Samsung, at the moment, seems to be flooding the TV market, with a new model launch every now and then. And though the brand’s intention behind doing so could be providing customers with ample choice (not one TV customer must be left out, seems to be the dictum), the outpour has caused much confusion as well, with many models almost identical, having very minute difference (that the sales guy are mostly unable to tell). Then the coded model names further fuel the confusion (sounding like some fighter jet label).
After much window shopping and hanging around the Samsung display areas, we were finally able to pick out one superb offering better than most in its segment, and yet priced quite reasonably: The JU7000.
The series sits in Samsung’s current mid-range of 4K televisions, and though it might not pack in all the future-proofing benchmarks as Samsung’s premium SUHDTV range, such as HDR or a wider colour gamut – it does have some enticing features, including local dimming (the feature dims only the dark areas of the screen, while retaining the brightness of the lighter parts resulting in a better image with higher contrast), and 4K video streaming services from Netflix and Amazon.
The LED backlit flat screen JU7000 incorporates all the latest picture features found on Samsung’s UHD range of TVs. Featuring Ultra HD 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) and Active 3D with Quad-Core picture processing, the JU7000 also features Peak Illuminator, designed to boost the brightness of the image by taking energy not being used in dark parts of the image and using it to boost the brighter parts.
Having all the ingredients necessary to produce super pictures, the series has a precisely correct contrast performance. Dark screen uniformity is also much better than the average. Though errant lighting maybe visible sometimes, but only during very black scenes.
The 3 mode ‘Smart LED’ feature (set at low mode), also works wonders, retaining most of the detail in the shadows without producing obtrusive haloing effects, aided further by the ‘Auto Motion Plus’ feature that effectively reduces motion blur.
The standard of video processing is quite high; even the standard definition material looks very presentable. Though no miracles are to be expected with the ultra-low bit rate material broadcasters often inflict upon us but a decent DVD plays superb, thanks to top-notch scaling.
The video deinterlacing is also strong, and the up-scaled content remains perfectly watchable, though the full HD 1080p TVs still do a better job at it. But that’s the case with all the 4Ks, and not just the JU7000.
The only notable picture issue with the series is some visible panel banding (exposing of the internal structure of the panel on the screen normally manifested as vertical lines or bands on the screen with alternating levels of brightness), most noticeable on fast panning brighter colour shots. And though this might not sound good to sports lovers, but again the uniformity issue is evident in most TVs with similar tech, and considering brand switch won’t help much, or at all.
That said; the Samsung JU7000 is one of the best options in mid-level 4K TVs, delivering excellent results. The colours are really pleasing and they combine with those good black levels and competent dimming system to produce very punchy pictures, whilst remaining natural.
Also, though not HDR capable, it still has plenty of dynamic range and those Ultra HD streams from Netflix and Amazon play superbly. The icing on the top will be Ultra HD Blu-ray, and we could only wonder how it would look on the 7000.
Samsung has also gifted the gamers a real delight with the JU series, delivering superfine performance having a measured lag of just 24.2 milliseconds, which is less than a one frame delay for a 30 frames per second title.
On the design front, the JU7000 series is quite sleek, with a pleasingly dark metallic bezel angling forward from the screen like a sharp-edged picture frame, propped on an elegant T-shaped stand making the TV appear as if floating above the tabletop. It is however not the slimmest TV out there with a maximum depth of approx. 7cm.
Typical of the Samsung, the JU7000 also comes with two remote controls; regular and smart. Bringing you next gen TV control, the smart controller includes navigation buttons and a pointer for effective motion control of all the smart features, plus a range of practical voice controls that actually work (talk to the remote if not thumb).
The new menu is also much more convenient and easy to operate. Simply laying your finger on the capacitive button summons the pointer and basic menu. Icons appear on the top, bottom and left of the screen for “Menu/123,” “Smart Hub” and volume, respectively, allowing you to dive into overlays for each while the main video continues playing.
With the new the Tizen operating system, the ‘Smart Hub’ is also very neat, with a clean, simple, horizontal overlay of icons, with recently used apps and other items, like inputs, lined up along the bottom of the screen. The app selection is also solid, with most of the major apps covered. However, the OS is still behind LG’s Web OS and Google’s Android TV, employed by Sony and Sharp TVs.
The Samsung exclusive ‘Multi Link Screen’ feature lets you split the screen and share it between TV and apps or browser simultaneously.
Another interesting feature is the OneConnect Mini connection box, which houses most of the inputs, and the TV needs not to be bothered time and again to connect all those cables. Just connect the Mini to the TV once, and then all the devices could be plugged into the conveniently placed connection box to connect with the TV.
Last but not least, for such a large TV, energy consumption figures are also very impressive with the 65-inch JU7000 consuming 135.4w on a 50% grey pattern and the calibrated movie mode used just 89.5w, much lesser than what others are munching. Definitely ‘One’ of the best, if not ‘The’ best: the Samsung JU7000.
• Display technology: LCD
• LED backlight: Edge-lit with local dimming
• Resolution: 4K
• Refresh rate: 120Hz
• Screen shape: Flat
• Screen finish: Glossy
• Smart TV: Tizen
• Remote: Motion
• 3D technology: Active
• 3D glasses included: None
• Sizes available (inch): 50, 55, 65, 78
Price: OMR 629 (55inch), OMR 1199 (65inch)
SARCO Centre, Extra, Emax, Sharaf DG