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Samsung UE40ES5500 review

 Review: November 2012  

Last updated June 2013

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: A good value TV with great looks, excellent connectivity and Smart TV. But picture quality lets it down.


Design & looks

It may be the entry-level model in Samsung's Series 5 ES ultraslim range, but the UE40ES5500 looks like a high-end model. Measuring just 47mm in depth, and with a slim bezel, it's sleek and stylish from whichever direction you look at it.

Picture quality

Unfortunately, when you switch the TV on, you realise that designer looks have been given priority over picture quality.

The screen uses LED edge backlighting, which has the advantage of very low power consumption, but means that the backlight stays on even when part of the scene is dark. This leads to poor contrast ratios, with light leaking into parts of the screen it shouldn't. It's particularly noticeable during dramatically-lit movies, which end up grey and cloudy when they should be moody and stark.

The 100Hz Clear Motion Rate doesn't help either. This is a relatively slow response time, and ghosting is apparent during rapid movement such as sport or action sequences, or even when titles scroll across the screen.

Audio quality

Audio quality is no better than picture quality, with a lack of both bass and high frequencies. The slimness of the TV works against it when it comes to sound quality, as it's impossible for such small speakers to deliver good sound. It's well worth investing in a sound bar to get the most out of this TV.

Smart TV

All TVs in the ES range are equipped with Samsung's Smart TV. Samsung’s updated Smart Hub brings you access to features like youtube, facebook, twitter, web browsing and apps. Family Story lets you share special photos, messages and events with loved ones. A separately-sold Skype camera kit lets you make video calls via your TV.


To make use of the Smart TV features you'll need to connect your TV to the internet. This can be done using either a Wi-Fi adaptor or an ethernet cable. You can also use the DLNA compatibility to stream movies, photos, music and more from any compatible devices nearby, including PCs and mobiles.

The TV offers outstanding connectivity, since it also has 3 HDMI connections, two USB ports, SCART, component, composite, digital audio and a headphone socket.

The TV also includes a Freeview HD tuner.

Conclusion - great looks, poor picture quality

The ES5500 range of TVs are popular with consumers because they look fantastic and come with Smart TV. They seem to offer exceptional value for money, but the looks and the gadgets come at the expense of picture quality. The Series 6 TVs cost more but offer much improved picture quality.

Samsung UE40ES5500 features include:

User questions

Sorry - questions and comments on this page are now closed.

Which lan adapter I can use?

Asked by Anna from UK on 15th May 2018

Can I fit a sound bar? If I can how do I install it?

Asked by Norman Rutherford from England on 2nd Oct 2016

Samsung UE40ES5500 user reviews

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