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A Review of the Samsung 4K UHD JU7100 Series Smart TV – UN40JU7100, UN50JU7100, UN55JU7100, UN60JU7100, UN65JU7100, UN75JU7100

by on July 17, 2015
Details
 
Manufacture
Overview

The Samsung JU7100 4K TVs offer an excellent combination of top-shelf features and an affordability that's somewhat lacking in the manufacturers even more exotic (read: awesome) SUHD line of TVs and for this reason, they are a great balance between wanting a powerful 4K home entertainment system while avoiding a budget shattering expense on your monthly credit card bill.

The Good

What’s not to like about the JU7100? This TV has everything you need for an excellent 4K and HD home entertainment experience, even if it doesn’t outright inspire awe as a SUHD JS9500 might.

The UHD picture dimming technology on the TV is superb, and makes the naturally excellent underlying Samsung 4K UHD display technology look even better than it already does. On tops of this, the display of the JU7100 is further augmented by contrast enhancement technology, precision black and peak illuminator picture quality enhancements and all of these are powered by a lightning quick quad-core processor.

Then there is Samsung’s smart TV operating system platform with Smart Hub interface technology. While not as sharp and intuitive as the webOS 2.0 of LG’s 2015 TV or even the Tizen OS of higher-end Samsung models, the Smart Hub on the JU7100 is still an excellent smart TV platform and this imparts a lot of value to the overall user experience with the JU7100. Helping things along even further is the heavily upgraded Smart Remote with touchpad technology and a host of voice recognition command features.

Next, there’s the Samsung HD upscaling engine, which really delivers superb results and could arguably be considered one of the three best of its kind on the overall 4K TV market. With this feature, the HD and SD content that will probably make up a majority of the video you watch on your own UN40JU7100 TV can be made to look a lot more like 4K video than it would on a native HD TV. In fact, Blu-ray HD content that gets upscaled on Samsung’s engine looks even better than native 4K content from streaming sources like Netflix.

Finally, we come down to the physical design of the UN50JU7100. As is almost always the case with a Samsung product, be it a smartphone, PC monitor or 4K TV, the UN50JU7100 looks fantastic. This is one beautifully elegant, minimalist 4K TV that looks good in any living room or den space without taking up too much room or weighing so much that it’s simply difficult to reposition it.


Check the Price of the Samsung JU7100 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV on Amazon

4.3 - 161 Reviews

The bad

On the other hand, Samsung’s JS7100 is also far from perfect and a few deficiencies are there to be found, even if none of them are deal breakers in any way shape or form.

For starters, these TVs don’t come with the much vaunted and honestly excellent quantum dot technology of the SUHD line of 4K models. Thus, even though the UN55JU7100 costs almost as much as a SUHD JS7000 4K TV, it fails to deliver this one key technology. In fact, given that both TVs have virtually identical features in all other respects and very similar prices, the QD display absence is all the more annoying.

Secondly, the UN55JU7100 is an edge-lit UHD TV. This aspect of it is downright annoying even though Samsung has added in other technologies to compensate and produce a considerably better than normal light flow throughout the back of the screen. Nonetheless, edge-lit is never the same as full-array, no matter how much additional technology is poured into it and the difference is notable sometimes in terms of light bleed along the screens edges, sometimes, but it can happen.

Furthermore, that Samsung is still unable to offer full-array LED backlighting in a 2015 4K TV that costs more than $2,000 is irritating. Because it is possible to include the technology affordably. Vizio has shown this to be the case with its full-array and highly affordable 4K TVs and Samsung is presumably the much more innovative company between the two.

Finally, there is a loss of color saturation at angle viewing on these TVs. Even Samsung’s very best SUHD models like the JS9500 can’t pull off decent clarity at wide angles so we can’t expect the UN55JU7100 to manage this.

Final Thoughts

On the whole, Samsung’s UN60JU7100 TV is not only excellent, it’s actually almost as good as some of the middle-grade SUHD models the company has released in 2015. While quantum dot technology is missing in this model, almost everything else is still there and this is probably why the higher than expected price is the case. Nonetheless, this is a generally superb TV and we recommend it highly.

