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Samsung UE42F5000 review

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

Samsung UE42F5000

Our Verdict

An excellent Freeview HD user interface and great handling of digital files from a USB stick are the highlights, though the provision of just two HDMI slots and a single USB convince us that the UE42F5000 isn't the great-value cheap TV it could have been.


  • Freeview HD interface
  • USB digital file support
  • Low price


  • Endemic motion blur
  • Poor contrast
  • Soft images
  • Two HDMI slots

We make no apologies for discussing the latest and greatest 4k and OLED TVs, but we're keenly aware of how wide the appeal is of a good-value 42-inch telly – and that's precisely what this Samsung is all about.

With an RRP of £559.99, but selling widely for a touch under £400 online – and even spotted on some websites for £369 at the time of writing – Samsung's 42-inch UE42F5000 is at the sweetest spot in terms of price, but it's not got the latest in smart TV apps.

Despite the no-show for Samsung's awesome Smart Hub user interface, that builds-in the best collection of catch-up TV apps in the UK, as well as a lack of Wi-Fi, the UE42F5000 seems poised to appeal to those who couldn't give a fig for smart TV.

It's likely owners of third-party set-top boxes are after a simple, good value and slim-looking LED-backlit telly with Full HD, and Freeview HD purely as a back-up. This TV seeks to fulfil that simple desire.

Built around an LCD panel backlit by LEDs, the UE42F5000 boasts a Full HD resolution and Samsung's HyperReal picture engine, the chief wizardry inside that being Wide Colour Enhancer Plus circuitry.

Samsung UE42F5000 review

It's hardly Samsung's best-looking TV, but with a slim gloss black design and a bezel that measures a mere 18mm wide, it looks good from afar. The 49.4mm depth compares well to a similarly-sized plasma TV and gives a decent side-on view, too, and only those getting close enough to touch the UE42F5000 will notice its rather plasticky, lightweight feel that just doesn't feel substantial enough for a telly – but that will make wall-hanging a cinch.

Meanwhile, the optional screw-on desktop stand is rectangular and non-offensive. Sound is dealt with by a couple of 10W amplifiers, though in such a slim chassis we're not expecting audio fireworks.

Despite the UE42F5000's expected appeal to Sky, BT and Virgin box owners, it's become essential to fit all UK TVs with a Freeview HD tuner by default. That's exactly what the UE42F5000 has, guaranteeing 50+ channels.

Add some basic support for digital music, video and photos via USB, and for UK living rooms needing a great-value solution, the no-frills UE42F5000 looks – on paper – a competitive candidate.

Also available

The UE42F5000 is among the most basic sets in Samsung's 5 Series. As well as the bigger 46-inch Samsung UE46F5000 (£700), the F5000 range also includes the 22-inch UE22F5000 (£230), 32-inch UE32F5000 (£269) and 39-inch UE39F5000 (£510), all of which lack Smart Hub and Wi-Fi.

The step-up – and slightly costlier – variant F5500 Series adds an extra slot apiece for both HDMI and USB, as well as Wi-Fi and Smart Hub apps, and can be bought in the same sizes: the 32-inch Samsung UE32F5500 (£480), 39-inch Samsung UE39F5500 (£600), 42-inch Samsung UE42F5500 (£650) and 46-inch Samsung UE46F5500 (£850). The 50-inch Samsung UE50F5500 (£1,030) is also available.