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Best 55 inch TVs: the ultimate 55 inch 4K smart TVs

Best 55 inch TVs Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s guide to the best 55 inch 4K TVs you can buy in 2019.

For many people, 55 inches is the optimum size for a TV. It's the sweet spot between 48, 49 and 50 inch TVs and 65 inch TVs - 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.

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 TVs currently available.

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. 

And with Black Friday around the corner, it's a good time to be keeping an eye out for 4K TV deals. So without further ado, let's find you a new 55 inch TV!

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.

best 55 inch TV

(Image credit: Future)

1. LG OLED55C9PLA

Superb OLED TV with flagship picture performance

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: webOS | HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision | HDMI: 4 | USB: 3 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 123 x 74 x 25cm (w/out stand)

Reasons to Buy

Rich and natural colours
Inky dark blacks
Genuine upscaling class
Excellent levels of detail

Reasons to Avoid

Finest dark details missing
Sound isn’t spectacular

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. 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 review: LG OLED55C9PLA

Best 55 inch TVs 2019

2. Samsung QE55Q90R

Is this 2019 QLED better than OLED? Possibly.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: QLED | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG | HDMI inputs: 4 | Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 92 x 145 x 28cm

Reasons to Buy

Natural, authentic colours
Deep, detailed blacks
Wide viewing angles

Reasons to Avoid

Motion processing not perfect
Others sound better

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

Best 4K TVs 2019

(Image credit: Future)

3. Panasonic TX-55GZ950B

An OLED that undercuts the C9 on price and betters it for sound.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision | HDMI inputs: 4 | Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 77 x 123 x 30

Reasons to Buy

Impressive sound for a TV
Balanced, natural picture
Dolby Vision and HDR10+

Reasons to Avoid

Some rivals are punchier
Bland operating system
Lacks some apps

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

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

4. LG OLED55C8PLA

A great all-rounder, now with a price cut.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: webOS | HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision | HDMI: 4 | USB: 3 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 75.7x122.8x23cm

Reasons to Buy

Bright, punchy, sharp
Natural images
Brilliant upscaling

Reasons to Avoid

Motion could be better
Confusing menus
Average sound

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

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

5. Philips 55POS9002

One of the very best pound-for-pound OLED TVs we've ever seen.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: Android | HDR formats: HDR10, HLG | HDMI: 4 | USB: 2 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 76.8x123x22.8cm

Reasons to Buy

Stellar HDR
Ambilight
Very good audio

Reasons to Avoid

Some missing apps
Subpar motion

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

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

6. Panasonic TX-55FZ952B

An OLED that can compete with the best around.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: my Home Screen | HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG | HDMI: 4 | USB: 3 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 78.5x122.8x33cm

Reasons to Buy

Vibrant picture
Natural colours
Bags of detail

Reasons to Avoid

Could be brighter and sharper
Basic OS

If you're after a 55 inch TV that also sounds great, look no further. This Panasonic TV comes with a soundbar made by Technics, making it one of the best-sounding TVs we've ever heard. But there's a lot more to it than just audio. The picture is stellar, with accurate colours that manage to be bright without ever looking artificial. Motion processing is on point too, making it ideal for fast-moving content like sports and action flicks. The ideal 55 inch partner for your summer of sport. 

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-55FZ952B

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

7. Philips 55OLED803

The most convincing argument yet against buying an LG OLED.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: Android | HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG | HDMI: 4 | USB: 2 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 71.3x122.8x23cm

Reasons to Buy

Bright and colourful
Superb detail
Even audio

Reasons to Avoid

Missing some major apps
Imperfect skin tones
Average motion

Elegance is the order of the day here, and we're not just talking about this TV's Ambilight feature. Packed in is a level of detail that would put pricier sets to shame, while the contrast is next level good - there's a world of difference between the light and dark parts of the picture, lending the image real depth and realism. Even the sound manages to be satisfyingly deep and rich, which is all the more impressive when you consider how slim this TV is. First class.