Specs

Weight: 61.9 lbs wo stand/ 52.5 lbs with stand
Dimensions: (WxHxD): 57.6" x 35.3" x 11.6" inches with stand/ 57.6" x 33.2" x 2.3" inches without stand
Screen size: 40 inch - UN40JU7100, 50 inch - UN50JU7100, 55 inch - UN55JU7100, 60 inch - UN60JU7100, 65 inch - UN65JU7100, 75 inch - UN75JU7100
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: 240Hz
Screen Lighting: edge-lit LED backlighting
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes WiFi, Ethernet port
Remotes: Standard button remote and Samsung Smart Remote Control
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


Highlights

The core highlights of the Samsung JU7100 revolve around its diverse visual display technologies, which we’re going to briefly summarize here. Despite not being an SUHD TV, this model is still robust and almost identically good to some of the lower priced SUHD models out there. Furthermore, the UN55JU7100 shares the exact same connectivity features as its more advanced cousins.

Thus, for starters, the display of the UN65JU7100 offers an array of contrast enhancing and motion augmentation technologies for superior 4K and upscaled HD picture quality. Among these, you get the TV’s Precision Black feature, which is designed to offer a “superior” degree of black levels in the darker scenes on the TV’s screen. In reality, Precision Black is a poor substitute for the really awesome technology known as HDR or even the superior black levels found on full-array LED screens with highly effective local dimming. However, Samsung’s effort here is surprisingly decent at delivering what it promises.

Next we have what Samsung call Peak Illuminator technology. In contrast to the Precision Black, the Peak Illuminator works on the opposite end of things, it improves specific on-screen details by adding in increased LED illumination behind the brightest parts of the picture. This is naturally a difficult thing to pull off in an edge-lit 4K screen but the UN65JU7100’s screen gets a lot of help from a combination of what the company calls their ultra-clear technology, a layer on the screen that allows for some better than normal light flow from the edges to images in the middle of the display, and from the fact that Samsung’s LEDs in particular are exceptionally bright by industry standards, thus adding much more brightness to imagery than you would normally expect from a edge-lit display.

Moving on, another major highlight of the UN65JU7100 is definitely the TV0s upscaling engine. Samsung does a superb job at scaling HD and even SD content upward son its 4K TVs and the effect of this shows in the UN60JU7100. HD signals show a market improvement in their clarity, by maybe 30 to 45%. This applies particularly to high quality HD signals such as those from an HD Blu-ray signal being fed into the TV via HDMI 2.0 cables. On the other hand, SD video only benefits somewhat from the upscaling technology of the UN60JU7100 and in this we could even argue that the SUHD line of TVs is superior, they do a better overall upscaling job and their superior results are more notable in upscaled SD signals.

Finally, there’s the operating system on the UN60JU7100. This is another thing that Samsung got very much right on this TV and the user interface of the smart TV platform and its accompanying S-Recommendation engine and Smart Hub all work very well together. However, the OS on this particular Samsung 4K TV is not the even better Tizen OS/Smart Hub that is now found on the Samsung SUHD TVs. The JU7100’s Smart Hub is more like that of last year’s models but it still works great and works at excellent speed thanks to the quad core processor in the TV.


Check the Price of the Samsung JU7100 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV on Amazon

4.3 - 161 Reviews

Visual Specs

Unlike Samsung’s SUHD TVs, the UN75JU7100 doesn’t come with quantum dot nanocrystal color enhancement technology. This is maybe the TV’s single biggest visual deficiency, but only in comparison to these even more superior 4K models from the same company or to other QD TVs from Sony. Put up against a large percentage of conventional 4K UHD LED TVs from other brands, the UN75JU7100 actually performs admirably well and offers not only a nicely bright display that’s complemented by decent contrast into dark tones but also offers excellent color thanks to the wide color enhancer plus technology which, while not as good as quantum dots, still manages to deliver a decent augmented color spectrum.

What really stands out on the UN75JU7100 however, is its brightness. This is surprising given that we’re dealing with an edge-lit 4K TV here but Samsung really has put together some great technologies to compensate for the deficiencies of edge lighting and created a TV in which some extraordinarily bright LEDs combine with a layer in the screen for spreading light to create excellent illumination of on-screen content. The black levels and overall contrast are also greatly helped out by this brightness.

