Samsung UNH6350 series review: Midrange TV puts design, smarts first

Samsung's app selection is second to none, and it's still the only TV maker with HBO Go. Other notable apps among the hundreds available include Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, and AOL On (Fios TV, available on 2013 models, is missing for now). There's a Fitness VOD app with on-demand workouts, 35 different Kid-specific app, and many, many more. As you may have guessed, the Games page is just a subset of apps devoted to a handful of casual games you've never heard of; it replaces last year's largely useless Social page.

For more detail I'll refer you to the 2013 UNF8000 review, which delves deeper into On TV and its recommendations, describes the other four pages, and touches on setup and other esoterica. Unless otherwise noted above it's the same suite as found on the 2014 H6350.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Picture settings: In true Samsung tradition there's plenty on tap here, including 2-point and 10-point grayscale control, an excellent color management system, and four picture presets. Samsung's class-leading Auto Motion Plus dejudder control not only turns the Soap Opera Effect on or off, it allows adjustment of both blur reduction and smoothness -- and includes a setting called LED Clear Motion that improved motion resolution further.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Connectivity: Nothing major is missing here. Four HDMI ports, three USB, and an optical digital output do the digital heavy lifting, while analog video is served by a single component-video port that's shared with composite video. There's no VGA-style PC input, but there is a port for the included wired IR blaster.

Picture quality

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Samsung's midrange TVs haven't progressed much in this area; the H6350 performs almost exactly the same as last year's F6300. It showed relatively light, unimpressive black levels, superb color and video processing, and more uniformity errors that I expected from a direct-lit LED TV. I do appreciate Samsung's trend toward matte screens at this level, which helps a lot in bright rooms, but can't push the H6350's picture above a "6" on our scale.

Click the image at the right to see the picture settings used in the review and to read more about how this TV's picture controls worked during calibration.

Black level: I chose "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" to evaluate the UNF6350's picture quality, and as with last year its black level performance was mediocre. It matched the black level of the other two Samsungs almost exactly, beat the Sony W800B and Sharp by a nose, and fell short the depths displayed by the Vizio and the Sony W850B by a wider margin.

In bright scenes the letterbox bars of the latter two appeared darker than on the others, lending a bit of extra pop and contrast to the image. The gap widened when the scenes shifted to nighttime and darkness, such as the campsite in Chapter 9. The Samsungs looked just a bit washed out compared to the Vizio and Sony W850B, while their advantage over the Sony W800B and the Sharp was quite difficult to discern. Only when the scenes turned very dark, for example when Bilbo talks to the dwarf on the goblins' doorstep (1:50:43), did the Samsungs look slightly better than the Sharp and the Sony W800B.

Details in the shadows were solid on the Samsungs, with Bilbo's jacket and hair, for example, very nicely defined. The only laggards in this department, the Sharp and the Vizio, appeared a bit bright and a bit dark in the shadows, respectively.

Color accuracy: The H6350's superb measurements for color were borne out in program material; none of the Samsungs had major issues in this area--and again all appeared very close to one another. Their one fault, exacerbated by lighter black levels, was a bluish tinge to black and near-black areas. The Vizio and W850B didn't show quite that amount of blue shift, while the issue on other two looked very similar to what I saw on the Samsungs.

Skin tones, for example the face of Galadriel in the moonlight (1:35:00), looked very good, the Samungs both looked a bit better, and more saturated, than the Sonys in this regard. Primary colors, from the green of the lush forests of Middle Earth to the blue of the potion Radagast feeds the hedgehog, were just as true.

Video processing: Like its predecessor the Samsung UNH6350 performed like a champ in this area, nearly matching the UNH6400, and indeed even the UNF8000 from 2013, despite its lower Clear Motion Rate specification.

First, it's capable of delivering true 1080p24 film cadence. Unlike most LED LCD TVs, however, it can also deliver full motion resolution at the same time -- you don't have to engage the oversmooth Soap Opera Effect to get optimum motion resolution. On the Sonys, the Sharp and the Vizio, conversely, no mode offers true film cadence with zero smoothing and full motion resolution.

