Samsung UE42F5500 review

An excellent value TV that isn't quite perfect

Samsung UE42F5500

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When it comes to good value, the UE42F5500 is the bulls-eye; aside from the motion blur issue there's very little left to complain about. Unless you're wiling to trade-up to a pricier £600-or-so set, the UE42F5500 represents the best value proposition that exists in the current TV market. But it's not perfect.

We liked

The brilliant Smart Hub proves irresistible thanks largely to the UE42F5500's dual-core processor, though equally as impressive is the superb Freeview HD user interface and competent Media Player software. Wi-Fi keeps everything convenient, too, with images imbued with plenty of colour and contrast. We were also impressed with the consistency of the UE42F5500's backlight.

We disliked

Though the viewing angle of the panel isn't great, it's an endemic issue with motion blur – not helped by the LED Clear Motion feature – that we found the major disappointment ton the UE42F5500. The over-reliance of Smart Hub's pages on the contents of Samsung;s VideoHub on-demand app – despite it not even being installed on the UE42F5500 – is a little confusing.

Final verdict

A great-value TV currently going for a very low price, Samsung's UE42F5500 makes a fine choice for a living room. Motion blur is a serious issue when it comes to picture quality, granted, but there's few other issues. It's the appearance of the Smart Hub and a great Freeview HD interface that most impress, though it's the use of a dual core processor, which speeds everything up, that makes the UE42F5500 such a joy to use. It's hardly the last word in picture quality, but the UE42F5500 makes a fine, affordable telly and a great value example of a thoroughly smart TV.

Also consider

Few TVs this well equipped and this cheap exist. If you're after a 40 or 42-inch TV, however, it's worth scouring the ranges of Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba. The latter's 40L4353 (50-inch reviewed here) or step-up 40L6353 are worth a look, though neither have anywhere near the processing power – or the choice of apps – of this dual core Samsung, so can be frustrating to lose. Sony's KDL-42W653A is probably the closest challenger, combining the same lack of 3D with some excellent pictures, though it does offer just two HDMI slots. A touch pricier is the seriously good-looking Panasonic TX-L42E6B, which has a brilliantly friendly and well-organised interface and mostly excellent pictures.

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),