Samsung UE32F5500 review
|Review: June 2013|
In a nutshell: The UE32F5500 is the best Samsung TV you can buy for £400 or less. Although picture quality is average, the Smart TV excels and the built-in Wi-Fi is also nice to have.
The Samsung UE32F5500 upgrades the UE32F4500 from 720p HD to full HD 1080p resolution, but adds £60 to the price and loses the beautiful arch stand.
Design & looks
The UE32F5500 is slimmer than the basic F4500 model, and looks very attractive with its slim, glossy bezel and quad stand. The stand swivels, but we can't help thinking that it isn't quite as stylish as the arch stand on the F4500.
The F5500 upgrades the basic F4500 to full 1080p HD resolution, but is otherwise the same.
Although 1080p sounds like a must-have feature in a modern television, in a TV of this size most people probably won't notice any real difference, especially when watching Freeview, Freesat or playing DVDs. It's only when you watch a Blu-Ray disk that you get native 1080p input, and then you can see the extra detail on the F5500's screen.
In all other ways, the F4500 and F5500 are identical, so you might consider saving some cash and opting for the F4500 instead. Frankly, neither model offers a brilliant viewing experience, but at this price point, compromise is inevitable.
We do like the bright colours and high contrast levels that the LCD panel is capable of producing. The LED backlighting makes the power consumption very low too. However, the dynamic range can be rather poor, which manifests itself as a cloudiness in darker scenes, and a complete loss of detail in dark areas within a brighter scene.
The other bad news is that the Clear Motion Rate of 100Hz is barely sufficient to resolve fast motion, so if you watch a lot of sport or action movies, you might notice motion blur. Gamers too, may feel frustration at the slow native response of the screen.
Audio quality is typical for a slimline TV, that's to say it's good enough for watching regular TV, but you'll notice a lack of depth and bass when watching any kind of action movie. Lack of punch in the speakers means that mid-range frequencies are reproduced well enough (e.g. for dialogue), but bass in particular is weak.
One of the best features of the 2013 range of Samsung TVs is its Smart TV offering, and we're delighted to see the functionality available in this Series 5 model.
The Smart TV implementation is very user-friendly, and the functionality has also been ramped up. First of all, the range of apps available through Samsung Apps has been updated to include catch-up TV via the BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, ITV Player, the 4oD service from Channel 4, and Demand 5 from Channel 5. You'll also find staples like LoveFilm, Skype, Twitter and others.
Secondly, social media are fully integrated into the Smart TV system, so you can keep up with your facebook and twitter feeds and watch your friends' videos.
Even selecting programmes to watch has evolved, with the "S Recommendation" system suggesting programmes based on your viewing history. You may not ever need to scroll through listings again, as the system does its best to bring interesting programmes to your attention.
Connectivity is also excellent, with a Freeview HD tuner built in, plus built-in Wi-Fi, a generous 3 HDMI ports, 2 USBs and ethernet. A range of other connections are also included, making it possible to connect to most devices around the home.
The UE32F5500 is a reasonable choice if you're looking for a 32 inch Smart TV that doesn't cost the earth. You should be able to pick up one of these for around £400, which feels like a good price for a 32 incher.
You could spend more on a TV this size and not see any noticeable improvement in picture quality. For that, you'd need to stretch all the way to Samsung's UE32F6800 model, but that would cost you another couple of hundred pounds. For £400, you'd be pushed to find a significantly better LED television that includes such good Smart TV functionality.
Samsung UE32F5500 features include:
- 32 inch LED-backlit screen
- 1920 x 1080 resolution
- Wide Colour Enhancer Plus
- 100 Clear Motion Rate
- Game Mode
- Smart TV 2.0, Smart Hub, Samsung Apps, Social TV, Fitness, Kids, Web Browser, S Recommendation
- Freeview HD
- Audio: Digital Dolby Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS Premium Audio 5.1, 10W x 2 sound output (RMS), 2 down firing speakers
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Ethernet (LAN) x 1, HDMI x 3, USB x 2, headphone x 1, component in (Y/Pb/Pr) x 1, composite in (AV) x 1, digital audio out (optical) x 1, Scart x 1, RF In (Terrestrial / Cable input) x 1, Anynet+, CI slot
- TM1250A Remote Controller
- Energy efficiency class: A
- Typical power consumption: 40W
- Size without stand (WxHxD): 738.2 x 445.4 x 49 mm
- Size with stand (WxHxD): 738 x 509.6 x 265 mm
Sorry - questions and comments on this page are now closed.
Can I use my Bluetooth headphones?
Asked by Joe
from United Kingdom
on 22nd Jul 2017
Asked by Fiona
on 18th Dec 2016
Have tried to install channel 4 catch up on the smart apps and have failed.
by JS Harper
on 28th Nov 2016
The result is that the smart apps layout is now completely changed.
