Skip to main content

Samsung UE40B7020 review

This new super-slim LED/LCD TV from Samsung is a technical tour de force, and has the picture performance to back up its impressive paper spec Tested at £1500.00

5 Star Rating

Our Verdict

At first sight it may seem pricey, but in this instance there's no doubt you get what you pay for

For

  • Super-slim good looks
  • fine specification
  • effective LED backlighting
  • composed, absorbing pictures from all sources

Against

  • Unpleasant remote
  • wireless dongle costs extra
  • ropey broadcasts are given short shrift

There's slim, and then there's Samsung slim. Having just lauded the Philips 42PES001 for, among other things, its svelte 3.6cm depth, here we're confronted by a brand-new Samsung screen that's a vanishingly skinny 2.9cm deep.

And, unlike the Philips, the Samsung has no separate media box – that 2.9cm depth has been accomplished while still cramming two TV tuners, as well as all connectivity, into the chassis of the screen. Some achievement.

Of course, Samsung being Samsung it's not just the depth of the screen that seeks to impress.

A technical statement of intent
The UE40B7020 is a technical statement of intent, from the subtle 'Platinum Black' finish of the screen and its stand, through the expansive specification that includes 4 HDMI inputs, a pair of USB inputs, wireless internet connection (providing you've paid for Samsung's wireless dongle) with bespoke Yahoo widgets and sources such as YouTube and Flickr, through to white LED backlighting arrayed around the edges of the screen.

Only the pointlessly large, and unintuitive, remote lets the side down. Still, if the battle could ever be won on paper, Samsung would have already emerged victorious.

It's actually quite a relief, then, to report that the '7020 has the performance to make good on its technical promise.

LED backlighting impresses
TV pictures enjoy great stability, generally low noise and notable depth of field. Motion is mostly smooth, colours are of the rich-but-not-too-vivid variety and black levels are impressive. The LED backlighting makes for a pitch-black screen when idling, with strong and convincing contrasts when not.

Up the quality to DVD and the good news keeps coming. Picture noise is suppressed mercilessly, colours – skin-tones especially – are agreeable and levels of black detail are a match for the best screens in this sector. Motion, too, is smooth and credible.

See all Samsung TV reviews

Naturally, Blu-ray images are nicest of all. The Samsung impresses across the board, combining explicit detail, believable colours, smooth edge definition and rock-solid movement into an extremely enjoyable whole.

It's not without flaws: sound is no great shakes, being as it is fairly captive and predictably lightweight, and poorer-quality TV broadcasts are done no favours at all by the '7020. But overall this is a hugely impressive TV, doubly so considering it hardly exists in the third dimension at all.

And just for the record, this is not the same as the UE40B7000 model, which is exclusive to Currys Digital. We'll be testing that separately in our June issue.

See all our TV Best Buys

What Hi-Fi?

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, New York 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.


Read more about how we test