The Ultimate 55 Inch TV Buying Guide: Which One Deserves to Be Called Best?
If you need help picking out the best 55” television, check out this ultra comprehensive guide to the top models on the market.
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Deciding on a new piece of electronics hardware is tough. It has always been complicated, but each passing year it only gets harder with so many new factors coming into play. Buying a new computer, gaming console, tablet, cell phone or laptop always leads to who knows how many hours of research time. But by far one of the hardest and most exhaustive of a list to wade through is televisions.
Big televisions have always been the dream for many people. They are still often seen as the crown jewel of an electronics den that people show off to their guests. A big, high quality TV set is about as desired and sought after as any other piece of technology out there. This guide will help you make sure you choose the right one for your home.
Here we will look at the top 15 best 55 inch television sets from a variety of manufacturers and brands to give you the most comprehensive look at the top options available. They all have virtually the same screen size, but the devil is in the details as far as pinpointing what distinguishes them.
Best 55 Inch TVs
|TV||Display Type||Resolution||Smart TV|
|Sony XBR-55A8G||OLED||4K HDR||✓|
|Samsung UN55RU7100||LED||4K UHD||✓|
|Vizio P55-E1||LED||FHD (1080P)||✓|
|Sony XBR-55X950G||LED||4K HDR||✓|
|Philips 55PUS7304||LED||4K UHD||✓|
|LG 55SM8600PUA||NanoCell||4K HDR||✓|
|TCL 55S423||LED||4K UHD||✓|
|Samsung UN55RU7300||LED||4K UHD with AI Upscaling||✓|
|Sharp LC-55Q7030U||LED||4K UHD||✓|
|Hisense 55H6590F||LED||4K UHD||✓|
|Insignia 55"||LED||FHD (1080P)||✓|
|JVC 55'' DLED||LED||FHD (1080P)||✓|
|Sceptre U550CVU||LED||4K UHD||✕|
|Hitachi LE55A6R9||LED||FHD (1080P)||✓|
|LG 55UM7300||LED||4K UHD||✓|
First up is…
This Sony TV is a newer and more updated model. Released just last year in 2019, the XBR-55A8G is a 55 inch 4K Smart television with HDR and the works. Three HDMI ports, three USB plugins and one digital audio input make this a great option.
As expected of Sony, the XBR-55A8G is a very slim, thin and sleek screen. Weighing 55 pounds, it looks a little heavier than it actually is. Despite its weight, for anyone who needs a television that can handle a tight fit or something that is ideal for wall mounting, Sony has you covered with this set. The screen’s framing is a thin blackish-gray that blends in with any setting and doesn’t take up much of the spotlight, so to speak. The lower underside of the device also has cable insertion grooves that allow for easy installation that minimizes clutter. It will look nice and blend in with any wall color or shelf.
As for picture quality, the XBR-55A8G is excellent as expected. For anyone interested in gaming, Sony uses an enhanced refresh rate technology that reduces motion blur on this screen thanks to the 120hz refresh rate. This makes fast paced action scenes clear and easy to track without any ghosting issues. There are also many brightness options included with this set that allows for optimized clarity based on the time of day or how close you’ll be sitting to the screen.
The contrast of this television is greatly enhanced over most other TV sets. Using a technology referred to as Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, the XBR-55A8G reveals more detail and texture in darker or blacker scenery as well as displaying brighter and whiter areas without too much over-saturation. The tones in these areas appear natural and heavily unmodified so that the realism and authenticity is kept in place.
The included remote control also takes your convenience into account by including a keyboard layout so you can type things in faster. Not only are the television sets themselves becoming more and more Netflix friendly and compatible, but the extra accessories are too. The speakers are adequate in sound quality but are also powerful and provide ample volume for large rooms.
The UN55RU7100 is one of the newer models we’ll be looking at, being a 2019 model. Its main features are that it has an LED 4K or Ultra High Definition screen (UHD) rather than 1080p. It is indeed a Smart television as Samsung equipped this set with their “PurColor” processing technology which promises to accurately reproduce and portray the wide spectrum of colors one’s eyes can see. This is combined with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature to create an incredibly crisp and authentic looking image that has a properly calibrated contrast ratio. Dark scenes, bright lights and colorful arrays will pop up and pop out at you.
