Back in CES 2013, Samsung announced the world’s first curved OLED display. It was called the Samsung KN55S9C and it had an enormous $8,999 price tag. That is very expensive for a 1080p 55-inch display but both the OLED screen and curved nature were technologies way ahead of their time. Think of it as a proof-of-concept or some kind of collector’s item as you can still buy the KN55S9C today for about $7,000. Even LG launched their own curved display the same year with its own premium price. Even though much of the media strongly believes a curved display does not add anything of value to the viewing experience, curved displays continue to live on this 2015 and there are now some very affordable ones. It’s time to meet the Samsung UN55JU6700.
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About the Samsung UN55JU6700
The UN55JU6700 is a curved 4K Samsung TV which launched at an eye-opening $1,500 price and can currently be purchased for even less. This means that ordinary consumers that really like curved TVs for aesthetical reasons can finally live the dream. It isn’t the most attractive curved display but it is curved nevertheless and will remain a looker. Just imagine one of Samsung’s budget displays with a black stand and black bezel being bent a little bit. The base is noticeably long though and it gives the curved TV a good sense of stability.
It is also part of the JU6700 series which is somewhat positioned on the low-end in terms of specs. This means no fancy SUHD technology to make the colors really pop and no Full Array LED backlighting but it does hit the right notes on connectivity with 4 HDMI ports that are ready for 4K and more than enough USB ports. So even though there is no OneConnect support, there is no real need for budget users to “upgrade” to something “futureproof”.
Another big reason as to why the Samsung UN55JU6700 won’t be needing upgrades anytime soon is the fact that this TV currently has the latest and greatest iteration of Samsung’s Smart TV platform. It even has a name – Tizen and for those techies out there, yes this is the Tizen that first started out on the Samsung Z1 smartphone. Of course, the UN55JU6700 looks nothing like the smartphone version but Tizen is all about optimization and it looks great. It even offers an extensive app selection for people that just don’t feel like buying a separate media center box. Having HBO GO is nice and many of the services that offer 4K streaming are supported by the platform.
The Samsung UN55JU6700 also comes with a Smart Remote Control which is designed feel right at home with the new Tizen experience. Like previous Smart Remote Control designs, you can use it remote like a mouse to point to the app you want to launch or you can navigate with the built-in touchpad. There is still a built-in microphone though it isn’t as smart as the personal assistants that you are used to using on smartphones. Finally, there is the Smart View 2.0 feature which provides an easy means for Samsung Galaxy smartphones to share pictures, videos and other media directly to the TV once both the TV and mobile device are connected to the same network.
Picture quality is one of the best things about the UN55JU6700 and you have to remember that this is a sub-$1,500 display. Contrast is reasonably good and it is mainly because of Samsung’s Auto Depth Enhancer technology which is actually exclusive to curved displays. Since a curved display creates this sense of depth, this optimization technology adjusts the contrast of different zones of the picture automatically so the picture better wraps around the curve. It’s quite neat and the viewing angles aren’t bad compared to older curved displays where it is best to be positioned directly in front of the TV.
Color accuracy won’t hold a candle to the SUHD and competing OLED displays but the Samsung UN55JU6700 at least has PurColor which is a relatively new Samsung technology that blends primary and secondary colors together for some noticeable improvements to certain shades of color. Local Dimming is also absent but it has an inferior alternative called UHD Dimming which is responsible for the deep blacks.
The UN55JU6700 can upscale 1080p and lower resolution content to 4K with the UHD Upscaling technology but the results are average. Nothing mind blowing but not so disappointing either. The same goes with the Motion Rate 120 feature which is basically a 60Hz refresh rate with some artificial enhancements just for people who are fans of the “soap opera effect”.
Many of Samsung’s older TVs are capable of upgrading to Tizen too but the Samsung UN55JU6700 counts as the true Tizen platform upgrade because the TV has a quad-core processor that is better optimized for the new operating system. Everything just feels faster and more fluid on the UN55JU6700 than on older models.
• Picture quality should impress most people who are on a budget.
• Tizen is a fast operating system with a rich app ecosystem.
• Curved display that isn’t overly expensive.
• Spending more will get you significantly better picture quality.
• Low refresh rate.
The Samsung UN55JU6700 is the curved display for the masses. While there are smaller and larger JU6700 variants all with the same features, the UN55JU6700 hits the sweet spot by being significantly cheaper than the 60-inch model. The smaller models are cheaper but the curved 4K impact is less significant too.