For all this positivity, though, you can’t have failed to notice that the Finlux 55S6040-M 55in TV bags an overall score of 7 from us rather than sneaking into potential Trusted Reviews Recommended 8 out of 10 territory. So let’s get into the set’s less impressive aspects.
Easily the most problematic is its susceptibility to that old edge LED bugbear of backlight inconsistency. For even with the set’s brightness level set lower than felt entirely comfortable, we could still clearly see during dark scenes patches of the picture that looked brighter than the rest. And these don’t just show up in the corners either - there are three or four patches scattered around the main part of the image, and when they crop up, they inevitably come between you and what you’re trying to watch.
Another problem for the Finlux 55S6040-M is that it’s upscaling of standard definition pictures is not particularly brilliant. Many sources from the Freeview tuner look rather soft and slightly noisy once they’ve been ‘mapped’ onto the 55S6040-M’s Full HD pixel count.
Smaller issues find some patches of very fine detail, such as the weave in some suits, shimmering slightly. And while colours are certainly punchy, they aren’t presented with a great deal of tonal subtlety or range, and at times look just slightly orangey, without there being enough colour adjustment tools to calibrate this flaw away.
Next, while black levels are impressively deep, this depth is only achieved at the expense of quite a bit of shadow detail, especially if you use the HDMI True Black option. The start of Chapter 12 of the final Harry Potter film, for instance, showing Voldemort’s army on a night-time hilltop, appears as a few bits of muted grey surrounded by more or less empty blackness, rather than the actually quite detailed and deep shot it should be.
There’s a problem keen video gamers should be aware of, too. Our input lag measurements for the Finlux 55S6040-M recorded figures of between 75 and 100ms, even with the noise reduction and motion processing off, and using Finlux’s own game preset. These figures are unusually high, and certainly won’t do your performance any favours when playing reaction-based games like Call of Duty online.
Finally in the negative column, the 55S6040-M’s audio is nothing to write home about. It handles straightforward dialogue well enough, and has a reasonable amount of volume to its name, but bass is in seriously short supply, and the mid-range isn’t open or expansive enough to avoid sounding crowded and harsh when the audio going gets tough.
If you consider the Finlux 55S6040-M strictly in the context of the sort of big-screen TVs we tend to see at its aggressive price, it’s actually quite good. Certainly it doesn’t fall prey to the heinous shortage of black level and motion clarity that so routinely ruins cheap TVs from second and third-tier brands.
Compared with the quality available from much more expensive 55in TVs, though, its flaws become numerous and obvious. So we guess it boils down to a classic case of how comfortably you are able to live with its shortcomings in return for getting such a large and often very decent screen for so little money.