On the other hand, off-angle viewing is less than stellar and moving just a few feet from the screen’s center axis will considerably reduce the clarity and vibrancy of video on the TV. This isn’t a major problem for most viewers but if you want perfect off-angle viewing, you’re better off with an OLED TV from LG, assuming you can afford it.

Finally, the refresh rate on the UN75JU7100 sits at 120Hz with a Motion Rate of 240Hz. These two deliver some very good rendering of fast action sequences with minimal juddering and motion blur. There is also an Auto Motion setting in the TVs Advanced Picture Menu but you might want to turn this off because the effect it creates, while smoother for action, looks too much like something horribly unrealistic from a soap opera, or from the so-called “uncanny valley” of cinematic viewing.

Connectivity

As far as connectivity goes, the Samsung UN60JU7100 delivers on all the hardware essentials and a great online browsing experience through its smart TV platform.

In terms of hardware, you get the benefit of 4 HDMI 2.0 ports with full HDCP 2.2 compatibility and the TV comes with HEVC and VP9 video compression decoding built into it, thus letting you access the whole nine yards of streaming online 4K content. The HDMI 2.0 ports don’t have HDR capability (for this you’d need HDMI 2.0a) but they’re still great for 4K content from external media devices at a full 60 frames per second. There are also three USB ports, of which one is a 3.0 port, built into the TV.

Finally, the smart TV system of the UN75JU7100 is loaded with access features for downloading media and other apps while also giving you a full web browser for navigating the internet. Finally, the TV is also fully compatible not only with ultra HD content from Netflix, Amazon.com Instant Video and UltraFlix, it also gives you access to the more limited but Samsung-exclusive libraries of 4K programming from services like M-Go and Comcast’s Xfinity service. These can only be accessed by newer Samsung 4K TVs thanks to agreements between the two companies.

Pricing

The price of the Samsung JU7100 is actually one of its cons. This TV is great but it’s also somewhat expensive for not being an SUHD TV. The JU7100 costs almost as much as Samsung’s lower end SUHD JS line TVs, despite lacking some of their better features. The 40 inch UN40JU7100 retails for $1,097.99, 50 inch UN50JU7100 for $1,297.99, 55 inch UN55JU7100 for $1,497.99, 60 inch UN60JU7100 for $1,997.99, 65 inch UN65JU7100 for $2,297.99, and the huge 75 inch UN75JU7100 for $4,297.99.

Check the Price of the Samsung JU7100 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV on Amazon

4.3 - 161 Reviews

Not so Great

To summarize briefly, the JU7100 is a great TV but it does suffer from a slight lack of brightness uniformity due to its edge-lit LED array, it doesn’t offer the really spectacular color gamut offered by quantum dot technology and it is not an HDR capable 4K TV. Also, the off angle viewing on this model is not very good.

Positives

• Excellent backlighting for an edge-lit model
• Great connectivity options
• Very good OS/smart TV
• Decent contrast and color
• Very good UHD upscaling

Negatives

• More expensive than it deserves to be
• No HDR
• No quantum dots
• No enhanced Tizen OS
• No full-array backlighting

Editor Rating
 
Features
A-

 
Quality
A-

 
User Friendliness
A

 
Connectivity
A+

 
Price
B+

Total Score
A-

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User Rating
 
Features
B

 
Quality
B+

 
User Friendliness
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Connectivity
B+

 
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101 ratings
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Bottom Line
 

An excellent 4K UHD LED TV, the JU7100 is better than a majority of comparable models from other brands. It’s only defect is the slightly higher than reasonable price tag of this TV.

Check the Price of the Samsung JU7100 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV on Amazon

4.3 - 161 Reviews

 
25 comments
 
Leave a reply »

 
  • Arthur
    August 12, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Several other sights report that this runs the Tizen OS and is direct lit. Your review says otherwise. Are you certain?

    Reply

  • Laurent
    November 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Be careful when buying this tv. If possible, before leaving the store with your tv, try it on site. Samsung has started to outsource their panels and you could end up with a cheap taiwanese panel. DO NOT buy online.

    Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H06dLA_N8E and read my description.

