The best 40-inch smart TVs 2022

Need a new TV for a living room or bedroom? Compact in size, huge in features, a 40-inch smart TV is your answer.

Samsung 43" TU7000 HDR Smart 4K TV

by William Lobley |

It’s easy to fall into thinking that to pick up a state-of-the-art TV, boasting all the mod-cons, you need to go big – real big. Luckily, we’re here to put your mind at rest and tell you that this is simply not the case. You don’t need to go busting the bank and fill your room with a 50-inch or 65-inch behemoth.

There are plenty of recognised and trusted brands out there offering some incredible 40-inch solutions. We have gathered the cream of the crop, so you can make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck.

The best 40-inch TV shortlist:

What can a 40-inch TV offer you?

A 40-inch television is suited to a small-to-medium room or bedroom, as the recommended viewing range is between one-and-a-half and three meters. Though modest in size, many carry streaming apps, on-demand services and a host of other smart TV features. You’ll have access to countless hours of television and film at your fingertips - there are no more excuses for having missed out on The Crown, The Expanse or The Mandalorian.

40-inch smart TVs are also great for console gamers looking for solid visuals and vibrant colours.

Related: The best 24-inch TVs | The best TV wall mounts

Technology moves fast in this world, and even budget options are offering fantastic clear and crisp displays and substantial audio capabilities. So, no worries there then. Just take your pick, and you’re sure to be pleased.

Here are our recommendations of the best 40-inch smart TVs:

If you're not sure about some of our technical jargon, check out our FAQ at the end of this article.

The best in detail:

Panasonic TX-40JX870B

Best overall
Panasonic TX-40JX870B

View offer

ebay

Despite its modest 40-inch size and originally landing in 2021, the JX870 manages to deliver a striking impression. The combination of its 4K resolution and its bright HDR panel makes this TV makes a crisp viewing experience, with an HCX AI Processor, Dolby Vision and adaptive HDR10+ technology adding depth to the display. The sound is well-furnished, with Cinematic Surround Pro and Dolby Atmos support delivering particularly great audio to those with soundbars and external speakers. The smart platform is very accomplished here, supporting major streaming platforms and Google Assitant voice control. Alexa is also supported.

Pros Cons
• 4K UHD and Dolby Vision • More expensive than the competition
• Nice sound features
• Reliable operating system • Refresh rate not ideal for gaming
Specifications
Screen: 40-inch LED 4K UHD; Dolby Vision; HDR10+; Local Dimming; Refresh rate: 50Hz
Connections: HDMI 2.1 x3, USB 2.0 x1, USB 3.0 x1
Audio: Cinema Surround; Dolby Atmos; 3.5mm audio jack
Internet: Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Bluetooth: Yes
OS: My Home Screen 6.0

Hisense 40A5600FTUK

Great colours
Hisense 40A5600FTUK

View offer

argos

The Hisense 40A5600FTUK is one of our favourites in terms of performance and pricing. The full HD screen is crisp, the quad-core processor ensures that colours are bright by using the Natural Colour Enhancer, and the image is free of graininess and noise. The sound is pleasant, with Hisense's DBX-TV working to bring up the bass, improve clarity and maintain a consistent stereo quality. Those looking for a real 'wow-factor' will still want to grab a soundbar, though. The VIDAA U 2.5 is a nice OS that is intuitive, reliable and customisable - Netflix, Freeview Play and on-demand services are all on board, too. It's got a good and zippy speed too, so you won't spend all your valuable watching time waiting for menus to load.

Pros Cons
• Reliable • No Bluetooth
• Nice visual performance • Limited HDMI connections
• Reasonable price
Specifications
Screen: 40-Inch LED HD screen; Refresh rate: 60Hz
Connections: HDMI 1.4 x2 (ARC compatible x1); USB 2.0 x2
Audio: dbx-tv; 3.5mm jack x1
Internet: WiFi built-in; Ethernet
Bluetooth: No
OS: VIDAA 2.5 OS

Hisense 40A4GTUK Smart TV

A tidy TV that does the job
Hisense 40A4GTUK Smart TV

View offer

currys

Hisense's 40A4GTUK Smart TV is a perfectly formed smart TV, offering HD streaming and Freeview terrestrial television at a more-than tolerable price point. It's ideal for a bedroom or kitchen. The LED screen provides a sharp HD image, content is displayed smoothly due to the fast refresh rate and the audio is crisp and clear. As a smart TV, all of the expected streaming services are here. The user interface is simple to navigate. Occasionally the OS loading times can drag, but on the whole, the performance is reliable and steady. It delivers exactly what it promises, and there's a lot to be said for that.

