Samsung Series 8 (LA52A850)

UItra-slim Full HD 1080p TV.

Samsung Series 8 (LA52A850)
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Impressive blacks, great colours, sharp image, lots of features, ultra-thin design

Cons

  • Some noticeable uniformity issues, a little detail lost in dark areas, large screen reveals more of the flaws in standard-definition footage

Bottom Line

Another great TV from Samsung, the Series 8 offers the same excellent image quality and features found in its other units. However, its awkward positioning in the company's range may turn off some users who are willing to spend a little more to get the Series 9.

Would you buy this?

Samsung's Series 8 TVs are nestled between the incredibly impressive LA52A750 and the Series 9 (LA46A950). They are more expensive than the Series 7 units and only a little cheaper than the Series 9 TVs, which means for many people the incredible LED backlight of the Series 9 will probably be a more enticing option considering the small price difference. However, users who find the price just right will be greeted by a great panel that offers most of the same excellent image quality traits found in its siblings.

As with the other high-end Samsung models, the LA52A850 is a Full HD television with a native resolution of 1920x1080. The key thing that makes this model stand out is its ultra-slim design. Measuring just under two inches in thickness, this is the slimmest big screen TV we've ever seen. It looks absolutely fantastic; users who want a wall-mountable TV that barely sticks out will be very satisfied. The regular piano black finish is garnished with a hint of colour; red in the case of our review unit and blue on the A860 models. In both cases we think it is extremely stylish.

The TV's image quality is generally of the same high standard set by past Samsung units. Black levels are excellent; they're some of the best we've seen on an LCD, LED backlights aside. There was however an issue with uniformity. We spotted some noticeable clouding towards the corners of the screen. It didn't have much of an impact during real world testing, but on pure black screens it caused issues.

Colour reproduction was excellent, with rich, well-saturated tones that were kept well in check. We tested on the cinema preset as usual and colours were kept well in check, with none of the over-saturation you often see on cheaper units. Primary colours were bright without being too vivid and skin tones were nicely balanced.

While it has no LED backlight, with a dynamic contrast ratio of 70,000:1 this unit is no slouch. It performed quite well in our contrast tests. A few times we saw some detail loss in dark areas but the overall look and feel of the picture was impressive and shadows looked deep and clear.

In our high-definition tests it rendered the image flawlessly. The picture was crisp and sharp with all the glorious detail we've come to expect from HD footage. There was minimal graininess and no over-sharpening.

Our standard-definition test footage was well rendered but suffered from some of the issues you typically see when 1080p screens render SD footage. There were some noticeable scaling artefacts and a little graininess, particularly on people's faces, but the excellent colour reproduction and black levels again shone through. Our test unit was the 52in model, which meant it revealed more errors in the image than a smaller display would. However, the LA52A850 will still be fine for watching your favourite DVDs.

Motion was handled well. There was no noticeable ghosting or trailing in our gaming tests and the 100Hz mode operated well. There were still some aberrations caused by the extra frames but they were quite minor; this technology has definitely improved in leaps and bounds over the last few months.

Four HDMI ports are included, along with the standard array of Component, Composite, VGA and S-Video. Wiselinkpro is present as well, allowing you to play content stored on a USB key. The unit is also Digital Living Network Alliance compatible, so if you have a wired network in place then media streaming will be a breeze.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?