Best 40 inch TV: 7 television buys, from LG to Hisense

Compare the best 40 inch TV from brands such as Samsung, Sony and LG in our expert guide, for the best prices

best 40 inch TV
Samsung The Frame
(Image credit: Samsung)

The best 40 inch TV is not one to be underestimated, especially if you're after a big TV. A screen of this size packs tech-a-plenty behind a slim bezel, and you don't need to have a great deal of space in your home to fit it in either.

Whether you're looking to kit out a living room with a model that won't overwhelm the space, or want a reasonably sized television for your bedroom, we've rounded up the best models based on price and performance. The TVs in this range include some 2020 models (with more expected to join the ranks shortly) and come with 40 inch to 48 inch panels – a nice size for an enjoyable viewing experience when you don't have loads of room for a more generous 55 inch (or bigger) television. They're NOT ranked in order (apart from our #1) because they all offer something unique in their own way, so don't forget to scroll right to the bottom of our shortlisted models!

Want more televisions to choose from? Check out our best TV 2020 guide for the best screens, at the best prices.

Our best 40 inch TV buys

best 40 inch TV

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

1. LG OLED48CX6LB (2020) 48in Smart 4K Ultra HDR TV

Best 40 inch TV (overall): stunning picture quality and brilliant viewing angles

Screen size: 48in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Direct LED
Smart TV: AI TV with Freeview Play/Freesat HD
HDR support: HDR10, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful picture+Good audio performance+Excellent viewing angles
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best aesthetics

Shinny and NEW for 2020, the LG CX is among the latest of LG’s new OLED models to launch this year. And it's very reasonably priced for an OLED TV, too.

Quality image
The smaller unit doesn’t compromise on picture display and quality, with the 4K UHD reproducing even sharper picture quality meaning this TV is great for movie nights for yourself or with the family. With Filmmaker Mode, Auto Genre Selection, Dolby Vision IQ, upgraded video processor and HDMI 2.1, this TV is fantastic for ultimate at home viewing experiences.

Make the most of LG’s magic remote
We also like LG’s magic remote for gesture controls and how well this set fits into your smart home thanks to its ability to work with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa without having to attach an Echo or Home device to it. Just talk down the remote and your wish is its command.

  • Buy the LG OLED48CX6LB (2020) 48" Smart 4K Ultra HDR TV

best 40 inch TV: Samsung The Frame (2020)

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. Samsung The Frame (2020) 43in QLED Art Mode TV

Best 40 inch TV for style: a TV disguised as artwork

Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Edge QLED
Smart TV: Samsung Tizen OS
HDR support: HDR10+, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Hangs flush to wall+Great viewing angles+Home decor friendly
Reasons to avoid

Building on the Samsung The Frame (2019), this new model is not only available in additional sizes, from 32in to 75in but its new AI-based auto-curation feature, the Frame’s Art Store, is now able to suggest artwork in line with the specific tastes of the owner.  

As with the Serif, The Frame TV is QLED features with a strong steer towards interior design. 

Stylish design
The Frame offers an outstanding viewing experience. It's bezel is styled like a picture frame which you can hang on your wall. 

When it’s off, it blends with your other pictures thanks to Art Mode and displays thousands of attractive digital pictures. You can subscribe to Samsung’s Art Store (for just £3.99 per month) to access hundreds of images ranging from contemporary to classic, or you can create your own slide show using your own snaps. This year, the tech has gone one step further to suggest artwork in line with your specific tastes - very clever!

No trailing wires
Key to this set is the No Gap Wall Mount which sits this TV absolutely flush to your wall with only enough space for the tiny Near-Invisible Cable to run discreetly down to the One Connect box which you can tuck away inside a cupboard. It’s the One Connect where you plug everything else including the TV’s power cable, your set-top-box, Blu-ray player and any external speakers.

  • Buy the Samsung The Frame (2020) 43in QLED Art Mode TV 

best 40 inch TV: Philips 6800 (2019/20) 43in 4K UHD TV

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Philips 6800 (2019/20) 43in 4K UHD Android TV

Best 40 inch TV for surround lighting: this television has three-sided Ambilight

Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: LCD
Smart TV: Android, Alexa-enabled devices
HDR support: HDR10+
Reasons to buy
+Multi-HDR format support+Three-sided Ambilight+Good price
Reasons to avoid
-SD image quality bleary-Dolby Atmos not the sharpest

We are rather fond of the Ambilight televisions, and this one is no exception. The screen is part of the Philips Performance Series which packs a host of fab tech which will make how you watch and navigate through your favourite shows effortless.

Three-sided ambilight
This TV oozes an impressive display of picture quality, so much so it will fill your living room with colour as it projects around the TV screen.

And with the 4K UHD and HDR 10+, you can enjoy those sharp images but with the higher res content. Reviews have suggested that the screen can struggle with lower-resolution sources. You'll also want to look at the screen square-on, rather than from the side, so positioning of the television will need to be carefully considered at the point of installation.

It's smart, too
You can access a wealth of content anytime with Android TV. The TV is also compatible with Alexa which ensures a simple navigation, via an Alexa-enabled device such as Echo or Echo Dot.

  • Buy the Philips 6800 (2019/20) 43in 4K UHD Android TV

4. Sony Bravia KD43XH8505 (2020) 4K UHD Android TV

Best 40 inch TV for smart functionalities: packed with several voice controls to opt for, it's easy to use too

Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: LED
Smart TV: Android TV with Voice Remote and Google Assistant built-in
HDR support: X1 4K HDR Processor
Reasons to buy
+Excellent picture quality+Minimalist design+Easy to set up
Reasons to avoid
-Audio is a little weak in the bass section

This 43in TV combines excellent picture quality with on-demand content, perfectly. From using your voice to search for films to scrolling through the onboard YouView catch up service, you're granted access to a plethora of entertainment.

