40-45 inch TV Reviews – (Updated 2019) Best Guide for 40″ and 43 inch Smart LED 4k Ultra HD TVs for Sale – Buy a 40 inch 4k Flat Screen Television with Confidence!
Stephan Jukic – Updated January 5, 2019
The 4K TVs we’re about to cover here are all in the 40 to 45 inch range and as such they cover the smallest existing size bracket of 4K TV size ranges –anything lower and you’d be looking at buying a 4K monitor instead of a TV.
Furthermore, as a general rule, smaller 4K ultra HD TVs are not quite as recommendable as their larger cousins if you want to truly appreciate the particular benefits of 4K resolution. On a smaller screen, the difference between 4K resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels and Full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080 pixels is visible only from very close distances outside the scope of normal viewing range. Thus, the ideal purchasing size for a 4K TV sits at above 50 inches and even more comfortable in the 60 inch+ range.
However, even with the above in mind, we still firmly think that a 40 to 45 inch 4K TV is a much better purchasing choice than its Full HD counterpart. The reasons are quite simple: First of all, the resolution benefit is indeed there. Even if it’s not easily visible from a normal TV viewing distance, it will be noticed from close up, in case you decide to use the TV for gaming or watch it in a cramped space. Secondly, because 4K TVs also come with other cutting-edge display enhancement technologies, they create superior picture quality through more than just their pixel count. Thus, you can get the benefit of display specs like HDR (high dynamic range), enhanced color and superior backlighting. Some of these and others aren’t even available in many HDTVs.
Thus, while the following TVs may not be the best choice for 4K viewing due to size, they’re superior display performers in all other regards to any 1080P HD alternative. These 4K UHD TVs also tend to be some of the most absolutely affordable models you’ll find on sale if 4K display is what you’re after.
On a final note, because of their small size and correspondingly ultra sharp display resolution (due to all those 8.29 million pixels of 4K being crammed into such compact screens, the following 4K HDR UHD TVs also work superbly as gaming televisions, either for your favorite console with high dynamic range capability such as the Xbox One X or the PS4 Pro or for connectivity to PC rigs for a larger-than-normal PC gaming monitor experience. In fact, due to their specific specs and nature by model, the following televisions are actually some of the best performers on the market for console gaming input lag and so forth. It also almost goes without saying that the TVs listed here furthermore work wonderfully if you just use them as regular PC displays
A Note on viewing Distance
Viewing distance in a 4K UHD TV is a factor of the TVs size and at what range it can be enjoyed most immersively while also presenting a sharp picture. With 40 to 45 inch 4K TVs, the sharpness won’t be a problem at almost any distance with pixels all but invisible in native 4K content unless you’re just a couple feet from the screen.
That said, ideal home entertainment room viewing for these smaller models is a bit longer than that, at about 6 to 6.5 feet, or just over 1.8 to 1.9 meters, which is less than the 4K TV average of 8 to 11 feet for larger TV models. At a distance of 6 to 6.5 feet, native content and upscaled high quality non-4K content will look great and even these smaller TV displays will still provide a decent amount of immersion. This distance is their “golden zone” for optimal TV entertainment display.
Now, before we move onto our Top 5 40-45 inch 4K ultra HD TVs themselves, take note that after these listings we also cover several crucial points to consider about buying a 4K TV. These are all examined carefully right after the following 4K TVs and are worth reading, particularly if you’re a newcomer to this technology.
The 7 Best 40-45 inch 4K TVs of 2017
Now, without further delay, we get down to the list of TVs themselves. The following are the 7 4K ultra HD models we consider to be the best in their 40 to 43 inch size range on the current market. This list will later undergo updates as newer models emerge in 2018 and beyond so check back down the road. As smaller, cheaper models, all of the following 4K TVs offer a native 60Hz refresh rate unless otherwise stated in specific listings.
Samsung The Frame 2018 43 Inch 4K UHD HDR Smart TV
By far the single best 4K UHD HDR TV in this ranking of smaller 40 – 45 inch models is Samsung’s unusual but highly refined “The Frame”. Yes, that’s what it’s called and the reason why is simply this: it’s built to resemble a wall-mounted picture frame (but with full 4K TV picture playback and smart TV just like any other Samsung television model). The Frame is very expensive compared to any other 4K TV on this list of such compact models but damn does it deliver the visual goods. Samsung has given The Frame display specs that are closer to those of its ultra-premium QLED TVs, so what you get as a result is some excellent color rendering, high levels of HDR display brightness and some fantastic overall contrast ratio performance.
