1. OLED or QLED?
There's only one letter difference in their acronyms, but when it comes to OLED and QLED, the two TV technologies are actually very different, which is why so many people struggle to understand differences and whether OLED or QLED is correct. But by the end of this post, all will be clear.
OLED and QLED both have a very different path to achieving the same result: bold and dramatic images, with rich contrast that brings high dynamic range (HDR) video to life on the best TVs.
There are so many factors in a TV other than panel technology, so there's no way to make a sweeping statement. You'll have to consider your budget, the screen size you want, the extra features you want.
But we're here to help you choose, so assuming you find OLED and QLED that meet all of those criteria and you're not sure which one to choose, here are the final differences:
If you watch TV during the day in a brightly lit room, a QLED TV might be a better choice, as the extra brightness can help overcome sunlight.
If you're a movie buff looking for the richest images, OLED's stunning contrast is likely to be more than satisfying.
Screen burn-out is a small risk on OLED TVs, but certainly not unheard of - if you tend to play a game for really long periods without the graphics changing much, then it's best. stick with QLED - this is really true. However, not many people.
The LG OLED 48 CX PUB is the bright spot in its 2021 range, delivering the highest quality 4K screens LG produces (and LG is one of the best in the field), but at a price that makes it among the most affordable OLED TVs.
It's truly a spectacular TV: The nuance it can produce in contrast-rich scenes is far superior to what the LCD TV here can handle. Mood scenes have a much closer realism than what the eye can perceive, and OLED's ability to have bright spots right next to dark areas without bleeding between them.
LG OLED 48 CX PUB also has a really user-friendly and easy-to-understand smart TV platform, with great app support. And it's crammed with premium tech features, including all four HDMI connections that support all the latest special features of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, including 4K video at 120 frames. frames per second, Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).
SAMSUNG 49 QLED Q80T is a great balance within the Samsung range, packing every key feature the brand offers in 2020 - including a 4K QLED panel with local dimming, plus processing tech and top smart TVs, as well as the latest gaming features - into 49- inch sets.
As a result, HDR is particularly impressive, with nice colors, plenty of shadow detail and striking highlights.
After you include the Quantum Processor with AI-enhanced upscaling and image processing, you'll have a 50-inch HDR TV that can deliver impressive visuals no matter what you're watching.
Here's the winner for the all-around image quality - QLED's colors make movies look lush, the upgrade is a hand in converting HD programs to take advantage of the resolution, and it's also really good for motion.
2. The size
Think of buying a TV like you would any piece of furniture. It should fit wherever you plan to place it and ideally it should be proportionate to the surrounding furniture and walls. For example, a 32-inch TV would oddly look floating on a large ceiling wall, while a 75-inch jumbotron could tame a cramped living room.
Just take the tape measure and check. TV dimensions are measured along the diagonal of the screen, so when measuring your space, make sure to use the listed widths, height, and depth sizes for the TV.
If you have the space, the 50 to 60 inch TV is a comfortable size (like Hisense 50H8G). When you sit 6 to 10 feet away, usually the case with the living room layout. It's large enough to create a rich viewing experience with lights off, but not so big that it dominates entirely in a living room of modest size.
On the other hand, no one who likes to watch TV would regret buying a larger TV. So if you have room and can comfortably afford a larger size, get it.
The best 50 inch TV in the budget category we tested was the Hisense 50H8G. It's pretty well built and has a nice, bezel-less design. It is limited to 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't support VRR, but most gamers should appreciate its fast response time and low input lag.
It has a VA panel with an excellent contrast ratio and good full-array local dimming that improves contrast. Hisense 50H8G also comes in pretty good uniform black, so it's a great option for watching movies in a dark room.
Another affordable choice for the range of best 50 inch TVs is SAMSUNG TU-8000. While lacking local dimming, it renders deep blacks thanks to its superior contrast ratio and substantial black uniformity, best suited for viewing dark content in dark rooms.
Unfortunately, SAMSUNG TU-8000 has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out when viewed from the sides, but this is to be expected from the VA console. On the other hand, it has a good response time that results in clear movement and significantly low input lag to deliver a responsive gaming experience, but without variable refresh rate (VRR) support.
If you are not going to mount the TV to the wall, you should consider the type of bracket that comes with it. The stand design will determine the type of furniture that you can safely place it on. Today, manufacturers tend to favor two-foot-wide stands, which require you to place the TV on a surface as wide as the monitor itself.
