Samsung UN65H8000 Review (UN65H8000AFXZA)

65 inch Curved 1080p 240Hz Smart 3D LED TV

by , Reviewer

Samsung 8 Series LED TVWith curved 4K and OLEDs getting all of the attention this year, you can only wonder where the 1080p LED TVs are going to fit in. After all, this technology is just starting to get where it should be. The 65H8000 LED TV fill the void between standard 1080p TVs and the curved 4K and OLED TVs hitting the market this year. It's a curved screen with the best picutre quality features for a 1080p display in Samsung's 2014 lineup. The most important picture quality aspect is the true local dimming. The H8000 series is the only 1080p LED to use it. This really gives the screen a step up in terms of contrast. It includes built in Wifi, built in Web Browser, and tweaked Smart TV functions from last year with the addition of an improved touch pad remote. The Sony KDL-65S990A is one of the few competitors for this type of display.

Strengths

  • Top Contrast, Color, Black Levels
  • Amazing Light Flow-through from the powerful LED edge lighting
  • Best micro dimming on a Samsung LED TV
  • Upscales 480i and 480p signals to near HD levels
  • Excellent Gaming performance
  • New Smart Touch remote makes surfing the web and navigating the Smart Hub easy with point and click functionality
  • Quad core plus processor makes boot up, loading apps, and any Smart TV process speedy
  • Voice Control (via Smart Touch Remote) features work well for Navigating Smart TV menu
  • Apps from the Samsung Smart TV App store provide a wide range of good free content
  • 3D Playback is superb with AutoMotion Plus
  • Glasses light and comfortable (4 pairs included)

    Weaknesses

  • Side angle viewing for 2D images is good for LED TV but not great overall (the curve makes marginal improvements)
  • Side angle viewing for 3D material a clear weakness
  • Voice Control feature for Internet browsing had its fair share of hiccups
  • No built-in camera on the 8000 series this year

    Neutral

  • Curve of the TV is supposed to provide better viewing angles, we see a marginal improvment
  • TV guide is nice, but probably won't replace a cable or satellite box guide
  • Volume and Sound Quality solid

    Picture Quality Rating: 92/100

    Strong LED Lighting

    As far as 1080p LED TVs go, this is one of the strongest in the market when it comes to LED edge-lighting. The powerful LEDs really give the H8000 a step up in terms of black levels and peak whites. The 65H8000 has best in class color and contrast that create superior images with excellent light flow through. Images on screen are crisp, and refined compared to some of the other LED TVs out there. The Ultra Clear Panel also plays a big part in presenting brilliant images on the H8000's curved display.

    Samsung UN65H8000 LED TV
    This shot is an excellent example of color reproduction, contrast, and depth that the curved H8000 screen can produce

    Color Performance

    Colors really pop on the 65H8000 for an LED TV, but the backlight can sometimes work against itself. Just keep the level between 70-80% and the picture won't suffer. From up-converted content color flow is much better than other TVs on the market – one of the reasons this is a premium model. Overall color is very well balanced and saturated and the Movie mode is set very close to D6500K right out of the box. Only top 4K and OLED TVs will beat the H8000 in color performance.

    Samsung UN65H8000 LED TV Design and Appearance
    Contrast and detail in the water are highlights of this image

    Precision Black Local Dimming

    This is actual hardware local dimming instead of software dimming seen on lower tier Samsung LEDs this year. It makes much more of a positive impact on picture quailty. We felt the image with this feature on was better than off, which is a rare case with features like this. This is due to separating the picture into hundreds of parts and pieces and changing the amount of backlighting from the LEDs. The Precision Black produced inky blacks without losing any dark shadow detail. To find the setting, look for the Smart LED option in the Picture Options menu. It is set to standard by default and we saw no difference when bumping it to high. When turned off, the picture seems to lose the vibrancy it had.

    Excellent Active 3D Performance

    We recommend leaving the picture mode in Standard with the Auto Motion Plus set to Smooth. We found that the AutoMotion Plus feature adds a ton of depth to 3D images and reduces judder to a non-issue. We also turned the 3D light setting up to High from the low position. The result is a great picture but it does degrade from side viewing angles, even with the curve of the screen. Changing the picture settings to Vivid and trying different combinations created noticeable double images and glowing around figures. So if you don't like what you see, do some adjusting before giving up. Spare 3D glasses are going for around $20 right now on Amazon. Not bad for active 3D glasses.

