The best 40-inch TV

It wasn’t that long ago that 40-inch TVs were considered the biggest TV screens you could possibly imagine in your home. Now though, 55-inch has become the flagship size for most new TVs, while 65-inch and even 75-inch TV ranges continue to grow each year – but a 40-inch TV still remains perfectly sized for those unwilling or unable to fit a massive wall-filling screen into their home.

Especially if you’re making the jump up from a 32-inch television to a 40-inch screen, you’ll find the new television unlikely to suddenly overwhelm your living room – or eat up your budget.

The biggest drawback with choosing a 40-inch screen rather than one of the bigger options is that you don’t always get the latest tech built into a 40-inch TV – like OLED panels or often 4K or HDR. TV manufacturers tend to save the best performance for the biggest models in their range.

But the good news is that we know not all TVs and TV brands are created equal. There are a number of exceptional 40-inch TVs with 4K HDR at a reasonable price and we’ve done all the hard work and research for you. The result is a list of 40-inch TVs we’ll be constantly updating that we think represent the best 40-inch TVs on the market right now.

Undoubtedly one of the best TV offerings of recent times, the Panasonic GX800 hits that sweet spot of price, performance, and functionality.

Panasonic is leaning more on OLED TVs these days, but the GX800’s HCX processor is more than up to the task. Both HD and 4K images are impressive, while the multi-HDR support (HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG) is a masterstroke is such an affordable price. 

You won’t be getting the full effect of all those formats on this panel – you’ll need to consider a larger, more expensive set like the GZ1000 or GZ1500 to do that – but you’ll also never find yourself unable to play a certain kind of HDR content again.

When it comes to the best Samsung TVs, it’s all about QLED. The super-bright QLED displays offer hundred more nits brightness than most LEDs, with a quantum dot filter to enhance contrast across a 4K display.

The Q60R isn’t quite as accomplished as its premium siblings, being the entry-level QLED and therefore the one with the lowest specs. The edge-lighting can be inconsistent, and you won’t get the tidy One Connect box of other premium Samsung TVs either. 

Given its 43-inch size, though, you won’t be taking up as much space as a larger set, and as the cheapest QLED to come out this year it’s a smart choice for those wanting to save on high-end technology. Its low input lag and responsive smart platform make it a great choice for gamers wanting a zippy experience – or just anyone feeling impatient.

Vizio has repeatedly put out mid-range sets deserving of our various best guides, and the M-Series Quantum is no exception. It features a brilliant quantum dot display at a surprisingly decent price, with a capable sound performance (2x20W speakers) to match the pictures onscreen.

HDR images are a particular highlight, with Dolby Vision support and local dimming helping to reach those deep black levels.

Vizio’s SmartCast smart TV platform isn’t the best out there, but it does come with a lot of functionality, including support for Google Cast and AirPlay 2, and HDMI Arc for controlling your soundbar through the TV controls. Overall, the compromises are more than fair for the price, and you won’t get much better for the money elsewhere.

Like the Panasonic GX800, the Philips 6800 offers a wide range of HDR support in its small size, with both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision baked into the panel.

The TV’s casing itself is sleek and fashionable, with three-sided Ambilight upping the atmosphere with colors that spill and project around the TV screen. What could be better for an immersive night gaming or watching a film?

The outside of the set may be its most impressive aspect, though. The 4K display is best for HD, and can struggle with lower-resolution sources. You’ll also want to look at the TV square-on rather than from the side, as viewing angles aren’t the best. Overall, though, this a solid choice for a smaller set.

TCL has some of the strongest mid-range sets out there. While the TCL 6 Series offers a pretty big jump in quality, only the 5 Series goes down the super convenient 43-inch size so many TV models are leaving behind these days.

So what do you get with a TCL 5 Series TV? While the design of the set itself is pretty nondescript – with some messy cabling around the back – the inclusion of the Roku smart TV platform makes for a fast and well-organized interface. HD/SDR images too are right at home, with good color balance and clarity even on the Ultra HD screen.

4K/HDR isn’t quite as impressive, without the luminance to really make those added colors shine, but for everyday watching the TCL 5 Series is solid bet.


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