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Reviewed on Oct 31, 2014

Samsung H5203

Usage Ratings - Version 0.9
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Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
Mixed Usage
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Score components:
  • 74% Picture Quality
  • 19% Motion
  • 7% Inputs
Recommended if under (USD)
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What it is: Maximum price to be a better value than its competitors.
How to use it: This product is the best choice in its range if you can find it below this price.
Automatically calculated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
: Not at the latest test bench
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What it is: Product with the best value in this price range
Other best choice in a cheaper price range
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Automatically updated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
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This tv has been discontinued.
It was replaced by the Samsung J5500

The Samsung H5203 LED TV is a cheaper variant of the popular Samsung H5500. It has the same good picture quality, but with a slower processor and a thicker bezel.

Test Results
Picture Quality 7.3
Motion 7.0
Inputs 9.1
Smart Features 7.0
  • Great overall picture quality, with deep blacks.
  • Low input lag.
  • No motion interpolation feature. You will have to upgrade to the Samsung H6203 for this.
  • The motion blur trail is longer than average. This isn't an issue for movies or TV shows, but it is for video games or sports.
  • Cheap bezel that looks outdated. The TV is thick.
  • Very slow software features. Do not buy this TV if you plan on using the built-in apps often.

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Samsung H5203 Design

The Samsung H5203 looks like a five-year-old TV. The borders are wide and the TV is thick. This doesn't really matter, but it does look like an entry-level TV.

Samsung H5203 Stand

It has a basic stand that does not swivel.

Samsung H5203 Borders

0.87" (2.2 cm)

Samsung H5203 Thickness

3.39" (8.6 cm)


Picture Quality

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Score components:
4k : No
9.3 Contrast
Samsung H5203 Contrast
Black : 0.021 cd/m2
White : 98.67 cd/m2
Contrast : 4699 : 1

The blacks are really deep, which is great in a dark room. The color calibration out of the box was also very good.

9.0 Black Uniformity
Samsung H5203 Black Uniformity

The black uniformity is great. It doesn't get any better than this for an LED TV.

6.0 Gray Uniformity
Samsung H5203 Gray Uniformity

There is no dirty screen effect on this TV, which is good. However, the corners are significantly darker than the rest of the screen.

6.4 Viewing Angle
Viewing Angle : 24 °

It loses saturation when you view it at an angle, which could be a problem if you have a lot of guests spread out across the room.

8.5 Average Room
Samsung H5203 Average Room
Reflection : 1.8 %
Surface Type : Semi-gloss

Its semi-gloss finish reflects an average amount of light. Nothing to worry about if you have a few lights on.

7.5 Bright Room
Samsung H5203 Bright Room
Max white : 243.4 cd/m2

It doesn't get very bright. Good enough for one or two windows, but not more than that.

0 3D
3D : No


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Score components:
7.0 Motion Blur
Samsung H5203 Motion Blur

Unfortunately, the Samsung H5203 has a long motion blur trail. This can't be seen in movies or TV shows, but it is noticeable on video games or sports.

Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation : N/A


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Score components:
9.1 Input Lag
Samsung H5203 Input Lag
Input Lag : 28.7 ms

This TV has a low input lag of 28.7ms in every mode. You do not need to turn on Game or PC mode to enjoy this low amount of lag.

Side Inputs

Rear Inputs
Samsung H5203 Rear Inputs

1 Composite In
1 Component In
1 Ethernet
1 RF It
1 Headphone Out
1 Digital Optical Audio Out


Smart Features

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Score components:
  • 100% Smart TV
7.0 Smart TV
Samsung H5203 Smart TV

The smart features are very slow on this TV, to the point that it is not really usable on a daily basis. You will need to upgrade to the Samsung H5500 to get a faster processor.

Samsung H5203 Remote

This TV comes with a basic remote.


7.3Mixed Usage
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Score components:
  • 74% Picture Quality
  • 19% Motion
  • 7% Inputs
The Samsung H5203 LED TV is a basic TV, but with good picture quality for movies and TV shows. If you will use the smart features often, get the Samsung H5500 instead, because it has a faster processor. For video games, while this H5203 has low input lag, it has more motion blur than average, so you will be happier with the pricier H6203.
Questions Found an error?

Let us know what is wrong in this question or in the answer.


