Samsung JU6400 4K Ultra HD TV Review – (UN40JU6400, UN48JU6400, UN55JU6400, UN60JU6400, UN65JU6400 Versions)
As one of Samsung’s absolute budget 4K ultra HD TVs, the JU6400 40 inch model is a complete winner in our books. While this TV certainly lacks some of Samsung’s high-end technologies, we can hardly complain given the target market and final price of the UN40JU6400. This is a prefect ultra-starter 4K TV for almost any budget and what it lacks in some features along with what it has by way of minor defects, it more than makes up for in some surprisingly excellent quality for its low cost status. The larger version such as the UN48JU6400 or the UN60JU6400 are just as great.
Featuring some excellent 4K rendering, razor sharp graphics the surprising inclusion of Samsung’s new Tizen Smart TV platform and some perfectly decent if slightly basic connectivity specs, the JU6400 offers a lot more than what you’d expect for such an affordable 4K UHD TV and quite frankly, it thus ranks as amongst the better deals we’ve seen in this year for consumers who want to get their feet wet in 4K but are leery of really spending a fortune or simply working on a very tight budget.
In basic terms, the UN40JU6400 and some of its larger cousins such as the UN65JU6400 are all wonderful representative displays of how well competition on the 4K display market has worked at bringing these once extremely expensive UHD TVs to the world of the everyday user, while still keeping to a high degree of quality and increasing spec standardization.
There is plenty to like in the rather compact UN40JU6400. Despite its low price and more conservative specs, this little TV offer some killer specs and characteristics which any beginner 4K TV user would find enjoyable. Furthermore, as a smaller UHD TV, it’s also a superb potential piece of 4K UHD PC gaming technology (excepting of course its lack of a DisplayPort 1.2 connection).
For starters, the picture quality on the JU6400 is a definite winner. The 4K UHD resolution manages to look great on the smaller screen and color renders with surprising effectiveness right out of the box and can be made to look even better after some minor manual adjustments.
And, while the JU6400 doesn’t have the expanded color gamuts that some of Samsung’s higher end SUHD 4K TVs but the company did manage to throw in PurColor technology for what amounts to a very respectable default color vibrancy which is more than good enough for a low cost start TV and whose deficiencies won’t even be noticed by most users who aren’t accustomed to the very best in top-shelf 4K TV technology.
Furthermore, the contrast and black uniformity on the JU6400 are truly good. We’re not talking about the superb blacks of Samsung’s JS9000 or Sony’s X940C 4K premium TVs but for a conventional LED/LCD TV, the JU6400 delivers above average contrast performance and black uniformity that looks great, with only very minor deviations along the bottom corners.
Finally, we should mention the Tizen OS of the JU6400 and its rather remarkably good 4K UHD upscaling engine. A another lower-end JU series Samsung 4K TV we recently reviewed, the JU6700, is a larger model with a better spec roster and a moderately higher price (though it’s also a budget 4K UHD TV) but the smaller, cheaper JU6400 has an oddly superior 4K upscaling engine that not only delivers excellent, sharp Full HD upscaling but also manages to make 480p SD and 720p HD content scale upwards into something clearer, sharper and more visually appealing, and it pulls this off with a low degree of distortion. Furthermore, the more budget-minded JU6400 also comes with the newest Samsung Tizen Smart TV OS platform, which the JU6700 we reviewed oddly didn’t have included.
4.4 - 12 Reviews
First of all, it should be kept in mind that the JU6400 is after all a very affordable and highly budget-oriented 4K UHD TV that’s simply not going to include some premium features like HDR display capacity, quantum dot color and robust future-proofed connectivity extras. So for lacking these things, we can’t really criticize this TV, though all of these above features would definitely be nice to see even in a budget model like this at some point down the road.
That said, there are indeed a few less than ideal aspects of the JU6400 that we distinctly think could have been improved even at this TV’s price level. First of all, the screen size of the JU6400 is not exactly ideal. 4K ultra HD resolution is always best when viewed on a larger screen and while it can indeed be appreciated on smaller display spaces, the real impact of all those extra pixels gets lost at 40 inches.
It’s actually difficult to distinguish from conventional Full HD on this TV and in part this is also why the JU6400’s upscaling engine works better than we’d have expected: stretching Full HD and even 720p HD across only 40 inches of screen space in an effort to simulate 4K is much easier than stretching these resolutions across 55 to 70 inches. On the other hand, with so little difference, it becomes a bit hard to justify even bothering to go for 4K resolution in such a small TV. In practical terms, a cheaper Full HD model would deliver almost the same clarity.
