The Bottom Line
The Samsung UE40J5100 is a 40-inch cheap and cheerful LED Full HD TV from a major brand. It has built-in Freeview HD. Samsung are not positioning this unit as cutting edge and it lacks a lot of smart TV features but the addition of a £30 Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire will quickly address this issue.
You don’t get a 4k picture nor other bells and whistles such as UHD technology, but for this price you can’t expect those top end features. What you do get is a solid performer that beats the supermarket deals on unbranded TVs hands down. We would recommend this set for the infrequent telly watcher, as a secondary TV set (e.g. for your bedroom) or as a cheap student TV.
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Despite the low price tag you still get that stylish, modern design that Samsung has become famous for. The picture is surrounded by thin black plastic and at 7cm deep the unit is not ultra thin, but still fairly slim.
Some users have complained that the V-shaped plastic stand feels a bit flimsy, but it still does its job in supporting the TV.
The picture quality is a bit of a revelation on this telly. It’s not mind blowing, but for £200 you are not going to find a better picture.
The UE40J5100 has a full HD LED backlit display. Samsung gives out its own quality rating called PQI (picture Quality Index) and this model scores 200. That’s towards the bottom of their range, but by no means the lowest score. Coming from Samsung it also has their Colour Enhancer Plus and HyperReal technology thrown in. The result is a vibrant and sharp image with well-balanced colours.
There are a couple of problems to note however. The TV struggles with really fast motion, producing a bit of a blur effect. When playing a fast-paced video game the TV can be put into “game mode” which reduces this, but not enough for a die hard gamer. Similarly, with action movies you are going to see a bit of split second juddering now and again but normal viewing is not really affected.
The screen also doesn’t reach the deepest level of black that we have become accustomed to reviewing higher-end Samsung models – but once again in the context of the price the Korean manufacturer is doing a fairly good job here.
The speakers are surprisingly competent, being clear in the midrange and treble and having a decent depth. However, at higher volumes or moments of intense bass they do tend to struggle. We think this is fine for a secondary set like this. If you want better you can connect a soundbar (though there is no HDMI arc, there are digital audio outputs that can connect to one).
It’s certainly not going to fill a big living room with sound, but we think this is fine for a secondary set like this. If you want better you can always connect a soundbar (though there is no HDMI arc, there are digital audio outputs that can hook up to one).
Connectivity & Smart TV Features
There are only 2 HDMI ports, so if you have lots of devices you want to connect then you will be spending a lot of time round the back of the telly changing connections. There’s also a powered USB port, a headphone socket and an optical digital sound output.
Setup is super simple – mainly because with no WiFi connection or Smart TV features the only thing to do is tune to Freeview HD (a process you are walked through) and you are ready to go.
However, you can connect a Chromecast or an Amazon Fire TV stick to one of the HDMI ports and, voila, you have a Smart TV. With these devices now both being in the £30 range this becomes an affordable option even if you are only using the Samsung UE40J5100 as a secondary set.