Believe it or not, the best 55 inch 4K tvs in 2019 don’t cost an arm and a leg. In fact, our top picks range in price $999 to almost $3,000. Within that price spectrum, though, you’ll get vastly different display technologies, with the top end being the latest and most expensive on the market today; OLED.
Fortunately, all of our 4K tvs – otherwise knowns as ultra HDTVs (UHD TVs) – on this list are 55-inches, offering exceptional picture quality and versatility since they all boast a smart TV capability (and built-in WiFi), allowing you to access online streaming 4K content and other home entertainment for your home theater, which means you don’t have to be dependent on cable or satellite to watch shows and movies.
- 1 Top 55 Inch 4K TVs Compared
- 2 #1 Pick Samsung UN55JS9000 4K LED TV
- 3 #2 Pick LG 55EF9500 4K OLED TV
- 4 #3 Pick LG 55UF7600 4K LED TV
- 5 #4 Pick Vizio M55-C2 4K LED TV
- 6 #5 Pick Sony XBR-55X810C 4K LED TV
- 7 What to Look for in the Best 55 Inch 4K TV
- 8 Mistakes to Avoid
- 9 Most Important 55 Inch 4K TV Features
- 10 Which Best 55 Inch 4K TVs Are Right For You?
Top 55 Inch 4K TVs Compared
|Samsung UN55JS9000||LG 55EF9500||LG 55UF7600||Vizio M55-C2||Sony XBR-55X810C|
|Screen Size||55 inches||55 inches||55 inches||55 inches||55 inches|
|Resolution||4K, 3840x2160||4K, 3840x2160||4K, 3840x2160||4K, 3840x2160||4K, 3840x2160|
|Upscaling HD Programming to 4K|
|Actual Refresh Rate||120Hz||NA||120Hz||60Hz||120Hz|
|Smart TV Features||Tizen OS||webOS 2.0||webOS 2.0||Vizio Internet Apps Plus||Android TV|
|Ports||4 HDMI, 1 Component In, 1 Video in, 3 USB Ports||3 HDMI, 1 Component Video In, 3 USB||3 HDMI, 1 Component Video In, 3 USB||5 HDMI, 1 Component In, 1 USB||4 HDMI, 1 Component In, 3 USB|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check price||Check Price||Check Price|
#1 Pick Samsung UN55JS9000 4K LED TV
Retail Price: $2,797.99 | Upscale HD to 4K: Yes | Display Technology: LED-LCD
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Curved screen provides an immersive feeling in this 4K TV.
If OLED technology won’t fit in your budget, the best LED-LCD 55 inch 4K television is the Samsung UN55JS9000. It is our editor’s choice because it has great image quality, while also excelling in the area of motion blur, which makes this Samsung model work well for sports programming and gaming. Samsung gave the UN55JS9000 a octa-core processor, which allows it to successfully upscale its HD programming to fill the 4K resolution of this screen, as well as excel in its Smart TV functions, which is supported by built-in WiFi. The price of this Samsung 4k display is towards the high end of the 55-inch LED-LCD 4K market, but you’ll be rewarded with great image quality and a great color gamut for your investment and a serious wow factor thanks to its curved screen.
#2 Pick LG 55EF9500 4K OLED TV
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: OLED technology provides deep blacks and above average image quality.
Whether you believe OLED technology has the longevity to serve as the next upgrade in television display screens, there’s little doubt it provides the most impressive image quality currently available. And when you pair OLED display technology with Ultra HD resolution, you have a very strong display screen in the LG 55EF9500. Color quality is incredible with this screen, and OLED provides the deepest blacks you’ll find on a 55 inch TV right now.
LG has invested in its own 4K upscaling technology, called Tru-4K Upscaler, which allows HD programming to approximate 4K resolution programming through software built into the TV. This is important because there’s so little 4K native programming available right now. And the 55EF9500 is great for gaming or viewing sports, as it has no motion blur for fast moving subjects because of the OLED technology. This model works well in a large room too, as the unit can be viewed from wide angles with minimal loss in viewing quality.
There are still some unknown factors with OLED technology, such as whether it will be more susceptible to screen burn-in than the LED-LCD options that dominate the market. And LG is the only company really offering OLED televisions at this point, which does drive up the price of the LG 55EF9500 versus other models. But the image quality of this model is so good that it deserves to be our editor’s pick for the best 55 inch 4K TV.
#3 Pick LG 55UF7600 4K LED TV
Retail Price: $2,499.00 | Upscale HD to 4K: Yes | Display Technology: LED-LCD
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Excellent energy efficiency capabilities in a reasonably priced 4K TV.
