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Samsung UE46F7000 review

Not the official flagship TV, but arguably better value

Our Verdict

For anyone after a high-end TV, we'd wager that the Samsung UE46F7000 will suit more people than the Samsung UE46F8000

For

  • Sharp HD and SD
  • Smooth motion
  • Slim bezel design
  • Smart Hub GUI
  • Second screen viewing

Against

  • iOS apps disappoint
  • Some LED light leakage
  • Out-of-box presets overcooked
  • Voice control

After being hugely impressed by the flagship Samsung UE46F8000 and Samsung UE55F8000 from Samsung's 8 Series of LED TVs, can equal amounts of hyperbole be heaped on this step-down 46-inch LED TV? Darn right it can - and at £300 (around AU$450 / US$463) cheaper, we're almost convinced that this Samsung Series 7 screen is a better value option.

Part of that conclusion comes from the Samsung UE46F7000's looks, which are at least equal to its so-called big sister, and in some ways much more practical.

The most obvious change is the desktop stand, which is here a more traditional design that the arced - and more space-hungry - stand found underneath the Series 8 TV.

Samsung UE46F7000 review

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Not that Samsung's 'One Design' found here isn't an unusual take on a classic structure - the supporting core of the desktop stand is unique in that it's here that you'll find the Samsung logo. The support for this central pillar protrudes from the bottom of the main TV, which makes it appear a little tricky to set up. We feared we might crush or damage that protrusion, but in practice this wasn't an issue during our test.

Although its footprint is a tad larger in terms of width and height, the Samsung UE46F7000 is actually slimmer than the Samsung UE46F8000, though just by half a millimetre. That 34.4mm (1.35-inch) depth is overshadowed by the 'super narrow' bezel, which consists of just 5mm (0.2 inches) of shiny silver all around the screen, plus a 2mm outer layer and a 1mm gap to the actual image.

The screen, an LED-backlit LCD panel with 1920 x 1080 pixels, hosts some of the best smart TV features yet.

Samsung UE46F7000 review

Fitted with a quad-core processor, the Samsung UE46F7000 can handle two feeds from either of its Freeview HD or Freesat HD tuners. These can be recorded to USB, though it's what they enable in terms of smartphone and tablet apps that's really exciting (cue multi-screen viewing).

Just as enticing is Smart Hub, a five-panelled structure that separates an On TV home screen with a live TV thumbnail and a load of now/next and recommended programmes from pages dedicated to movies, apps and linked computers, tablets and smartphones.

A pop-up camera helps power a face recognition system and gesture-driven control options, though there's also a touchpad remote equipped with a microphone for voice control. However, on the pricier Samsung UE46F8000 these features disappointed us, proving too time consuming and too often inaccurate.

Samsung UE46F7000 review

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Lastly, and probably leastly, the Samsung UE46F7000 comes with two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses - Samsung's own SSG-5100GB - which cost around £15 (around AU$22.50/US$23) each.

The Samsung UE46F8000's key features in terms of picture quality - namely Cinema Black and its native 200Hz panel - are retained on the Samsung UE46F7000, which provides further evidence that those after pitch perfect pictures could here find a way to save a few coins.

However, while the Samsung UE46F8000 boasted Micro Dimming Ultimate, the Samsung UE46F7000 just has Micro Dimming without the 'Ultimate', suggesting that there are fewer LED clusters. Local dimming will therefore be slightly less advanced, though whether this drastically reduces the picture is debatable.

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Samsung UE46F7000 review

The Samsung UE46F7000 is priced at £1,599.99 (around AU$2,405 / US$2,470), and is accompanied in Samsung's 7 Series by the 40-inch Samsung UE40F7000 and 55-inch Samsung UE55F7000.

The step-up Samsung Series 8 - as epitomised by the stunning 46-inch Samsung UE46F8000 and 55-inch Samsung UE55F8000 add more powerful speakers, Micro Dimming Ultimate and a rather wide arc design stand that won't be to everyone's taste.