The beauty about this television set is that it still offers advantages to people who do not have full access to 4K programs (such as 4K video streaming from Youtube or Netflix, a 4K blu-ray player, a Playstation 4 Pro, etc.). Even if one were to use 1080p resolution services most of the time, the HDR combos with the PurColor processing excellently to make even regular HD viewing a treat. In other words, the MU6300 television is far better than most 1080p televisions.
We have to give bonus points to the UN55RU7100 television for the leg stands and its weight. Despite the size it only weighs around 35 pounds, a lighter than average device.
The leg stands at the two sides of the screen’s base and splits off diagonally to cover most of its length. It is sturdy and offers a good balance and will surely seem more dependable than it may initially appear. The UN55RU7100 comes with three HDMI ports, a little less than the standard amount of four, plus a dedicated remote for Smart TV functionality and three USB ports.
The third spot on the list is for the P55-E1. Vizio may be less commonly known compared to Sony or Samsung, but over the past couple of years they have really made a name for themselves with the quality and affordability of their televisions. As a result, the P55-E1 is one of the more inexpensive models featured on this list. This is a 2017 model. It is an LED Smart TV that outputs 1080p. It weighs 40 pounds and comes with five HDMI ports.
While it may not be 4K, it does come with HDR technology. Many consumers are still not willing to make the upgrade from 1080p to 4K and simply just want a large but clear screen for viewing. The P55-E1 taps right into this market and provides a cheaper large screen TV for those still satisfied with streaming services such as Hulu or Netflix in regular high definition. It does not look quite as stunning as the UN55RE7100, but for a 1080p monitor it most certainly gets the job done.
The sound quality from these speakers is nothing to write home about. But this is usually the case with the vast majority of television speakers when they are compared to high end headphones or stereo sound systems, so it would become too redundant to have to mention that with every case that it occurred in. The speakers certainly shouldn’t dissuade you from wanting to own this television set but it is not a selling point by any means either.
In the end, combined with the fact that the P55-E1 is wall mountable and has Full Array LED technology to make each section of the screen acquire the lighting it needs, this t
elevision’s value is unmistakably high.
The X950G is a best-selling model for good reason. It features nearly every single modern day feature someone would want from a totally top of the line television set. Known for their state of the art design, Sony has packed this 55 incher with 4K display, Amazon Alexa compatibility, Smart TV functionality, and improved lighting via the built-in dynamic range booster. It’s a large but sleek and thin screen that will provide incredible color and contrast. All of these features look especially excellent on a screen that is 55 inches large.
You may be asking yourself, though, why a 55 inch? Two words: pixel density.
Pixel density is essentially a number or a unit that measures how many pixels are in a given surface area. The higher the pixel density, the better. Low pixel density can be simulated very easily, and in fact you can try it out right now:
Place your face and eyes right in front of your computer monitor, practically so your nose is touching it. Do you see the tiny squares, the pixels? Generally speaking, you never want to notice the millions of pixels that make up your screen. A low pixel density is like constantly zooming into an image of a human face until all you see are giant squares.
Pixel density, some would say, can be a sensitive issue for both 4K and 1080p. Viewing distance certainly comes into play because if you’re 2 meters away from your television, you’re not noticing any pixels regardless. But having said that, pixel density is a sweet spot that many television and computer monitor enthusiasts swear by. Some say 50+ inches is too big for 1080p, and some say 70+ inches is too big even for 4K.
While there will always be room for subjective preference we believe that 55 inches is a pixel density sweet spot for 4K. It isn’t too much larger than 50 inches and will appear indistinguishable from various distances, but it’s a lot smaller than a 75 inch 4K television set. If you were to compare 55 inches to 75 inches, the pixelation would be much more apparent on the latter screen, which is another way of saying it has a lower and inferior pixel density.
One of the reasons why the X950G is a best seller in its class is because it hits the sweet spot of being a large enough screen to maximize the utility of 8 million pixels. 50 to 60 inch televisions are also large enough to the point where you wouldn’t be too close or too far away from them if you are using the average seating arrangement. Optimal viewing distances lend themselves to screens of this size, and we don’t have to tell you that optimal viewing distances also lend themselves to optimal viewing experiences.
