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Samsung UE55F8000 review

John Archer

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Reviewed:

Awards

  • Editors choice
Samsung UE55F8000

Summary

Our Score:

10

User Score:

Pros

  • Irresistible design
  • Outstanding 2D and 3D picture quality
  • Comprehensive and beautifully presented Smart TV features

Cons

  • Gesture and voice controls still frustrate at times
  • Samsung's Android and iOS app could be better
  • No picture preset for AV enthusiasts

Key Features

  • 55in LCD TV with edge LED lighting
  • Active 3D playback
  • Smart TV online features, including BBC iPlayer
  • Multimedia playback via USB or LAN/wi-fi
  • Gesture and Voice control
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £2,500.00

Samsung UE55F8000 - Introduction

Samsung might have been pipped to the post by Panasonic this year in the annual race to be the first big brand to launch its new TV range into the UK, but we – and, we suspect, the world at large – are still pretty psyched to have the first 2013-range Samsung TV, the F8000 range, now sat on our test bench.

Especially as this new model, the Samsung UE55F8000, comes from the very top of Samsung’s new F8000 range, meaning it should show us Samsung flexing absolutely all of its latest TV muscles. Which sounds much more disturbing than we meant it to…

Samsung UE55F8000 - Design

No sooner have you lifted the Samsung UE55F8000 out of its box than it starts to impress. For even by Samsung’s traditionally trend-setting design standards the UE55F8000 is one heck of a looker, chiefly because there’s so little of it.

We’re accustomed now to finding high-end TVs sporting crazily slim bezels, but the UE55F8000 takes this to a new extreme by surrounding its 55-inch screen with under half a centimetre of beautifully finished black frame, trimmed by a mere sliver of metallic silver.

Samsung UE55F8000

The simple notion that such a puny bezel on an edge LED TV can still deliver 55in of bright pictures seems to defy the laws of physics, while the visual impact of having so little bezel is underlined by the fact that even the bottom edge of the TV – the edge where most manufacturers allow themselves a little more bezel depth – is just as thin as the other three sides, except for a little section in the centre holding a tiny illuminated Samsung logo. Well, you didn’t expect Samsung to go to so much trouble with the TV’s design without making sure they got the credit for it, did you?!

Even the Samsung UE55F8000’s stand is a work of art, using a remarkably narrow curved bar that runs behind the TV, so that aside from a couple of small silver protrusions at each of the bottom corners the TV looks like it’s just floating in space.

The only thing slight issue with this stand is that it needs to stand on a surface as wide as the TV; anything less and the small front support sections of the curved stand won’t rest on anything and the TV will simply topple forward. Ouch.

With so little bezel to support the screen, it’s pleasing to find Samsung making the Samsung UE55F8000’s rear far more rigid and robust than the ones on last year’s equivalent ES8000 models. In fact, the polished metallic look to this rear is almost as pretty in its own way as the TV’s ultra-minimalist front.

Samsung UE55F8000 - Connections

All the connections on the rear are positioned for side access, making the UE55F8000 easy to hang on the wall if that suits your room set up. The connections are predictably prodigious too – especially now Samsung has sensibly gone back to providing four HDMIs after curiously flirting with just three on last year’s models. There are both RF and satellite tuner feeds too, as the UE55F8000 sports both Freeview and Freesat HD tuners.

Samsung UE55F8000

Plus, of course, there are multimedia options aplenty, thanks to three USBs, a LAN port, and built-in Wi-Fi. The USBs can play back a large array of video, photo and music file formats, as well as allowing you to connect USB HDDs for timeshifting from the digital tuners.

The Samsung UE55F8000's LAN/Wi-Fi options, though, are where things really get interesting. For as well as enabling you to stream files from DLNA-capable computers with the aid of Samsung’s AllShare software, they also permit you to go online with the latest incarnation of Samsung’s online Smart TV service.

Samsung UE55F8000 - Smart Features

There’s far too much to talk about regarding Samsung’s Smart TV platform to do it justice in this review. So look out for an in-depth analysis of it in the next few days.

In the meantime, though, we should cover at least the basics here, kicking off with the fact that Samsung has adopted a similar strategy to Panasonic by providing you with five different themed ‘home screens’. The default starting screen is ‘On TV’ which plays a reduced version of the current broadcast programme while also showing other recommended broadcasts and shows coming up on preferred channels in the coming hour or so.

The most important word in the previous paragraph is ‘recommended’. For in a really significant move, Samsung’s Smart platform can now track your viewing habits and, TiVo-style, use the programme information supplied by broadcasters to identify other TV shows you might be interested in. Nifty.

Samsung UE55F8000

The other home screens on offer cover: movies and TV show searches (again with a recommendation system) over any platform available, be it broadcast or online; a portal to your photos, videos and music files; a social page for YouTube Skype, Twitter and Facebook activity; and an Apps page for managing and accessing the apps already on your TV and those available for download from Samsung’s servers.

The presentation values throughout are extremely high, though a bit more on-screen information might have been appreciated in places. As would the option to develop a truly personalised home screen like you can with Panasonic’s new system. But as we say, we’ll get into this in more detail in a separate feature.

Arenaman

March 8, 2013, 12:03 pm

Hi, did you notice an screen uniformity issues, ie clouding, banding or light bleed at all, also how is the motion, is there any stuttering seen like on the ES models?

dracula

March 8, 2013, 5:10 pm

why did you move the backligth so low at six ?, only dracula could watch something at such a darkness. Thank u.

Agustin Alonso 

March 11, 2013, 9:12 pm

This set have the Precisión Black or its only for USA and Samsung lies one more time?

John Archer

March 12, 2013, 7:35 pm

As I state in the review, the key point about this Samsung is that it gets rid of the clouding and uniformity problems that have troubled the brand before. Especially if you use the Cinema Black feature when watching 21:9 material.

The more powerful processing also seems to have greatly reduced stutter issues, especially when watching 3D.

Hope this helps.

johndaintree

March 14, 2013, 11:55 am

So, and this is possibly an unfair question. Is this a better TV (for picture and audio) than the Sony 55HX853 - or even the 55HX953? I'm on the cusp of getting one or the other but I've not been able to do a side by side comparison.

Matt

March 22, 2013, 3:20 pm

Looks great.. but that stand will not fit on my current cabinet. At the moment that's a deal-breaker for me, which is really disappointing.. it looks like a great TV :(

Jonas Vingys

April 10, 2013, 6:57 am

I wonder how TV can get 10 out of 10, when the most important stuff (i.e. 2D and 3D image quality) gets 9 out of 10 and average mark for all features is 9 out of 10? Not fair overall rating IMHO.

Darren

April 22, 2013, 5:55 pm

my existing stand is 120cm. would I have a unstable hangover or not in your opinion?

Srinivas Rao

July 10, 2013, 3:58 pm

no this tv cant be as good as sony hx853 or hx953 in picture clarity only good in apps

Mikael Chuaungo

July 27, 2013, 2:58 pm

Dont you think this TV is worth purchasing a new stand?

Mikael Chuaungo

July 27, 2013, 2:59 pm

U CANNOT compare any TV with the Sony 55HX 953 :D

Dze_Oh

August 28, 2013, 4:08 am

What about the horizontal black line problem that has plagued consumers who bought Samsung TVs 2010? As soon as the 2 year warranty runs out about 6 months later the line appears. That is why any further extended warranty is not sold. You are told that to fix the horizontal black line it is cheaper to buy a new TV. Reviews like this that I read never revealed the horizontal line problem with Samsung TVs plasma and LCD. It was only after buying a 50" plasma TV June 2010 with the most warranty I could get - 2years - and having the line show up February 2013 only to be told it was cheaper to buy new TV that to fix the horizontal line that further research showed the problem existed for Samsung TVs as far back as 2006 with the 40" sets.
You should let folks know about these problems because we buy TVs based on your reviews.

joseph xuereb

September 11, 2013, 12:46 pm

does the f8000 support hdmi 1.4b????? thanks

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