Samsung LE32A656 review

Now more affordable, and there's enough style and substance on display to make this Samsung stand out Tested at £580.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

An eye-catching TV where the good looks are complemented by solid picture performance


  • +

    Stylish, colourful set

  • +

    nice picture balance

  • +

    good off-air picture


  • -

    Doesn't have quite the punch or clarity of the class leaders

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Glossy black with a touch of red? Well, it's a bit different. Sets that sport this 'rose black' finish fall into Samsung's Series 6 Touch Of Colour (TOC) range.

While not breathtaking, it's an attractive piece of styling, and certainly brings a luxurious air to the set's appearance. Even the remote control injects some glamour into proceedings, with its shiny finish and colourful array of buttons.

Also welcome are the plethora of features that the Samsung has to offer. These include Full HD resolution, four HDMI inputs, component video, twin Scart sockets and a USB input.

The LE-32A656 uses Samsung's Ultra Clear Panel: it claims to make colours more vibrant and blacks even darker. They certainly appear deep, which is a fine achievement, considering the usual problems associated with LCD screens.

The early scenes in There Will Be Blood, where Daniel Day-Lewis is drenched in oil, exhibit rich, powerful blacks. Our only criticism is that achieving this level of richness has meant a small sacrifice in low-light detail.

Stable, detailed standard definition

When the Samsung is forced to handle an SD signal, the internal scaler is more than up to the task. It does a fine job of keeping things stable and keeps unwanted artefacts to a low level.

Switch to a Blu-ray disc such as Be Kind Rewind, and the Samsung revels in the lighter scenes, displaying smooth, detailed pictures.

Take a look at the built-in Freeview tuner and, once again, you'll find plenty to admire. Detail levels are good, with only the slightest trace of smearing present.

The set's speakers sound small, but not particularly stressed and perfectly acceptable at normal levels. For movies, a dedicated cinema system would be the ideal solution.

Since we first tested it the price of the Samsung has dropped from £765 to a much more reasonable £580 (or less), making it better value, and there's enough style and substance on display to make the Samsung stand out.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test