The 9 Best 40-Inch Smart TVs of 2020

All the latest tech packed in smaller-sized screens

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Samsung NU7100 4K Smart TV

Samsung 40NU7100

Courtesy of Amazon

While many TV makers no longer build their full set of features into models at the 40-inch size, you can still find options from Samsung with excellent picture quality and smart functionality at a size ideal for smaller living spaces. Take the NU7100 with 3840 x 2160-pixel 4K (or Ultra HD) resolution. Its 39.5-inch-diagonal screen may not deliver 4K with quite the same impact as larger TVs would, but you’ll still get unrivaled levels of detail and crispness. It also supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) to boost colors and contrast for an even richer picture.

As a Wi-Fi enabled smart TV, the NU7100 offers a robust experience that includes features found on higher-end Samsung models. The interface is responsive and easy to navigate. The most popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video come pre-installed, and you can browse the expansive collection of apps on Samsung’s app store for more to download. The included remote is a pretty standard one, but you can also use the Samsung SmartThings app to control basic functions from your phone.

For more top options, take a look at our guide to the overall best TVs at any size.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Vizio V-Series V405-G9 4K Smart TV

A benefit to the 40-inch screen size—besides a good fit if it’s what your room calls for—is being able to get modern TV technology at an outstanding value. Vizio’s V405-G9 is the latest 39.5-inch model in its V-series, highlighted by 4K resolution and other advanced picture technology you’ll rarely see at this category. Its LED display is backlit using full-array local dimming to better control dark and bright levels across the screen. It also supports Dolby Vision HDR, which is a more specific HDR standard for better results.

The V405-G9’s Internet-connected features come in the form of SmartCast, which includes Google Chromecast built in so you can stream content from your smartphone or other devices to the TV. This is helpful for adding flexibility to your streaming options since you can’t add or remove apps on the set itself. Still, it comes with a large selection of apps that likely includes what you’re looking for, along with more than 100 free streaming channels. You can also control the TV with voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant if you use either of those in your home. 

Best Budget: TCL 40S325 1080p Smart Roku TV

Combining a cost-effective size with the budget-friendly TCL brand leads to very affordable yet very high-quality television options. The 40S325 is the 40-inch model of TCL’s 3-Series, a line of attractively priced Full HD TVs. The 1920 x 1080-resolution screen doesn’t break any new ground in terms of image quality, but you get a solid picture that may surprise you with its price tag. It delivers a nice contrast between lights and darks, with brightness levels well-suited for darker rooms. Colors may start to look washed out when viewing from an angle, but this is the case across the board for most TVs made with vertical alignment (VA) panels.

Like all TCL smart TVs, the S325 features the Roku TV platform, a simple and streamlined interface that lets you easily get to popular streaming channels such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu. The remote is equally basic, with 20 buttons that include shortcuts to some of those top streaming apps. You can also download the free Roku remote app and get a powerful amount of control for playback and settings. It even lets you play TV audio from your phone, which is handy if, for example, you want to listen through headphones.

See more options from TCL in our article on the best Roku TVs.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Sharp LC-40LB601U 1080p Smart Roku TV

Sharp LC-40LB601U 1080p Smart Roku TV

Courtesy of Best Buy

Roku TVs provide a straightforward and effective way to experience smart functionality on an affordable television, and that certainly includes the Sharp LC-40LB601U. The Roku platform gives you access to many movies, TV shows, and music across its free channels and any streaming services you subscribe to. You can navigate the interface and control your content using either the simple included remote, the robust Roku mobile app, or your digital assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. There are also three HDMI ports and one USB input for connecting to other sources.

With its 39.6-inch 1080p LED screen and a pair of 5.5-watt DTS surround speakers, the LC-40LB601U delivers decent audiovisuals, but it isn’t meant to serve as a home theater powerhouse. It can be a nice choice for a bedroom or a second living area, though, and its smart features will make sure you have plenty of media to keep you entertained.

Best Picture: Samsung NU6070 4K Smart TV

Samsung NU6070 4K Smart TV

Courtesy of Walmart

When it comes to picture quality in a 40-inch LED TV, it’s hard to go wrong with Samsung’s NU6070. Its 4K Ultra HD resolution means a total of about 8.3 million pixels, four times more than you’ll get with the 1080p screens usually found at the size. That’s a noticeable jump in clarity and detail, even as you move closer to the screen. And this doesn’t only apply to native 4K-resolution movies and shows—1080p content looks great when “upscaled” to 4K as well.