Pros Cons
• Sharp, vibrant images • No Bluetooth
• Great audio • Occasionally long loading times
• Affordable
Specifications
Screen: 40-Inch LED FHD screen; Refresh rate: 60Hz
Connections: HDMI 1.4 x2, Composite Input x1, Component Input x1, USB x2
Audio: 3.5mm jack x1
Internet: WiFi
Bluetooth: No
OS: VIDAA U5

Panasonic TX-40FS503B

Great picture
Panasonic TX-40FS503B

View offer

john lewis

Though only HD, the clear, bright and crisp detailing brought by the HDR-reinforced screen might have you questioning why anyone would need 4K UHD. It's an elegant system that provides deep contrast and rich colour to on-screen images - plus, a 'Gaming and Sports Mode' can be activated to sharpen up the TV's performance on quick-moving media. Panasonic's own Cinema Surround system takes care of delivering a satisfying audio performance, and it can also boost vocal frequencies for better speech clarity. Smart TV apps for streaming and on-demand services and Freeview Play functionality are all present and correct, too.

Pros Cons
• Great image quality • Price similar to 4K UHD TVs
• Solid OS
• Reliable
Specifications
Screen: 40-Inch LED HD screen; HDR; Native contrast: n/a; Refresh rate: 50Hz
Connections: HDMI 1.4 x 2 (ARC compatible x1); CI x1; USB 2.0 x2
Audio: Cinema Surround; Optical x1; 3.5mm jack x1
Internet: WiFi built-in; Ethernet
Bluetooth: No
OS: Firefox

JVC LT-40CF700 Fire TV Edition

All-in-one Prime Video support
JVC LT-40CF700 Fire TV Edition

View offer

currys

The JVC LT-40CF700 is a nice choice for a simple, low-fuss streaming experience, as it uses the same smart platform that you'll find on a Fire TV Stick. It's integrated with Amazon Prime Video support, with other streaming services are accessible through the use of apps as on other smart TVs. The user interface is intuitive and quick to navigate - Alexa support allows voice control for an even more streamlined experience. The full HD LED screen performs well, with a clear and bright image across films, TV and games.

Pros Cons
• Integrated Prime Video • Aimed at Prime Video customers
• Quick and easy to operate • Average specifications
• Three HDMI ports
Specifications
Screen: 40-Inch LCD HD Screen; Refresh rate: 60Hz
Connections: HDMI 1.4 x3, Composite x1, USB 2.0 x2
Audio: Optical, 3.5mm jack x1
Internet: WiFi built-in; Ethernet
Bluetooth: Yes, 5.0
OS: Fire TV

Want more 4K UHD choices? Head to our 43-inch TV article...

4K UHD resolution is far more common with 43-inch model TVs. Head over to our article now for the best deals on 43-inch 4K smart TVs.

FAQs

Smart Apps

Jump to:

What size TV do I need?

The answer to this question is very much a decision arrived at after deliberation between your available space, budget and requirement. However, it tends to be sensible to have smaller TVs in smaller rooms, larger in the biggest rooms. If you are too close to a TV, no matter how high quality the image, it's going to look blown out and poor. Too far, and you may as well watch Netflix on your phone.

Here’s a rough guide to give you an idea of the minimum distance you should have from your TV when viewing HD content:

Screen size / Distance

40 inches - 80 inches

50 inches- 100 inches

55 inches - 110 inches

60 inches - 120 inches

75 inches - 150 inches

Resolution guide:

HD: 1280×720

Full HD: 1920×1080

Ultra HD/4K: 3840×2160

Related: The best 32-inch TVs

What’s 4K and what is Ultra HD?

These terms refer to the same thing – TV resolution. 4K screens offer roughly four times more pixels than HD screens, with 8.3 million pixels working across the screen. This means clearer, accurate images.