Samsung UE32F5500 user reviews
Sorry - reviews and comments on this page are now closed.
Average rating from 20 reviews:
Reviewed by Sue Harrison
on 26th Jul 2017
This Samsung t.v is a waste of money. I have had this model for 30 months and we have the same problem. Black screen just volume. I have contacted Samsung who deny that this is a common problem. They have asked me to contact a repair centre who will look at the t.v and assess the problem. All very well and good but having spoken to the repair centre they have advised (without looking at the t.v) the cost would be around £250. NOT HAPPY.
Reviewed by kostas din
on 8th May 2017
Recall of this tv model by Samsung must be expected.
The price is not low for a tv that goes black and has only sound, after 16 - 23 months of normal use.
Buy a radio instead.
Reviewed by Sean
on 9th Apr 2016
Same problem as everyone else. Mine actually lasted 30 months - WOWEE - then blank screen, sound, no picture. Sounds like I am going to have to bin it. It will be the last Samsung product I buy as one of the things I value with stuff I buy is reliability.
Reviewed by Jenny c
on 3rd Feb 2016
Disgusted that after only 20 months, my screen went totally blank. Only a 1 year Samsung guarantee, so their 'remote service' was a complete waste of time. They gave me the number of a company who could fix it. I called them (I could at least understand them) but they want £30 just to look at it.
I feel really sad about this, I spent every saved penny on it, and can not afford to replace it. So I am £400 down and no tv. Shocking how they can get away with this.
Reviewed by Ernie
on 14th Nov 2015
Will not respond to the remote, replaced set same as first.
Reviewed by Paul Howgate
on 12th Nov 2015
Would not advise anyone to buy this load of rubbish.. Very tempremental and have had engineers out before. Had it now 19 months and got the sound but no picture. Thankfully bought through John Lewis who are outstanding with help and getting the engineers out the next day. Apparantly it is as described, a known Samsung fault, which they seem to be pretending they don`t know about..
Going to upgrade this TV next week and will not be buying anymore Samsung junk.
Reviewed by Eftichios Konstantoudakis
on 9th Sep 2015
Bought this tv on 03/12/2013. Today suddenly I have only sound and the screen went black. I see that a lot of people had the same problem. I'll call Samsung tomorrow to see what they will tell me, as there is a 2 years warranty here in Greece. I'm afraid if they repair it, for how long will it last!?
Reviewed by Rosalind Hope
on 2nd Sep 2015
Same problem, sound but no picture. Television 21 months old. I rang Samsung who gave me number of Regional Repair Centre who have asked for £364 to repair! Curry's are being very difficult and say they will not refund this amount to me but will repair it free of charge at their own workshop even though they have been given a copy of the invoice which they requested. They should have told me this at the beginning - have now been without a television for almost four weeks and it will undoubtedly be another three or four before I get it back. Will not be buying anything from Curry's again.
Reviewed by Phil
on 1st Aug 2015
Bought UE32 TV early July........... Channel hopping (as you do) to see whats on right thru to the Radio channels. Pressed 1 (i.e. BBC1) NO PICTURE just sound.. The only way out was to pull out mains plug from the set, wait a couple of minutes and replug. All ok............. Tried hopping again and this time no picture or SOUND. Had to unplug again..
Contact the Phillippines (helpline). Very friendly but didn't get anywhere.
Took TV back to Tesco for replacement. This I did ok........
New UE32 has same problem.......... Have written to Samsung to find out when Software is to be upgraded and hopefully remedy this problem..
Reviewed by Annon
on 3rd Jul 2015
Same problem as everyone else. No picture just sound 16 months old! Shocking.
Reviewed by annon
on 14th Jun 2015
same problem as below... no picture only sound 13 months old. faulty screens that samsung are ignoring.... calling the uk helpline which happens to be in the philippines a total waste of time.... shame on you samsung... avoid at all costs.
Reviewed by Mort
on 8th May 2015
Same problem - sound but no picture after 18 months' perfect performance. Local repair bloke convinced it's manufacturing fault. Look out Currys; here I come.
Reviewed by April
on 2nd Apr 2015
Have had this TV for 17months and come home switch TV on sound but no picture!! Wish I had seen all the problems.....the same problem people had and steered clear!! Contacting currys to discuss the sales of goods act!! I bought a TV to last at least 5yrs not less than two!!!
Reviewed by Bev
on 1st Apr 2015
15 months old well looked after TV suddenly gives out sound only and no picture (just black screen). Seems to be a common problem... Very annoying! Contacted Samsung support who because I was out of warranty gave me the number of a local tv repairer who said the screen was shot and it would cost more than the tv cost to repair. Going back to Samsung to complain as this seems to be a very well known and common manufacturing problem.
