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Samsung UE40ES8000 review

 Review: November 2012  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: A stunning designer LED TV with excellent picture quality, top notch 3D performance and the best of Smart TV functionality.



 

Design & looks

The Series 8 TVs are at the pinnacle of Samsung's huge array of LED televisions, and they are designed to leave you in no doubt of that. You can't fail to be impressed by the incredible thinness of this TV.

The super narrow silver bezel around the edge of the TV and the matching arch stand make moving images seem to almost float magically in thin air. You'll catch your breath with astonishment when you first see it. Yes, seriously you will.

Just be aware that the arch stand doesn't swivel, unlike many cheaper TVs.

Picture quality

This is also one of Samsung's best TVs in terms of picture quality. Note that we didn't say the best. That's because no LED TV in Samsung's range is a match for a high-end plasma screen.

Nevertheless, the 8 Series is as good as it gets in Samsung's LED line-up. The Micro Dimming Pro ensures that backlighting is adjusted locally over the screen, producing a high contrast ratio by darkening those parts of the scene that should be dark, while enabling brighter parts to be bright. The system virtually eliminates the cloudiness in dark scenes that can be apparent in cheaper edgelit LED TVs.

The 800 Clear Motion Rate makes this one of the fastest screens to respond, so it's ideal for console gaming, action movies and fast-moving sport.

The only problem with the display panel is the relatively narrow viewing angle, especially when compared with a plasma screen or with LG's IPS panels. Everything's OK until you move about 6 feet to the left or right of centre, and then you'll notice colours starting to fade, with whites and blacks beginning to turn grey.

We also have to point out that the picture quality of the UE40ES8000 is no better than that of the cheaper UE40ES7000 model.

3D

3D performance is near perfect. The super-fast Clear Motion Rate means that there's no problem with "crosstalk" and little flicker from the active 3D glasses. The use of active 3D technology guarantees full 1080p high definition from Blu-Ray films too.

There are two pairs of glasses included in the sales package. Bear in mind that additional pairs cost extra, and budget for this.

Audio quality

The Series 8 TVs are on a par with the Series 7 here. Most modern televisions have relatively poor audio quality, but Samsung's Series 7 and 8 TVs are perhaps better than most. The TV is equipped with Dolby Digital, 3D surround effect and Samsung's proprietary DNSe system. DNSe seeks to reproduce authentic stereo sound and has special settings such as Concert Hall, Clarity and Bass Extension.

Mid- to high-range frequencies are reproduced well, so you should have no problem with the clarity of voices on screen. Bass is another story, but what can you expect from a television that's only 3cm thick? If you want to make the most of this TV, you'll be well advised to invest in a sound bar or a full 5.1 surround sound speaker kit.

Smart TV

Smart TV brings you access to features like youtube, facebook, twitter, web browsing and apps. Family Story lets you share special photos, messages and events with loved ones.

The Series 7 and Series 8 TVs include a front-facing camera mounted on the TV. This enables features such as face recognition and motion control. There's also a voice control system. You might find these features to be fantastically useful, but we're quite happy with an ordinary remote control (yes, we're luddites).

More usefully, the TV includes a Smart Evolution slot in the back where you can plug in a Smart Evolution kit to upgrade your TV. The idea is to future-proof it, at least in terms of smart technology.

Connectivity

Connectivity has all bases fully covered and is outstanding. A key selling point is the built-in Wi-Fi, which can be used to connect to your home router for internet access. It also allows you to stream movies, photos and other content from DLNA-compatible devices such as a PC or smartphone. An ethernet cable can also be connected.

In addition, the TV has multiple connections for all kinds of audiovisual equipment, including 3 HDMI ports and no fewer than 3 USBs. Connectivity is very much a strength of this model.

It also comes with both a Freeview HD tuner and Freesat HD too.

Conclusion - a stunning designer TV

The stand-out feature of the UE40ES8000 is the way it looks. It's the best-looker in Samsung's current range. But you should understand that this is what you're paying for. In every other respect this is the same TV as the UE40ES7000 that costs about £150 less.

Nevertheless, the TV is hard to fault. Picture quality is excellent, with particularly impressive 3D performance. Audio quality is above average, and Smart TV doesn't come any smarter than this. If you want the best 40-inch LED TV in Samsung's current range, then this is the one.


Samsung UE40ES8000 features include:

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Does it support HDR?

Asked by Gabriele from Grillo on 8th Sep 2016



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