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The 6 Best 40-42-43 Inch TVs - Spring 2019
Reviews

Best 40-42-43 Inch TVs
218 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

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.

  1. Best 40-42-43 Inch TV: Vizio E43-F1

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.7
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.4
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.6
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.5
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    7.3
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.1
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.2
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    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.

    See our review

  2. Better Smart Features Alternative: Samsung UN43NU7100

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    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.

    See our review

  3. Alternative With Wide Viewing Angles: Sony KD43X720E

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 4k

    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.

    See our review

  4. Best Smart Features: TCL 43S517

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

    Test Benches:

    • 1.3: Spring 2019
    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.5
    Mixed Usage
    What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Movies
    What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.5
    TV Shows
    What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.1
    Sports
    What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.1
    Video Games
    What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    7.1
    HDR Movies
    What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.8
    HDR Gaming
    What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    7.9
    PC Monitor
    What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    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.

    See our review

  5. Cheaper Alternative: TCL 43S405

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k

    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.

    See our review

  6. Even Cheaper Alternative: TCL 40S305

    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 1080p (except 28", 32")

    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.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Samsung The Frame 2018: The best TV available in this size, but way more expensive than the rest in this category. See our review
  • Vizio D43-F1: Good entry level TV, but the Vizio E43-F1 is better. See our review
  • LG 43UK6300: Average LED TV with wide viewing angles, but poor value compared to the cheaper TCL S517 and hard to find. See our review
  • TCL 40D100: Good basic LED TV, essentially the same as the S305 but without any smart features. See our review
  • Toshiba 43LF621U19: Decent 4k LED TV but doesn't offer much over the TCL S405/S425 for the price. See our review
  • TCL 4 Series/S425 2019: Very similar to the TCL S405, but more expensive. See our review

All Reviews

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.

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