Everyone's after a sub-£350 telly, but surely that means skipping over fancy features like smart TV apps, Freeview HD and 3D, right?

There's no 3D on this 40-inch LED TV from Finlux, but the online-only brand has here produced a perfectly respectable effort that gets online and gives in HD.

You might think you know Finlux. Around since the 1970s, the brand has swapped hands multiple times – it was even owned once by Nokia – and is now owned by Turkish manufacturer Vestel.

It's pretty obvious from the styling and feature set that the 40F8073-T is designed as a Samsung-killer.

Ratings in depth
Finlux 42F8075-T
Finlux 42F8075-T
Finlux 42F8075-T

Finlux 42F8075-T

Finlux 42F8075-T

The biggest selling brand in TVs, Samsung's offering of LED TVs at dozens of different price points means that the 40F8073-T has to offer something special to compete against its giant rival.

It tries and largely fails to ape Samsung in the style stakes; a spider stand – the signature design flourish on many a budget Samsung TV – is the giveaway that Vestel is indeed trying to slip a low price smart TV under the radar of its South Korean rival.

That spider stand is a matte silver colour, while the TV's bezel – which stretches to 15mm wide on three sides of the screen – is basic gloss black. It's a copy-cat style best described as inoffensive.

The other area where the 40F8073-T tries to pull the rug from under Samsung is with its smart TV interface. It's a basic-looking grid of 16 apps that includes top choices like Netflix, the BBC iPlayer and YouTube, though it also includes links to widgets and social media feeds.

Finlux 42F8075-T
The stand is a bit on the familiar side

Features

Theres no doubt that smart TV is the highlight, but it's so unexpected at this low price that it's worth pondering the 40F8073-T's core specs.

With a Full HD resolution and a Freeview HD tuner, the 40F8073-T adds a bevy of ins and outs. On one rear-facing panel on the TV's left-hand side are three HDMI inputs, an Ethernet LAN port for wired networking (though a Wi-Fi dongle is included in the box), RF aerial input and a D-sub PC input for attaching a laptop.

Finlux 42F8075-T
Smart TV features are the highlight of this set

On the side are a couple of USB slots as well as a Common Interface slot, a headphone socket and a jack for an adaptor to connect up composite video sources. However, there's no sign of any component video inputs, which means one less hi-def source than we could have had. That takes the gloss from the 40F8073-T's third HDMI slot, though it's still a decent haul.

Those USB slots can be used to dock either a USB flash drive or hard disk to fuel basic recordings and pause live TV, though you will have to keep one back for that Wi-Fi dongle.

Finlux 42F8075-T
The Wi-Fi dongle

The smart TV apps enabled by the dongle or wired LAN comprise Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Netflix, Joomeo, World of Red Bull, iConcerts, TuneIn Radio, Foreca, ITN, AccuWeather.com, Flickr, Viewster, CineTrailer, BBC iPlayer, Dailymotion and PlayJam.

Widgets for Skype (with video calls possible if you purchase the Finlux HD Skype camera/microphone for £59.99) and a web browser are also included, while the latest tweets and status updates for one user's Twitter and Facebook accounts are ranged under a live TV screen covering around a sixth of the screen's real estate.

There are also a couple of free apps for iOS and Android devices – SmartRemote and SmartCenter. The former acts as a simple virtual remote while the other acts as a second screen, providing an electronic programme guide (if you're using Freeview HD), access to scheduled recordings, social media and virtual remote functions.

Also consider

We're been impressed by Finlux TVs in the recent past, and there's plenty to choose from in the brand's new season collection.

Other bargain smart LED TVs include the 50-inch 50F8090S-T for £449.99, the 55-inch 55S8090-T for £699.99 and the whopping 65-inch 65F8200-T for £1199.99.