A Review of the Samsung JU6500 48-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2015 Series) – (UN40JU6500, UN48JU6500, UN50JU6500, UN55JU6500, UN60JU6500, UN65JU6500, UN75JU6500 Versions)
As one of Samsung’s more moderately priced 4K TVs the JU6500 offers a bit of a mixed back of features. On the one hand, the TV’s specs and characteristics make it one very solid economy-level model among its 4K peers and as such it’s a very good starter UHD TV for buyers who want quality without spending too much right off the bat. In this sense, the typical brand quality of Samsung stands firm and has plenty to offer at a very reasonable price.
On the other hand, this is no SUHD TV like the JS8500 and a few deficiencies are going to be noticed by more serious fans of 4K TVs who might be interested in something more robust, modern and advanced. Nonetheless, the JU6500 is a very good 4K TV in general and an excellent choice if you take its price into consideration. This review covers the rather small 48 inch model in particular but can for the most part be applied to any size of TV in the Samsung JU6500 line. Those sizes range from a very compact 40 inches right up to a huge 75 inch version of the UN75JU6500 and is denoted by the model number before the JU6500 - for example UN55JU6500 is the 55 inch version.
The single best feature of the UN55JU6500 and of its larger and even smaller cousins is a combination of their affordability and generally excellent quality. Samsung rarely screws up when it comes to their technology and the 4K TVs from the company are consistently excellent, even when they’re not top-shelf models.
The UN55JU6500 is a great combination of affordability and fine specs with a strikingly good 4k display quality. You can get a Vizio or Sharp 4K TV for a similar price but the UN55JU6500 is almost guaranteed to deliver a general superior picture quality even if its screen is just a bit smaller than what could be bought for the same price from these other brands.
Second, as a direct offshoot of the aforementioned quality, the UN55JU6500 offers a remarkably good picture quality for an Edge-Lit 4K TV. In this regard, Samsung has managed to deliver more than we would have expected thanks to their superbly bright LED technology and the clear coat technology of the outer screen itself. There is a bit of light bleed along the edges but it’s minimal and certainly less than what we’ve seen in more than a few other models.
Furthermore, though this isn’t one of Samsung’s SUHD TVs with their nanocrystal quantum dot color, the UN55JU6500 does still offer some very decent color enhancing technologies like Wide Color Enhancer Plus for an expanded color range. On top of this, the contrast, despite this not being an HDR TV, is remarkably good.
In other words, the picture quality of the UN55JU6500 is superb for its price range and class.
Finally, the overall connectivity package on this model and its cousins in the line is almost as good as anything you’ll find with even the best of the Samsung 2015 TVs. The only thing missing is the additional future-proofing of the One Connect box or its smaller cousin the One Connect Mini. However, in terms of compatibility with the latest 4K video compression codecs, content copy protection and full HDMI 2.0 power for UHD video at 60 frames per second, the JU6500 has got you thoroughly covered.
4.1 - 315 Reviews
In terms of what you get for this TV’s less than $900 price tag, the UN50JU6500 is a solid piece of hardware that’s unlikely to attract many complaints. However, a few relatively minor things are indeed missing from what could be a still better TV.
First off the bat, there is the out-of-the-box calibration. It’s rather mediocre and many of the colors are badly overprocessed. This isn’t a major issue since you can easily recalibrate the screen to show a better color range and the result will be excellent if you do it just right. However, Samsung could have put more effort into saving us consumers some time and effort.
Next, there is the side angle viewing quality of the UN70JU6500. Even Samsung’s top-shelf SUHD TVs can’t fix this problem to a major degree so it’s probably a lot to ask for the lower-grade models like the JU6500 to have excellent side-angle viewing. Nonetheless, contrast and color fade quickly from off center angles and this can be problematic if you’ve got a lot of people in front of this rather small TV.
Finally, there is the native refresh rate of this model. Instead of Samsung’s more common native 120Hz rate (usually with Motion Rate 240Hz thrown in for good measure) the JU6500 comes with only a native 60Hz refresh rate. This won’t be a problem for most viewing but some users might occasionally see a bit of judder on movie and game scenes where fast action and especially side to side panning are going on. Samsung has added in a simulated backlight-manipulated Motion Rate of 120Hz on the JU6500 but it’s not as good as the real deal, native 120Hz refresh.
