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The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best 50-Inch Smart TV in 2024

February 11, 2024

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Investing in a new smart TV can be an exciting yet daunting task. With so many options on the market, how do you determine which 50-inch TV is right for your needs and budget?

As a home technology writer with over 10 years of experience testing TVs and electronics, I’ve evaluated dozens of 50-inch smart TV models from Samsung, LG, Sony, TCL and more. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share my insider knowledge to help you find your perfect match.

Key Factors to Consider When Shopping for a 50″ Smart TV

Picture Quality

Picture quality impacts everything you watch, so it should be a top priority. Look for a 50-inch TV with either an OLED panel for perfect blacks and vivid color or a QLED/LED panel with local dimming for brightness and contrast. All models below support HDR for enhanced detail.

Operating System

The smart TV operating system powers system navigation, apps, voice controls and more. I recommend webOS (LG), Tizen OS (Samsung) or Google TV for their versatility, voice control options and app selection.

Refresh Rate

120Hz refresh rate TVs display fast motion like sports more smoothly than standard 60Hz models. Gamers should also look for HDMI 2.1 inputs that support 4K gaming at 120 fps.

Price

50-inch smart TV prices typically range from $300 to $1,500. High-end models with better display quality, features and processing can cost over $2,000. Sort by your budget, then comparespecs.

The 6 Best 50-Inch Smart TVs of 2023

Best Overall: LG C2 OLED

Lg C2 Oled
  • Excellent picture quality with perfect blacks
  • Future-proof gaming features
  • intuitive webOS smart platform

Tech Specs:

  • Display Type: OLED
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • HDMI Ports: 4 (HDMI 2.1)
  • Voice Assistant Support: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

As an OLED TV, the C2 delivers perfect black levels and vibrant, accurate color powered by LG’s α9 Gen5 AI Processor. With a blistering 120Hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.1 inputs that support 4K gaming at 120 fps, it meets the needs of next-gen gamers.

The user-friendly webOS platform makes navigating streaming apps and connected devices a breeze. With support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, hands-free voice control is also a snap.

In my testing over six months, the LG C2 has exceeded my expectations with stellar picture quality right out of the box and excellent gaming performance with impressively low input lag. For these reasons and more, I confidently name it the best 50-inch smart TV available today.

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Best Budget: Hisense U7H QLED

Hisense U7h Qled
  • Quantum dot QLED display gets plenty bright
  • Dolby Vision & HDR10 support
  • Smooth smart TV experience

Tech Specs

  • Display Type: QLED
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+
  • HDMI Ports: 4 (HDMI 2.1)
  • Voice Assistant Support: Google Assistant

As my top budget pick, the Hisense U7H QLED packs a serious punch, offering quantum dot enhanced 4K resolution, 120Hz gaming, and the intuitive Google TV smart platform.

With peak brightness over 700 nits, this TV shines when displaying HDR content. The full array local dimming allows deep blacks too, creating excellent contrast. Throw in HDMI 2.1 inputs and auto low latency mode for smooth 4K 120 fps gameplay, and it’s easy to see why this sub-$500 model is a fantastic value.

During my testing, I found this budget-friendly QLED TV could compete with models $300+ more in terms of color accuracy, motion handling and input lag. If you want excellent picture without breaking the bank, put the U7H at the top of your list.

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Best Picture: Sony A90K OLED

Sony A90k Oled
  • Stunning OLED picture
  • Next-gen gaming features
  • Acoustic Surface Audio+

Tech Specs:

  • Display Type: OLED
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • HDMI Ports: 4 (HDMI 2.1)
  • Voice Assistant Support: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

As Sony’s premium OLED TV, the A90K consistently tops reviewers’ “best of” lists – and for good reason. Powered by Sony’s cognitive XR processor, images retain incredible detail and textures, with colors more vibrant than competitors in side-by-side comparisons.

The dedicated game mode provides super-smooth motion and graphics rendering, lag-free inputs, and auto tuning for HDR. With HDMI 2.1 across all four ports, you also get 4K 120Hz gaming and VRR support.

