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Samsung UE46ES6800 review

John Archer

By

Reviewed:

1 of 7

Samsung UE46ES6800
  • Samsung UE46ES6800
  • Samsung UE46ES6800
  • Samsung UE46ES6800
  • Samsung UE46ES6800
  • Samsung UE46ES6800
  • Samsung UE46ES6800
  • Samsung UE46ES6800

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Cutely designed
  • Mostly very good picture quality
  • Excellent online service

Cons

  • Backlight inconsistencies, especially with 3D
  • Very unhelpful picture presets
  • Crosstalk with 3D

Key Features

  • 46in LCD with edge LED lighting
  • active 3D playback
  • Samsung Smart TV online service
  • ‘400Hz’ processing
  • Two pairs of 3D glasses included
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £1,114.00

Samsung always likes to kick off each new TV season by rolling out its big guns; its biggest flagship models, complete with all the designer looks and cutting edge features the Korean brand can muster. But while these sets might be great for establishing Samsung’s brand image, when it comes to cold, hard sales it’s usually the models a couple of steps down Samsung’s range that the majority of punters want to get their hands on. Models like, in other words, the Samsung UE46ES6800 we’re looking at today.

This 46in model belongs two steps below the previous tested ES8000 models, and as such makes its charms available for a cool £500 less than the UE46ES8000. This clearly makes the UE46ES6800 a more mass market proposition. But it also inevitably raises questions of just how many features might have been sacrificed to make such a price drop possible.

Samsung UE46ES6800

The first difference hits you as soon as you take the UE46ES6800 out of the box. For in place of the ‘barely there’ silver bezel of the ES8000 sets, you get a wider black bezel, offset by 3-4mm of transparent outer trim. The UE46ES6800 also uses a cross-shaped stand design instead of the eye-catching ‘arch’ of the ES8000s. While this all means that the UE46ES6800‘s design isn’t as ‘sci-fi’ as that of the ES8000s, though, it’s still very attractive.

Connections

Connections are more or less as strong as those of the ES8000 series though, and include three HDMIs, three USBs, a D-Sub PC port, both satellite and terrestrial RF inputs, and both LAN and built-in Wi-Fi options for accessing either DLNA PCs or Samsung’s Smart TV online service via your broadband router.

The HDMIs are all v1.4 in spec to cope with full HD 3D inputs, while the USBs can be used for playing back a wide array of video, music and photo file formats, or for recording to USB HDD from the set’s tuners. The satellite tuner is quite unusual in that it actually supports the Freesat HD platform.

Samsung UE46ES6800

The Samsung UE46ES6800’s online features appear to be the same as those of the UE46ES8000 (more on these later), though one key difference finds the UE46ES6800 lacking the built-in camera found on the ES8000s. This means you’ll have to add an optional external camera if you want to use Skype or some of the set’s Family Zone features via your TV.

No Gesture Control

The lack of a camera also means that the UE46ES6800 doesn’t offer the groundbreaking gesture control functionality sported by Samsung’s higher-end models. Some will find this no big deal given that we haven’t wholly seen eye to eye with this gesture control system so far. But not being able to control your TV by hand movements does mean that unlike the ES8000s, you can no longer operate the Samsung UE46ES6800 without needing a physical handset.

The UE46ES6800 also ships without the second, touchpad remote control found with the ES8000 models, and furthermore can’t be controlled via your voice unlike the ES8000 models. Basically, with the UE46ES6800 you get a revamped but still fairly typical remote control and that’s it.

Samsung UE46ES6800

More differences between the UE46ES6800 and Samsung’s flagship TVs materialise as you delve through their feature lists. For starters, unlike the ES8000s, the UE46ES6800 doesn’t use one of Samsung’s top-line Ultra Clear Panel designs. It also offers a Clear Motion Rate of 400Hz versus the 800Hz of the ES8000s, meaning we’ll need to be on the look out for potential motion flaws.

Micro Dimming

Next, while the Samsung UE46ES6800 does enjoy a level of micro dimming when automatically calculating the best picture settings to use at any given moment, the amount of picture areas assessed by the dimming processing isn’t as high and therefore accurate as it is with the ES8000 series.

Wrapping up the important differences, the UE46ES6800 can't be upgraded with a 'Smart Evolution' pack like the ES8000s can, and lacks the 3D audio system of its flagship sibling. The cheaper model does, though, also have a couple of smallish advantages of its own, namely slightly reduced power consumption, and the ability to swivel around on its stand.

David Horn

May 15, 2012, 2:06 pm

When they come in, are you able to calibrate the TVs before reviewing them?

Only I had the previous generation to this and to say "skin tones look a touch less life-like" is like saying that Hitler enjoyed foreign holidays.

AJ

May 15, 2012, 4:06 pm

I like the look of this, but am trying to decide between the model below it (6300?), last years 46D6530 (looks stunning in the shop) and potentially this.

Really I want to keep the price well below the £1000 mark though as it's only for the bedroom.

AJ

May 16, 2012, 5:31 pm

Here at JL in Canary Wharf (ok it's really just the biggest Waitrose you've ever seen officially) they have the ES5500 and the 6800 side by side.

Design wise (for anyone interested) they are practically identical (front the front). The 5500 doesn't appear to have 3D (woohoo!), but the picture still looks very good. Therefore easy for people like me to make a £600 saving (and that's on the 40" model).

The only big downside is that the rear of the 5500 is not optimised for wall mounting. So for those wanting to do this it may not be suitable.

mandeepi

June 10, 2012, 12:29 am

TR - You have mentioned that this has a D-Sub port on it. Yet the spec on the samsung website says it doesn't.

Surely your not making up reviews as something like that isnt some minor mistake, its not like your reviewing 20 diff TV's a day to make that kind of omission.

Please clarify as im ready to buy this on the back of it having a D-Sub as you have advertised, otherwise I will be getting the 6300.

adyade

August 28, 2012, 6:03 pm

Can anyone heeeelllllllppppppppp !

I am torn between the LG42LM670T which I can get for £699, or the Samsung UE40ES6900 which I can get for £849 with keyboard and soundbar.

I've read bad reviews about the LG, and haven't found any reviews for the Samsung.

Any help appreciated

domlanic

October 29, 2012, 8:28 pm

Can anyone help with how to set up the Smart TV thingy? Do I need the Samsung USB tuner or will my Air Ties 5452 WiFi modem router do the job- if so, how to set up?? Cables or wi-fi? All too nerdy for me.

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