    Samsung UN65H8000 3D Glasses
    These are the 3D glasses for 2014 model Samsung LED TVs. The button to engage Dual View is located on one of the arms

    Features Rating: 93/100

    Samsung Smart Hub

    The Smart Hub keeps the same basic design as last year with subtle improvements. Samsung hit the mark with their user interface and intuitive nagivation. This time around you will see a Game tab as one of the major smart TV pages. The Smart Hub also allows for logins so each member of the family can have recommendations tailored to their viewing history. These changes show that Samsung really pays attention to the details when it comes to user experience. Just like last year the Smart Hub is one of the best options for a good smart TV experience. The quad core processor is just icing on the cake.

    Touch Pad Controller and Dual Screen Multitasking

    Samsung UN65H8000 Touchpad Remote
    This year's touch remote features an egg shape with a smaller touch pad, but more buttons

    Surfing the web and the Smart TV features is a breeze with the new touchpad remote. It's much faster and easier than a traditional 5-way controller. The actual touch pad is a bit smaller this year, but that's okay because it now supports motion control. This brings it closer to LG's Magic Remote. The smaller touch pad also leaves room for more useful buttons on the remote instead of the on-screen menus. The voice recognition only works for inputting searches if the soft keyboard for the search field is open. The new split screen feature is another addition that we think is a move in the right direction by Samsung. This makes it easy to view live TV and browse the web or use social media at the same time. This is made possible by the quad-core processor. It's important to note that the HU8550 and up can do quad screen multitasking for those who really want to test the limits of the TV.

    Samsung UN65H8000 Split Screen Smart TV
    Here you can see the newest and extremely useful faeture of the Samsung Smart Hub, split screen multitasking

    Menu

    The menu is very similar to what we have seen on top tier Samsungs in the past. Overall it is complete and easy to find your way around. The left hand side list all of the major sections and is easy to get in and out of. One feature we really liked was the list of sub menu contents on the right hand side. For example, when you highlight Picture Options, you get to see every option located in that menu right on the screen. It's a subtle feature, but it can make finding a certain feature faster.

    Wall Mounting

    Many people decide to wall mount their new super thin LED TVs. And why not? These almost frameless displays look great hanging in the living room or home theater. One of our big questions about these curved TVs was: How will they wall mount? Well, the H8000 does fit the 400 x 400 VESA wall mounting standards. That's a relief since 3rd party (i.e. less expensive) products can be used. Samsung however, does provide some low profile proprietary hardware as well. The Samsung WMN450 Mini Wall Mount will do the trick for this TV too.

    Appearance

    Samsung really embellishes the curve of the H8000 series through the design. Though the curve of the screen is slight, the curve of the stand is one of the first things you'll notice. It is a similar approach to the F8000 crescent stand from last year, but this one gets more of the spotlight and isn't hidden away behind the screen.

    Samsung UN65H8000 LED TV Design and Appearance
    The stand and screen now resemble each other. Thin bezels and a low profile stand make this a good looking TV

    Value Rating: 86/100

    The curve certainly doesn't come cheap. But in the grand scheme of things, a 1080p curved LED is much cheaper than the 4K curved variety. The UN65H8000 can be found for around $3,299. That's expensive, but you get excellent picture quality, strong smart TV features, and bragging rights for having the first curved TV on the block. It is hard to promote the curved TV since the benefits aren't terribly impressive, but it's a solid TV. The Sony KDL-65S990A from last year is going for a few hundred less. It's really the only competition for a curved 1080p LED TV at the moment.

    Overall Rating: 90/100

    Quick Specs

    • 64.5" diagonal measurement
    • 1920 x 1080 resolution
    • 1200 Clear Motion Rate
    • Quad Core Plus Processor
    • Micro Dimming Ultimate
    • 0.3" Bezels / 4.2" Depth (not including stand)
    • 4 HDMI, 3 USB
    • 2.2 Channel Sound (10W x 2 / Woofer 10W x 2)
    • Dimensions without stand (W X H X D): 57.1" x 33.0" x 4.2"
    • Dimensions with stand: 57.1" x 35.2" x 12.1"
    • Weight without stand: 52.9 lbs.
    • Weight with stand: 60.0 lbs.


    Jack Burden Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack
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