Winter is coming, and as the weather gets cooler, and the holidays get closer – people are going to be spending a lot of time indoors in front of their TV. That makes this the absolute perfect time to finally get one of the best 55-inch 4K TVs you’ve had your eye on.
Due to their overwhelming popularity, TV manufacturers are packing the best 55-inch 4K TVs to the brim with all of the newest and flashiest technology around today. Plus, finding a TV that strikes that ideal balance between price, size, and display technology is easier now than it has ever been before. If the TV in your living room is starting to look a little tired – please, do yourself a favor and refresh your AV setup. Today is the day.
This focused attention that TV manufacturers are paying to this screen size means that no matter what kind of TV you’re looking for, no matter the HDR technology and smart TV features that you need in your life, there will very likely be a 55-inch 4K TV that is perfect for your needs – especially if you’re still stuck in a 1080p world.
Every single variety of display technology is going to be available in the best 55-inch 4K TVs, from LCD to OLED or LED – even to Samsung’s own QLED technology – you’ll find a TV that utilizes it. And, if you like to stream, all of the best 55-inch 4K TVs come with the newest smart technology, so you can watch all your favorite shows right out of the box.
Now, without any further ado, if you’re thinking about buying one of the best 55-inch 4K TVs, our recommendations in this list are a great place to start, as every TV on this list has been rigorously tested and has earned our seal of approval.
1. The best 55-inch TV of 2017: LG OLED55C7
Stunning pictures at an affordable price puts OLED back on top
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: webOS 3.5 | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1,225 x 714 x 48.9 mm
Stunning contrast-rich pictures
Gorgeous ultra-thin design
Excellent operating system
Lacks brightness vs LCD
There is a clear winner in the 55-inch 4K TV game, and it’s the LG OLED C7 – available in a 55-inch version as well as a 65-inch. By offering significantly better brightness and light control over last year’s C6, it gains this spot by becoming a high dynamic range performer that doesn’t sacrifice OLED’s class-leading standard dynamic range capabilities. These new lovely display capabilities are delivered with a price tag that finally makes OLED a financially viable alternative to high-end LCD TVs cementing it as one of 2017’s best 55-inch TVs.
While there are other OLEDs worth considering in 2017 (see: Sony’s A1E OLED or LG’s B7 and W7), when you think about just how well LG’s OLED C7 performs, particularly at this price point, there’s just no TV this year that can really beat it out.
Read the full review: LG OLED55C7
2. The best mid-range 55-inch TV: Sony XBR-55X900E
Sleek, capable and almost what we’d consider affordable
Screen size: 55-inches | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: Direct-lit LCD with local dimming | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1225.0 x 710.0 x 44.3mm
Excellent motion handling
HDR isn’t the brightest
Remote doesn’t feel as premium
It’s surprising, but Sony’s X900E’s HDR and black level performance comes within reaching distance of their OLED rivals, without costing near as much.
Sony is able to achieve this performance because of the set’s direct LED backlight, which allows it to reach a level of brightness uniformity that edge-lit displays just can’t reach.
And with the exceptional detail and motion handling, the Sony BRAVIA XBR-55X900E (called the KD-55XE90 in the UK) achieves a great balance between price and performance for mid-range 4K TVs and is certainly worth your consideration … even if its Android TV interface can feel a little slow, and its remote a little flimsy.
Read the full review of the 65-inch version: Sony BRAVIA XBR-65X900E
3. The best budget 55-inch TV: TCL 55P607
TCL’s 55P607 is simply the best budget TV of 2017
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: N/A | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Roku TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1,239 x 717 x 36 mm
Bright, colorful HDR
Roku TV is amazing
Upscaling isn’t world-class
Poor black level performance
For as long as we can remember, TV manufacturers have been trying tirelessly to find a way to bring a great performing Television at an affordable price, and so far they’ve been unsuccessful. Until now.
TCL’s P-Series 55P607 does just that – it packs amazing technology under the hood, including support for Dolby Vision and WCG, in an affordable package and the price will only continue to drop once the seasonal sales start in November.
If you like your TVs bright, colorful and well-stocked with the latest display technologies, the TCL P-Series 55P607 should be at the top of your list.
Read the full review: TCL P-Series (55P607)
4. The best premium 55-inch TV: Sony BRAVIA A1E OLED
Sony’s brand-new flagship TV for 2017 is returning to OLED
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 773 x 1239 x 266mm
Gorgeous picture quality
Innovative and excellent sound
It’s not very bright
Android TV is clunky
It might seem ludicrously expensive, but Sony’s 55A1E – and the A1E OLED series in general – are phenomenal devices in just every way imaginable. Their ‘picture only’ design has been gorgeously brought to life, somehow managing to be simultaneously subtle and dramatic. This set even delivers on sound performance through their unique screen vibration technology.
