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Samsung UE40F6400 review

 Review: November 2013  
 

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: A good-looking 40-inch 3D LED television with outstanding Smart TV and premium looks.



 

Review

The Samsung UE40F6400 adds Samsung's award-winning Smart TV to the Samsung UE40F6100, and costs about £50 extra. That makes the F6400 good value in our opinion. 

Design & looks

The UE40F6400 is typical of mid-range models in Samsung's 2013 range of LED TVs. It's slim and looks very modern with a narrow, glossy black bezel around the edge. The silver-finish quad stand completes the look, and allows you to swivel the TV left and right.

The F6400 comes with two remote controls - a traditional controller and a new smart touch controller, which also enables voice control. It's A-rated for energy efficiency, using just 62W of power in normal use.

Picture quality

Samsung's Series 6 televisions vary considerably in their picture quality, and the F6400 is placed closer to the bottom than the top. It's a full HD TV though, capable of producing full 1080p resolution images.

The panel is of PVA type, which enables it to produce some quite impressive levels of black. It can also produce bright, vivid colours. But it's in shadow detail that the LED backlighting falls down, being unable to reproduce the dynamic range of Samsung's higher-end TVs. If you're willing to spend some time adjusting settings you can make significant improvements, but most users just use the default settings, and these aren't so good on the F6400 model.

The Clear Motion Rate of this panel is 200Hz, which is a moderate speed. While it's fast enough to negate the worst kinds of motion blur, there is still some lag visible in fast moving scenes. It's more visible on this 40 inch screen than on its 32-inch counterpart.

Viewing angles are also rather tight, which means that if you're sitting off-centre, you'll notice the brightness and colour start to fade - not ideal if there are several people watching the same TV, or if the TV is positioned at an angle to where you normally sit to watch.

Overall, the display handles Blu-Ray content pretty well, with just a lack of detail in some scenes, and a little blurring if things start moving quickly. With HD broadcast material or DVDs, the upscaling is competent, and the TV delivers an experience that will satisfy many. An investment of time adjusting picture settings will pay dividends.

3D

The F6400 is just about fast enough to handle 3D viewing. We say just about, because 200Hz is the absolute minimum speed at which any TV can support 3D. The F6400 uses active shutter glasses, and you may notice some flickering while watching in 3D, or ghosting effects resulting from crosstalk. We'd really wouldn't recommend more than occasional 3D viewing on this model.

Two pairs of active shutter glasses are included in the sales package.

Audio quality

The F6400 uses full range downfiring speakers, and max power output is 10W x 2, which is typical for a mid-range TV. There are no dedicated subwoofers here, so the sound tends to be on the weak side. The 3D surround effect can add a little depth, but overall the audio quality is average for a slimline television. A dedicated soundbar or speaker system would be a worthwhile addition if you are serious about enjoying your movies.

Smart TV

One of the best features of this TV is the outstandingly good Smart TV system. Samsung have revamped the system for 2013 and this latest version is very user-friendly, and the functionality has also been ramped up. First of all, the range of apps available through Samsung Apps has been updated to include catch-up TV via the BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, ITV Player, the 4oD service from Channel 4, and Demand 5 from Channel 5. You'll also find staples like LoveFilm, Skype, Twitter and others.

Secondly, social media are fully integrated into the Smart TV system, so you can keep up with your facebook and twitter feeds and watch your friends' videos.

Even selecting programmes to watch has evolved, with the "S Recommendation" system suggesting programmes based on your viewing history. You may not ever need to scroll through listings again, as the system does its best to bring interesting programmes to your attention.

Connectivity

The connectivity options available in the F6400 are also excellent, with a Freeview HD tuner plus built-in Wi-Fi, a generous 4 HDMI ports, 3 USBs and ethernet. A range of other connections are also included, making it possible to connect to most devices around the home, including wireless streaming of content from compatible tablets and smartphones.

Conclusion

The F6400 isn't a bad TV at all. It would make a perfectly adequate living room TV for a family. While viewing angles can be a little tight, the picture quality isn't bad for the price. Audio quality isn't worse than most comparable TVs, while the excellent Smart TV is its outstanding attraction. The wide range of connections is another good feature.

At the same time, the 3D performance is poor, and we really wouldn't recommend this model for more than just occasional 3D viewing.

The F6400 is probably the cheapest 40-inch model in Samsung's range that we could recommend. Below this the picture quality is compromised in too many ways. We'd recommend pushing the budget up to the F6500 or higher for a better viewing experience, or perhaps considering the excellent Sony KDL-42W653A instead. If you do choose the F6400, be sure to spend some time learning about the various picture settings and optimising them for best results.

 

Samsung UE40F6400 features include:

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