Of course if you're a fan of smoothing you might also appreciate the H6350's 10-point dejudder control under Custom for Auto Motion Plus, which enables you to dial in as much Soap Opera Effect as you like -- from "All My Children" to "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi." All of the other AMP settings aside from Off, introduce some smoothing.

Engaging LED Clear Motion setting under the AMP menu reduces light output by about 30 percent, but that's not a big deal since this TV (like most LED LCDs) has plenty of light output anyway. In both the On and Off positions, the TV was able to achieve the full 1,200 lines of resolution -- a superb score for a 120Hz television. On looked very slightly cleaner in our test pattern, however, so sticklers may want to leave it there (and, if you're using our picture settings for this TV, bump up the Backlight control from 11 to 14). Note that engaging the setting on the H6400 introduced some flicker, but on the H6350 it did not.

As usual with Samsung, you'll need to select the Auto1 setting under Film Mode if you want correct 1080i deinterlacing of film-based sources; the default Auto 2 failed our test.

Uniformity: Since this is a direct, rather than edge-lit LED, I expected a better showing in this category. While there were no glaring bright spots or "flashlights" along the edges, I noticed some variations in brightness across the screen, and when the screen went all dark there were slightly brighter "clouds" in the upper section. These issues weren't visible in all program material, but when they appeared, for example during the opening credits of The Hobbit, I did find them distracting. The screens of the Sonys were more uniform in general then the three Samsungs, which in turn were about the same as the Sharp and better than the Vizio.

From off-angle the H6350 was typical for an LCD, washing out and losing pop about as quickly as the other sets, and also becoming bluer- or redder-tinged. The exception was the Vizio, which washed out even more quickly but maintained better color fidelity.

Bright lighting: The screen finish is sort of semi-matte, but more matte than glossy, and identical on all three Samsungs in our lineup. While it didn't deaden reflections quite as well as the Sharp or the Sony W850B, it handled them very well; about the same as the W800B and better than the Vizio. On the other hand the screen managed to retain its black levels nicely in a lit room, performing about the same as the others--with the exception of the Vizio, which was worse again.

Sound quality: The UNH6350 won't win any awards for sound. Yes, it outperformed the Sony W800B and the Vizio, sort of, but it still won't impress anybody with its audio chops. On music the bass sounded loose and flatulent, while treble was too crisp and scratchy. In its favor it didn't sound as thin as the other two, but they're all bad enough (and much worse than the W850B) that I'd have a tough time choosing. With the explosions of our movie test, the bridge assault from "Mission: Impossible 3," audio improved to slightly, but it still wasn't good, and the impact and fullness audible on the Sony W850B were absent.

Unlike with video, the three Samsung didn't share largely identical sound. The H6350 was probably the worst, the H6400 in the middle, and the F6300 the best. The former two delivered more bass but it was too much, too boomy, while the F6300 was more balanced, if somewhat thinner.

Samsung UN55H6350

Test Result Score
Black luminance (0%) 0.011 Average
Avg. gamma (10-100%) 2.3 Average
Avg. grayscale error (10-100%) 1.000 Good
Dark gray error (20%) 1.706 Good
Bright gray error (70%) 1.124 Good
Avg. color error 1.437 Good
Red error 1.456 Poor
Green error 1.253 Good
Blue error 2.76 Good
Cyan error 1.116 Good
Magenta error 1.116 Good
Yellow error 0.94 Good
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL) Pass Good
1080i De-interlacing (film) Pass Good
Motion resolution (max) 1200 Good
Motion resolution (dejudder off) 1200 Good
Input lag (Game mode) 46.87 Average

Samsung UN55H6350 CNET review calibration report

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  • Enhanced Refresh Rate 240 Hz
  • Display Format 1080p (FullHD)
  • Diagonal Size 47.6
  • Type OLED TV
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