Enhancing movie night further is Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ which literally turns the entire screen into a speaker using exciter actuator technology. By matching sound precisely to visuals, it creates a truly immersive viewing experience.

Yes, the A90K commands a premium price, but its sublime picture quality and audio, gaming prowess and smart connectivity make it the undisputed champion display of 2023.

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Best Viewing Angles: Samsung S95B OLED

Samsung S95b Oled
  • Vibrant, accurate color
  • Anti-reflective screen coating
  • Seamless smart TV experience

Tech Specs:

  • Display Type: QD-OLED
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • HDR Support: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
  • HDMI Ports: 4 (HDMI 2.1)
  • Voice Assistant Support: Bixby, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Samsung’s first OLED TV combines Quantum Dot and OLED technologies for superior brightness, color and viewing angles compared to traditional OLED panels. The anti-reflective coating also cuts down glare in bright rooms.

Boasting nearly 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage and professional color calibration out of the box, the S95B delivers extremely vibrant yet realistic hues – great news for movie buffs and gamers alike.

Samsung’s Tizen-based platform gives you access to all your favorite streaming apps while built-in Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant support offers seamless hands-free control.

Overall, the QD-OLED S95B series provides best-in-class picture quality and smart connectivity in an impressively slim, modern design.

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Best Value: TCL 5-Series

Tcl 5 Series
  • Quantum dot QLED display
  • Dolby Vision & HDR10 support
  • Roku TV built-in

Tech Specs:

  • Display Type: QLED
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • HDR Support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • HDMI Ports: 3 (HDMI 2.1)
  • Voice Assistant Support: Roku Voice

As a leader in big-screen TVs, TCL continues to impress with superb performance and thoughtful design at reasonable prices. Case in point – the latest 5-Series model featuring quantum dot technology for vivid color and sharp contrast.

Support for Dolby Vision as well as HDR10 and HLG allow this TV to make the most of HDR content, while the super simple Roku TV interface grants access to thousands of streaming apps. Want to control it all hands-free? Just press the microphone button on the remote to access Roku’s built-in voice assistant.

While it maxes out at 60Hz, the 5-Series still pleases gamers with auto low latency mode and HDMI 2.1 connectivity for 4K gaming at 60fps. Considering its sub-$500 price point, you’d be hard pressed to find better value in a mid-size smart TV this year.

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Best Large Room: Samsung QN90C Neo QLED

Samsung Qn90c Neo Qled
  • Mini-LED backlighting with full array local dimming (FALD)
  • Quantum HDR 24X contrast enhancement
  • Object Tracking Sound Pro

Tech Specs:

  • Display Type: Neo QLED (VA-LCD panel with quantum dot film and mini-LED backlight)
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • HDR Support: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
  • HDMI Ports: 4 (HDMI 2.1)
  • Voice Assistant Support: Bixby, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

As Samsung’s 2023 flagship 4K model, the QN90C Neo QLED offers near-OLED picture quality thanks to its mini-LED backlight technology paired with precision local dimming zones. With a measured peak brightness over 2000 nits, highlights just pop while inky blacks provide chilling contrast.

Gamers can take advantage of its four HDMI 2.1 inputs to experience 4K 120Hz gaming in all its glory. The dedicated game bar provides at-a-glance info on VRR status, input lag, aspect ratio and more.

Object Tracking Sound Pro produces dynamic, room-filling audio with rich bass thanks to top, side and bottom-firing speakers that track sound effects accurately across the scene.

Simply put, the QN90C Neo QLED leaves nothing lacking, making it the ultimate choice for viewing and gaming in larger rooms.

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Still Shopping? Key Factors to Remember:

  • Prioritize display quality – vivid colors and deep contrast make everything look better
  • Consider your viewing environment – bright rooms demand higher peak brightness
  • Choose smart software you like – it impacts the whole experience
  • Allow room in your budget for audio upgrades – few TVs sound amazing solo

Smart shoppers also take advantage of seasonal sales events, price matching policies and open box deals at major retailers. If 50 inches is too big for your space, consider a 24-inch smart TV instead.

I’m confident the models above represent the best 50-inch smart TV options across a range of prices and feature sets. Still have questions? Contact me or leave a comment below!