Samsung UE40H640 full review

Samsung UE40H640

When you consider the spec of this attractively priced 40-inch flatscreen TV, you might struggle to think of reasons to spend more. This mid-range model packs a mighty punch with scads of network functionality, above-average image quality and a fair smattering of gimmicky nonsense. See Best Smart TVs: the best Smart TVs of 2014.

Also available in 32-, 48-, 55- and 65-inch screen sizes (as the UE32H6400, UE48H6400, UE55H6400 and UE65H6400 respectively), this 6-Series set boasts a fashionable design with traditional Samsung translucent edging and swivelling X-style pedestal.

There's no shortage of connection ports either, with a quartet of HDMI (one of which is ARC compliant), SCART, component/composite inputs, ethernet and a trio of USB ports. There's an optical digital audio output for use with soundbars. Wi-Fi is integrated.

Samsung UE40H640 review: remotes

The screen comes with two remotes. A standard IR zapper, and an increasingly common Bluetooth Smart Touch Control. The latter has a touch-sensitive pad and integrated microphone for voice interaction, although the set is without Samsung's finger-wagging gesture control technology. In addition, there's an onbody, rear-placed joystick control to navigate the set manually.

The out-of-the-box setup routine is neatly executed, while the Freeview programme guide has both a PIP channel window and overlaid audio.

Image quality is more than satisfactory. The set combines terrific levels of detail and texture, with vibrant colour reproduction, courtesy of the brand's Wide Colour Enhancer Plus processor. Pictures are pleasingly dynamic too, thanks to bright peak whites. While the UE40H6400 doesn't really deliver absolute black (no criticism, it is a mid-range offering after all), Black Tone and Dynamic Contrast adjustments help considerably.

The latter, using either the Low or Medium setting, really manages to emphasise shadow detail; picture depth can be further enhanced by applying the Dark Tone (we liked the Chris Nolan-friendly ‘Dark' setting). Gradated levels of darkness are handled well, with no overt pixel noise. The panel's LED edge-lighting appears uniform, a practical benefit of this particular screen size.

Motion handling is fine, making this screen suitable for all kinds of high-octane action fare. Despite only warranting a lowly CMR400 Motion Plus rating, the Motion Plus Clear setting delivered a crisp 1080 lines of moving resolution with nothing much in the way of picture artefacts to spoil the fun.

For a really cinematic presentation, we'd advise you turn Motion Plus off all together. There's only a moderate drop in moving resolution. Read: Best 2014 TV deals: Cashback offers and free tablets.

Samsung UE40H640 review: 3D performance 

The UE40H6400's Active Shutter 3D performance is more difficult to enthuse over. The TV suffers from overt double imaging which isn't particularly comfortable to watch, meaning the dimensional illusion doesn't quite gel. That said, a 40-inch screen really isn't big enough to provide an immersive 3D experience anyway. Two pairs of 3D glasses are supplied in the box.

Samsung's Smart Hub platform has had a subtle revamp in 2014. In addition to copious catch-up, there's a Timeline thumbnail TV guide, a Trending page for hit shows and second-generation Soccer mode, although this seems to have been developed mainly for those who like to watch the big match in hyper-real dynamic shop window mode - it succeeds only in making the beautiful game look decidedly ugly. The inclusion of top streaming apps, including Netflix and YouTube, are obviously welcome. Samsung has also stepped up it's casual games offerings. Overall navigation is sprightly, thanks to a quad-core processor.

Multimedia playback support from networked devices and local USB is pleasingly comprehensive, with a wide selection of file types supported. We unwrapped AVI, MOV, MKV and WMV files from a networked DLNA server; audio compatibility covers WAV, FLAC, MP3 and WMA.

Sound quality is generally better than you might imagine for such a slim set; the rear of the cabinet swells gently to accommodate some creditable drivers, so there's some mid-bass to be heard. That said, a claimed 2 x 10w power output seems a tad optimistic. See Best Smart TVs: the best Smart TVs of 2014.

Samsung UE40H640


Samsung UE40H640: Specs

  • 40-inch LCD TV
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Freeview HD
  • stereo speakers with 2 x 10W amplifier
  • 4x HDMI, 1x SCART, component (YPbPr)/composite
  • stereo phono audio input
  • digital optical audio output, 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 10/100 Ethernet, CI card slot
  • 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi built-in/Wi-Fi Direct
  • Active Shutter 3D
  • 52 W quoted average power consumption
  • 115 W quoted maximum power consumption
  • 918 x 535 x 49 mm (whd, w/o stand)
  • 8.2 kg

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