What’s HDR and HDR10+?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It works to get as much light, crispness and depth into your picture. Whites are brighter and blacks are darker. It offers a huge range of over one billion colours. HDR10+ is an extension of this, but the use of metadata creates an even more refined picture.

What does 4K and HDR do together?

Screens give you the pixels, HDR takes care of making them look good.

What is HDMI ARC?

HDMI Audio Return Channel, often shortened to HDMI ARC, is a feature that allows soundbars and surround sound systems to operate with fewer cables. A single HDMI cable (1.4 or higher) can be connected from your TV’s HDMI ARC to an HDMI ARC port on a soundbar or surround sound receiver. This connection will cause audio from another device connected to the TV through the soundbar - be it a gaming console, Blu-ray player or media streaming device.

This reduces the clutter of having audio cables trailing from the TV and other devices to the soundbar.

Note that some TVs will require you to manually enable 'HDMI CEC' in your TV settings for the ARC system to work correctly.

For a more in-depth look at how to set up HDMI ARC and other soundbar configurations, watch this video from TV and sound system expert Jonah Matthes:

What is contrast?

Contrast is a method of referencing the difference between the lightest and darkest images a TV can produce. The measurement is written as a ratio: for example, 3,000:1, 5,000:1. Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the better your viewing experience is going to be.

There’s more to contrast than that, including plenty of mathematics and specialist lighting measurements. CNET has a great guide on contrast and the pros and cons of relying on it as a metric for purchasing TVs.

Related: What is QLED? | What is OLED?

What is refresh rate, what is Hz?

When we're talking about a TV’s refresh rate, we're referring to the number of times it refreshes the entire on-screen image, per second. This count is measured in Hertz or Hz. A 60Hz TV will refresh an image 60 times, and a 120Hz TV will refresh an image 120 times.

The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the moving image appears. By contrast, an exaggeratedly low refresh rate of 10Hz would make fast-paced content appear to jump, stutter and jolt.

50Hz - 60hz is going to be fine for most users.

If you’re a dedicated gamer or sports fan, you may want to consider higher rates, as the images will appear with considerably reduced blur. 120Hz sets are going to be ideal, but they cost a little more.

What can a smart TV do?

A smart TV is a television that can connect to the internet directly, without the need for a secondary gadget like an Amazon Fire Stick. They tend to be pre-loaded with an array***** of well-known catch-up streaming apps like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub as well as subscription services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

A smart TV will also provide users access to other internet services and apps, such as social media, news and weather, and internet browsers.

Some models also offer additional features, such as Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio connections, and smartphone and tablet connections.

*****The selection of apps available pre-loaded or available to download may differ between smart TV manufacturers and models, so it’s worth double-checking the model you’re considering.

Not all compatible apps will be automatically installed, so you may need to download apps from the smart TV’s online store manually, as you do with smartphones and tablets.

Is it worth buying a smart TV?

Of course! No matter whether you watch TV to stay up to date with news and events, soaps, Nordic noir dramas, reality shows or blockbuster movies, then investing in a smart TV is totally worth it. Their internet connection offers up plentiful access to free and paid-for content via apps, whenever you want it.

If you’re in doubt, read on for our discussion on the best smart TV apps.

What’s the cheapest smart TV?

The answer to this question varies from day to day. Deals start and end-all of the time – if you’re looking to get a great deal, it might be worth following an article that tracks the best smart TV deals.

What are the best apps for a smart TV?

For a deeper look at smart TV apps, read our guide: Best smart TV apps

The best apps are those that offer you the best entertainment choices, features and reliability. Here are a few we recommend:

Netflix – The subscription service that fundamentally changed the face of TV and film. Netflix’s user-friendly app grants you access to thousands of titles, both pre-existing and original productions, like Friends, Sex Education, The Irishman and John Wick 3. There are a number of subscription package choices available.

Amazon Prime VideoPrime Video is another premium subscription service that offers a huge selection of content, including The Office US, The Hunters and Man In The High Castle. The service boasts great access to recent movie releases and offers you the option to purchase or rent some titles that may not be included in your subscription. Subscribing to this service will also give you access to Amazon Music and Prime next-day delivery.

