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Samsung UE40ES6800 review

A competitive TV, but iffy backlighting loses it a star Tested at £950

Our Verdict

Satisfy yourself that your ES6800’s backlighting is OK and it’s a competitive TV

For

  • Stylish looks
  • extensive spec
  • crisp, detailed and colourful images
  • impressive in 3D

Against

  • Iffy backlighting and no BBC iPlayer on our sample

This is the first of Samsung’s ES6800 range we’ve tested, and visually it’s more than a little reminiscent of last year’s D7000 range.

That’s not a criticism, by the way – the Samsung UE40ES6800 is a handsome, slim-bezelled device, and the claw-like stand remains a worthwhile design flourish.

There’s little to complain about where the spec’s concerned, either: Freeview HD and Freesat tuners, integrated wi-fi, and active-shutter 3D (with a couple of pairs of lightweight glasses thrown in) are among the highlights.

And there are more input sockets of various types than any rational user will need.

Samsung UE40ES6800

norm. Set-up is a swift and painless operation.

There’s a lot to admire in the way the Samsung UE40ES6800 performs. 3D images from Cave of Forgotten Dreams are stable and enjoyably deep, with motion handled securely, while 2D Blu-ray pictures are detailed, high-contrast and convincing. Skin-tones are life-like, and the colour palette is extensive.

Some of the UE40ES6800’s composure deserts it when upscaling DVD – motion is
a little less certain, and picture-noise is the rule rather than the exception – but switch to one of the high-def tuners and it smartens up its act.

Samsung UE40ES6800: Freesat & Freeview HDWe found that Freesat reception offered a little more depth and detail to black tones, but those without a dish are more than adequately catered for by the Freeview HD alternative.

Gamers will enjoy the Samsung’s swift and positive responses, even if the necessary lack of motion processing can make swift movement a touch smeary. And sound is mercifully unstressed throughout (if entirely absent below the midrange).

Our screen’s unacceptably patchy and intrusive backlighting prevents the UE40ES6800 challenging for five stars.

But as long as you examine your example’s backlight before handing over the readies, you’ll be in possession of a very capable TV.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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