SMARTER THAN THE TIMES
Samsung claims its new Series 8 televisions are a bit ahead of the times. We had to see for ourselves to believe this boast. Motion sensing, voice control, upgradeable hardware, we sure had our hands full.
DESIGN The 55ES8000 is a sleek device, despite its 55-inch size. The bezel is thin at 12mm, but the chrome frame sort of kills the picture and acts a spoiler. In a first, this TV comes with a built-in webcam which you will need for Skype chats and which the TV will need for face recognition. The remote is also unique, with very few controls and a touch pad in the middle to
move the cursor on the screen.
3D The HD content on the TV is as clear as it can be. The 3D is clear too, though we were not all that impressed by the outward throw. The depth is much better, especially when you are viewing content upscaled from 2D. Samsung uses active glasses for its 3D and the TV comes bundled with four of them.
Good, for buying them will cost you a packet. The sound also has a 3D boost when required.
MOTION SENSING The remote is very handy, but with this TV you can also use your hand for navigation. Once the sensor configures itself to the ambient light in the room, you can control the cursor by just moving your hand. To select something just close your fist; to go back to an earlier menu, wave the hand anti-clockwise. However, we found this a bit too labour intensive for our liking. Why would a couch potato want to wave his
arms to change channels?
SMART Samsung claims it has the most apps for any television, including some signature applications available only for its customers. Apps
like Family Story, Fitness and Kids are really good, except for the small detail that you will need a 2Mbps Net connection to make full use of these. There is a tonne of free content too, but even that is
streamed and will need a fast Internet connection. With slower connections, you will encounter frustrating lags as you switch from app to app. In another cutting edge feature, Samsung has promised an ‘Evolution Kit’ every year for you to upgrade the software and
hardware. But this won’t come free. VOICE CONTROL If you don’t like all the waving, just ask the TV to change channels, reduce volume or open an app. This seems to be a more natural way of controlling the television and you can employ voice either with the remote or to speak directly to the TV. Most of the TV commands can be controlled by voice and used together with motion sensing and the remote, giving you complete control over your TV. It could, however, be a bit chaotic if everyone in the room tried to take charge in his or her own way. VERDICT This is a very smart TV and really ahead of its times, especially with the multiple control options. However, the 3D is something Samsung really needs to work on.
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