BBC iPlayer – This on-demand app allows you to get at the best the BBC has to offer. Catch-up programmes are available to watch for 30 days after broadcast, and you can stream, restart and rewind some live TV programmes. The app also provides you with access to a large back catalogue of BBC programming from across its broadcasting years, including Doctor Who, Killing Eve, QI and Blue Planet II.

All 4 – All 4 is a catch-up and on-demand app, offering content from across Channel 4’s catalogue, which includes E4, More 4 and Vice TV. You’ll be able to watch recently broadcast shows as well as an extensive back catalogue, including brilliant UK originals like Black Books, Peep Show, The Great British Bake Off and Gogglebox. All 4 is a free service, but it does require you to watch advert breaks.

YouTube – A key app for any smart TV owner who follows any of the hundreds of YouTube personalities, influencers, musicians and gamers. You’ll get unfettered access to countless hours of free and fresh content from around the world. YouTube offers a subscription service called YouTube Premium, but by and large, this doesn’t really have an effect on a user’s content access – though some hardcore users will jump at the chance to remove ads.

Spotify – A user-friendly music streaming app that’s reliable and integral to a good party. You can start a free account with Spotify and get streaming the latest music (with the odd ad break), or you can sign up for Spotify Premium and have unlimited, ad-free streaming (plus a few extra worthy perks).

Smart TV apps

The app choice for smart TVs is substantial. There are many out there that we’ve not had a chance to mention offering brilliant services and features, but we think our choice makes up a solid essential list. It’s all down to personal preference, but you could easily reinforce our selection with news, weather, social media and sports-focused apps, and even other music streaming services.

Please be aware that in order for these apps to work correctly, you’ll need a WiFi or Ethernet connection with a stable internet connection, good broadband speeds and unlimited (or very high) data limits. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, and YouTube Premium require you to pay a subscription fee to access their content, though free trials are available for all.

What is Freeview Play?

Freeview Play pools on-demand and catch-up television streaming into one place, allowing you to search forward to see what’s upcoming, and backward to stream shows from the previous week. It effectively combines the functionality of the catch-up elements of apps like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4, and merges them for user ease.

Do smart TVs have Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is quickly becoming a smart TV industry staple – though this cannot be guaranteed. A manufacturer will usually list his feature on their specifications, but if in doubt contact the manufacturer to double-check.

If you’re not sure whether you need Bluetooth, it’s worth considering it. It’s great for connecting wireless audio devices, hearing aids and wireless keyboards to help with searches/navigation.

Can I pair my phone to my smart TV?

This depends on a number of factors, including phone and TV brand and model, and the available Bluetooth connections and screen-mirroring apps. It is very common for smart TV’s to be able to pair with a phone, but if in doubt contact the manufacturer.

Google Chromecast is in-built with some smart TVs and can mirror content from both Android and iOS devices.

Many smart TVs come with a feature named ‘Screen Mirror’, ‘Wireless Display’ or similar, which can pair and display a smartphone via a phone-installed app. This is great for viewing photos, videos or video chats.

There’s also app-to-app pairing, which will allow you to control a TV app with your phone, but not the TV itself – for example, you can browse Netflix’s catalogue on your phone app for The Witcher, select it and then tell it to play via the TV app.

If you’re really keen on displaying your phone on the smart TV, a sure method is to manually connect the phone up to the TV directly via an HDMI cable and adaptor.

Can I listen to my smart TV with wireless headphones?

Do you have wireless Bluetooth headphones? Does your smart TV have a Bluetooth connection? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then technically you can listen to your smart TV with your wireless headphones.

It’s worth being aware of range restrictions with some Bluetooth headphones – if your sofa is too far away from your TV you may experience patchy connectivity or connection failures. As always, if in doubt check with the manufacturers.

If you would like to regularly listen to your new smart TV via a wireless headphone set, it may be worthwhile looking into purchasing a dedicated media wireless headset with a small external transmitter – they’ve got a much larger range radius and often accept multiple headset connections for group viewing.

William Lobley is a Senior Content Writer and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology, gaming, and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.

Subscribe to the What’s The Best Newsletter to keep up to date with more of the latest reviews and recommendations from Will and the rest of the What’s The Best team.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us