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Samsung UE43J5500 review

 Review: August 2015  
 

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung UE43J5500 is a budget family-sized TV that's worth considering if money is tight. For the price, you get a large 43-inch screen, plus Smart TV functions and excellent connectivity. The picture quality and audio aren't the best, but for everyday viewing they are probably good enough to satisfy most people.



 

Design & looks

In your quest for a value-for-money family TV, the Samsung Series 5 range is always worth a look, and in 2015 the company is pushing prices ever lower. This 43-inch model gives you significantly more screen real estate than a 40-inch screen - around 15% more area - yet it costs around half as much as Samsung's 40-inch Series 6 TVs. Interested? You should be!

Although this is a budget model, you wouldn't guess from looking at it. On the contrary, this is a lovely looking TV, with a slim black & chrome chamfered bezel surrounding the screen. The matching stand has a subtle V-shape. It's a very stylish and modern look.

Picture quality

Price cuts mean you get less for your money, and in the case of the J5500, it's the picture quality that suffers. The J5500 has a Picture Quality Index (PQI) of 300, putting it fairly near the bottom of Samsung's 2015 range. Still, that doesn't mean it's terrible.

The TV has a Full HD 1080p resolution instead of the new 4K format available in Samsung's high-end TVs. That really doesn't bother us in the slightest, as there's little 4K content available at present, and for standard definition viewing, a lower resolution TV like the J5500 may actually give better performance.

The TV uses direct LED backlighting, so it has a good uniformity, with no evidence of clouding at the edges, which can often be a problem with edge-lit TVs. The screen doesn't reach the deepest black levels of Samsung's more expensive Series 6 models, and the dynamic range is fair to middling. Motion response isn't very crisp either, so there can be a loss of detail, or even some judder in fast moving scenes. Whether these compromises will bother you is a matter of personal taste.

One thing we did like about the screen is the relatively wide viewing angles available. In our test it actually outperformed most Series 6 TVs in this respect, so you can watch the TV from an angle without too much loss of image quality. Colour fidelity is good on this screen too.

Xbox/PS4 gamers will also be pleased that the input lag is relatively low in Game Mode.

Audio quality

Audio quality is probably a match for the mid-range Series 6 TVs. The stereo speakers are rated at a maximum power output of 10W x 2, which is the same as the more expensive Series 6 televisions. For everyday watching, audio quality is acceptable, but there's little bass available from these speakers, and  the addition of a separate sound bar would definitely enhance your viewing experience.

Smart TV

Samsung has updated its Smart TV system for 2015, and so apps and services are still rolling out. Hopefully this will all be finished before too long, although over-the-air updates will probably continue to be released regularly throughout 2015.

The system is well designed and easy to use, and fast to respond, thanks to a quadcore processor.

The full range of apps will include catch-up TV from the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and more; streaming services YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Instant; plus social media and games.

You can also stream content wirelessly from compatible smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers, using your TV as a media hub.

Connectivity

There's no problem when it comes to connectivity, as the J5500 has pretty much everything you could ask for. A built-in Freeview HD tuner replaces the need for a set-top box, and in addition you can connect the TV via HDMI (3 ports), USB (2 ports) and a combined component/composite connection. There's an optical audio output for connecting to a speaker system, although there's no SCART option.

You can reach the internet either by ethernet or Wi-Fi (both built-in). The system also supports screen mirroring of wireless devices, MHL, and a CI+ slot. You'll also find a headphone jack.

Conclusion - worth considering

If your budget can't stretch to the eye-watering costs of Samsung's mid-range Series 6 televisions, you don't need to feel left out. This entry-level model is certainly worth considering. While it doesn't have the best picture quality around, it's not a bad performer, and for the price it's very good. Audio quality is acceptable too, and you also get access to Smart TV functionality. The wide range of connectivity options are excellent, and the design is impressive.

We'd advise you to also take a look at the Panasonic TX-40CS620B, and perhaps the more pricey Panasonic TX-40CX400B.


Samsung UE43J5500 features include:

User questions

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Is this Samsung UE43aJ5500 an analog tv?

Asked by Edwin sto.tomss from Philippines on 13th Nov 2016

Do you get 7 day catch up like Freeview Plus guide or similar?

Asked by Colin Whyte from UK on 15th Jul 2016

Can youconnect a keyboard and / or mouse to this tv?

Asked by Kyriakos from Cyprus on 4th Mar 2016
I am interested to know if i connect keyboard and / or mouse with this tv and if yes which one is good option? Thank you in advance!



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