Best 40, 42 and 43-inch TV Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best 40, 42 and 43-inch TVs you can buy in 2020.
Manufacturers are so desperate for you to buy one of their biggest and most expensive TVs that they dedicate almost no effort to promoting their smaller and more affordable sets.
But for many people, a 65-inch TV is too big and even 50-inch is a stretch. That's where the 40, 42 or 43-inch TV comes in. Lest we forget, just a few years ago this was considered large for a telly, and a TV in one of these sizes can still be fairly cinematic without, you know, turning your lounge into a Cineworld.
Unfortunately, flagship specs are rarely, if ever, available at sizes such as these – heck, the smallest OLED currently available is 55in – so if this is as big as you can go, you're going to have to accept that your new TV will probably be a little less fully featured than the biggest and best sets out there.
As mentioned, you won't find an OLED at this size, so you'll be looking at LCD models with LED backlights, generally of the edge variety. Direct LED (also known as full array) backlights aren't unheard of at these sizes, but they are fairly rare.
It's now common to find 4K on 40, 42 and 43in sets, even at the budget end, and support for HDR formats is usually included, too. Peak brightness and colour depth are often a bit limited, though, so it's generally best not to expect the sort of dazzling HDR performance that you get from bigger, more expensive sets.
TVs at these sizes almost always have a smart platform that gives access to streaming apps. The operating system might be a little stripped-back compared to more premium TVs from the same brand, although Samsung in particular is good at offering more or less all of its smart features across all of its TVs. If you're not going with Samsung, you should expect Netflix and Amazon Video to be on board at the very least.
Got all of that? Then here are our favourite 40, 42 and 43in TVs for your delectation.
The Samsung UE43RU7470 seems like impossibly good value. It ticks all the right tech boxes – 4K, HDR (including HDR10+), and a peerless selection of streaming apps that includes the brilliant Apple TV and arguably the best user experience in the business. All of this wrapped up into a lifestyle-friendly 43 inches and priced at a wallet-friendly £429.
To top it all off, the performance is excellent. A more premium (and therefore almost certainly bigger) TV will go even brighter than this, but the RU7470 is punchy in its own right and takes a much more sophisticated and subtle approach to colours and definition than you might expect. All told, it's a lovely TV to watch and to live with.
It’s worth noting that UE43RU7470 is a Currys exclusive, but that Samsung says its performance is identical to that of the UE43RU7400 and UE43RU7410, with the only differences between the three models being aesthetics. Having not tested all variants we can't vouch for that, but there's little reason to doubt Samsung's claim.
Read the full review: Samsung UE43RU7470
A notch or two below the UE43RU7470, featured above, sits the UE43RU7020. It loses the swish One Remote and Bixby voice assistant, and swaps Samsung’s Dynamic Crystal Control colour technology for the less advanced PurColor, but also shaves a bit off the price.
Ultimately, we think the 7470 is worth stretching to, but if the price gap increases to much more than £60 (which was the difference when we tested both models) it may be worth making the saving. The 7020 is certainly a strong performer in its own right.
Read the full review: Samsung UE43RU7020
The big news here is that the 'small' GX800 supports all current major HDR formats - so that's HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. That's great news for those who don't want to hedge their bets.
Performance is strong, too. This is a punchy and vibrant picture with lots of detail. Sound, meanwhile, is clear and easy to follow.
True, the Samsungs above are both more balanced in their delivery and boast a better operating system - they're more affordable, too - but if the 3-inches between then makes all the difference or you really want Dolby Vision support, the GX800 is a strong option.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-40GX800