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Best 55-inch 4K TVs to buy in 2021

Included in this guide:

Best 55-inch 4K TVs against orange background
(Image credit: Future)
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The best 55-inch 4K TVs should be the first screens you consider in your quest to buy the perfect television for your home. As the closest thing we have to a standard-size television, the 55-inch TVs are largely the most representative models for top-notch TV quality today.

You can always opt for larger 65-inch TVs or 75-inch TVs for more screen real estate, or plumb the depths of our best small TV guide for something more compact – but those of you after a straightforward purchase that packages in today's key technologies at a sensible price and size, the best 55-inch 4K TVs will do it.

You'll still get premium features at this size too, with 4K resolution being guaranteed – even if the odd 8K TV at this size probably isn't a worthwhile investment – as well as HDR (high dynamic range) and built-in smart services and app support.

All the TVs we’ve 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 pros and cons of each model in our best 55-inch 4K TV guide.

The best 55-inch 4K TVs of 2021

The Samsung QN95A 55-inch 4K TV shows birds flying against yellow sky

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Best 55-inch 4K TV: Samsung QN95A Neo QLED

The arrival of Mini LED elevates Samsung to new heights

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel technology: Neo QLED
Smart TV: Tizen
Dimensions: 1227.4 x 706.2 x 25.9 mm
Reasons to buy
+Stellar picture quality+Impressive sound system
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision or Atmos-Freeview Play would be nice

The Samsung QN95A is the company’s new flagship Neo QLED 4K TV for 2021, and the first to embrace a Mini LED backlight, resulting in a significant increase in dimmable zones and thinner panels.

The results speak for themselves, with superb SDR and HDR images that benefit from deep blacks and brighter highlights, all of which are delivered without blooming or loss of shadow detail. The inclusion of quantum dot technology delivers saturated and nuanced colours, and thanks to the Filmmaker Mode these images are also extremely accurate.

Unlike last year, Samsung is not short-changing its 4K line-up in an effort to push sales of the 8K ranges. So the QN95A boasts an impressive set of features, which is headlined by a well-designed and comprehensive smart platform that includes every major streaming app. 

There’s also a host of cutting-edge gaming features that’ll please next-gen console owners, and a powerful 4.2.2-channel sound system packed into the TV’s ultra-slim chassis. Just keep in mind that you'll be making do with HDR10+ support rather than the more prevalent Dolby Vision HDR standard.

Read the full review: Samsung QN95A Neo QLED TV

The 55-inch LG C1 OLED with pink tree onscreen

(Image credit: LG)

2. Best 55-inch 4K TV with OLED: LG C1 Series

A spectacular (if iterative) OLED TV

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel type: OLED
Smart TV: webOS
Dimensions: 1228 x 706 x 46.9 mm
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful 4K/HDR picture+WebOS is fantastic
Reasons to avoid
-Reflective glass surface-No HDR10+

For those tempted by the deep blacks and infinite contrast of an OLED TV, the LG C1 Series is your best bet.

The new a9 Gen 4 chipset adds in AI processing to between distinguish between objects and their backgrounds – something that's at the heart of a lot of advancements in today's TV market. This stellar OLED TV packs in four dedicated HDMI 2.1 ports (ideal for next-gen gaming) and even comes with a new Game Optimiser menu that gives you the option to quickly adjust brightness, contrast and VRR on the fly.

The LG C1 isn’t flawless, as we did encounter issues around how the new a9 Gen 4 processor upscales faces, and how reflective the all-glass screen is during daylight hours, but the issues are few and far between. (The step-up LG G1 OLED offers even more brightness too, for those able to double their budget for a 55-inch 4K TV.)

Read the full review: LG C1 OLED

TCL's 55-inch 4K TV hanging above shelving and storage

(Image credit: TCL)

3. Best 55-inch 4K TV on a budget: TCL 6-Series Roku TV (US)

TCL’s affordable 6-Series is a beacon of hope for budget buyers

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Panel technology: LED
Smart TV: Roku TV
Dimensions: 1,239 x 717 x 36 mm
Reasons to buy
+Bright, colorful HDR+Roku TV is amazing
Reasons to avoid
-Upscaling isn’t world-class-Poor black level performance

While we could easily fill this list with TVs that cost thousands, we try to measure screens by how well they perform for their price – and, by that metric, there are few TVs better than the TCL 6-Series QLED (55R625), one of the best TCL TVs out there.

