The best 40 inch TV 2019: don't settle for second class viewing

The best 40 inch TVs are perfect if you're tight on space or don't want your TV to take over your living room. Browse our top picks and find the right model for you...

the best 40 inch tv: samsung serif
(Image credit: Samsung)

The best 40 inch TVs are a great option for those who don't want their living room, bedroom, or any other room, to be overwhelmed by a 55, 60 or even 75 inch TV. Plus, they're incredibly affordable.

Far from offering a second class viewing experience, 40 inch TVs are increasingly designed with all the features you'd hope to find on a larger model, meaning you'll still benefit from that home cinema experience, just on a smaller scale. 

Read on to find the best 40 inch TV from our carefully chosen selection. Or, jump to browse our top tips on choosing the best 40 inch TV. You may also find our guide to 6 reasons why you should buy a 40 inch TV a handy read.

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What is the best 40 inch TV?

The best 40 inch TV is the Samsung UE40LS001AU Serif. While we'll admit that it's a little pricey, its faultless design and impressive spec more than make up for the investment.

Perfect for homes where aesthetic appeal and audio-visual performance are of equal importance, this model offers a sleek and stylish frame that will fit, seamlessly, into any home, as well as unrivalled HD quality and an impressive 20W speaker. 

Still not sure which TV size is right for you? browse more of our expert buying guides:

The best 40 inch TVs you can buy right now

the best 40 inch TV: Samsung UE40LS001AU Serif

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

1. Samsung UE40LS001AU Serif

Best 40 inch TV: a TV as stylish as it is impressive, this is our top rated model

Specifications
Tuner: Freeview HD
Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
Panel type: LED
Smart TV: Samsung Smart TV
USB Recording: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Stylish design+4K Ultra HD display+High quality audio
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

The best 40 inch TV around, the Samsung UE40LS001AU Serif might be pricey, but its super stylish design and impressive range of specs makes it worth every penny. Here's what we love about it.

Stylish design

The work of world renowned designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, this is more than just a TV, it's a piece of furniture guaranteed to make a stylish addition to your home. Fabulously fuss-free, it works equally well as a freestanding piece as it does atop a chest of drawers or wall mounted. 

4K Ultra HD Display

Enjoy unrivalled picture quality thanks to detail four times greater than 1080p. Whether you're watching in HD, or not, this model automatically upscales image quality to almost Full HD. Yes, even Live TV. 

High quality audio

Complementing its high quality visual, the Samsung Serif also boasts impeccable audio – 20W speakers, to be precise. In addition to enjoying your favourite film or boxset complete with unrivalled sound quality, it's also easier than ever to connect your smartphone to this TV and enjoy your favourite music. This means you can streamline your audio-visual set-up and do away with a separate sound system. 

Curtain mode

A genius addition (in our opinion) curtain mode allows users to drown out ads without having to channel hop. Like pulling a curtain over the screen, it's possible to enjoy a range of features – clock, music, photo galleries, Netflix and more – while ads are running, then return, seamlessly, to your TV viewing once they're over. Toilet roll adverts? Never again. Thank God. 

Shop the full range of 40 inch TVs available from AO

Best 40 inch TV: Panasonic TX-40EX700B

2. Panasonic TX-40EX700B

Best 40 inch TV for quick navigation: a smart TV that ticks all the boxes

Specifications
Tuner: Freeview Play
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: LCD (VA)
Smart TV: My Home Screen
USB Recording: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Freeview Play+USB recording
Reasons to avoid
-Only edge-lit

Next in our list is thePanasonic TX-40EX700B, which is fast to navigate, easy to customise and complete with all the apps you could possibly need. In short, it offers everything you could need in a modern television.

Operating system

Functionally, there's just so much to like about it, the top pick being the Panasonic My Home Screen operating system inside. It's fast to navigate, easy to customise, and features all the apps you could possibly want in a modern television. 

Freeview Play

If you don't want to navigate using the My Home Screen interface, the TV is also equipped with Freeview Play to offer convenient access to catch-up services from within the electronic program guide (EPG). 

Image quality

In terms of its raw picture quality, things continue to look good as the TV offers several important features when it comes to displaying HDR content. From Ultra HD resolution, to more importantly a VA LCD panel to get more impressive levels of contrast than competing IPS panels. 

