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 TV, and not as super-sized as the 65-inch TV or 75-inch TV either, the 55-inch TV occupies a great middle-ground between sheer size and practicality.
- If a 55-inch TV set sounds a little too big for your needs, then check out our pick of the best small TVs for your living room
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. 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.
The best 55-inch 4K TVs at a glance
- LG OLED55C9
- Sony XBR-55X900F
- TCL 6-Series Roku TV
- B&O BeoVision Eclipse
- Sony A9G/AG9 OLED
- Samsung Q90 QLED TV
- Philips OLED 803 4K
- LG B9 OLED
1. Best 55-inch TV: LG C9 OLED Series
You can't do much better than this
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
That's right: LG's C Series OLED tops this list for the second year running, with the new LG C9 model showing off the very best of LG's strengths.
With the well-organized webOS smart platform giving you easy access to the smart TV's many apps and services, and the OLED panel and upgraded a9 Gen 2 processor to make those images really pop, there's very little to criticize in this excellent 2019 LG TV.
The C9 isn't the most advanced LG TV out there, with the E9 and W9 models offering bolder design and bigger audio output – even if the picture quality is the same across all three models. But for the performance you get at the price, the C9 really can't be beat, and deserves pride of place at the flagship 55-inch TV size.
The sloped TV stand used in the C9 also works to funnel sound from its downward-firing speakers toward the viewer; not quite a replacement for the E9's 4.2 channel speakers, but a sign of the C9's persistence to offer the best experience it can with the parts provided.
Read the full review: LG C9 OLED (OLED55C9, OLED65C9, OLED77C9)
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 4K 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 A9G/AG9 OLED
The A9G Master Series is an OLED to take on the best
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD/Freesat | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1226 x 714 x 255mm (W x H x D)
Why buy the A9G OLED? The 2019 model excels when it comes to upscaling, with SD and HD images looking as polished and detailed as you could hope for on the A9G’s 4K display – while the OLED panel manages to draw out incredible color and contrast performance.
Sound is also a key feature, with Sony’s premium Acoustic Surface+ Audio technology emitting audio out of the panel itself, rather than jutting out of rear-firing speakers.
There are some specific flaws worth noting, including the lack of Freeview Play – the on demand service for British broadcasters. While you get premium Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos formats, there’s also no HDR10+, which may be an issue depending on which streaming services and HDR sources you use. The A9G is, however, IMAX Enhanced certified for those keen on the cinematic aspect ratio and DTS-mixed audio that affords.
If you can afford the eye-watering price, this is one of the best 55-inch TVs out there.
Read the full review: Sony A9G Master Series OLED
6. For bright HDR pictures: Samsung Q90 QLED TV
The best QLED to date
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview/FreeSat | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: QLED | Smart TV: Samsung Eden | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1450 x 922 x 284mm (W x H x D)
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.
Samsung has been pushing the brightness possible on its quantum dot LEDs (known as QLEDs), making for vibrant displays that really make those high dynamic range colors shine.
Nowhere is that clearer than the Q90 QLED, with 1,600 nits peak brightness, way above the 1,000 nits needed for UHD Premium certification. The Q90 isn't just bright, it's one of the brightest sets ever made.
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 – even if Samsung's QLEDs can have some slight bloom around bright objects (the price of such an illuminated display).
Samsung's new Ultra Viewing Angle technology also maintains the depth of color off-axis, making for an exceptional LCD TV.
Read the full review: Samsung Q90 QLED TV
7. For wow factor: Philips OLED 803 4K
Philips redefines reality with next-gen P5 image processor
Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: N/A | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Android N | Curved: No
Philips has significantly upgraded the picture processing power of its 2018 OLED TVs, and the benefits of this new-found brawn can be seen writ large, with enhanced contrast and spectacular colors.
The brand’s second generation P5 Perfect Processing Engine offers twice the picture processing power of the original, and that was a pretty impressive chip in its own right.
But the main draw may be what Philip's Ambilight lighting system brings to the viewing experience, throwing colors over the wall in a full-on feast for the eyes. Why limit the picture to just the television, after all?
Buyers should weigh the visual benefits against the minor irritations, like poor catch-up TV provision, just two full-spec UHD HDMI inputs, and the lack of Dolby Vision.
But the jazzy colors of the Philips Hue-compatible Ambilight room lighting system, and the eventual rollout of the Android Oreo smart system – as of June 2019 – could just manage to balance the books.
Read the full review: Philips OLED 803 4K HDR TV
8. The starter OLED: LG B9 OLED
OLED on a budget
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview Play, Freeview Satellite | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: WebOS | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1228 x 744 x 246mm (W x H x D)
Want a top-notch OLED panel, without the associated cost? You may want the LG B9 in your living room.
The B9 was a bit late to the party, only landing in the second half of 2019, but its low price point compared to the C Series or E Series makes it a tempting proposition. Of course, that affordability comes with a catch, as the B9 uses the a7 Gen 2 processor, instead of the more advanced a9 Gen 2 chip.
This means you’re not getting the best picture processing available – but aside from some mild video noise in dark scenes, and the occasional drop in frame rate, you’re still getting a high-quality picture at a (comparatively) cheap price.
You'll still be getting the expected 4K resolution, HDR support, and brilliant webOS smart platform of the best LG TVs too.
Read the full review: LG B9 OLED
Everything you need to know about the new TV launches of 2019:
What you need to know about Black Friday 2019
There's no question that Black Friday TV deals are going to be massive ahead of the November 29 start date and continue on through Cyber Monday in early December. Whether you're looking for a state-of-the-art 8K QLED TV, or a budget-friendly OLED to binge watch your favorite Netflix series on, make sure you bookmark our best Black Friday TV deals page for the latest updates in the run up to the sales extravaganza.