This thin and light 55 incher comes with a multitude of features that can satisfy the most hardcore television or tech enthusiast. Philips’ 55PUS7304 TV set is packed with 4K resolution, HDR, Smart TV functionality for a variety of streaming services, and a massive amount of input/output plugins including HDMI, AV audio/video, VGA, Coaxial and a PC audio for computer compatibility. RCA made sure that this set would be capable of displaying virtually any kind of device regardless of whether they are old or new to satisfy the most specific and demanding of customers.
Weighing 40 pounds, the 55PUS7304 television can be very easily moved and installed in virtually any location you see fit. Because it’s so thin, it can be placed easily on a large enough shelf without taking up too much space, or it can be easily wall-mounted. The process of installing a television directly onto a wall is often seen as a daunting task to first-timers. But it is much easier than it sounds, and would be an even easier task with this thin and lightweight TV.
Philips decided to make this TV set a remote-less set. Streaming functionality of the 55PUS7304 is handled by using voice-recognition via Alexa, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a more futuristic Smart TV experience. Installation of the Smart TV features is quick and painless with this television set. With only 20 buttons, you’ll be navigating through your favorite services like a pro in no time.
The picture quality is very impressive, despite being from a company that is not as well known as the Sony’s or the LG’s. Though that is explained by being an all-new 2019/2020 model and the HDR combined with the 4K looks stunning. It doesn’t handle 1080p as well as some other television sets, though. The picture looks a little blurry due to not having the best upscaling technology. In other words, the 55PUS7304 doesn’t do the best job of “translating” 1080p resolution onto a 4K set. But going the full mile with this set, be that with 4K blu rays or 4K Netflix, will certainly blow you away.
LG’s SM8600PUA is not only a 4K screen but is a Smart TV with HDR functionality. It’s a model from 2019 and will serve as a fantastic choice for anyone who is looking for a high end TV from a reliable and trusted manufacturer.
The SM8600PUA is a basic but reliable LED screen. It only has two HDMI ports which is a bit inconvenient compared to having three or four, so that has to be kept in mind when considering this set. The HDMI ports, as well as the entirety of the input area, is located in the center-back of the television rather than on the side for easy access, which will surely annoy some people.
Another problem it has is that it won’t be the best gaming monitor due to its input delay. The latency is around 30-40ms which is much too slow for many picky gaming enthusiasts, especially if their plan was to plug in their personal computer into this screen. This problem will be its biggest if one planned on playing online multiplayer sessions.
But despite its flaws, the SM8600PUA is still a unique and noteworthy television set due to its impressive picture quality. As a 2019 model 4K set, the picture the quality is excellent. This model is especially good at providing bright and light colors with excellent precision. Blue, magenta, cyan, teal, yellow and other similar colors will look spectacular, so be sure to try out movies or games that take advantage of this side of the spectrum on this screen.
If you’re the type who still hasn’t made the transition to 4K yet and is waiting for ultra high definition to become more popular, LG’s SM8600PUA would be an excellent 4K choice.
TCL (The Creative Life) is another brand name that isn’t easily recognizable. This should not be too much of a surprise. More and more electronics companies are leaving their mark in the 4K Smart TV territory, making the market ever more competitive. The S423 is a 55 inch TV that weighs 27 pounds and sports three HDMI ports, as well as the usual digital audio and composite inputs for other devices.
TCL’s products tend to be a little bit cheaper than other brands in the same screen size and price range categories. Despite this, you will certainly get your money’s worth by purchasing a set like this if you want all the bells and whistles in a decently sized screen. 4K, HDR, a 120hz refresh rate to reduce motion blur during fast paced scenes and direct-lit LED to portray an authentic recreation of on-camera lighting and shadows. TCL packed this new 2019 model television set with enough features to rival the best and most popular products on the market today.
The picture quality on the S423 rivals the best 4K screens in its size range, easily. The HDR helps to create an incredibly authentic and lifelike picture, plus the direct-lit LED system improves the lighting and contrast with extra calibration to make sure dark and bright scenes look the way they’re supposed to. The colors and the contrast are superb and when this is combined with proper 4K viewing, the overall experience is extremely top-notch.