    Reply

  • Chase Masters
    December 7, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Samsung’s website states this series is Fully Array Local Dimming.

    TYPE: 4K UHD TV with Full Array Backlighting
    DIMMING TECHNOLOGY: UHD Dimming

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 7, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      I am virtually certain that this is an error on Samsung’s part. Nothing we’ve seen indicates that the JU7100 comes with full array backlighting. However, we will be looking into the issue to verify for sure which is the case. Thanks Chase.

      Reply

      • Stephen
        Stephen
        December 7, 2015 at 8:43 pm

        Correction, the JU7100 is indeed a Direct lit 4K TV. The local dimming isn’t as effective as we’d like to see with direct backlighting in the model but my earlier comments stand corrected.

        Reply

        • Josiah Perry
          July 30, 2016 at 1:49 am

          Stephen, I’m planning on buying this TV but almost changed my mind when you said it was edge lit.In all fairness I think you should edit your article to reflect this correction and remove the incorrect statements regarding the TV’s lighting array.

          Reply

  • Matt
    December 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Everywhere I’m reading says this TV is a direct led back lighting and not a edge-lit, just want to be sure before I buy it? Your feed back appreciated Stephen

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 7, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Hello Matt, After answering that the direct lit reference is an error on Samsung’s part I now swallow my own previous words and stand corrected. I contacted Samsung itself and the JU7100 is indeed direct lit. This will be corrected in other comments and in the review itself if necessary. Contrast in this model is indeed very good but local dimming wasn’t as finely tuned as I’d have expected for a direct lit TV, thus the error of opinion in part.

      Reply

  • Matt
    December 8, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks Stephan, looks a good TV to buy then 🙂

    Reply

  • Gustav
    February 11, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Yes, it supports HDR and HDMI 2.0a now after firmware update in september 2015. In the manufacturer list of Amazon, HDR is indicated as a feature:
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-UN55JU7100-55-Inch-Ultra-Smart/dp/B00T48CVVK/ref=sr_1_1?s=tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1455224721&sr=1-1&keywords=ju7100

    Peak luminance is not as bright as in the JS-series. But to my experience with this model you get an excellent, brilliant HDR picture in a normal (dim) living room.

    Reply

  • Gustav
    February 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    The TV supports HDR and HDMI 2.0a now after firmware update in september 2015. In the manufacturer list on Amazon, HDR is indicated as a feature now.
    Peak luminance is not as bright as in the JS-series. But to my experience with this model you get an excellent, brilliant HDR picture in a normal (dim) living room.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      February 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      Hello Gustav. Thanks for that update and for the amazon link. That said, I have my slight suspicions about the HDR capacities of the JU TVs which support HDMI 2.0a since their September, 2015 firmware update. Yes, they support HDMI 2.0a and can thus capture Blu-ray HDR cotent and thus can possibly read HDR from other sources which deliver it via HDMI 2.0a but without the elevated in-TV luminance delivered to the standards found in the SUHD models with HDR, and without Peak Illuminator PRO or Peak Illuminator Ultimate (in the JS9500 only). In other words, calling the contrast capacities of the JU7100 and other JU 4K TVs HDR seems suspiciously like a stretching of the definition of the spec.. I’m going to look further into this though and see if the peak brightness of the JU7100 matches UHD Alliance standards.

      Reply

  • David Vargas
    March 1, 2016 at 6:32 am

    I have a question. I have the 75 inch model of this TV. Can I enjoy the Samsung 4K Blu-ray player and the UHD Blu-ray’s with this title?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      March 2, 2016 at 1:01 am

      Hello David, yes, you should be able to enjoy them just fine. The JU7100 supposedly does now offer HDR thanks to a Samsung firmware update in late 2015 for its HDMI connections but even if it does not, 4K Blu-ray players and discs should be playable an just about any 4K TV with HDMI, HEVC and HDCP 2.2, all of which the JU7100 does in deed have.

      Reply

      • David Vargas
        March 5, 2016 at 3:20 pm

        Can you confirm if it does have HDR or not? I would like to purchase the Samsung 4K blu-rat player but would like to know would I get the full benefits from it because I read that if you do not have a HDR capable TV that it is not worth getting the player.

