & wide range of...
  • PREMIUM DISPLAY: Enjoy vibrant colors with TRILUMINOS & clear on-screen action with...

Panel Technology: Direct-lit LCD

Key Features: Local dimming results in a black contrast that rivals its OLED counterparts. It’s less expensive than an OLED, though considerably more expensive than its LED brethren.

Pros

  • Improved motion handling from previous models results in decreased blurring. HDR images are bright and detailed.

Cons

  • Some reviewers have issues with the Android TV platform feeling sluggish.
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY

Limited 1 year

TCL 55R617

TCL 55R617 - 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model)
  • Your purchase includes One TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model),...
  • TV dimensions without stand: 48.5" W x 28.1" H x 2.9" D. TV dimensions with stand: 48.5”...
  • Our Contrast Control Zones (CCZ) is part of the powerful performance package available on...

Panel Technology: LED

Key Features: Regarded as the best LED display on the market. HDR is particularly vivid.

Pros

  • It offers the best picture quality available for the money. Reviewers were particularly impressed with the Roku smart TV platform.

Cons

  • Contrast level is lacking compared to OLED, and the black level suffers as a result.
  • WARRANTY

1 year, parts and labor

Vizio P55-F1

VIZIO P-Series 55" Class (54.5" Diag.) 4K HDR Smart TV
  • Dolby Vision HDR: premium 4K HDR picture with a dramatically expanded range of color,...
  • Ultra color spectrum: delivers over 1 billion colors, displaying every hue and tone with...
  • Ultra bright 1000: with up to 1000 nits of peak brightness, this P-series TV produces a...

Panel Technology: LED

Key Features: A good TV for gaming as it offers a low input lag and wide color range for HDR.

Pros

  • Local dimming and high native contrast result in a high-quality picture, especially when viewed in a darkened room. Motion handling is excellent.

Cons

  • When viewed from an angle, the picture quality decreases.
  • WARRANTY

Limited 1 year

TCL 55S405

TCL 55S405 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
  • Dimensions: TV without stand: 49.1" W x 28.5" H x 3.0" D. TV with stand: 49.1" W x 30.8"H...
  • Smart functionality offers access to over 4,000 streaming channels featuring more than...
  • Pairs 4K Ultra HD picture clarity with the contrast, color and detail of High Dynamic...

Panel Technology: Direct-lit LED

Key Features: Like the Vizio P55-F1, it offers a low input lag, and the Roku TV platform once again earns high praise.

Pros

  • Low motion blur, in addition to low input lag, is good for gamers. Contrast, particularly black level, is strongly praised. Lowest-priced TV on our list.

Cons

  • No benefit to using HDR, as the screen does not get very bright. Some advanced functions are lacking.
  • WARRANTY

1 year, parts and labor

LG 55UK6300PUE

LG Electronics 55UK6300PUE 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2018...
  • Dimensions (Wx H x D): TV without stand 49.1" x 28.7" x 3.5", TV with stand: 49.1" x 30.9"...
  • LG UHD TVs with AI (Artificial Intelligence) ThinQ become the hub for your connected smart...
  • The multi-format 4K high dynamic range support includes HDR10 and HLG, both with LG’s...

Panel Technology: LED

Key Features: Picture quality is above average, and viewing angle is unusually wide.

Pros

  • Another TV that performs well for gaming because of low input lag. The webOS smart TV platform is regarded as one of the best available.

Cons

  • No local dimming. HDR performance is adequate but not outstanding. Refresh rate is slow at 60 Hz; experts recommend at least 120 Hz.
  • WARRANTY

Limited 1 year, parts and labor

Vizio M55-F0

VIZIO M-Series Class 4K HDR Smart TV, 55" (Renewed)
  • Elevate your entertainment with the 2018 VIZIO M-Series 55" Class (54.5" Diag.) 4K HDR...
  • VIZIO SmartCast is TV your way. Browse favorites like Netflix and YouTube right on the TV...
  • Active Full Array Plus: 32 local dimming zones, VIZIO’s award-winning full array local...

Panel Technology: LED

Key Features: Full-array local dimming allows you to selectively dim areas of the screen where you need it most, improving picture quality. Built-in tuner to pick up local channels.

Pros

  • Good brightness level for light or dark viewing conditions. HDR performance and color quality were above average.

Cons

  • SmartCast streaming platform leaves a lot to be desired. Picture quality suffers in comparison with competitors from TCL and Samsung.
  • WARRANTY

1 year, parts and labor

LG OLED55C8

LG Electronics OLED55C8P 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2018...
  • LG OLED TV with AI (Artificial Intelligence) ThinQ has the Google Assistant built in, so...
  • The α9 Intelligent Processor inside the LG OLED TV with AI ThinQ is the most powerful...
  • Pixel Level Dimming enables each of the 8.3 million individually lit pixels of the LG OLED...

Panel Technology: OLED

Key Features: Design is ultra thin, and the webOS platform continues to impress.

Pros

  • More accurate images with the new Alpha9 processor. The rich contrast results in stunning picture quality.

Cons

  • As is typically the case for OLED displays, it lacks brightness.
  • WARRANTY

Warranty: 1 year, parts and labor

LG OLED55C7P

LG Electronics OLED55C7P 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2017...
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 48.4" x 28" x 1.8", TV with stand: 48.4" x 29.5"...
  • Smart functionality gives you access to your favorite apps and content using webOS 3.5.
  • Pairs 4K Ultra HD picture clarity with the contrast, color, and detail of High Dynamic...

Panel Technology: OLED

Key Features: Better sound quality than many newer TVs. HDR compatibility results in rich colors.

Pros

  • As a 2017 model, it offers comparable quality to newer editions, and you may be able to find it marked down if you shop around. Side-angle viewing quality and contrast described as “perfect” by at least one reviewer.

Cons

  • Motion handling is subpar, resulting in picture artifacts.
  • WARRANTY

1 year, parts and labor

Sony A1E OLED

Sony XBR55A1E 55" 4K Ultra HD Smart Bravia OLED TV (2017 Model)
  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 48.4" x 28" x 3.5", TV with stand: 48.4" x 28" x...
  • Smart functionality gives you access to your favorite apps and content using Sony’s...

Panel Technology: OLED

Key Features: Unique screen vibration technology results in excellent sound. Picture quality is richly detailed.

Pros

  • Exquisitely detailed picture is dramatic yet subtle.

Cons

  • Lacks brightness like other OLED screens. Android TV platform still feels clunky to some reviewers.
  • WARRANTY

Limited 1 year

Final Verdict

LG Electronics OLED55C8P 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2018...
  • LG OLED TV with AI (Artificial Intelligence) ThinQ has the Google Assistant built in, so...
  • The α9 Intelligent Processor inside the LG OLED TV with AI ThinQ is the most powerful...
  • Pixel Level Dimming enables each of the 8.3 million individually lit pixels of the LG OLED...

Instead of a best overall, we chose a best LED and a best advanced display. Our pick for best LED was the Sony XBR55X900F, which combined the best of both worlds with an LED/LCD display that looks more advanced than its panel technology would suggest in terms of picture quality. Our pick for best advanced display is the LG OLED55C8.

Last update on 2021-09-17 at 20:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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