Television Buyer's Guide: Best 55 Inch TV

On the market today there are small televisions, large televisions, and mid-sized televisions, and it can be argued that within each size category of televisions, there is one ideal size. In other words, within the category of medium-sized TVs, there is one ideal size. Most reviewers agree that the ideal medium-sized TV is 55 inches: big enough for viewers to immerse themselves in the viewing experience, but not so large to take up an entire wall or require a second mortgage to meet the purchase price. 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, now come standard even on the least expensive models of 55-inch TVs, even though they are not yet offered on smaller models.

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?

2. What Does HDR Mean?

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

4. What About LED Versus OLED Versus QLED?

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.

Overall Price Range

The most expensive 55-inch model of television that we found while conducting our research retails for $9,995. We believe this to be beyond the means of all but the wealthiest television purchasers and so did not include this model on our list. The 55-inch TV models that did make our top ten list span a wide price range. At just under $3500, the most expensive model on our list is almost ten times the price of our least expensive model, which is priced at around $379.

The least expensive models of 55-inch TVs are likely to include LED displays, which are the least expensive of panel technologies. OLED and QLED displays, with their deeper contrasts and truer colors, are going to be on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Top Ten 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 ten list includes LED models as well as more advanced models, so there should be something for everyone.

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
  • Pricing

Price Range $1,000 to $1,500

TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model)
  • Dimensions (w x H x D): TV without stand: 48.5 x 28.1 x 2.9 , TV with stand: 48. inches...
  • Smart Functionality offers access to thousands of streaming channels featuring more than...
  • Pairs 4K Ultra HD picture clarity with the contrast, color, and detail of Dolby Vision...

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.
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY
  • Pricing

Price range $800 to $900

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.
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY
  • Pricing

$780 - $799.99

TCL 55S405 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): TV without stand: 49.1" x 28.5" x 3", TV with stand: 49.1" x 30.8"...
  • 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.
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY
  • Pricing

$350 - $380

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.
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY
  • Pricing

$525 - $550

VIZIO 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.
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY
  • Pricing

$675 - $700

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.
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY
  • Pricing

Price range $1,500 to  $1,800

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.
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY
  • Pricing

$2,450 - $2,494.99

Sony XBR55A1E 55-Inch 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.
  • WHERE TO BUY
  • WARRANTY
  • Pricing

$2,450 - $2,500

Comparison Table


PRODUCT

Description

OVERALL RATING

Check Online

Dimensions: 9.1 x 48.3 x 29.8 inches

Smart TV Operating System: webOS

Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels

Panel Technology: OLED

Dimensions: 52.5 x 7.69 x 32.5 inches

Smart TV Operating System: Android TV

Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels

Panel Technology: Direct-lit LCD with local dimming

Dimensions: 48.5 x 28.1 x 2.9 inches

Smart TV Operating System: Roku TV

Resolution: 3840 x 2160

Panel Technology: LED

Dimensions: 49.1 x 28.7 x 3.5 inches
Smart TV Operating System: webOS
Resolution: 4K
Panel Technology: LED

Dimensions: 48.5 x 2.6 x 28 inches

Smart TV Operating System: SmartCast

Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels

Panel Technology: LED

Dimensions: 48.4 x 28 x 1.8 inches

Smart TV Operating System: webOS

Resolution: 4K

Panel Technology: OLED

Sony A1E OLED

Dimensions: 48.4 x 28 x 3.5 inches

Smart TV Operating System: Android TV

Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels

Panel Technology: OLED

Dimensions: 49.1 inches x 28.5 inches x 3 inches
Smart TV Operating System: Roku TV
Resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels
Panel Technology: Direct-lit LED

Dimensions: 48.98 x 2.51 x 28.31 inches

Smart TV Operating System: SmartCast

Resolution: 4K

Panel Technology: LED

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. However, it's still a little pricey, so our pick for best under $1,000 goes to the TCL 55R617. Our pick for best advanced display is the LG OLED55C8.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here