Image quality
As with the other screens in our guide, this Sony TV offers four times the number of pixels than 1080p HD TVs and will even upscale content so it can be enjoyed in the best possible quality.

Driving the display is Sony's powerful X1 4K HDR Processor which ensures a smooth transmission of life-like qualities. Couple this with the TRILUMINOS display and the result is vivid, realistic imagery. 

Android TV
As with the Philips TV (above) this screen can also be controlled using Android voice control. You'll be able to access streaming services in an instant, including Netflix, Amazon, Prime Video and Google Play Movies.

In addition to this, the set also comes with built-in YouView which is a seven day scroll back TV guide.

Minimalist design
All this tech is packed behind a narrow bezel which reviewers enjoy the aesthetics of. And cable management will keep the connecting wires hidden from view.

2020 43" The Serif QLED 4K HDR Smart TV in Cloud White

(Image credit: Samsung)

5. Samsung The Serif (2020) 43in QLED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV, Bouroullec Brothers Design

Best 40 inch TV for design: design-led set with Samsung QLED technology

Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Edge QLED
Smart TV: Samsung Tizen OS
HDR support: HDR10+, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Great looks+Flexible form factor+Higher-end Samsung technology
Reasons to avoid
-Low specced QLED TV

Just like we've found with The Frame, this television is another design-led option for your living space. A nice thing we would like to note is that it arrives in eco packaging to encourage up cycling. Everything has been considered, and is worth considering, with this tele option.

QLED technology
They all represent the lower end of Samsung’s excellent QLED range and Samsung scores them very similarly on its PQI (Picture Quality Index) rating. The major differences instead are aesthetic and that’s really down to what you’re looking for in your home.

Stylish design
What you get with the Serif is a set designed to sit on tall, freestanding legs anywhere in a room, independent of any other furniture. The other approach is to balance it on its frame on any flat surface — such as a sideboard — without its legs. That’s possible thanks to its Bouroullec Brothers design who have given it a capital I shaped cross-section, an I, of course, with serifs.

And for 2020, the Samsung Serif is now available in two new stylish colours, Cloud White and Cotton Blue.

Enjoy ambient mode
The Serif looks great but you definitely pay for the privilege. It comes in a 43in size and features an Ambient mode to turn the panel into a series of attractive images instead of just a black rectangle and you can connect your phone to it using NFC by resting your device on its top edge.

  • Buy the Samsung The Serif (2020) QLED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV, Bouroullec Brothers Design

Best 40 inch TV: Hisense H43B7100UK

(Image credit: Hisense)

6. Hisense H43B7100UK (2019) LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

Best 40 inch TV for the very lowest price: a low priced option which has all the spec for less £££s

Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Direct LED
Smart TV: Freeview Play
HDR support: HDR10 and HLG
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Direct LED+Freeview Play
Reasons to avoid
-Lower level motion handling-Black levels hazy

The Hisense H43B7100UK is the cheapest TV in the 40in category which we’re happy to recommend. Start delving further into the bargain basement and you might find something sticky and unpleasant at bottom.

Direct-lit model
This set is a direct-lit model which should help maximise both picture quality and make for a more even backlight, and that means a less blotchy image. 

Stream your favourite films and TV shows with ease
It supports a few of the HDR standards, has a Freeview Play tuner built in for all your favourite catch-up services and still features Bluetooth for audio streaming.

  • Buy the Hisense H43B7100UK (2019) LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

How to choose the best 40 inch TV

When it comes to buying the best 40 inch TV, there are a few factors worth considering to ensure you get the most for your money. There include:

Image quality
Make sure whatever you chose has 4K resolution for the best possible detail. Look out for 40in TVs which are HDR-compatible to get the best from dark and light areas of the image on your screen. If possible, those which support HDR10+ and/or Dolby Vision are preferable to just HDR10.

Even though you're not likely to find an OLED panel at this size, LCD TVs still come in enough different flavours to make it worth knowing what you’ve got in your shopping basket. Those which are edge-lit by LEDs can be much thinner and often more aesthetically pleasing but their direct or back-lit LED counterparts can produce a more subtle and nuanced picture even if their frames aren’t quite as easy on the eye.

Smart enabled
Anything you buy should be a Wi-Fi-enabled smart TV with at least three HDMI sockets around the back. We’d be very surprised if it wasn’t but it’s worth checking. You should also be sure that your favourite streaming services are available on its app platform. Very few TVs cover all the bases but remember that you can always add an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Chromecast or a Now TV dongle, etc to plug those missing gaps.

Look out for model numbers
Lastly, when shopping for a 40in TV deal, you may come across something with a slightly different model number to those featured in our guide. While it won’t be identical, if the number is very close, it may just be a case of the same screen with a small change, such as a different finish to the frame or an alternative stand. In theory, their performance should be similar.

What is the best 40 inch TV for 2020?

Let's recap... so, if you want the best 40 inch TV in your home (in our opinion), we recommend you buy the LG OLED48CX6LB (2020) 48in Smart 4K Ultra HDR TV. It's new for 2020 and is (one of) the smallest OLED televisions you can buy. It's packed to the the brim with tech and the quality is unrivalled, for the price.

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