Thanks to the addition of Quantum Dots, the 6-Series is more colorful than ever before and the new AIPQ engine makes upscaled content look even better than last year, too. It may not be able to output the same peak brightness as QLED TVs from Samsung and Vizio, but it costs less than half of the competition. We can't recommend it highly enough.

Read the full review: TCL 6-Series (R625)

The 55-inch Sony A90J with adjustable feet

(Image credit: Sony)

4. Best all-round 55-inch 4K TV: Sony A90J

Sony advances the art of OLED with the A90J

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch, 65-inch, 83-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel Type: OLED
Smart TV: Google TV
Dimensions: 1223 x 709 x 41 mm
Reasons to buy
+Robust sound+Nice new OS
Reasons to avoid
-No UK catch-up TV services-Missing some key features

The Sony A90J is more than a few steps ahead when it comes to sound quality. Using the entire surface of the screen as a speaker is still novel and effective, and backing it up with two conventional bass drivers means the A90J sounds fuller, more direct and just, well, better than any alternative that doesn’t feature an off-board sound system.

Picture quality, from any source, is about as good as it currently gets from any 4K screen. In every meaningful department – motion control, contrast, edge definition, detail levels, you name it. For those moments when you’re reduced to watching sub-4K content, it’s great at upscaling, too. 

Add in a smart new Google TV interface, the usual Sony standard of build and finish, feet that change position to accommodate a soundbar, an exclusive movie streaming service, and an authentically well-designed remote control – ignoring the inexplicable lack of UK TV catch-up services – and the A90J looks like the complete package. Although complete packages seldom come cheap.

Read the full review: Sony A90J OLED TV review

Panasonic JZ2000 OLED TV in white living room

(Image credit: Panasonic)

5. Best 55-inch 4K TV for UK: Panasonic JZ2000 OLED

A cinematic OLED TV with speakers to match the screen

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch, 65-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel technology: OLED
Smart TV: My Home Screen 6.0
Dimensions: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision
Reasons to buy
+Side-firing speakers+Four HDMI 2.1 inputs
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky remote-Not a slim TV

The Panasonic JZ2000 OLED is a force to be reckoned with. With its Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel, an overhauled sound system that belts Dolby Atmos sound out of every corner, and a boost to gaming specs and HDMI 2.1 connectivity, this flagship 2021 screen is easily one of the best TVs we’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing.

It’s the small changes that mark out the JZ2000 over its predecessor, the (also five-star) HZ2000. You’ll now find HDMI 2.1 inputs, along with VRR (variable refresh rate), ALLM (auto low latency mode) and a reduced input lag of just 14.4ms – making this a much better bet for hooking up to a PS5 or Xbox Series X console.

While the small drop in overall audio output may sound like a loss to some, the 125W on show here is certainly enough to blast your eardrums into next week (if that’s what you’re after). 

We could barely get above the halfway point on this screen’s volume, while the redistribution of drivers to emit sound out of the sides only improves the spread of sound around your living room or home cinema cave. If you don't need that much sound, though, we can also recommend the step-down JZ1000 for a lot less cash.

Read our full review: Panasonic JZ2000 review

55-inch Samsung TU8000 placed on counter in heavily decorated living room

(Image credit: Samsung)

6. Best 55-inch 4K TV on a budget: Samsung TU8000

The TU8000 is good for everyday television or gaming at home

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Panel technology: LED
Smart TV: Tizen
Dimensions: 1237.2 x 776.9 x 237.2 mm (W x H x D)
Reasons to buy
+Low input lag! +Solid motion handling
Reasons to avoid
-Narrow viewing angles-Lacks brightness

If your living room – and budget – can't handle a 65-inch TV, take a look at the truly spectacular TU8000 Series. You'll get an incredibly low input lag (just 9.7ms) as well as a motion handling technology to keep the action looking consistently smooth. What else could you ask for?

You're not getting all of the gaming technologies of some other sets in this list, as HDMI 2.1, VRR (variable refresh rate), or a 120Hz panel – but for the everyday gamer, this is a set that gets the basics very right.

You will need to watch out for the narrow viewing angles: content looks best straight on, with color draining from the sides, so it might not be the best choice for four-party Switch game sessions. On the whole, though, this is a solid choice. 

