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Samsung UE32F4500 review

 Review: June 2013  
 

Last updated November 2013

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung UE32F4500 is the standout model in Samsung's Series 4 and Series 5 ranges of 32 inch TVs. Picture quality may be compromised, but the designer looks and brilliant Smart TV make it a better buy than most.



 

Review

If you're looking for a low-cost 32 inch TV, you could do a lot worse than start right at the very bottom of the Samsung LED range - with the F4500 base model.

Design & looks

The UE32F4500 may be the entry-level 32 inch TV in Samsung's 2013 range, but you'd never guess it by looking at it. The super-stylish arch base makes it a bit of a style icon - it's much more iconic than the pedestal-style base in the mid-range models! It's perhaps not the slimmest TV available, but we'd rate it as a definite looker!

Power consumption is also extremely low, at just 31W.

Picture quality

When you buy the base model TV, you're not expecting the best picture quality, but the key question is, is it watchable?

The answer is of course, "yes, but ..."

The F4500 series starts with a high quality LCD panel which is capable of producing super bright colours with plenty of contrast. That's the good news.

The bad news is that it uses LED backlighting without local dimming. The result is poor detailing in scenes that include dark areas and light areas simultaneously (wide dynamic range). In moody films, it may sometimes feel like the whole world has just gone dark and cloudy.

The other bad news is that the Clear Motion Rate of 100Hz is barely sufficient to resolve fast motion, so if you watch a lot of sport or action movies, you might notice motion blur. Gamers too, may feel frustration at the slow native response of the screen.

The third bit of bad news is that the pixel resolution is just 1366 x 768 pixels, so while the screen is capable of displaying HD, it can't display full 1080p HD. We don't think this is such a big deal. On a 32 inch screen, you'd need to sit very close to tell the difference. In any case, if you're watching Freeview, Freesat or DVD, you won't have access to 1080p source material and so the issue isn't really relevant.

It's not all bad news however. One of the reasons we like this TV is that everything we've just written applies to most of Samsung's more expensive 32-inch televisions too (apart from the lack of 1080p.) You could spend a lot more and not get any noticeable improvement in picture quality. You'd have to move up to Samsung's Series 6 televisions to get any real improvement, and you could end up paying twice as much and not notice much difference. That's another reason why we recommend this model.

Audio quality

Audio quality is typical for a slimline TV, that's to say it's good enough for watching regular TV, but you'll notice a lack of depth and bass when watching any kind of action movie. Lack of punch in the speakers means that mid-range frequencies are reproduced well enough (e.g. for dialogue), but bass in particular is weak.

Smart TV

One of the best features of the 2013 range of Samsung TVs is its Smart TV offering, and we're delighted to see the functionality available in this Series 4 model.

The Smart TV implementation is very user-friendly, and the functionality has also been ramped up. First of all, the range of apps available through Samsung Apps has been updated to include catch-up TV via the BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, ITV Player, the 4oD service from Channel 4, and Demand 5 from Channel 5. You'll also find staples like LoveFilm, Skype, Twitter and others.

Secondly, social media are fully integrated into the Smart TV system, so you can keep up with your facebook and twitter feeds and watch your friends' videos.

Even selecting programmes to watch has evolved, with the "S Recommendation" system suggesting programmes based on your viewing history. You may not ever need to scroll through listings again, as the system does its best to bring interesting programmes to your attention.

Connectivity

Connectivity is another standout feature, with a Freeview HD tuner built in, built-in Wi-Fi, a generous 3 HDMI ports, 2 USBs and ethernet. A range of other connections are also included, making it possible to connect to most devices around the home.

Conclusion - Samsung's standout entry-level TV

The UE32F4500 may be the base model in Samsung's 2013 range of 32 inch TVs, but it offers the best value for money. While the picture quality certainly has shortcomings, you'd need to move a long way up the Samsung range to improve this in any meaningful way. The Smart TV feature is outstanding, and we also like the built-in Wi-Fi and the stunning looks of the TV.

The new Samsung UE32F4510 model is the same but in a silvery white finish.

The Samsung UE32F5500 model costs a little more but has full HD 1080p resolution.


Samsung UE32F4500 features include:

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Does anyone know what size screw mounts attach the bracket to the back of the tv for wall mounting?

Asked by Jerry from Uk on 21st Feb 2017
Thanks

What sound bar is compatible?

Asked by Darren from United kingdom on 12th May 2016



Samsung UE32F4500 user reviews

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Average rating from 3 reviews:

Reviewed by Amiel from Singapore on 4th Dec 2013
I bought this last Saturday and my first time to own. This is a good buy. The SMART TV applications are cool and is also has an excellent video quality when watching high definition movie. I'm still exploring though. I only have frustration on sound quality....not as powerful as I am expecting. Over-all impression EXCELLENT :-)
Rating:

Reviewed by Chas from UK on 2nd Nov 2013
Especially for their catch-up facilities with i-player etc. and for recording to hard drive (digital recordings being the same quality as originally on the Tv) we bought both UE55F8000 and UE32F4500 at 2K and 0.3K respectively. . Both are new models for 2013.

Menus are a bit more extensive on the supa-doopa 55" but they mainly work just the same. Brightness and colour are great on both but the 32" picture lacks subtlety and detail. Except at very close range, this does not matter on the smaller Tv, which is so light that it can easily go on an 80x26cm glass shelf.

Web browsing is slow and tricky with both but On Demand streaming from LoveFilm etc. is excellent. The 8000 has a 'quad core processor' but i-player is just as quick on the 4500, which actually suffers less from the occasional hang-up during loading.

8000 has two Freesat and two Freeview tuners, which cannot be used in combination, while 4500 has just one Freeview tuner. The advantage of two pairs of tuners is greatly lessened because you can still only record one channel at a time. Moreover 4500 also allows watching an alternative channel, as long as it is from the same channel grouping: e.g RecBBC1HD = HD channels are in the same group; RecITV1 = various commercial progs are in the same grouping.

For those reasons, in practice there is much less benefit from 8000's two pairs of tuners, and 4500 compares better than expected. However series recording with 4500 needs to be done manually and labelling of recordings is a little poorer.

We are using WD 'My Book AV-TV' hard drive for recording with 8000, and Seagate 'Expansion' HDD for 4500. The first 8000 was returned under guarantee because crashes led to recording/channel selection/Hdmi problems, but so far so good with the second example.

In just six months several 8000 firmware updates have been already been issued (?none for 4500) and there are still some rough edges in the GUIs of both Tvs. In particular, navigation to the library and for deletion of recordings is hard work. This is worse, even using macros with a universal remote, because each action takes too long to be executed. Just as clunky with 8000 and so much for its Quad core processor!

For the recording and catch up features, the reasonably priced UE32F4500 works tolerably well, and seems even better value when compared to the more exotic and 'advanced' F8000.
Rating:

Reviewed by Philip Haggerty from England on 3rd Jul 2013
they do not tell you you have to buy extras to use the catch up TV and it uses up you network hours
Rating:

Reply by Tine from UK on 28th Aug 2013
What extras do you need to buy to use catch up TV?

Reply by S21 from UK on 28th Aug 2013
This TV comes with an ethernet connection and built-in Wi-Fi, so you should have everything you need. You'll need a broadband router in your home, obviously.

Reply by Tine from UK on 28th Aug 2013
Thank you!


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