Samsung UE40F6800 review

Samsung's 40-inch UE40F6800 is aimed squarely at the red-hot smart TV mainstream. Featuring a host of internet TV services, this model had 3D, Freeview HD and Freesat HD and typically sells for around £999. See also: Group test: what's the best TV?

Part of the brand's sprawling 6 Series range, it's also available as the £780 32-inch UE32F6800, £1230 46-inch UE46F6800, £1430 50-inch UE50F6800 and £1650 55-inch UE55F6800. Take a look at our Sony KD-65X9005A 4k TV review.

Samsung's design team has been rightly lauded in the past when it comes to TV design, but with the UE40F6800 they've been caught napping. The set's wraparound translucent beading is a lazy design affectation that does little to enhance the panel itself, while overall build quality feels somewhat cheap and plasticky.

The aesthetic isn't helped by the fact that the widely spaced pedestal feet give the set an inelegant, gawping appearance. It looks not unlike one of the Huey, Dewey and Louie droids from the classic sci-fi film Silent Running.

Connectivity is less contentious. There are four HDMI, three USB, SCART, component/composite, a digital optical output and ethernet. Wi-Fi is also built-in. The screen also comes with two remotes, a standard IR zapper and snazzy touchpad alternative, the latter particularly suited to web browsing.

The UE40F6800 sports Samsung's new user interface, which presents a fistful of icons to better help navigate the packed content portal. Select the On TV icon and you're presented with a screen full of channel thumbnails along with the main TV PIP window; this doesn't particularly simplify things, but it's colourful and different.

When it comes to heavyweight content providers, Samsung has them all in the bag. There's a full hand of TV catch-up providers (BBC iPlayer, ITV player, Demand 4 and 4OD) plus a full compliment of other streaming services, including YouTube, LoveFilm, Netflix, KnowHowMovies, Blinkbox and more. Dedicated silos store 3D content and casual games.

Not satisfied with besting the rest with IPTV choice, this 40-incher also offers extensive file support. It copes with all the usual popular stuff, including AVI, WMV, MOV, MKV, MP3, WAV, FLAC and WMA, and doesn't even bat an eyelid when fed obscure file types such as DXD and APE. Very impressive!
 
Picture quality is excellent for the price. HD images are bright and vibrant, while black levels are Bournville smooth, with plenty of shadow detail. This set also does a great job when it comes to motion picture resolution.

For movies we'd advise turning off  the brand's proprietary Motion Plus image processing. Even with this disengaged, clarity is held at a subjective high of 850 lines (measured at 6.5 pixels per frame). For full 1080-line moving definition, opt for the Clear setting, which keeps detail crisp but doesn't penalise with smudgy predictive artefacts; alternatively delve into the Motion Plus Custom settings and set Judder Reduction to zero and Blur reduction to 5.

Off-angle viewing is a little limited. You only have to stray moderately off-axis to experience a significant drop in colour and contrast.
 
While the majority of LCD TV makers have now adopted Passive 3D, Samsung seems happy to stick with Active Shutter, and it's used here to good effect. While the supplied RF glasses (you get two pairs) need to be snapped together, this faff is rewarded with excellent resolution and inconsequential levels of crosstalk double imaging. Stereoscopic images appear colour rich and detailed.
 
The set's audio performance is also impressive, given that the screen is just 47mm thick and employs downward firing speakers. A chunky 2 x 10W amplifier contributes weight and volume.

Samsung UE40F6800: Specs

  • 40-inch LCD TV
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Freeview HD, Freesat HD tuners
  • 7-day EPG
  • stereo speakers with 2 x 10W amplifier
  • 4 x HDMI, 1 x SCART, 1x Component/composite, stereo phono audio
  • Outputs: digital optical audio, headphone jack
  • 10/100 ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi built-in
  • 3 x USB 2.0, CI slot
  • 61W avg power consumption
  • 950 x 544 x 47 mm (whd, w/o stand)
  • 9.1 kg
  • 40-inch LCD TV
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Freeview HD, Freesat HD tuners
  • 7-day EPG
  • stereo speakers with 2 x 10W amplifier
  • 4 x HDMI, 1 x SCART, 1x Component/composite, stereo phono audio
  • Outputs: digital optical audio, headphone jack
  • 10/100 ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi built-in
  • 3 x USB 2.0, CI slot
  • 61W avg power consumption
  • 950 x 544 x 47 mm (whd, w/o stand)
  • 9.1 kg

OUR VERDICT

While Samsung's 40-inch UE40F6800 is unlikely to win any design awards, there's no doubting its overall performance. Images are fast and crisp, 3D is detailed and bright, and most significantly, the set features best-in-class internet TV content and has unbeatable multimedia file support. The UE40F6800 may not be particularly cheap, but when it comes to performance it doesn't disappoint.

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