Samsung UE48J6300 (£460)
Samsung put on a great show with its 2015 TV range, and the UE48J6300 is a big, fat finale that comes with added jazz hands.
Well, it’s not that big. A 48in screen seems like the ideal size. You don’t need to worry about spreading that 1080p resolution too thin. This set is compact enough not to dominate the average living room, but it’s still big enough to dive into and get lost in there.
It’s a lovely design. Walk around any TV showroom and this thing just stands out. A big curve tends to do that. Why is it curved? Nobody really knows. There’s a bit of marketing blurb about eye ergonomics (which you could recite to baffled houseguests) but in general curved screens are supposed to be more immersive.
Whereas most curved screens tend to have super-thin OLED panels, this is a regular LED panel which means extra effort has gone into the bending process. It’s a more prominent bend here than most curved models out there, giving it a distinct sci-fi vibe.
Factor in Samsung’s shiny new smart interface and you’d almost believe this is a window to the future. Gone is the clunky smart ‘hub’ of old, replaced with a slick multitasking pop-up bar that lets you jump between apps and inputs as easily as changing channels.
Pretty much. Samsung has got so much right here that the only thing really worth criticising is the stand, which could be a little sturdier. There’s a noticeable wobble if you nudge the screen, but then again we don’t do that on a regular basis.
You’ll forget all about that that once you start watching, because picture performance is stunning. It ticks all the boxes. Want great detail? No problem, it’s a sharp image with crisp, delicately defined textures. There’s none of the artificial sharpening artefacts you get with the super-eager processing you get on lesser TVs.
The colours have the right balance of vividness and subtlety, with nuanced shading that makes for a convincing picture. Then there’s contrast: the Samsung has no problem juggling light and dark. It gets properly bright and dim when necessary, and at both extremes there is a good deal of detail.
The curve? If you’re positioned way off to the sides, the exaggerated proportional distortions will drive you, um, round the bend. You want to sit fairly close to the centre. As long as you don’t wander more than around 30 degrees from the centre, you’ll enjoy an immersive picture and a good sense of depth without silly 3D glasses.
Eye-catching in every respect. This is a smart TV bargain.