hi guys im very new to guitar, found a 6ish year old johnson strat copy (cost £100 new with a bag and amp) and needless to say it is a very poor guitar.
currently the action is at 4.4mm on the 12th fret and this seems huge to me, Im struggling to get any chords to play clean even when pressing painfully hard.
so my question is, would you change the action, would you buy a different guitar in my position (it also loses tune constantly and has a particuarly nasty sound to it) and how would i go about changing the action. many thanks
It needs some adjustment. I would do that before abandoning it. there are plenty of youtube vids showing how to setup your guitar. You can alternately pay a tech to do it. You should be able to get it professionally done for $50 or less.

It sounds like it needs a truss rod adjustment. You can determine this by pressing the first fret at the head stock and the 17th or so towards the pickups. There should be very little space between the frets in the middle. You don't want it touching but you want a small gap, about a papers width or so. If it's touching or has a big gap you need a truss rod adjustment. Google how to, or take it to a shop.