The Samsung UN39EH5003F HDTV provides a brand name & solid performance at a marginal cost.
Finding a quality HDTV under $500 is not an easy task especially when it comes to finding a brand name model. Samsung offers a 39″ HDTV known as the UN39EH5003F that boasts a 1080P LED screen as well as a 120 Clear Motion Rate (combination of refresh rate, image processor speed, and backlight technology). This particular Samsung model offers some impressive features and the brand name we know and love, all at a price tag of under $450. The real question is, how does the UN39EH5003F stack up to the competitors in its price range?
Design, Build Quality, & Cosmetic Appeal
The Samsung UN39EH5003F provides a sleek overall design with a decently slim profile, but not razor thin like their high-end models. The stand is oversized and features a gloss black finish that matches the bezel found around the LED screen. The back of the TV is a matte black that looks and feels a bit cheap, but for the price tag this is expected. In terms of what you will see the most (aka front of the TV) this model is much more cosmetically appealing than any competing models in its price range.
Aesthetically, it does seem like the stand should be smaller or should be designed in the same way the UN40ES6150F‘s stand is. Though the oversized stand isn't a make or break component, it does take the appeal down a notch in my opinion and just seems to be unnecessarily bulky & ugly.
Features & Connection Types
This HDTV model is fairly basic with no extra bells and whistles like Smart TV capabilities or 3D technology. Of course, for the price range you shouldn't be expecting this kind of stuff especially from a high-end brand like Samsung. The UN39EH5003F features 1080P LED screen that is said to be edge-lit, but there is no Samsung confirmation on this. It does not feature a full 120Hz refresh rate, but instead is advertised as having a Clear Motion Rate of 120. According to Samsung, the Clear Motion Rate is a “better way” to measure fast-moving image performance by combining 3 factors: frame refresh rate, image processor speed, and backlight technology.
For connection types, it includes 2 HDMI, 1 USB, and 1 component out. This is a limited assortment, but it will likely cover the needs of most consumers shopping in this price range. The USB port provides the ability to harness the built-in ConnectShare Movie technology that allows you to plug in a USB drive and play music, watch video, or view photos without the need for 3rd party accessories or software.
I would have liked to have seen another HDMI or two included on this model and some sort of audio out port. Since there is none, you are forced to stick to the UN39EH5003F's native speakers which has limited sound capabilities that won't please audio junkies. Even at this price point, you can find lesser-known competitors who will include a source for establishing an audio out connection.
When it comes to performance, the UN39EH5003F performs surprisingly well. The picture looks crisp and clear from all angles. Even when watching fast paced sporting events or video games (there is a built in ‘game mode'), the 120 CMR keeps up without any noticeable distortion or ghosting. The color quality was better than I expected at this price point and was nearly spot once I took the time to fiddle with the color settings. There is no noticeable color bleeding and the black levels are fairly decent, but not on par with Samsung's higher-end models.
The sound quality is reasonable and seems to be better than most competing models in the same price range. Will it satisfy everyone's audio preferences? Probably not, but since I'm not ultra-picky when it comes to audio, it was more than acceptable for me. For those of you who really into having the best audio experience possible, you will be out of luck as there is no way to hook up an external audio system to this HDTV and will likely need to dish out some extra cash for a more advanced model.
In the end, I found the Samsung UN39EH5003F to be a relatively solid HDTV at a price tag under $450. This model provides you with a quality brand name like Samsung and an attractive cosmetic appeal that is unmatched in competitors in this price range. The performance is more than suitable for the average consumer, but those who are looking for top-notch image and sound quality will need to dig deeper in their wallet for a more higher-end model like the UN40ES6150F. If you're looking for a new HDTV in the $400-$450 price range and do not mind the lack of any audio out capabilities, the Samsung UN39EH5003F is a solid buy that I would recommend over the vast majority of similarly-priced competitors.