The 8 Best 40-Inch Smart TVs of 2023

The perfect choice for smaller spaces

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If you need a TV for a smaller room, a 40- to 48-inch TV is a great size range; you can sit pretty close to a 4K 40-inch TV without any negative impacts on the picture quality. A 43- to 48-inch model can be a great fit for a small living room, or if you’re dealing with limited wall space, and some lifestyle models blend right into your decor or stand out and pull double duty as a conversation piece.

Since 40-inch TVs work so well in several different environments, it’s a good idea to think about how you’ll use the TV. A budget 1080p model will work well in a guest room or kid’s room, but you may want to consider a more expensive OLED model with the latest high dynamic range (HDR) technology if you’ll be using the TV in the living room to watch movies or play games.

We researched the best options for a range of needs. Here are our picks for the best 40-inch smart TVs.

Best Overall

Samsung QN43Q60AAFXZA 43-Inch QLED 4K TV

Samsung Q60A 43-Inch QLED 4K TV

Best Buy

What We Like
  • Good contrast with deep blacks

  • Bright picture looks good in daylight

  • Great upscaling

  • Excellent color with HDR10+

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t support local dimming

  • Narrow viewing angles

The 43-inch version of Samsung’s Q60A line strikes a near-perfect balance between features, performance, and affordability. It features a 4K QLED panel with support for HDR10+, resulting in extremely vibrant colors and deep blacks. It’s also bright enough to look good in most lighting conditions, even if there’s a lot of natural light in the room.

Upscaling works great too, which means you won’t have to worry about broadcast TV channels or your DVD collection looking blurry on the 4K display. The solar-powered remote is another useful feature, and it’s one you don’t see that often. Since the remote automatically charges whenever exposed to light, you won’t ever be left scrambling for batteries.

Size: 43 inches︱Panel type: QLED︱Resolution: 3840x2160︱HDR: Quantum HDR, HDR10+︱Refresh: 60Hz︱HDMI inputs: 3

Runner-Up, Best Overall

Sony X80J

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What We Like
  • Bright, clear picture

  • Looks good in most light conditions

  • Low input lag and great response time

What We Don't Like
  • IPS panel has some contrast issues

  • No local dimming

The 43-inch version of Sony's X80J features a 4K LED display with support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Colors look great in supported content, although the display isn't bright enough for colors to pop in HDR-enabled movies. The IPS display has some contrast issues that hold this TV back a bit, but it performs well overall when you take price and performance into consideration.

It's best-suited to watching TV shows, including upscaled content from broadcast TV and DVDs. However, the exceptionally low input lag makes it a decent enough option for gaming, and the excellent response time is perfectly suited to watching fast-paced sports.

Size: 43 inches︱Panel type: LED︱Resolution: 3840x2160︱HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision︱Refresh: 60Hz︱HDMI inputs: 4

Best Features

Samsung 43” Class AU8000 Crystal UHD Smart TV

samsung tv


What We Like
  • Supports Bixby, Alexa, and Google Assistant

  • Screen share from your phone, PC, or Mac

  • Includes Samsung TV Plus

  • On-screen guide provides tailored recommendations

  • Ultra-slim profile

What We Don't Like
  • No local dimming

  • Narrow viewing angles

The Samsung UN43AU8000 is a 43-inch UHD TV that packs a surprising number of features into an ultra-slim profile. The 4K display is crystal clear, colors pop thanks to support for HDR10+, and upscaled DVD and television content looks excellent. This model comes with a voice remote with support for three different virtual assistants instead of one, giving you hands-free access to Bixby, Alexa, and Google Assistant instead of limiting you to just one.

It also includes Samsung TV Plus, which gives you free access to a ton of streaming content and even provides custom-tailored recommendations to help you find what to watch next. And if you want to screen share from your phone, PC, or Mac, you can do that with one-touch casting enabled on compatible Samsung Galaxy phones.

Size: 43 inches︱Panel type: LED︱Resolution: 3840x2160︱HDR: HDR10+︱Refresh: 60Hz︱HDMI inputs: 3

Best Budget

TCL 40S325 40-inch 1080p Smart TV

TCL 40S325 40-inch 1080p Smart TV

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Excellent price

  • Decent picture

  • Built-in Roku works well

What We Don't Like
  • No HDR

  • No 4K

  • A little on the dim side

The TCL 40S325 is a no-frills option that's great if you're working with a budget. The 40-inch LED panel offers a decent enough picture in FUll High Definition (FHD), which means it can display a maximum resolution of 1080x1920. That's more than enough at this size. While it lacks some of the options you'll find in more expensive TVs, the TCL 40S325 comes loaded with plenty of features despite its reasonable price.