TCL included three HDMI ports with all of them located on the side of the television rather than the back, so having access to plug or unplug any cables is very easy. Other inputs include digital audio for a high end speaker system and even a headphone jack, plus an ethernet cable despite having built-in wi-fi. This is great for anyone who has a router that is close enough to the TV or an ethernet cable long enough to reach it.
The software installed into the S423 is a simple and very intuitive browser that is easily compatible with whatever cable or satellite subscription you have. TCL’s Roku TV is available to access via the included remote control or a free app you can download onto your phone.
Lastly, TCL included a “gaming mode” option for anyone who plans on using it for more than just watching. This effectively reduces the input lag of the monitor, making button presses more responsive and quicker to react. Many 4K televisions these days still don’t have this feature, so it’s noteworthy.
This unit is much different from all the others on our list for one very important reason. It is an LED screen, it does output at 4K resolution and it is a Smart TV like most of the rest, but what makes this screen special is the screen itself. Samsung’s RU7300 is a curved screen measuring at 55 inches long. But what’s so special about having a screen that is curved rather than a flat and straight surface?
Curved screens are often a harder sell to make than 4K or Smart TV functionality. They are not as popular in the ads or in the actual homes of television owners, and they come off to many people as making a big jump that would require to alter too many habit (just like going from a regular keyboard to an ergonomic one).
Curved screens are comparable to flat screens in the same way that a curved back on a chair is comparable to a perfectly straight and rigid one. The latter is too stiff and doesn’t match up with your spine as well. Your eye is no different. It isn’t flat but spherical and curved. That’s why curved screens are slowly making their way into the computer monitor and television spheres, so to speak.
As a result of this, a curved screen will have an immersive quality that “pulls you in” more than a flat screen. The best analogy is to compare 2D to 3D. It fits your eyes the same way a glove fits a hand. While the popularity isn’t booming for these things, many people swear by curved screens and refuse to go back.
The reason why Samsung’s RU7300 is on our list is because it’s still quite difficult to find a reliable and high quality curved screen that’s this size, and comes with the full gamut of modern day television features such as 4K, Smart TV functionality and HDR. Because most curved screens are computer monitors, they tend to not exceed 30 to 40 inches in size nor do they come with Smart TV functions or HDR, even if they are in 4K. Samsung is arguably the best company for curved televisions, which is why they made our list twice.
While many computer gaming monitors aren’t ideal for television, it is not the case that many curved televisions aren’t ideal for gaming. Samsung’s RU7300 works absolutely brilliantly as a gaming monitor if one wanted something of this size. It will provide incredible picture clarity for 4K gaming, which is the most reputable medium for 4K content in the first place. It’s certainly pricier than most computer monitors and is even a little bit more expensive than many 4K 55 inch TVs, but it has an immense reputation of satisfying its customers.
The one main issue you will need to be aware of is wall-mounting. Samsung televisions generally can be wall-mounted but obviously it won’t be as surgical of a fit as a flat screen model, and optimizing the angling so that it faces your face properly is a bit more strict.
This model from 2018 is a stylish looking flat LED screen with an attractive and thin black frame. The LC-55Q7030U weighs 32 pounds, outputs at 4K and is a Smart TV that has built in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and an Ethernet cable input. Sharp designed this model to keep in mind the customer who still finds much satisfaction from DVD or blu-ray viewing and doesn’t need to make the 4K or HDR upgrade.
One very notable feature of this model is its speakers’ sound quality. While most televisions don’t have sound that’s really worth writing home about, the LC-55Q7030U’s speakers are noticeably more detailed and well defined than other models, even for a 1080p set. Listening to the same scene or audio on this set and another is really the best way to properly realize how much more clear voices sound as well as instrumentation in music that would otherwise be too far in the background to detect. It’s no expensive surround sound set-up but it really does beat out most of the competition as far as out of the box sound goes.
The amount of different inputs this model has is noteworthy as well. Three HDMIs, a digital audio output, a USB plug, component and composite inputs and more, make this a perfect item for someone with a variety of devices they need hooked up, and they’re all neatly and conveniently located close together at the side for simple access. The same is true for the digital add-ons. You can add as many apps as you want to the LC-55Q7030U’s taskbar in addition to the built in ones such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Netflix.
This model is from 2018 and has aged very well so this model has a lot of versatility and longevity for its buck.