Reviewed by R. Walker
on 4th Feb 2015
Had this model for 6 months then it lost picture and sound, then after repair its lasted just another year now it is broken once again
Reviewed by David
on 3rd Nov 2014
18 months old well looked after TV suddenly gives out sound only and no picture (just black screen). Seems to be a common problem... Very annoying!
Reply by brian
on 13th Dec 2014
Picture failed on 4th Dec 2014. Sound still present. Tv was purchased in Oct 2013. Fortunately still under 5yr warranty so Tv is being repaired, but if this is a common problem then repairing it may be a waste of time! I will watch this space and if the fault re-occurs within the remaining warranty period then its off to the retailer from whence it came to claim a refund or replacement.
Reviewed by G. Robinson
on 6th Feb 2014
Tv screen failed, audio only within 8 weeks of purchase date. How many other customers are experiencing this?
Reply by Z Hussain
on 17th Feb 2014
Exactly after 8 Weeks of Purchase date TV screen failed and you can only hear the audio. Contacted customer services and they confirmed that it is manufacturing fault. Why are they selling this model when they know it is a faulty product?? RECALL and give every one full refund with compensation of hassle.
Reviewed by Lesley
on 4th Jan 2014
I have just had delivery over the last week of this TV. The On Demand options are great and it's very nice having the other channel options in view at the same time as the current channel you are watching stays in teh corner. However it's annoying now having to use another remote in order to make full use of the smart hub (where before I could use my sky remote to do everything i now have to switch between that and the samsung's tv remote).
I'm yet to figure out a quicker way of using the remote in order to key in letters which at the moment is a painfully slow way of entering lettering.
This TV has very good features, lovely slimline look about it and the swivel stand is excellent but the most annoying feature is that it lacks sharpness of the picture, a great disappointment which i suppose explains the price.
Reply by maurice
on 18th Dec 2014
suggest using a wireless mouse . much easier
Reviewed by Fred
on 24th Nov 2013
Its a good TV but... cannot use a wireless keyboard or mouse. Totally daft. You'll need to use extension USB cables in order to get the mouse and keyboard to where you view the TV, and you'll have 2 lots of cables crossing the room so if you ever cross the room forgetting that they're there you'll probably wind up with the TV crashing to the floor.
BBC red button doesn't work at all. They conveniently forget to mention this omission in the spec. I presume you can get stuff broadcast on the red button service as it shows up in the channel list, but what it does when it has multiple options I have no idea. But you can't access text. There are a couple of BBC apps for news and sport but they have very little content compared to the red button.
Reviewed by Nigel from N Ireland on 27th Jun 2013
I have the tv for a month now and I'm very pleased. The picture is good and as the reviewer says, you would need to spend a couple of hundred more to get a slight improvement. The viewing angle is slightly narrow but not a problem for me. I find the sound much better than my old Samsung 26" tv and adequate for normal viewing. The wifi is great and the iplayer etc work fine on my 2 mb broadband speed. YouTube videos are fine as well although searching using the remote is a bit of a pain. You can't plug a keyboard into these models so if your intending to do a lot of Internet work maybe you could consider spending a few pounds more or the better models which do take a keyboard. The TV starts up quickly and you are viewing within 5secs. Changing channels is reasonably quick which is nice compared to my older tv. There are plenty of settings to get close to the picture you want and theres a manual built into the tv which can be accessed via a button on the remote. A logically laid out menu system is nice too. I looked at a few other tvs but couldn't see anything to beat the Samsung and its variety of apps. Overall very pleased and it's great to have all your catch up apps etc built in without plugging an iPad etc to your tv. ITV isnt available in N Ireland for Samsung but most other things seem fine. While using the tv guide its nice the programe you are watching stays in the top left corner unlike other tvs which block out the tv and only show the guide. The tv has a nice slim edge around the outside and swivels on its stand a bit from left to right but not 360. You won't be disappointed for the price.
Reply by Nigel from N Ireland on 7th Jul 2013
Apologies as I have since found a standard USB keyboard and mouse work fine with this TV.
Reply by Péter
on 28th Oct 2013
What type/brand of USB keyboard and mouse is working fine with this TV?
Reply by Nigel
from N Ireland
on 18th Nov 2013
Hi Peter, apologies for not answering as just spotted your question. I use the Logitech K400r . I picked it as it had a tracker pad instead of the mouse and is cordless. It woks perfectly with the web browser but with the YouTube app the cursor can be moved around the screen to pick letters easily but it refuses to type from the keypad. It's not perfect but a lot better than using the remote control.
I have also noticed that in this model the BBC iplayer loses sync between the picture and audio after about 20 mins. If I pause the player for a moment then resume playing the picture and audio are ok again. I checked a few forums and this is a known fault with this model.