Best 40 inch TV 2020: 9 of our top-rated television buys, from Samsung to Philips

Find 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 (2020) QLED Art Mode TV with No-Gap Wall Mount
(Image credit: John Lewis & Partnera)

Getting your hands on the best 40 inch TV money can buy is a good choice – particularly by today's standards. This screen size suits a variety of spaces and can still boast a stylish design as well as an impressive selection of features.

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.

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

The best 40 inch TVs for 2020

PANASONIC TX-40GX800B

(Image credit: Panasonic)

1. Panasonic TX-40GX800B (2019) 40in LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

Our very best 40 inch TV: punchy picture, actually 40 inches with a reasonable price tag

Specifications
Screen size: 40in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Edge LED
Smart TV: My Home Screen 4.0
HDR support: HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Supports all HDR standards+40 inches in size+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-None at this price!

A top choice for 2019 and now a top choice for this year, this Panasonic TV just HAD to feature in our round up, and it got our vote for the best 40in TV so it's one to watch for sure.

Stylish design

This edge-lit LED TV is a good looking set with lots of nice, thin clean lines all over it.

Basic user-interface

The user-interface is pretty basic but it covers all the bases and you won’t have trouble getting to grips with it. It’s worth bearing in mind that it doesn’t support apps for Now TV or Google Play Movies & TV.

Good quality picture

While the picture the GX800B delivers isn’t quite up to the careful craft of some of the others here, it’s nice and bright which brings a big sense of drama to your viewing. If you’re looking for something no bigger than 40 inches, then this is the best set around.

  • Buy the Panasonic TX-40GX800B (2019) LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

Sony Bravia KD43XG8305

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. Sony Bravia KD43XG8305 (2019) 43in LED 4K Ultra HD Smart Android TV

The best 40 inch TV with Android: it's smart, it's colourful and has impressive image processing

Specifications
Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Edge LED
Smart TV: Android TV with YouView
HDR support: HDR10, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Punchy picture+Brilliant colours+Superior motion handling
Reasons to avoid
-Chunky stand, although this is totally not an issue if you wall mount it

This Sony TV gets our vote for the best TV with Android, and sits about midway through the company’s TV range for 2019.

Edge-lit LED model

It’s an edge-lit LED model but one of the better performing sets of this type you’ll find. There’s no patchy backlight issues and the picture is is nice and strong thanks to Sony’s X1 processor which runs the show.

Impressive motion processing

Ever noticed any judder when you’re watching TV and the camera pans across a scene? Well, one of the things Sony does particularly well is motion processing. So, you can guarantee that the action on this 4K HDR set will be the smoothest you’ll find on this list.

  • Buy the Sony Bravia KD43XG8305 (2019) 43in LED 4K Ultra HD Smart Android TV

LG OLED48CX6LB 48" Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR OLED TV

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

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

The best 40 inch OLED TV: stunning picture quality and brilliant viewing angles

Specifications
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

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

(Image credit: Samsung)

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

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

Specifications
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

The Serif and the Frame, which you'll find below, are going to offer a very similar performance to each other so the decision will come down to your preferred design.

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: Samsung The Frame (2020)

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

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

The best 40 inch TV for style: a TV disguised as artwork

Specifications
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
-Expensive

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.  

QLED

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.

Best 40 inch TV: Samsung QE43Q60R

(Image credit: Samsung)

6. Samsung QE43Q60R (2019) 43in QLED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

The most powerful 40 inch TV: Samsung's most powerful 40 inch TV

Specifications
Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Edge QLED
Smart TV: Samsung Tizen OS
HDR support: HDR10+, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Affordable QLED+Excellent viewing angles+Good black depth+Full suite of apps
Reasons to avoid
-Bottom-end QLED only

Strip the Serif of the Frame of their aesthetic niceties and you'll end up with something very similar to this alternative to Samsung.

QLED technology

QLED is Samsung’s top panel technology and while the very best QLEDs don’t come much smaller than 50in, the baby of the family does. This 43in Q60 is an edge-lit version. It’s not quite such a talented performer as its bigger brethren but then it’s considerably cheaper. Most QLEDS are very much north of the £1,000 mark.

Impressive picture quality

As a QLED, the Q60R benefits from exceptionally good dark details, nice deep black levels, rich colours and excellent viewing angles. No matter where you’re seated in the room, you’ll get a brilliant picture.

  • Buy the Samsung QE43Q60R (2019) QLED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

best 40 inch TV: Philips 43PUS7394

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

7. Philips 43PUS7394 (2019) 43in LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart Android TV

The best 40 inch TV with ambilight: A glorious light show and a very nice picture

Specifications
Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Direct LED
Smart TV: Android TV
HDR support: HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Ambilight+Direct-lit LED+Full HDR support
Reasons to avoid
-Some key apps missing

This may be a modestly-priced TV but inside is the P5 processor which once drove the very top model Philips OLEDs. Granted, those OLEDs have moved on a bit but this set still boasts some tasty tech and plenty of great features, not least of which is Philips's glorious Ambilight technology.

Ambilight technology

Ambilight is a system of LEDs on the back of the set which light up your room in an array of colours which matches the picture on the screen. The effect is great-looking cinematic glow and it almost makes the TV feel like it's bigger than it actually is - quite the bonus if you're limited to a 43-inch size.

Full HDR support

It offers full HDR support and it's also direct-lit for a more carefully crafted picture. Just a pity that the Android TV platform is missing apps like Now TV, BT Sports and All 4 too.

  • Buy the Philips 43PUS7394 (2019) LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart Android TV

Best 40 inch TV: Toshiba 43UL5A63

(Image credit: Toshiba)

8. Toshiba 43UL5A63DB (2019) 43in LED 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

The best budget 40 inch TV: Top technology on a very low budget

Specifications
Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Direct LED
Smart TV: Freeview Play
HDR support: HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision
Reasons to buy
+Freeview Play+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best sound-External Alexa mic-Chunky

It’s pretty hard to argue with a 4K HDR TV for less than £300 at this size, hence why we had to include the Toshiba 43UL5A63 in our round up.

Impressive features, particularly for the price

You’ll find other super-budget models like this out there but you’ll want to stay a long, long way from most of them.

Solid image quality

Obviously, it’s not the last word in picture quality. You get what you pay for here but it produces a solid, if unspectacular image, which will admirably handle whatever kind of content you throw at it.

Easy access to catch-up services

It’s also nicely full featured with all your catch-up services through Freeview Play and all your other on-demand video needs.

  • Buy the Toshiba 43UL5A63DB (2019) LED 4K Ultra HD Smart TV

Best 40 inch TV: Hisense H43B7100UK

(Image credit: Hisense)

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

The best 40 inch TV for the very lowest price

Specifications
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.

OLED or LED?

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 Panasonic TX-40GX800B. While it's not the most premium model around, nor the newest screens in this guide, it offers a fab picture quality for its price. Enjoy a high quality audio visual experience and easy access to your favourite streaming platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and more.

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