However, unfortunately the Panasonic TX-40EX700B is similar to the rest of the TVs in our list, and features an edge-lit backlight rather than a more capable full-array backlight. 

Design

For those who are worried about it fitting with their home decor, that will be the least of your worries; its simplistic chromatic bezel creates a minimalist design to fit right in to your home, whatever your style. 

Looking for a TV this size can be hard, but we think the Panasonic TX-40EX700B offers the best overall experience for a 40 inch, bar none.

Browse more 40 inch TVs on Amazon

Best 40 inch TV: Philips 6-Series 43PUS6753/12

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Philips 6-Series 43PUS6753/12

Best 40 inch TV for an immersive viewing experience: sharp, crisp and detailed images make this Amazon's top choice

Specifications
Tuner: Freeview Play
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: LED
Smart TV: Freeview Play
USB Recording: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Immersive viewing experience thanks to ambilight+Smooth, fluid images with incredible detail
Reasons to avoid
-Ambilight feature may not be for everyone-Not the best HDR performance

Another highly rated television, the Philips 6-Series 43PUS6753/12 offers unique ambilight technology for an immersive viewing experience, amongst other things.

Ambilight technology

With unique ambilight technology, which projects coloured light from each edge of the television, the Philips 43PUS6753/12 offers a unique, immersive viewing experience, with ambience temperature ranging from 5 to 35ºC.

Ultra HD 4X

In addition, Ultra HD 4X the resolution of standard HD gives sharper, crisper, more detailed images, as well as improved colour and contrast thanks to HDR Plus technology, while Philips' Pixel Precise Ultra HD engine optimises picture quality to deliver smooth, fluid images with incredible detail and depth.

Freeview Play

In terms of viewing, this model offers Smart TV with Freeview Play, making it easier than ever to access BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Demand 5 and UKTV Play sitting alongside 70 TV channels and 15 HD channels.

Best 40 inch TV: Samsung UE40NU7120

4. Samsung UE40NU7120

Best 40 inch TV for image quality: the best looking 40 inch TV you can buy

Specifications
Tuner: TVPlus
Resolution: UHD
Panel type: LCD (VA)
Smart TV: Samsung Smart Hub
USB Recording: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great image quality+360 design
Reasons to avoid
-No Freeview

If you want the absolute best picture quality available in a 40 inch TV, then the Samsung UE40NU7120 should be at the top of your list. Despite being cheaper than our top pick, this model doesn't compromise on remarkably good looking images with great colours and contrast. 

Responsive Screen

This model has a remarkably responsive screen, with input lag being so low as to be almost imperceptible. 

Access Samsung's Smart Hub

With access to Samsung's Smart Hub which has all of the channels, programmes and films you'll ever need, this TV gives you the best of both worlds. 

Budget friendly

A good choice for those who don't have a small budget, and even better for those who use other catch-up services than Freeview Play; the Samsung UE40NU7120 is a better looking set, it just depends if it has everything else to suit your TV watching needs.

Shop more 40 inch TVs from John Lewis & Partners

Best 40 inch TV: Philips 43PUS6262/05

5. Philips 43PUS6262/05

Best 40 inch TV for Ambilight: it's a great addition to this 40-incher

Specifications
Tuner: Freeview Play
Resolution: Ultra HD
Panel type: LCD (IPS)
Smart TV: Linux
USB Recording: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Ambilight impresses+Great looks
Reasons to avoid
-Screen could be brighter

Calling Philips' televisions 'eye-catching' is something of an understatement, as proven by the seriously stylish Philips 43PUS6262/05.

Ambilight technology

For the last couple of years the veteran TV manufacturer (now owned by TP-Vision in Europe) has equipped its TVs with a technology known as 'Ambilight', which uses sets of rear-mounted RGB LEDs to project light onto the wall behind them. 

Not only does this additional light complements the images on screen, but it also works to reduce eye strain, which a lot of viewers experience when watching a bright TV in a dark room. 

IPS panel

Elsewhere, there's a lot more good stuff to say about the Philips 43PUS6262/05. Its IPS panel offers great viewing angles (without quite the same level of contrast as the VA panels in our top two choices), and clarity is also good. 