This television model in many ways is similar to the previous one on our list. Like Sharp’s LC-55Q7030U, the 55H6590F has similar audio quality, as both use what’s called DBX technology for greater sound fidelity. And like how the LC-55Q was a good choice for DVD viewing, this 4K TV of Hisense is great for 1080p as well.
Unlike the Philips we looked at earlier (number 5 on our list) it translates 1080p clearly and accurately by taking the 2 million pixels and enlarging them to fit the 8 million pixel screen without any degradation or loss to quality. It’s like simulating 4K quality for content that was never filmed on UHD cameras originally and practically “remasters” the film right in front of your eyes for you.
Being a Smart television, Hisense already pre-installed many popular apps onto this model while allowing you to download even more at your own leisure via Bluetooth or Ethernet. Plus the multi-zone local dimming technology dynamically darkens or lightens individual sections of the screen to maximize the authenticity of the lighting being shown on screen. Keep in mind that with this panel, the viewing angles are a bit limited. The colors will degrade a little and glare can be an issue if your viewing angles are not dead on straight, so make sure you get comfy in order to properly experience what this set has to offer.
If you are able to fully utilize this television to its maximum potential, you will be greeted with one of the greatest in-home picture quality set-ups that exists today. Playing 4K content on this screen with the additional HDR and local dimming capability will make pretty much any game, show or movie you throw at it look like a true marvel of visual entertainment.
Insignia 55 inch TV
Insignia is a name that isn’t as well known as the Sony’s or the Samsung’s, and for that reason alone many people would assume that it would be safer to ignore the little guys and bet on the big ones. Much like how Vizio started out small but is now competing with the rest of them, Insignia is a company whose name will soon be reputable.
At face value, this is the kind of TV that is perfect for someone who is only looking for a nice 1080p Smart TV. It may not have HDR or 4K but not everyone needs these things as many people are still watching TV or gaming at regular high definition.
For one thing, this set doesn’t look quite as sleek as other TVs such as the Sony X900E. The frame is a little too thick and bulky. It does however come with built-in wi-fi, because that’s right, this is a Smart TV that uses the very handy Roku OS. The entire device itself is also slightly thicker than average, even for a 55 inch set.
To summarize, the Insignia 55 incher is a great option for anyone who wants a large sized TV screen that comes at a very reasonable price. If you have many Blu-rays or do a lot of gaming and you’re on a bit of a budget, this would be the choice for you. It can sometimes be difficult to find a good 1080p set that comes at a size this large but Insignia really pulled it off.
JVC 55″ DLED TV 120hz
Out of all the television brands we’re looking at on this list, JVC is probably the most obscure one. As such, this model is a little difficult to find despite only being released in 2015. It’s another 1080p screen that doesn’t go for many bells and whistles, and as such is meant for customers who are already satisfied with full high definition content rather than ultra 4K content.
While it is a Smart television with Roku OS, the JVC 55″ is capable of audio streaming by connecting with a personal computer or an Apple Mac. Speaking of the sound, the audio quality of these speakers isn’t anything special. While that’s been said about many televisions in general throughout this article the JVC 55″ has weaker than average speakers in terms of both quality and volume. If you manage to nab one of these, spend the extra cash on getting a sound bar as this television is already on the cheaper end of the spectrum. The design of this unit is sleek, slim and thin. It has an ideal body for being placed on a shelf or for being wall-mounted. The stands are curved and longer than average television legs provide great support, making it a challenge to knock this thing over.
The picture quality is as good as you’re going to see on a dedicated FHD or 1080p screen. It’s perfect for those who still watch DVDs, blu-rays or have a non-4K gaming machine and don’t want to spend twice or three times the price for a 4K screen when they’re not even going to make much use of the extra 6 million pixels.
Lower resolutions don’t look as good on this television screen as they do on previously discussed 1080p screens due to a lack of a dedicated upscaler. But as far as HD goes, this screen will get the job done.CHECK CURRENT PRICE ON AMAZON
Similarly to the previous JVC screen, this television is a cheaper screen that doesn’t offer much of the higher-end functionalities though it is in 4K instead of 1080p. However it is also a harder model to find as Sceptre, much like JVC, is a more obscure brand compared to the Samsungs and the LGs. Not every great television has to be loaded to the absolute brim with every modern day feature imaginable despite all the hype and buzz. Simplicity is still a valued trait for many, and a television like the U550CVU caters to this.
