Samsung UE32ES5500 review

Exciting enough, but rivals offer even more for the money Tested at £400

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Our Verdict

The ES5500 is exciting to watch, but some rivals offer even more for the money

For

  • Decent detail
  • vibrant colour
  • plenty of smart content
  • nice design and interface

Against

  • Some picture noise
  • whites lack subtlety
  • rivals offer more insight

Samsung has been generous on the features front with its 2012 range of
TVs, no matter what the screen size.

The Samsung UE32ES5500 is a good looking set, and its slim frame contains a multitude of apps and online features that will keep you entertained for hours.

Smart Hub is where all the action happens. BBC iPlayer remains one of the best catch-up TV services, and Samsung raises the stakes by now also offering ITV Player.

Samsung UE32ES5500: Smart TV apps
And if you want to relive all the glory of the London 2012 Olympics and keep up to date with all the latest football and Formula 1 news, then the BBC Sport app is a great feature.

Movie buffs can subscribe to Netflix and LoveFilm to watch all the latest releases, and there’s YouTube for watching videos of cats. On top of that, you can also sign in to Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

There’s also plenty of scope to access media stored on external devices in the AllShare Play section, either via the built-in DLNA capability or by directly plugging them in via the USB ports.

As the price might suggest, this set doesn’t include 3D or the additional Freesat tuner offered by Samsung's more expensive UE32ES6800.

Samsung UE32ES5500

Samsung UE32ES5500: Picture quality
The first impression of the ES5500’s picture is that there’s a lot of excitement and punch on offer. With JJ Abrams’ Star Trek on Blu-ray, the picture bursts with strong contrast and rich colours; the vivid reds and blues of uniforms sit brightly alongside shiny lights inside the USS Enterprise.

Whites do glare a bit, but that can be toned down by lowering the backlight levels. The black levels aren’t as deep as the Panasonic TX-L32ET5B or Sony KDL-32HX753, and there's not much in terms of low-level detail.

In fact, the variance between contrasts and colour tones can be quite coarse and tend towards being overblown, leading to a little detail loss.

Both the ES5500 and ES6800 tend towards unsubtle colours, but the ES5500 remains dramatic and robust even when turning down the levels to achieve a more natural look.

Its images are sharply defined, which adds to the glossiness of the picture, and makes watching standard-def TV rather fun – but, with every object etched in sharp relief, some of the natural three-dimensional perspective is lost.

There’s also a hint of noise on the picture, but while motion isn’t class-leading, it’s stable enough to not be distracting provided motion-processing is on low (any more and artefacts appear).

The sound quality on offer isn’t as solid as the Sony, but it’s decent to listen to, with clear dialogue. There are plenty of audio presets to make the sound bigger, clearer or smoother, but we preferred to just leave it on Standard.

Samsung UE32ES5500: VerdictThe UE32ES5500 faces direct competition from the Panasonic TX-L32E5B, where a relatively noise-free picture and subtler contrast give a more natural performance – but the Samsung is an exciting and feature-rich set that’s really worth a look.

MORE: Samsung PS51F8500 review

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Specifications

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General Information

Product Series5500
Product NameSamsung UE32ES5500
Product ModelUE32ES5500K
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Brand NameSamsung
Product TypeLED-LCD TV
ManufacturerSamsung
Manufacturer Part NumberUE32ES5500KXXU

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
CI+Yes
VGANo
USBYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports3

Energy and Performance

Energy Efficiency ClassA
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Operating Power Consumption39 W

Physical Characteristics

Depth with Stand18.1 cm
Weight with Stand Approximate6.70 kg
Width with Stand74 cm
Weight Approximate6.20 kg
Height with Stand49 cm
Width74 cm
Depth4.7 cm
Height44.9 cm
ColourBlack
Dimensions44.9 cm (H): 74 cm (W): 4.7 cm (D)

Technical Information

FeaturesWeb Browser, Sleep Timer, Teletext, Auto Program, Auto-off, Picture in Picture
Streaming ServiceYouTube
Aspect Ratio16:9
Internet AccessYes
PC StreamingYes
Electronic Program GuideYes
Screen Size81.3 cm (32")

Network and Communication

EthernetYes
Wireless LANNo

Audio

RMS Output Power20 W
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS

Video

Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-C (MPEG4)
Motion Interpolation TechnologyClear Motion Rate 100
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Scan Format1080p

Miscellaneous

DLNA CertifiedYes
Package Contents
  • 32" ES5500 Series 5 Smart Full HD LED TV
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries
  • Power Cable
  • User Manual
  • E-Manual

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year