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Although the Samsung UE40ES6800 doesn't boast the second remote, gesture control and voice recognition systems of Samsung's flagship 2012 TVs, it's still pretty easy to use, for the most part. In fact, if we're honest it was quite refreshing not to have to wrestle with the quirks of the gesture control system while completing this review.
The Smart Hub menu approach presents you with direct links to a huge array of content options without looking in the least bit cluttered. In fact, its HD design is very enticing, and the way it gives equal balance to online content, AV inputs, multimedia sources and tuner fare feels very in tune with the way many people consume content these days.
Samsung could perhaps do a bit more with its standard remote control in terms of layout, by providing more emphasis on some of the most heavily used buttons. And there's also room for improvement with Samsung's non-Smart Hub set up menus.
For instance, it could streamline the more advanced picture menus a bit and should definitely put the Game preset into the main picture preset menu instead of burying it deep within an obscure 'General' sub-menu in the System menu section.
Finishing on the sort of high note the operating system mostly deserves, though, it's a great touch to find the Samsung UE40ES6800 delivering succinct but mostly effective on-screen explanations of what each feature does as you highlight it.
The Samsung UE40ES6800's extra size helps it sound fairly decent by flatscreen TV standards - certainly versus models with 'super slim' frames, at any rate.
There's a reasonable degree of openness to the television's mid-range reproduction versus most very slim TVs, which enables it to deliver at least a sense of soundstage expansion when asked to shift up a few gears by an action scene.
However, the set doesn't produce a particularly convincing sense of bass, and can sound harsh at the upper end of the audio spectrum.
In terms of its own TV range, Samsung seems to have pitched the price of the Samsung UE40ES6800 just about right. In other words, it's sufficiently cheap versus the brand's flagship sets to amply compensate for its reduced feature count and design prowess.
We'd argue that you might be able to find better picture quality for around the same money or only a little bit more, but then the Samsung UE40ES6800 does also have Samsung's outstanding online functionality up its sleeve.
John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.