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Samsung UE46ES7000 review

 Review: November 2012  
 

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: An absolutely stunning 46 inch LED TV with an ultrathin design, excellent picture quality and plenty of Smart TV functionality.



 

Design & looks

At first glance, all flatscreen televisions look the same. At second glance, certain models start to jump out at you and catch your attention. Samsung's Series 7 LED TVs belong to that category.

The Series 7 TVs are the thinnest currently available. Yes, even thinner than the Series 8 (by 1mm)! They have an ethereal quality to them, and it doesn't seem possible that something so thin could produce vivid moving pictures. Magic, it is!

Viewed from the front, you're struck by the narrow bezel that frames the screen, so slim that the TV image seems to hang suspended in mid-air. If any television can be labelled "designer", then Samsung's Series 7 certainly can.

Picture quality

The beauty of the television would be wasted if the picture quality didn't match. Fortunately, it does - very nearly.

The ES7000 range televisions are among Samsung's best LED TVs for picture quality. You won't find any improvement by paying more for the Series 8 - only the design is different.

The Series 7 and Series 8 TVs feature Micro Dimming Pro, which produces bright whites and dark blacks, without any of the grey muddiness that afflicts cheap LED TVs. The Clear Motion Rate of 800 is ultra-fast and we defy you to spot even the tiniest bit of motion blur. Even when using a games console or watching fast-action sport and movies, you just will not see any kind of lag in the screen response.

The only area that could be bettered is the relatively narrow viewing angle. If you sit about 6 foot off-centre to the screen (left or right), you'll notice that the colours begin to fade, with whites and blacks turning a little grey. That's due to the PVA technology that Samsung use in all their current LED TVs, and you'd have to look at a plasma TV or an IPS panel from LG to find an improvement.

3D

3D performance is very near perfect. The super-fast Clear Motion Rate means that there's absolutely no problem with "crosstalk" - also known as "ghosting". It's simply not an issue. 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

Most TVs have relatively poor audio quality, but Samsung's Series 7 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 - guaranteed to impress

The Series 7 range from Samsung is outstanding. From a design perspective it's stunning and is the thinnest TV you can currently get. Picture quality - particularly 3D performance - is excellent. Audio quality too is above average. The Series 7 also includes all of Samsung's current Smart TV features, including a built-in camera, and is future-proofed thanks to the Smart Evolution expansion slot.

There seems little point in spending £300 more for the Series 8 model, which is no different except for minor differences in appearance. You might consider spending £300 less and choosing one of the Series 6 models, but you'd be missing out on the ultraslim design, the 800Hz response rate and the voice and motion controls.

We think that of all the 46 inch models from Samsung, it's the UE46ES7000 that offers the best price-performance trade-off, thanks to its superb looks and picture quality.


Samsung UE46ES7000 features include:

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