“Low-end 4K TV” – apparently this is a category that exists now simply because we’ve already reached that point where TV manufacturers can finally make stripped-down versions of their high-end 4K TV models and slap on some attractive prices to really convince the mainstream to get rid of their 1080p TVs. Full HD is still here to stay but 4K media continues to pick up steam and upscaler engines are getting better. Because of that fact, you have to remember that low-end 4K TVs are still superior over 1080p displays in some ways. Samsung’s low-end 4K TVs like the Samsung UN65JU6700 pack a couple of surprises to prove the point.
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About the Samsung UN65JU6700
The UN65JU6700 is part of the low-end group of Samsung’s very big 4K TV family. It is also the most expensive out of the JU6700 series simply because it is the largest in the group. Priced at around $2,000 this TV looks set in increasing 4K adoption and that will be good for content creators knowing that their 4K videos will have a broader audience.
One of the most surprising things about the Samsung UN65JU6700 is the design – it is a curved display. Yes, Samsung is also bringing their curved gimmicks to the mainstream without adding the massive price hike. This is great for folks that really want something different and something that can stand out in the living room a little bit more. If the curve isn’t a big deal, there is a flat variant known as the JU6500 which costs a few hundred dollars less. Curves aside, the UN65JU6700 might look a little too basic for some folks especially for those that have seen Samsung’s more premium curved displays. You won’t find any silvery accents or even very thin bezels. When it comes to the connectivity, the Samsung UN65JU6700 is a more than adequate choice with 4 HDMI ports available all with HDCP 2.2 compliance as well as 3 USB ports, a single Ethernet port (although there is Wi-Fi) and the usual component, composite and audio outs.
One of the big features that Samsung decided not to implement on the Samsung UN65JU6700 and other TVs in the JU series is the Tizen operating system. Instead, the UN65JU6700 has the more familiar Samsung Smart Hub of yesteryear. Although it sounds like a questionable decision, it isn’t all that bad because the interface is simple and there are still plenty of apps you can download to the TV if you want to stream on Netflix, play music on Pandora or access other online media services without depending on the browser. Even though the interface looks dated, the Smart Hub feels pretty fast and responsive. That’s because the TV has a built-in quad-core processor.
One good thing about Samsung’s decision to use the traditional Smart Hub interface for the JU6700 is its full compatibility with the Smart Remote Control and this special secondary remote comes with the package. It is a bit small and lacks a numeric keypad but it is pretty cool thanks to the built-in touchpad that makes it easier to navigate menus. You can also use it as a pointing device when you need mouse-like control. Finally, you can issue voice commands directly to the remote control with its built-in microphone.
In true Samsung fashion, the Samsung UN65JU6700 is also rewarding users of Samsung smartphones with added functionality. Smart View 2.0 is baked into the TV enabling you to use a Samsung smartphone to easily share content to the TV wirelessly. This only works if the smartphone is on the same network as the TV.
Although many of Samsung’s technologies are reserved for high-end SUHD 4K displays, the UN65JU6700 still has a couple of useful technologies that allow the display to better compete against other budget TVs. This includes the Auto Depth Enhancer which actually takes advantage of the display’s curved screen. Curved screen adds depth to the content and the Auto Depth Enhancer makes the picture depth a bit more prominent. It is far from being 3D-like and simply isn’t as good as HDR but it is clearly superior over the typical LED display.
The Samsung UN65JU6700 lacks quantum dot color enhancement too but the PurColor technology partly makes up for it. When compared to the average $1,000 4K display, the colors on the UN65JU6700 look noticeably richer. With a little bit of color calibration, the results look even better. Even the contrast is pretty good and easily surpasses any of the available 4K monitors. On a slight downside, you won’t get local dimming with this model and the refresh rate is only 60Hz so you can see a bit of blurring when watching sportscasts in Ultra HD.
• It is a curved display with the eye gouging price tag!
• Picture quality is pretty good for its category.
• Smart Hub is fast and responsive.
• Better than expected upscaler engine.
• Nothing else so interesting about the design other than the curves.
• Only 60Hz refresh rate
• Smart Hub looks dated
The debate as to whether or not curved TVs are legitimately useful may continue but it is nice to see Samsung offering a curved display of its own and making the price reasonable. The Samsung UN65JU6700 isn’t just about the curved profile either as it is also a big value proposition with some nice technologies that make the picture quality shine.