The Best 55-inch TVs of 2018

By Lee Neikirk

We've all read Goldilocks and the Three Bears, right? There's something to be learned from those bowls of porridge about "just right" — and when it comes to TVs, 55 inches is one of the most popular sizes around the world for a reason.

Not too big and not too small, 55-inch TVs feel luxuriously large without entirely dominating the room. TV manufacturers know this, so there's a wealth of 55-inch TVs to choose from every year. If you just want the best one, go with the 55-inch LG C8 OLED from this year (available at Amazon for $1,696.99).

However, you might not want to spend two grand on a TV—that's legitimate. Fortunately, we've tested amazing TVs in every price bracket, even ones cheaper than $500. These are the best right now.

— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Updated September 20, 2018

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
best-TVs-header-image best overall
Credit: Reviewed / Lee Neikirk

55-inch LG C8 Series (2018)

Lg oled55c8pua
  • Editors' Choice

55-inch LG C8 Series (2018)

Best Overall

LG's C8 series from 2018 is about as good as it gets where 55-inch TVs are concerned.

The 55-inch C8 isn't cheap, but it delivers stellar OLED picture quality, improved internal processing (compared to last year), and—as always—a swanky design.

What you're getting:

  • 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution
  • The best possible black levels
  • Excellent HDR/Dolby Vision performance
  • High-end processing with AI/LG ThinQ
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, & Dolby Atmos compatibility
  • OLED-panel refresh rates
  • Practically perfect viewing angles

What you're not getting:

  • Super high brightness (compared to similarly priced LED TVs)

Even without the better processing, additional AI functionality for this year, and higher brightness/color saturation compared to last year, the 55-inch C8 is the best overall 55-inch TV right now simply because it looks so darn good. Check out the full review for more info.

55-inch TCL 6 Series (2018)

Image
  • Editors' Choice

55-inch TCL 6 Series (2018)

Best Value

In 2017, TCL's "P Series" took our pick for the best value 55-inch TV with aplomb, so it makes a lot of sense that the 55-inch 6 Series—the 2018 follow-up—would take that spot again this year.

At $650 (and sometimes less!), you're getting a lot of awesome tech here:

What you're getting:

  • 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution
  • A VA-type LCD panel with Full-Array Local Dimming (96 zones)
  • HDR10 & Dolby Vision compatibility
  • Built-in Roku platform
  • 60 Hz refresh rate

What you're not getting:

  • The best local dimming (there are small imperfections)
  • A wide viewing angle
  • The best possible motion (only 60 Hz)

The 6 Series' few imperfections—which you can check out in more detail by reading my full review—are very justifiable when you consider that you're getting a good quality 4K/HDR TV with our favorite streaming device built right in as software.

How We Test

how-we-test-TVs

I've been testing and reviewing TVs at Reviewed since 2012. In our TV testing lab, we have the latest CalMan calibration software, a QuantumData signal generator, and individual light/color measuring meters—not to mention about 200 Blu-rays and sundry AV equipment.

We use industry-backed and scientifically sound tests to determine things like a TV's HDR peak brightness of what percentage of the DCI-P3 color standard it achieves. We also watch an awful lot of Netflix. Our top priority is to discover what the consumer will actually experience at home—regardless of what the meters say.

I personally tested and reviewed almost every TV on this list myself, and for those I didn't, it was still tested via the methodology and human vision-related weighting metrics I designed in conjunction with Reviewed's staff scientists and tech experts.


Other 55-inch TVs We Recommend

It's very understandable that you might be a more middle-of-the-road consumer where your tech goodies are concerned. Maybe you don't need the most elegantly appointed TV on the market, but you're willing to spend a little more for something fancier than the best value pick.

That's okay—there's plenty of TVs to choose from, and they all received the same hands-on attention as our award winners.


55-inch LG B7 Series (2017)

Oled55b7a
  • Editors' Choice

55-inch LG B7 Series (2017)

This 2017 OLED is more affordable than ever right now, though it's also going to become harder to find later this year and into 2019.

It's still not cheap (duh, it's an OLED), but if you want to edge in on the sheer quality of our best overall pick while saving some money, the B7 is a prime choice.