For its price, the Samsung UN40JU6500 is really an absolutely superb TV. You can’t compare this model to Samsung’s SUHD TVs but that’s not the point. This is an “economy” 4K TV and as such, it’s possibly one of the best on the market.
Weight: 25.1 lbs wo stand/ 30 lbs with stand
Dimensions: (WxHxD): 42.8" x 26.6" x 10" inches with stand/ 42.8" x 24.8" x 2.5" inches without stand
Screen size: 40 inch - UN40JU6500, 48 inch - UN48JU6500, 50 inch - UN50JU6500, 55 inch - UN55JU6500, 60 inch - UN60JU6500, 65 inch - UN65JU6500, 75 inch - UN75JU6500.
Smart TV: Yes, Smart TV with Apps, S-Recommendation
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes (all 4 HDMI ports)
Refresh Rate: 120Hz
Screen Lighting: edge-lit LED backlighting
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes WiFi, Ethernet port
Remotes: Standard Remote Controller (TM1260C)
Connectivity: 4 x HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, Ethernet, Component/Composite, Digital Audio out
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: over 1 million
Audio: 20W (10W x 2) speakers with DTS Premium Sound 5.1 and DTS Studio Sound
Processor: Quad Core
The UN40JU6500 doesn’t offer nearly as many advanced highlights as its SUHD cousins in the 2015 line of Samsung 4K TVs but it still manages to throw in more than a few excellent features that deliver some excellent value for the price you’re going to pay for this TV.
First of all, there is the Samsung UHD upscaling engine of the UN40JU6500. This particular version of the technology, found in all Samsung TVs is especially good at its job by the standards of the industry and when it comes to Full HD and especially Blu-ray HD content upscaling, the visual result is as good as or even better than native compressed 4K video from a streaming source like Amazon Prime or YouTube. Even SD and 720p HD content get a decent boost on the TV and in the 48 inch model, the smaller screen size makes the upscaling to an approximation of native 4K look particularly sharp.
Next up, there is Samsung’s PurColor technology for enhancing color vibrancy. This certainly isn’t the nanocrystal quantum dot tech of the more advanced SUHD models from the company but it still works wonderfully at delivering some excellent color vibrancy and realism, especially after you play around with the TV’s color, contrast, backlight and other settings a bit to get a scheme that makes you happy for the kind of content you’ll be viewing most often on the UN40JU6500.
Another very useful highlight is the combination of UHD dimming and Samsung’s excellent LEDs themselves. Unlike many 4K TVs, the UN50JU6500 delivers its dimming via genuine LED brightness control instead of through a software-based simulation of such and the resulting enhancement in contrast is remarkably good for a non-HDR TV. As for the LED backlighting itself, it offers much better than average brightness and can even almost overdo the illumination, with some light bleed along the edges possible. If this is something that gets noted on aspecific unit, it can be minimized by turning the backlight brightness down to 85 to 80% in the TV’s picture settings menu.
Finally, the UN50JU6500 comes with a superb smart TV package that includes Smart Hub, access to apps and the Samsung S-Recommendation engine for suggesting programming based on previous content viewing. Unfortunately, this model won’t give you access to the best of Samsung’s new Tizen OS and its enhanced Smart Hub technology and the model also doesn’t come with motion control technology via Samsung’s more advanced Smart Control remote. However, you do still get a great Smart Hub and access to a full web browsing technology for navigating the web just as fully as you would on a PC.
4.1 - 315 Reviews
Samsung’s TVs have some of the brightest LEDs found in the industry in our view and the peak white light produced by them creates a great contrast level even if the TV in question lacks some of the specialized HDR enhancing technologies found in higher-end models from the company. The UN50JU6500 is a solid example of this. Unlike its SUHD cousins the JS8500 TVs, the UN50JU6500 doesn’t come with Peak Illuminator Pro technology for superior brightness or Precision Black technology for deeper, richer darker tones, and yet it still delivers a remarkably high level of contrast. Measured contrast levels set at 2950:1 with just over 100 cd/m2 of white brightness and less than 0.04 cd/m2 for black. This isn’t excellent but it’s better than that found in a number of other 4K LED/LCD TVs and most users will be perfectly happy with it.
