Best 40, 42 and 43-inch TVs 2022, for all budgets

The best 40, 42 and 43-inch TVs still offer high-end 4K Ultra HD picture quality, even if you can't fit a giant wonder-screen into your life

Best 43-inch TVs 2022, Samsung AU9000 TV sitting on a wooden TV bench, in front of a curtain and window
(Image credit: Samsung)

The best 43-inch TVs might not grab the headlines, but they're very popular choices: not so big that they take up half your home, not so expensive that they take half your bank balance. And the quality is getting better and better: you can even get OLED panels in this size now, something that wasn't possible in the not-so-distant past.

The best 43-inch TVs don't usually offer the very latest TV tech, but they usually have the same Smart TV features and combine impressive picture quality with impressively affordable prices too. Sound quality isn't usually brilliant – small displays by necessity can only fit in small speakers – but you can fix that with a soundbar or AV receiver for home cinema heaven.

Although the best 48-to-50-inch TVs and the best 55-inch TVs often deliver even better images and upscaling, that does come at a cost – and the intense competition between TV manufacturers means that typically the previous year's flagship features trickle down into the current year's smaller sets (such as HDMI 2.1, which is great for the best gaming TVs). That means, at least for many people, these 40+-inch TVs hit the sweet spot between price and performance. 

The best 40, 42 and 43-inch TVs in 2022: Our top 3 picks

The best small OLED TV is the LG C2, which delivers stunning picture quality and is pretty much future-proof. It supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 Pro, and while the panel isn't quite as good as the one in LG's much bigger models it's far superior to anything else in this size. If you've been hankering for an OLED TV but didn't want a huge one, you'll love what the C2 brings to your home entertainment setup.

The best cheap 43-inch TV is the Samsung 43AU9000. As with other Samsungs there's no Dolby Vision but the 4K picture is excellent, the smart TV software is very good and it's good for gaming too. The sound isn't fantastic, which is common in flat TVs, but that's nothing one of the best soundbars can't fix.

The best 43-inch TV for picture quality is the Samsung 43QN90A, which comes very close to the quality of OLED but without the price. That's because it uses Samsung's clever QLED technology, which delivers great picture quality without huge prices. It's one of the best gaming TVs too. 

LG C2 on white background

(Image credit: LG)
The best small OLED TV

Specifications

Screen size: 42 inches
Other sizes available: 48, 55, 65, 77, 83 inches
Dimensions: 932 x 540 x 41.1mm
Screen type: OLED
HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10 Pro
HDMI ports: 4 (1x HDMI 2.1)

Reasons to buy

+
OLED joy in a much smaller size
+
Stunning picture quality
+
Pretty much future-proof

Reasons to avoid

-
Panel isn't as good as the one in larger models

Let's get the bad news out of the way first: this C2 doesn't have the same super-bright panel as its larger siblings. But that's all the bad news, because the smallest of LG's superb OLED TVs is a spectacular performer with all the gaming features and future-proofing you need alongside a truly stunning display. 

The C-series is LG's mid-range model, offering the perfect balance of price and performance. It has the same A9 Gen5 AI processor as the more expensive OLEDs in LG's 2022 range, and it supports 120Hz refresh rates and HDMI 2.1 with VRR, ALLM and GeForce Now. Refreshingly its HDMI 2.1 features aren't limited to a subset of the HDMI ports: all four are next-gen HDMI.

What LG has done here is take everything we love about OLED and put it into an improbably small display: while 42 inches isn't small by LED TV standards, OLED panels previously started at 55 inches. That means this is a great option for spaces that simply aren't big enough for larger screens, such as bedrooms, kitchens and anywhere else you want top picture quality without having to give up a lot of table or wall space.

In our LG C2 review we praised the image processing and the ports, and while you can't expect stunning sound quality from such a small and thin TV it's still pretty good by flat-screen standards; as ever, though, we'd recommend adding one of the best soundbars to get the best home cinema experience. But this TV is all about that picture quality, and by bringing its OLED displays to the smallest sizes yet LG has created a TV that outperforms every other TV of the same size. If you want the absolute best possible picture quality in a set this size, this is the best TV you can buy right now.

Samsung AU9000 on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Samsung)
The best cheap 43-inch TV

Specifications

Screen size: 43 inches
Other sizes available: 50, 55, 65, 75 inches
Dimensions: 966 x 560 x 26mm
Screen type: LED LCD
HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
HDMI ports: 3

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent 4K image quality
+
Easy-to-use smart TV system
+
Great for gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great sound
-
No Dolby Vision

This is Samsung's highest-end TV from 2021 that doesn't include its QLED panel technology. This brings the price down nicely compared to its 2021 QLED sets, but you won't feel like you're getting budget image quality. 

When it comes to detail especially, this really takes advantage of being a 4K set – everything is beautifully sharp and crisp. It's also really strong at upscaling from HD, so the majority of stuff on streaming services still looks great on all those pixels. Colours and contrast are handled better than you might expect for the price, while motion control is also impressive. 

Samsung Tizen smart TV platform is one of the best around, combining comprehensive app support with being really easy to use and navigate. Connectivity here is solid, and the extremely low response time in the gaming mode will be really welcome to gamers. It's just a really impressive package overall, with the one exception being the sound, which is average at best. Here's our full Samsung AU9000 review.

Samsung QN95A on white background

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung 43QN90A

The best 43-inch TV for picture quality

Specifications

Screen size: 43 inches
Other sizes available: 50, 55, 65, 75, 98 inches
Dimensions: 961 x 560 x 27mm
Screen type: Neo QLED LCD
HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
HDMI ports: 4 (1x HDMI 2.1)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent picture quality on everything
+
4 HDMI ports, including HDMI 2.1
+
Slick smart TV platform

Reasons to avoid

-
No Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos

Samsung's QLED displays have dazzled ever since their release, and the Neo QLED variation is the best yet: it delivers truly exceptional image quality (just like the QN95A) that similarly sized and priced LED rivals really struggle to match, thanks to the use of Mini-LED tech. This means many more tiny lights are used behind the pixels, providing brighter highlights, and allowing for the brightness in individual sections to be dimmed more easily, making for deeper black levels. Combined, you get astonishing HDR performance, beyond what other TVs at this size can offer.

It sounds good, too. Samsung's Object Tracking Sound Lite adjusts the speakers to make audio sound like it's coming from specific parts of the display, and it's compatible with the best Samsung soundbars that can use the TV speakers as part of a surround sound setup. 

It's the best gaming TV at this size too, thanks to Motion Xcelerator Turbo Plus and its 120Hz refresh rate with FreeSync Premium Pro. This TV supports ultra-wide 21:9 and 32:9 ratios for truly widescreen gaming, and there are four HDMI ports with support for several HDMI 2.1 features: Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate on all four ports, eARC on one port and 4K 120Hz and VRR on another – ready for PS5 or Xbox Series X.

This isn't the cheapest 43-inch 4K TV, but if you're serious about image quality and/or gaming it's one you should definitely consider: its relatively future-proof specification means it'll be delighting you for many years to come. It's worth checking our Samsung discount codes to see if you can snap up a bargain. 

Best 40+-inch TVs 2022: The best of the rest

sony x85j led 4k tv on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sony)

4. Sony KD-43X85J

The best 43-inch TV for gaming on a budget

Specifications

Screen size: 43 inches
Other sizes available: 32, 50, 55, 65, 75, 85 inches
Dimensions: 964 x 563 x 69mm
Screen type: LED LCD
HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
HDMI ports: 4 (2x HDMI 2.1)

Reasons to buy

+
Absolutely superb image processing
+
Excellent built-in sound system
+
HDMI 2.1 gaming features

Reasons to avoid

-
One HDMI 2.1 port is also the eARC

The Sony X85J is a very impressive 4K TV, with some features that'll appeal to gamers including twin HDMI 2.1 ports for 4K 120Hz and VRR support, plus impressively low input lag. It's an LED TV with strong contrast and impressive blacks, but the absence of localised dimming means you may notice some grey haloing in darker scenes.

