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Samsung 55" LED 120hz Smart TV
on October 17, 2015
Okay, let me start this review by saying i'd consider myself somewhat of a tech guru and i'm also a big fan of Samsung products so my expectations of this TV were extremely high as I've always had good luck with every product I've purchased from them which includes cell phones, laptops, and other TV's. Also, I purchased this TV to replace my Top of the line 8500 Series 42" Plasma TV in the living room and that TV has an absolutely stunning picture; in 2012 I paid about $1700 for it (further hiring my expectations of this LED TV). With that being said I'm going to try and be as in-depth as I can in this review because I read a lot of negative reviews that I'd like to address with my experience.
First off, the Shipping (I know this has nothing to do with the product itself but it seems to be something a lot of people worry about and dwell on)
-Like most Amazoner's I was a bit nervous purchasing a $700 TV online, not because of Amazon but because of the possibility of it getting damaged in transit and then having to go through the whole return & replacement process. But the TV arrived in two days from time of purchase (Amazon Prime) via FedEx and the box was in perfect condition, the same as you would expect when purchasing from best buy. As I un-boxed the TV everything was good and the TV was protected with Styrofoam as well as a plastic sleeve covering the base and screen. There was absolutely no scratches or cracks on the screen or any other part of the TV and honestly it would have to be a pretty rough ride for that to happen as the TV is secured in the center of the box by the Styrofoam but these things happen. Before I mounted the TV above the fireplace in place of the old one I wanted to plug it in and make sure the picture and everything was functioning how it should, when I plugged it in it went through the installation process connecting to the internet and updating. Directly after that I went to the Netflix app and that's when I noticed that there was a dead pixel center left. This isn't a huge deal and is in no way a bad reflection on Amazon or Samsung, these things happen (a year ago I bought a laptop from best buy and got it home and it had several dead pixels). This is really the nature of the beast when dealing with electronics and is more of a quality control problem than anything.
Performance & Picture
-Now aside from the pixel issue (which is only noticeable on dark screens) this TV performs like a top of the line LED. The picture is stunningly clear and smooth, the colors are extremely vibrant, and the blacks are exceptionally deep especially for an LED. When it comes to the hertz of this TV I have had absolutely no problems with shadowing or blurring during fast action sequences so I can say it is actively 120hz. I use my TV's for a wide assortment of things, I watch a lot of Sports, play video games, and watch a lot of movies so picture and sound are extremely important aspects for me. This TV performs, I put it to the test with 1080p football games as well as first person shooters on the PS4 and I was extremely pleased. When watching sports I'd suggest turning on the "Sports Mode" too, this further optimizes the picture as well as the Audio. Like other reviews have said The factory settings for the picture will need some tuning (factory is a bit dark) depending on how you like it, I like the dynamic setting with the brightness up but that's all a matter of personal preference. Also, Samsung had a real problem with the 2013 &14 Smart Software in terms of freezing and lag, I can say without a doubt that these have been solved with the latest Smart Hub updates. Keep in mind that this TV doesn't have the Dual Core Processor like the models above it but it is quite snappy when searching the internet browser or opening up your Netflix apps. A lot of other TV Brands have done away with incorporating a web Browser in their iOS and I'm pleased that Samsung has kept it because I think its a great feature. The speakers on the TV are truly impressive, the volume goes 0-100 and in my fairly large living room I would never need it about 40. I was listening to Sirius radio and had it on 75 and it was clear and loud for a TV. Also the pre-programmed Audio settings are great, generally they really don't do much when you put it on "clear voice" or "Movie" but with this TV you can hear a noticeable difference. My favorite aspect of this TV is that it can Identify and open my 2TB Seagate desktop HDD. Now, this is great for people like me who have a ton of videos, movies, pictures and other media on an external HDD and want to be able to open and access it in one spot for a true multimedia center. My other TV did not have the capability to read this, but this smart TV not only reads it but it has all the codecs to be able to play a wide range of media; So with 2 USB ports you can plug in 2 thumb drives or HDD's and switch between them by pressing the Source button on the remote. Lastly, I had read a few reviews about how terrible the viewing angle on this TV was and the fact that it could only be viewed from certain angles, I really don't understand this. I have this TV mounted on a telescopic full motion articulating mount that can go in just about every possible position and I put the TV in the most skewed positions (positions no one would ever watch TV in) and it was just the same as perfectly level. I saw absolutely no difference in picture quality or anything else. I can imagine that in some of those positions there might be a problem with glare in high lighting rooms but that's not the TV's fault.
If I had to have a complaint
--If i had to have a complaint it would be that the TV is fairly thick for a 2015 TV. We have come to expect everything to be as thin as possible with today's technology but this really doesn't bother me, id rather have something with a little substance and built solid. However, for someone that low profile is their number one they may want to look elsewhere. And when I say thicker, I mean about 3 1/2 inches -- the TV is light in weight though. Also, the remote is very simple, I would have enjoyed a TV remote much like the one that comes with Vizio's 70" TV with the built in QWERTY keyboard but oh well. Finally, the HDMI situation, like others have stated this TV does only have 2 HDMI ports, which is a bit disappointing because if your like me you like to have your cable or satellite box, your PS4 or Xbox, and an HDMI cord running to your laptop plugged in all at once. It's inconvenient but it is easily fixed. All you have to do is buy a 3 or 4 port HDMI switch that automatically senses which port has a signal for 10$ here on Amazon. This TV only having two HDMI ports should in no way deter your from buying it, especially when there is such an inexpensive easy fix.
Return & Replacement
-Because of the Dead pixel I obviously had to contact Amazon for a replacement. Now instead of going through the online process I called Amazon's Award winning customer service to talk with a Rep Directly. Keep in mind this TV was delivered on a Friday at about 3PM, I called customer service at about 7pm and after talking with them briefly they issued me a replacement and had it ordered in about 20 Minutes. Within that time I was emailed a packing slip and a shipping label to attach to the box. Amazon then arranged for UPS to come to my house and pick up the TV for return. This worked out great because Monday morning UPS delivered the replacement and picked up the damaged one. I mean honestly, what else could you ask for from a company that deals with online products, they go above and beyond what anyone else in the industry is doing and they truly strive to keep there customers happy and coming back. I will choose to deal with a company like Amazon who treats you like a valued customer rather than give my business to a circus like Walmart who makes you jump through every hoop possible when returning or replacing an item every time.
I highly recommend this TV for anyone who is looking for a Mid Level priced LED TV that performs like the top classed models. This is a great choice if your not quite ready to spend the money to make the jump to 4K and I can't imagine the 60 or 65" TV's in this class perform any different.