Some TV manufacturers still use a center-mounted stand that allows you to place a larger screen on a smaller piece of furniture, such as a back table, but those designs are becoming increasingly rare in some of the more affordable TVs.
Read more: Best 65 Inch TVs.
SAMSUNG 50-inch Class Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series - 4K UHD HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-in (UN50TU8000FXZA, 2020 Model)View on Amazon
SAMSUNG UN50TU8000FXZA 50 inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV 2020 Model Bundle with 1 Year Extended Protection PlanView on Amazon
Samsung UN50RU7100FXZA Flat 50-Inch 4K UHD 7 Series Ultra HD Smart TV with HDR and Alexa Compatibility (2019 Model)View on Amazon
SAMSUNG 50-inch Class QLED Q60T Series - 4K UHD Dual LED Quantum HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-in (QN50Q60TAFXZA, 2020 Model)View on Amazon
Last update on 2021-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
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1. 4K and 1080p Full HD - Which should you get?
This is the big question right now. If you want to be a testament to the future and believe in keeping a TV for as long as possible, then 4K is the way to go. YouTube also has a ton of 4K content online, and you can enjoy it on your TV using media players connected to your TV. If you don't have any plans to upgrade to 4K in the next two to three years, you can use the full HD suite.
Some 4K TVs that we can recommend you are: LG OLED 48 CX PUB, SAMSUNG 49 QLED Q80T, Hisense 50H8G, and SAMSUNG TU-8000.
Read more: Best TVs under $1000.
2. Are all HDR TVs created equal?
It’s a no. Our tests show that not every TV with "HDR" on the box produces an equally vivid picture. That's one reason why we now offer a separate HDR score in our TV ratings.
First of all, the TV is all on the map when it comes to picture quality, HDR or non-HDR. However, this technology also has specific challenges. Most notably, a TV might not be bright enough to actually deliver HDR. To understand the reason, you will need to know the “nits” of your TV, which is used to measure the brightness.
Better performing HDR TVs typically produce at least 600 nits of the highest brightness, with peak performance reaching 1,000 nits or more. But many HDR TVs only produce 100 to 300 nits. With an ineffective TV, the flame of a rocket launch becomes a single large white flame. With a brighter television, you'll see blades of fire and smoke, as if you were really there.
3. How can I tell a great HDR TV from a bad one?
Unfortunately, you can't just read the packaging - or even rely on how pictures are in store.
Some TVs have the Ultra HD Premium logo, which shows that they have been certified as high-performance sets by an industry group called the UHD Alliance, but not all companies agree. For example, LG and Samsung join the program; Sony and Vizio are not.
4. What will a smart TV offer me?
Smart TVs are an integral part of any rich home entertainment setup, no matter how serious you take your TV. If you're a casual viewer, Smart TV transforms the way and ease of watching your favorite shows.
Thanks to on-demand update services like Netflix or Youtube, you can watch new and old sitcoms, soap, and reality shows without any subscription (other than TV license your standards). Any time you sit down to relax quickly, you'll be sure to find what you want to see.
5. Can you recommend me with more choices?
Of course yes, it's hard to thoroughly review all the best 48 - 49 - 50 inch TVs on this list, as each TV has its own unique features. However, in addition to the representatives we mentioned above, there are a few bright candidates that we think you should pay attention to such as:
Sony X950H 49 Inch TV: For a 49-inch 4K TV, it has an impressive performance - the control panel benefits from direct full-range LED backlighting with local dimming and a host of image-processing features.
LG 49SM8600PUA: A comprehensive set of video players that includes Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Apple TV +, Disney + and US catch-up services, making the SM86 the smartest 49-inch TV you can buy.
TCL 49S325: The 49S325 gives you a variety of input options, including 3 HDMI ports, one including HDMI ARC, plus USB media player connection, one coax/cable antenna port, and composite input for older analog devices.
Hopefully, with the products we mentioned above, you will make the most suitable choice. To recap the most notable products on the list, we have shortened and selected these TVs:
Best 48 inch TVs: LG OLED 48 CX PUB
Best 49 inch TVs: Sony X950H 49 Inch TV
Best 50 inch TVs: Samsung UN50RU7100FXZA
Best budget: All-New Toshiba 50LF621U21 50-inch