It has Roku built right in, which means you can stream content from your favorite sources, like Netflix and Disney+, without needing to invest in an additional streaming device. It supports broadcast TV if you have an antenna or cable, and you can even control it with a companion smartphone app. You also get three HDMI ports to hook up gaming consoles and other devices.

Size: 40 inches︱Panel type: LED︱Resolution: 1920x1080︱HDR: No︱Refresh: 120Hz︱HDMI inputs: 3

Best Design

Samsung 43-inch Class SERIF QLED

Samsung 43-inch Class SERIF QLED

Courtesy of amazon

What We Like
  • Striking design

  • Support for NFC media transfer

  • Decent picture and basic HDR

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • You're paying for the unique design

If you’re looking for a TV that makes a statement and can act as a conversation piece, the Serif fits the bill with a unique I-frame design and long easel-like legs that are evocative of mid-century modern decor. It doesn’t have the best panel and doesn’t support advanced video technologies like HDR10+ or Dolby Vision, but the picture is decent enough.

The killer feature here is that it doesn’t look like a TV. You can have it display photos or art when you aren’t using it, or snap a photo of the wall behind the TV with the companion app, and the screen will display the wall behind it for a sort of see-through look. The Serif also supports an NFC media connection, so you can set your phone on the top of the TV to stream music easily without a lot of fiddling around.

Size: 43 inches︱Panel type: QLED︱Resolution: 3840x2160︱HDR: Quantum HDR︱Refresh: 60Hz︱HDMI inputs: 4

Best for Gaming

LG OLED C1 Series 48”

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What We Like
  • Fantastic contrast ratios

  • Supports FreeSync and G-Sync

  • Lightning fast response times

  • Works well as a PC monitor too

What We Don't Like
  • Looks better in dark rooms

  • Risk of screen burn-in

  • Expensive

The LG OLED C1 is big enough to mount on a wall and sit back on your couch for comfortable console gaming, but it’s also worth considering as a PC monitor. It’s on the big side for use on a desk as a PC gaming monitor, but the beautiful OLED panel makes it worth the shot if your desk is big enough.

It has full support for both AMD’s FreeSync and Nvidia’s G-Sync and sports a native refresh rate of 120Hz, so it’s just as well-suited to high-end PC gaming as it is to current-gen console gaming. The OLED C1 has HDR10 and Dolby Vision support for improved color contrast and details and enough HDMI ports to connect your PC, a couple of gaming consoles, and Ultra High Definition (UHD) streaming devices like Apple TV 4K to keep you entertained between gaming sessions. 

Size: 48 inches︱Panel type: OLED︱Resolution: 3840x2160︱HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG︱Refresh: 120Hz︱HDMI inputs: 4

Best Picture

Samsung QN90A Neo QLED 43-inch

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What We Like
  • Best in class picture quality

  • Excellent Mini LED full-array local dimming

  • Great viewing angles

  • Very bright HDR

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • No Dolby Vision support

The Samsung QN90A hits all the sweet spots in terms of picture quality. It features a 43-inch Neo QLED panel, which is an upgrade over standard QLED due to the use of Mini LEDs for backlighting. That gives it tight control over the exact brightness of specific screen areas, which is a feature known as full-array local dimming.

It also has excellent viewing angles, so you can enjoy the crisp picture from just about anywhere in the room without dimming or color shifting. It’s exceptionally bright even in HDR, and it supports HDR10+, video technology that improves brightness and color contrast. The built-in AI upscaling is on point too, which means that lower-resolution TV shows and movies from DVDs and cable look great.

Size: 43 inches︱Panel type: Neo QLED︱Resolution: 3840x2160︱HDR: Quantum HDR 24x, HDR10+, HLG︱Refresh: 120Hz︱HDMI inputs: 4

Best Splurge

Samsung The Frame QLED 4K Smart TV (43-inch)

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What We Like
  • Looks like a frame and fits any decor

  • Single cable for clean installation

  • Great response time

  • Looks good even in bright rooms

What We Don't Like
  • Limited viewing angle

  • Trickier to mount than other TVs

  • Dim HDR

The Frame is a 43-inch TV from Samsung that looks like a picture frame. You can mount it flush with a wall, and it’s capable of displaying art when it isn’t in use. With the help of a built-in motion sensor, The Frame’s Ambient Mode can switch between art and TV dynamically whenever it senses your presence in the room. It also utilizes a single, clear connection cable that hooks into a control box that you can hide away in a cabinet for cleaner installation.

