Samsung UE42F5000 review

This low-priced 42-inch TV is let down by poor performance

Samsung UE42F5000

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Ease of use

There's not much to the UE42F5000. Bereft of the integrated Smart Hub platform, it gets by using an ordered, traditional-looking but basic blue-and-white-and-yellow set of tabs and lists of settings.

The Freeview HD seven-day electronic programme guide is impressive, with schedules over two hours for seven channels shown simultaneously on one attractive, hi-res page.

Samsung UE42F5000 review

There's a live TV thumbnail in the top left-hand corner amid a mix of yellow, blue and white graphics on a grey background; it's attractive, fully featured and easy to skip around, with scheduled reminders possible (once set they're signalled by a small green clock graphic next to the programme title in the EPG grid) from the programme information page. Our only slight complaint is that most programme titles are cut off and difficult to read.

There's not quite the processing power behind it to make using the UE42F5000 as silky smooth as Samsung's higher-end dual core TVs, but we've got no serious complaints.

One thing we're really not fans of is Basic Sports mode. It can be toggled on by delving into the Apps section of the onscreen menus (also in this misleadingly-labelled section is Media Play – a mis-name of ConnectShare – and Source List), or by selecting Tools on the remote, but the effect is quite horrid; as well as tripling the volume of the UE42F5000 – a very unwelcome move – it just as suddenly switches to a garish, over-ripe colour palette that's far too bright and downright dirty.

Samsung UE42F5000 review

Worse still, trying to disengage Sports mode is long-winded, and delayed further by a message that flags up a warning and a yes/no option that defaults to leaving Sports mode engaged. We're not sure what Samsung's engineers were thinking with this one.

Digital files are handled well; we got the likes of MKV, AVI, MPEG2, MPEG4, MOV and WMV video to play, as well as MP3, M4A,WMA, WAV, OGG and FLAC video and JPEG photos, though the file structure applied to a USB stick is rudimentary and long-winded.


While better than most TVs of this size and depth, the onboard audio on the UE42F5000 isn't much of a match for a dedicated audio device or a home cinema system. Two 10W speakers spit out dialogue-heavy programmes with reasonable clarity, but there's not much width and certainly not enough range and depth for movies.

In terms of separate audio modes, there's just a basic choice between Music, Movie, Clear Voice and Amplify. Happily, these settings are also available during the playback of digital video files from a USB stick via ConnectShare, which certainly didn't used to be the case.


A really basic 42-inch LCD TV with middling picture quality and a standard Freeview tuner ought to cost no more than £300, so the UE42F5000 – selling for about £100 more – isn't great value. Standalone Freeview HD boxes cost about £50, and the UE42F5000's picture quality certainly isn't good enough to warrant any kind of special status. The provision of just two HDMI slots confirms that.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),