Furthermore, the overall uniformity of blacks is great. Light bleed might happen after extended use of the TV (according to a number of user comments from owners) but as far as we can tell, the very minor levels of clouding on black tones are barely going to be noticed by most and should be invisible with any normal content.
The JU6500 lacks support for 24p content and comes with only a native 60Hz refresh rate (instead of the more common 120Hz found in higher end models from this brand). Samsung has further augmented this 60Hz with a simulated 120Hz Motion Rate but if you want really solid clarity for panning shots and fast action movie or gaming sequences, you’re better off with one of Samsung’s (or another brand’s) 120Hz native refresh TVs.
As for color and overall picture quality, it can look badly overprocessed right out of the box but some calibration will quickly set things to look much, much better. The following are some picture quality settings you might try which have worked really well for movie content:
Picture mode: movie
Sharpness: 0 (only makes image worse. remnant of analog tvs)
Dynamic contrast: off
Black tone: darker
Flesh tone: 0
Color Tone: Warm1
Digital Clean View: High
MPEG Noise Filter: High
Film Mode: Off
Finally, the wide color enhancer technology and Ultra Clear Panel do a lot for the visual quality on the UN60JU6500. The Ultra Clear technology is built into the screen surface and helps absorb ambient light for further brightness augmentation while Wide Color Enhancer Plus technology expands the normal LED/LCD color palette to a wider range (though not nearly as widely as quantum dot nanocrystals like those in Samsung’s SUHD 4K TVs).
Overall, color and contrast are both at their best in the UN60JU6500 and easily rank as some of the best we’ve seen in an economy-level 4K TV.
The Samsung UN60JU6500 and the rest of the JU6500 line offer pretty much the same level of connectivity as even the best Samsung 4K TVs. You get access to several HDMI 2.0 ports, three USB ports and a number of analog and internet connectivity connections. Furthermore, all HDMI ports come with HEVC, VP9 and HDCP 2.2 content copy protection compatibility. In other words, the TV is ready to go for the full 4K video experience from streaming online sources like Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube or external plug-in media devices like Sony’s FMP X10 4K media player and its massive library of UHD content.
Furthermore, the Smart TV OS of the JU6500 includes Smart Hub and access to full web browsing. Through these, you can download, install and use thousands of different media apps and online video sources.
The only thing lacking in the JU6500 TVs is the One Connect box or its smaller, leaner version the One Connect Mini. As far as we can tell, Samsung doesn’t include these with this line of televisions and that’s a shame since they are external boxes for the TV’s normal connections and thus can be easily replaced as new connectivity standards emerge.
The UN55JU6500 is one remarkably affordable TV at $997.99 on Amazon.com as of this writing. This puts it in the same general price range as Vizio’s famously affordable M series 4K TVs but with the bonus of an arguably superior overall quality. The 40 inch UN40JU6500 is currently selling for $647.99, 48 inch UN48JU6500 for $847.99, 50 inch UN50JU6500 for $847.99, 60 inch UN60JU6500 for $1,497.99, 65 inch UN65JU6500 for $1,697.99 and the massive 75 inch UN75JU6500 for $3,297.99.
4.1 - 315 Reviews
To summarize quickly, the UN65JU6500 is a superb TV for its price and class. However, a few moderate problems exist: This 48 inch model has a rather small screen and its native refresh rate of 60Hz without 24p video processing capacity could create judder in panning shots or certain types of on-screen action. As for the UN65JU6500 line itself, it can come with bad out-of-the-box calibration and all of the TVs have some rather poor off-angle viewing quality, with quick color and contrast loss.
• Excellent TV for its price
• Superb color
• Great contrast
• Bright picture
• Excellent built-in connectivity
• Low native refresh rate
• Bad at off-angle display clarity
• Smart TV lacks a few features
• No smart remote
• Display needs manual calibration