January 28, 2021
The best 43-inch TVs for 2020

The best 43-inch TVs for 2020


Though by today’s standards a 43-inch TV screen is considered small, prices hover around $250, so it’s an affordable size to consider. The only potential drawback is that you don’t get the latest picture-enhancing extras such as full-array local dimming and 120Hz. That’s one of the reasons why the picture quality on 43-inch sets aren’t nearly as good as the best 55-inch models (and 48-inch, thanks to OLED TV technology). 

But if you’re limited in size and budget, looking for the best 43-inch TV screen would be a better option than 32- or 40-inch models because you get more screen for just a bit more money. Yes, for bigger bedrooms I definitely recommend going up to a 55-inch 4K TV screen if you can afford it and have the space, but stepping down to a 43-inch screen will save you $100 or more compared to a 55-inch TV, and it’s still large enough to enjoy. And many 43-inch TVs do have excellent smart TV suites built-in so you don’t need to buy a separate streaming device.

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 or hook up a gaming console, these definitely fit the bill.
  • We don’t review many TVs at this size, so I’ve only included our three favorite models here.
  • Looking for another size? Check out: 32-inch TVs, 55-inch TVs65-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.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Remember how I said smart TV functionality is king at this size? Roku is our favorite platform for live TV streaming app options like Netflix, YouTube and the rest, and it’s even better baked into the TV. Even though it has 4K resolution with HDR its picture quality is no great shakes, and even marginally worse than the Vizio below, but for most people this Ultra HD 4K TV with smart features is perfectly fine. This small TV is also a bit cheaper than the next two competitors.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This is one of the only 43-inch TVs available with our favorite picture-enhancing extra for LCDs: full-array local dimming. For that reason this LED TV with smart features performs a bit better than the TCL above in some areas, particularly dark rooms and home theater. It also has those all-important smart TV features. But on our side-by-side review of larger versions of the two TVs, the difference wasn’t massive, and overall we still like the TCL better.

Read our Vizio V436-G1 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This Toshiba features Amazon’s Fire TV system built-in, making it a direct competitor to the TCL’s Roku system. In general we like Roku better than Fire TV, thanks to superior menus and search, but this Toshiba LED TV with smart features has one cool extra the TCL lacks: built-in Alexa, available by talking into the remote control. 

Note that we reviewed an earlier version of the TV linked below but we expect this one to be basically identical.

Other stuff to know about buying a 43-inch TV

  • As holiday shopping season gets into gear I expect prices to drop on the TVs above as well as many others. If you can wait until the middle of November, when Black Friday sales begin, 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 in 2020

More home entertainment advice


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