Samsung's adverts for its TVs may push the high-end models with the voice and motion control features, but those sets are very expensive and we didn’t rate those special features very highly when we reviewed them.
The UE46ES6300 dumps those gimmicky additions, but still includes support for 3D as well as Samsung's top notch smart TV platform. It's much cheaper too, as you can buy it online for around £770, so on paper looks like an ideal compromise between price and features.
User interface and EPG
The UE46ES6300 uses the same menu system as Samsung's high-end TVs, which is a real boon as it's pretty much the best looking and easiest to use that you'll find on today's TVs. It's predominantly based around a homescreen from which you can access all of the TVs main features including its Smart TV apps, digital media player and even the input selection screen.
Admittedly it does look overly busy the first time you call it up, simply because it gives you access to so many of the TV's features at one time. You soon get used to it though, and it's fairly easy to navigate around.
Samsung's EPG is also one of the best you'll find on the current generation of TVs. It's got a very clean and crisp layout, and so is easy to read from the comfort of your sofa. It's also got an integrated video thumbnail window so you can keep track of the program you're watching while checking through the EPG to see what's coming up later in the evening.
One slight niggle is that when you hit the 'Info' button on the remote to bring up the mini guide, it only shows you a single line of the programme summary. To read the full summary you have to actually open the whole EPG.
Design and connections
One of the reasons Samsung has been so successful in the TV market over the last few years has been due to its focus on design. The UE46ES6300 may not be quite as drop dead gorgeous as the likes of the ES7000 and ES8000, but it's still a very stylish TV. The 1cm bezel around the screen is relatively narrow and gives way to a transparent, glass-like band that traces the outside rim of the set and frames the entire TV. The set is slim too, at around 20mm deep, and while its cross shaped stand won’t appeal to everyone, it does look quite futuristic.
Samsung has avoided relying on breakout cables for ports like Scart sockets and component inputs, so all its ports are full sized. The vast majority of them point directly out of the back of the TV though, which could make this model a little tricky to mount on a wall.
The other issue is one that affects all the larger-screened TVs in Samsung's 2012 lineup -- there are only three HDMI ports provided, when most other manufacturers now fit four as standard on most sets over 32 inches in size.
On the plus side it does have Wi-Fi as well as Ethernet, and you also get three USB ports as well as both Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners.
Naturally this set includes Samsung's Smart TV platform. The apps still aren’t of the same quality as those you get on phones or tablets, as they're generally slow to load and sluggish to use. Samsung's lineup of apps is probably the best around at the moment though. It includes apps for BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Lovefilm. Samsung is also the only manufacturer with an ITV Player app on its TVs at the moment. Channel 4's popular 4oD service isn't available, but no other manufacturer has it either at present.
There are plenty of other useful services supported though, including movie rental ones such as Acetrax, KnowHow and Curzon on Demand. You also get the Beeb's useful News and Sports apps, along with various other information services apps.