Review of the Samsung UN65F8000
The Samsung UNF8000 series is one of the most capable and smartest HDTVs on the market -- but it comes with a hefty price tag. Even the 45-inch television starts at just under $2,000, though it should be noted that Samsung produces excellent televisions. The UN65F8000 is their 65-inch model and has everything you need in a television: a microphone, camera, integrated cable box, 4 sets of 3D glasses to go with the 3D TV, and plenty of Android apps.
The biggest drawback of this LED TV is how big it is and poor wide-angle viewing. We also recommend turning off the motion commands, as they can be erratic at best. Even with cable box management, the system falls short if you are a heavy DVR user; you just won't have the space.
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If you are going to pay for this TV, you better believe you'll get some awesome picture quality. In fact, it's one of the best pictures on the market. LED TVs aren't known for having deep blacks, but the Samsung does.
Black levels are accurate no matter if you are watching a Blu-Ray or playing a video game. But because it's a backlit TV, you will lose some shadow details if you sit off the side when watching your shows. Samsung uses what's called micro dimming backlight technology that helps to reduce much of the detail loss near the corners of the TV, but if you are picky and sit really close, this is the only time you will notice some screen uniformity.
Out of the box, you have access to just four picture presets; Dynamics, Standard, Natural, and Movie). There may be just a few, but the advanced settings allow you go to town on this bad boy. You get a basic white balance function including a 10-point white balance setting, black tone, flesh tone, gamma, and dynamic contrast options.
Even the movie setting looked fantastic, but you can fine tune it even more with the other settings. Adjusting the color temperature and turning off Auto Motion Plus helps blur reduction and give you some dynamic colors to boot.
The color scheme on the Samsung is accurate and vibrant. Both whites and colors don't seem artificially vivid, as if you were use the Vivid setting on the TV, but are rich and remain true to the natural eye. And while this is a LED TV, the anti-reflective coating on the screen provides prevention against glare and ambient light, which we all know is annoying, especially during dark scenes in movies.
One of the only criticisms is the TV's off-axis performance, which reveals the panels LCD limitations. As mentioned above, wider angles present a loss in blacks as they lose their strength and turn a bit grey. It's especially more noticeable during dark movies.
Enough about the picture quality; we know you want to hear about all the bells and whistles. The good news is this TV has loads of them. Samsung's Smart Hub resembles that of an Android phone and houses all your apps. There are five sections on this hub: On TV, Movies and TV Shows, Apps, Photos and Music, and Social.
In the Hub, you can share items from your mobile devices or use the TV to play apps like Netflix or Hulu. Also included with the TV is a webcam for using Skype and a microphone for the same benefits. you can also speak to the TV using the microphone, but you shouldn't as it's sluggish at best. Turn it off and use the remote -- the lesser of two evils.
This is all easy to navigate and the interface isn't confusing at all. During the initial setup, you can choose what service you are using and in what area you live, and the TV will act as your cable or satellite box. This is displayed in a standard but also superior interface that you find on most cable platforms. From here you can see the program options and even record live TV. Be warned though, because the DVR is small on this TV when you compare it to traditional DVRs. The system learns what you watch and will suggest shows you may enjoy, as well.
We will be quick here, but you should find that even though this is a 65-inch television, it only weighs just under 60 pounds. It is thinner than most other TVs of this size but the base is wide. This means if you have a smaller entertainment stand, you better be ready to buy a new one. Because it's so light, you may actually want to hang this on the wall instead of putting it on a stand.
The remote control is interesting, as it has a track pad in the middle of it. Above all, it's annoying. It may take you a while to warm up to the idea of having something you would find on a laptop. Instead of putting the command buttons on the remote, Samsung implements them onto the screen where you can swipe through and control other devices or get to the more advanced functions. Again, it's not a pleasant experience and gets tiresome quickly. Samsung just takes the "smart" aspect a bit too far.
Even with the thin factor, there are still 4 HDMI ports on the back of the TV. We were surprised, since thin usually means compromise on ports. There is also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options. Other ports include component, composite, and USB.
Whether you are a seasoned veteran of televisions or you are just finally upgrading that boxy television, you won't go wrong with the Samsung UN65F8000 Smart TV. This LED beauty has everything in the Samsung Hub and its own cable box so you can cut the cables on other external devices. Picture quality is superb and beats out the competition. The only fault we found was the poor off-axis performance, such as sitting too far to the side. But if that's the only problem with picture quality, you can't do better.
(width x height x depth)
57" x 34.3" x 14.5" (with stand)
HDMI PC: 1
Component + Stereo: 1
RF Connection Input: 1
Analog Stereo: 1