The best 50-inch OLED TVs are the perfect way to get a great TV without compromising to get the right size. Today’s best 50-inch OLED TVs come with features identical to what you’ll find in their 55-inch counterparts, from smart features and streaming services to high-dynamic-range (HDR) and 4K resolution, letting you fit the great picture and full smart features into a space that’s too small for a larger TV.
The best OLED TVs also have excellent contrast and brightness control, serving up super vibrant colors and the deepest blacks.
Many people looking for a new TV ask us: “why would I want an OLED TV?” We say: “why wouldn’t you want an OLED TV?”
Thanks to the advanced OLED (that’s organic LED) panel technology, the best OLED TVs from the biggest names in tech, including Panasonic, LG, and Sony offer brilliantly cinematic picture quality.
Obviously, you’ll be paying more for the privilege of OLED than you would with LED or QLED sets, but that’s to be expected.
Unlike some TV tech trends, OLED tech isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
That’s because OLED is all the rage these days, with the likes of Xiaomi, Vizio, and Sharp throwing their hats into the ring, even as Hisense ditches the technology altogether.
What’s more, new sizing options are vastly expanding consumer choice when it comes to which OLED TV will suit you.
While we saw the 48-inch OLED arrive in 2020, we know that even more compact 42-inch OLED TVs are coming this year, alongside a new super-sized 83-inch option that’ll be available for select sets.
Best Ranked50-inch OLED TVs of 2021
We don’t usually test 50-inch OLED TVs specifically, but more often focus on the 55- and 65-inch versions that have the same features and performance.
When a manufacturer makes a great 55- or 65-inch TV, we expect the smaller model will be just as good, so we’ve based our picks for 50-inch TVs on our experience with the larger versions.
1. Samsung Q80T QN50Q80TAFXZA
When you want the best 50-inch OLED TVs you can buy, the Samsung Q80T QLED is it. No other 50-inch TV can match its combination of performance and features.
Its QLED screen delivers beautiful colors, deep blacks, and excellent brightness — all the things you want in a picture.
It features a full array local dimming backlight to help it achieve its excellent contrast. Gamers and sports fanatics will love its fast 120Hz refresh rate.
The Q80T is packed with smarts, too. It uses Samsung’s Tizen platform, which includes most apps you could want.
You have a choice of voice assistants: Samsung’s Bixby, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. Like other Samsung TVs, it doesn’t support Dolby Vision but it can do HDR10+.
The best will cost you, however, as the Q80T runs more than twice as much as the more affordable units on this list.
Like the M-Series, the H8G employs quantum dot technology to boost color performance. This slick-looking set benefits from a full-array local dimming backlight, which helps it contrast.
The H8G is bright and sharp overall, and it’s low lag time could make it a better affordable choice for gamers than the M-Series.
We did see some issues with blurring during fast motion scenes, likely a result of the 60Hz refresh rate.
While it’s color reproduction wasn’t as good as the M-Series, it was still respectable.
Its implementation of Android TV is one of the best we’ve used and almost any app you could want is available.
You can also send content from your mobile device to the TV via Chromecast.
3. LG Gallery Series OLED TV
After a stunning OLED TV that will look picture-perfect on your living room wall? The LG Gallery Series OLED (or LG GX) should have you sorted.
While you’re getting the same panel and processor as the LG CX OLED, a few key features are different – not least its intended use as a wall-mounted set that really requires professional installation to look its best, with cables hidden away out of sight.
It’s worth noting that Samsung’s The Frame TV has a similar design mentality, but is a bit easier to set up on a counter, or keep its cables hidden without drilling into a wall (thanks, OneConnect box).
However, the picture you get on the Frame simply doesn’t compare to the OLED masterclass on the show with the Gallery Series.
Unlike the TV-soundbar combo of the LG WX, the GX OLED features built-in Dolby Atmos speakers and eARC support, all encased within a slim 5mm profile. Audio can feel slightly imbalanced at times, but if you’re looking for something sleek that doesn’t skimp on the picture, this may well be the OLED TV for you.
4. Sony KD-49XH9505
Move over old Sony (below), there’s a new 49-inch TV to beat. The Sony HX may look very similar to the previous generation model but the performance has improved across the bar.
Inside is the new X1 Ultimate chip, which aims to improve definition and contrast, and provides a faster experience around the Android TV interface.
You get all the apps you’d expect, from Amazon Prime Video to Disney+ and Netflix, plus support for catch-up TV apps, AirPlay 2, Dolby Vision and HDR10.
As for the picture, expect rich, punchy colours, excellent handling of fast motion and good black detail.
It looks great with high-quality Dolby Vision and HDR video, while gamers will be happy with the lower input lag and overall vibrancy.
Sound quality has taken a big step forward, too, with openness and dynamism that’s rare in a TV of this size and price.
5. TCL 5-Series 50S525
Further proving that you don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot from 50-inch OLED TVs, the TCL 5-Series brings tremendous colors and contrast to your room for under $500.
The TCL 6-Series is one of our favorite 55-inch TVs, but isn’t available in 50 inches.
The 5-Series offers many of the same features as the 6-Series, including a QLED screen as well as very low lag time and auto low latency mode, which gamers will appreciate.
It also uses Roku’s operating system, which offers tons of apps and is easy to navigate.
However, the 5-Series comes up a little short of the 6-Series in brightness and HDR performance, and it also only has a refresh rate of 60Hz.
But if you can’t squeeze a 6-Series into your space and you’re looking for a Roku TV, the 5-Series is definitely worth consideration.
Frequently Asked Questions
QUES: Is OLED better than LED?
ANS: Well, they’re different. OLED excels in some areas, such as contrast, color accuracy, and black levels – though the low brightness might rub you the wrong way.
QUES: Why is OLED so expensive?
ANS: They’re expensive and difficult to produce, with a lot of models suffering breakages while on the factory line. (Only the working ones make it to retail, of course.)