Best 48, 49 and 50-inch TVs 2019: Budget to premium 4K TVs

Best 48, 49 and 50-inch TV Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best 48, 49 and 50-inch TVs you can buy in 2019.

While once a 48-50in TV would have been considered huge, it's now considered by many manufacturers to be too small to receive true, flagship features. OLED TVs don't get smaller than 55in, for example, neither does Samsung's top-of-the-range QLED model.

But what if that's the maximum size you want or are able to fit in your lounge? Actually, we've got good news. While a true flagship might be out of the question, you're in prime mainstream territory, where manufacturers and retailers sell the most models and where competition is at its fiercest. In other words, you can expect to get excellent value for money.

Almost all models at this size are now 4K, and there's no need to look for a Full HD model, because these 4K models are already very affordable indeed. You can expect HDR, too, at least in HDR10 form but often in the more advanced HLG, Dolby Vision and/or HDR10+.

Most TVs at the size will have edge LED backlights, but some, generally more expensive models might have a direct, full array backlight that could result in greater brightness and contrast. That's no given, though - there are plenty of very good edge backlights out there and a fair few poor direct backlights. Use our reviews for guidance or, even better, check out the sets for yourself in your local shop.

That's probably enough preamble - below you'll find our favourite 48, 49 and 50in TVs. If this is the size you've selected, scroll down to find your next TV.

Best 48, 49 and 50-inch TVs 2019: Budget to premium 4K TVs

1. Sony KD-49XF9005

A class-leading belter of a 4K TV that truly excels for the price

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: LCD with edge LED backlight | Resolution: 4K | HDMI inputs: 4 | HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision: | Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 63 x 109 x 6.9cm

Reasons to Buy
Nuanced yet punchy colours
Impressive contrast
Full range of apps
Reasons to Avoid
Android TV is a bit clunky

A What Hi-Fi? 2018 Award winner, this premium 49in Sony is the absolute best in class at this size, marrying benchmark performance across the board with fab features and great performance-per-pound price.

While its Android TV OS isn't as intuitive as others, it brings some benefits: the Google Play Movies & TV app for 4K HDR rentals, and support for Google Home and Amazon Echo voice control, so if you have smart speakers you can use them to search and play content hands-free.

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are included (and in 4K HDR), as are catch-up apps from the BBC, ITV, All 4 and Demand 5. The iPlayer app is also 4K and HDR compatible, and YouView is integrated too.

Read the full review: Sony KD-49XF9005

Best 48, 49 and 50-inch TVs 2019: Budget to premium 4K TVs

2. Philips 50PUS6703

This Award-winning Ambilight TV has a picture to brighten up your day

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: LCD with edge LED backlight | Resolution: 4K | HDMI inputs: 3 | HDR: HDR10, HLG | Dimensions (hwd, without stand): 66 x 113 x 8.3cm

Reasons to Buy
Popping, dynamic image
Great handling of detail
Ambilight
Reasons to Avoid
Dull user interface
Amazon Prime Video isn’t HDR
Uninspired remote

Philips is enjoying a good run of form with excellent value TVs, and this 2018 What Hi-Fi? Award winner is the best of the lot.

Like any TV at this sort of price, the 50PUS6703 has its shortcomings: a pretty lacklustre interface and the absence of HDR support within the Amazon Prime Video app are the big ones. But it more than makes up for that with an impressively punchy, dynamic and detailed picture and an effective implementation of Ambilight (lights that shine on the wall behind and to the side of the TV to enhance what you're watching).

Netflix (4K HDR) and Amazon (4K) are both on-board, and on the catch-up side iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and Demand5 all make an appearance.

All in all, the 50PUS6703 is a superb TV at a startlingly low cost.

Read the full review: Philips 50PUS6703