Questions & Answers

What were your calibration settings?
They are posted in a sub page of this review.
When l tap the smart hub button I get a few aps at the bottom of my h5203 tv. How do I get the apps showed on the box it was shipped in?
Click on the button just above the bar that appears at the bottom of the TV.
I have a wireless mouse. How would I use it on my h5203 TV? I may get a HP wireless keyboard and mouse. How could I use it on my TV?
This TV doesn't support Bluetooth, but it does support USB wireless mouse/keyboard. You just need to plug it in the USB port at the back.
I bought H5203 this Black Friday and once I go into the Smart hub, I only see the Apps panel. Where are the social, movies, etc tabs? Is there any setting to be done for enabling those panels?
Ours was like that also (check the screenshot that we posted). The H5203 doesn't have these tabs.
After returning my Sony 48W600B due to dirty screen effect and some motion blur. I picked this H5203 up to replace it and returned it within five hours. You were being a bit generous with this TV's 7 rating on motion blur. This had the worst case of stuttering I ever seen, as well as an image that looked way too artifact-ridden. I'm a huge gamer, but I also love to have an accurate image with great blacks and no clouding issues. I may have to raise my budget from $650 to like $900, because buying a TV, to me, is something of a long term investment, but I also want the picture to be satisfying to watch in movies and games. This H5203 seemed to have an auto-backlight adjust that you couldn't turn off. The image was dimming and brightening on its own based off of light and dark images. Even though I had everything off, including the eco stuff, I could actually see the dimming occurring in real-time on some stuff when a darker image came on. I know a lot of TVs dim when the image is "all" black, which is fine, but this one was dimming even when 70% of the screen was black. Odd. Do all Samsungs do this now, or just this cheaper tier? Right now I'm back to using my 2009 ish Westinghouse 40" TV and its blacks are great, which has always surprised me. I'm really looking to upgrade but I don't want something that costs a lot and has more motion blur and dirty screen effect issues than a Westinghouse. Maybe its just something I'll have to deal with due to new sets being LED?
Have you tried the settings that we posted? These should get rid of the dimming. If you are willing to pay more, you should look at the Sony KDL50W800B. It is a really great gaming TV.
Does it have PIP, and if so, how can I use it?
It does. You can enable it by going to 'Menu' -> Picture -> PIP.
I just discovered that the Samsung Smart View 2 for iPhone/iPad does not work on this TV - only on the 5500 and higher. I wanted to use my iPhone for a remote; the one that came with the TV is horrible.
It's not uncommon for lower-end TVs to lack features present in more expensive models. If you can't stand using the remote that came with the TV, you might want to consider purchasing a universal remote that is more to your liking.
I notice that the H5203 displays TV at 1080 60i. Is there any way to change the frame rate to 24p?
The TV displays the source signal. If it shows this, it means you are feeding it 1080 at 60i. You need to change a setting on your device that is connected to your TV. For 24p, you need a Blu-ray player and make sure that it outputs at 24p.
Does it have Netflix?
Are there faster browsers that can be downloaded to a Samsung H5203? Are there other devices, or software, (other than Chromecast) that will allow WiFi transfers from PC screen to H5203?
No, you can't download a browser on it. For full screen mirroring from a PC, no (or at least not easily and from any PC). Miracast and WiDi are supposed to do this, but there are many compatibility issues.
I have an untested (by you, at least) model LN32D450, I have not noticed any problems with motion blur on video games, but I am very curious to how this TV would compare with my future possibles (the h5500, h5203, and the f5500).
Blur is less noticeable on small screens. You should test it yourself. Play our test pattern on your TV. Follow the logo with your eyes (we also move the camera when taking the pictures) and then compare it to our pictures.
Can you wall mount this model?
Yes, but the HDMI inputs face the back, so you will need a mount that provides a gap.
I have my seating area approximately 8-10 feet away from my Samsung H5203 46 inch TV. I've been thinking of exchanging it for the Samsung H5203 50 inch, but I'm concerned I'll notice more pixels/picture noise with a larger screen. Do you think with the viewing distance of 8-10 feet I would notice more pixels/picture noise than with the 50 inch Samsung H5203?
Try it for yourself: move your sofa about one foot closer. This will produce the same size to distance ratio as if you had a 50" TV. If you don't mind the artifacts at that distance, upgrade to the 50".
What is the best way to plug in multiple game systems?
If you don't have enough HDMI inputs, use an HDMI splitter. Some automatically select the HDMI that is powered on so that you don't need to switch it each time.
