Samsung UN48JU7500 Features Review
48 INCH 4K UHD LED TV - Curved
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
The 7-series LEDs from Samsung have been some of our favorite models over the past few years for its combination of excellent features and quality at a more reasonable price than the top tier. The JU7500 4K TV falls in the same category. Without going overboard with the very highest end features you get the ones you will appreciate most. These include UHD Picture Dimming, a quad core processor, contrast enhancer technology, precision black and peak illuminator picture quality adjustments. Also, the much upgraded Smart remote with touchpad and mic.
Picture Quality Rating: 90/100
As we've mentioned many times before, edge lit LED backlit LCDs are not the ideal picture technology, however Samsung's ultra clear pro screen is a big plus – especially from front and center of the screen. Light flow-through is exceptional and is one of the best traits of this TV. This is even more accentuated with the new Peak Illuminator technology employed which further accentuates light or bright areas of the screen. Images are clear and color information is accurate. Over time after use, some light bleed (clouding) is likely to occur – noticeable during very dark or black background scenes. Colors pop very well for an LED TV and Samsung has the brightest LEDs (peak Whites) in the industry if you need a very bright screen. Last, the JU7500 includes a wide color enhancer plus technology for an expanded color pallet.
Color and contrast are strong suits of the JU7500, we were left very impressed.
Curved Screen Viewing Appeal
Does the curved screen actually improve viewing? The curve is not pronounced and we believe they are intended to somewhat distort weak color and contrast from side angles. But it turns out they are more popular than we thought they would be. They make the picture just a bit more intense if you are front and center of the TV and 5 or 6 feet away. But the recommended viewing distance for a 60” TV is around 12-15' so...not much of a benefit to have the curve. Anyway, if you like the way they look, go for it.
HD to UHD Upscaling and Conversion
Ever wonder if the picture quality is better on a 4K UHD TV with a standard definition or HD signal pumped into it? The answer is yes only if the TV has a stellar upscaling and conversion technology built in. And with very limited 4K content available, upscaling quality is extremely important. Otherwise, you might as well purchase a 1080p TV. We give the JU7500 an average score in this category. Upgrading your BluRay player to one that does a good job upconverting HD to 4K will provide a worthy return on investment. The JU7500 analyzes the incoming signal, applies video noise reduction techniques, and scales up the lower resolution signal. With an upgraded BluRay signal coming in, the TV has less work to do.
Lastly, it enhances the detail which may be the most important bit. With HD signals the JU7500 upscaler did a nice job improving the picture quality detail by 40% or so to attempt to put a number on it. With lower resolutions you get less benefit from the JU7100s 4K resolution. This is one of the key differences between some of the higher priced 4K TVs, the upscaler technology employed is more robust.
Fine details look wonderful on the 4K screen
LED Edge Backlight – A Standout Feature
The light flow through created by the Samsung LED Backlights has been a major positive for the last couple of years and continues with this UHD offering. It's one of the TVs best characteristics. Some complain that it can cause screen uniformity issues. To tone down the LED backlight from causing some uneven screen uniformity issues turn the backlight setting (found in the picture settings menu) down to a more reasonable level – around 80% is what we recommend or even 70% if you are in a darker room. This will help keep screen uniformity and light bleed issues from arising and you still have plenty of brightness from this super bright LED TV. Having powerful LED backlighting in case you need it for super bright room conditions is a plus.
Side Angle Viewing – Still Room for Improvement
On the JU7500 Color and contrast do fade when viewing from off center (curved screen be darned) though it is perhaps more subtle than in the past. Or go OLED and you will have perfect viewing angles. To the untrained eye, you may not notice the contrast degradation occurring from wider angles as much as we do. Contrast loss begins at around 30 degrees off center.
The JU7500 handles color and contrast like a dream
Refresh Rate/Motion Rate/AutoMotion Setting
The panel refresh rate is upgraded to 120Hz and a 240 Motion Rate for the JU7500 to help with fast action scenes and side to side panning judder. If the fake kitschy cutout effect of the TV working to reduce judder bothers you (as it does us), find the Auto Motion setting in the Advanced Picture Menu and turn to Off. You will then see some judder (a jerky effect on images especially noticeable in when the camera pans side to side), but it is worth it and you get used to it.
