Best 55-inch TVs Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s guide to the best 55-inch 4K TVs you can buy in 2020.
It's a good time to upgrade your home entertainment experience and for many people, a 55-inch TV will be the optimum size. If that's you, read on, because we've trimmed down our list of the best TVs to bring you a specific run down of the best 55-inch TV sets currently available.
55-inch TVs are the sweet spot between 48, 49 and 50-inch TVs and 65-inch – more impressive visually than the former, more likely to fit in an alcove than the latter. And it's an increasingly popular size now that more and more of us are enjoying HD and 4K pictures.
Take the time to make sure your choice of TV has the connections you need and the feature support to watch your favourite streaming services. You can rest assured all the below sets deliver great pictures, while some come with upgraded TV speakers or soundbars to offer high-quality sound, too. So without further ado, let's help you choose the best 55-inch 4K TV for your home.
How do we choose the best 55-inch TVs?
Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them? The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics.
We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same price category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer.
From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That's why if you buy one of the products recommended below, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.
The A8 is Sony’s best OLED yet, and that’s really saying something. Sony rightfully has an excellent reputation for TV technology. The Japanese company might now be in the shade of LG and Samsung in some people's minds, but its clever picture processing and unusual approach to TV sound is respected far and wide.
The Sony KD-55A8 combines a 2020 LG OLED panel with Sony’s 2020 picture and sound smarts, and does so to excellent effect, making it already the TV to beat at this 55 inch screen size.
It's every bit as thin as you'd expect from a cutting-edge OLED TV, though it's worth noting that the feet are positioned at the edge of the screen, so you'll need a large stand to accommodate it. You may not need a soundbar, though, as Sony uses actuators that vibrate the screen imperceptibly, essentially turning the display into a big, flat speaker. The A8 combines two of these actuators with two subwoofers.
Expect the typical connections, streaming apps and tech features, including support for the crucial HDR picture formats. But the real excitement is finding out just how strongly this Sony A8 performs when it comes to picture and audio. The A8 majors on realism and authenticity, delivering a subtle but vibrant picture, without sacrificing punch or colours. Fast motion is handled with aplomb, too. Throw in the fact it sounds very good by prevailing standards, too, and you have a clear class-leader and simply one of Sony's best ever TVs. The best 55-inch TV to buy right now? We think so.
Read the full Sony KD-55A8 review
This 2020 Samsung QLED sets a formidable benchmark, offering high-end performance at a mid-range price.
It may look fairly familiar, a little bit chunkier than last year's models now that all the connections are inside rather than in a separate One Connect box, but there have been plenty of upgrades. The four HDMI inputs support the key features of HDMI 2.1, such as eARC and HFR, while 4K HDR streaming is available via Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+. In fact, the app support is superb, with pretty much every video and music streaming site you can think of on offer here. If there is a gap in the feature set, it's Dolby Vision.
A simple TV to set-up when it comes to getting the best possible picture, the Q80T ultimately delivers a brilliantly dynamic image with deep black levels, excellent contrast and neutral but vibrant colours. The colour balance remains a strength, no matter the material you're watching, while motion is handled confidently and smoothly throughout our testing. And while we'd recommend a soundbar or some speakers, Samsung's Object Tracking Sound technology provides open, engaging audio.
This is the first mid-range 55-inch TV we’ve seen in 2020, but the Samsung QE55Q80T sets a formidable benchmark thanks to its dynamic and solid picture, substantial sound and thorough feature set.
Read the full Samsung QE55Q80T review
With its incredible colours, intense blacks and razor-thin panel, this is just another in a long line of totally brilliant OLEDs from LG. The LG OLED55C9PLA is a great looking TV with a feature set to match – not to mention our 2019 TVs Product of the Year. There's a nifty gesture remote, a generous helping of inputs and outputs, and a thorough offering of streaming video and catch-up services, with Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Google Play Movies and more.
There’s also an Alexa app you can install to voice control your TV usage, plus Google Assistant too. HDR is taken care of by Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG. Sound is OK but the picture is almost perfect thanks to great colours, excellent contrast and super-sharp attention to detail. We want one.
Read the full LG OLED55C9PLA review
The TX-55GZ2000B's headline-grabbing feature is a speaker system that includes rear-mounted, upward-firing drivers for Dolby Atmos sound, and impressive it is, too.
But it also takes the attention away from the picture upgrades that Panasonic has bestowed upon this flagship OLED. Those picture upgrades are so special, in fact, they make the GZ2000 a better performer than LG’s 2019 OLEDs – meaning that this is the best OLED we’ve tested.