Even though LG is focusing a lot of attention on OLED technology, (And LG OLEDs are awesome) it hasn’t forgotten about LED-LCD display screens in the 55 inch television size. And its 4K 55UF7600 model offers many of the features found in LG’s OLED model at a reasonable price. As with the OLED 55EF9500 mentioned above, the 55UF7600 offers Tru-4K Upscaler, which allows it to make HD programming take advantage of the extra resolution of this 4K model. One area where this LG TV suffers is in motion blur with fast moving subjects. And its sound quality with the built-in speaker is a little bit below average versus the other best 4K 55 inch TV options. While nearly every 4K television has an Energy Star rating, organizations like Consumer Reports show that the LG 55UF7600 is the most energy efficient 4K 55 inch TV on the market now.
#4 Pick Vizio M55-C2 4K LED TV
Retail Price: $851.00 | Upscale HD to 4K: Yes | Display Technology: LED-LCD
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Desirable price point among 4K TVs at 55 inch size
Those looking for 4K resolution in a 55 inch TV while also saving some money will appreciate the Vizio M55-C2, which offers the best value in a 4K 55 inch TV. This model isn’t flashy in any area, but it will give you good image quality, a wide color gamut and good performance at a really good price. Vizio never skimps on HDMI ports with its TVs, and the M55-C2 is no exception with five HDMI ports. This model is easy to set up and use. When upscaling HD resolution programming to 4K resolution, the M55-C2’s image quality doesn’t quite match some higher priced models, and this model struggles with motion blur at times. But the low price of this model is impossible to ignore.
#5 Pick Sony XBR-55X810C 4K LED TV
Retail Price: $847.40 | Upscale HD to 4K: Yes | Display Technology: LED-LCD
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Strong all-around features and price for a 4K TV
While the Sony XBR-55X810C 4K television might not excel against the others on this list in any one particular area, it has a lot of really nice features at a reasonable price that make it one of the best all-around 4K 55 inch TVs in the market. This model has solid image quality, wide colors, and its ability to upscale HD programming to 4K is strong, as it is with many of the best Sony 4K TVs. If you’re someone who makes use of Google’s Android platform on your smartphone, you’ll appreciate the Android TV interface for the XBR-55X810C’s Smart TV platform, as many of the apps you may use on your smartphone are available on this 4K TV too. And if you shop around, you likely can find this model for less than $1,000.
What to Look for in the Best 55 Inch 4K TV
Upscaling: Because there isn’t much 4K programming available on the market now, your 4K television needs to have the ability to upscale HD programming to take advantage of the 4K display resolution. This technique allows the 4K television to approximate 4K resolution programming by using software to superimpose the missing pixels from the HD programming, which uses about 2 million pixels, to the 4K standard, which uses about 8 million pixels. Upscaling doesn’t provide a picture that can match the quality of pure 4K programming, but you receive better performance from your 4K TV if it has an upscaling ability, at least until networks begin providing 4K resolution programming on a regular basis.
Viewing Angle: If you’re using your 55 inch television in a large room, you’ll want to make sure the screen you select can be viewed clearly from wide angles. Different TVs have different capabilities when it comes to their viewing angles, so pay attention to this.
Price: When it comes to finding the sweet spot in the market between price and screen size, the 55 inch TV 4K market is in the spotlight currently, as units are beginning to slip under that magic price point of $1,000. With prices dropping quickly, shop around to find the best 55 inch 4K TV value.
Mistakes to Avoid
Suffering from Motion Blur: You can attempt to measure whether a television will potentially suffer from motion blur by looking at the refresh rate. A faster refresh rate will lessen the chances of motion blur, which can cause problems with image quality when watching fast-moving programming, such as with sports. Look for a TV with a minimum 120Hz refresh rate to avoid blurred images moving across the screen. This can help with low input lag as well. Input lag will happen more when you are gaming. Some TVs have a variable refresh rate to keep things looking great. Higher motion handling and a low response time will keep your image moving smoothly.
Read: Best 4k TV
Sub-par Black Levels: One area where you can gain a feel for the build quality of a particular 4K TV is through its black levels. A display screen that has true and deep blacks will have a better image quality than one where the blacks are murky, almost more like a dark gray. A cheap 4K TV likely carries that price because of inconsistent black levels. Because you can’t really rely on numbers in the specifications like contrast level, you’ll want to see the TV on display to determine black levels.
Relying on Smart TV Functionality: Don’t pick the best 4K TV based primarily on its Smart TV capabilities or interface. TV manufacturers update their Smart TV interfaces constantly, meaning a feature that’s missing now in one unit could be available in a couple of months. Or you could always purchase a set-top box that has the Smart TV features you want.
