Samsung UE55HU8200: 3D Picture Quality
The UE55HU8200 is a stellar 3D performer. We’re big fans, for a start, of how its active 3D engine upscales 3D Blu-rays to UHD, as this makes the 3D world feel even more ‘reach out and touch it’ tangible than it does on good quality HD TVs. 3D pictures look bright and colourful too, despite the inevitable dimming effect of the active shutter glasses.
The screen’s excellent contrast performance also helps it reproduce a phenomenal sense of depth in large scale images like Pacific Rim’s ‘Shatterdome’, and perhaps best of all crosstalk ghosting noise is superbly suppressed, only cropping up very occasionally and remaining low-level even when it does.
Judder is a slight problem, but we found we could deal with it well enough by upping the set’s motion processing to its Standard rather than Clear mode, since this reduces the judder without making the picture look too unnatural, processed or glitchy.
Even the most die-hard of 3D haters might be won over by the UE55HU8200’s 3D experience. Especially as the curved screen gently enhances the sense of 3D depth (if you’re sat in roughly the right seating position).
Samsung UE55HU8200: Sound Quality
While the UE55HU8200 is no match for the remarkable sonic efforts of the Sony X9005B series, or the recently tested Bang & Olufsen Avant, it is still a strong audio performer. It can hit prodigious volumes without a trace of distortion or cabinet rattle, and without the sound becoming compressed or muddy.
Vocals are rich, rounded and always stand proud from background noise, the soundstage is expansive, appearing to spread beyond the confines of the screen’s edges, the mid-range is open and expressive, and there’s lots of refined, harshness-free treble detail to create a sense of space and ‘texture’ in a good movie mix.
Bass doesn’t get especially low, but at least what there is of it melds nicely into the lower end of the mid-range without overwhelming everything.
The set’s virtual surround setting is more interesting than most such systems too, really expanding the soundstage well beyond the TV’s physical chassis without it starting to sound too thin or disjointed. Though personally we still preferred the stereo mode.
One odd flaw we noticed was that the speakers distort quite unpleasantly at very low volumes. But since we’re talking here about volume levels so low you can barely hear them, we guess this shouldn’t trouble many people under normal viewing conditions.
Other things to consider
As with most of Samsung’s smart TVs, the UE55HU8200 ships with a smart remote alongside a (rather small and plasticky) standard one. This smart remote takes a bit of getting used to thanks to the sheer quantity of control options it offers: point and click, touch pad and standard navigation buttons. But it’s worth persevering with, as it can certainly streamline your route through the slightly cumbersome smart menus once you’ve got the hang of it.
Many of the UHD/4K TVs we’ve tested have proved compromised gaming monitors on account of their slightly high input lag. The UE55HU8200’s lag came in at around 66ms during our tests, which isn’t actually a bad result for a UHD TV. Even so it’s around twice as high as we’d ideally see.
Should I buy a Samsung UE55HU8200?
The UE55HU8200 is by any measure a stunning TV. If its size, curved screen, UHD resolution and £2,400 price meet your requirements, it won’t let you down.
That said, if it were us we’d very seriously consider trying to find another £300 to get Samsung’s UE55HU8500. After all, this outperforms the HU8200 with its pictures thanks to its PurColour system, better motion processing and local dimming.
Actually, if you really are feeling flush and have the space for it, an even better bet would be the 65-inch UE65HU8500, as the curve becomes more effective at this larger size. That’s a rather heftier £1000 upgrade, though.
While we’re still not totally convinced curved screens really contribute much at the 55-inch screen size, the UE55HU8200 is nonetheless a gorgeous-looking and brilliant UHD TV that slots perfectly into the feature, performance and, more importantly, price gap left between Samsung’s HU7500 and HU8500 models.
Next, check out our pick of the Best 4K TVs
Score in detail
3D Quality 9
Smart TV 8
2D Quality 9
Sound Quality 8
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