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HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2014: Editor's Choice - Part 1

Best Premium Smart LED TV

Best Premium Smart LED TV

Sure, almost everyone today probably owns a smartphone with a sizable screen and perhaps even a tablet that they use to view and consume content. But when you want to get down to some serious watching or laze around to channel surf comfortably, users will always turn to their TVs. With a full range of smart features, 3D capabilities and upgraded synergy with smart devices thanks to the advent of technologies such as Miracast, modern Full HD TVs are more than deserving of their place at the center of your living room. To contest in this category, we picked nominees that were launched within our Tech Awards test qualification period, have a screen size of 55 inches, boast a complete Smart TV platform and cost under S$5,000.

Nominees: 

 

  • LG 55LA8600
  • Panasonic Viera TH-L55WT60
  • Philips 55PFL8008S/12
  • Samsung UA55F80000AK
  • Sony Bravia KDL-W954A

 

And the Winner Is...

Samsung UA55F8000AK

With premium LED TVs, it’s the little things that matter. The Samsung UA55F8000AK’s attention to detail, no matter how small, and stellar all-round performance make it worthy of the Best Premium Smart LED TV award. Every high-end television boasts a suite of smart features, but none of them are as coherently executed as the Samsung Smart Hub. With a user-friendly interface, navigating the wide selection of apps and options is easy, plus users can also issue voice and gesture commands. Additionally, the UA55F80000AK is Evolution Kit compatible, which means the TV can be upgraded to a newer Smart Hub, should the owner be willing to shell out a little extra cash. Performance for the Samsung UA55F8000AK is top-notch as can be expected from a product of this caliber. The overall tone is close to neutral. Colors for Blu-ray content are spot on and the TV also exhibited great black levels. As an added bonus, good noise cancelling features allow for DVD content to be viewed without much discomfort. Simply put, the UA55F8000AK delivers on every level one should expect from a premium smart LED TV.

LG's LA8600 was a close runner-up with fairly accurate colors, very good (but not exceptional) black details, and excellent motion performance. For the most part, 3D performance was great, with strong depth and flicker-free images. Sound quality is excellent (for a TV), especially with Clear Voice II enabled. Unfortunately, our two major gripes are the contrast loss when you're viewing from an off-center position and the slight input lag during gaming. Samsung's UAF8000AK, on the other hand, was free of these concerns and coupled with a smart TV platform that’s more evolved and refined, the Samsung F8000 offers a slightly better overall package and is the winner of this category.

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model LG 55LA8600 Panasonic Viera TH-L55WT60
Philips 55PFL8008S/12
Samsung UA55F80000AK
Sony Bravia KDL-W954A
Design  8.5 7.5 7.5 9.0 8.0
Features  8.5 8.0 8.0 9.5 8.5
User-Friendliness  8.5 7.0 7.5 9.0 8.5
Performance   8.5 7.5 6.5 9.0 8.0
Value  8.5 7.0 7.0 8.5 8.5
Overall  8.5 7.5 7.0 9.0 8.5
Price S$4,199 S$4,899 S$3,999 S$4,899 S$4,199

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.

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