What you're getting:

  • 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution
  • HDR10/Dolby Vision compatibility
  • The LG webOS 3.5 smart platform

What you're not getting:

  • The latest software/processing power from 2018
  • The latest OLED brightness/color benchmarks from 2018

The only reason not to buy the 55-inch B7—if you really want OLED picture quality but don't want to pay $2,000 or more—is if you're concerned about its longevity in terms of new HDR formats, such as Hybrid-Log Gamma and Technicolor. But if you don't know what those are, you probably don't need to worry about it.

It's worth noting that there are two variants of the B7 Series: The B7, and the B7A. The B7A (which we reviewed) is a little cheaper because it doesn't do Dolby Atmos, but otherwise they're identical TVs. Read the full review for more details.

55-inch Vizio P-Series (2018)

845226016684
  • Editors' Choice

55-inch Vizio P-Series (2018)

Year after year, Vizio's P-Series combines excellent performance with very friendly prices. The 55-inch Vizio P-Series from 2018 is no exception.

At $800, it's still not what we would call "cheap," but you're still paying way less than the competition for a huge degree of pixel efficacy.

What you're getting:

  • 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution
  • HDR10 & Dolby Vision compatibility
  • Full-Array Local Dimming (with 56 local dimming zones)
  • Vizio SmartCast (Google Cast) features
  • 120 Hz refresh rates
  • Great HDR performance (benchmarked around 1,000 nits)

What you're not getting:

  • Wholly consistent black levels (shadows)
  • A great viewing angle

No product is perfect, but for around $800 the 2018 Vizio P-Series is an excellent choice if you're angling for a 55-inch TV that delivers the latest resolution, good HDR, and brightness—around 1,000 nits—that rivals the $3,000 TVs from last year. Check out the full review for more information.

55-inch Vizio P-Series (2017)

Vizio p65 e1
  • Best of Year 2017

55-inch Vizio P-Series (2017)

This is the 2017 version of the Vizio P-Series—still a great TV, just a year older.

Like the 2018 P-Series, the 2017 version is stuffed to the gills with fancy tech and cutting-edge specifications—it's just a little more out of date.

However, unless you can find it deeply discounted online or in a store, it's not worth buying over the 2018 model. They're basically identical, except that the newer model is a lot brighter, has a nicer design, and has the latest software. Check out my full review for more info.

55-inch Samsung Q7FN (2018)

887276256542

55-inch Samsung Q7FN (2018)

The 55-inch Q7FN is a technophile's 55-inch TV if ever there was one. It sits nicely between budget buys and the super-premium stuff at the very top, but it's definitely more on the pricey side than not.

However, the Q7FN series is one of Samsung's "QLED" TVs—high-end 4K/HDR, quantum-dot equipped powerhouses—so the price is fairly well justified.

What you're getting:

  • 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution
  • Quantum Dot-enhanced color
  • Edge-lit LED backlight
  • HDR10/HDR10+ compatible
  • High HDR brightness (benchmarked around 1,600 nits)
  • 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Samsung Smart Hub software

What you're not getting:

  • Great viewing angles
  • A Full-Array Local Dimming backlight (which we prefer)
  • Perfect local dimming (due to edge-LED backlight)

Considering the Q7FN hits a peak brightness around 1,600 nits—which is extremely bright—and delivers top-tech specifications like 4K resolution and HDR10+ compatibility, it's easy to see how it warrants its price tag.

This is a high-end kind of TV that probably not everyone needs, but if you want something that approximates the power of Samsung's 2018 flagship at half the price, it's the way to go. Check out the full review for more information.

55-inch Samsung MU9000 (2017)

887276201504
  • Editors' Choice

55-inch Samsung MU9000 (2017)

Another 2017 model, the MU9000 is an upper midrange TV that delivers staples like 4K resolution and HDR support, while cutting costs by eschewing things like Samsung's quantum dot designation and the somewhat esoteric "OneConnect" box.

While we wouldn't pay the $1,500 asking price you'll find in some locations for this TV, if you can find it under $1,000 it's a great deal.

What you're getting:

  • 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution
  • HDR10 compatibility (benchmarked around 650 nits)
  • 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Samsung Smart Hub

What you're not getting:

  • Nearly as much brightness as Samsung's 2018 models
  • Great horizontal viewing angles
  • The best dimming algorithms

The MU9000 was a high-end TV in 2017, so finding it for around $1,000 is a great buy. You're getting 650 nits of HDR brightness, very accurate color, and so on.

