CNET First Look
Samsung F5500 plasma a decent performerThe Samsung F5500 plasma offers great features and very good picture quality but its performance suffers significantly under the lights.
I am Ty Pendlebury and this is a review of the Samsung F5500 plasma TV. If you want a good television for little money, the best way to go is usually a plasma. But they're definitely getting rarer. The Samsung F5500 is one of only 3 models released by the company this year, but it's still considered entry level under a $1000. Design wise, it's a standard looking Samsung with a plastic bezel and a plastic stand which is unfortunately not very well-constructed. It visibly flexes in your hands. This is one of the least expensive TVs in Samsung's line-up to feature smart TV. And it includes the company's new 5-panel layout and cable box integration. The TV also comes with a touch-pad remote which is handy for writing channel numbers directly and also comes with a mark phone for voice search. But I do wish they'd included the standard remote in the box as well for ease of use. Picture quality is good in some respects and not so good in others. In a dark cinema setting, blacks are fairly deep. They're still not as good as [unk] level Panasonic plasmas and color is pretty decent. But put the TV in a semi-lit room like this studio, and the picture goes to heck. Blacks go brown and the screen gets very reflective. This was a problem with plasmas several years ago, but most other competitors have fixed this problem now. Given that a number of plasmas is shrinking this TV, almost gets a recommendation by default. But if you are willing to watch the TV in the dark, the F5500 can offer you a high quality picture. This has been Ty Pendlebury for CNET.com.