Moving along, the refresh rate and judder issues in the JU6400 are problematic and if you’re a major fan of 24p DVD, streaming and Blu-ray movies, this is not a model you’d want to go for. It’s also not your best bet for streamed or otherwise sportcasts and 4K UHD gaming since its native refresh rate sits at just 60Hz with an artificial Samsung Motion Rate bump up to 120Hz. However, Motion Rate isn’t the same as native refresh and those 60Hz do provoke some problems here and there.
Additionally, Samsung could have also included true Local Dimming technology in the JU6400 for the sake of some even better, finer detail when it comes to varying between light and dark on the screen during movies and other programming. However, instead of real Local Dimming technology, the JU6400 comes with that the manufacturer calls “UHD Dimming” which is a weak-sauce substitute for actual local dimming.
Finally, connectivity-wise, the JU6400 comes with all of the essentials for access to the majority of today’s 4K ultra HD videos and movies but it also does lack a couple things that could have been included even in this budget model. The first of these is a fourth HDMI 2.0 port. Most modern 4K UHD TVs of all price levels come with 4 HDMI 2.0 ports (except, oddly, LG’s ultra-premium OLED 4K TVs, which for some bizarre reason often also come with only 3 HDMI slots) and this minor detail is an odd absence in the JU6400. In addition to the HDMI issue, the JU6400 could have also been given an option for Samsung’s One Connect or at least their One Connect mini future-proofed and replaceable external connectivity boxes.
Despite some of its flaws, the JU6400 from Samsung is a superb little 4K UHD TV and represents one of the better deals available today on the 4K UHD T market. With this model, you get some great visual specs, excellent general Samsung quality and all of the core essentials of 4K home entertainment for a very low price. Our biggest issue with the JU6400 is actually the small size of its screen but this might not be a problem for many users.
Screen size: 54.6 diagonal inches
Other Versions: UN48JU6400 - 48 inches, UN55JU6400 - 55 inches, UN60JU6400 - 60 inches, UN65JU6400 - 65 inches
Smart TV: Tizen OS, Smart Hub, Smart TV with Apps and Full Web Browser
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
Refresh Rate: 60Hz native refresh rate (Motion Rate 120Hz)
Screen Lighting: Edge-lit LED backlighting without local dimming
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
Remotes: Samsung smart button remote
Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Component, 1 composite, 1 Audio Out, 1 Digital Audio Out
Sound: 20W (10W x 2) Down Firing + Base Reflex (2CH) speakers with DTS Premium Sound 5.1
Contrast Ratio: 2980:1
Other Display Features: Auto Depth Enhancer and PurColor Accuracy
TV weight without/with stand: 16.8 lb/18.7 lb
Dimensions: 36.1" x 21.1" x 2.5" inches without stand/ With stand: 36.1" x 23.3" x 7.7" inches
In terms of diverse and innovative highlights, the JU6400 isn’t quite bursting with features. This is after a fairly economical essentials-oriented 4K ultra HD TV. However, there are a couple things that we’d have to say we really liked, features which stand out.
First among these is the Tizen OS and Smart Hub platform of the TV’s smart interface. It’s great, easy to use and moves smoothly thanks to the built-in quad-core processor that Samsung loaded into this compact beauty of a 4K UHD TV. Tizen as a whole is Samsung’s latest and most advanced OS and it definitely marks some serious improvement over the previous Smart Hub system of older 4K TVs from this brand. On the whole, it’s more intuitive, faster and much easier to navigate. Furthermore, its full-blown web browser is a superb tool for surfing the web and accessing apps for different types of media.
Additionally, Smart Hub in the new Tizen system is all about easy accessibility and its pop-up menu along the bottom of the screen is wonderfully easy to navigate with its two main buttons, “Featured” and “Recent”. The Featured square on the left of the screen offers one touch access to the whole Smart Hub interface, where you can open up apps, games, web browsing and pretty much everything else that makes the JU6400’s smart TV system tick along for your benefit. Featured is in essence where you’ll find access to apps like games, Netflix YouTube, Amazon, Twitter and whatever personal content you’ve got linked to the TV via external devices through USB or HDMI ports. Featured is also where the JU6400’s Search options can be found.
On the other hand, in Recent, you’ll find any apps and media that you’ve been using or watching recently along with inputs for your Blu-ray player, recently viewed TV channels and shortcuts to other external or internal (streaming) media sources.
These are just some of the highlights of the JU6400’s Smart Hub/Tizen interface. There is also a function for linking a smartphone or tablet to your unit of this TV thanks to Samsung’s Smart View 2.0 app for Android or iOS. By downloading this little tool to the mobile device of your choice, you can quickly and easily swipe photos, videos and music between JU6400 and your phone or tablet.
Finally, core 4K UHD media streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, YouTube and a couple of others are all included by default in the Tizen interface of the UN40JU6400, so if you want access to 4K UHD content right out of the box, this TV has got you covered right away. You’ll have to subscribe (and pay to do so) to the Netflix and Amazon content in ultra HD but YouTube’s growing selection of 4K videos is absolutely free to view for the sake of showing off just how good native streamed 4K video can look on this economical TV.
4.4 - 12 Reviews
Visually, the JU6400 is a remarkably robust performer that delivers more than we’d have expected of such a low cost 4K UHD TV. In basic terms, this is a nearly perfect next-generation 4K UHD starter TV for those who want decent visual specs. The 4K ultra HD detail is eye-poppingly good on the compact screen of the JU6400 when watched directly from in front and colors have a very impressive level of nuance, vibrancy and realism to them. Furthermore, the native contrast ratio at just a smidge under 3000:1 is a winner that goes above the average for many other 4K UHD models we’ve seen at similar or sometimes even higher prices. And while this particular TV lacks true LED Local Dimming technology, it still manages to make its sharp range of contrast work reasonably well even in rather detailed interplays of light and dark in onscreen content.
As for non-4K footage, in this the JU6400 is a winner as well. For any 4K UHD TV, its capacity to upscale non-4K content is a crucial feature in a world where true native 4K entertainment still represents only a tiny fraction of what’s available on the market. Fortunately however, as we’ve already mentioned, the JU6400 does a great job in this department, particularly for Full HD video and especially for Blu-ray 1080p Full HD video. These two latter resolutions scale up superbly to something that looks clear, sharp, vibrant and comes remarkably close to resembling native 4K. Furthermore, even 720p HD and 480p SD content scale very decently across the compact 40 inch screen of the JU6400. They scaled rather well on our test using the 55 inch version - UN55JU6400.
Sample video sequences in native 4K of starscape scenes, vibrant garden landscapes and the raging glory of the sun from a YouTube 4K video shot by NASA all looked wonderfully crisp in their own specific ways with the display of the JU6400. The starscape delivered a rich, deep black background with clear little pinpricks of light for stars, while the garden visual offers a wonderfully varied riot of green tones and other colors sharply standing out from them. And as for the sun video, contrast interplays of darker orange, brighter orange and the red-tinted black backdrop of space all play together in an impressive feat of color and contrast in such a small and economical 4K TV.
Connectivity—wise, what you get with the JU6400 is your essential package of essentials for the latest in conventional 4K UHD and non-4K content access. This TV comes with 3 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 USB ports and all connectivity for 4K content is fully compatible with HDCP 2.2 content copy protection, HEVC/VP9 video encoding and HDMI 2.0 for access to streamed or hardline media from external sources at a full 60 frames per second and without content blockage issues. Furthermore, as we’d already mentioned, the JU6400 comes with full internet connectivity via WiFi and an Ethernet port. So if your home internet connection is strong enough, you can easily watch streamed 4K from the major sources available in your area.
The 40 inch model of the Samsung JU6400 is currently selling on Amazon.com for just $627.24. This is indeed a great bargain price for such a surprisingly well crafted piece of 4K UHD technology.
4.4 - 12 Reviews
The two most essential defects of the JU6400 in our view are its relatively small screen size, which doesn’t allow for full appreciation of native 4K UHD resolution and it 8.29 million pixels, and the TV’s lack of support for 120Hz refresh and 24p content from external sources. These latter deficiencies can cause some notable judder in video and movies filmed in 24p while also causing lack of smoothness in fast-paced content like sportscasts and games.
• Excellent overall picture quality
• Remarkably good contrast
• Excellent color rendition
• Wonderful price
• Latest Tizen Smart TV OS
• Great access to apps and web browsing
• Low refresh rate and some judder
• No support for 24p content
• Connectivity options are a bit weaker than we like
• Small screen
• NO 3D TV technology