We tested the 46" model (UE46F6400), but the F6400 also comes in 32" (UE32F6400), 40" (UE40F6400), 50" (UE50F6400), 55" (UE55F6400), 65" (UE65F6400) and 75" (UE75F6400).
Note: the 32" and 40" models may use a different panel than the others, so the results we found here do not apply to the UE32F6400 or UE40F6400.
2D IMAGE QUALITY
We were expecting the UE46F6400 to have an S-PVA panel like the F6650 we reviewed last May. As it turns out, it's a PSA panel like the ones from the Samsung F7000 and F8000.
Colour fidelity in Movie mode: average Delta E = 1.8
Contrast ratio: 3,160:1
PSA panels usually have contrast ratios less than 2,000:1, but the UE46F6400's is 3,160:1 with black at 0.06 cd/m². If you watch this TV with all the lights off you'll see that dark areas of the screen lack a little bit of depth, but with just a light or two on, they'll look perfectly black.
Not only is the contrast higher than the F8000's, but the viewing angles are wider. We found +160% variation in dark tones and +60% in light tones (compared to +300% and -30%, respectively, on the F8000.
After using our recommended settings (see inset below), we obtained faithful colours, with an average Delta E of 1.8. Even experts won't see any exaggeration in the colours. The luminance curve is just as good. With a gamma of 2.2 and an average colour temperature of 6,300 K, this is close to perfect.
Samsung's motion interpolation function, which it brands as "Motion Plus", is quality stuff. When set to Standard there's a good deal of soap opera effect, so we preferred switching it to Custom mode and then setting both the Blur Reduction and the Judder Reduction to 4. Once you do that, there's no more choppiness and the image doesn't get degraded with soap opera effect or artefacts surrounding objects in motion.
The UE46F6400 is responsive enough to play games on (10 ms ghosting time). Gamers will also appreciate the low input lag (43 milliseconds, or 2½ frames). Only the most attentive players will notice a very slight delay, but most shouldn't notice the difference.
The LED backlighting Samsung used doesn't offer the best light distribution in the world. We measured a variation in brightness of almost 40% between the centre of the screen (0.06 cd/m²) and the sides (0.03 cd/m²). As you can tell from this photo, on our model you couldn't actually see the variations, but other models may very well present clouding issues.
Like all of Samsung's 3D TVs this year, the F6400 uses active 3D technology. It comes with two pairs of SSG-5100GB 3D glasses, which cost around £14 per extra pair. They're comfortable and lightweight (24 grams).
The UE46F6400 has a quality 3D image with a good sense of depth. Even though it isn't the most responsive screen, there's very little crosstalk. The only times you can see a doubled image is in shots with particularly high contrast.
The F6400 doesn't have the same quality finish as Samsung's higher-end models. Instead it has the firm's flashier "Crystal Gloss" design, a glossy black plastic frame with a see-through layer on the outside, sitting atop a shiny metal stand. But unlike the F7000 and F8000, here the screen pivots, making it more convenient to turn towards you if you aren't sitting directly in front of the TV.
The screen has an anti-glare filter on it, but some reflections are still visible.
On the back of the TV are a cable tuner (DVB-C)/Freeview HD tuner (DVB-T), four HDMI inputs (one of which is used for compatibility between your set-top box, S-Recommendation and ARC), three USB ports, SCART, component and composite.
The F6400 has all the connected services Samsung usually includes with its high-end TVs. The new 2013 interface contains five panels: Social (where you can find content from social networking sites); Apps (for downloading and storing apps); On TV (includes S-Recommendation); Movies & TV Shows (VOD); and Photos, Videos & Music (for your own content stored on the media player).
The interface is fluid and fun to use. Samsung's Smart TV system is the most extensive and user-friendly interface currently on the market. Bravo!
The media player supports a wide range video containers (AVI, MP4, MKV, MOV, MTS and M2TS) and codecs (AVC-HD, H.264, X.264, WMV, DivX and Xvid). The only thing that can be problematic is subtitles and chapters contained in disk image files.
Samsung has given its remote controls a makeover. The first one is a standard remote without backlighting, but we like that it's relatively short and comfortable to hold.
The "Smart Touch Control" is a minimalist remote control with a touchpad, fewer buttons and fewer shortcuts. In all, it has sixteen buttons (volume, channel, power, Smart Hub, etc.). The touchpad is used to move the pointer through the interface and confirm selections. This new model is more precise and more responsive than the previous one.
To use voice control, you grab the Smart Touch Control, say something into it like, "movies starring Clint Eastwood" and the UE46F6400 gives you a list of movies and the option to record them—as long as you have a USB key or hard drive hooked up.
The built-in speakers aren't amazing. They rarely ever are on TVs, but here they're also low in volume (max. 72 dB). The vocal range is well reproduced, which is fine for watching the news or sitcoms, but for a real home theatre experience you need more bass than this. If you do buy the UE46F6400, you might want to invest in a sound bar or home cinema system as well.
The UE46F6400 doesn't consume an inordinate amount of power. We measured less than 1 W on standby and 86 W when turned on, which over a 46-inch screen comes down to 142 W/m².