Samsung UN65F7100 Review (UN65F7100AF)
65 inch 1080p 3D LED Smart Hub 2.0 TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
The UN65F7100 is the 3rd tier LED for Samsung in 2013 and early 2014. It replaces the ES7100 series last year and contains a feature rich, yet reasonably priced offering. It's one of my favorite models for the year and in my opinion is one of the best looking TVs on the market. Other excellent features include a dual-core processor for multitasking, the micro dimming features, and a 240Hz panel.
Picture Quality Rating: 9.2/10
The picture quality on the UN65F7100 is almost as excellent as the F8000 series (we've reviewed them side by side) and the key to this is that it has the same panel with clear coat screen and similar contrast. The latter (F8000) has a higher micro-dimming rate, but this model still has that feature for increased contrast where needed. Side viewing angles look good with not much contrast degrading. Images are clear and color information is accurate. Sometimes I wish LED TV colors popped a bit more, but this is the nature of LED backlit LCD TVs. The offset is that you get great brightness and peak whites and Samsung's LED backlighting is some of the best in the market.
LED Edge Backlight – A Standout feature for the F7100!
The light flow through created by the LED Backlight on this TV is amazing and one of the TVs best characteristics. Some complain that it can cause screen uniformity issues. To tone down the LED backlight from causing some uneven screen uniformity issues turn the backlight setting (found in the picture settings menu) down to a more reasonable level – 16 or around 80% is what we recommend. This will keep screen uniformity issues from arising and you still have plenty of brightness from this super bright LED TV. Having powerful LED backlighting in case you need it for super bright room conditions is a plus.
The Samsung F7100 has excellent color rendition and picture clarity. Great contrast levels are also highlighted in this shot
3D Viewing Quality
3D Viewing Quality is by the active variety on the 65F7100 and follows the excellent performance in this are of the ES7100 predecessor. Samsung's active 3D glasses are the lightest and most comfortable in the active-3D marketplace and now have a new rounded design. Aside from that there is little difference as there was not much to improve upon. There is little to no crosstalk or distraction when viewing 3D content, but keep away direct light from the front of the room in which you are viewing or you will likely get a slight flicker from the edges of the glasses. LG's passive 3D in their top models is superior, but the F7100 blows it away in 2D.
Auto Motion Plus (Pay Attention to this Setting!)
The Auto Motion Plus feature in the UN65F7100 comes as a blessing and a curse. This defaults to On in all of the preset picture setting modes. Keep that in mind if the picture looks a little strange to you. When watching content from the Internet, TV, DVD or BluRay, this feature should be disabled or at least the De-Judder should be dialed down to 0. De-Blur can be left alone. The feature creates the dreaded 'Soap Opera' effect, making images look terribly unrealistic by eliminating natural background blur. Turn it off in the Picture Options menu and everything will be fine again. You'll immediately see judder when you disable it, but your eyes will adjust momentarily. When viewing 480i based content we saw slight improvements when the setting was low.
(Note: to get to the setting click on Menu, swipe across to Picture, Scroll all the way down to Picture Options, Scroll down to AutoMotion Plus.)
Standard Definition Up-Conversion - Beautiful
All content is not 1080p. There is still a ton of content you are viewing on lower quality resolutions (Netflix streaming for example). The 65F7100 does a great job of up-converting the signal to HD and displaying in a near HD quality. The F7100 yielded a top notch picture from my trusted Risky Business DVD in 480. The top samsung LEDs are excellent at this up-conversion.
Features Rating: 9.1/10
Smart Interaction Focused on Voice Recognition
Smart TV Options
Samsung continues to lead the race among manufacturers in number of Apps and in our opinion more importantly the number of quality Apps. Of course, the UN65F7100 has the full range of options regard the Smart TV Apps. It is equipped with a dual-core processor in this TV to help speed the operation of the Smart TV functions.
