Samsung UE40ES7000 – Gesture and Voice Control
We mentioned the set’s gesture control technology earlier, and it’s fair
to say the passage of time hasn’t made this feature any more appealing
than it was initially. The system still feels frustratingly imprecise,
and it now seems clearer than ever to us that we just don’t feel
comfortable with waving our hands and arms at a TV.
The set’s voice control system is more useful, up to a point. Again,
perhaps because of our good old British reserve, we don’t really feel
comfortable barking orders at our TV. But we have found the set’s voice
recognition tools useful for inputting text into Internet search fields,
where typing words in via the remote control would have been a
Samsung UE40ES7000 – Touchpad and Smartphone/Tablet Control
The touchpad remote control Samsung ships with the UE40ES7000 alongside a
‘normal’ handset is probably the best of the touchpad remotes we’ve
seen this year. At least its pad is large and reasonably sensitive.
Having to press the pad in to select an option still aggravates given
the potential for accidentally moving the cursor as you press, but
otherwise it’s a pretty reasonable stab at improving the experience of
browsing the Web on your TV. Assuming you actually want to browse the
web on your TV, which frankly we don’t.
Being able to control TVs via second devices like phones and tablets has
become a big deal in 2012, and to some extent the UE40ES7000 scores
well here, with control apps available for both Android and iOS devices.
However, you can only share what your TV screen is showing with Android
devices, not iOS ones. This is obviously a decision inspired by
Samsung’s own Android self-interest, but it’s hard to stomach when other
TV brands like Panasonic are largely platform neutral with their app
Samsung UE40ES7000 – Poor Picture Presets
Settling down to watch the UE40ES7000 provides a swift reminder of
Samsung’s biggest mistake this year: poor picture presets. All of the
provided options leave the backlight and contrast settings too high,
resulting in over-ripe colours, exaggerated noise and some overt
backlight inconsistencies, where the screen’s edge LED lighting system
fails to illuminate the whole screen evenly.
Thankfully you can largely eradicate this problem – which is only
evident during very dark scenes – by reducing the backlight setting to
around level 8 on Samsung’s (rather limited) scale. You can even go
lower if you’re in a dark room. We’d strongly recommend, too, nudging
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the contrast down to around 80 from its 100 starting point.
Also worth dealing with is the TV’s irritating – though hardly unique –
tendency to leave its noise reduction systems switched on even when
you’re feeding in an HD source, and the way the set defaults to a 16:9
setting with overscanning rather than defaulting to the pixel-for-pixel
Screen Fit option.