Samsung UE40F6800 review
Finding your way through the forest of Samsung's 40 inch televisions is a daunting task, but one model in the 2013 range that stands out is the F6800. With very competitive pricing, a good range of features and a striking design, this is one that should be on your list to check out in detail.
Design & looks
In a world where every TV tends to look the same, the F6800 has a refreshingly different design. It's an attractively slim TV with a very contemporary "branch" design stand with Y-shaped feet. A super narrow bezel and a transparent edge complete the modern look.
Picture quality from the F6800 is good for the price. The TV uses a high quality PVA LCD panel capable of producing super bright colours with plenty of contrast. The LED edge backlighting not only enables the screen to be much thinner than traditional backlit panels, but it produces good contrast levels and pin sharp details.
The display has a moderately fast 400 Clear Motion Rate, which is typical for this price range. It's fast enough to avoid all but occasional motion blur in fast action sport or moves. Games Mode minimises lag when playing console games, and casual gamers won't notice any problems. More serious gamers may notice some lag and motion blur however.
Viewing angles can be a little tight, but this is noticeable only if you move several feet to the left or right of centre. In this case, a little fading of darker colours can be observed.
The F6800 is 3D capable and uses active 3D, which ensures that full 1080p high definition is viewed in its native resolution. Two pairs of active 3D glasses are included with the TV and 3D performance is generally good. Some occasional crosstalk or flicker may be evident when watching certain films.
Audio quality is typical for a slimline TV, that's to say it's good enough for watching regular TV, but you'll notice a lack of depth and bass when watching any kind of action movie. Lack of punch in the speakers means that mid-range frequencies are reproduced well enough (e.g. for dialogue), but bass in particular is weak.
For best results, as always, a separate soundbar or full 5.1 speaker system will noticeably improve audio quality.
The stand-out feature of this TV is Smart TV 2.0. Samsung has given its Smart TV a completely new user-friendly graphical user interface for 2013 and overhauled its functionality.
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.
To make best use of the new-style interface, you might like to try the touchpad smart remote that is designed for navigating through the new menus and icons. The smart remote also enables voice commands, although we feel that this is mostly a gimmick. A conventional second remote control is also included for those who prefer traditional ways of doing things.
Connectivity is excellent, with Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners built in, 4 HDMI ports, 3 USBs, ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi. A range of other connections are also included, making it possible to connect to most devices around the home.
Conclusion - an excellent mid-ranger
The UE40F6800 stands out as one of the best of Samsung's 2013 line-up. It's a much more affordable TV than the over-priced Series 7 model, yet it offers very attractive looks, outstandingly good Smart TV, excellent connectivity and good picture quality, including 3D. That makes it a good buy for most families, and it's one that we can recommend. The price has fallen further in recent months and it is now an outstanding buy.
Samsung UE40F6800 features include:
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