Where the A1E really shines, though, is its ability to deliver pictures that are beautifully colorful, rich in contrast and exquisitely detailed. These prove once and for all what we’ve long suspected: More manufacturers incorporating OLED technology can only be a good thing.
Read the full review: Sony Bravia OLED A1E
5. For bright HDR pictures: Samsung QE55Q9FAM
1,500 nits peak brightness really brings out the best in HDR
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: QLED | Smart TV: Tizen | Curved: No | Dimensions: 687mm x 1121mm x 211mm
Fantastic color levels
Very bright screen
HDR color banding can occur
Backlight clouding can be an issue
Samsung was the first brand to introduce an HDR-compatible screen way back in 2015, but it’s not been resting on its haunches ever since.
It’s latest flagship, the QN55Q9F (QE55Q9FAM in the UK), is a perfect example of this. It ups the brightness to 1500 nits, 50% higher than the level required for UHD Premium certification, making it one of the brightest TV we’ve ever tested.
Outside of an impressive-sounding number this brightness has a real impact on the set’s image quality. Detail is preserved in even the brightest areas of the image, and colors are exceptionally vivid and bright. That means even non-HDR content looks fantastic thanks to Samsung’s SDR upscaling technology.
No TV is perfect, and the Q9F can occasionally suffer from some backlight clouding around bright objects and some settings cause color striping in HDR colors, but in all other respects this is the best television around at the moment.
Read the full review: Samsung Q9F QLED TV
6. The best entry-level OLED: LG OLED55B7
LG’s entry level OLEDs continue to impress
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview Play, Freeview Satellite | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: webOS 3.5 | Curved: No | Dimensions: 702 x 1124 x 247mm
Excellent all-round image quality
Complete HDR support
No Dolby Atmos passthrough
Mediocre onboard audio
LG’s ‘B’ line of OLEDs has consistently offered a great entry point into the display technology without compromising on what makes it so exciting.
And the B7 series is no different.
Contained within the TVs is exactly the same panel that’s powering the more expensive C7, E7 and yes even the W7 LG televisions, which means an exceptional bump over last year’s OLED panels at a much lower price.
So where has LG saved the money? In a word, sound. The B7’s downward firing speakers are the worst all the company’s OLED TVs. Not only that, but the set is also currently unable to pass Dolby Atmos to an external sound system over HDMI (although a firmware update to fix this is on the way).
If however, you’re content to put up with a standard surround sound experience, then the B7 is a fantastic entryway into a piece of TV tech that still feels futuristic in 2017.
Read the full review: LG OLED55C7
7. For a full cinema experience: Philips OLED 901F
Philips’ OLED shines brighter than most other 55-inch TVs
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1115 x 707 x 316 mm
Stunning picture quality
Spectacular, premium design
No Dolby Vision or 3D
Lacks brightness versus LCD
AV enthusiasts living in the UK have it good. Not only do you have access to great OLEDs from Sony and LG, but Philips and Panasonic each have their own line of infinite contrast screens that are exclusive to your neck of the woods.
Of them, one of our favourites is the Philips 55POS901F: a gorgeous looking 55-inch TV built around an OLED panel. The screen makes a stunning first impression thanks to the radiance of its three-sided Ambilight system and the gleaming metallic purity of its bodywork.
It’s much more than just a pretty face, though.
By the time you’ve added to the 55POS901F’s heady 4K HDR picture mix OLED’s ability to be watched from wider angles than current LCD TVs without losing colour and contrast, you have on your hands one of the best TVs on the market, even in the especially competitive 55-inch screen space.
Read the full review: Philips 55POS901F
8. For budget-conscious buyers: Sony XBR-55X850E
A 55-inch 4K HDR TV that doesn’t destroy your bank account
Screen size: 55-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 690 x 1126 x 230mm
Good HDR pictures
HDR isn’t very bright
Android TV is frustrating
By introducing its exceptional X1 video processor further down its TV range than ever before and being brave enough to dial down the brightness a bit to deliver a more even, immersive backlight experience, Sony’s struck mid-range gold with the XBR-X850E (KD-55XE8596 in the UK).
While it’s not the brightest or most colorful TV on the list, the simple fact is that few TVs we’ve seen in recent times have balanced price, contrast, brightness and color quite so all-round effectively as Sony’s mid-range hero.
All that said, US customers will have to upgrade to Sony’s 65-inch iteration of the X850E if they want the mid-range price break, while UK residents get to happily enjoy this one in the smaller 55-inch size.
Read the full review: Sony XBR-55X850E