We should open this section of the review by reiterating a point we’ve raised before in other reviews: namely that we’re not at all sure 3D makes sense on a screen as small as 32-inch – except, perhaps, for gamers, who tend to be sat much closer to the screen than typical TV viewers. 3D is only truly effective if it’s occupying a good chunk of your field of vision – otherwise it delivers an experience akin to just looking through a hole in your room.
Aside from this philosophical objection to 32in 3D, though, the Samsung UE32F6800 delivers a remarkably good 3D performance. As yet further evidence of the quality of the panel at this TV’s heart, there’s scarcely a trace of the crosstalk ghosting noise that’s still the bane of so many active 3D TVs’ lives. This means you can more comfortably lap up the full HD clarity of the 3D images the UE32F6800 so confidently portrays, as well as the more refined sense of depth and space you get from having full HD levels of detail.
The screen’s strong contrast performance enhances the sense of depth and spatial relativity too, while pictures also look surprisingly bright and eye-catching by small-screen active 3D standards.
Wrapping up a near flawless effort is the Samsung UE32F6800’s handling of motion into and out of as well as across the 3D world. Judder is far less of an issue than we commonly see with 3D, while Samsung’s motion processing is powerful and clever enough to be usable without causing the flickering, billowing and edge smearing issues such processing often causes on lesser 3D TVs.
The Samsung UE32F6800’s audio isn’t as outstanding versus the competition as its pictures. There’s a distinct limit to the volume levels you can employ before the soundstage starts to sound hemmed in and muddy.
So long as you don’t try to drive it too hard, though, the Samsung UE32F6800 is actually easy enough on your ear. The mid-range is reasonably open, treble details are clear and don’t sound harsh except under extreme duress, and while bass doesn’t reach deep, it’s well-timed and coherent.
A 3D-capable 32-inch with pictures as good as those of the Samsung UE32F6800 clearly has enormous potential as a gaming monitor. So it’s great to find that our input lag measurements – our tests for how long the screen takes to actually render incoming image data – recorded only around 30ms of delay. Which is low enough to leave your skills more or less unaffected.
There are a couple of other interface issues worth covering here, too. One is that the UE32F6800 actually comes with two remotes: an old-school ‘normal’ one, and a separate one with a vastly streamlined button count and a touch pad for easier screen browsing.
This second remote quickly became our default model after a little acclimatisation period - though it’s worth adding that after spending some time with Samsung’s tutorials, the UE32F6800’s gesture and voice control systems are a genuinely viable option if you can’t quickly lay your hands on either of the remotes.
Despite this, however, Samsung’s UE32F6800 stands head and shoulders above its rivals in both picture quality and feature terms. So if you care about such ‘little’ matters even at the relatively small 32-inch screen size and have deep enough pockets, you most definitely should buy one.
The Samsung UE32F6800 proves that Samsung’s formidable run of TV form for 2013 isn’t restricted to its big-screen, high-end highlights. For even if you decide that its actually exceptional 3D credentials aren’t of interest at the 32-inch level, it’s still got more than enough going on in the picture quality and Smart feature departments to justify its £579 price – and then some.