Samsung UE43M5500 review
|Review: August 2017|
In a nutshell: The Samsung UE43M5500 is a good choice of budget 43-inch television. With a practical and attractive design, decent picture quality, and a wide range of content from Netflix, Amazon, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5, there's no great need to spend more.
Design & looks
The Samsung M5500 is a budget TV, but it's not bad looking. The metal effect bezel surrounding the screen may be wider than on more expensive televisions, but it's still very attractive. The quad stand looks nice too and is fixed to the front and rear of the screen to give very solid support - something that many high-end TVs can't manage. For a low-cost model, this fits the bill very well.
The One Remote control lets you access content and control all of your compatible devices with one controller.
The M5500 isn't a 4K TV, but instead has a 1080p HD resolution. But on a 43" screen, you'd be hard-pushed to tell the difference, unless you sit with your nose pressed up against the screen. Pictures are perfectly sharp on this 43" model, and overall picture quality is good for a budget model.
The screen is able to reach very dark blacks, while managing bright highlights too, giving it versatile performance in bright or darkened rooms. The only downside is that mid-tones can sometimes be crushed on this screen, so while the overall contrast level is good, it's not as subtle as in more expensive models such as Samsung's excellent Series 6 range.
But where the M5500 beats the more expensive models is in viewing angles. These are very wide, so even if you sit at an angle to the screen you won't notice much loss in brightness or contrast.
Overall, picture quality is towards the lower end, just as you'd expect from an entry-level TV. But it's not at all bad for the price.
The M5500 uses twin downfiring speakers with bass reflex. Each speaker is rated at 10W. This is the same audio system that you'll find on Samsung's larger TVs, so the 43" M5500 packs a decent punch and we have no complaints here.
Smart TV 2017
Samsung's Tizen-based Smart Hub has been the market-leading Smart TV system for a number of years, and the 2017 version keeps its crown, with its user-friendly pop-up access to apps, and the way that it automatically detects and labels connected devices.
For streaming, you'll find Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, and others, although NOW TV has been removed this year. All the catch-up services are present - iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5. Online gaming is also available.
As well as using the remote control, you can browse content and control your TV from your phone.
The M5500 has all the connectivity options that you'll find in Samsung's Series 6 televisions, so you should have no problems in this department. With 3 HDMI ports, one with Audio Return Channel (ARC) compatibility for connecting to a soundbar, you should be able to connect to any modern AV device. Older devices can be connected via the combined composite/component input or optical audio output. A CI+ 1.3 slot, and Anynet+ support are also provided, as well as 2 USB ports.
Wi-Fi and an ethernet port allow you to connect to your home network and the internet. Screen mirroring from smartphones and tablets is supported, and wireless Bluetooth connectivity is available for a range of devices.
Conclusion - a good option for a 43" TV
There's no need for 4K on a 43" TV unless you're a hard-core gamer sitting right in front of the screen. For most users, it makes more sense to buy a HD model like the M5500 than a more expensive option.
The UE43M5500 performs well, incorporating a good practical design, comprehensive Smart TV, and excellent connectivity too. The picture quality isn't quite as refined as the more expensive MU6100 or MU6400 models, but most people will probably be happy with it.
Our one complaint is that at the time of this review the TV is selling in the shops for just under £500. We think it ought to be closer to £400. Watch for the price to fall as Black Friday approaches.
Samsung UE43M5500 features include:
- 43-inch LED-backlit screen
- 1920 × 1080 resolution
- Micro dimming
- Mega contrast
- HyperReal picture engine
- Auto Motion Plus
- Picture Quality Index (PQI): 800
- Samsung Smart TV, quad-core processor
- Freeview HD
- Audio: Stereo speakers, 20W output, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi Direct, ethernet, HDMI x3, ARC support, USB x2, digital audio output (optical), component / composite input, screen mirroring, CI slot, Anynet+, Bluetooth
- Power consumption: 95W
- Energy efficiency class: A+
- Remote control: TM1750A+TM1240A
- Size without stand (WxHxD): 972.9 x 570.0 x 55.1 mm
- Size with stand (WxHxD): 972.9 x 635.0 x 250.7 mm
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