Samsung UE46ES6800 review

Value-laden mid-range Edge LED telly with Smart Hub

Samsung UE46ES6800
Great Value

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Images from the UE46ES6800 are largely brilliant, though that's hardly the case from the off.

Treated to the usually reliable (at least as a starting point) 'natural' picture preset, our Blu-ray disc of District 9 initially suffers from poor contrast and dazzling, over-saturated colours, though after diving into the picture parameters we were able to overcome those shortfalls.

With the backlight lowered and other parameters slightly tweaked, the UE46ES6800 shines; as Wikus stands on the edge of District 9 at sunset there's noticeable fine detailing in his dark coat, and though some of that shadow detailing does disappear in overly murky scenes – such as in the alien's hut – contrast generally impresses.

Other attributes include a distinct sharpness in a remarkably clean picture.

As the 'prawn''s spaceship hangs over the township at dawn, there's a morning haze, but the UE46ES6800 presents it in such detail and with no noise – we can even make out the fine detailing in whisps of smoke rising from the huts.

Best of all, we had a similarly clean run-through of a DVD, though BBC One from the Freeview HD tuner featured some noticeable blocking.

Meanwhile, a blast of Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 from an Xbox 360 revealed no noticeable input lag amid an enjoyably sharp performance.

Keeping that pristine picture does require virtually ignoring the Motion Plus options.

Although it's offered in various preset powers, Motion Plus is basically an amalgamation of separate blur and judder reduction settings.

And although the UE46ES6800 does suffer slightly from blur and judder when the camera pans quickly, engaging the motion processing does introduce artefacts.

Set to 'smooth', as Wikus queues for cat food in District 9, the aliens are presented very sharply and with vibrant, carefully graded colours.

However, when we see close-ups even of faces, there are noticeable flickers during movement. Best ignored.

Attempting to transform District 9 into a 3D movie failed.

Although we did notice some depth visible along the edges of the screen, the effect is barely visible elsewhere, and engaging this mode ups the brightness at the cost of shadow detailing. It also introduces a lot of flicker.

'Proper' 3D, however, is impressive.

There's zero crosstalk, which is big news; watching tennis on Eurosport 3D with echoes of service lines each side of the real thing just isn't, well, tennis.

Samsung UE46ES6800 Review

So it's great to see the UE46ES6800 cope with tennis, though it really shines with a sequence of flying debris during Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

The images are very bright, too, though we'd always opt for animated fare – the depth of field and general 3D angles on How To Train Your Dragon are so much more impressive, and more comfortable to watch than live action 3D.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),