On the other hand though, The Frame offers a slightly unconventional design and it really is much more suited to wall-mounting than placement on a stand. It can however be placed on a stand as well and without a problem. Our one major criticism of this TV is simply the certainty that much of the somewhat excessive price we’d be paying for it is due to its decorative design instead of its practical functional qualities, though it is a very good performer.
TCL 43S517 43 inch 4K UHD HDR Smart TV
Coming in second on our ranking of best 2018 and early 2019 4K UHD TVs is TCL’s very decent 5-Series S517 model. This particular 4K UHD TV delivers some excellent black levels and great contrast while also pulling off very good color rendering. Furthermore, the S517 is superb as a PC monitor or even more so as a console gaming TV due to its superbly low input lag. Most importantly and robustly of all though (and this is the main reason why we give this 4K HDR TV our second-best top spot in these rankings of sub-45 inch UHD TVs), the S-series 4K TVs come with Roku TV and accessory remote control technology. This alone makes them absolutely superb choices for this size range. In fact, it’s mainly what makes the S517 rank higher than the Samsung NU7100 4K HDR TV below even though the NU7100 actually offers slightly better picture quality. Simply put, the S517’s smart platform enormously raises its quality ranking.
Not only is it extremely user-.friendly, it also delivers some of the absolute broadest content and media app options on the market today, with over 5000 apps (or “channels” as Roku calls them) containing well over 100,000 hours of both 4K UHD, HDR and conventional movie content, as well as access to other media types like music via apps such as Spotify. In addition to this, the app interface, while minimalist, is incredibly easy to use and smooth-flowing. Both the remote control and smartphone remote apps for the Roku TV smart system on the S517 offer voice control features, which is not common in such affordable 4K TVs.
Finally, this TV is just incredibly affordable too, meaning you get tons of quality for the money you spend on it.
Samsung UN43NU7100 43 Inch 4K UHD HDR Smart TV
Samsung’s NU7100 is a great choice for the price it retails at. Aside from “The Frame” from the same brand that we ranked #1 in this guide, the NU7100 delivers better picture quality than the TCL S517 ranked above. The only reason why it doesn’t take its corresponding 2nd place ranking is because of the TCL models incredible smart TV platform. This aside though, the NU7100 delivers excellent dark room performance, with deep, highly uniform black levels, excellent contrast ratio and some good motion handling for its price and caliber. This TV is particularly good as a gaming 4K TV or a PC monitor too, thanks to its high responsiveness and compatibility with different color and resolution formats and because of its great input lag specifications.
On the other hand, the Samsung smart TV platform isn’t the very best on the market and the NU7100 could have been designed to offer higher overall display brightness. Its HDR performance is moderately good but spoiled slightly by the lack of wide color gamut, since this model doesn’t support wide color gamut technology for 92%+ DCI-P3 color space coverage. It does however offer 10-bit color performance for over 1 billion RGB color tones for HDR video sources.
We like the NU7100 and think it’s really decently priced at this size range of just 43 inches, especially considering the limited other options that are available.
VIZIO E43-F1 43 Inch 4K UHD HDR Smart TV
Vizio’s E-Series 4K HDR TVs can be a bit difficult to track down due to the brand’s odd penchant for having their popular television models run out of stock all too often but this model is absolutely worth buying in the 43 inch size range due to its deep, uniform black levels, reasonably high (for its price and size) display brightness and some very good picture performance even in bright room conditions. Also, like many of the other 4K TV son this ranking, the Vizio E43-F1 offers really good input lack responsiveness for console gaming. The Vizio E43-F1 doesn’t come with wide color gamut technology, so you won’t get the benefit of true vibrant color HDR display of content but there is 10-bit color and it supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range formats.
The E-Series models are TVs that we actually tend to think slightly better than the Samsung or TCL editions above (though the TCL’s smart platform is the best by far) but because the Vizio E-Series can be so hard to find, we’ve ranked it a bit lower here.
