Samsung Electronics held a showcase event at the prestigious Mayfair Hotel in London this week for the official UK launch of the Korean brand’s 2013 Smart TV range. Although we’ve seen most of the flat-screen HDTVs and Smart Hub content on display either from CES at the beginning of the year or through review samples, there was a piece of stylish hardware that’s totally new to us.
Behold the Samsung UE55F8500 LED TV. Yes, you’ve read that right: as if it’s not confusing enough, there are now no less than three Samsung AV products using the F8500 suffix in their model numbers. Regular HDTVTest readers will be familiar with the PS64F8500 plasma which we thought of very highly in our review last month; there’s a Samsung 3D Blu-ray and Freeview HD PVR box called BD-F8500; and now an LED-lit LCD television has joined the Samsung F8500 stable.
The one-piece aluminium design of the UE-55F8500 LED bears a striking resemblance to the F8500 plasma, with an opinion-splitting “towel rail” stand dominating the space in front of the panel. While the PS51F8500 and PS64F8500 plasmas carry a gunmetal grey finish, the 55-inch F8500 LED television’s is of a lighter shade – the company calls it “Titanium” finish.
In terms of specifications, a Samsung spokesperson told HDTV Test that the F8500 series of LED LCD TVs has the same features as the F8000 we reviewed back in March. This means edge LED backlighting with Micro Dimming Ultimate, quad-core processor, 1000Hz CMR (Clear Motion Rate) frame interpolation technology, active-shutter glasses (ASG) 3D, Evolution Kit upgradeability, and the company’s class-leading Smart Hub internet-connected platform.
The UE55F8500 is available to buy now in UK stores, with a suggested list price of £3000 which is £500 higher than the UE55F8000.
At the event, Samsung also released a Smart TV Futures report claiming that Britain is entering a second golden age of television, and launched works from British artists Jane and Louise Wilson on its s[edition] digital art app.