Best 43-inch TVs: cinematic 4K TVs without the giant size

The best 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
(Image credit: Samsung)

The best 43-inch TV remain massively popular, even though you wouldn't know it if you were to only look at the high-end sets that TV companies like the promote the most. Huge TVs are growing in popularity, no question, but it's so common for people to want or need 43-inch TVs, simply because that's the amount of space they have in their room!

The TV makers do know this, though, and so the best 43-inch TVs include a lot of excellent mid-range tech, especially when it comes to smart TV features. You'll see a lot of the same technology as the best 48-to-50-inch TVs (just smaller), and there's also a lot of crossover with the best 55-inch TVs, though that's where the flagship sets really start.

The best 43-inch TVs won't have the same ultra-high-end panel tech as the very best TVs (in particular, there are zero OLED TVs available in this size so far) but advanced image processing and streaming features are here, and those are probably the most important things. Some will include great gaming features too, though at the moment few have the HDMI 2.1 features that the best gaming TVs offer (though perhaps that isn't a problem for you).

And there's no lack of support for HDR formats for truly modern viewing – that, and they're all 4K, naturally! You can get some really impressive stuff, especially when you consider that all of these models are well-priced enough to be in our lists of the best TVs under £500 and best TVs under £1,000.

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.

Best 43-inch TVs: the list

Samsung Q60T

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung QE43Q60T

QLED image quality in a smaller screen

Reasons to buy
+Superior picture quality+Comprehensive smart platform+Low input lag
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision HDR support

This is the smallest TV you can get with Samsung's famed QLED screen technology. The use of quantum dot technology ensures the Q60T is the best 43-inch HDR TV, with wider 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.

The Q60T is also a fantastic 43-inch Smart TV, with Samsung’s full suite of features. These include easy set-up via the SmartThings app, Ambient Mode, and the ability to work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

There’s a comprehensive selection of streaming services that includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Now TV, Apple TV+, Disney+ and all the UK catch-up services. There’s even a Universal Guide to make sure all this choice doesn’t overwhelm you.

If you’re a gamer there are plenty of useful features, including a very low input lag and enhancement options. The Q60T uses edge LED backlighting (rather than the more spectacular for HDR 'direct' backlighting of more expensive QLED models), and Samsung doesn’t support Dolby Vision, but otherwise this excellent 43-inch LCD TV is hard to fault, as our full Samsung Q60T review explains. 

If you want to see more on how this compares directly to its closest big-name rivals, we've also got head-to-head guides for the Samsung Q60T vs Sony XH85, and Samsung Q60T vs LG NANO796.

LG NANO796

(Image credit: LG)

2. LG NANO796

The best 43-inch TV with a direct backlight

Reasons to buy
+Good smart platform+Wide viewing angles+Dolby Vision HDR
Reasons to avoid
-Poor UK catch-up TV

The LG NANO796 features a direct LED backlight, which means you're getting the potential for strong brightness, visibility and contrast, backed up LG's excellent processing. Throw in Dolby Vision support and a great and usable smart TV platform, and it's a real winner for its current price.

LG uses an IPS panel here, which means better off-axis viewing angles (ie, in a living room where people aren't facing the screen directly, they'll get a better experience), but it means slightly weaker black tones than the Samsung above delivers. We're glad to see Dolby Vision on board, because this advanced form of HDR makes better use of the mid-range brightness levels that a panel like this can achieve.

LG's processing handles upscaling from HD to 4K well, as well as motion. And its webOS smart TV feature are really easy to get to grips with – though for UK buyers, the lack of Freeview Play or a complete set of alternative catch-up TV options is disappointing. It's an excellent TV overall – possibly just about a better choice than the Samsung if you'll be viewing from an angle a lot.

Panasonic HX940

(Image credit: Panasonic)

3. Panasonic TX-43HX940

The best 43-inch TV for movie lovers

Reasons to buy
+Superb picture quality+Dolby Vision and HDR10++Dolby Atmos support+Decent sound quality
Reasons to avoid
-Basic smart system-Limited gaming features

When it comes to the the best 43-inch 4K TV for picture quality, nothing beats the Panasonic HX940. This high-end LED TV boasts intelligent local dimming, and a panel with increased brightness and wider colours. Hollywood professionals have tuned the panel, while Panasonic’s proprietary HCX Pro intelligent processor helps ensure the best-possible images when watching movies. The HX940 not only supports Ultra HD, but also every version of high dynamic range, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.