We are looking for a 42-48" TV with smart features. I want it for movies primarily, and want to get Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube on it. It won't be used for games, but on some rare occasions my son will use it to watch sports. I was looking at the Samsung h5203. I've been told to look for 120hz or more. Is this really important for us? Can you suggest a TV?
For your purposes, it does not really matter if a TV has a refresh rate of 120 hz. You'll want something with decent smart features and that has little motion blur, as that is important for watching sports. It's fine for watching movies, but unfortunately, the H5203's relatively large amount of motion blur means it isn't ideal for watching sports.
For an all-in-one solution, the Samsung H6350 is probably your best bet. If you don't mind picking up a separate device for streaming, you could get good value out of pairing a Vizio E series TV (or a Samsung H6203) with a streaming device (Roku, Chromecast, Fire Stick, etc) for apps and streaming video. Those two TVs do come with apps built-in, but they're rather slow, and would likely be annoying to use daily.
Given the thickness and great black uniformity of the cheaper Samsungs, can I assume they are direct lit designs? It is so frustrating that Samsung sacrifices black uniformity on their more expensive edge-lit designs in the name of style.
Samsung has them listed as edge lit, but they do look like direct lit. The uniformity of Samsung's edge lit TVs have improved a lot in the last few years, so at least Samsung is aware of this.
Do you notice more picture noise with this TV than in other 46 inch LED TVs you've reviewed?
No. Picture noise is relatively the same on all TVs.
Can I play my new Sony PS3 wireless to the new Samsung H5203 wireless? Without using an HDMI cable, totally wireless?
No. You can't do that on that TV. Only Sony TVs and soon select 2015 Samsung models.
Does that high black uniformity rating mean blacklight bleeding is less likely to happen?
I had a Samsung Samsung UN40EH5300, which you guys never reviewed, and at one point we were remodeling, about a year into the TV's life, and I had to temporarily use our guest room.
During that time my TV was right next to a window for about a month, and after I moved it back the side that was next to the window had some real bad clouding (but more tan-ish in color) and a dead pixel, so I had a technician replace the panel and the clouding was still there, but less severe and in different spots than before. So I think something happened to the TV itself.
I replaced it with the LG42LB5600, and everything you said was right. The TV is downright unusable in the daytime; the blacks are either too dark, or else very grey and washed out. The 2.2 gamma setting is way too dark, so I used 1.9, but that makes everything look faded. The colors weren't vibrant unless dynamic color was on, but that makes everything look like a cartoon. And I noticed, compared to the Samsung I did have, the picture quality was significantly lacking. I mean in terms of overall quality. Everything was either bland or faded or dark and crushed. There was no middle ground. And at an angle? Grey haze over everything. I'll take slightly faded/saturated colors at an angle over that mess any day. And motion blur isn't an issue for me. I actually prefer it. The soap opera effect is unnerving to me. So anyways, this model is on sale for $400 right now, about $150 cheaper than the other Samsung model I had, which was older. I'm assuming that's because it has one less HDMI port and a few less smart features. But I read that the Smart Hub itself, while slow, is newer. I wouldn't use it that much TBH - I'm just looking for Samsung's superior picture quality, with vibrant colors and crisp images. Not the pasty, almost faded watercolor looking garbage this LG has. So I'm not concerned about the price difference meaning worse quality. All the reviews say the picture is phenomenal. My main concern is backlight bleeding. I went with the LG because it's full-array, but it sacrifices so much else. According to another page on here, you guys say that backlight bleeding and flashlighting is often related to bad black uniformity. So my question is this: since you rated the BU so high on this model, does that mean the BB is less likely than, say, a model with a lower BU rating? Because I want Samsung's amazing picture, but without the nasty clouding. I can handle a little flashlighting, but I can't handle clouding, especially when I watch shows like Supernatural, Gotham, Grimm, and the like.
Yes, backlight bleeding should be unlikely with this model, and you can always exchange your new TV for a different unit if the one you get does have backlight issues.
I received the Samsung UN46H5203AF smart TV as a gift, and after reading through these posts I can see this TV is just simply slow. Is there ANYTHING I can do to increase my TV's browsing and app processing speed?
