Best 40 inch TV: find the best model for your budget

Looking for the best 40 inch TV? Whether you're after style or picture quality, these are the best models on the market

the best 40 inch TV: samsung the frame
(Image credit: Samsung)

It’s a great time to shop for the best 40 inch TV. You can reasonably expect all but the most budget models to have a lot of the headline technologies from the bigger, flagship sets.

Perhaps the trickiest part is finding just the right size. The sizes which seem standard can change quite quickly. For the time being, you’ll find that most of the TVs in this range are either with 40in or 43in panels.

Fortunately, TVs bezels (that's the frame around the edge) have got smaller and smaller. So, you may be able to squeeze in a bigger screen than you think. Check on the specs for the dimensions and get your measuring tape out to make certain.

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How to choose a 40 inch TV

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.

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.

Lastly, when shopping for a 40in TV deal, you may come across something with a slightly different model number to one of our favourites below. 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.

The best 40 inch TVs

Best 40 inch TV: Samsung UE43RU7470

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung UE43RU7470

Affordable price, brilliant performance and all the apps

Specifications
Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Edge LED
Smart TV: Samsung Tizen OS
HDR support: HDR10+, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Excellent picture+Very reasonable price
Reasons to avoid
-Not as bright as some

It’s not the most premium TV on the list but, pound for pound, you won’t find better than this 43in set from Samsung. It’s edge-lit by a good array of LEDs over which the TV’s processor has very good control. That means it can create a smooth and subtle variation of lighting needed to deal with the light and dark areas of the screen equally well.

Samsung also happens to have one of the best TV user-interfaces around. It’s intuitive and stuffed with more of your favourite apps than any other smart TV platform. It even includes the Apple TV app for direct access to content from the iTunes Store.

Samsung doesn’t support the Dolby Vision standard at the moment but you can still enjoy HDR through HDR10+ material which you’ll find on Blu-ray discs and on plenty of Netflix and Prime Video content.

Best 40in TV: Sony Bravia KD43XG8305

(Image credit: Sony)

2. Sony Bravia KD43XG8305

A more premium performer with a price tag to match

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
-Relatively pricey

Sony’s XG83 sets are the best you can buy at the 40in size, although they sit about midway through the company’s TV range. 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.

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.

Best 40 inch TV: LG 43UM7500PLA

(Image credit: LG)

3. LG 43UM7500PLA

Great voice control smarts and brilliant viewing angles

Specifications
Screen size: 43in
Resolution: 4K UHD
Panel type: Direct LED
Smart TV: AI TV with Freeview Play/Freesat HD
HDR support: HDR10, HLG
Reasons to buy
+Powerful picture+Good audio performance+Excellent viewing angles
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best aesthetics

This 2019 LG set is something of a bargain right now. It has the 4K HDR credentials of the others on this list and good picture quality too but what sets it apart is the wide viewing angles it offers. It doesn’t matter how far off the main axis you’re sitting, the image will stay as strong as ever without any hint of the colours looking washed out.

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.

Best 40 inch TV: Samsung the Serif (2019)

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung The Serif (2019)

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 below are going to offer very similar performance to both each other and to the Samsung Q60R further below still. 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.

While Q60R is the basic 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.

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.

Best 40 inch TV: Samsung The Frame

(Image credit: Samsung)

5. Samsung The Frame (2019)

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

As with the Serif, The Frame TV is QLED features with a strong steer towards interior design. Instead of an ordinary bezel, it’s 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 the set’s ability to display thousands of attractive digital pictures. You can subscribe to Samsung’s Art Store for hundreds of images ranging from contemporary to classic.

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

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 the Samsung Q60R QLED TV. 

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.

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.

Best 40 inch TV: Panasonic TX-40GX800B

(Image credit: Panasonic)

7. Panasonic TX-40GX800B

Punchy picture and actually 40 inches

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
-Pricey-Missing a few key apps

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

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.

Best 40 inch TV: Philips 43PUS7394

(Image credit: Philips)

8. Philips 43PUS7394

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 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.

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.

Best 40 inch TV: Toshiba 43UL5A63

(Image credit: Toshiba)

9. Toshiba 43UL5A63

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. 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.

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

Best 40 inch TV: Hisense H43B7100UK

(Image credit: Hisense)

10. Hisense H43B7100UK

The best 40in 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

This 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.

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

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