Sceptre wanted to prioritize value with this television. For a 55 inch sized screen you get a great and crisp picture that knocks out the competition in its immediate price range. The U550CVU is a simple device and is easy to plug in and get started with immediately. One reason why this model made our list is because despite its lack of typical advanced features, it was released in 2018. The build quality of the plastic and metal frame is very good and the entire device feels sturdy and well put together.
Hooking up your Playstation, Blu-ray collection or your cable or satellite service will work wonders on this unit. This makes it a great choice for anyone who is less about the typical bells and whistles of modern day Smart TVs and already has all the accessories they know and love, and are merely waiting for a great TV to hook them all into.
If you’re not a stickler for every new feature coming into the television world these days and just want a nice screen that gets the job done, consider finding yourself a Sceptre. This is one of the best value products on our list.
This Smart television is a really good option for its price. This TV by Hitachi is a 55 incher that outputs FHD resolution no problem. The LED screen is of a very high quality, produces very little glare, and is quite friendly to many different viewing angles.
The color consistency is truly impressive on this television. Many television sets come with what essentially appears like a filter across all of the colors. For example, seeing snow on one television screen may not have the same clear purity of white that actual snow contains.
With the LE55A6R9 the colors look the way they’re supposed to look. Some people believe that 4K screens are the only way to achieve this accurate representation, but actually 4K just has to do with increased detail via more pixels. It’s possible to get good colors on a 1080p set and inferior ones on a 4K screen.
So despite this being a 1080p television screen, we have great color representation and extreme detail provided by the 8 million pixels. This is the kind of television one would buy if they knew they’re going to be using a lot of 1080p content and are picky about how they want their colors to appear. It doesn’t have a high quality upscaler, so while 1080p will still look nice, it won’t look its absolute best. This television is perfect for someone who knows how to take full advantage of having a 1080p library while wanting to get their dollar’s worth.
Measuring at 55 inches and weighing roughly 44 pounds, the LG 55UM7300 is a 4K television with presence. It isn’t a 72 or a 75 incher, but the difference between 50 and 55 inches is always bigger than you’d expect. Side by side with a 50 inch television, LG’s model has a more dominating aura surrounding it.
Weighing 44 pounds, it’s not too heavy for a screen this size. Sometimes it can be intimidating wall mounting a screen larger than 50 inches, but rest assured that the process is still simple.
This set also has one of the sleekest and easiest to use OS systems any television has ever had. LG made sure that the Smart TV functionality was easy and accessible for newcomers but also capable of satisfying hardcore enthusiasts. This television features over 70 different internet channels that can be accessed via the LG Channel Plus app that really opens the door of possibilities for what a television can do.
The 55UM7300 also has very accommodating viewing angles. Whether you’re starting straight at the screen or from a 40 degree angle, the contrast will remain accurate and colors will retain their vibrancy and realism. Glare and artificial lighting that too heavily darkens a face or a street will be a thing of the past with this screen. Combine that with the ultra high definition, the always active high dynamic range and the direct-lit LED technology and you have got yourself a true winner of a television.
This is a great buy for anyone who wants something that’s large but not extremely large. Most locations that can fit a 50 inch television will fit a 55 inch screen as well.CHECK CURRENT PRICE ON AMAZON
While we covered an extensive amount of different brands and features that appealed to different needs, Sony’s XBR-55A8G television is our pick for the flagship television set because of its incredibly attractive sleek and minimalist design and aesthetic. The picture quality is utterly astounding due to being jam packed with excellent color and contrast and LED lighting distribution. The best curved option is Samsung’s UN55RU7300 for handling a difficult niche as the best curved television on the market.
If you’re curious about learning more in-depth information about high quality TV sets then make sure to check out many of our other articles that do just that. We recommend our Vizio vs TCL match up to see two companies go head to head. Or you could check out our comparison of Hisense and Samsung for a similar concept but used for different companies.
We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about television technology and maybe even made a firm call on what your next purchase will be. Use this shopping knowledge to your advantage and pick up the ideal television for your home.