Samsung UE55HU8200 review

Samsung's cheapest curved screen delivers superb 4K/UHD picture quality

Samsung UE55HU8200

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Curved TVs. Really? Someone, somewhere in an advertising agency, when faced with the problem of declining sales of new TVs, said 'hey, let's sell them the opposite of flatscreen TVs!' Using the phrase 'curved screen' instead of 'flat screen' is designed to seed the idea in your mind that your TV is outmoded and needs replacing.

However good that curve looks when the UE55HU8200 is switched off, what really matters here is 4K, which Samsung has made look absolutely eye-poppingly great.

We liked

The curve adds a superb illusion, but that's all it is. Far more important is the UE55HU8200's excellent picture performance that's built around a highly detailed panel with plenty of accurate colour, contrast and black levels.

The Smart Hub is excellent – especially the provision of the BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Instant and the other catchup TV apps for the UK – while digital file support is also brilliant, even stretching to compressed 4K files.

We disliked

I'm not totally convinced about the UE55HU8200. It's not the picture performance that grates, despite a little motion blur, but the fact that Samsung also sells its only slightly more expensive UE55HU8500 for a mere £200 more. That flagship curved TV adds a built-in camera and a slightly faster panel.

There were some blotches on the panel during my review, while the smart interaction system is poor; its reliance on limited 'magic words' makes it impenetrable, and the smart remote's inability to understand simple commands is frustrating.

Final verdict

Do you need a curved TV? Of course not. Does it help the picture? Not particularly, but there's no doubting that this 55-inch edge LED-backlit LCD from Samsung is one of the best looking TVs around.

Much more important is its 4K resolution, which thankfully doesn't mean the UE55HU8200 is biased towards this virtually non-existent source of video. Treating Blu-ray and Freeview HD very well with high detail, accurate colour and bags of contrast, the app-packed UE55HU8200 is a great all-rounder that only struggles with its smart interaction voice control, and the odd motion blur.

As the most affordable way to get a curved TV, the UE55HU8200 should have wide appeal, though I'd still prefer to save £700 and go for Samsung's almost identical – but flat – UE55HU7500.

Also consider

The choice of curved 4K TVs is pretty small. Aside from the UE55HU8200, Samsung also sells the 65-inch UE65HU8200 as well as the 55-inch UE55HU8500 and 65-inch 65HU8500.

LG also sells its less impressive 55-inch 55UB950V curved 4K TV, though with its 55-inch 55EA9800 curved OLED easily claims the 'best TV' crown – though it costs US$8999.99.

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),