Samsung UE55F8000 (UA55F8000) review

5 stars
S$4,899
The first of 2013's TVs has landed and it's a doozy – is the F8000 the best TV you can buy? Let's see

The first of the 2013 TVs has landed and it's a doozy. After all, this 55in edge-lit LED screen promises a shiny new Smart Hub, new features and better all-round performance. Does that all add up to the best TV money can buy? Let's see.. 

intro 

Last year's Samsung screens dazzled with vibrant colours and impressive contrast – but you can sometimes have too much of a good thing. The UE55F8000 (also known as the UA55F8000 in Singapore) has the mix just right: colours are subtler with a natural balance, while black levels are inky deep. And there’s enough clarity and crisp detail to count every freckle on Emma Stone’s face. Not that we've tried... 

picture quality 

The new metal arc stand has been designed to create a ‘floating display’ effect, and while it looks sufficiently floaty, there is an issue: the stand is as wide as the screen itself, which at 120cm is too long for your standard-issue AV rack and leaves the whole thing prone to tipping forward. Not good for the nerves after splashing close to five grand on a telly. 

metal arc stand 

We tend to bemoan the thin and harsh sound that plagues most flat screen TVs. But not so with the UE55F8000 – two mid/treble drivers are supplemented by two woofers, providing a total of 40W of oomph for meatier and cleaner audio. You might want to hook it up to a surround system, but we were quite happy listening to it on its own.

sound 

Lurking behind that 55in Ultra Clear Panel lies a powerful quad-core processor – a world first for smart LED TVs. Its addition brings a smartphone-esque slickness to proceedings: flicking through the redesigned Smart Hub panels is swift, while browsing and selecting apps is noticeably quicker too. 

More after the break...

power and performance 

Voice control is improved after its debut in last year's Samsung UE55ES8000: it's faster and you speak into the Smart Touch remote rather than yelling at the telly. But it's not quite Tony Stark's JARVIS: it still struggles with simple phrases, and some words get lost in translation. So fuss straightening.

voice control

The new Smart Hub is swanky. Broadcast TV, apps, social networking (Facebook, Twitter), streaming services (which may not be available in all regions) and stored media are presented across a slick, user-friendly interface that means you're only ever a click or a swipe from what you want. 

Not just a pretty face, this Sammy's also a clever clogs. The S-Recommendation tool notes your viewing habits and offers similar shows and online content for your perusal. It gets even more personalised over time so if it suggests something like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia during this week's Question Time, it's finally got you pegged. 

Smart Hub and S Recommendation 

A 5MP camera pops out of the top Jack-in-the-box style to fulfil your Skyping needs and bring Samsung's motion-control feature to life. It's much improved, with effective two-handed gesture recognition for waving through menus and panning and zooming images. You might have to find a new place to put your Wii's infra-red sensor or Kinect, though. 

camera

A 5MP camera pops out of the top Jack-in-the-box style to fulfil your Skyping needs and bring Samsung's motion-control feature to life. It's much improved, with effective two-handed gesture recognition for waving through menus and panning and zooming images. You might have to find a new place to put your Wii's infra-red sensor or Kinect, though. 

what comes bundled?

Despite trends among the fashionable folk of the world and contrary to what is supposed to make a person geeky, we’re still loath to wear glasses. But the bundled 3D specs are light and it's not as if we'll be wearing them to the pub. You get two pairs included with the TV. 

Samsung's sleek remote deserves its own presentation cushion, not to be lost down the sofa. Swipe across it, speak into it, even scrawl channel numbers onto it. Buttons? Pah! Buttons belong with Ceefax and visions of nuclear armageddon. 

versus Sony KDL-55HX853

With the same screen size, lovely smooth motion and deals available to buy it for a lot less, Sony's 2012 range-topper is one hell of a TV – in fact its 46in brother the Sony KDL-46HX853 was our No.1 TV until today. But the new Samsung shines with crisper detail and updated features, so Sony will need to up the stakes again this year. Bring it on.

Review by Kashfia Kabir 

says

Samsung UE55F8000 (UA55F8000)

A stunning screen and smarter features have thrown down the gauntlet for TVs in 2013 

Samsung UE55F8000 (UA55F8000) review
5 stars
S$4,899
Great looks on and off screen
Decent sound
Smarter than your average bear
Iffy voice control
picture
sound
build
smarts
OMG!
WTF?
You have to login or register to comment.