TCL 43S405 43 inch 4K UHD HDR TV
And here we present another TCL TV, the S405 model. It lacks some of the mosr advanced motion handling specs of its S517 cousin and also doesn’t come with quite the same overall picture brightness, but this particular model is still an excellent starter 4K UHD TV and it delivers particularly awesome specs for 4K UHD gaming via consoles. We recommend it highly as a PC display as well. Two other things about the S405/S406 models that we highly respect are their extremely good native contrast ratio, deep black levels and one remarkably low level of motion blur for fast-moving content. The motion blur quality is in fact uncommonly good in the S405, since 4K TVs of this size and price range rarely offer that. The S405 supports HDR display but lacks the wide color gamut and high brightness specs that would make this technology really shine on this TV for HDR content.
Toshiba Fire TV 43LF621U19 43 Inch 4K UHD Amazon Fire TV
Amazon’s Fire 4K TVs are known for their extremely budget-friendly prices and their superbly good smart TV platform and remote control features. They don’t offer outstanding picture quality for HDR content but their displays are perfectly okay for normal TV and streamed/media movie watching. The 4K resolution in these models is just as good as 4K resolution gets and they do support HDR content pass-through. Where the Toshiba Amazon Fire 4K TV really wins though is on the smart platform we mentioned above. Amazon Fire TVs of all types come with the brand’s Fire TV smart platform (the same one as that of Amazon’s Fire TV streaming media devices and dongles) and its user-friendliness and content selection are both superb. More importantly still, you get the benefit of Amazon’s Alexa remote as a default accessory. It offers up a voice control feature that’s downright cutting-edge, which is unusual for a UHD TV this cheap to come with.
The Toshiba 43LF621U19 Amazon Fire TV is highly rated by consumers as a great cheap starter 4K TV and the 43 inch model is ridiculously affordable. We highly recommend it for gaming and for small spaces and smaller budgets.
Sony KD43X720 43 Inch 4K UHD Smart TV
Sony’s KDX720 4K UHD TVs are the very most economical of the 2018 Sony 4K UHD TV lineup, so don’t expect exquisite picture performance. They also lack HDR color functionality of any kind though content from a source.
On the other hand the X720 does deliver full, high quality 4K resolution (which is more than we can say, for example, for LG’s cheapest LCD 4K TVs) and completely decent SDR color performancethis wouldn’t matter much in any case since the specs of this particular TV aren’t strong enough on color and contrast to deliver any visible high dynamic range benefit even if it plays back 4K HDR
. It also offers very good, low input lag for great console gaming responsiveness. Most importantly of all though, this Sony TV comes with an IPS display panel that gives its screen some excellent broad viewing angles which make it particularly ideal for gaming. The same IPS also means weak contrast ratio and black levels but if you don’t mind that, then the X720 is a good gaming 4K TV and a decent starter UHD TV. It’s also incredibly affordable in the 43 inch range or in any of its other sizes.
4K TV and HDR Connectivity
All of the 4K TVs on the list above and pretty much all newer 4K UHD TVs from the major brands offer the same essential package of connectivity specs regardless of their dimensions and price. Some brands and models may include one more or one less HDMI or USB port or may lack/include a particular newer connectivity spec like HDMI 2.0a (for HDR content) vs. HDMI 2.0. However, generally, physical connectivity for content and smart TV functionality stays the same across the board. Thus, here are those core essentials:
HDMI: HDMI is the single most important connectivity spec in any 4K UHD TV. It’s what the majority of content from external media devices will enter the TV from and for 4K content in particular, HDMI 2.0 is crucial for a smooth frame rate/refresh rate transfer at 60Hz or 60 frames per second. Virtually all external Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray, media player, gaming console and set-top box media sources like the Roku Streaming Stick Plus or the Amazon Fire 4K TV box will connect to your TV via HDMI 2.0 ports on the device. HDMI 2.0a is also now on the scene for the sake of 4K video with HDR from external sources however not all 4K TV models have this spec or the necessary firmware updates for it quite yet, though a majority of name brand TVs have HDMI 2.0a updates as of late 2018.
USB: USB is the standard issue peripheral device connectivity spec through which you can connect your 4K TV to external devices like smartphones, tablets, low-intensity media players, hard drives and other such gadgets. USB is generally used for charging external devices through your TV or transferring things like music files and non-4K video files. However, for any sort of 4K video, USB ports, even of the higher-end USB 3.0 type, cannot be used for effective 4K video transmission. Most 4K TVs from 2018 offer either USB 2.0 via 2 to 4 ports.
