Finlux 48FT3E242S-T review

A big-screen TV with a small price tag… the Finlux is definitely one to consider... Tested at £400

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Our Verdict

A large 48in screen for £400 – Finlux makes you an offer that’s difficult to refuse

For

  • Bold and punchy picture
  • Good detail
  • Smart and sturdy build quality
  • Good connectivity
  • Simple and easy to use interface
  • Excellent price

Against

  • Colours could be more balanced and natural
  • Not as subtle and bright as rival screens
  • Smart interface isn’t as polished as rivals

Finlux has made a name for itself by producing good-to-great TV screens for those on a strict budget.

The Finlux 48FT3E242S-T is yet another tantalising offer: a 48in screen, Full HD resolution, Netflix and more – all for just £400.

Picture

We dive straight in with 1080p streams of Daredevil and Sense8 on Netflix. The picture is clear, with the edges of characters and objects well defined without appearing overly sharp.

The Finlux’s contrast isn’t the subtlest we’ve seen, but there’s an admirable amount of depth and solidity to dark clothing and black corners of rooms. There’s texture and detail to shadows, too.

For its price and screen size, there’s plenty of detail definition displayed to keep us engaged and interested in what we’re watching.

It’s not the brightest screen, though. Even with the backlight turned up high, patches of white, yellow lamps or bursts of dazzling CGI don’t quite have the intensity we’d expect.

Whites could be starker, and the subdued tones make the crisp daylight scenes in Sense8 look overcast and muted.

Colours are bold and vividly displayed, with the multi-hued world of Jupiter Ascending on Blu-ray bursting with lush greens and intense purples and reds.

The Finlux isn’t as skilled with varying shades of blue, however, and it tends to leave a distinct green tint over the screen’s colour palette.

Watching the live tennis broadcasts from Wimbledon on Freeview HD makes this even more apparent. The bluish-grey tint of the court walls is greener than rival 48in screen Samsung UE48J6300 (£700). What’s more, a quick glance at the crowd also shows the Finlux’s reluctance to display turquoise.

Adjusting the tint and colour settings in the menus can temper this bias, but it doesn’t entirely go away. Happily, the noise levels are kept to a minimum when watching either high or standard definition, with the hazy edges of daytime TV shows remaining solid enough to be comfortable to watch.

These characteristics persist when watching a 3D film such as The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. The 48FT3E242S-T is an active set, with two pairs of glasses included in the box.

Even if you’re not a fan of 3D, it’s yet another bonus bundled in with this £400 set.

Sound

We’re not expecting a richly layered surround sound experience from a TV at this price, but we do expect a sound that’s decent enough to live with.

The Finlux is just that: it’s a touch muffled and weedy, but there aren’t any undue sharp edges that make you wince when listening. It’s got some warmth and weight to it, and works fine when watching TV shows.

If you are planning to watch a lot of movies – either on Freeview HD or Blu-ray – we would consider adding a soundbar. The jump up in solidity, detail and punch will make watching films and TV shows on the Finlux so much more enjoyable.

MORE: Best soundbars 2015

Build and connectivity

The 48in Finlux is a smart looking screen. It’s well built, sitting on a sturdy metal stand that will fit comfortably on top of most AV racks. The slim bezel ensures the focus is all on that large screen too.

Around the back you’ll find three HDMI inputs, two USB ports and, surprisingly, a coaxial input instead of the usual optical connector. It’s a decent helping of connections for a television at this price.

To connect the Finlux to the internet, you can use either the ethernet port or the built in wi-fi.

Features

Once connected, you can access a smattering of smart features. Unlike the brand new 4K model we tested earlier this year (the Finlux 55UT3E242S-T), this 48in screen is still using the old gold-and-black interface.

It’s not as slick as LG's WebOS or Panasonic’s Firefox OS, but it has the basic on demand video apps, including Netflix, YouTube and BBC iPlayer.

The TV is easy to navigate with the standard remote, although the concave-shaped controller feels a little too long and bulky to hold in the hand.

The icons for smart features, programme guide and others take a while to decipher too, so we wouldn’t mind a smarter, more logical version of the remote in future.

MORE: read all our LG news and reviews

MORE: read all our Panasonic news and reviews

Verdict

The Finlux 48FT3E242S-T isn’t a perfect screen, but its shortcomings aren’t strong enough to distract us from enjoying its vibrant and crisp picture quality.

However, what’s most impressive is just how much you’re getting for a budget price.

Last year, we marvelled at a 48in screen costing less than a grand, which goes to show just how quickly standards change. This 48in screen with the most important smart apps will now cost you less than £500.

If you’re on a strict budget but have always wanted a large screen, this Finlux is a dream come true.

Read all our Finlux news and reviews

MORE: Best TVs 2015

Specifications

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Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
VGAYes
USBYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports3

Energy and Performance

Energy Efficiency ClassA
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080

Physical Characteristics

Depth with Stand22 cm
Width with Stand108.4 cm
Weight Approximate15.50 kg
Height with Stand72 cm
Width108.4 cm
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Depth6.6 cm
Height62.7 cm
ColourSilver
Dimensions62.7 cm (H): 108.4 cm (W): 6.6 cm (D)

Technical Information

FeaturesProgressive Scan, Media Player, Web Browser, PVR (Personal Video Recorder), Wall Mountable
Streaming ServiceNetflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, ITV
Aspect Ratio16:9
3D Type3D
Backlight TechnologyLED
Internet AccessYes
Smart TVYes
3D TechnologyShutter
PC StreamingYes
Screen Size121.9 cm (48")

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes

Video

Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz

General Information

Product NameFinlux 48FT3E242S-T
Product Model48FT3E242S-T
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.finluxdirect.com
Brand NameFinlux
Product TypeLED-LCD TV
ManufacturerFinlux
Manufacturer Part Number48FT3E242S-T

Miscellaneous

DLNA CertifiedYes

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year