Samsung UN32H5203 Review
These days, you can get a great HDTV at a great price if you don’t fancy top-end features including 3D. (And who really needs 3D these days?) The Samsung UN32H5203 is proof of that. There’s no 3D, and the set is truly mid level, but it offers an impressive array of connected features and decent picture quality to boot.Although it doesn’t beat the 55-inch Vizio M551D-A2R (which costs almost double the price) on bang for your buck, but the 32-inch will allow you enjoy full HD resolutions, marvel on Smart TV functionalities and use a Full Web Browser from the comfort of your living room.
Design and Features
Looking plain and unassuming without seeming cheap, the UN32H5203 has a flat flat black bezel with only a Samsung logo on the bottom bezel. The screen sits on an near-circular single-legged base that lets it pivot left and right.On the back, two USB and two HDMI ports can be found next to the antenna connection facing the right side of the screen. The remaining HDMI port, Ethernet port (if you don’t want to use the built-in Wi-Fi), component and composite inputs and mini-jack audio outputs face back.
The remote control is quite simple, with drawbacks on most flashy features, but it gets the job done…most of the time. After downloading the latest software update and connecting to Samsung’s Smart Hub, the remote control’s performance began suffering considerably. It’s like the remote menu software begins to pick the tether signal from the wireless network instead of operating independently from the network, and this means that any hiccups on the network will result in severe inputs lags. All in all, the navigation button are shaped almost the same as the surrounding menu buttons. The volume and channel rockers are easy to find under your thumb, as is the hexagonal Smart Hub button that brings up the media navigation menu.
The content tabs make use of Samsung’s S Recommend feature in enhancing your user experience through refined suggestions for what to watch, while keeping track of your viewing habits and positioning the movies, shows, and channels it displays to reflect them. To ensure this works on your television, you’ll have to set it up to control your cable or satellite box.
Its colors are accurate, its black level is considerably deep, and at full 1080p HD, the resolution is a cut above other TVs in the same price range.It measures 29.1 by 7.6 by 19.6 inches and weighs 14.3 pounds, even though it suffers from poor motion performance and questionable viewing angles; but it isn’t much of a compromise in a 32-inch panel unless you want to purchase a larger size.
While the Samsung UN32H5203‘s physical design is plain, Samsung put a lot of work into its software design and features. The set uses Samsung’s Smart Hub menu, which divides content into live TV, movies and TV shows, social features, apps, and local media. The Live TV menu has its own channel guide, and can control your cable or satellite box with the included IR blaster.
The Movie and TV show menu offers a selection of on-demand titles you can purchase from Samsung, but you might prefer the apps menu’s selection of more standard services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and HBO Go. The Apps menu also features a full Web browser, but navigating the Web and entering text on a standard TV remote is very awkward.
The social tab tracks your Facebook and Twitter activity, and the local media tab can load content on connected USB drives, networked DLNA media servers, and media stored through the Samsung Link cloud service.
Besides the features in the Smart Hub tabs, you can also mirror your smartphone or tablet screen with Miracast, found in the set’s Network settings menu as Wireless Display. All of Samsung’s Allshare features are well set and they work flawlessly. Samsung devices might communicate a little more smoothly through Samsung’s AllShare software, but you should be able to use any DLNA-enabled device.
The Samsung UN32H5203 offers quite okay pictures and an impressive array of smart services and features. It isn’t the darkest panel, and it doesn’t offer 3D, but for the price, you get a lot of smart features. If you want a bigger picture and similarly strong performance, the VIZIO M552i-B2 offers better bump in size but at a higher price, and if you’re willing to pay a bit more than that, the 55-inch Panasonic TC-L55ET60 offers excellent performance along with a 3D picture and a more stylish design.