Samsung UN55D6400 55″ Smart TV Review

smarttv 572x220 Samsung UN55D6400 55 Smart TV Review

The Samsung UN55D6400 is a 55-Inch 3D LED HDTV that packs in a 1080p resolution, a 5,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio, but more on all of that later. The UN55D6400 is also a Smart TV that is a part of the 6400 series. That means it supports apps from Samsung’s growing app store. These apps extend the functionality of your TV to a whole new level. We’re talking about apps that offer you access to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, and more, right from the comfort of your couch.

 

Design

Despite its nearly 55 inches of display real estate, the UN55D640 manages to keep things really lightweight. Without the stand, the TV weighs just 38.1lbs. and with the stand, the TV weighs 48.5lbs. This is a lot less heavy than your average 55-incher. But perhaps more impressive than its weight, is the TV’s 1.2″ depth. This TV is super thin! If you observe it from its profile angle you will be blown away by how thin it is. There are picture frames with significantly more depth than this TV. Yep, it’s the Kate Moss of flat panel TVs, and that says a lot. The system also sports the Graphite Touch of Color design which “blends a hint of amber color” into the TV’s black bezel frame and makes it look that much more like a part of your room’s decor.

The system packs in a healthy amount of inputs including four HDMI inputs, one component input, two composite inputs, three USB 2.0 ports, one audio output, and one optical digital audio output. The speakers are built into the bottom of the TV and provide SRS TheaterSound and two 15 watt audio channels. That is certainly not a replacement for a dedicated home theater system, but it’s a fine built-in speaker system with good audio.


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Picture Quality

Picture quality on the Samsung UN55D6400 is nothing short of stunning. HD content isn’t just sharp with vivid accurate color, it’s also super life-like.  The display is also able to get very bright and provides pretty deep blacks, but they aren’t the blackest blacks you can find on an LED display. The TV also works as a 3D display for viewing 3D content with compatible 3D glasses. In addition, the TV can also up convert 2D content to 3D content.

Out of the box, the Auto motion flow is turned on by default and it makes the video seem so realistic, that it almost feels like you’re on set with the actors and actresses. The setting can be easily turned off, but we think that Samsung shouldn’t have this setting turned on by default as it can be quite jarring.Not everyone will appreciate this effect. Although it’s entertaining for occasional viewing.

The Apps

So is the Samsung Smart TV technology all that it’s cracked up to be? Yes. Samsung has done a good job  of developing an easy-to-use user interface for their Samsung Smart TVs. The U.I. is pretty straightforward and easy to navigate. Much more so than the first generation of Google TV that we reviewed not too long ago.

A dedicated Smart Hub button on the TV’s remote brings you to the Smart Hub where you can find quick access to your favorite apps along with access to the Samsung apps catalog. The interface is primarily icon based, kind of just like the interface on your iPad or iPhone.  That said, the U.I. isn’t quite as pretty and fluid as the U.I. you’ll find on a Boxee Box or AppleTV. But it is straightforward and pretty efficient to use.

Our biggest issue with the U.I. is that it’s very difficult to operate with a standard remote. Samsung offers a remote with a FULL QWERTY on one side of it, but unfortunately this remote costs an extra $80 or so. This remote also has a touch sensitive interface that makes navigation even easier. If you choose to use the remote that comes with the TV to operate the apps, you will find it a frustrating experience when it comes to performing searches and inputting text. You are forced to use the numeric keypad to punch out text and the process is very tedious and slow. It’s similar to using the numeric keypad on a cell phone, but even more arduous, and this makes operating apps unenjoyable. Our advice – if you’re gonna shell out the big bucks for this amazing TV, shell out a little extra for the QWERTY remote.

As far as Samsung’s Apps are concerned, pretty much all of the big ones are there. Netflix, YouTube, ESPN, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Google Maps, Google Talk, Skype, BlockBuster, and Fandango are just some of the popular apps that are available on the Samsung Smart TV. These services are amongst the most popular apps for smartphones and tablets, and Samsung has done a good job of porting them over to your big screen TV. So instead of having to connect to an external box to add these services to your TV, Samsung Smart TV comes with all of these services available to you out of the box, there are no extra wires required and no complicated set-ups involved. For services like Pandora, Netflix, etc, you’ll need to activate/ sign up your account first online before you can use the apps on your TV.

Apps like Netflix and Vudu make it easy to stream in additional content to your TV. While apps like the Social TV app add fun social interactivity to your viewing experience. The app lets you connect to Twitter, Facebook and Google Talk and runs as on overlay at the side of your screen while you watch TV. This way you can keep an eye on your friend’s status updates and Tweets while watching your favorite shows. You can also use it to comment on what your watching by making your own status updates. Again, you’ll really need the Samsung QWERTY remote for Smart TVs to enjoy an app like this one.

Alternatively, you can download the Samsung Remote app for Android and iPhone which will also transform your smartphone into a fully functional remote that connects to your TV over Wi-Fi.

But aside from the major players, there are plenty of other goodies that you’ll find in the Samsung App store.  Apps like 3D Explorer streams 3D content, many of which is free, including 3D trailers and movies to your TV.  Spsn TV features video that teachs you about how to use different Samsung products. Mood Light is yet another neat app that provides you with different themes for ambiance. It’s kind of like having a still picture frame, but with moving pictures, and it’s especially great to use for parties, as it provides subtle background music and themes for birthdays, romance, and more. This is just one example of a clever app for your TV, that you probably didn’t know you needed. Other neat apps like GalleryOn.tv streams slideshows of famous paintings by famous artists like Van Gogh.

There is also a whole section dedicated to games, lifestyle apps, education apps and more. The games section packs in choices like Tetris and Sudoko. These games are hardly console replacements, but there is a decent selection of casual games that you might ordinarily find on your smartphone, that have now been refitted for the big screen.

Conclusion

Samsung’s UN55D6400 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz 3D LED HDTV isn’t just smart, it’s also a TV that manages to produce stunning visuals. And not only are its visuals a wonder to behold, but so is its ultra-thin chassis. That combined with the fact that it’s also a capable Smart TV with app support, along with 3D support too, make it very desirable TV. The Samsung UN55D6400 can be found for as little as $1579 on Amazon right now! That is over $800 cheaper than its MSRP.

The Good: Lightweight, thin and sexy design, stunning visuals with vivid, life-like color and motion, Smart TV apps extend the functionality of your TV, energy efficient, catalog of apps is always growing

The Bad: On the pricier side, QWERTY remote costs extra – as does the USB Wi-Fi adapter, search function is anemic, web browser is  not available in the 6000 or 7000 series

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