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Best 43-inch TV in 2020

Looking for a smaller set for a bedroom or kid's room? Here's our three favorites.

A 43-inch TV screen is small by today's standards, but with prices that hover around $200, it's also an affordable size to consider. One catch: you'll have to forgo the latest extras at this size, because many 43-inch TVs still have 1080p resolution instead of 4K Ultra HD, for example, and few have picture-enhancing extras such as full-array local dimming. That's one reason why picture quality on 43-inch sets can't approach the best 55-inch models (and later this year, 48-inch, thanks to OLED TV technology). That said, many 43-inch TVs do have smart features, such as HDR content, which are key to a good viewing experience.

But if you're limited in size and budget, looking for the best 43 inch TV screen size 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. 

The list below represents the best TVs in the 43-inch screen size I've reviewed in CNET's test lab, where I compare them side by side to see which ones are most worth buying. Here are my latest recommendations, with the following notes to keep in mind.

  • 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. Read our TCL S425 series (Roku TV) review.

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.  Read our Toshiba 43LF421U19 review.

Other stuff to know about buying a 43-inch TV

  • In spring 2020 new TV models will arrive, but since TVs are generally a mature technology, they won't be worth waiting for if you want a TV now, especially at this size.
  • In my opinion, bigger is better. Big TVs are cheaper than ever, and your money is best spent on large screen sizes rather than a slight upgrade in image quality.
  • If you don't like the built-in smart TV system, you can always add a media streamer. They're cheap and easy to use, and receive updates more frequently than most smart TVs. 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

Read more about home entertainment

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