Finlux is fast becoming the go-to brand if you’re after a decent TV at a proper budget price.
The 40F8073-T is another success story for the marque; just £350 buys you a fine Full HD 40in screen with smart features that include Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
This is the part where we tell you what the problem is. But honestly? There isn’t one. Even the admittedly poor sound quality doesn’t deter us from appreciating how good a TV this is.
We play The Wolverine on Blu-ray and are immediately hooked by the crisp and detailed picture.
The sharp edges of metal are clearly defined without looking overdone, the textures of clothes, wood and water look refreshingly natural, and the depth of detail is impressive.
This is a talented screen. The Finlux is particularly adept at delivering deep black levels, although we wish the overall picture were a touch punchier.
There’s a nicely judged colour balance that handles CGI effects and natural scenery alike with deftness, although a touch more subtlety in shading would work wonders with big blocks of colour.
There’s a plasma-like depth to the blacks that adds drama and excitement to the picture, although this can sometimes swallow up finer details in dark scenes.
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The depth is appreciated though, as it helps offset the clean white areas that need a boost of brightness.
Scenes that should be bright and sunny look slightly overcast, although this never robs the picture of its excitement or clarity.
Turning up the brightness feels like the instinctive solution, but it only makes the picture look washed-out and turns the black levels grey.
The 40F8073-T still looks somewhat dimmed compared with rivals such as the Samsung UE40F6400, although it’s worth pointing out that the Samsung is £150 more expensive than the Finlux.
Switch to streaming or a standard-definition broadcast and the Finlux’s clear and crisp picture holds up.
There’s the inevitable dip in resolution, and hint of noise in large blocks of colours, but ultimately the Finlux delivers a confident and enjoyable picture.
The only fly in the ointment is the Finlux’s sound quality.
While we’ve long stopped expecting a well-rounded, detailed and solid sound from TVs, the Finlux’s 16W stereo speakers sound particularly weak, shrill and rather shouty.
There’s barely any bass weight to the sound, and dialogue is wispy and hard to hear.
We wouldn’t let that deter you from considering the 40F8073-T, though. A budget soundbar or soundbase, such as the £200 Cambridge Audio Minx TV, will easily boost the sound quality.
If you think this Finlux is going to be light on features, think again. With Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and TuneIn radio, the Finlux 40F8703-T has the essentials for catching up with the latest TV shows, watching videos and streaming radio stations.
It may not have the in-depth smart content and slick interface shown by the likes of Samsung’s impressive Smart Hub, but the Finlux is simple and easy to use.
The smart apps are laid out neatly on a single page, and they’re quick to access with the included remote control.
The buttons on the remote need some decoding – the logos for accessing the smart content, YouTube, and input selection aren’t obvious at first – but after a couple of trial-and-error moments during our test, we found the handset was a breeze to use.
Speedy response is a bonus, especially when flicking through channels on the TV guide.
If you’re keen on surfing the net and checking social media on your TV screen, you’ll be happy to know that this Finlux offers a web browser as well Facebook and Twitter apps.
A stable, wired connection via the LAN port is our preferred method of network connection, but a wi-fi dongle is also included if you want to go cable-free.
There’s a good selection of connections on the back panel, with the highlights being three HDMI inputs for your sources and a Freeview HD tuner for broadcast TV.
Two USB ports and DLNA compatibility are available for playing various media files. There’s a single digital output (coaxial, not optical), and analogue connections come in the form of component and composite inputs each.
We don’t know why we still get surprised when Finlux delivers such an invitingly sharp and detailed picture at a great budget price.
It’s racked up a great record with recent TVs, and the 40F8073-T adds to its repertoire with an immediately impressive picture quality that’s great to watch.
Sure, it has some issues with brightness and poor sound quality, but they’re issues that we can easily forgive, especially when Finlux is offering 40in-worth of smart TV for just £330.
The strengths of this screen – that crispness, the level of detail, the on-demand video services – far outweigh any shortcomings at this price. Go on Finlux, keep surprising us.
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