Looking for the best 55-inch TV out there? TechRadar has you covered. In this buying guide we'll take you through what to look for in your new 55-inch television, and the latest and greatest models waiting to be taken into your home.
55-inch is the goldilocks of TV sizes: not as compact as the 40-inch TVs, and not as super-sized as the 65-inch TVs either, the 55-inch TV occupies a great middle-ground between sheer size and practicality.
Of course, if you’re looking for a superior home cinema experience, a bigger 65-inch or 75-inch TV is going to be the best for maximum impact. But a 55-inch set will still offer a sizeable picture for your movies and TV shows, without taking up every inch of space in your living room – as well as every penny in your paycheck.
- If a 55-inch TV set sounds a little too big for your needs, then check out our pick of the best 40-inch screens for your living room.
Whether you already knew a 55-inch TV was right for you or we’ve managed to talk you round to the idea, you shouldn’t worry about finding one with the basics baked in. Most 55-inch TVs that are on the market right now will support 4K resolution, HDR and will have built-in smart TV services to boot. So unless you're looking at an old or very, very cheap model, you should find at least one of these features (and usually all three).
That means that to make your decision about which 55-inch 4K TV to buy, you’ll need to focus on the model you want, as well as how much cash you're willing to part with to give your home entertainment setup an upgrade.
You'll also need to consider whether you'd prefer the unrivalled brightness of LCD or the cinema-beating black levels and deep contrast of an OLED.
Granted that’s a lot to consider, but we're here to point you towards some of the best 55-inch 4K TVs available to buy. All the sets listed below have been tried-and-tested by our expert reviewers, and you can click through to read the full reviews for more about the pluses and minuses of each model.
1. Best 55-inch TV: LG OLED55C8
Stunning pictures at an affordable price puts OLED back on top
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: webOS | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1,225 x 714 x 48.9 mm
There is a clear winner in the 55-inch 4K TV game, and it’s the LG C8 OLED – available in a 55-inch version as well as a 65-inch. This year's TV offers a boost on the hardware side compared to last year's C7, with a new Alpha9 Processor boosting the TV's High Frame Rate content and offering a significantly larger Look Up Table (LUT) to help the TV more accurately re-create images.
While there are other OLEDs worth considering in 2018 (see: Sony's A1E OLED or LG's B8 and E8), we think this is the best 55-inch 4K TV for the price.
Read the full review: LG OLED55C8
2. Best mid-range TV: Sony XBR-55X900F
Sleek, capable and almost what we'd consider affordable
Screen size: 55-inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: Direct-lit LCD with local dimming | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1228 x 706 x 69mm
This was the first 2018-series high-end TV we reviewed, and we were immediately impressed.
The Sony XBR-55X900F is an LCD TV, but in most conditions you get OLED-like black performance thanks to excellent local dimming with minimal halo-ing.
This year Sony has improved brightness and motion handling. It makes the most of HDR, and retains more detail when there's motion on screen.
The Sony XBR-55X900F is also significantly less expensive than most OLED TVs – you get top-end performance on a more sensible budget. Like the 2017's Sony BRAVIA XBR-65X900E the set uses Android TV, which is flexible but can feel slow at times. However, the balance of cost and image quality is spot-on.
In the UK this TV is knows as the Sony KD55XF9005.
Read the full review of the 65-inch version: Sony XBR-65X900F
3. Best budget 55-inch 4K TV: TCL 6-Series Roku TV (US only)
Can't spend more than $1,000? The TCL 6-Series is the best budget TV
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: N/A | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Roku TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1,239 x 717 x 36 mm
If you had deep pockets and a checkbook filled with blank checks, we'd tell you to reach deep and shell out for only the best TVs on the market – LG's crazy-thin OLED W8 or Samsung's ultra-bright Q9FN QLED. That's not really realistic, though. For the vast, vast majority of us, our budget to spend on a TV is limited to somewhere under $1,000 (and often less than that).
To that end, it's absolutely fair to say that the TCL 6-Series is the best TV you can possibly get in this price range. Its performance-per-dollar is unmatched, and its picture quality – despite a few minor flaws – will truly impress you.
Read the full review: TCL 6-Series (R615, R617)
4. Blow the budget: B&O BeoVision Eclipse
A money-no-object pick for those after a statement TV
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: N/A | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: WebOS | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1,390 x 1,235 x 518 mm
Buy a B&O TV and you don’t just get high-end image quality: the B&O BeoVision Eclipse is also a design statement.