Panasonic hasn’t skimped on the sound system either, with a decent set of speakers and onboard Dolby Atmos decoding. The myHomeScreen 5.0 smart platform is somewhat basic compared with much of the competition, but its simplicity makes it easier to use, and it includes most of the key streaming services. The gaming features are fairly limited, but there’s a host of calibration controls for getting the very best out of the HX940. As a result, there really is no better 43-inch HDR TV for watching your favourite films and TV shows.

Hisense A7500

(Image credit: Hisense)

4. Hisense 43A7500F

The best-value 43-inch TV

Reasons to buy
+Excellent value+Dolby Vision+Good smart TV services
Reasons to avoid
-Poor off-axis viewing-Mediocre sound

If you’re looking for the best-value 43-inch TV for the UK, then the Hisense A7500F is an excellent choice. Like all Hisense TVs, it's extremely competitively priced, yet you sacrifice nothing when it comes to features. The smart platform isn't quite as slick as the likes of Samsung and LG competitors, but its well-equipped for services, and decent set of video streaming services that includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Rakuten TV along with all the UK catch-up services via Freeview Play.

Colour punch and clarity is impressive for the price, as is motion processing, which tends to be the weak spots of really budget TVs. Brightness is inevitably limited for the price, but Dolby Vision HDR support makes the most of it, helping it punch above its weight.

Impressively, there are four HDMI 2.0 inputs, which is not common on budget TVs at all, meaning you won't get frustrated in the future that you don't have enough ports for all the add-ons you might want. It all makes for a pretty incredible package – our full Hisense A7500F review goes into even more detail on where it impressed us. The only gripes are that it's not great for off-axis viewing (ie, for people watching it from an angle) and the sound is adequate but not good – no surprise for the price, but just something to be aware of. You should consider a budget soundbar.

Best 43-inch TV: Sony KD-43XH8505

(Image credit: Sony)

5. Sony XH85 KD-43XH8505

The best high-end 43-inch TV

Reasons to buy
+Attractive design+High-end features+Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos
Reasons to avoid
-No HDR10+

The Sony XH85 benefits from the company’s design expertise, showcasing a striking metal finish that uses an aluminium bezel and metal blade stand. However this attractive 43-inch 4K TV isn’t all surface cosmetics, and also uses an Ultra HD Triluminos panel with edge LED backlighting. It includes the latest X1 4K HDR image processor that enables wider colours and brighter highlights for HDR, while Sony’s Motionflow XR 800Hz motion processing results in smoother and more detailed motion.

The XH80 doesn’t just deliver minimalist looks and impressive picture quality, it also sounds great thanks to decent speakers, powerful amplification and Sony’s Clear Phase technology. As with all of Sony’s TVs the XH80 uses the Android operating system, making it an excellent 43-inch Smart TV that not only includes built-in Google Assistant, but also works with Amazon Alexa. Overall the Sony XH80 is a superb 43-inch HDR TV that proves even at smaller screen sizes, you can still have a high-end experience.

Best 43-inch TV: Sony XH8096

(Image credit: Sony)

6. Sony KD-43XH8096

The best 43-inch TV for sport

Reasons to buy
+Excellent image processing+Great motion for sport+Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos
Reasons to avoid
-No HDR10+

The Sony XH80 boasts all the picture processing features associated with the Japanese manufacturer, making it the ideal 43-inch LCD TV for sports fans. The 4K Triluminos panel uses edge LED backlighting and includes the X-Reality PRO image enhancing engine. As a result colours are wider and highlights brighter for HDR, while Sony’s Motionflow XR processing produces smoother and more detailed motion with fast-paced sports action.

The XH80 doesn’t just deliver an impressive picture, it also delivers the sonic goods thanks to decent speakers, plenty of amplifier grunt and Sony’s Clear Phase technology. This is also a great 43-inch Smart TV thanks to the Android OS which includes built-in Google Assistant, although it also works with Amazon Alexa. Overall, the Sony XH80 is a solid 43-inch 4K TV regardless of what you’re watching, but will particularly please sports fans.

Best 43-inch TV: TCL EP658

(Image credit: TCL)

7. TCL 43EP658

The best budget 43-inch TV

Reasons to buy
+Dolby Audio+Good smart features+Great value
Reasons to avoid
-No Dolby Vision/HDR10+-No Dolby Atmos

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.