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No advanced features, but this Samsung TV gets the basics right for a decent price

Buyers in the UK looking for a cheap but cheerful television with surprisingly good picture quality and sound should look no further. It may not be packed with features, but the Samsung UE40J5100 gets the basics right and it won’t cost an arm and a leg.

You won’t get 4K or UHD with this offering from Samsung, but the LED backlit screen, with its HyperReal picture enhancement engine delivers very decent, sharp HD imagery with a strong, vivid colour spectrum. Its Full HD 1080p screen does a great job considering its bargain-basement price. With strong blacks, vibrant colours and bright whites, the UE40J5100 is a solid performer and won’t disappoint.

The body may be diminutive and the speakers small, but somehow the audio output sounds both detailed and rich. Even so, a few bars from a Hans Zimmer movie soundtrack might cause the cabinet to start rattling, so it’s advisable to spend a bit extra and invest in a soundbar or home cinema system. Unfortunately there's no HDMI ARC port, so you’re restricted to the digital audio socket.

The UE40J5100 has a handful of useful features such as an inbuilt Freeview HD decoder and ConnectShare Movie (for playing movie files or viewing holiday snaps off a USB memory drive). But otherwise it’s not exactly rocking with all the latest technology. For example, as it’s not a Smart TV you’ll need to invest in separate device to get Netflix or Amazon.

What’s hot:

  • Decent pictures
  • Surprisingly robust sound
  • Bargain basement price

What’s not:

  • Limited features (not a Smart TV)
  • Just two HDMI ports (and no HDMI ARC)
  • No Freesat HD

Why you should buy it: If you don’t want to splash the cash but still want a decent-sized TV that gets the basics right (i.e. a good picture and good sound), then the Samsung UE40J5100 is the one for you.