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With its crystal finish, slender lines, distinctive colouring and attention-grabbing price, the 40-inch Samsung UE40D5520 simply oozes shelf appeal. But, happily, its appeal doesn't grind to a halt once you get the TV set home. On the contrary, it starts to look like even better value when you actually start using it.
For a start, its on-screen menus are excellent, and contain a decent – although not comprehensive – selection of picture adjustments. There's also a very useful and well-considered on-screen instructions manual. And best of all there's the Smart Hub: a superbly presented screen providing instant access to pretty much all of your possible video, tuner and multimedia sources.
These sources can include a DLNA PC and Samsung's mostly excellent online Smart TV service.
Wrapping up a ridiculously convincing connected TV package for under £600 is the Samsung UE40D5520's picture quality. Yes, it suffers a little motion blur and some very minor backlight inconsistency, and its sound is only fair to middling. But it's still streets ahead of most similarly priced 40-inch TVs, particularly where contrast and colour are concerned.
With the UE40D5520, Samsung continues to effortlessly impress with its TV design, and shows that it still knows how to make a great mid-range bargain.
The amount of multimedia support on the Samsung UE40D5520 is excellent for its money, while its picture quality in many ways sets new standards for the affordable LCD market. It's mostly a user-friendly TV to operate, too.
The actually quite important Game picture mode is buried far too deep in the TV's menus, and these menus don't include quite as much colour management as you might like.
There are marginal colour and backlight consistency flaws in the TV's out of the box state too, although these can be rectified satisfactorily via some fairly basic tinkering with the key picture settings.
What you have in the Samsung UE40D5520 is essentially a mid-range TV in entry-level TV clothing.
Despite costing under £600, it combines a lovely design with a long feature count – including a terrific Smart TV system – and startlingly good picture quality that's better than that of many more expensive TVs we've seen.
You need to take a little care with some of the TV's settings and, especially, processing options. But provided you give the Samsung UE40D5520 a few minutes of your time when you first unbox it, your efforts will be rewarded more than handsomely.
John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.