All of UK’s catch-up TV services? Exciting and immersive picture? Costs less than £500? Yes, please. The Samsung UE40F6400 has it all.
With a Full HD screen, active 3D, all the advantages of Samsung’s excellent Smart Hub, multiple HDMI connections, two remote controls and even voice control, this mid-range Samsung TV is one hell of a deal, especially since it used to be £800.
It’s an attention-grabbing picture. There’s a stunning level of detail that gives a sense of depth to the picture on screen, and subtleties in shading leave objects looking tangible and realistic.
The vivid colours are just shy of looking overblown, lending a pleasant tone to the palette without sacrificing its richness and intensity.
The UE40F6400 is a bright, inviting screen, and punches with a vitality that rival sets such as the Finlux 40F8073-T struggle to muster.
It’s as confident displaying 1080p Blu-ray films as it is with upscaling standard-definition broadcasts, and the picture is smooth and relatively noise-free.
White levels are punchy and stark clean. Admittedly, the black levels don’t go as inky deep as we’d like, but the flip side is that we see a level of detail in shadows and darker scenes that rival sets would swallow up completely.
If we were to pick out a criticism it would be that skin tones look slightly ruddy – they’re just a touch more flushed than would be completely natural, but that’s being super-picky.
With active 3D and two pairs of active-shutter glasses included, you certainly get your money’s worth.
The 40F6400’s bright and punchy picture works well with 3D films, with test favourite The Adventures Of Tintin looking as exciting and enjoyable as ever.
There’s a slight hint of flicker when the action gets busy – and there are a lot of fast-moving action scenes in Tintin – but the 3D isn’t too trying on the eyes. Samsung’s active 3D glasses are light, too.
This Samsung is one of the very few flatscreen TVs that can muster up a well-rounded, solid and listenable sound quality.
There’s enough punch from the 20W speakers to lend excitement, while voices are loud, clear and expressive.
There’s still a sharp edge but it’s not wince-inducing, and is softened somewhat by the comparative weight and warmth of the overall sound.
More after the break
Samsung’s winning feature is its superb smart TV content, especially the full selection of UK catch-up TV services.
BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 – these are essential if you’re an avid TV viewer and don’t want to miss your favourite shows.
Movies-on-demand services, on the other hand, are thin on the ground with only Netflix available, but you can watch shorter videos on the YouTube app, while the BFI Player is an asset for its collection of handpicked and classic films and special features.
Along with all the other trappings of a smart TV platform (Twitter, media player, Skype, show recommendations) the five-panel Smart Hub is a stylish and sleek interface.
Scrolling through the carousel of categories is swift, while the TV’s programme guide is also a swift and easy-to-use interface.
Samsung includes two remote controls with the UE40F6400: one standard button remote, and the Smart Touch remote. Both are responsive and instinctive to use.
The Smart Hub and all its panels and thumbnails are easy to access with both remotes, and whether you like pressing buttons or swiping across a touch sensitive pad, you’re in good hands with either.
The Smart Touch remote is essential if you plan on using the set’s voice control, but while we appreciate the feature being included, it’s still a limited, hit-and-miss feature that doesn’t really move things along any faster.
Simple commands work, but we still don’t feel compelled to dictate commands at our TV when using the remotes is so much quicker and easier.
There are a generous four HDMI inputs on the back panel for plugging in your sources, along with three USB ports and a Freeview HD tuner.
You can connect to your home network either by wired or wireless methods – both are easy to set up and provide a stable connection. Streaming the latest Sherlock episode on BBC iPlayer was smooth and uninterrupted.
There are also composite, component and RGB scart inputs for analogue sources, and a single optical digital output.
With everything the Samsung UE40F6400 has to offer at this knockdown price, it’s hard not to be completely tempted.
Not only does it come with all the bells and whistles (and then some more) of a modern smart TV, it also delivers the goods when it comes to picture quality – it’s such an enjoyable and captivating set.
Should the Samsung UE40F6400 be on your shopping list? Absolutely.
MORE: Best TVs 2014