It has an integrated 450W, six-driver soundbar and a motorized stand that lets you tilt the screen to suit your viewing position. It’s a stunning floor-standing TV (rather than one you mount on the wall).
The display itself is an OLED made by LG. You get the similar image quality and the same software, WebOS, as one of LG's own sets. That means perfect black and excellent color, if not quite as strong motion handling as the very latest high-end Sony LCD TVs.
If you're not bothered about the B&O magic sprinkled on the Eclipse, you'll see similar image quality with one of LG's latest OLEDs. However, this is one TV you can't just boil down to its image versus the price: it offers a different experience, and a different look, to any other TV out there.
The price? You'll need to cough up $9,995 (£7,495, AU$13,990).
Read the full review: B&O BeoVision Eclipse
5. Best premium 55-inch TV: Sony A1E OLED
Sony's flagship TV is returning to OLED
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 773 x 1239 x 266mm
It might seem ludicrously expensive, but Sony’s 55A1E – and the A1E OLED series in general – are phenomenal devices in just every way imaginable. Their ‘picture only’ design has been gorgeously brought to life, somehow managing to be simultaneously subtle and dramatic. This set even delivers on sound performance through their unique screen vibration technology.
Where the A1E really shines, though, is its ability to deliver pictures that are beautifully colorful, rich in contrast and exquisitely detailed. These prove once and for all what we’ve long suspected: more manufacturers incorporating OLED technology can only be a good thing.
Read the full review: Sony Bravia OLED A1E
6. For bright HDR pictures: Samsung 55Q9FAM
1,500 nits peak brightness really brings out the best in HDR
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: QLED | Smart TV: Tizen | Curved: No | Dimensions: 687mm x 1121mm x 211mm
Samsung was the first brand to introduce an HDR-compatible screen way back in 2015, but it's not been sitting back and taking it easy since.
It's latest flagship, the QN55Q9F (QE55Q9FAM in the UK), is a perfect example of this. It ups the brightness to 1500 nits, 50% higher than the level required for UHD Premium certification, making it one of the brightest TVs we've ever tested, and a front runner in the 55-inch 4K TV category.
Outside of an impressive-sounding number, this brightness has a real impact on the set's image quality. Detail is preserved in even the brightest areas of the image, and colors are exceptionally vivid and bright. That means even non-HDR content looks fantastic thanks to Samsung's SDR upscaling technology.
No TV is perfect: the Q9F can occasionally suffer from some backlight clouding around bright objects, and some settings cause color striping in HDR colors, but in all other respects this is one of the best televisions around at the moment.
Read the full review: Samsung Q9F QLED TV
7. For a full cinema experience: Philips OLED 901F
Philips' OLED shines brighter than most other 55-inch TVs
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1115 x 707 x 316 mm
AV enthusiasts living in the UK have it good. Not only do you have access to great OLEDs from Sony and LG, but Philips and Panasonic each have their own line of infinite contrast screens that are exclusive to your neck of the woods.
Of them, one of our favorites is the Philips 55POS901F: a gorgeous-looking 55-inch TV built around an OLED panel. The screen makes a stunning first impression thanks to the radiance of its three-sided Ambilight system and the gleaming metallic purity of its bodywork.
It’s much more than just a pretty face, though.
By the time you've added to the 55POS901F's heady 4K HDR picture mix OLED's ability to be watched from wider angles than current LCD TVs, without losing color and contrast, you have on your hands one of the best TVs on the market, even in the especially competitive 55-inch screen space.
Read the full review: Philips 55POS901F
8. The best entry-level OLED: LG OLED65B8
LG's entry level OLEDs continue to impress
Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: Freeview Play, Freeview Satellite | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: WebOS 3.5 | Curved: No | Dimensions: 57 x 32.7 x 1.85 inches (W x H x D)
If OLED displays seem too expensive, LG might just have your plan B. The LG OLED B8, like the OLED B7 before it, offers a great entry point into the OLED display technology.
It's exactly the same OLED panel as the more advanced W8, C8, or E8 televisions from LG, so even if it's the runt of the litter, you're still getting some serious OLED contrast levels at more affordable price.
The B8 has stuck with last year's processor while the rest of the family get an upgrade, but you're still getting a great base level of image quality. The body of the set has also been slimmed down to only 1.85 inches, seemingly without impacting on the sound quality from its built-in speakers.
If you're looking to get a taste of OLED for a good £200 / $200 less than the C8, the B8 is still an example of great image quality and gorgeous design. Get on that OLED ladder.
Read the full review: LG OLED B8 (OLED55B8, OLED65B8)
Everything you need to know about the new TV launches of 2019: