Samsung KS9500 Series 4k SUHD TV First Impression Review
In a surprise move, Samsung has put on show just one flagship model for the coming year: The Samsung KS9500. It’s a 4K, HDR ready SUHD TV with a gorgeous curved design and minimal bezel. It comes with Tizen OS (same as the one used in the Samsung JU6400 and JS8500), a twin tuner to allow recording and smart technology and also includes a built-in smart hub which will allow users to control IOT objects from their TV – future proofing at its finest.
At first look, the 88-inch Samsung KS9500 SUHD TV has a sleek curved design, boasts great visual features and offers novel functionality. The model is marketed as ‘bezel-less’ and while the frame is visible, it is impressively narrow and doesn’t detract from the viewing experience. The Samsung KS9500 continues the 360 design seen in other models from the brand. That is, there are no visible screws on the front or the back of the set.
Unlike the Samsung JS9500 (which is fully backlit), the KS9500 is only edge lit. You might think that this seems to be a reversal of evolution of the Samsung LED TVs but don’t worry, the KS9500 has a 1000 nit display – proving that edge lighting doesn’t mean a compromise on achieving a competitively high level of brightness. Quantum dot technology contributes to the vibrancy and depth of colour seen on the Samsung KS9500. Further, the KS9500’s 10-bit panel produces more than one billioncolors, offering a home viewing experience which gets closer to an authentic cinema experience than ever before.
Compared to most current LED LCD TVs on the market, this model is a leap ahead in terms of brightness, sharpness and color. With 4K and HDR ready features, the Samsung KS9500 is well placed to meet the demands of future technology. However, if you’re considering the Samsung KS9500, you might want to check out some of the offerings from Samsung’s competitors: Panasonic have also launched a new model, the DX9000 which also offers 4K and HDR ready features and matches the Samsung KS9500 with a 1000 nit display. Further, while the Samsung KS9500 meets the UHD Alliance’s new standards, Samsung SUHD TVs will not support the Dolby Vision HDR standard which competitors such as LG are supporting in ranges such as their OLED TVs. However, the Samsung KS9500 does retain an advantage over OLED TVs because as an LED LCD model, it is brighter.
One concern you might have when considering a curved LED LCD TV is the possibility of glare and reflections. Samsung is on it though and to combat these potential issues for the consumer, Samsung has introduced new “ultra black technology” which not only sounds cool but actually works too. This technology works somewhat like the eye of a moth because it absorbs light and does not allow it to reflect back out by diffusing it across an uneven surface. From a brief viewing, glare and reflections are not noticeable on the Samsung KS9500 but you’d need to try the 4k TV out at home with your ambient lighting to be sure.
In terms of OS you may have noticed that some of the household brand names have started shifting to using Android TV, most notably Sony and Philips. However, Samsung have stuck to Tizen OS. Tizen OS is responsive and can be customized to the suit the user, however early reviews suggest that many have already fallen in love with Android TV primarily because it provides then with access a wider range games and apps but more notably because it uses an interface similar to other Google products, which means it is already very familiar.
All is not lost for the Samsung KS9500 though; the use of Tizen OS means that there is scope for Samsung to partner with other brands to bring a comparable quality of games and apps to their TVs. One such partnership is with Playstation Now, which will allow selected Playstation games to be played on the TV without the need for a console. Additionally Tizen OS does already come packed with the apps people spend most of their time in such as Netflix and YouTube. Only time will tell if Tizen OS can truly hold up to Android OS over the long term.
The Samsung KS9500, being an LED LCD model, can’t compete with OLED TVs such as the LG Signature G6 in terms of slimness. However, what the KS9500 lacks in slimness, it, in our opinion partially makes up for in smartness! Samsung SUHD TVs come with ‘EXTRA services’ where you can access information about what is currently playing on the TV by pressing just one button on the remote control. Google might not yet be redundant, but it is a handy little feature to get details quickly.
The Samsung Smart Control has some other tricks up its sleeve too. You can plug in any device to the HDMI ports of the KS9500 and the TV will automatically recognize the equipment, allowing you to control everything from external speaker systems to consoles with just the TV remote. This feature already supports a large number of products and if you have an item you’re not sure will be compatible, don’t worry: Samsung are working on increasing compatibility going forward to reduce the number of products that aren’t supported.
The final smart feature of the Samsung KS9500 is the smart hub which is in-built and allows you to connect to hundreds of Internet of Things (IOT) products and control them through the TV, there are a handful of IOT products on the market today but the number is set to increase exponentially over the coming years.
Overall, the Samsung KS9500 is an impressive model and certainly one that makes previous standard LED LCD TVs pale in comparison. It shares some similarities with models other brands have unveiled, notably the Panasonic DX9000 with a 1000 nit display, 4K and HDR ready features. Differences (such as the operating system) between the Samsung KS9500 and other models such as the Sony DX93 and LG Signature G6 can be seen as an advantage or disadvantage depending on what features are most important to you. Consumer preference will also determine how well the Samsung KS9500 and other SUHD models stand up against the LG OLED range, purely because the design limitations of LED LCD TVs versus OLED TVs mean there will be distinct differences between the two ranges.
The Samsung KS9500 is set to be released later this year and available in different sizes up to the 88-inch model that has been previewed. Further information on availability and pricing are yet to be confirmed but as soon as they are we will make sure you know about it.