Absence of Android TV operating system

Unfortunately, although Philips use the full-featured Android TV operating system further up their range, the Smart OS on the 6000 series is a much more limited affair. You still get access to most of the services you'd need, but it's just not quite as extensive. If it's an eye-catching design that you want, this is the best 40 inch TV for you.

Browse more 40 inch TVs from eBay

Best 40 inch TV: Sony KDL-40WE663

6. Sony KDL-40WE663

Best 40 inch TV for HDR: HDR isn't just for 4K

Specifications
Tuner: Freeview Play
Resolution: Full HD
Panel type: LCD (VA)
Smart TV: Linux
USB Recording: Yes
Reasons to buy
+HDR in an HD set+Neat cable management
Reasons to avoid
-Only Full HD

Another of our favourites, the Sony KDL-40WE663 is an option worth considering if you're looking for something with HDR capabilities, amongst other top quality features.

HDR technology

HDR has generally been an exclusive feature of 4K TVs, but 2017 saw Sony take the plunge and add the technology to its Full HD sets, meaning that in theory, you'll be able to enjoy its benefits without having to fork out for a premium TV.

Unfortunately however, it does mean doing without Ultra HD resolutions which, although not essential at 40 inches, would still be nice to have.

 Freeview Play

Elsewhere, functionality is good as Freeview Play is on board to offer easy access to catch-up services, and you can of course record to an external USB drive. 

Absence of Android TV operating system

Similar to the Philips TV above, the Sony KDL-40WE663 doesn't feature the Android operating system featured on the more premium Sony sets, but you'll still get a decent selection of apps built-in, albeit without having the ability to expand them too much further. 

Find more 40 inch TVs at Currys PC World

The best 40 inch TV: BLAUPUNKT 40/138MXN 40" Smart LED TV

7. BLAUPUNKT 40/138MXN Smart LED TV

The best budget 40 inch TV: opt for this purse-friendly BLAUPUNKT 40 inch smart TV

Specifications
Tuner: Freeview HD
Panel type: LED backlit
Smart TV: Mstar
USB Recording: No
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Smart capabilities+Sleep timer+Parental clock
Reasons to avoid
-Basic

Perfect for those looking for quality on a budget, the Blaupunkt 40/138MXN Smart LED TV offers many similar features to other models in this list, but at a fraction of the price.

Blaupunkt's smart platform

This affordable smart TV connects to WiFi using Blaupunkt's smart platform, Mstar, so you can catch up on BBC iPlayer, stream Netflix and YouTube or roam the internet. You can even cast content from your phone to your TV using Miracast.

Freeview HD

In addition, Freeview HD lets you watch a large range of high-definition TV channels, all of which will sound rich and clear thanks to the DTS TruSurround HD sound enhancement. 

Multiple USB ports

With two USB 2.0 ports to connect hard drives or USB sticks to, the possibilities are endless.

Handy features

Although not the best looking of our TVs, it can sit on a stand or be wall mounted, and it has handy features such as a sleep timer to save electricity and a parental lock.

A basic, affordable 40 inch smart TV, this is our pick of the best 40 inch TV if you're after something on a budget.

Browse Argos for more 40 inch TVs

How to buy the best 40 inch TV

When it comes to buying the best 40 inch TV to suit your needs, there are a few factors and features you should be taking into consideration. 

While, at this size, you won't get the latest and greatest technologies like OLED panels or amazing HDR, you can still get some surprisingly good televisions in this form-factor.

Is it smart?

A decent Smart OS is pretty essential in this day and age if you have any intention of watching streaming or catch-up services on-demand. We're also fans of the Freeview Play eco system as an easy-to-use means of accessing catch-up services, so we've prioritised sets that have it built in. 

Resolution

Resolution starts to be more of a concern at 40 inches. Ultra HD sets at this size are increasingly common, but, ultimately, until you get to around 55-inches, the rule should always be quality over quantity when it comes to pixels.

The best models will offer upscaling, as well as Full HD, so make sure to look out for this if image quality is of the utmost importance to you.

Sound quality

As televisions get slimmer, sound quality has a tendency to decrease. That's not to say there aren't models out there with impeccable audio – our top pick is a case in point – but it's just something to be aware of. 

Size

One final note is that we've allowed ourselves a couple of 43 inch TVs in those instances where a manufacturer doesn't offer any 40 inch sets.

Looking for more advice? You may find our comprehensive guide on how to choose the best TV a handy read.

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