Anyone who’s lived in a dorm room or a 100-square-foot apartment in NYC knows the struggles of decorating when you have limited space. If you don’t have room for a 55-inch model, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a bad TV. Shopping for TVs can be quite challenging but the variety of choices for 43-inch TVs make it an overwhelming experience. There are plenty of great 43-inch TVs out there, and they’re definitely a better option than 32- or 40-inch models — you get more screen for just a little more money.
A 43-inch screen will save you $100 or more compared to a 55-inch TV, and while I’d argue that if you have space it’s worth spending that bit extra, 43 inches is still big enough that you’ll have a good viewing experience. Also worth noting is that many 43-inch TVs do have excellent smart TV suites built in, so you don’t need to buy a separate streaming device to enjoy your favorite streaming services. You can even control 43-inch models with a voice command.
Aside from a smaller size, another downside to a 43-inch TV is that they typically don’t have the latest picture-enhancing extras such as full-array local dimming, 120Hz and advanced gaming features. As a result, finding a 43-inch TV set with a high-end, excellent picture is much more difficult than with 55-inch models. The exception is OLED TVs, which are available in 42-inch sizes (see below).
The list below represents the best TVs in the 43-inch screen size I can recommend, with a couple of things to keep in mind going in:
- At this size, where 4K TV image quality isn’t a priority for manufacturers, I prize smart TV functionality first. If all you’re looking to do is watch your TV shows on cable or the streaming service of your choice or for a gaming TV to hook up a console, the best 43-inch TV models definitely fit the bill.
- Looking for another size? Check out: 55-inch TVs, 65-inch TVs and 75-inch TVs.
- Don’t see what you’re looking for below? Here are all of the TVs I’ve reviewed, with more coming soon.
Sizes 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inchTV Technology LEDSmart TV Yes (Roku TV)Resolution 4KHDMI Ports 3
The picture quality of the TCL 4-Series Roku TV was a step behind the Vizio V-Series in our budget TV test, but the differences between the two are slight enough that you’d really have to have them set up side by side to notice anything at all. The 4-Series lacks the Dolby Vision, Bluetooth connectivity and AMD FreeSync with a variable refresh rate, all of which the Vizio offers.
The 4-Series’ advantage over the Vizio is that it comes with the excellent Roku Smart TV system built in. That makes it a great choice for those looking for a one-stop smart TV solution, without having to add an external streaming device.
When we compared the best budget TVs side-by-side, the picture quality of Vizio’s V-Series clearly emerged as the leader of the pack. The Vizio offered the most balanced and accurate picture during our comparisons, and it comes with some useful extras such as Dolby Vision support, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth compatibility and variable refresh rate for potentially smoother gaming. The biggest downside of the Vizio is its smart TV platform, Vizio SmartCast. It’s crowded, slow and littered with ads for platforms such as Tubi and Kidoodle TV. Even when you factor in the cost of adding a new streaming device, however, the V-Series remains the best overall entry-level TV that we tested.
Read our Vizio V-Series (2021) review.
Sizes 55-, 65, 75-inchTV Technology LED with local dimmingSmart TV Yes (Android TV)Resolution 4KHDMI Ports4
The Hisense A6H Google TV, like the Vizio V-Series, offers some higher-end features at the entry-level price. This TV features a premium build quality and comes with Dolby Vision support, Bluetooth connectivity and DTS Virtual:X for simulated surround sound. The Hisense A6H comes preloaded with Google TV — which is our second favorite smart platform after Roku — but we found it ran slower than Google TV on higher-end TVs like the Sony X80K.
Although its image quality falls short of the TCL and Vizio, the A6H also stands out from the pack in design. The bezels on the TV are incredibly thin, and the display itself attaches directly to the back of the panel, leaving corners that are round and metallic. This gives the TV a more premium finish that I did not see with other units in this price range.
Ultimately, the Hisense A6H Google TV is a good choice for budget buyers who appreciate its design and want the Google TV interface.
Sizes 43-, 50-, 55-, 60-, 65-, 70-, 75-, 85-inchTV Technology QLEDSmart TV Yes (Tizen)Resolution 4KHDMI Ports 3
The Samsung Q60B is more expensive than the models above but it’s also better in pretty much every way. It’s got a slimmer, sleeker design, more features including a solar-powered remote and slightly better picture quality, with superior brightness, compared to the others. The TVs above are better values, but if you want something nicer in this size, and don’t want to break the bank on an OLED TV, the Q60B is a great choice.
It’s technically an inch smaller than any of the other TVs on this list, but if you want the best TV in this size range and money isn’t a major concern, look no further than the LG C2. Its image quality and features run circles around any of the other TVs on this list — and the price is more than double. We’d recommend getting a larger version of the C2 (48-inch, 55-inch or more) if you could, but maybe your size is limited while your budget is not.
Sizes 43-, 50-, 55-inchTV Technology LEDSmart TV Yes (Fire TV)Resolution 4KHDMI Ports 4
The Fire TV 4 Series is one of the more basic TVs on this list. It doesn’t offer Dolby Vision or any perks for gamers, like AMD FreeSync. Instead, the Fire TV gives you a brighter image, an Alexa-powered voice remote and access to Amazon content.
The Fire TV 4-Series offers the brightest screen and the best picture for gaming out of our entry-level models, but we liked its smart TV system least of all. That said, it could be a good fit for people with bright rooms or those who are tied into the Amazon ecosystem.
Other stuff to know about buying a 43-inch TV
- As the year progresses I expect prices to drop on the TVs above, as well as many others. If you can wait, you’ll probably get a better deal.
- If you don’t like the built-in smart TV system on your TV, you can always buy a media streamer instead of a whole new television. They’re cheap and easy to use. See our picks of the best media streamers.
- Most built-in speakers sound terrible, so it’s worthwhile to pair your new set with a soundbar or other speaker system. Good ones start at around $100. See the best soundbars.
Looking for even more info? Here’s everything to know about buying a new TV.
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