Helping support the high-definition picture is the NU6070’s strong performance in terms of contrast, brightness, and color reproduction. These aren’t at the level of premium models by Samsung and other companies, so you won’t see as dramatic an effect from HDR content, but you can still benefit from having HDR at your disposal. The TV’s motion settings can also help reduce blur and make fast action scenes smoother if you’re okay with the “soap opera effect” it may create. Then add in Samsung’s rich set of smart features on top of the stellar visuals, and you get a great television for a wide range of purposes.

Read more reviews of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs available to purchase online.

Best for Casting: Vizio D-Series D40f-G9 Smart TV

Vizio takes a slightly different approach to smart functionality for its 39.5-inch 1080p D-Series TV. While it has plenty of streaming apps such as Netflix and Hulu loaded onto the SmartCast platform, a key feature the system highlights is the built-in Google Chromecast. Instead of having a separate Chromecast device plugged into an HDMI port, the TV itself is ready to stream whenever you are. From a compatible app on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you can “cast” or stream video, music, photos, and more straight to your TV screen.

The D40f-G9’s device integration doesn’t stop there, though. You can also pair it with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to control the TV with voice commands or download the SmartCast mobile app to use your phone as the remote control. The content you stream on the Full HD screen will look great, too, with full-array LED backlighting helping improve contrast and light uniformity across different areas of the panel.

Best for Amazon: Insignia 1080p Smart TV - Fire TV Edition

Amazon provides a lot of media for a lot of people today, and that’s what the 39-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition is built around. The 1080p television has dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity and runs on the Amazon’s Fire TV platform. Amazon’s own content is front and center, so Amazon Prime members, in particular, can take advantage of the movies, shows, music, and other entertainment that come with a subscription. But other services like Netflix, HBO, and PlayStation Vue are available as well, and these three in particular (along with Prime Video) are accessible through dedicated buttons on the remote.

This remote adds another layer to the Insignia Fire TV Edition’s Amazon integration: a built-in microphone lets it serve as a voice remote that comes with the Alexa digital assistant. It can handle TV functions and search for content, plus you can use voice commands for other Alexa skills, including checking the weather and controlling your smart home devices. You can also pair the TV with an Echo smart speaker if you already have one and want to send your voice commands through it. 

Best Sony: Sony W650D 1080p Smart TV

Although Sony focuses on larger screens and more premium hardware these days, the big electronics manufacturer still has a nice 40-inch smart TV available for those looking for a smaller option from the trusted brand. The W650D series lets you stream from the major video services and download other applications from the Opera TV app store. It provides other options for sharing digital content, too: there’s screen mirroring to show your phone’s display on the TV, plug-and-play support for media files on a USB drive, and a photo sharing feature where up to 10 people in the room can send photos and video clips directly to the TV.

In terms of picture quality, the Full HD television benefits from Sony’s advanced video processing technology. An “X-Reality PRO” engine analyzes content from any video source to generate a sharper and more detailed image, and “Motionflow” refresh rate technology helps make fast-motion sequences more clearly visible. 

Best Design: Samsung The Frame 4K Smart TV

Samsung’s 43-inch version of The Frame is larger and more lavishly priced than other products on this list, but it’s still nice to have this unique TV available at a more reasonable size and cost than the 55 and 65-inch models. It’s meant to toe the line between hardware and art, displaying beautiful 4K video and images on your wall like a priceless work in a gallery. The design revolves around this aesthetic, with a customizable metal bezel frame that comes in a number of elegant finishes. It can hang flush against the wall like a picture frame thanks to its “no-gap” wall mount, and the display connects with a single tiny cable to all the components in its compact One Connect Box.

Even The Frame’s smart TV features have an extra gallery-oriented twist—Samsung’s Art Store has art collections from around the world available by subscription or purchase. When you’re not watching TV, you can put The Frame on Art Mode to display these works. It’s also easy to upload photos from your phone or USB drive to show off your own collection of beautiful moments. As a finishing touch, the built-in Bixby voice assistant gives you hands-free control of your high-tech mini art gallery. 

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best smart TVs can help you find what you're looking for.

Our Process

Our writers spent 3.5 hours researching the most popular 40-inch smart TVs on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 18 different monitors overall, screened options from 9 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 70 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.