The Finlux 32F8030-T has to be one of the best value TVs we've ever tested. There are a few clues here and there that's it's built around last year's tech - the lack of a dual core, a lifeless EPG, and limited video codec support, perhaps - and it's not always a joy to use, but as a step-up TV for the living room it barely puts a foot wrong.

We liked

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The low price is top of the list, of course, but we got on well with the BBC iPlayer and YouTube-equipped Finlux smart TV platform and were impressed by the remote control's design and build quality, too. Four HDMI inputs is a fine return at this price, as is the bundled Wi-Fi dongle, though we're also sure that its twin Scarts will have a wide appeal in the UK - as will its brushed metallic look.

All of this would be for nothing if it weren't for the Finlux 32F8030-T's reliable images, which are surprisingly advanced and consistent.

We disliked

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There is no dual-core processing on the Finlux 32F8030-T, which does take the shine off smart TV, which isn't as quick as other platforms and lacks film streaming apps. Having app shortcuts on the remote is handy, but some are confusing and there's no button for BBC iPlayer.

Engaging the EPG plunges the entire TV into silence, which most other brands have moved on from, though that's nit-picking; the real issues on the Finlux 32F8030-T are its poor audio and its 50Hz panel, which does mean a constant, albeit slight, blur and judder during fast-moving action and camera pans.

Verdict

With Full HD, Freeview HD and those four HDMIs on offer, the Finlux 32F8030-T is terrific value, though just as important are its naturally coloured, contrast-heavy and richly detailed pictures that don't suffer from the kinds of problems we'd expected to see.

There is, however, a slight issue with judder that won't go away, and the lack of dual-core processing makes smart TV a box-ticking exercise rather than an unbridled joy to use. That's being harsh, though, because the user interface is mature and easy to use, and by adding the likes of Netflix, Now TV and Lovefilm to its smart TV interface, Finlux could have a hit on its hands.

OK, so the Finlux 32F8030-T has a poor EPG and the audio is terrible, but that's pretty normal even on big brand's 32-inch TVs; we're all going to have to think wisely in future about spending a penny over £300 on a smart TV of this size.

Also consider

Despite being very cheap for a TV with smart TV apps, the Finlux 32F8030-T isn't the cheapest 32-inch TV around. Even the big brands can get lower, notably Samsung with its UE32EH5000. It's not got any semblance of smart TV or streaming but it does deliver good picture quality as cheaply as humanly possible.

An even starker budget attempt is the Technika 32-270, though we're into the realm of cheap-and-looks-it territory there. If you're after smart TV, you can find a similarly basic effort on the Toshiba 32RL958, another bargain-busting 'trickle-down' LED-backlit LCD TV that boasts Freeview HD and clean images from all sources that have plenty of detail.