Samsung UE55ES8000 review

Samsung's new 55-inch TV redefines 'smart'

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Samsung ue55es8000 review

Samsung is in serious no-compromise mode with the UE55ES8000. Aside from, perhaps, its sound, the whole TV looks and feels cutting edge.

The voice, gesture and touchpad remote systems are particularly startling, and set a new standard for TV operation that no other brand looks set to match in 2012. The set's 'barely there' design is both gorgeous and innovative too, even if it doesn't in reality improve a great deal on what Samsung brought to market last year.

Also crucial is the introduction of a dual-core processor to the Samsung UE55ES8000, since this makes the smart TV services more comprehensive and slick to navigate and delivers palpable benefits to picture quality.

Ah yes, picture quality. Out of the box the Samsung UE55ES8000's pictures are flashy and eye-catching, but flawed. But with just a couple of minutes calibration work they can be converted into arguably the finest pictures yet to grace an Edge LED TV in both 2D and 3D mode, with only some backlight bleed in the corners during dark 3D scenes letting the side down.

Elsewhere, the gesture control needs work, there are still a few too many pointless apps on the smart TV servers, and Samsung really needs to deliver a sensible picture preset. But still, overall, there's far, far more to admire on the Samsung UE55ES8000 than there is to criticise.

We liked

The Samsung UE55ES8000 hooks you in immediately with its gorgeous slimline looks and bright, punchy, contrast-rich pictures. And then it just grows on you more and more, thanks to its genuinely useful voice and touchpad control systems, its gorgeous presentation and a feature count that doesn't know when to quit - especially when it comes to online features and network file playback.

We disliked

There's some backlight inconsistency during dark 3D scenes unless you compromise on their brightness. A lot of the smaller apps in the smart TV service are a waste of space and the gesture control isn't quite there yet. Plus, Samsung really does need to start including a picture preset that actually delivers a picture that gets something like the best quality out of its panels.

Final verdict

The UE55ES8000 is Samsung's most uncompromising TV yet. From the moment you first behold its almost sci-fi design and bold, dynamic pictures, you'll be entranced.

Admittedly you'll need to calm these pictures for normal domestic viewing, but once that's done pictures still look hugely impressive. And your admiration only grows as you explore the TV's revolutionary interfaces and the depth of its online and multimedia functionality.

There are still things Samsung can improve, but as the first true next generation TV of 2012, the Samsung UE55ES8000 throws down a terrifyingly big gauntlet for the following pack to pick up.

Also consider

If you want the ultimate in contrast and no backlight consistency concerns whatsoever, a great alternative to the Samsung UE55ES8000 is the Panasonic TX-P55VT30. This uses plasma technology, which is renowned for its contrast potential and lighting uniformity, and for its clarity when it comes to handling motion.

3D looks less punchy on the Panasonic set, though, and its online platform isn't nearly as advanced.

Another alternative to the Samsung UE55ES8000 is the LG 55LW650. The trick with this LG television is that it uses passive rather than active 3D technology, meaning you get loads of 3D glasses included free, and get more relaxing, bright but less high resolution 3D images.

LG's TV is the more affordable and convenient alternative. But picture quality isn't nearly as strong in either 2D or 3D mode, and its online service, while wide-ranging, isn't as stable or quick as that of the new Samsung UE55ES8000.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Product Family8000
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA
Smart TVYes
Brand NameSamsung
Screen Size139.7 cm (55")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityCEC
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)19.30 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption110 W
Standby Power Consumption100 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand761.60 mm
Width with Stand1230.30 mm
Depth with Stand210 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year161 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyClear Motion Rate 800
Height722.3 mm
Width1230.3 mm
Depth30.8 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS
Product Series8000
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, Auto Power Off, Sleep Timer, PVR (Personal Video Recorder), Auto Program, Teletext, Sound Leveler, Picture in Picture
Product ModelUE55ES8000U
Product Name55" ES8000 Series 8 Smart 3D Full HD LED TV
Manufacturer Part NumberUE55ES8000UXXU
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Experience the future of home entertainment with a more advanced TV. The Samsung 55" ES8000 Slim LED TV features Smart Interaction, which gives you intuitive control via speech or gestures. You can also access a wide world of content, apps, web browsing and more through Smart Hub. This forward-thinking TV is even prepared for the future, thanks to the ability to install Smart Evolution Kits to improve picture and performance as well as deliver the newest features.

Package Contents
  • 55" ES8000 Series 8 Smart 3D Full HD LED TV
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
  • Smart Touch Control
  • Remote Control
  • IR Blaster
  • Batteries
  • Slim Gender Cable
  • Power Cable
  • User Manual
  • E-Manual
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)16.60 kg