• Stunning design
  • Superb 2D pictures
  • 3D playback
  • Benchmark-setting online system


  • Subtle colour inconsistency
  • Poor presets
  • Some 3D crosstalk

The Samsung UE55D8000 is arguably the most eagerly anticipated TV of 2011 and it only takes a cursory glance at its design and spec sheet to see why.

It gets closer to dispensing entirely with a bezel than any previous set: the frame around the UE55D8000's gaping 55-inch screen is just 5mm wide, an achievement that seems to defy logic just as much as the crazy rear-end slimness of Samsung's C9000 range (continuing for 2011). After all, the edge LED lighting system used to drive the screen is tucked in there somewhere.

The UE55D8000 also introduces us to Samsung's Smart Hub, making it arguably the first true 'smart' TV to arrive on these shores and is, perhaps most significantly of all, the UK's first genuine second-generation active 3D TV, complete with faster panel response, improved motion performance and new Bluetooth 3D transmission in place of Samsung's previous, slightly unreliable IR system.

Of course, there's always a chance that any TV as bursting with innovation as the UE55D8000 could fall flat on its face in cold, hard performance terms, but there's little in Samsung's recent history to suggest that this will be the case.

The UE55D8000 arrives as the new flagship TV in Samsung's range, sitting marginally above a D7000 range that's identical aside from costing £100 less and using a crystal bezel design in place of the premium metallic one around the D8000s.

Samsung is also extending 3D down to its 6 Series LED TVs this year, which will comprise two branches: the 6100 series and the 6500 series. These appear to be differentiated by design (with the 6500 having a narrower bezel) and a degree of 'smart' capability, with the 6500's having more online features than the 6100s.

It's entirely understandable, though, that Samsung should want to announce the arrival of its 2011 range with the sort of splash that only a set of the UE55D8000's size and uncompromising spec sheet can produce.