This is the Apps page of the redesigned Smart Hub. Here you see all of your downloaded apps as well as some reccomendations for other apps that you might enjoy
Along with the other Smart TV features, you currently get Bing's search function Samsung's Social TV feature which allows you to see Facebook activity, Twitter feeds and other social media platforms on a side bar. Here's a review of several of the included, mostly free Apps:
Mtv Music Meter - Lists of musician/bands trending on the Internet. Click on one and the video plays. Listening to Bon Iver gave me another opportunity to test the speakers on the F8000 – not bad, good guitar rendition for TV speakers. There are also tweets, photos, and news options aside from the videos. Rating 4 out of 5.
Family Story - Samsung wants this to be a prominent App for you and even includes a dedicated button on the remote control for it. It basically allows you to input photos, and videos from Samsung tablets, smartphones to play on the TV. Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Fitness VOD App - Videos of workouts such as the “Sexy Chair Workout.” That one is pretty good, Great for dancers. There is a pretty wide assortment including light weights and yoga. But load times are painfully slow. Some of the Apps in the Fitness section are for sale, while some are free from Exercise TV. The instructions is pretty good. Rating 3.5 out of 5.
MLB.tv - Major League baseball. There is a premium account option to be able to view video recaps of games. Otherwise, you just get a menu with today's games, and standings.
Explore 3D - A selection of free Samsung licensed 3D content. There are many categories of 3D content here including, kids, sports, documentaries, music videos. It's a much better selection than other manufacturers. Rating 4 out of 5.
There is a built in Web Browser and Wifi on this model. The dual-core also helps speed the browsing function which was slow in 2012. There's no worry of this innovative technology fading into obscurity, either; with a Smart Evolution feature, the TV uploads the newest features each year through a kit.
In 2013 Samsung has also focused on easy connectivity between the F7100 and Smart Phones and Tablets, allowing them to connect wirelessly and display material from the Smart TV Apps sections.
The included remote with the F7100 features a touch pad. A simple swiping motion will change the page the Smart Hub is displaying. The mic button also makes it easy to use the voice control features
Voice Interaction is included with the 65F7100 and works well for speeding browsing and searching content you may want to watch. There has been lots of advancement in the feature though it still lags the LG Magic Remote's voice recognition abilities by miles. Last year the function was OK for the most rudimentary functions. This year you will want to use it extensively. For example, you can depress the mic and say, “look up shows with Reece Witherspoon,” and the TV will search your Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon OD, Crackle, and other and come up with a list of available options (along with the price). Or you can use the function to search the Internet when browsing by saying, “Search Internet.” Then issuing an url like, “espn.com” which the TV will then bring up. The remote does a nice job of understanding different accents as well. It's not as good as LG's, but it works second best in the market.
There is plenty of volume from the speakers on the F7100 and quality is consistently good though not as rich as some we've tested. Thankfully, there are no hollow or tinny effects in the sound as we've noticed from years past.
Appearance and Design
The F7100 misses out on the cresent moon stand of the flow design and utilizes the signature Samsung quad leg stand
The 65F7100 has the new flow design for 2013, but the screen framing bezel is a very sophisticated matte silver and it's just a striking good looks. The frame is about .2 inches in width (.5” for the 60”). So you get that minimalistic almost frameless design. It does not have the half moon shaped stand and instead has the 4-legged prong stand we like to call quadrapod. The front facing camera is not built-in on the F7100 but is optional.
Value - Bang for the Buck Rating: 8.9/10
The UN65F7100 does not have nearly as much competition as the 60” size. Still it's a pretty solid deal at $2599. You get a great feature-set and picture and a $800 discount from the top model F8000. You give up a few high end features such as the quad-core processor, but in all I think this models covers most of the very important bases. Competition is from the Panasonic TC-P65ST60.
Overall Rating: 9.1/10
|Having reviewed and written about Television Technology for over 10 years, Wiley never tires of researching the newest qualitative trends related to the technology. Most people do not get excited about possibilities behind the latest video engine...Wiley does. Read more about Robert|
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