So why isn't it at the very top of this list? Simple: price. It costs around twice as much as an LG C9 of the same size. Sonically, it’s much better, but the picture is only a marginal step up. Therefore, as brilliant as the GZ2000 is, it doesn’t replace the LG C9 as our performance-per-pound TV recommendation. It is, though, the new money-no-object 55in TV of choice.
Read the full Panasonic TX-55GZ2000B review
Only the very best will do for Samsung. That’s why, despite its 2018 4K flagship being the best TV it had ever produced, with a performance way beyond that of any other backlit set, Samsung fixated on making it better. Sure enough, the new Q90R QLED is every bit as impressive as last year's model, but with practically all of its flaws fixed.
The Q90R QLED goes almost as black as an OLED and has OLED-like viewing angles, while retaining its own advantage of greater brightness. It also boasts brilliantly judged colours and excellent dark detail, not to mention an excellent operating system packed with apps. Better than OLED? It's mighty close.
Read the full Samsung QE55Q90R review
Let's get this out of the way: the Panasonic GZ950 OLED is not quite as good as the LG C9 in terms of picture quality. It's just that little bit less punchy and eye-popping. That said, it is a fair bit more affordable than the C9, it supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and it sounds significantly better.
In its own right, it also produces a great picture, with brilliantly natural colours and perfectly deep blacks, plus a very accomplished upscaler. In other words, this is a great option when choosing your next TV.
Read the full Panasonic TX-55GZ950B review
This LG 55 inch TV won a What Hi-Fi? Award last year, and while it may have been superseded by this year's models, it's still an absolute corker of a television. The pedestal stand isn't just a looker, as its ridged mouth also funnels sound towards the viewer.
The picture is superb, too, sharper, more detailed and punchier than the previous year's sets, and not far off this year's more expensive equivalent. Thanks to some good discounts, it's a great value 55 inch TV.
Read the full review: LG OLED55C8PLA
This 55 inch Philips TV is a dark horse. While it might not look anything that special, in terms of HDR content, it can hold its own against TVs costing three times its price. And when it comes to HD content, it can mix it with the best of them. Plus it has the brilliant Ambilight feature on board to draw you into the picture and make the whole viewing experience more immersive. Another great value 55 inch 4K TV.
Read the full review: Philips 55POS9002
Like the look of LG's C9 but want improved sound built in? This E9 could be just the ticket. It produces just the kind of picture we'd hope for and supplements it with impressive sonic aptitude.
This E9 has more speakers than its 2019 sibling (4.2ch compared with 2.2ch), more amplifier power (60W against 40W) and slightly different positioning (forward-firing vs down-firing). The result is a sonic performance unmatched by any budget soundbar we've tested, and with no extra boxes or cables!
Read the full LG OLED55E9PLA review
This five-star set comes with a soundbar made by speaker specialist B&W, so as you would expect it sounds fantastic. The colours pop from the screen while never looking too sherbety or artificial, and it packs in detail in spades.
It's the perfect complement to the audiophile-grade acoustics, which lend dialogue and sound effects so much more impact. Want a 55 inch TV but don't want to have to shop around for accompanying speakers? Buy this - you won't regret it.
Read the full review: Philips 55OLED903
The main difference between this TV and LG's C8, G8 and W8 ranges is that this one has a built-in soundbar, so you won't have to search the internet looking for some decent speakers.
The stand makes it appear as if the telly is floating, while the picture quality is excellent – it has the same screen and processing tech as the aforementioned TVs, hence gives the same superb results. A convenient solution for those in search of upgraded audio.
Read the full review: LG OLED55E8PLA
Incredibly thin, even by OLED's rather svelte standards, this TV is one of the most desirable Panasonic has made for years, albeit in a rather minimalist way. There are some missing apps (Google Play Movies & TV, for example), but otherwise it's a strong showing from the Panny.
Contrast is excellent, painting a huge difference between light and shade, and the colours superb, while motion processing - albeit bettered by pricier sets - certainly holds its own for the price. Make no mistake, this is a superb TV.
Not every TV in this list is an OLED. Samsung has come up with its own rival technology called QLED, and this is its second-tier model, which is a fair bit cheaper than its range topper.
The main compromise is less brightness and backlight dimming, but you'll need to be pretty keen-eyed to spot the difference. It delivers an astonishing amount of detail, with AI upscaling a particular highlight. In other words, you won't be disappointed. And that money you've saved could buy you a very nice sound system to accompany your new telly...