Ease of Learning: 4.5 / 5
Ease of Use: 4 / 5
Enjoyment: 5 / 5
Design: 4.5 / 5
Value for Money: 3.5 / 5
Last month FoS had the privilege of reviewing the Samsung 46” Series 6 Smart 3D LED TV, from the updated Series 6 range. As with the updates of Series 6 range, the Series 8 also saw an update of the range. Having really enjoyed the 46” Series 6 Smart 3D LED TV, it is, therefore, inevitable that we were expecting great things from the Samsung 46″ ES8000 Series 8 Smart Interaction 3D LED TV.
The entire Series 8 range has a completely different look to that of the other ranges. Although there are changes in the bevel (D1 Bezel Type), colour (silver) and finish (metallic), its Arch flow Stand and Light Effect (when turning the TV on) are the obvious differences. The overall weight is around 14.6KG, 400g lighter than the equivalent 46” Series 6 TV. The dimensions are 1,038.7×653.7×210.0mm. The width and height aren’t that different from the 46” Series, but is 66mm slimmer; making it the true Slim LED, as advertised.
As with the Series 6 range, the Series 8 includes a host of Smart TV features. This being the premier range from Samsung, it is expected to have a few additions. You’ll be happy to know that there are more than just a few additions to the features, which includes Smart Gestures in the form of Smart Voice Interaction, Face Recognition and Motion Control, along with the standard Smart Content features, such as Family Story, AllShare Play and Samsung Apps, to name a few.
There is a camera integrated with all Series 8 Smart TVs. This allows the TV to pick up user movements, and provide Motion Control. Although this is an amazing addition to the set of included features, it does take a bit of getting used to. During the first moments of use, be prepared to experience some frustration. There has to be a certain amount of light in the room for the camera to pick up your hand gestures. After a few days of arms strain, and once you perfect your movements, this feature is extremely useful. This means you don’t have to get off the sofa in search of the remote to change volume, channels, and settings. On the odd occasion though, the camera will pick up movements it deems to be hand gestures, which may be annoying.
Again, with the use of the camera, the Series 8 also offers face recognition. Users are able to use this feature as an easy security function, allowing you to log into social apps, etc. using face unlock. There are many other uses for facial recognition, but apps on the Samsung Series 8 are still in its infancy, and we should be looking forward to these features with future system updates.
As with S-Voice offered on the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the Series 8 TVs offer voice recognition. This allows users to navigate through tasks, such as turning on your Television, changing the volume and channel, along with accessing apps, all without having to press a button. This feature, however, uses a remote control, in which you speak out your commands. Although there is a mic included with the built-in camera, you could argue that the feature should be built into the main unit. This, however, will make things trickier when the volume is raised, making your voice unrecognisable, and possibly allowing the TV to perform tasks based on the content being broadcast.
Other Built-In Features:
The Series 8 range also offers integrated Wi-Fi, Web-browsing, Smart Hub, Social Apps, streaming, which are all powered by a Dual-Core processor.
Samsung have included what is called Smart Evolution for the Series 8 TVs. This, then, gives owners the ability to upgrade their sets each year, when newer technologies are available. The Samsung Evolution Kit, which houses the processor and graphics unit, is replaceable. The removable Evolution Kit means that your TV can be upgraded to the latest hardware, firmware, software and interface every year. This may not mean you have a completely new TV at a lower cost, but it is pretty close to it. We have to wait on the price of this unit before we leap for joy.
At the end of last month, Samsung announced that the ever-popular Angry Birds game would be made available to its Series 8 range. With a simple firmware update via the settings menu, features for playing the game are made available. The game uses the Motion Control feature to grab the birds, pull back, and watch as they sale across the screen. Angry Birds on your Samsung TV doesn’t offer the same functionality as on your smartphone or PC, but, if you’re a fan, I’m sure that doesn’t matter too much.
There are a few negatives with the Samsung 46″ ES8000 Series 8 Smart Interaction 3D LED TV, such as rear-facing speakers that don’t offer the sound you’d expect from a flagship TV, backlight bleed during dark scenes displaying onscreen, and slightly shaky stand, which doesn’t put you at ease when setting up. These, though, are issues that can be bypassed by means of surround speakers, and wall-mounting. Even if these were serious issues, the overall performance, features and functionality are all of the highest quality. In terms of the cost, you’re looking at a seemingly hefty R21,000, but when you consider all that you’re getting from the Samsung 46″ Series 8 Smart Interaction 3D LED TV, it price is more than justified. Now offering yet another means of playing Angry Birds, I can’t see, with the long list of features, why I cannot recommend against owning one of these. With Christmas a little more than 4 months away, you better start your saving.
You can find the full specifications here.