Home Icon
samsung-es8000-review-02

Samsung’s premium 55 inch ES8000 TV reviewed

By Thomas Bartlett | 5:25 pm 02/07/2012

Will the escalation of features in today’s tellyboxes never cease? Apparently not if we’re to judge by Samsung’s newest top of the line model, the UA55ES8000.

Features

The TV delivers a good-sized screen with a 139cm diagonal. Full HD, with LED edge-lighting, it also provides 3D. The panel is pleasingly thin at just a little over 30mm, but more startling is the bezel, such as it is. The total width of the band surrounding the screen is less than one centimetre, including at the bottom.

The only part which is wider is a small section at the top that pokes up and in which a camera and a couple of microphones are mounted. This provides support for a couple of startling new control options. One is voice control, and the other is motion control. We’ll get to those features shortly.

The TV comes with a standard Samsung infrared remote control, but also the new Smart Touch controller. This has a small number of keys surrounding a flat area. You move a finger upon this flat area, something like the touchpad on a notebook computer, and the selection of items on the screen changes.

The Foxtel on Internet TV app is exclusive to the ES8000 and other select Samsung Smart TVs from 1 July.

This assists with selecting from the extensive range of ‘Smart Hub’ network features. These include the ubiquitous DLNA content – music, video and photos – from compatible phones, cameras, PCs and audio systems on your home network  plus a seemingly never-ending selection of Internet content.

One part of the Smart TV capabilities – Bigpond Movies – is still not quite ready as I write (it will become available quite soon I’m told) – but BigPond TV works.

Also available is ‘Explore 3D’ which gives you online 3D content to demonstrate your nifty TV; a Web browser; YouTube; access to the Quickflix and Wiggle Time TV subscription services,  and lots more, including some interesting Samsung apps and the BigPond NRL and AFL games analysers.

There’s a ‘Fitness’ app – which works in conjunction with the camera, so you can check your yoga posture on the screen – stuff for the kids and a ‘Family Story’ app for sharing information with a limited group of people, including photos.

Unavailable during our review period, but live from today (1 July) is the Foxtel on Internet TV app. Similar to packages available via T-Box and the XBox 360, this provides streaming access to up to 30 channels from Australia’s largest TV provider. A number of packages area available, starting from $15 a month, and there are no lock-in contracts, so you can opt out at any time.

Currently a Samsung TV exclusive, the Foxtel app  may appeal to buyers interested in sampling what Pay TV has to offer (minus the expensive commitment), or maybe for those who want to bring Pay TV to another room of the house without the usual installation costs.

Top of Samsung's 2012 Slim LED range of edge-lit TVs, the ES8000 sports an uber-skinny profile.

The ES8000 also provides the usual social media and Skype, but with an added cool feature. The TV’s  built-in camera is, of course, used for Skype video calls, but you can set it up so that it recognises your face and logs onto your account automatically. Likewise for others in your family.

Pages: 1 2

Price (RRP)

$4,599

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Excellent 2D picture quality, Very good 3D display, excellent connectivity and media support, interesting new control options

Product Cons

Should have better chosen default for ‘Sharpness’ setting

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Ease of Use

Latest reviews

  • Review: Dell Inspiron 13 7000 series (2-in-1 laptop)

    Need a computer with a decent keyboard and aren't sure if you want it to be a tablet or a laptop? Dell hopes it has the answer with the…
  • Review: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

    Looking for a camera that can handle the real world and not take too much of your luggage up? Olympus lets us play with its second-gen E-M5. Is this…
  • Review: Microsoft Lumia 640XL

    Big phones are a big deal, but they also come with big price tags. Not necessarily so, as Microsoft finds a way to cut under $500 with a 5.7…
  • Review: Oppo N3

    Selfie cameras are all the rage in smartphones, but what if you could have one phone camera that takes beautiful shots on one side, and can automatically flip to…
  • What external storage should be: Samsung’s T1 Portable SSD reviewed

    Most of us rely on a USB drive of some form or another, but they’re not always the fastest. You can’t say that about Samsung’s portable solid-state drive, the…
  • Worth checking out: Jays A-Jays Five for Android reviewed

    When it comes to smartphones, owners of the iPhone seem to get all the love, with cable-based remotes that generally only work for an Apple phone or tablet. Not…
  • Review: Lavazza Fantasia

    Practically instant espresso has changed the coffee machine market in our country, and Lavazza's brand of cut-price coffee hopes to make an even bigger impact with the Fantasia, a…
  • Review: Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM

    How low can you go? Microsoft answers the question with a new phone that hit the $129 mark, bringing two SIM slots and just enough mobile for people who…
  • Review: Microsoft Surface 3

    Microsoft’s latest Surface could finally make the Windows 8 tablet more compelling to more people, now that Windows RT has been put to rest. Is this enough to take…
  • It's time: Apple's Watch reviewed

    Smartwatches have been out for around a year, but Apple’s take on the topic is brand new. Can Apple take the crown from Google before the area really heats…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More