With 3D, the Samsung UE40F6400 is once again better than might have been expected. After donning one of the two pairs of free provided 3D glasses you’ll be struck by the richness and brightness of the 3D images. Sharpness levels are good too for such an affordable active 3D set, the sense of space created is good, and you don’t get the jagged edges and horizontal line artefacts you can see with passive 3D screens.
There’s more crosstalk ghosting noise over sharply contrasted edges or small background objects than you see on passive 3D TVs and the Samsung UE40F7000 or the Samsung UEF8000. But it’s neither common nor aggressive enough to become a defining feature.
The UE40F6400's motion problems noted earlier, however, are if anything exaggerated in 3D mode. It leaves 3D motion looking either a bit juddery or a bit too fluid depending on your motion processing settings, with no way of achieving a truly satisfying balance between the two positions.
With its affordable price and good contrast, the UE40F6400 offers great potential as a gaming monitor. So it’s good to see this potential underlined by a good measured input lag figure of just 33ms.
Even the UE40F6400’s sound quality is better than might have been expected, as it proves able to deliver more volume with more clarity and more dynamic range than most of its peers.
If you’re not in a financial position to step up to one of this year’s TV superstars, such as the Sony Bravia 55W905A and its brethren or the incredible Panasonic TX-P60ZT65, then it should near the top of your shortlist.
Why? Because its picture quality, features and design all outgun those of most rivals at the sub-£700 level of the market, making it terrific value. Really, the only rival for it we’ve seen so far this year is the even cheaper Panasonic TX-L42E6, but it doesn’t have 3D, isn’t as pretty, and lacks the full range of catch-up TV services that Samsung has.
It's been a disappointing year for more affordable mid-range TVs this year. But, against this disappointing backdrop, the Samsung UE40F6400 really stands out. It's thoroughly deserves its Recommended badge as it's the best sub-£700 TV we've seen this year.
Next, read our top 10 best TVs of 2013 round-up for more options