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          March 6, 2016 at 8:54 am

          Hey there David, In simple terms, yes the JU7100 has HDR capability built into its HDMI connectivity, so that, according to Samsung’s own words, it

          “will be able to accept and display metadata carrying high dynamic range (HDR) information, which will widen the contrast range, while enabling the display of fine details in both very dark areas of a picture and very bright areas of a picture at the same time”

          However, we ourselves have some suspicions about the impact of HDR in the JU7100. On the one hand, it is a 4K TV with full-array LED backlighting but it lacks the combo of Peak Illuminator PRO/Precision Black technology combo of the high-end HDR 4K SUHD TVs like the JS9000, JS8500 and JS9500, (the JS9500 actually offers Peak Illumination Ultimate/Precision Black PRO).

          In other words, yes it’s an HDR-capable 4K TV according to Samsung but the quality of the HDR and its impact are likely to be less notable than what you’d see in even higher-end model from the brand.

          Also, the new 4K Blu-ray players are about a lot more than HDR, their value doesn’t simply rest on this technology and though we think their prices will go down to better levels later in the year or in early 2017, they’re a good buying option for high quality 4K entertainment even if your TV doesn’t have HDR.

          Reply

          • David Vargas
            March 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm

            Hi Stephen,

            Thanks for the reply. However, this TV does not have HDR as I went to Amazon Video App on this TV and I went to Red Oaks because that is one the titles Amazon that has HDR. However, it did not show that it had HDR in the details so this TV does not have HDR so I feel Samsung has lied and disappointed I cannot watch things in HDR. Is there anyway to verify this?


          • Stephen
            Stephen
            March 8, 2016 at 11:00 pm

            Hello David, It’s basically as I had said in my previous comments. I am deeply suspicious of the HDR claims for the JU7100 and a couple other Samsung 4K TVs for which this has been claimed. Samsung itself indicated that it had given this TV an “HDR firmware update” in late 2015, particularly for its HDMI ports but the dark and brightness specs of the TV don’t match those of the genuine HDR SUHD models, especially the JS8500, JS9000 and the flagship JS9500. In other words, in practical terms, it seems to be as you said, no HDR for actual access to content with the technology. This bears further investigation and a talk with Samsung by us here at the website. We’ll be posting further on this matter I believe.


  • David Vargas
    March 8, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I called Samsung and the representative verified this TV does not have HDR. I ordered the Samsung 4K blu-ray player and several review sites stated that if your TV does not have HDR that it is worth not getting. I am disappointed that Samsung lied about the HDR. Now I won’t enjoy the full benefits of 4K.

    Reply

  • David Vargas
    March 20, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Hi Stephen,

    Any updates of the HDR capabilities and were you able to talk to Samsung about the issue.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      March 22, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Hello David Vargas, to answer the question you and others here have posted, from everything I’ve been able to get from conversation with Samsung, no the JU7100 doesn’t offer HDR support. A late 2015 update gave it’s HDMI a 2.0a update but this alone doesn’t mean HDR and from what they told me, the TV itself doesn’t support the expanded colors and contrast range of the technology. For HDR, you’ll have to go with the SUHD models, especially the JS9500, which is the only model in the 2015 line that’s rated at a brightness that seems to fit the new UHD Premium standards of the UHD Alliance. There are also some of the 2016 SUHD TVs which do offer HDR and UHD Premium certification.

      Reply

      • David Vargas
        March 25, 2016 at 5:39 pm

        Hi Stephen,

        I’m going to take this TV set back but I need your opinion. Should I get Sony XBR75X940C or should I get this years model Sony XBR75X940D? I would not get the JS9500 because I hate curved TV’s. What Sony model should I get?

        Reply

  • J
    March 21, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Yes, please let us know Stephen, I am also intrested in knowing if this TV supports HDR.

    Reply

  • Thomas
    June 6, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Hello! i bought this Tv and have the same problem as Laurent (up post) vertical white line during dark scenes , and also a very very bad motion blur (try any star wars bluray , first scene when camera is panning down the stars after the rolling text, great way to test your tv motion blur)
    My panel is a IH02, do you know if you guys tested this tv with an IH02 panel or a TH01 panel (samsung one) ?

    thank you!

    Reply

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