Samsung UN50F6300 Review (UN50F6300AF)
50 Inch Smart TV 120Hz LED TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
The Samsung UN50F6300 series LED TV drops a good deal of features compared to the F6400 above it. The most notable missing features are active 3D playback and micro dimming. Those two features alone set the two models apart by a good bit. Where features are lost, much value is gained. The picture quality, attractive design, and the fully redesigned Smart Hub remain. Value shoppers not interested in 3D will find a great deal in the F6300 series. This 50 inch version will service a medium to large sized room. This size class will see a lot of competition in 2013 with a lot of similar LED TVs from Sony, Panasonic, and LG.
Picture Quality Rating: 8.6
The UN50F6300 features a full 10-point white balance adjustment option that makes getting colors accurate easy with the right settings. We noted that black performance and contrast on the F6300 are strong. Since it is an LED TV, keeping the backlight in control is one of the most important parts of getting the best picture quality. Backlight controls are located in the picture settings menu. Side viewing angle quality is compromised by degrading contrast and fading colors from extreme side angles. While this is inherently a problem with LED backlighting. It is especially prevalent on the F6300. Keeping the backlight at a reasonable level helps a bit. The black bars appearing when watching 16:9 content appear rich and inky from front and center, but appear more dark purple from the sides.
The F6300 gives a good sense of depth in this shot, even without 3D like the F6400 has. The contrast in this shot leads to some elements being washed out in the background
Colors are accurate and calibrate to D6500K easily. The 55F6300 is loaded with tons of extra picture adjustment options, most of which we recommend just leaving off. Some you might want to play around with to find your preference.
Auto Motion Plus
We recommend no matter what picture mode you watch, that you go into this setting in the Advanced Picture menu, tune the feature to Custom then turn the Blur Reduction to 10, and the Judder Reduction to 0. Or you can just set it to off. The judder reduction part of this feature does too much to distort the picture including eliminating too much natural background blur, actually accentuating judder/jerky motion effects when the camera pans slowly, and creating motion artifacts.
This shot is a good example for color rendition on the F6300. Colors are bright without being over saturated. Also a fair amount of detail comes through in light and dark areas, although we have seen better performance out of LCD/LED TVs
Gaming - Very Responsive Game Mode
Getting to the Game Mode
Go to the Systems menu near the bottom of the main menu. Scroll down to the General settings and open that menu. Game Mode is located here. It seems like a pain to dig into the menus like this to turn it on or off.
Okami HD really brought out the colors of the F6300. Game mode is perfect for an action game like this one
Turning on the Game Mode is the best way to go for gaming on the 50F6400. The picture mode in Game Mode has its own settings, and initially look pretty bad. Standard is the only available picture mode while Game Mode is on. Take the time to turn the sharpness down to 10 or less, the Color Space to Auto, Dynamic Contrast to Off, Color Tone to Warm1, and the Screen Size to Screen Fit. Adjust the Backlight and Brightness to your personal preference. This will provide a decent picture quality as well as a cut down on input lag. This made Okami HD and Crysis for the PS3 look fantastic and the input lag was negligible at a decent 30ms.
This input lag test shows how important the game mode is for reducing input lag on this LED TV. First person shooters are going to see some of the best results of this low input lag
Features Rating: 8.6/10
Smart Hub - Lots of Options
Samsung still has the best Internet Apps selection with categories: Videos, Most Popular, Games, Sports, Lifestyle, Information, Education. There is much better free content than the other brands out there and the paid Apps are better and more reasonably priced as well. The Premium Apps such as the movie services, sports and music are also top notch and include the usual Netflix, You Tube (though we like the normal You Tube through the Browser better), Facebook (same here), Twitter, Vudu, Amazon, Hulu Plus. Thanks to the new HVEC Codec mentioned below streaming video looks much better.
The Smart Hub has received a redesign this year, and we see it as a positive thing. Samsung has really streamlined the design and navigation. These are two aspects that have always seemed a little clunky in smart TV suites across the board. Samsung has made 5 main pages that are home to all of the different reasons for accessing smart TV in general. The Social page hosts all of the facebook and twitter feeds you want. The Apps page is where all the apps like Netflix, the web browser, and tons of games will find their home. The On TV page is basically a pretty TV guide that shows what is on TV now and what will be soon. The Movies & TV Shows gathers all the online digital content you'll ever need for rent or purchase. The Photo & Video page is last, this is where all of your personal content can be found connected through a USB device or through the network. This is a great way to organize the entire thing in a meaningful way.
Dual Core Processor
The dual core processor included in the 50F6300 allows for multitasking in the Smart TV section while viewing content at the same time. It also helps speed search in the Smart TV options, an area of criticism in the previous model ES6100. The F6300 missed out quad-core processors seen in models higher up in the lineup.
HVEC Codec – Vast improvement in Streaming Content
The Codec device which is used to disseminate and play streaming video content from Internet based services is vastly improved from last years models. If you've noted how poor the video quality can be from services like You Tube or Vudu then you know you will be happy that this has been a focal point for Samsung. This new Codec improves the presentation by leaps. It can take scratchy content and display at what looks like 480p resolution. We could actually see the Codec process and clean up poor images when streaming video from various sources first started.
The s-recommendation feature is nice addition to the Smart Hub as a whole. Think about the Netflix or Amazon recommendation features. They are usually pretty helpful in finding more content to watch or items to buy. The S-recommendation feature takes note of your preferences and viewing history. When a search is performed results tailored to you are returned. You can also browse by recommendation if you are unsure of where to start.
Wifi and Web Browser Included
The Web Browser on the 50F6300 defaults to a Bing search bar. The browser is slow to use with the 5-way controller on the remote but loads content quickly and the Wifi connectivity is also improved over last years model.
Design and Appearance
The design is just like the F6400, but with a silver stand
The UN50F6300 is not going to win best-looking but it's attractive nonetheless with a bit more understated design than the top end almost frame less LED TVs. The thin charcoal black half inch framing bezel has an acrylic clear edge and the panel is around 2 inches in depth. Some may not care for the “quadrapod” 4-legged stand, but it's not bad and at least its not chrome for this model. It does conveniently swivel 15 to 20 degrees.
Value – Bang for the Buck Rating: 9.2/10
The UN50F6300 is very strong in value in the 50 inch market at around $999. By eliminating 3D, micro dimming and the slick touchpad remote, and sticking with some of the features that matter most, this is a tough model to beat in the mid-level LED TV category. Competition is from the LG 50LA6200, and the Panasonic TC-L50E60 plus some good plasma TVs like the Panasonic TC-P50ST60 for darker rooms.
Overall Rating: 9.2/10
|Having reviewed and written about Television Technology for over 10 years, Wiley never tires of researching the newest qualitative trends related to the technology. Most people do not get excited about possibilities behind the latest video engine...Wiley does. Read more about Robert|
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