However, go shopping for a Samsung TV with a mind to save cash and you'll likely be more tempted by the drop-down sub-series sets such as the Samsung UE46F6400, which adds a little depth (15mm/0.59 inches to be exact - oh, the horror) but retains the four HDMI inputs and costs just £1,029.99 (around AU$1,548 / US$1,592).

Samsung UE46F7000 review

However, it does mean sacrificing Micro Dimming, putting up with much less powerful speakers, a beefier bezel, no voice or gesture controls and a single Freeview HD tuner.

Those not bothered about the extra smart TV gubbins ought to consider one of Samsung's value-busting plasma televisions, such as the 51-inch Samsung PS51E490, though plasmas with Smart Hub - and the rest - are soon on the way in the shape of the 51-inch Samsung PS51F8500.

Features

Besides active shutter 3D and voice/gesture control, the Samsung UE46F7000 is all about the Smart Hub's redesigned interface. It's less about apps and more about a clever division of labour and what Samsung calls S Recommendation, where the TV monitors what you're watching and uses the metadata it collects to make recommendations.

This all happens on the Smart Hub's front page, called On TV, with four other pages - Social, Apps, Movies & TV and the snappily-named Photos, Videos & Music - taking care of all other app-based smart TV features and home networking.

Samsung UE46F7000 review

The back of the slim-as-hell Samsung UE46F7000 is identical to the Samsung UE46F8000, with four HDMI inputs complemented by three USBs - though these are all high up, which makes it tricky to connect short USB cables often found with smaller HDDs and flash drives.

It also has a Scart (via an adaptor), Ethernet LAN, component video and composite video (via more adaptors), a headphones slot and digital optical audio out.

For those who tire of the 2013 version of Smart Hub come March 2014, an Evolution Kit can be slotted in to this same connections panel, adding extra processing power, too.

Samsung UE46F7000 review

Two remote controls are supplied, one traditional one in black plastic - though it is smaller than usual - and another in simply gorgeous brushed metal that comes with a touchpad and a buttons etched with their logo or function. We know which one we'll use... though it did take us a while to figure out how to insert the batteries into the touchpad remote.

Voice and gesture control tech is here, as are myriad apps and powerful image options, though what underlines it all is a quad-core processor - and with so much going on, that's a relief. So too is the ability to take two streams from either the Freeview HD or the Freesat HD.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2, DVB-C (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product Family7000
3D Type3D
Smart TVYes
Brand NameSamsung
Screen Size116.8 cm (46")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityCEC
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)15.70 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
Operating Power Consumption71 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HDMI VersionHDMI 1.4a
VGANo
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand650.70 mm
Width with Stand1037 mm
Depth with Stand257 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
Energy Consumption per Year104 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyClear Motion Rate 800
Height622.3 mm
Width1037 mm
Depth34.4 mm
ColourSilver
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Surround Sound, Dolby Pulse, DTS
Product Series7000
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, Teletext, Auto Program, Auto Power Off, Sound Leveler, Picture in Picture, Sleep Timer, PVR (Personal Video Recorder), Picture on Picture
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelUE46F7000ST
Product Name46" F7000 Series 7 Smart 3D Full HD LED TV
Manufacturer Part NumberUE46F7000STXXU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing InformationYou've never experienced TV like this before. Thanks to S Recommendation, the Samsung F7000 LED TV Series 7 gives you tailored recommendations based upon your viewing taste. You can explore a wide range of online content and services thanks to Smart Hub. And, with Smart Interaction, you can easily control your Smart TV with simple voice commands and gestures. Samsung's revolutionary Smart Evolution even allows you to renew the F7000 every year by installing a new Smart Evolution Kit.
Package Contents
  • 46" F7000 Series 7 Smart 3D Full HD LED TV
  • 2 x 3D Active Glasses
  • IR Extender Cable
  • Remote Control
  • Slim Gender Cable
  • Power Cable
  • User Manual
  • E-Manual
  • Batteries
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)11.40 kg