Samsung’s new Series 8 range of LED-backlit, LCD TV is finally here. The new UA55D8000 is a TV with everything from 3D to downloadable apps bundled in a very pretty package.
The first thing that strikes you about the UA55D8000 is its size and how slim it really is. The thickness of the screen is as thin as it gets, but the more impressive bit is the bezel surrounding the display. The chrome bezel is just more than a centimetre in thickness and it adds to the elegant design of the entire package.
Slim is in
It’s so slim that Samsung had to add a small section to the bezel to include their branding. Even the LED indicator on the display is tiny. The controls for the TV aren’t positioned at the front, it’s placed along the sides and Samsung has used touch sensitive buttons instead of the standard physical buttons.
The UA55D8000 has a 55-inch screen that supports 1920x1080 pixels. In terms of connectivity, it’s got three USB ports and four HDMI ports on it. The smart TV component is really exhaustive. The television comes with a bunch of preloaded apps, and users can choose to install more from the app store.
While there are media players today that offer similar widgets and features, one of the things missing is a proper web browser with tabbed browsing. The Samsung UA55D8000 has one, but browsing and making text entries can be a hassle. You are forced to use the remote as a primary input device and with no support for QWERTY, things can get hectic when it comes to entering long URLs. The delay in response also makes things worse.
While services like Vimeo and Picasa worked flawlessly, we faced problems playing Youtube videos. There are a whole bunch of games and apps that you can spend hours playing around with. Google Maps for example is pretty functional and easily controlled using the remote.
One of the key features of the TV is the 3D capability. Samsung uses LCD shutter glasses whereas its competition LG, has recently switched to polarising 3D glasses. A single pair of glasses is provided with the TV and these require a button cell to operate. Support for media playback from external sources is present and as is Wi-Fi.
The Samsung UA55D8000 performs beautifully. Colours are brilliant and there is no delay or blurring. Out of the box, colours are oversaturated, but with a little tweaking you can achieve desired results. Viewing angles are excellent and there is little sign of darkening or colours going for a toss.
Lastly, coming to 3D, the 2D-to-3D conversion feature isn’t effective. The active glasses have flicker that is bound to irritate some users after a while. Audio quality is below par, as well.
We were highly impressed by the UA55D8000’s performance and the smart TV functions were mainly overshadowed by remote control lag. Having used passive glasses and seen equally impressive 3D immersion, an active pair of glasses with flicker is also annoying, especially for a TV that’s priced at R 2,49,990. The UA55D8000 is one of the most expensive TVs we’ve reviewed and we’re not very impressed by its 3D performance. But if you keep that aside, the 2D content it can churn out is a treat to the eyes.
What we like
Elegant and slim design
The smart TV component is exhaustive
What we don’t
No web browser with tabbed browsing
3D isn’t effective