The big draw here for non-gamers is Sony's image processing, which just goes from strength to strength: the picture quality here is excellent, with vivid, realistic colours and impressive HDR. The processing is handled by the 4K HDR Processor X1, and Sony's Triluminos Pro delivers a wide colour gamut and more natural-looking colour than many similarly specified rivals. The upscaling from HD to 4K is also superb. And the built-in speakers are much more meaty than the timid tweeters you often find in LED TVs – you may not feel the need for a soundbar.

The downsides? One of the HDMI 2.1 ports is also the eARC, so if you do want to add a Dolby Atmos soundbar to your TV, you'll have to give up one of those two precious next-gen connections. Frustrating, but not the end of the world – just something for the more hardcore gamers to know about.

Samsung The Frame (2021) on white backgroundT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Samsung)
The best 43-inch TV with a focus on design

Specifications

Screen size: 43 inches
Other sizes available: 32, 50, 55, 65, 75, 85 inches
Dimensions: 970 x 558 x 25mm
Screen type: QLED LCD
HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
HDMI ports: 4

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive 4K QLED screen
+
Displays artwork when powered off 
+
Loads of smart features

Reasons to avoid

-
No Dolby Vision or Atmos
-
Average sound quality

A stunning 43-inch set you should take a look at is the Samsung The Frame (2021) – it's one of the smallest TVs with Samsung's QLED technology. 

The benefits of QLED are far-reaching but to sum it up, you get a wider range of colours, higher peak brightness, and support for HDR10+. It also boasts the AI-enhanced Quantum Processor to upscale HD and SD content, and get the best out of the 4K panel.

You’re guaranteed to be impressed by the image quality but that’s not what makes this TV so special. Samsung has put a lot of thought into making this a part of your living room decor and not an addition to it. Samsung The Frame (2021) has customisable bezels which you can match to your living room, and when it’s switched off, it transforms into an artwork or digital photo frame. You’ll no longer be plagued by a big unsightly slab of glass hanging on your wall, this is game-changing. 

You can choose from 1,400 different pieces of art from the Art Store if you pay a monthly subscription fee. Or upload all of your favourite shots from your phone to the set. 

So surely there must be a downside right? Well, the sound isn’t amazing. In fact, it’s pretty average, so it could be worth investing in a soundbar as well if you choose this set. 

Outside of that though, this is an impressive masterpiece of a TV, you can find out more about it in the Samsung The Frame (2021) review

Samsung AU7100 TV on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Samsung)
The best 43-inch TV for a super-cheap price

Specifications

Screen size: 43 inches
Other sizes available: 50, 55, 58, 65, 70, 75, 85 inches
Dimensions: 964 x 559 x 60mm
Screen type: LED LCD
HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
HDMI ports: 3

Reasons to buy

+
Great 4K detail
+
Strong colours and even contrast
+
Top smart TV platform

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very deep blacks
-
No Dolby Vision or Atmos

This is Samsung's cheapest 43-inch TV from its 2021 range, and it's a very impressive performer for the price. Colours are rich thanks to HDR support (including HDR10+), its detail with 4K movies and TV is truly impressive, and it upscales from Full HD to 4K really well.

It struggles with standard definition content by comparison, and its black levels are more 'very dark grey' than 'black', but that's standard for budget TVs. This set makes sure that its very dark grey is even across the whole panel, though, which means it's very watchable overall – our full Samsung AU7100 review notes just how well it performs compared to anything else that's so budget-focused.

And Samsung has still packed in its excellent Tizen smart TV platform, meaning that it's just as capable as much more expensive TVs when it comes to streaming service support and ease of use. If you want a really low-price TV that feels like a more premium set when you're scrolling through the menus, this is perfect.

