Samsung UE85S9000 4K TV preview

The Samsung UE85S9000 85-inch Ultra HD panel inches ahead in 4K TV war

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Samsung UE85S9000 review

Measuring 85 inches diagonally, Samsung’s debut 4K Ultra HD (UHD) screen trumps its 84-inch rivals, the LG 84LM960V and Sony KD-84X9005, in sheer panel size - and innovates with some functional novelties too.

Samsung UE85S9000: Size and build

This TV is freaking’ gigantic. As if the panel size alone isn’t enough, Samsung has suspended it in a wacky easel ‘Timeless Gallery’ frame, which occupies even more space. Unless you live in a Manhattan loft apartment or have a cavernous mancave beneath your manor, you’ll struggle to accommodate it.

The Gallery frame can be wall- mounted, but then becomes asymmetrical. Build quality is exceptional, but as a piece of furniture, it’s certain to prove divisive. Panel resolution is 3180 x 2160.

Samsung UE85S9000: Features

There are big changes to the Samsung TV user experience this year. The brand’s new S-recommendation engine simplifies content search, offering personal TV and movie recommendations. There are also significant improvements to the voice control system first introduced on the brand’s 2012 models.

Now you can use everyday phases to dictate basic functionality and search. The S9 series also has a completely different user interface based around five icons. If you own a Galaxy Tab or phone, you can even mirror the contents on the over-sized screen.

Samsung UE85S9000: Picture Quality

The huge panel proves to be the perfect size for native Ultra HD. 4K demonstration footage seen at CES offered stunning dynamics, with rich vibrant colours and quite phenomenal levels of detail. We could peer extremely close without any sense of pixel structure. 3D content also proved tremendously immersive, delivering Full HD clarity even with passive glasses.

Samsung UE85S9000: Audio quality

The huge swinging easel frame may be an aesthetic faux pas, but it does have the benefit of concealing the screen’s sound system. The left and right hand struts hide the main stereo drivers, which are powered by a 120w digital amplifier. The top of the easel frame is used to house a Skype camera.

Samsung UE85S9000: Verdict

The future of high-end 4K certainly looks bright if this premium screen is anything to go by. The Samsung S9 offers sublime picture performance, with the 85-inch screen perfectly proportioned to appreciate the benefits of the greater pixel density of UHD.

We’re less enthusiastic about the Timeless Gallery frame, not least because it’s impractical for all but the largest venues – and it looks more Heath Robinson than Tate Modern. That said, the display should be well served by the improvements in voice and gesture control and content management.

Samsung UE85S9000 release date: Q2 2013 in the US

Samsung UE85S9000 price: £TBC

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.