Samsung UN24H4500 LED TV Review
This tiny TV is better than its price lets on.
If you don't want to spend too much money on a personal TV, and if "go big or go home" isn't exactly a philosophy you live by, the Samsung UN24H4500 (MSRP $279.99) could be a great fit for your bedroom, guest room, or kitchen. Even though it's not a Full HD TV, this tiny Samsung looks great for its size, and packs a generous helping of smart features as well.
If you're just looking for the biggest you can buy, there are certainly larger TVs available in a comparable price range (the Hisense 32H3 and the Panasonic TC-32A400U, for example) but this Samsung is a great option if you want solid smart features, too. Considering you can find the 24-inch H4500 online for as little as $199.99, we highly recommend it to consumers looking for a premium experience at entry-level prices.
Looks & Experience
It ain't pretty, that's for sure
This year has brought curved screens, a motorized stand, and sleek, silver-colored bezels. What do all of those things have in common? They all belong to mid- and high-range TVs. Take a gander at the 2014 entry-level lineup and the key players are all pretty much the same: black-on-charcoal rectangles with utilitarian stands (which are usually also rectangles). Still, if you're considering purchasing a sub-$300 low-end television, attractiveness probably isn't at the top of your checklist. The H4500 follows the all-too-familiar formula of its ilk.
On the back of the panel sits a rather impressive collection of connection ports for an entry-level TV. There are 2 USB ports, 2 HDMI ports, shared component/composite inputs, a digital audio output, an ethernet port, a headphone jack, a coaxial connector, and RS-232. The remote control included with the H4500 is just as basic as the TV it controls, but anything fancier would damage this TV's entry-level street cred.
Smart features on this minor TV are a minor miracle.
The H4500 comes equipped with Samsung's smart platform, Smart Hub. The Smart Hub browser is an absolute headache to navigate without motion control, so if you're hoping to get some surfing done with this TV, don't get your hopes up. As a whole, the Smart Hub platform feels cramped on a screen this tiny, but if anything this is a testament to how cool it is that a TV this small was outfitted with smart features in the first place. The usual suspects (Netflix, Facebook, Hulu, HBO Go) are all here, either pre-installed or available for download.
Mid-range performance at an entry-level price
Samsung has gotten fairly good at squeezing the best possible picture out of their low- and mid-range televisions, and the H4500 is no exception. Despite the fact that it never quite excels in any one area, the H4500 is one of the best-looking $200 television available today.
Side-by-side with our reference TV, the H4500 looked humorously tiny, but its color production was impressive by comparison. Naturally, there's considerably less detail in a 24-inch, 720p picture than there is in a 1080p plasma display, but the color production is surprisingly comparable. The H4500 also manages to achieve a deep enough black level that darker images maintain a respectable amount of detail. To reiterate, there is nothing phenomenal about the UN24H4500's performance, but it's good enough to raise a few eyebrows.
One unfortunate downside to a 24-inch, edge-lit LED panel is a consistent lack of uniformity. Dark images are especially problematic, with "hot spots" of light leaking into the corners and center of the picture. Motion performance is more than a little questionable, as well. The H4500 carries a refresh rate of 60 Hz and does not wear it well. Horizontal camera pans in particular are stymied by a complete lack of fluidity.
Still, you get what you pay for, and all things considered the H4500 performs far above its weight class.
Competency for a steal
The H4500 is a minuscule machine built with value, not performance, in mind. As such, it makes for a great personal TV for a dorm room, bedroom, or guest room. The picture quality isn't going to blow anyone's hair back, but for a $200 entry-level TV performing at 720p, it hits all of the right notes.
What's more, the inclusion of Samsung's smart platform is almost unfair to the competition. It's not the future centerpiece of your home theater, but if your plan is to kick back in bed with Netflix or a couple of rounds of Halo, you could do far worse than the H4500. If 24 inches is too small, Samsung also offers the H4500 in the slightly bigger, 28-inch variety, but at that rate I would recommend spending a little more on the 32-inch H5203.
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