If you're in the US, you might still be able to find the slightly older RU8000 – increasingly hard these days – which does offer up to 120Hz refresh rate (for 50-inch sizes and above) as well as VRR, and might be worth picking up on the cheap.

Read the full review: Samsung TU8000

55-inch Philips OLED 805 glows blue with Ambilight projection

(Image credit: Philips)

7. Most unique 55-inch 4K TV: Philips OLED 805 (UK)

Gorgeous Ambilight colors with an OLED panel? Count us in

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Panel technology: OLED
Smart TV: Android
Dimensions: 1228 x 706 x 58mm (HxWxD)
Reasons to buy
+Lovely design+Immersive Ambilight
Reasons to avoid
-No Freeview Play-Android TV issues

The Philips OLED 805 is a winning combination of excellent picture quality, powerful processing, and lovely build quality – but it's the Ambilight feature that's the real star of the show here.

Ambilight projects a cornucopia of colors around the edges of the television, and this 805 model can do so from three sides – not quite the four-sided Ambilight of the flagship OLED+935, but still plenty to create an immersive light show.

But the 805 OLED isn't just for show: thanks to Philips' beefy P5 Picture processor, its able to give real force to OLED images, with enhanced contrast and spectacular colors – even when upscaling from HD/SDR. Philips improves on last year's 804 model too with both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support, meaning you won't have to choose between a dynamic HDR format.

There isn't Apple TV app support, though – and the Android smart TV platform can feel unwieldy at times. The lack of Freeview Play, too, can be frustrating for UK viewers, without catch-up provision for the likes of ITV and BBC. Overall, though, it's a small price to pay for what's on offer.

Read the full review: Philips OLED 805

55-inch Hisense TV shows swirling paint-like colors

(Image credit: Hisense)

8. Best value 55-inch 4K TV: Hisense U6G ULED (US)

A quality budget TV

Specifications
Screen size: 55-inch
Resolution: 4K
Panel type: ULED (LED-LCD)
Smart TV: Android TV
Dimensions: 53.6 x 33 x 6.4 inches
Reasons to buy
+Excellent image quality+Android TV is solid
Reasons to avoid
-Remote is a bit much in 2021-Buy a soundbar

The Hisense U6G may not offer all the fancy bells and whistles that you would expect from more expensive options, but it still offers an excellent image quality for a TV in this price range. 

To wit, those features include support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and more. The TV offers up to 600 nits of brightness, which is fine for most situations, and while panels on this TV may not be overly consistent, under normal viewing you won’t really notice any blotchiness or blooming.

The TV comes with Google’s Android TV, which is getting more and more responsive as TVs get more powerful. It’s not bad here at all, and while you may still have to wait a second or two every now and then, for the most part, you’ll be able to get where you need to in a timely matter.

You can’t do much better in this price range, especially if you either like Android TV or plan on using an external streaming device. Most competitors either don’t offer local dimming, don’t get as bright, or offer an inferior software experience. 

Read our full Hisense U6G ULED TV review

Best 55-inch TV FAQ

What is the best 55-inch smart TV?

Right now, that's the Samsung QN95A, which tops our best 55-inch TV guide. But its pricing and Mini LED system mean it won't be the best choice for everyone – those of you who prefer OLED pictures, or just something a bit cheaper, have plenty of options that will sit right at home in your, well, home.

How much should you pay for a 55-inch TV?

55-inch TVs can be very cheap, with some budget LCD models costing just $400 / £400 – though that number will double for mod mid-tier options, if not triple and quadruple for high-end screens with OLED panels or Mini LED backlighting. A brand new 55-inch OLED will usually cost around $1,799 / £1,799, for example.

Is a 55-inch smart TV big enough?

55-inch TVs are the flagship size for today's televisions. That makes it pretty much the most common sizing option, as a kind of happy medium between 32-inch small TVs and massive 75-inch TVs.

It's worth thinking hard about how important screen size is to you, though. You'll likely pay less for smaller screens, as with the 48-inch OLED TVs that generally offer premium TV tech for less, or the lower-spec models found at 40-inch sizes.

However, larger screens are increasingly becoming the norm for those that can fit them into their home, and mass production means a big-screen display isn't quite the bank-breaking cost that it used to be.

A bigger screen means more detail that's more easily visible at a larger distance – ideal for family movie nights or those after a truly impactful home cinema. Keep in mind though that picture defects are also more visible at larger sizes, so you should make sure that you're getting a TV good enough to warrant a step-up screen size.

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.