Sound Quality Problems: One area where most large screen televisions struggle is with poor audio quality from the built-in speakers. If you’re going to spend the money for the strong image quality in the best 55 inch 4K televisions, you may want to budget for a sound bar or a speaker system too, so the audio quality of the setup matches the image quality.
4K HDR and 4K UHD: 4K HDR on TV models means High Dynamic Range on an HDR TV and is a way to represent colors in a more realistic way. So an HDR movie will look much more realistic. This is why people love 4k HDR TVs for movies and video games. An HDR game played on a 4k HDR smart TV can be very immersive because of this. Dolby Vision is a form of HDR technology that can be found on many 4k HDR smart TVs. 4k UHD refers to Ultra HD and this simply means that the set has a higher resolution than HDTV, making a 4k UHD TV “ultra HD”. These are pretty simple terms once you understand what they mean by a 4k ultra HD. A UHD TV just means better picture quality. UHD TVs are often more expensive because of this.
Most Important 55 Inch 4K TV Features
- The screen size of the television is measured diagonally, and manufacturers round up. Most of the top 55 inch 4K TV options actually measure 54.6 inches diagonally … but our guess is you probably won’t notice those missing 0.4 inches.
- While it can be difficult to find a television offering OLED 4k technology, this is one of the newest display technologies on the market now, offering strong color accuracy and deep blacks. They are much better than LED TVs. The software in an OLED 4k HDR unit controls each individual pixel in the organic LED layer to achieve such high image quality. OLED TVs carry a premium price, however. The term “Local dimming” on an LCD TV means that it dims the backlight behind parts of the screen that are displaying black, making the blacks appear deeper. This is great for content with darker scenes. The difference between the peak brightness and black level is called the contrast ratio.
- Aside from OLED TV, LED-LCD is the most common type of display technology on the market now, and every major TV brand provides LED-LCD televisions. In this technology, an LED will illuminate the screen from behind, allowing for greater contrast between black and white. The screen itself uses LCD technology. An LCD model with the LED backlight across the entire screen will offer better image quality than one with the LED backlight only at the edges.
- 4K resolution is the “next great thing” in display technology. Television manufacturers are flooding the market with 4K TVs now, an upgrade from HD resolution TVs.
- A 4K television, also called Ultra HD or UHD, offers a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels (about 8.3 million total pixels). That’s about four times more total pixels than HD resolution of 1920×1080.
Also Read: Best TV For Gaming
Upscaling HD Programming to 4K
- Although TV manufacturers are embracing 4K resolution, those providing the programming are still broadcasting in HD resolution primarily. For this reason, most of the best 55 inch Ultra HD TVs will provide the ability to upscale.
Actual Refresh Rate
- Manufacturers measure the refresh rate of the television screen in Hertz, or Hz, revealing the number of times per second the image on the screen is redrawn. The most common refresh rates are 60Hz, 120Hz, or 240Hz.
- Refresh rates can be difficult to compare across brands, which is frustrating, because each manufacturer has its own means of measuring refresh rate, including providing brand names to the refresh rate. Usually, when a manufacturer mentions an effective refresh rate number, it’s typically double the actual refresh rate.
- Most 55 inch smart 4K TVs will have built-in Wi-Fi, including all of the units on our list above. And the fact that they can accept streaming services through either a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network connection make them Smart TVs. However, each TV manufacturer offers its own brand of Smart TV interface and services.
- Smart TVs usually have apps like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, and others built right in and have other ways of interacting with a smart home.
- HDMI ports will give you the ability to connect audio options, gaming hardware, streaming devices, bluray players, or set-top boxes to your TV, so look for a model with plenty of HDMI ports.
- Most TVs and your smart HDTV will offer other ports too, including USB, composite video, and digital audio.
Which Best 55 Inch 4K TVs Are Right For You?
If you’ve made up your mind to go with a 4K television, a 55 inch TV is going to give you a very nice mixture of screen size and value. The top 55 inch 4k smart TVs have begun to dip below the desirable $1,000 price point, which means this size of television is going to be very popular going forward. Look for a 55 inch 4K TV that provides great image quality, a fast refresh rate, and good viewing angles, and you’re sure to end up with a model that will serve you well both now and when 4K programming is commonplace … no matter how long that takes.
Some of the most popular TVs on the market today with the best picture quality include the Samsung nu8000, LG OLED55b8, just about any Sony TV, the Vizio Pseries, LG OLED55c8, Sony xbr55x900f, and the TCL 55r617.
Whether you are shopping for a QLED TV, a QLED smart TV, an LCD TV, an HDR smart TV or another TV platform, look for the best tv deals and make sure to consult our TV buying guide so that you know what to look for. Our 55inch 4K TVs buying guide has all of the latest info on the technology.
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