Samsung UN55JU6700 Review (UN55JU6700F, UN55JU6700FXZA)
55 INCH 4K UHD LED TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
The UN55JU6700 4K LED TV from Samsung is one of lower end 4K offerings for Samsung but still has ample features like Smart TV offerings, UHD Picture Dimming, a quad core processor, and a contrast enhancer. For just bit more money than the JU6700 below it you get the curved screen design (if that's your fancy), and the much upgraded smart remote controller.
As we've mentioned many times before, edge lit LED backlit LCDs are not the ideal picture technology, however Samsung's clear coat screen is a big plus. Images are clear and color information is accurate. Over time, some light bleed 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. The ultra clear panel technology in this screen which helps to absorb ambient light is an excellent feature. Last, the JU6700 includes a wide color enhancer plus technology for an expanded color pallet.
Color and contrast are strong suits of the JU6700.
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. We give the JU6700 an average score in this category. The JU6700 analyzes the incoming signal, applies video noise reduction techniques, and scales up the lower resolution signal. Lastly, it enhances the detail which may be the most important bit. With HD signals the JU6700 upscaler did a passable job improving the picture quality detail by 30% or so to attempt to put a number on it. This is one of the key differences between some of the higher priced 4K TVs, the upscaler technology employed is more robust.
This shot is all about the 4K detail that the JU6700 can display
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. This will keep screen uniformity 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, Even with the Curves
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. Samsung even has literature explaining how the curved screen has better viewing angle performance. It does help some, but why not just focus on plasma or OLED if overcoming poor side angle viewing is the point? On the JU6700 Color and contrast do fade when viewing from off center though it is perhaps more subtle than a flat screen. In fact, the untrained eye will likely not see much difference in contrast saturation until extreme angles. Early models of the 4K TVs from Samsung did not look this good from the side and were more in line with standard HD LED TVs. Dont get me wrong, it's still a drawback, but not as pronounced.
Refresh Rate Concerns
The panel refresh rate is only 60Hz for the JU6700 so you will see some judder on those movie scenes with side to side panning. The backlight manipulated Motion Rate is 120. This is another compromise for a lower price.
Samsung Smart Hub
The familiar Samsung Smart Hub makes a return on the JU6500 series
The JU6700 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 JU6700 includes a full web browser.
The quad-core processor greatly increases the speed of the Smart TV function and browsing. It is a welcome addition since processing speed and multitasking were slow before the upgrade to the quad-core.
Design and Appearance
The JU6700 has a nice design with a thin half inch border around the curved frame. The stand is t-shaped and brushed silver for this model. The screen is 5.2” 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 we will get back to later, but the speaker package is two by 10W speaks with no subwoofer. The JU6700 is DirecTV ready for 4K content. 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.
So what's the “upcharge” for a curved screen vs. flat? Not too much. A couple hundred dollars, plus you get the definite upgrade Smart remote. At around $1400 for the 55JU6700 we think this is an exceptional value offering. It has the “stuff you really need” and even has the ultra clear coat screen and contrast enhancer. It does not have a touchpad remote nor a high end upscaling package. A couple of things that does give us some pause for a screen this large is the medium grade upscaling and the 60Hz refresh rate of the panel.
- Diagonal Screen Size – 54.6”
- 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
- TV without stand (W x H x D): 48.9" x 28.2" x 4.4"
- TV with stand: 48.9" x 30.3" x 12.1"
- Weight without stand: 35.7 lbs.
- Weight with stand: 42.1 lbs.
- Contrast Enhancer
- Motion Rate 120
- Speaker output power: 10W x 2
- Quad Core Processor
- Samsung Smart View (Mirroring)
- MHL Adapter
- 4 HDMI, 3 USB Connections
- Wi-Fi Built-in (802.11ac)
- HEVC decoder included (for watching streamed 4K content)
- 2-way screen mirroring with compatible devices
Overall Rating: 88/100
|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|