The 40-43” size is slowly losing the focus of manufacturers. Manufacturers and buyers are focusing on larger TVs (see our recommendations for the best 55 inch TVs), but even though you will not find the most premium models among these sizes, there are still some good TVs to choose from.
We've tested 24 TVs in 2017 and 2018 that are available in these sizes and below are our recommendations for the best 40-43 inch TVs.
Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the beginning of the year as last year's models are gradually replaced by newer ones.
The Vizio E Series 2018 E43-F1 is the best 40-42-43 inch TV that we've tested so far. It delivers decent picture quality, with excellent dark room performance thanks to the excellent native contrast ratio and outstanding black uniformity. It also has great reflections handling, making it a versatile 4k TV great for most rooms.
The E Series has decent motion handling, with a great response time and versatile black frame insertion feature. It has excellent low input lag in almost any mode, which is great for gamers.
Unfortunately, the E43-F1 doesn't deliver the best HDR experience, as it can't produce bright highlights in some scenes, and it can't display a wide color gamut. Overall, it is a good TV that should please most people.
If you like the Vizio E Series but would prefer something with better smart features, check out the Samsung NU7100. The NU7100 has a fully featured smart interface, including an app store with an impressive selection of apps, and it performs almost as well as the smart interface found on higher end Samsung TVs. The NU7100 delivers similar overall performance to the E Series, but unfortunately it has worse motion handling than the Vizio, due to a slower response time and a more noticeable backlight flicker.
If you often use the TV as a PC monitor and find that the viewing angles of the Vizio E43-F1 are inadequate, then get the Sony KD43X720E. You will not have the deep blacks of the Vizio, since the Sony TV has an IPS panel which makes the image washed out in darker rooms. On the upside, the Sony X720E is a decent entry level 4k TV with a low input lag that you can safely use as a PC monitor or for gaming. It has wide viewing angles that prevent uniformity issues at the edges of the screen when you view the TV from up-close. Lately, it has become hard to find.
If you want a better smart feature platform than the one on our top pick, get the TCL 5 Series 43S517. You might have more uniformity issues than with the Vizio E43-F1, but this is also unit-specific. The TCL also lacks the BFI feature that allows the Samsung to make fast motion look crisp by introducing flicker.
On the upside, the TCL S517 runs the Roku Smart TV platform that gives you access to tons of streaming channels and an abundance of apps to download. It has a wide color gamut and thus better HDR performance than the Samsung. Gamers love this TV due to the low input lag and fast response time. The picture quality is decent and the high native contrast ratio delivers deep blacks that look good in a dark room.
Overall, the TCL S517 is one of the best 43 inch smart TV and you can get it for a very reasonable price.
If you want a cheaper alternative than the TCL 43S517 but are not willing to compromise in picture quality, then get the TCL 43S405/43S425. You will not get the more advanced motion interpolation feature or the same good brightness as the S517. On the upside, the TCL S403/S425 is great for gaming as it has very low input lag, it displays deep blacks in dark rooms due to the great native contrast ratio, and has low motion blur that keeps fast content clear. Unfortunately, it has become hard to find.
If you want an even cheaper alternative than the TCL 43S405/S425, then get the TCL 40S305/S325, which is quite similar. It is a basic 1080p TV with minimal settings and no HDR support and it cannot get very bright. On the positive side, blacks are deep and are reproduced well, and the TV uses the Roku interface that has some excellent smart features.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 40-43 inch TVs to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs that have a 40-42-43 inch size. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.