There's not a ton of reason to buy this TV in lieu of the 2018 Vizio P-Series if all you're looking for is good performance—but the MU9000 fortunately also delivers an element of polish and minimalism that a lot of viewers might like, helping it maintain its relevance this year. Check out the full review here.

55-inch Vizio M-Series (2017)

845226014680
  • Editors' Choice

55-inch Vizio M-Series (2017)

The 2017 M-Series was a great value when it hit the market, so it's an even better value now.

The 2017 M-Series is obviously not as well-equipped as Vizio's 2018 models, but it still has a bunch of the newer TV features most people are going to be looking for when they upgrade.

What you're getting:

  • 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution
  • HDR/Dolby Vision compatibility (benchmarked around 350 nits)
  • 60 Hz refresh rate
  • Vizio SmartCast system
  • Full-Array Local Dimming (32 local dimming zones)

What you're not getting:

  • Very high HDR brightness (compared to the 2018 M-Series)
  • A high zone count (compared to the 2018 M-Series)
  • Wide horizontal viewing angles
  • A built-in TV tuner

2017 was the year Vizio removed TV tuners from most of its lineup, which is one of the most polarizing things to understand about the 2017 models—there's no aux. jack for direct cable/satellite connection.

The 2018 M-Series (which we're testing as of this update) is also a brighter, more evolved HDR TV, but the 2017 M-Series is still a good value (especially if you can find the 55-inch under $600). Check out the full review for more information.

55-inch Vizio E-Series (2018)

845226016455
  • Editors' Choice

55-inch Vizio E-Series (2018)

The 2018 E-Series is one of the most valuable sets of TVs this year, and the 55-inch model is just about the perfect size for most people.

It's no surprise that this is our top pick for TVs under $500 this year.

What you're getting:

  • 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution
  • High Dynamic Range compatibility (benchmarked around 300 nits)
  • Excellent contrast (full-array local dimming with 10 zones)
  • Accurate color for standard (non-HDR) content)
  • Vizio SmartCast (Google Cast) software

What you're not getting:

  • Impressive HDR (the TV just isn't bright/colorful enough)
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Great motion for some content (60 Hz refresh rates here)

If you're looking to score a very reliable, future-facing 4K/HDR TV without spending a ton of money, the E-Series is a great choice. It's not as fancy as a lot of the other TVs here, but it makes up for it with a very friendly price tag. Check out the full review for all the details.

55-inch Vizio D-Series (2018)

Vizio d55 f2

55-inch Vizio D-Series (2018)

One step down from the E-Series, the D-Series is Vizio's absolutely entry-level lineup every year.

The 2018 models are similarly mixed: available in 14 sizes and containing resolutions from 720p through 4K, they're a mixed bag, making a series review difficult. However, the 55-inch D-Series is still a solid choice.

You're getting a fairly basic 4K TV here, but it's also only $478, so if you want to shave just a little bit of the price off the E-Series, this is the one to go with. Check out the full review here.

55-inch TCL 5 Series (2018)

Tcl 55s517

55-inch TCL 5 Series (2018)

A step down from the super-value TCL 6 Series, the 5 Series gives you a very satisfactory 4K/HDR TV for very little money.

What you're getting:

  • 4K resolution
  • HDR compatibility
  • The Roku platform
  • 60 Hz refresh rate

What you're not getting:

  • Impressive HDR performance
  • A wide viewing angle
  • The best motion (due to 60 Hz refresh rate)

The 5 Series definitely isn't perfect, but it's hard to argue with for $479. This one is very similar to the Vizio D-Series, so if you're trying to choose between the two 55-inch budget fellows, it may come down to whether you rather have Google Cast (via Vizio's smart operation) or Roku (which I'd prefer, personally).

I also find that the TCL TVs have slightly nicer plastic/build qualities in this price range (though that's because almost all Vizios have a full-array local dimming backlight, and require a sturdier chassis). Check out the full review for more information.

55-inch TCL S Series (2017)

Tcl 55s405

55-inch TCL S Series (2017)

The 2017 entry-level 4K TCL Roku TV, you can still find this TV kickin' around in 2018 for about $379—what a steal!

Getting a 55-inch 4K Roku TV for that price is a very solid deal, and it's actually not too good to be true.

Obviously, you aren't going to get the best-in-class performance here, and the TV's HDR performance (like the 2018 5 Series) isn't terribly impressive, but otherwise it's a wholly decent product. Check out the full review for more details.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below