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Is 55-inches big enough for 4K? Definitely. Is it big enough to take a curve? Another yes – but it comes with caveats. With the TV switched-off, there are reflections flying everywhere, but even with curtains open nearby during bright sunlight I didn't notice anything extraordinary.
With the UE55HU8200 installed into the corner of a living room, its gentle curve lends the impression of a TV coming at you, and enveloping around you. Is that slight illusion of immersion worth the extra £700 over the flat version, the 55-inch UE55HU7500? No, of course not, it's just for show-offs. Still, the UE55HU8200 is no novelty, providing all-round superb pictures.
Sources of 4K are hard to come by, but H.264-encoded 3840 x 2160 pixel 4K test sequences in compressed MP4 formats proved that the UE55HU8200 is something special. The detail is exquisite, and the UE55HU8200 doles-out consistently natural-looking, well-saturated colours. Skin tones are also reliably convincing.
There is some motion blur, however, with resolution dipping to something akin to Full HD during quick camera pans and any kind of motion. However, a 4K image on the UE55HU8200 is otherwise spotless, with no jagged edges. Motion Plus is worth experimenting with; I found the smooth setting to work well, and the LED Clear Motion was engaging, though it does lower the brightness a touch.
With the movie mode engaged (albeit with a few tweaks to lower the backlight and increase the gamma; there are plenty of calibration opportunities ranging from a 10-point while balance and colour space), I watched a range of Blu-ray discs and HD channels, too.
The startlingly detailed images really shine thanks to excellent contrast and relatively deep black levels, though there's a lack of shadow detail within. For instance, Sherlock Holmes' black coat during a Blu-ray sequence looks as one, with buttons and collars barely visible. Perhaps it's a trade-off with the curve.
Contrast, though plentiful, doesn't appear to get much help from the Smart LED backlight feature.
Sequences from Gravity in 2D hold up well despite the drop in detail, and in no way should the UE55HU8200 be considered a 4K-only TV.
The UE55HU8200's 3D picture looks clean and filled with depth and detail for the most part, though during Gravity I did notice a touch of judder. There's also a suggestion of picture noise, though no crosstalk.
I've recently been a little disappointed with the upscaling of standard definition on Samsung TVs, but on the UE55HU8200 all channels look very clean.
For such a big, edge-lit screen the uniformity is acceptable, though far from perfect. During a live broadcast on BBC Two HD of An Honourable Woman I did notice cloudy patches in three corners of the UE55HU8200's panel.
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 Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),