Outstanding picture quality
Impressively expanded online platform
Innovative control system
Picture presets are poor
Gesture control not great
Limited viewing angle
Backlight bleed with 3D
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
Samsung has developed a handy habit of being the first major brand out of the traps each year when it comes to launching new TV ranges.
And this year it's done it again, with the ridiculously glamorous Samsung UE55ES8000 - an achievement made all the more impressive by the fact that this 55-inch screen might very well turn out to be 2012's most innovative television.
Despite the UE55ES8000 boasting another of Samsung's trademark - and much loved - super slim body designs, it still manages to squeeze inside its svelte form some genuinely revolutionary stuff.
Particularly startling is the set's new control system. Or rather, control systems, plural. Samsung has done a real 'kitchen sink' job in this respect, delivering voice control, gesture control, and even chucking in a second remote control with a touch-sensitive pad on it.
Some of these systems work more successfully than others, as we'll discover later, but Samsung certainly deserves an early five gold stars for trying so hard to address the growing problem of how to handle smart TV's ever-increasing feature lists.
More innovation finds no less than three new big sections of content on Samsung's smart TV platform, focused on family, fitness and kids.
Also potentially key to the Samsung UE55ES8000's appeal is its new dual-core processor, designed to boost picture performance and improve the functionality and speed of the online services engine.
Wrapping up the Samsung UE55ES8000's headline features are its active 3D playback, and the intriguing fact that it can actually have its core chipset upgraded in the future via a slot-in module - potentially to, say, a quad-core system.
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.