Hisense A7200G TV on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Hisense)
A budget 43-inch TV with good specs and Roku's smart TV platform

Specifications

Screen size: 43 inches
Other sizes available: 50, 55, 65 inches
Dimensions: 969 x 564 x 85mm
Screen type: LED LCD
HDR support: HDR10, HLG
HDMI ports: 3

Reasons to buy

+
Well-specced for the price
+
Roku TV is excellent
+
Strong image quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited upscaling from SD video
-
Not great sound

This set really belies its extremely low price. The image quality won't compete with the likes of QLED sets, naturally, but it's pleasant to watch, delivering composed 4K pictures with natural and convincing colours from HDR sources. It reaches reasonably deep for black levels, and white highlights are clean, though the brightness is limited – no surprise given the cost.

It handles upscaling from Full HD well, though SD viewing is more significant downgrade. That's again typical for the price, and it's no worse than most of the competition. Similarly, the sound is fine, but not fantastic.

But the provision of three HDMI ports and the Roku smart platform are real bonuses. The Samsung TV above only has two HDMI ports, so this is much more future-proofed for attaching multiple consoles/set-top boxes and so on. And Roku's software is absolutely wonderful – it's very slick, very easy to use, and is packed with essential streaming apps. Our full Hisense A7200G review talks more about it.

TCL EP658 sitting on grey surface, with white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: TCL)

8. TCL 43EP658

The best super-budget 43-inch TV

Specifications

Screen size: 43 inches
Other sizes available: 50, 55, 65 inches
Dimensions: 970 x 627 x 222mm (with stand)
Screen type: LED LCD
HDR support: HDR10, HLG
HDMI ports: 2

Reasons to buy

+
Dolby Audio
+
Good smart features
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
No Dolby Vision/HDR10+
-
No Dolby Atmos
-
Only 2 HDMI ports

If you're looking for a solid 43-inch Smart TV, but only have a limited budget, then the TCL EP658 ticks the key boxes for a remarkable price. This 4K LCD TV uses an edge-lit 10-bit panel, with micro dimming, AI image enhancement tech, quad-core processing, and support for HDR10. There’s also Dolby audio and a solid sound system that uses full-range speakers with decent amplification for a TV.

However, where the EP658 really impresses at this price is with its smart platform, which uses the same Android operating system found on more expensive models from Sony – including the two above! As a result, it offers all the associated benefits, including a built-in Google Assistant, extensive video streaming apps, and support for Freeview Play, which provides easy access to all the UK catch-up services. Here's our full TCL EP658 review, which talks about where it excels, and where its limitations are.

Best 43-inch TV: What to look for

For many people, a 43-inch TV is the perfect size for smaller UK living rooms. It’s big enough to deliver a detailed picture at a sensible viewing distance, but not so big that you feel you’re in the front row of the cinema. 

As a general rule, the best viewing distance is around twice the diagonal screen distance. So for a 43-inch smart TV, you should ideally be sitting about seven to nine feet away, though these are only rough guidelines.

A 43-inch TV is the first screen size where you can really begin to enjoy the higher resolution benefits of 4K Ultra HD. LCD panel technology still dominates because the smallest OLED TV is 48 inches, but you will start to see manufacturers employing direct LED backlights and local dimming for a superior picture. 

The HDR performance will also improve, with wider colours from technologies such as QLED, and increased brightness.

Some manufacturers will also include their full smart TV platforms, which is a bonus, since it gives you access to catch-up TV and streaming services without any additional boxes needed.

The one thing you shouldn't expect from many 43-inch TVs is blockbuster built-in sound. A few have more impressive speaker systems than others, but the small size and lower price means it just isn't a huge focus for most of them. Their sound will be perfectly adequate, of course, but not cinematic. Our list of the best soundbars has some excellent compact options in a range of budgets, though, if you want to upgrade the audio.

Steve Withers is a professional calibrator and freelance journalist who regularly contributes to T3, reviewing audio and video products, and writing articles. Steve has been writing about audio and video products for over ten years and, along with T3, he also contributes to TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Expert Reviews, AVForums, Pocket-lint, Home Cinema Choice, and Wired. Steve is Level 2 certified with THX, the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and the Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). As such, he remains abreast of all AV technology developments and the latest industry standards as we transition into a new era in home video and audio.

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