If you're choosing between the Samsung UE46F7000 and the pricier Samsung UE46F8000, know that the former is different in three key areas; it has a better, more practical desktop stand, but it does have weaker speakers and a less advanced panel that won't suit those wanting to watch frequently in a total blackout.

Whether any of those differences apply to you, however, is a different matter. Either way, there's no doubting that the Samsung UE46F7000 is a star performer and a key screen for 2013.

We liked

The quad-core processor is a revelation, and the redesign of Smart Hub - as well as a host of slinky transitions, icons and live TV thumbnails - is as impressive as the all-round picture quality that extends to awesome 3D.

However, most of our love for the Samsung UE46F7000 is split between the stunning design (which stays the right side of practical) and a great touchpad remote that's easy to use and so, so much nicer to own than the horrible black plastic remotes we're all used to.

We disliked

The built-in audio on the Samsung UE46F7000 is pretty poor, which gives you a major reason to consider upgrading to the Samsung UE46F8000 if you're after a true all-in-one experience. After all, what's the point in saving £300 (around AU$450 / US$463) if you then need to go out and spend at least that amount on a sound bar or home cinema?

Aside from a couple of niggles about USB slots being too high up on the TV's side, that problem with LED light leakage and the difference in second screen apps, what's most annoying about the Samsung UE46F7000 is its ineffective, unstable and slow voice and gesture control options.

Final verdict

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For anyone after a high-end TV, we'd wager that the Samsung UE46F7000 will suit more people than the Samsung UE46F8000.

It's clearly got a lesser panel inside, with some LED light leakage, and a tighter viewing angle. These are both obvious, especially when watched in a blackout. However, how many people actually want to watch in darkness?

Bright, detailed and with excellent black levels, the Samsung UE46F7000 (after some tweaking to some overly rosy presets) presents a versatile and thoroughly impressive picture that extends to 3D, too.

And the Samsung UE46F7000 is also a joy to use, which is mostly down to Smart Hub, a new touchpad remote and that quad-core processor, though iOS users will be disappointed with only 'clone' viewing of TV channels on an iPad.

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At the time of writing we'd not reviewed all of the major new TVs from the big brands, but the Samsung UE46F7000 should certainly be compared to smart TVs from Panasonic, Sony, LG, Toshiba and Philips.

Edge LED-lit sets such as the Panasonic TX-L46DT65, Sony W900A Series, LG LA8600 Series, Toshiba 46TL968B should all come under consideration.

It's also worth trying a direct comparison with one of Samsung's plasma TVs, such as the Samsung PS51E490 or the 50-inch Panasonic TX-P50VT65 plasma.