Home Icon
samsung-f8000-review-2013-09

One classy bit of kit: Samsung’s 55 inch F8000 3D TV reviewed

By Thomas Bartlett | 4:47 pm 06/05/2013

Upgradable TV

The TV supports the ‘Evolution’ upgrade capability. This supports plug-in modules to be released in future years, which upgrade the TV to support new features and functions. I recently had the opportunity to see last year’s model with the 2013 Evolution upgrade, and it was rather impressive.

Not only do you get the general capabilities, the upgrade included the quad core processor provided in this year’s TV. So it’s reasonable to conclude that next year’s Evolution upgrade will usefully transform the present TV into next year’s model, barring only some cosmetic differences.

Motion and Voice Control

The advanced control features have improved enormously from last year. There are a greater number of voice commands this time around, and in practice the TV accepted them with decent reliability. But don’t waste your time saying ‘Volume Down’.

It works, but a one notch reduction in the volume level is barely audible. It’s far easier to control the volume by using the dedicated keys on either of the remotes.

More fun was the ‘S Recommendation’ feature in which you can say such things as ‘Show me a news program’. The TV consults its guide and offers you a list from which to choose (by number).

If you select one that isn’t presently showing, the TV will offer to record it or switch to it automatically when it starts. The TV notes your responses, too, and over time builds up a profile of your preferences so it can offer better suggestions.

The TV even talks back, using a reasonably natural Australian-accented voice. You can choose the sex.

The touch pad remote works very effectively now, especially when it came to bouncing around a virtual typewriter keyboard when I was logging into the internet. It responded with 100 percent reliability to swipes and pokes.

But you can wave your hands in the air instead to attract the TV’s attention. Its hand control mechanism was also greatly improved, and surprisingly reliable. Put your hand up and a control icon appears on the screen. Move your hand and the icon moves. Grasp your hand while the icon is hovering over a command graphic, and the command is executed.

The Smart Hub panels all have clear pointers on the screen so this was also easily navigated by hand, so to speak. Indeed, fairly quickly I found it faster to use hand motions for moving around some of these well-populated panels than with the IR remote and, at times, even than the touchpad remote.

In photo mode you can do even cooler stuff, like raise one hand after the other so that you have two control icons, whereupon you can zoom by drawing your hands and their associated icons apart, or by kind of grasping and twisting them over, as though you were turning a large steering wheel on a ship, you can rotate a picture.

Conclusion

The Samsung UA55F8000 is one classy bit of kit. Incredibly smart, with very good basic TV performance as well, and an elegantly thin panel. And it won’t be left behind for the next few years if you want to pay for the Evolution upgrade.

I’d certainly be happy with one.

UPDATE: Well, it turns out that there is indeed a mute key on the touchpad remote. I had so much trouble believing that there wasn’t one there I examined its surface several times, carefully and slowly reading each label. But moments ago I picked up the remote, felt my thumb sink slightly into the body of the remote, and the sound of the TV went off. Turns out there’s a slim mute key on the side, right under the thumb of your right hand.

 

Pages: 1 2 3

Price (RRP)

$4,199

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Excellent picture quality; Very good touchpad remote control; Cloud support; 3D glasses included; ‘Evolution’ upgradability;

Product Cons

No swivel stand; default sharpness setting up too high;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Ease of Use

Latest reviews

  • Review: Acer Revo One (RL85)

    Most people who buy computers these days end up getting a laptop or a tablet, and that makes sense because portability is king. But desktops are still making an…
  • A safe choice: HTC's One M9 (2015) reviewed

    HTC’s 2015 flagship is here, and it’s speedy, shiny, and supremely solid. Can HTC out-do the Samsung Galaxy S6 before it even comes out?
  • Review: Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina (2015)

    Now that Intel’s latest generation of processors is out and has been for a few months, Apple is ready with an update, refreshing its line of computers to take…
  • Review: Alienware Area 51 (2014) gaming PC

    PC gamers that don’t mind sitting at their desks generally have three options when it comes to buying a computer these days: gaming laptop, build your own rig, or…
  • Review: Philips Fidelio NC1

    Philips has been out of the headphone game for a while, but the company certainly knows a thing or two about audio, so we’re keen to see what it…
  • Review: Nokia Lumia 735

    Smartphones can be found for all manner of price points, but you generally don’t get a decent camera unless you spend in excess of $400. Nokia wants to change…
  • Acer's Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition reviewed

    As far as gaming laptops go, it seems like Alienware and Razer hold the market’s attention, with HP getting in there recently, but Acer is attempting to grab it…
  • Review: Netgear EX7000 AC1900 WiFi Range Extender

    Weak WiFi range is the bane of most households, and while 802.11ac can improve things, it isn’t the be all end all if you’re using one device. Enter Netgear’s…
  • Audio excellence: Sony’s MDR-Z7 headphones reviewed

    Sony has been doing audio longer than most of the big brands, and as such, it has a pretty solid reputation for things that sound great. Generally, though, if…
  • Review: STM Drifter laptop backpack

    So many laptop bags follow the same design, with a zipper along the front following the arch of a bag and opening up the main bag, but STM’s Drifter…

“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