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Samsung UE42F5000 review

 Review: November 2013  
 

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung UE42F5000 offers the tempting prospect of a 42 inch TV at a bargain basement price. But the below-average picture quality and lack of connections could make it an expensive mistake.



 

Review

The Samsung UE42F5000 holds out the prospect of a 42 inch TV for less than £500, but it's not easy to make a 42 inch screen this cheap. Is this a case of too many compromises?

Design & looks

The UE42F5000 is a slimline LED TV and looks attractive with the narrow bezel around the screen. The square stand provides a functional, solid base.

Picture quality

This isn't the worst 42 inch TV you can buy when it comes to picture quality, but it's fair to point out that it must rank near the bottom of the list.

Let's start with the positives. The F5000 has a full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel screen, and it uses edge LED backlighting, which offers the dual advantages of A-rated energy efficiency and a slim design. The screen is capable of producing bright images, making it a good choice if you watch a lot of daytime TV, and it can generate some reasonably impressive black levels too.

There are some problems with colour balance, although these can be improved if you're willing to work through the menus and carefully adjust the colour settings. Viewing angles can be quite tight, with colour accuracy getting worse the more you move to one side of the centre of the screen. But it's in the dynamic range that it performs badly, with much of the shadow detail lost from pictures. This is especially noticeable if you watch in a darkened room. There's also some evidence of non-uniformity from the edge backlighting.

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'll probably notice motion blur.

In Game Mode, response times are reasonably fast for a LED TV.

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.

You could add a separate soundbar or dedicated audio system to enhance the sound.

Connectivity

This is another area where costs have been slashed to bring the TV in on budget. There's no Smart TV here, nor any internet connectivity.

On the back of the TV you'll find just 2 HDMI ports, which isn't really adequate for a family TV. Add a set-top box and a DVD/Blu-Ray player and you won't have a free port for a games console. You can make use of the SCART or component inputs, but these don't support HD.

Conclusion

If the price of the UE42F5000 sounds too good to be true, that's because it is. Although this is without doubt one of the cheapest family-sized TVs available, there have been too many cost savings to make it a wise choice. The lack of SMART TV is no surprise at this price and is forgiveable. Less tolerable is the below-average picture quality and the extreme lack of connectivity options. These factors could turn a bargain buy into an expensive mistake.

We'd spend a little extra on either the Sony KDL-42W653A or the Panasonic TX-L42E6B.


Samsung UE42F5000 features include:

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Samsung UE42F5000 user reviews

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Average rating from 5 reviews:

Reviewed by the real review from england on 3rd Apr 2014
This review is wrong in every way hahaha. This had joint best picture quality in shop with most expensive full hd tvs and im very satisfied with it.
Rating:

Reviewed by Tg from england on 1st Mar 2014
This was the best tv picture quality I found in the shop. I bought it. Puts this review down the drain in every way.
Rating:

Reviewed by CMA from Belgium on 20th Feb 2014
Your review is spot on! I've actually just packed my UE42F5000 up ready to send it back to the store I had purchased it from after a year long battle with Samsung. The non-uniformaty issue was the deal breaker in the end for me. It created several vertical dark bands across the screen which were visible when the image was moving and also under certain colour combinations!

Samsung refused to acknowledge this problem claiming is it under the specifications of the TV. Sorry but I saw nothing to state I would be viewing a TV with vertical bands all over the screen in the user manual or at the point of sale. I too recommend you think twice about purchasing this TV. The problem seems to be in Samsungs manufacturing process which has serious flaws! Their customer service has also been disgusting, hence the year it has taken me to sort this out.

In the end Samsung refused anymore assistance and my point of sale store has agreed to pay me my money back!

Stay well away from this TV and Samsung!
Rating:

Reviewed by Frank from N on 10th Jan 2014
Own one and the picture quality is excellent, compared in store next to a much expensiver bravia and the bravia was left to shame.

Other reviews also price its image quality.
Rating:

Reviewed by Jay from Netherlands on 8th Dec 2013
Below average picture quality my hiney.

This TV gets 5 star ratings all over the web. Mainly because of the excellent picture quality.
Rating:


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