We've started to review 2017 TVs, but they're generally very difficult to recommend since last year's models perform almost the same and offer much better value. We'll periodically update our recommendations as we review more TVs over the course of the year and their prices fall to a more reasonable range.
While the market seems to be shifting slightly towards 65" sets, 55 inch TVs remains the top sellers. There are excellent TVs for every price range in this size; from the very best picture quality available to more budget friendly options that offer exceptional value.
Best very high-end 55 Inch TV
We've yet to see a perfect television and even the latest and greatest TV isn't without its tradeoffs. But if you're looking for the best picture quality available, OLED TVs face almost no competition. Since OLED can switch every pixel off individually, they can produce pure blacks, which essentially no LED TV can match.
The best 55 inch 4k UHD TV you can buy today is without a doubt the LG OLED55B6P. OLED is simply in a class of its own when it comes to both picture quality and motion, and the B6 is sure to please even the most demanding of AV enthusiasts. Contrast is the most important factor when it comes to picture quality, and OLED is as good as it gets.
Another advantage of OLED is its instant response time, so high framerate content such as sports and video games look exceptionally crisp and fluid. Input lag is low as well, even in HDR, so gamers out there will be very pleased. Its image doesn't degrade much at an angle, so the TV can accommodate for viewing parties in even the widest of living rooms.
However, it isn't without trade-offs: OLED will retain static images for a few minutes, which might make it unsuitable for use as a PC monitor. But while it doesn't get quite as bright as the brightest LEDs we've tested, the advantages outweigh its limitations for HDR.
Best high-end 55 Inch TV
This price range will land you the best picture quality available on an LED TV of this size. While it might not quite be OLED level, it is still very good and most people will be more than pleased from the TVs found in this price bracket.
Stocks are starting to become a bit scarce, but the UN55KS8000 is still the best picture quality found for the money today. It's an overall very well-rounded 4k smart 55 inch TV that suits almost every use-case.
It's one of the brightest TVs we've tested and has the best native contrast found on an LED TV, so picture quality is excellent. The KS8000 is the cheapest of Samsung's KS line, but almost all of the models (KS8500, KS9000, KS9500) have a virtually identical picture quality.
Input lag is among the best we've tested, and the TV sports a very wide color gamut, so HDR movies with very saturated colors will pop. Its viewing angle is quite narrow, but that's only an issue if it's going to be watched from a wide viewing arrangement. Overall, most people won't need to pay more than this to find a TV that suits their needs.
Best mid-range 55 Inch TV
While it won't have all of the extravagant features of the higher end models such as HDR, 3D and wide color gamut, they can still offer some very good picture quality. People looking for simpler TVs to watch broadcast television on shouldn't look much further than these.
The Vizio M55-D0 is the budget home-theater champion. It offers exceptional picture quality for the price, mostly thanks to its very sophisticated local dimming system which helps produce very deep blacks. Local dimming isn't without its flaws, but most people will prefer having it on. The Vizio M-Series will shine best when viewed in a dark environment.
Another shining point for the Vizio M is its terrific gaming performance. It has by far the best input lag we've ever tested on a TV and combined with its very quick motion, video games get a very connected and responsive feel.
HDR capabilities are quite limited, but this is to be expected of a TV in this price range. The Vizio M's biggest faults are its narrow viewing angle and limited brightness levels, but if it's going to be used in a home cinema where it belongs best, this won't be an issue.
If the Vizio M's flaws are exactly what you require, the Sony X700D will entirely fill that void. It gets much brighter and uses a different type of LCD that doesn't produce as good of a contrast when viewed right in front but can maintain picture quality much better at an angle. The X700D has very good motion as well and it is one of the best 55 inch TVs available today for sports and TV shows.
Best budget 55 Inch TV
They're a definite drop in quality compared to the mid-range models, but you can find a good 55 inch TV for cheap In the last few years, this area of the market rose in quality dramatically with the arrival of companies such as Hisense and TCL.
It's a bit difficult to find now, but the Hisense 55H8C is impossible to beat in this price range. It offers picture quality similar to the mid-range models while maintaining a very tight price. With decent input lag and motion, games and sports will do quite well on the H8C.
It has some common flaws such as a picture degradation at an angle, and its smart platform isn't great, but it will be more than functional for most people's consumption. In many ways, it is quite astonishing to find this performance at this price. While it shows some limitations when compared to the more expensive models, people on a budget should pick the Hisense H8C.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 55 inch TVs to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
A few examples of 55" TVs that didn't make the cut:
- Sony XBR55X930D. Nice TV but the Samsung KS8000 is better on nearly all fronts. See our review
- LG 55UH8500. Doesn't perform much better than the Sony X700D, but is quite a bit more expensive. See our review
- Vizio P55-C1. Compared to other P Series sizes, this one uses an IPS panel. This makes it a worse choice compared to our picks. See our review
- TCL 55US5800. Very good budget pick, but very difficult to find nowadays. See our review
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs that have a 55 inch size. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.