Read the full review: Philips 55OLED803

(Image credit: Future/Amazon)

8. LG OLED55E9PLA

An impressive OLED picture with the sound to match.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: OLED | Resolution: 4K | HDR support: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG | HDMI inputs: 4 | Dimensions (hwd, with stand): 75.3 x 122.6 x 5cm

Reasons to Buy

Deep, rich blacks
Superb sense of realism
Solid, weighty sound

Reasons to Avoid

Motion could be more natural
Not the last word in black detail
No HDR10+ support

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

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

9. Philips 55OLED903

A B&W sonic boon makes this set one to be reckoned with.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: Android | HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG | HDMI: 4 | USB: 2 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 76.3x122.8x23cm

Reasons to Buy

Great blacks
Brilliant colours
Excellent sound

Reasons to Avoid

Inaccurate skin tones
Bettered for motion
Harsh treble

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

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

10. LG OLED55E8PLA

Not the best value set around, but still an absolute stunner.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: webOS | HDR formats: HDR10 Pro, Advanced HDR by Technicolor, HLG, Dolby Vision | HDMI: 4 | USB: 3 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 78.4x122.8x22.2cm

Reasons to Buy

Best-in-class picture
Sumptuous design
Well-equipped smarts

Reasons to Avoid

Pricey

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

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

11. LG OLED55B8PLA

A brilliant 55 inch bargain.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: webOS | HDR formats: HDR10 Pro, Advanced HDR by Technicolor, HLG, Dolby Vision | HDMI: 4 | USB: 3 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 75.2x122.8x22cm

Reasons to Buy

Rich colours
Perfect blacks
Impressive value

Reasons to Avoid

Beaten by other LGs
Could be brighter

Newer LGs might have more advanced innards, but this one still has it where it counts. And because it's a little older, it can be found for just over a grand - that's superb value for a 55 inch TV. Especially one of this quality - colour tones are on the money, as is the shading. If you can live without having the latest and greatest - and we advise you do - last year's model comes highly recommended.

Read the full review: LG OLED55B8PLA

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

12. Panasonic TX-55FZ802

The best Panasonic TV we've seen for a while.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: my Home Screen | HDR formats: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG | HDMI: 4 | USB: 3 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 77.4x122.8x30cm

Reasons to Buy

Great contrast
Plenty of detail
Brilliant upscaling

Reasons to Avoid

Could be sharper
Dodgy OS

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.

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-55FZ802

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

13. Samsung QE55Q85R

This QLED number has an excellent picture and is a pleasure to use.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: Tizen | HDR formats: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG | HDMI: 4 | USB: 3 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 79.2x123x23cm

Reasons to Buy

Spot-on blacks
Amazing upscaling
Wide viewing angles

Reasons to Avoid

Thin sound
Motion could be better
Awkward price

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...

Read the full review: Samsung QE55Q85R

Best 55 inch TVs: OLED, 4K, HDR, QLED

14. Samsung QE55Q8DN

Samsung's excellent direct backlight tech becomes more affordable.

SPECIFICATIONS

Resolution: 3840x2160 | Operating system: Tizen | HDR formats: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG | HDMI: 4 | USB: 3 | Optical: 1 | Dimensions (HWD with stand): 77.9x123x24.7cm

Reasons to Buy

Great blacks
Bright colours
Awesome detailing

Reasons to Avoid

No OneConnect box
Bettered for brightness...
...And audio

This is an attempt by Samsung to pack its direct backlighting technology into a cheaper package than it's offered before. And the results are impressive - picture quality is very good indeed, with colours popping while remaining naturally balanced. The detail and edge definition are class-leading too, putting in one of the sharpest, most detailed 4K performances currently available. It also gives room for HD and standard definition content to shine. A great bet for your next TV. 

Read the full review: Samsung QE55Q8DN