Internet Connectivity/WiFi: Definitely the most crucial media connection spec in any 4K TV after HDMI, or possibly even more important than the former, Internet connectivity through Ethernet is vital to getting the most out of your 4K UHD TV. It’s through your Ethernet connection that the vast majority of 4K streaming content will arrive and it’s also through internet connectivity in general that an ultra HD TV’s smart functionality truly works at its maximum capacity. This applies for 4K video apps from sources like Netflix, for numerous other non-4K media apps and for all of the browsing, search and smart interactivity features of your TV’s smart platform.
However, for 4K video in particular to work effectively on a 4K TV, the ISP connection behind your Ethernet cable has to offer a minimum of 15Mbps or more ideally 20 or more Mbps. These are the speeds at which canned and live 4K content stream. Furthermore, HEVC (version H.265), VP9 (mainly for YouTube 4K videos) and HDCP 2.2 specs have to all be built into your TV for access to the majority of commercial 4K content sources from the web or from external devices via HDMI. Luckily, most 4K TVs and all of the TVs we’ve listed above offer these particular specs.
Finally, WiFi comes built into all newer model 4K TVs like those we’ve covered above, and while WiFi in its current form can’t be used to broadcast 4K video sources to other devices in your home, it’s very useful for conventional internet browsing and for sharing content between your other display devices and your TV. Thus, through special mirroring technologies found in most 4K TVs, you can share an HD video from your smartphone to your TV and enjoy the clip on the larger screens upscaling-capable display.
Smart TV Platforms
Smart TV functionality is the backbone of the modern 4K TV and all models come with their own particular smart platform. However, not all smart platforms are created equal, with some offering many more features than others. The best smart OS on the market will include extras like voice search, voice control, gesture controls and specialized display and content manipulation features or full web browsers. On the other hand, all modern smart TV platforms, from best to worst, offer the basics of search menus, access to media apps and features for accessing content from external devices you’ve connected to your TV.
Currently, the best smart TV platforms on the market are quite likely Roku’s Roku TV platform, LG’s WebOS, then Samsung’s Tizen smart TV OS with Smart Hub, and finally, Sony’s Android TV platform in all of their 4K TVs. From there we also have Vizio’s smartcast and a wide range of external smart streaming device OS systems that can be plugged into any 4K TV with HDMI (all existing models) for instant installation of an entirely new smart interface and its own selections of apps.. Premium 4K TVs also usually come with so called smart remotes, which further enhance the smart platform manipulation experience.
Upscaling and Native 4K viewing
All 4K TVs obviously enough offer 4K display in native resolution for native 4K ultra HD content, but not all models deliver this to the same degree of quality. 4K pixel counts alone aren’t the benchmark for what makes content in this resolution good. Other factors like source material quality and delivery mechanism are also crucial, as well as a given TVs own native display specs for color, contrast, motion control and brightness. Thus, a 4K video from a 4K Blu-ray player being transmitted via HDMI will look far superior to a 4K video being streamed across a 15Mbps internet connection to your TV.
Furthermore, there is the process of upscaling to consider. All 4K TVs today have upscaling engines and because the majority of content today is still in non-4K resolution, these algorithmic engines in the TVs processor core are crucial for making non-HD content look superior in a 4K TV. All of the models we’ve covered above offer great or even fantastic upscaling engines.
Other Display Features
We already covered the other display benefits of 4K TVs, which go beyond simply their extra resolution, in our introduction to this guide, so we won’t go into detail here. Needless to say, enhanced color, HDR, faster refresh rates and superior brightness are all bonus features that often make a 4K TV’s quality about much more than just pixels.
Backlighting and Local Dimming
Backlighting in 4K TVs can basically be divided into two different general categories: You have your LCD/LED TVs and your OLED TVs. The former depend on LEDs behind an LCD filter screen for lighting of onscreen content and the latter, OLED, depend on self-illuminating pixels right inside the TVs surface screen. None of the 4K TVs in this 40-43 inch TV guide are OLED models but if you’re interested in known the deep details about which of these two technologies is better, check out our OLED vs. LCD TV guide here: