The Samsung M5300 is a full-HD TV with disappointing picture quality. When viewed in a dark room, the blacks appear gray and blotchy. In a brighter room, this isn't an issue but the motion handling is sub-par and there are no features to improve the picture quality further such as local dimming.
The design of the Samsung M5300 is decent. It looks fairly basic and won't be the centerpiece of a room, with an all-plastic exterior. The stand is wide and may not fit on smaller tables but feels quite stable. The TV is quite thick and may stick out from the wall a bit if mounted, and doesn't provide any cable management.
The stand is almost as wide of the TV, which may make it more difficult to fit on some tables. It supports the TV well though, despite being entirely plastic.
Footprint of the 32" TV stand: 5.7" x 28.3"
A VESA mount is located on the back of the TV for wall mounting. Unfortunately, if placed close to a wall then the component/composite inputs at the back may be difficult to access. There is no cable management on this TV.
The borders have an average thickness and are made of plastic. There is a slight texture which is nice.
The TV appears a bit thicker than average when viewed from the side. It will stick out from a wall a bit if mounted.
The TV's screen stays fairly cool, but its power brick does get very warm to the touch, up to 49 °C, though not hot enough to burn you.
The build quality of the M5300 is fine. All of the parts are made of plastic, but there are a few nice textured touches and everything fits together well. The build quality shouldn't be an issue for normal use.
The Samsung M5300 Full HD TV has a disappointing picture quality. With its low contrast ratio and deficient black uniformity, the dark room performance is lacking significantly and dark scenes look washed out and blacks tend to look gray. When the TV is set in a brighter environment, this is less of an issue since the ambient light will increase the perceived contrast ratio and blacks tend to look a bit deeper. The M5300 has an okay gray uniformity, but there is still a bit of dirty screen effect, especially while watching sports like hockey or football, where large panning shots are fairly common. The viewing angle is decent for an IPS TV and should satisfy most people with a large living room with multiple seating positions. Finally, the M5300 does not support HDR but its accuracy out of the box is good and it can do a decent job while displaying any SDR content, like movies or TV shows.
The Samsung M5300 has a below average contrast ratio and when viewed in a dark room, blacks look more grayish than really black. When set in a room with a good lighting, the ambient light helps to negate the low contrast ratio effect and the overall picture quality looks better. This is very typical of most IPS TVs out there.
The Samsung M5300 does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.
Decent brightness, good enough for a moderately lit room but may appear dim in a bright room. The TV is more dim near the edges, where the real scene brightness is measured, as visible in the TV's gray uniformity photo. The TV's CE dimming dims very dark scenes like our 2% white window in an attempt to make the scene darker, but it unfortunately dims the highlights as well.
HDR is not supported.
The M5300 has a decent gray uniformity with some dirty screen effect. The center of the screen is a bit brighter than the sides and some darker vertical bands are also visible on each side of the center bright spots.
Looking at our 5% gray test picture, nothing bad can be really noticed, which is good, especially for movies with darker scenes.
Decent viewing angle, even for an IPS panel, and far better than all VA TVs. Blacks stay black, and colors and brightness remain decent when the TV is viewed at moderate angles. This TV would be a good choice for a room where people often sit to the side of the TV and view it at an angle.
Black uniformity of this Samsung TV is disappointing, but this is not surprising for an IPS TV, which tends to always have worse black uniformity than most VA TVs. This is visually more striking because of the low contrast ratio. With the M5300, the most visually noticeable part is the flashlighting near the edges of the screen. The center of the screen is also a bit brighter than the rest of the screen, and it closely matches the brighter zone that we already noticed on the 50% gray uniformity.
The M5300 is decent at handling reflections. It has a semi-gloss finish which diffuses reflections across the screen and reduces their intensity but does result in a larger reflection footprint. This is fine for most rooms but may be an issue in bright rooms.
Before calibration and when set on the most accurate picture mode and color temperature, in this case, the 'Movie' picture mode and the 'Warm1' color temperature, the M5300 has a good overall accuracy. The white balance dE is just a bit over 3, which at this dE, the inaccuracy is noticeable to enthusiasts, but for most people should not be a problem. For the color accuracy, the dE is only of 2.55, which should only be noticeable to professionals who are used to working with calibrated TVs.
As for the gamma, it is hovering a bit over our desire gamma of 2.2 with only a little bump in the darker IRE, which could make dark scenes a bit darker than what they normally should be.
Note here that we did use the 'Warm1' on this TV, but this is exceptional, as normally, 'Warm2' give us better result than 'Warm1', which is a bit too colder.
After calibration, the accuracy of the M5300 is excellent. The white balance dE is only of 0.21 which is almost perfect since, at this level of accuracy, the imperfections are not noticeable. On the color side, the color dE was brought down to 1.78, which is better than before calibration and should be good for most people, except maybe professionals who might be able to notice slight imperfections in the reds and blues. As for gamma, the correction done on the white balance took care of the little bump and flattened the gamma curve.
You can see our recommended settings here.
Upscaling of 720p content such as cable is good. The image is a bit soft, but almost no halo artifacts are visible.
Standard color gamut, good enough for SDR content using the Rec 709 color gamut. This gamut wouldn't be good for HDR content, but this TV doesn't support HDR anyway.
Poor HDR color volume, but this is expected of an SDR-only TV. The volume should be good enough for most SDR content, but the TV makes dark colors brighter than they should be because of the TV's mediocre contrast ratio.
The Samsung M5300 is great at displaying our gradient test image and surprisingly, 8-bit banding is not visible. Some little imperfections can be seen in the darker colors, but this is not really problematic for normal content and is fairly typical of other Samsung TV we have tested before.
The Samsung M5300 does not suffer from temporary image retention.
We don't expect IPS panels to experience permanent image retention, as the IPS panel in our long-term test appears immune.
Motion on the M5300 doesn't look as good as on many other TVs. While the pixel response time is good and the TV can use motion interpolation, the backlight flickers more and more the dimmer it gets, and the TV can't show 24 fps content without judder.
Very good low motion blur, good enough for watching fast moving content. The pixel response time is fairly fast, leading to only a short trail following moving objects. Most of the blur in the picture is due to the image flicker. The TV applies just a bit of overdrive to make the response time faster without adding much visible overshoot, which is good.
Poor image flicker. The TV only dims the backlight by using PWM dimming, which introduces more flicker the dimmer the backlight. While this flicker does reduce persistence blur, it also produces the double image artifacts visible in the motion blur picture.
While the TV does have a BFI setting to reduce persistence blur (the 'LED Clear Motion' setting), all it does on this TV is cap the brightness so that flicker is always present, so it's useless. While the TV's 120 Hz PWM backlight does help somewhat to make motion look clearer, it's not as good as 60 Hz flicker like on the Sony X720E.
The M5300 is able to interpolate lower frame rate content up to its native 60Hz refresh rate. To do so, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and increase the 'Judder Reduction' slider.
This TV is very good at displaying content without stutter. The response time helps to smooth the transition between frames, so static images are only shown for a short time - even at low framerates.
The Samsung M5300 can't play 24p movies without judder, and this no matter if the source is 24p, 60p, or 60i. If you are sensitive to judder, you might notice it, but for most people, this is usually not a deal breaker.
This TV doesn't support any variable refresh rate features.
The M5300 can unfortunately only play SDR content up to a maximum of 1080p resolution, as it doesn't have a 4k panel and it doesn't support HDR. Fortunately, the TV's input lag is fairly low when in movie or PC mode, which is good for SDR gaming, but the game mode input lag is strangely higher.
Low input lag, good enough for most people but it may disappoint more competitive gamers. Game mode has an oddly high 51.4 ms of input lag, which is significantly higher than movie mode's 35.1 ms when all processing is disabled (motion interpolation, noise reduction, etc), which seems like a bug. PC mode fortunately always has low input lag. We highly recommend not using game mode, and instead using movie mode with processing disabled or using PC mode.
We had some issues during testing, read more about them in our Additional Review Notes.
Only basic resolutions are supported, because the TV has a 1080p @ 60 Hz panel. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly in PC mode (when the HDMI input's icon is set to PC). PC mode does not work for some input refresh rates (such as 24 Hz); the icon still changes to PC but the settings that are normally disabled in PC mode are not disabled, and 4:4:4 color is not shown properly.
Strangely HDMI CEC control didn't work on our Samsung K8500 Blu-ray player or our PlayStation 3, unlike other Samsung TVs.
The Samsung M5300, unfortunately, sounds quite poor. While it is difficult to fit a decent set of speakers in such a small enclosure, the tuning of the M5300's sound signature leaves a lot to be desired. Any form of dedicated sound system will provide a significant improvement to the experience.
Bad frequency response. The M5300's very small speakers cannot reproduce low frequencies well, making the TV's sound disappointingly thin and tinny. The TV's unbalanced response significantly deteriorates the experience of most content.
Average distortion performance. While THD levels remain reasonable at lower volumes, we've measured over 20% at the TV's not very loud maximum volume. This is mostly due to an audible rattle of the TV's enclosure that consistently occurs at higher volumes.
The M5300 runs Samsung's 2017 Tizen smart platform, also called Smart Hub. It's easy to navigate and has a well stocked app store, but animations often stutter, the remote is very basic, and there was a bug that sometimes made the TV lock up during our testing.
The TV's interface is centered around the Smart Hub, which gives access to all other settings. This makes navigating the interface easy to understand for new users, while more advanced users can use the remote's extra buttons to go directly to the setting they want. Overall, the interface is the same as all other 2017 Samsung TVs, but some animations are more stuttery and the TV has a bug where it sometimes will show a black screen and needs to be turned off or sometimes unplugged before it becomes usable again. This bug hopefully isn't present on all units and it may be fixed with a firmware update.
The TV didn't show any ads during testing, however, ads on Samsung TVs are often inconsistent. Because all Samsung TVs since 2016 have had ads, and ads were visible on many 2017 models we tested, it can be assumed that this TV has ads. If anyone notices ads on their M5300 please send us an email with a photo of the ad, we'll update the review.