Auto Motion Plus - Know When to Use this Feature
The Auto Motion Plus feature in the JU7500 is something that comes as a blessing and a curse. By default it is set to On in all of the preset picture setting modes. You should turn it off for streaming content, DVDs, Blu-rays, and TV shows. You end up with the dreaded 'Soap Opera' effect, making images look terribly unrealistic by eliminating natural background blur. Turn it off in the Picture Options menu and everything will be fine again. You'll immediately see judder when you disable it, but your eyes will adjust momentarily. We've noticed that it actually helps when it comes to displaying 3D content and sports programming. When viewing 480i based content we saw slight improvements when the setting was low as well. Just be familiar with how to adjust this and it won't be a problem.
(Note: to get to the setting click on Menu, swipe across to Picture, Scroll all the way down to Picture Options, Scroll down to AutoMotion Plus.)
Features Rating: 86/100
Samsung Smart Hub
The familiar Samsung Smart Hub makes a return on the JU7500 series
The JU7500 does not get the new Tizen OS Smart Hub of the top JS models, but instead gets a similar Smart Hub suite to last year with the same basic design. Samsung hit the mark with their user interface and intuitive navigation. This time around you will see the Game tab as one of the major smart TV pages. The On TV page allows for individual logins. This means different members of the family can have different recommendation settings. This is a big plus for a home with multiple TV users. The Smart Hub for the JU7500 includes a full web browser.
This year's touch remote has plenty of surface for swiping your thumb to move the cursor and a mic as well for voice control. The voice control works reasonably well, but if you're like us you will likely end up using the touchpads swipe and click function.
Design and Appearance – Are the Curves Worth it?
“Not to us”, is the quick answer. The curved screen is a matter of preference, not a quality consideration. Dont buy it because you believe it will improve side angles viewing as advertised by Samsung and others. First of all, the curve is subtle. Secondly, it's certainly not optimal for wall mounting. After all, OEMs have spent the last few years trying to create the thinnest TVs possible. Now we're adding depth by way of a curve? Anyway, buy it because you like the way it looks better than a flat screen.
The TV is 6.4” in depth due to the curves. so plenty flat enough to mount or stand. The TV has a brushed silver finish that I am have always been a fan of. The stand is t-shaped and brushed silver for this model. The screen is 4.2” in depth without the stand. I do not recommend curved screens for wall mounting (what's the point?), but it is wall mountable if you want to be crazy. Curved screens turned out to be more popular than we experts ever thought they would be. I still believe manufacturers are selling the curved design to help compensate for the poor viewing angles associated with LED TVs. It's no knockout design, but I like thee lines of the new stand.
Sound quality is decent thanks to the (2) 10 watt woofers working with the (2) 10 watt speakers. It's no home theater system, but it will do in situations where a multiple channel speaker system isn't suitable.
The TV has built in Wifi, and plenty of HDMI inputs (4) and 3 USB inputs. It also has mobile to TV mirroring and a Game Picture Mode for gamers. Smart View 2.0 allows you to view content from mobile devices on-screen.
UHD Dimming is a new feature and a big part of the upgrade to the JU7500 from lower models. It's a picture processing feature aimed at highlighting the two sides of contrast, brighter whites and lights and darker blacks and darks by using the higher resolution with backlight adjustments.
Value Rating: 86/100
The 48” JU7500 is very reasonably priced in this competitive size at around $1450. The curved screen only adds $200 in case you are wondering (to the JU7100 series). The JU7500 series offers an excellent combination of picture quality upgrades while keeping the price down by omitting some of the highest end features. The ultra clear coat (Pro) screen, UHD dimming upgrade, 120Hz refresh rate panel (240 Motion Rate) and the touchpad remote are highlights.
- Diagonal Screen Size – 47.6”
- 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
- TV without stand (W x H x D): 42.6" x 24.9" x 4.2"
- TV with stand: 42.6" x 26.8" x 12.1"
- Weight without stand: 27.8 lbs.
- Weight with stand: 34.2 lbs.
- Contrast Enhancer
- Motion Rate 240
- Speaker configuration: 40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)
- Quad Core Processor
- Samsung Smart View (Mirroring)
- MHL Adapter
- 4 HDMI, 3 USB Connections
- RS232 1
- Component inputs 1
- Wi-Fi Built-in (802.11ac)
- HEVC decoder included (for watching streamed 4K content)
- 2-way screen mirroring with compatible devices
- UHD Dimming
- 3D Playback
Overall Rating: 87/100
|Having reviewed and written about Television Technology for over 10 years, Wiley never tires of researching the newest qualitative trends related to the technology. Most people do not get excited about possibilities behind the latest video engine...Wiley does. Read more about Robert|