We've learned from being stuck in our homes watching TV for so long that if we can't go out as much as we want to, we should at least have the best viewing experience possible.
That's just not the case for those still settling for their old or sub-par television, and if that frustration sounds familiar, then it may be time to bite the bullet and invest in a brand new set.
For most of us, the dream would be to get the largest screen possible to enjoy our next Netflix binge. However, a 40 inch TV can be the perfect combination of function and appearance - not overwhelming your space but still capable of offering a theatre-worthy experience. Usually measuring in at between 40-43in, it's a solid option if you want to upgrade.
The other features you need to consider will depend on your priorities. For example, image quality needs to be measured by colour intensity, blacks' depths, and whether your set has 4K resolution, among other things.
Then there's design, with Samsung recently winning our vote with The Frame Art Print that literally fades into the rest of your décor. Scroll down to see what we thought.
And if you're not totally sure about which size to go for, then check out our ranking of the best TVs for a guide on the best screen, size and features.
Black Friday 40 inch TV deals
Some of the biggest savings in the tech sphere during Black Friday sales are on televisions, and we will be keeping an eye on any deals that pop up during, and after the event. So if you're looking to purchase one of the best 40 inch TVs before the end of the year, it might be a good idea to bookmark this page for the finest deals from across the web. We will be posting the very best that we find right here.
Samsung 43" AU8000 Smart 4K LED TV | was £549, now £345 (save £205)
The 42-inch Samsung AU8000 4K TV is available for 37% off at Amazon right now, saving you a massive £205 and shaving the price down to £345. This is a great deal on a 2021 model with solid upscaling, targeted adaptive sound, and built-in Alexa.
Samsung 43" The Frame Smart 4K QLED TV | was £999, now £799 (save £200)
Our beloved Frame TV is all over the Black Friday sales this year, and this deal from Very is the best we've found for the 43-inch model. With a discount of 10% on the Art Mode TV, you can pick it up for just £799, saving £200.
Sony 48" A9 Smart 4K OLED TV | was £1499, now £1199 (save £300)
Our favourite OLED TV is a full £300 cheaper this Black Friday at ao.com, saving you a lovely 20% on the 4K set. The TV also features a TRILUMINOS Display for better colours, and Dolby Atmos surround sound that will engulf you in the action.
The best 40 inch TVs 2021
One of the most affordable 40 inch TVs out there right now, the Hisense Roku A7200 wins a place at the top of this list for its user-friendly interface, 4K HDR LED screen and general accessibility.
Roku offers pretty much every streaming app you could want in addition to Roku's own channel and Freeview Play, and you can hook it up to Google Home or Alexa for voice control and automation. Sound quality is also good with DTS Studio Sound on board. There's no upscaling, but 4K content looks brilliant.
The A7200 is only available from Argos in the UK and is also available in several other sizes. This exclusivity means you can't shop around, but the range is priced so affordably that you won't really feel the need to. This is without a doubt the best value 40-inch 4K TV if you can go without a few bells and whistles.
Real Homes rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Hisense Roku A7200 TV
The Serif and the Frame, which you'll find below, are going to offer very similar performance to each other.
Representing the lower end of Samsung's excellent QLED range, they score very similarly on PQI (Picture Quality Index) rating. Instead, the significant differences are aesthetic, and that's really down to what you're looking for in your home.
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 different approach is to balance it on its frame on any flat surface — such as a sideboard — without its legs.
The Serif looks excellent, 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.
Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Samsung The Serif
A TV for true design enthusiasts, The Frame from Samsung hides your set in plain sight with its Art Mode displaying photos and artwork that fit in seamlessly with the rest of the room. Basically, it’s a smart picture frame that you can use as a 4K television whenever you want!
Another of The Frame’s key selling points is its no-gap wall mounting, which basically means that the TV sits absolutely flush to your wall with only enough space for a tiny near-invisible cable to run discreetly down to the One Connect box.
This box is where you’ll plug in all of your other devices - like a set-top box, Blu-ray player or external speakers - and can easily be tucked away in a cupboard.
Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Samsung The Frame TV
The most expensive TV on our list, the Sony Bravia A9, offers superior OLED visuals and sound with Dolby Atmos and DTS Digital Surround. Audio is boosted further by Acoustic Surface Audio - creating the illusion that sound is coming from a particular place on the screen.
This makes it an excellent choice for gamers, with X-Motion Clarity tech also helping things to run smoothly. So switch to the HDR game mode and get playing!
The OLED screen is the star here, offering those tell-tale deep blacks and bright colours. Of course, there are cheaper models out there (like the LG CX above), but this may be the superior choice if optimum immersion is something you want from your TV.
This smaller LG unit doesn’t compromise on picture display and quality, with the 4K UHD reproducing even sharper picture quality.
This makes the LG TV perfect for movie nights with your family or even by yourself, and the Filmmaker Mode, Auto Genre Selection, Dolby Vision IQ, upgraded video processor and HDMI 2.1 help create the ultimate at-home viewing experience.
We also love the magic remote that comes with this set for gesture controls and how well it fits into the modern smart home. In-built Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa make it so you can simply ask your remote to do things without having to attach an Echo or Home hub.
A great TV with a smaller price tag, the Samsung TU8000 benefits from its top image and sound quality that wouldn't be out of place in a higher-end TV. In addition, the 2021 model has rectified one of the biggest complaints about the set, adjusting the stand so that it doesn't lift the TV too far off its surface.
Samsung's Tizen platform has an excellent reputation for ease of use and navigation. The TU8000 makes it super-easy to find your favourite content across services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime and countless others.
The TV is also one of the lightest on our list, so it's perfect if you want a set that you can move around with ease. While some may still complain about the bulkiness of the stand, it can easily be wall-mounted if you're short on space.
This 49-inch TV perfectly combines excellent picture quality with on-demand content. From using your voice to search for films to scrolling through the onboard YouView catch-up service, you have access to a plethora of entertainment.
As with the other screens in our guide, this Sony TV offers four times the number of pixels as 1080p HD TVs and will even upscale content so you can enjoy it in the best possible quality. Sony’s powerful X1 4K HDR Processor is driving the display, ensuring the smooth transmission of life-like qualities. Couple this with the TRILUMINOS display, and the result is vivid, realistic imagery.
All this impressive tech is packed behind a narrow bezel, which reviewers enjoyed the aesthetics of. And cable management will make sure there are no trailing wires around.
How to choose the best 40 inch TV for your home
How can I get the best possible image quality?
Make sure whatever you choose has a 4K resolution for the best possible resolution. Look out for 40-inch 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 also 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 on your wish list. Those 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.
Does my TV need to be smart?
Anything you buy these days should be a Wi-Fi enabled smart TV with at least three HDMI sockets around the back. You should also be sure that your favourite streaming services are available on its app platform. Very few TVs cover all of the bases but remember that you can always add an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast or NOW TV Smart Stick etc., to plug those missing gaps.
How much should I spend on a 40 inch TV?
Even though all of the televisions on our list are of a similar size, you’ll notice that the prices vary wildly. This could be for a number of reasons, including image quality, extra features or even just the brand, so it’s crucial to ensure you’re getting all the features you want for the best price. In general, you probably won’t be able to go any cheaper than £400-ish, but our top-rated choice will set you back close to £1,500.
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