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 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. Since the beginning of the year, most manufacturers have started releasing replacements for their TV lines. Usually, these TVs tend to launch at very high prices and it is unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until the latter half of the year, thus keeping the 2018 models in our recommendations for a few more months.
The Vizio E Series 2018 E43-F1 is the best 43 inch 4k 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 reflection 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 want better smart features them the ones found on the Vizio E Series 2018, then get the Samsung NU7100. You will not get the crisp image of the Vizio due to the not-so-fast response time, and some flicker-sensitive people might notice some flicker. Overall, however, the Samsung delivers a very similar performance to that of the Vizio. The NU7100's smart interface features an app store with a large selection of apps and performs just as good as the smart interfaces found on higher-end Samsung TVs, which is sure to keep you happy.
If you often use your TV as a PC monitor and find that the viewing angles of the Vizio E Series 2018 are inadequate, then get the Sony KD43X720E. You will not have the deep blacks of the Vizio since the Sony 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 consider smart features very important and want the best smart feature platform currently available, the best 43 inch smart TV is the TCL 5 Series 43S517. The TCL S517 doesn't have the dark room performance found in the Vizio E Series 2018, as it lacks local dimming and black uniformity is not as good. Also, the TCL does not have a BFI feature to introduce flicker and make motion crisper as the Vizio does.
On the upside, the TCL S517 gives you access to a very large number of streaming channels and an even larger number of apps through its Roku TV smart platform, which is almost identical to the standalone Roku Streaming Stick. The S517 has decent picture quality, with a high native contrast ratio that delivers deep blacks in a dark room. It can produce rich and vivid colors in HDR due to its wide color gamut, but can't get bright enough to produce highlights that pop. The TCL S517 has a low input lag and a fast response time, which will make it popular among gamers.
Overall, the TCL S517 is one of the best 43 inch smart TVs available.
If you want a cheaper alternative than the TCL S517 but are not willing to compromise in picture quality, then get the TCL S405. You will not get the more advanced motion interpolation feature or the same good brightness as the S517. On the upside, this TV 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 S405/S425, then get the TCL S305/S325 40 inch TV, which is quite similar. It's a basic 1080p TV with minimal settings and no HDR support. It cannot get very bright. On the positive side, blacks are deep and are reproduced well, and the TV uses the Roku interface, which 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.