A great value all-rounder with a highly capable direct LED-backlit LCD screen, the UE48H6400 wows with plenty of contrast, lusciously deep black levels and ultra-bright colours.
Full HD detail
Poor picture presets
Unwatchable Football mode
Inaccurate voice control
SmartView 2.0 app
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Bigger glass and more efficient cutting has led to a new size of TV – the 48-incher – though the UE48H6400 has the same footprint as 46-inch TVs from last year.
The Samsung UE48H6400's spec sheet is initially hilarious, with the first line reading 'Curved: No', which is presumably to make us think we're missing out on something. Owners of lighthouses might not agree, but we're happy to report that the Samsung UE48H6400's direct LED-backlit LCD panel is completely flat.
At 49.7mm slim the UE48H6400 isn't a patch on Samsung's pricier TVs, the H7000 and H8000 Series, but here's a great value bigscreen TV loaded with smart TV goodies – and with terrific pictures.
A Full HD set with a super-slim screen surround – just 9mm – it's got a transparent rim (that bulges out about 6mm) that's become Samsung's signature style on its mid-range screens. The UE48H6400 includes a quad spider stand, which is very shiny and frequently reflects light.
Perhaps the biggest advance compared to last year's 6 Series from Samsung is the use of a quad core processor, which lends much-needed speed and usability to its WiFi-powered Smart Hub pages, which include options to stream films, download (basic) games, negotiate Freeview HD, and launch apps.
Samsung TVs have the best selection of apps. Or, at least, last year's do. We counted-in ITV Player, 4OD and Netflix, but in our test we couldn't see the BBC iPlayer, Demand Five or BBC Sport. So perhaps the UE48H6400 should take a back seat on your wish-list, at least for a few months.
The presence of a carousel of adverts on the Apps grid page is unwelcome, as is the rather thin selection of must-have apps. The 'recommended' list includes Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, AccuWeather and, err Wuaki.tv. Alongside this is a grid that includes STV Player, YouTube, Vimeo, PictureBox, Eurosport, USA Today and Tune In radio. There's also a link to a web browser and a camera, though the UE48H6400's lack of a built-in pop-up camera makes that last one moot.
There are two pairs of Samsung's SSG-5100GB 3D glasses in the box, though we're sure that by now the presence of the third dimension is at best a side issue. For those that do care, the UE48H6400 uses the active shutter 3D system, which does create a more detailed – though often flicker-full – image.
Probably more fun is Samsung's much-trumped S Recommendation with Voice Interaction, though in truth it's a feature worth skipping over. More important is the UE48H6400's 400Hz Clear Motion Rate, something that may keep motion blur to a minimum.
The media playback software is impressive and covers all manner of files stored on a USB stick, a computer or Samsung smartphone. Accessible from the Smart Hub pages, it supports photo slideshows, music playback that impresses in terms of usability, if not sound quality (the OGG, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, WMA, APE, MP3 and M4A formats all play), and a healthy dose of video files (AVI, MKV, AVC HD, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MOV and WMV.)
Ins and outs are plentiful, too, with a rear panel hosting two HDMI inputs, a Scart, Ethernet LAN, an IR out, a set of component video inputs, a composite video input, a set of phonos and an optical digital audio output. A side panel adds another two HDMI inputs, an RF slot to fuel the Freeview HD tuner, and three USB slots.
The sweet-spot of Samsung's 6 Series of LED TVs for 2014, the Samsung UE48H6400 is accompanied by two smaller sets, the 32-inch Samsung UE32H6400 and 40-inch Samsung UE40H6400. The range gets bigger, too, with the 55-inch Samsung UE55H6400 and 65-inch Samsung UE65H6400 also available for home cinema duties.
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),