The 4K picture is crisp and clean thanks to the QLED panel, to the point where you can even use this TV as a PC monitor if the need arises. It’s also great for video games, thanks to very low input lag, and it looks good in bright light, so you can hang it in just about any room.

Size: 43 inches︱Panel type: QLED︱Resolution: 3840x2160︱HDR: Quantum HDR, HDR10+, HLG︱Refresh: 60Hz︱HDMI inputs: 4

Final Verdict

If you want a TV that looks good, whether you're watching movies and sports or playing games, the Samsung Q60A 43-inch (view at Amazon) is the best option. With an exceptionally slim bezel and a beautiful QLED display that benefits from HDR10+ support, it covers all the bases and comes with a reasonable price tag. The 48-inch LG OLED C1 (view at Amazon) is a superior choice if you're serious about gaming, and it can even pull double duty as one of the biggest PC monitors you'll ever use.

What to Look For in a 40-inch Smart TV

Panel Style and Resolution

When comparing 40-inch TVs, you’ll see terms like OLED that refer to the technology used to display images. OLED panels produce the best picture quality with excellent contrast and rich colors. QLED and LED panels are less expensive, but the picture may not be as bright and the contrast may be lower. Advanced versions like Neo QLED offer quality closer to OLED, and technologies like Mini LED backlighting that can light specific portions of the screen can also help.

TVs with higher resolutions have better picture quality. If the resolution of a TV is too low and you sit too close, you may be able to make out individual pixels in the image, which is visually similar to looking at the world through a screen door. The best resolution for a 40-inch TV is 4K, but good budget options come in 1080p. Just keep in mind that if you sit too close to a 1080p 40-inch TV, the picture won’t look as good as it would on a 4K set.

High Dynamic Range

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a feature that allows a TV to display a broader range of brightness and contrast, resulting in brighter, more brilliant colors, darker blacks, and a better overall picture quality. For HDR to work, you need an HDR video source and a TV that supports HDR. Additionally, the TV needs to support the specific HDR standard used by the video content.

Look for a TV that supports HDR 10 at the bare minimum. Look for a 40-inch TV that supports HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) for the best possible picture and compatibility. If you already use one or more 4K streaming services or have a 4K Blu-Ray player, check to see the specific versions of HDR that you need. For example, if you watch a lot of 4K content from Netflix, it’s especially important to look for a TV that supports Dolby Vision.

HDMI Ports and HDMI 2.1

The number of HDMI ports you need will depend on the number of devices you want to connect, but most of the best 40-inch TVs include at least three to four ports. If that isn’t enough, you can always add an HDMI switch and connect as many devices as you like.

It’s also important to check what type of HDMI ports the TV has. If you select a TV with a 120Hz refresh rate and want to watch 4K content at 120 frames per second (fps), you need to make sure that the TV has at least one HDMI 2.1 port. Older HDMI versions are limited to carrying a 4K signal at 60fps or a 1080p signal at 120fps. Many TVs include a mix of the older style ports alongside one or two HDMI 2.1 ports or no HDMI 2.1 ports at all.

  • Is a 40-inch 4K TV worth buying?

    4K TVs in the 40 to 45-inch range are perfect for many viewing situations. They are very well suited for bedrooms, guest rooms, and kids' rooms. The right 4K 40-inch TV can also make a perfect gaming TV for consoles and PC games.

  • How far away should I sit from a 40-inch TV?

    The closest you should sit to a 4K 40-inch TV is about 3 feet. You won’t be able to make out the individual pixels at that distance, resulting in the best possible picture quality. If your space supports it, you can comfortably sit about 5 feet to 6 feet away. If you select a budget model with a 1080p panel, you should sit at least 5 feet away.

  • Is a 40-inch TV big enough for the living room?

    A 40-inch TV is on the small side for most living rooms. Televisions of this size are best suited to smaller spaces like bedrooms. If the seating area in your living room stands between 3 feet and 6 feet from the TV, then a 4K 40-inch TV can get the job done. However, a living room that allows for more than 6 feet of space between the seating area and the TV can easily accommodate a much larger 85-inch TV if you have sufficient wall space and room in your budget.

About Our Trusted Experts

Jeremy Laukkonen has written about consumer electronics for over ten years, with a focus on automotive technology, gaming, and home theater. He has tested and reviewed a number of televisions for Lifewire, and his reviews have also appeared in Digital Trends. For this list, he examined over 50 televisions to narrow down the best options in eight categories. Key factors included picture quality, contrast, brightness, compatibility with important HDR standards, upscaling, HDMI ports, and price. In some cases, factors like FreeSync and G-Sync, which are important for a gaming TV, received extra consideration for certain categories.

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