Size matters. In a world where flagship TVs are getting bigger and bigger – while the average living room stays the same size – it’s crucial that TV brands keep making compact alternatives to work for a variety of homes, budgets, and needs.
Because OLEDs are relatively expensive to manufacture, and still not produced at the scale of long-in-the-tooth LCDs, sizing options are still limited, though that is slowly changing.
LG has led the way here, with its CX OLED that launched earlier this year – though we’ve since seen both Sony and Philips get in on the 48-inch action too. At the moment, each brand only offers a 48-inch size for a single model, though we expect that number to grow in the coming year. Between 2019 and 2020, Samsung went from offering a single flagship 8K TV to four 8K models, and it’s likely we’ll see a similar expansion for 48-inch OLEDs. (Note that, while some LCD TVs come in 49-inch sizes, only OLEDs come in a 48-inch size.)
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The main criticism of OLED TVs is still their high prices, and budding OLED adopters have been eagerly awaiting sets at more reasonable price points. The LG B9 OLED and Philips OLED 754 are the best value OLEDs we’ve seen so far, and it’s worth noting that 48-inch OLEDs don’t seem to be bringing down the price for the cheapest sets.
TV brands are rather using the smaller size to push their flagship models, meaning they’re not the cheapest OLED sets out there, but they do offer premium quality at a slight discount – and conveniently smaller size – over 55-inch or 65-inch iterations.
If that sounds like enough of an argument for you, then we’ve listed every currently available 48-inch OLED TV below – including a new model by Bang & Olufsen announced in November 2020.
The original 48-inch OLED is the LG CX. This is the set topping our best OLED TV guide, and is going to be the go-to 48-inch OLED for many given the quality experience you’re getting for the price.
You get a market-leading OLED panel, with LG’s latest a9 Gen 3 processor and all of the expected benefits of OLED: incredibly deep blacks, a contrast ratio to die for, and vivid colors throughout. The CX doesn’t quite have the audio array of the WX or Gallery Series GX, but with 2.2. channel speakers it’s still a step above cheaper sets.
At just $1,499 / £1,499 for the 48-inch model, you’re saving a small amount over the 55-inch model, as well as saving in space. That converts to around AU$2,000, and we know the 48-inch size will be coming to Australia shortly.
Its relatively low input lag (just 13ms with Game Mode) make it a great choice as a gaming monitor, too – which feels more reasonable at its smallest size, making it easier to fit into a study or bedroom compared to its larger 65-inch or 77-inch iterations.
It's worth noting that LG has slipped up on Freeview Play – the UK broadcaster catch-up service – and currently only support iPlayer, BBC News, and BBC Sport out of the usual roster.
Read our full LG CX OLED review
You can’t fault Sony for getting the most out of one of its most impressive televisions. The 2019 Sony A9G/AG9 has got a new 48-inch size, a year after its initial release, giving it a new lease of life at a lower-than-ever price point.
Called the A9S in the US, or more simply as the A9 in the UK and Ireland, the smaller model packs in everything we loved about its larger iterations.
As a 4K HDR television, you're getting state-of-the-art streaming resolution and an expanded dynamic range for enhanced color and contrast. You'll get Sony's X-Motion Clarity feature for smooth, judder-free movement, as well as Acoustic Surface Audio to literally vibrate audio out of the OLED panel itself. Google Assistant and Alexa are naturally both here, and you'll be using an Android smart TV platform that largely improves on its past iterations.
The A9S/A9 retails for $1,899 / £1,799 (around AU$2,600, though Australian availability is yet to be confirmed). Note that UK viewers won't get Freeview Play, with all its catch-up apps for British broadcasters.
Read our full Sony A9G/AG9 TV review
Philips’ flagship OLED for 2020 seems, on the surface, to be a brilliantly high-spec television. We haven’t had the chance to review this model yet, but it joins an already star-studded lineup of Philips OLEDs in the UK and Europe, including the entry-level 805.
The OLED+935 is powered by Philips’ fourth-gen P5 processor – the best iteration yet, with new AI algorithms ensuring it applies the most relevant processing to every content type. Motion handling is particularly improved, while the audio setup – a built-in 70W soundbar from audio specialist and recurring partner Bowers & Wilkins – should make sure the OLED+935 feels like a fleshed-out home cinema machine.
Let’s not forget the four-sided Ambilight too, with the set projecting onscreen colors from every edge of the set for an immersive light show during films, TV shows, or games. It’s also the only set in this list that supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision dynamic HDR formats (the other two only support the latter), and the only one with a complete roster of Freeview Play catchup apps in the UK.
A note: the Philips OLED+935 rolls out in September, but the 48-inch model won’t be available until October. We’ll keep you (and this page) updated once its smallest iteration is available to purchase. We do, however, know it'll cost £1,799, putting it in direct competition with the Sony model above.
Don’t expect it in the US for now, as Funai licenses the Philips brand in the states. Not many Philips OLEDs make it to Australia either – currently only 2019’s OLED804 is in its online AU store – but UK shoppers will get their chance soon.
Read more: Philips OLED+935 review
Bang & Olufsen's Beovision television range just got a new member: the Beovision Contour, a 48-inch OLED TV.
The Beovision Contour is described as an "all-in-one TV and music experience", featuring audio technology from B&O's first ever soundbar, the Beosound Stage – but reportedly with improved bass performance.
It's the smallest OLED from Bang & Olufsen so far, given the company tends to make headlines with super-large screens like the 88-inch Beovision Harmony. But the Contour loses none of B&O's premium attitude – or the premium prices usually involved.
Buyers can opt for a swivelling aluminium floor stand, wall-mounting, or a tabletop stand to place on higher surfaces. There's a host of color options for both the floor stand and the wood veneer around the set itself, from Gold and Silver to Black Anthracite (coal).
In order to keep things looking pretty, too, we're told that "All cables are routed through the centre rear of the TV and hidden from view, offering a holistic 360-degree design, which allows the TV to remain visually appealing from any angle."
The Beovision Contour is available now online and in-store across the UK and Europe, with global availability (including the US) coming in February 2021. It retails for $5,999 / £5,150 (around AU$8,250).
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