Any Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) review would first have to point out what an insane product name it has. But after that, due diligence would point to what a great value for money this TV is. But at such a low price, do you end up making massive compromises on quality and usability?
When it comes to the best 32 inch TVs for a bedroom, kitchen or small living room, most will want something compact, smart and simple. You’ll want it to be easy, and to give you access to all your favourite shows without a mass of wires hanging off the back.
That’s where the Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F comes into play. It has the Aquos Net+ user interface built-in with apps like Netflix and YouTube pre-installed, and a sleek brushed metal design so it won’t look out of place in any style of interior.
Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) review: price and features
Available in the UK from a number of retailers like Box (opens in new tab) and Currys (opens in new tab), you can buy the Sharp 32BC5K from £169. Take a look at the widgets on this page for more retailers and pricing information. In Australia, you can pick one up from Amazon (opens in new tab) for AU$335.95.
An HD Ready TV using Aquos Net+ (Sharp’s Internet TV solution) which gives you access to apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube without the need for an additional device. To connect your own streaming, gaming and audio devices to it there are 3 HDMIs, 2 USBs, Component and Composite ports, as well as Digital Optical Audio ports. The Harmon Kardon custom-designed speaker system offers Dolby Digital+ and DTS Studio sound but no Dolby Atmos.
Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) review: picture quality
Despite being an affordable 32inch TV, the Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) fared relatively well when it came to picture quality. The LED-backlit screen is HD Ready at 1280 x 720p with 300 nits peak brightness and a 5,000:1 contrast ratio, it doesn’t have HDR10 or Dolby Vision support. While it’s not a TV that will blow you away with impressive specifications, it’s not trying to either. It certainly does what it says on the tin, and it does it well.
There are a few different picture modes to choose from including Standard, Personal which allows you to choose your own settings, Movie which darkens the scenes, Dynamic to cope better with fast movement and Economy which uses 25% less power and automatically enters Standby after 3-5 hours of no activity. It’s defaulted to Economy mode, I found Standard to be the best option for most types of on-screen content.
Across all genres of TV and movies, the blacks on this TV are surprisingly dark, naturally not as dark as a TV that costs four times as much but for this price, it did a good job. The bars on the top and bottom of films didn’t look grey, even watching at night. Whites stood out too, looking light and well-contrasted. One area the Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) struggled more with was bright colours, red especially looked a little dull and sometimes had a pink tinge to it. I guess you do get what you pay for there, however it was by no means as noticeable as some other TVs in this price range.
Sharp claims its Active Motion 200 prevents blurriness and out of focus images - this was largely true, especially in the Dynamic mode. Watching action movies, fast-moving scenes posed no obvious problems. There was a slight flickering of the image when idle, and lines weren’t as sharp as you’d get from a pricier set, something that was even more apparent looking at lettering like on the weather app. Overall though, I’d say the Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) is still great value for money when it comes to picture quality.
Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) review: sound quality
The Harmon Kardon speaker system and DTS TruSurround HD delivers decent audio. It was well-balanced and goes very loud, during testing I never needed to go above 50% volume. Even getting towards 50% was rare. At times, it could sound slightly tinny though this isn’t something I noticed too often.
You can choose between a few different sound modes: Personal, Standard, Music, Movie and Sports. The default sound settings will work well enough for most. Admittedly you won’t get a surround sound experience from the Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) so you might find booming blockbusters are a little underwhelming, yet in the same breath, I don’t think you’ll be desperate to hook up a soundbar or external speaker either.
Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) review: design and usability
Setting up the TV was as simple as securing the stands using the four included screws, plugging it in and turning it on. It only weighs 4.6kg with the stands on so I had no problems moving it around. You can also wall-mount it. It’s got slim 5mm black brushed metal bezels that are sure to suit any room. Under the Sharp logo at the bottom is a small LED strip light that lets you know when the TV is switched on, and when you’ve pressed a button on the remote.
Turning it on, you’re prompted to put in your Wifi password to get fully up and running. Then, it’s a case of logging into your streaming accounts. While the Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) has plenty of ways to connect external streaming, gaming and music devices on the back, the ports you'll need to plug cables in and out of most often are located on the side of the TV for easy access.
The Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F (32BC5K) comes with a large silver remote with buttons taking you directly to Freeview Play, Netflix and YouTube. I found the remote was a bit too busy making it hard to get used to, and it wasn’t always completely responsive. Using it from different parts of the room, I found that the best bet was straight on from the TV because it didn’t consistently work from many other angles.
The Aquos Net+ user interface offers a wide range of apps to stream shows, listen to music, check the weather and play games. To find the application you want, there's a Menu button on the remote. I found that this didn't work with some services open so you have to quit the app you're on first to access it. From that list, there’s quick access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, My5 and YouTube. You get all the benefits of the Freeview Play app as well. You’ll also be able to cast content from your smart devices to the TV using Miracast or even through USB connectivity. Navigating the UI isn’t as intuitive as the likes of Android or Roku TV but everything you need is there (somewhere). Unlike Android TV, there’s also no voice assistant or voice search support.
Sharp 32BC5K review: verdict
You can’t expect to spend less than £200 on a TV and get the quality and usability of something that costs twice as much, like the Panasonic TX-32FS503B. Yet the Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2F manages to hold its own well.
It has all of the streaming services you could need ready to go, and decent enough picture quality which will certainly be enough to use in a kitchen or bedroom, though perhaps not in a living room. You do lose out on some clarity and vibrancy in the image, while the remote was far from perfect and the sound wasn’t anywhere near home-cinema standard- but in saying that, I still think this TV is excellent value for money.
Thanks to Box.co.uk for supplying our review unit. You can see Box's latest prices for the Sharp 1T-C32BC5KH2FB (opens in new tab) here.
A slightly pricier TV with an almost identical look is the Hisense 32A5600FTUK. It doesn’t compromise on picture quality and manages to deliver strong, bright colours and comfortably picks up details in the image. It’ll be suitable for any type of content from TV dramas to Hollywood blockbusters.
If you want something that focuses more on smart features, and costs a little less too, then take a look at the TCL 32ES568. It has Android TV instead, which means you can use your Google smart speaker to control it and use your voice to search for shows.
If you're wondering how we test our TVs here at T3 – or indeed any gadgets, and believe us, we do cover an awful lot – then head over to our How We Test page for the full lowdown on our process and ethics.