Unfortunately, smart capabilities in general aren't very quick, and the H5203 is particularly slow. Your best bet would be to invest in a cheap streaming option like a Chromecast or Apple TV, as the apps included will be much quicker and more stable. Browsing may or may not be possible, depending on the streaming solution you choose, but you'll be better off using a different device for browsing anyway.
I am noticing that on cartoons and other moving images that display high contrast images such as black moving around on white, the black is still visible briefly as the image changes. For example, on a cartoon when characters speak, the previous image of the shape their mouths used to be in is briefly still there (but lighter than it used to be). Is this an example of the lower quality motion blur this set is known for, or is this a different issue altogether?
Essentially, I am trying to understand if motion blur could actually briefly display the previous image like I'm describing, or if motion blur is solely more of a fluid blurring movement. Thank you very much!
Yes. At its most basic, motion blur is caused by pixels being a bit too slow in changing from one color to another, and this fits that description.
I recently purchased the H6203 and am more or less happy with it. This is my first Smart TV and the fact that I can stream Apps thru my TV at ALL is cool. A friend mentioned the possibility of being hacked thru a Smart TV, so I was wondering if you could speak to that concern. Should I be looking into anti-virus and/or malware products? Secondly, does this TV feature a camera or voice recognition equipment? Is big brother watching? Thanks.
No, you don't need to worry about your TV getting hacked. And the TV does not come with a camera or microphone, so nobody is watching or listening.
I need to have both speakers and external sound available for head sets at the same time. So I purchased an optical sound to analog converter and sure enough, I do have sound from both the speakers and headsets. But this is only while watching TV using HDMI Input, and not network input! I have not tested with antenna input. THIS SUCKS! Is there a way to watch Netflix with sound available to both the speaker system and optical sound output? Why are manufacturers making it sound so difficult to get when both speakers and analog output is desired?
This isn't something we tried, and we don't have that TV anymore with us, but there is probably no way to make this work for built-in apps unfortunately.
Can I use PIP for two HDMI connections?
No. PIP only works for video from the coaxial connection (antenna, direct cable).
Why don't you review Hitachi? I have heard good things about their quality. We are looking at the Hitachi LE40S508 40" 1080p 120Hz Class LED HDTV. Question 2: We have gone through three TVs in the past five years; 1 LCD and 2 LED's. The first was RCA, which lasted the longest, and the others were Vizio. All just went blank, and the cost of repair made it cheaper to buy a new unit. Is there any way to measure the lifespan of different models for those of us who just want a decent TV instead of feeding the trash? It's a heartbreak to throw away these icons.
Our throughput of reviews is limited, so we prioritize them by popularity. Hitachi is not popular in the US, as compared to other brands. As for reliability, we currently don't have any way to test this. If you have an idea on how we can do it, let us know.
What TV would have similar ratings but without any of the smart TV features? I love everything about this TV, but don't need the smart functionality. Could I have gotten a very similar TV w/out the smart aspects and saved some money? I appreciate all your help. This is where I would recommend anyone go for TV reviews.
We haven't tested one, but probably the eh5000.
I found your site recently, and love it. I am having an issue with Smart Hub. I made a Samsung account for use with Samsung Smartlink, and I decided to log into my Samsung account on the TV (Menu, then Smart Hub). It says "Manage your Samsung account to enjoy all of Smart Hub". The issue, though, is when I am logged in, Smart Hub will not download or update any apps and says "Feature currently not supported". When I log out of my Samsung account, Smart Hub downloads and updates just fine. Can you tell me the advantage of being logged in, and why the error occurs when I am? I am in the USA, and the TV is set to my cable provider. I have reset Smart Hub, (all my apps were still there) but the same issue occurs. Thank you. I have been looking for an answer for days!
We tested Samsung Link on our H5500 and unfortunately, we were unable to reproduce your issue. We would recommend making sure your firmware is up to date. If you do and you're still having this problem, your best bet would be to contact Samsung support directly and ask for assistance.
As for the advantage of connecting, the main benefit of using SmartLink is that you'll be able to use your TV to access files on a different device. Whether or not that's something you need depends on you.
What type of video formats does it play?
Check out page 141 of the TV's manual for a full list of video codecs it supports.
We are not taking any more questions for this product because we no longer have it in our lab.