The Samsung UE55F7000 is a 55-inch TV from the second rung of Samsung’s current HD TV ladder (not counting the imminent Ultra HD F9000 models). This automatically makes it one of the most feature-rich TVs in town, with active 3D playback, a richly featured smart TV platform, and a very high spec LCD panel.
It's available in a large range of sizes, too, including 40-inches, 46-inches and 60-inches, with prices starting at just north £1,000 for the 40-inch.
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It’s quite a looker too. As we’ve noted in previous reviews, in some ways we actually prefer the super-slim metallic bezel design of the F7000 range to the darker look of the step-up F8000 models. Though in truth, both are gorgeous. Also classy is the UE55F7000’s beautifully built aluminium stand and cute little stand neck, with its angled section sporting the Samsung logo.
It has ample connectivity, too. Partly because of its carriage of three USBs, four HDMIs, and built-in Wi-Fi (offering DLNA file access and Smart TV online platform access), but also because of its Evolution Kit slot. These kits allow you to upgrade the UE55F7000’s processing chipset with next year’s Samsung chipsets when they come out, effectively giving you the option of upgrading to a new TV at a fraction of the price (this year’s Evolution Kits cost £200) of buying an actual new TV.
Given the current speed of change in the TV world, this sort of future proofing is exceptionally welcome, giving you some peace of mind that your TV won’t be outdated as soon as you’ve got it home.
Read our Samsung SEK-1000 TV Evolution Kit review to see what we made of this year's version.
Not surprisingly given what a slender bezel it’s got, the Samsung UE55F7000 uses edge LED illumination. It doesn’t accompany this with a full local dimming engine; Samsung only applies this contrast-boosting technology to its 9000 models, which this year mark the point where Samsung introduces its UHD technology.
Experience shows, though, that Samsung produces excellent contrast from its current LCD TVs via its micro-dimming system, which constantly breaks the picture into small zones so that the processing engine can make more accurate judgements over the optimum picture settings to use.
The main difference – apart from its design - between the UE55F7000 and its Samsung UE55F8000 counterpart is that the F8000 divides pictures into a greater number of micro-dimming processing zones than the 55F7000, resulting in noticeable improvements in its contrast and colour handling. As we’ll see, though, this does not mean the 55F7000’s pictures aren’t still very good considering it costs £300 less than its F8000 sibling.
Another smaller difference finds the 55F7000 driving its panel at an ‘800 Clear Motion Rate’ versus the 1000CMR of the 55F8000. This does result in marginally more judder and resolution loss over moving objects on the F7000 model, but the difference is pretty marginal – at least in 2D mode.
You can read our full Samsung Smart TV review for a our in-depth opinion on Samsung's system, but highlights include its unprecedented amounts of video streaming (including all the key UK channel catch-up TV services) and its ability to track your viewing habits and recommend new viewing material accordingly. So all we’ll say further about it here is that while its interface is still a bit inscrutable in places, its content, the sophistication of its features and even its ever-improving gesture and voice controls make it a superb addition to the UE55F7000.