The best HDTVs are normally the ones with the best design combined with excellent picture quality without the need for artificial enhancements. But Samsung is trying to go beyond that by taking the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach. Just look at the Samsung’s recently released Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone which comes with a very long laundry list of features that don’t exist in other smartphones. The Samsung UN55F8000 takes a similar route but ends up with a massive MSRP of $3,099 which is very pricey for an LED 55-inch display. While some stores may sell it for cheaper, it is still important to see if all these features really live up to the hype.
The UN55F8000 is simply a gorgeous looking TV. The display is very thin and more amazingly, the bezel measures just a quarter of the inch. The panel itself was specially designed to eliminate reflections so your viewing experience won’t be affected no matter what the conditions are during the day. Samsung calls this panel the Ultra Clear Panel.
The back of the TV also looks impressive because it uses the new Clean Back Design which conceals of all the connection ports. The ports are actually hidden beneath this panel which you can slide and plug the necessary cables in. There is also an opening below so you can still cover the connections to keep the back clean without unplugging the cables.
The TV stand is also unique in the sense that it curves backwards so it looks as if the TV is floating above the surface. The only downside of this approach is the stand’s overall width. Measuring 48 inches wide, you have to make sure your surface is wide enough to keep the TV stable.
The Ultra Clear Panel contributes greatly to the overall picture quality of the display which is a good thing. The colors appear more vibrant with deeper blacks compared to older models and the contrast is significantly enhanced to make images look crisper.
Micro Dimming Ultimate is a newer technology that enhances the picture contrast and detail even more. The technology works by scanning various zones across the image and makes the optimal brightness and contrast adjustments to make the image look even more natural. The annoying “halo” effect is eliminated as a result and you won’t notice any image distortions either. Compared to the ordinary Micro Dimming technology, the “Ultimate” version simply scans more zones for the best color accuracy possible.
Clear Motion Rate 1200 handles the motion clarity and is currently Samsung’s most advanced motion processing technology yet. This technology keeps the sharpness of the Samsung UN55F8000 at superior levels to make those action-packed scenes and sport events very smooth and clear. Unlike traditional technologies that only take the refresh rate into account, Clear Motion Rate 1200 also brings the backlight technology and image processor speed into the equation.
Like previous Samsung flagship models, the UN55F8000 is a 3D display so you can watch the latest 3D movies if you have a matching 3D Blu-ray player. Otherwise, you can use the 3D converter to convert any 2D content into a 3D viewing experience. 3D isn’t really the highlight of the Samsung UN55F8000 this time around as there are no new features and it shows that 3D technologies aren’t exactly desired by the masses.
The main highlight of the Samsung UN55F8000 is how much smarter this TV is compared to older Samsung Smart TV models. To start things off, the UN55F8000 has built-in wireless LAN so you won’t need an Ethernet cable or special USB adapter to connect to the wireless router for Internet access.
Internet access is required to make the most out of the many features the Samsung Smart TV experience offers. Your starting point is the Smart Hub which is a rich and friendly interface that shows off 5 panels so you can easily decide what to do. You can access video-on demand content, check out your social networking sites, see photos, videos and music on your network, discover what is currently on TV and access or download apps for additional functionality.
One of the key apps of the Samsung UN55F8000 is the Web browser which lets you access just about any website as if you are using a desktop computer. Using the browser can be helpful if you want the full Facebook, YouTube or Twitter experience rather than run the app.
Previous Smart TV models have a Web browser too along with plenty of useful apps but the navigation experience was a bit sluggish with noticeable delays when you make a selection. Samsung is remedying this problem with the UN55F8000 by incorporating the TV with a quad core processor. Web browsing performance has also been improved as a result.
Using the traditional TV remote can be a bit cumbersome since exploring the Smart TV experience involves a lot of navigation. The included Smart Touch Remote makes things like navigation and Web browsing a bit easier. There is also a built-in microphone which opens up another way to interact with the display.
The Samsung UN55F8000 understands several natural voice commands so you can do more without figuring out how to do it. The S-Recommendation feature allows you to ask the TV what good TV content is on and the TV will respond accordingly. You can try asking questions such as “What baseball games are on?” and the UN55F8000 will interpret it correctly. It is also possible to operate the TV using hand gestures.
The Samsung UN55F8000 can be best described as a futureproof display where you shouldn’t have to buy a new TV anytime soon. Some features may be gimmicky like the motion controls but the Smart TV experience as a whole is great for TV lovers. Since it can connect to the Internet, you can always acquire the latest software and firmware updates. For hardware improvements, the TV comes with a Smart Evolution Port that allows you to add a special kit that can make the TV perform even faster. The UN55F8000 may very well be the last high-end 1080p display you need to buy since the future will eventually move on to affordable 4K displays.
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