6 best 50 and 55-inch TVs of 2015

Let us guide you through the best of the big screens.

best 50 inch TV

The 55-inch mark was once the pinnacle of TV-dom. It has now though become the latest battleground in the fight for space in your living room.

As people are upgrading their TVs they're looking to bolster their screen size too and the 50 to 55-inch mark represents the absolute sweet spot between brand new technologies, large screen sizes and great prices.

Right now, this is where it's at.

But there's a huge amount of variety in this end of the market too, with OLED panels marking themselves out with the very best in image fidelity and 4K resolutions providing that all important future-proofing for an expensive new purchase.

There are some 4K bargains at this level too, but don't discount Full HD yet either. You can bag a great value 1080p screen at 50-inches now that the burgeoning Ultra HD market is grinding down prices at the lower resolutions.

So, here's our pick of the top 50 and 55-inch panels you can buy today.

LG 55EG960V

1. LG 55EG960V

"If you're not yet lusting after OLED, you've got it all wrong."

Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD and FreeSat HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: webOS | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 760 x 1226 x 213mm

Incredible realism
Best black levels ever
High price
Confusing webOS

Is this is the best TV on the planet? Judged purely on picture quality, this 4K OLED has a jaw-dropping combination of total black, cracking colour, judder-free video, a reflection-free curve and an innate ability to make standard-def sources ripple with realism.

Self-lighting pixels are the future, as proved by the 55EG960V's spotless colours, awesome blacks, bright, pure whites and all-round utterly gorgeous images. 4K detail is mesmerising while even standard definition sources look clean and crisp. Self-lighting they may be, but it's when those pixels completely switch off that this OLED TV really stands out next to an LED TV.

Read the full review: LG 55EG960V

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Samsung UE55JU6400

2. Samsung UE55JU6400

"Awesome 4K sharpness, pin-sharp graphics and a great new smart TV platform."

Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Tizen | Curved: No | Dimensions: 763 x 1243 x 268mm

Tizen Smart TV interface
Digital media handling
Tight viewing angle
Black levels unconvincing

To call this TV "real-world 4K" is probably a step too far, but the UE55JU6400 is resolutely an entry-level, next-gen Ultra HD TV for those who rate resolution over everything else. As such, it's a good effort, though that's thanks just as much down to its slick Smart Hub interface and apps as those extra pixels.

Awesome 4k detail and colours from native 4K sources are accompanied by a pristine treatment of all HD content, though standard-definition material can look noisy. Technically, its biggest problem is its tight viewing angle, though without Freesat HD or 3D compatibility, the UE55JU6400 won't be for everyone.

Read the full review: Samsung UE55JU6400

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LG 55EC930V

3. LG 55EC930V

"Pitch perfect blacks and intense white highlights."

Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: webOS | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 753 x 1225 x 204mm

Dynamic images
Deep, vibrant colours
Expensive for 1080p
Limited catch-up

LG's stylish Full HD widescreen provides a premium viewing experience allied with a great Smart TV platform in the shape of webOS. Unbeatable black level performance, rich deep colours and the wafer-thin screen provide tempting compensation for those prepared to pay the steep early adopter price tag.

Like plasma before it, OLED offers a wonderfully cinematic presentation, with the added benefit that it's even more dynamic than LED LCD.

Astonishingly thin and offering an image that combines hitherto unseen dynamics with rich colour fidelity and exquisite levels of detail, this LG may not be cheap but it certainly doesn't disappoint.

Read the full review: LG 55EC930V

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Panasonic TX 50CX700

4. Panasonic TX-50CX700

"A good value all-rounder ripe for the 4K future."

Screen size: 50-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Firefox OS | Curved: No | Dimensions: 695 x 1121 x 242mm

Slick design
Firefox OS
Only three HDMI inputs
Some motion blur

With Firefox OS on board and an all-new LED panel, the TX-50CX700 makes for a good value 4K telly, making the most of its pixels and upscaling well.

That Firefox OS is impressively simple, well designed and easy to use, with customisation options making it a smart TV standout. Physically, build quality and design are exceptional, with the TX-50CX700's two tiny feet an engineering masterpiece.

There's lots of new features and that 4K panel displays some pretty advanced picture quality. The arrival of the TX-50CX700 will help push Panasonic up the TV food-chain once again.

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-50CX700

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Panasonic TX 50CS520

5. Panasonic TX-50CS520

"Feels like a bargain for the quality, screen size and features on offer."

Screen size: 50-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: myHomeScreen | Curved: No | Dimensions: 690 x 1126 x 230mm

Great value
Good picture quality
No Firefox OS platform
Mediocre SD upscaling

With HD (as opposed to 4K UHD ) TVs still apparently accounting for the major of TV sales from most retailers, the full HD Panasonic 50CS520 is a long overdue arrival on our now 4K-dominated test benches.

Especially since its no-nonsense combination of a friendly smart TV system; impressive picture and sound quality; and eye-catchingly aggressive price work together handsomely to keep the HD flag flying high.

Panasonic's mid-range HD model looks smart and modern, is well stocked with impressively customisable smart TV features, and delivers picture and sound quality that are both far, far better than you might expect of a £520 50-inch TV.

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-50CS520

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Sony KDL 55W805C

6. Sony KDL-55W805C

"Includes everything the TV needs to produce one of the finest pictures I've seen from an HD TV."

Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 753 x 1230 x 210mm

Superlative picture quality
Good auto picture optimisation
Android TV isn't great
Not cheap for HD

It's a sign of how fast the TV world is changing right now that Sony's decision to launch a premium HD TV like the 55W805C in 2015 feels like a brave move.

Thanks to a rich specification list that includes Sony's ever-impressive X-Reality Pro processing, edge LED lighting driven by a local dimming engine, some potent motion handling and a content-rich smart TV system it delivers a truly high-end, big-screen experience.

So long as you don't see yourself being fussed about 4K for the next few years, the 55W805C is a compelling TV. Its engagingly slim form plays host to a long list of features that includes everything the TV needs to produce one of the finest pictures I've seen from an HD TV. It's well connected too, and while Android TV turns out to be a bit of a chore it's still got plenty of smart TV appeal.

Read the full review: Sony KDL-55W805C