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Samsung UE40JU6500 review

 Review: May 2015  
 

Last updated October 2015

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung UE40JU6500 is a 40-inch UHD TV with an absolutely stunning curved design. It definitely looks the part, and offers good picture quality and easy-to-use Smart TV too. Viewing angles are restricted however, and this effect is amplified by the screen curvature. At launch, the TV is over-priced and we're hoping for a price drop in time for Christmas.



 

Design & looks

The first thing you'll notice about the 40JU6500 is that it has a curved screen. It looks very stylish and contemporary, and introduces a little wow factor into the home. In fact, the design of the JU6500 is all-round awesome, with an ultra narrow bezel wrapping around the curved screen, and a matching curved plate T-shape stand to support it. Top marks for design.

The JU6500 uses a fast quad-core processor for a quick, smooth response, and is very easy to use, with a built-in 7-day electronic programme guide, plus Smart TV. In addition to a standard remote, the sales package also includes a Smart remote with voice interaction.

The TV is A-rated for efficiency.

Picture quality

The two headline features of the JU6500 are the curved screen and UHD (4K) resolution. Unfortunately, neither of these are really what we are looking for in a 40 inch television.

Call us square, but at S21, we can't get too excited about curved TVs. Yes, they look amazing sitting in the corner of your front room, impressing visitors and casual passers-by. But switch them on and the problems begin. Samsung claims that the curvature provides a more immersive viewing experience, but we beg to differ. Imagine, if you will, a family of four sitting down to watch TV. The person sitting directly in front will benefit from an immersive experience. The people on the edge will feel shut out. Additionally, the effective size of the screen is made smaller by the curvature. Now, you may argue that you watch TV alone, and really like the curved design - in this case ignore everything we just wrote, and add an additional star to our rating.

Next comes UHD. UHD is of course a good thing. But on a 40 inch screen, you'll be pushed to notice any difference, and that's even assuming you succeed in locating some UHD source material - perhaps from the paltry selection currently on Netflix. One day, UHD content will be everywhere, but that day is probably a couple of years away, and even then, unless you sit just a few feet in front of the screen, you probably won't be able to tell the difference.

OK, we've had our moan, now let's look for positives. The JU6500 is an excellent screen, capable of delivering very dark blacks, excellent contrast, quite good motion control, and with a low input lag for gamers.

It's a very good all-round performer, apart from one thing - viewing angles. These are very tight. If you sit in front of the screen, all is good, but move 45 degrees off centre and the blacks turn grey, and the colour balance goes out the window. Again, if you watch TV alone, from directly in front, all will be well, but as a family TV, this is going to be an issue. The curved screen simply amplifies the effect.

There's no 3D viewing, but since this isn't something that's really caught on, it probably won't be missed. Just be aware of it when you buy.

Samsung now assigns each TV a Picture Quality Index (PQI), which is a new way to mislead, sorry, inform consumers. The JU6500 has a PQI of 1100, which puts it roughly in the middle of the range - slightly above the JU6400. Take it with a pinch of salt.

Audio quality

The JU6500 has a fairly typical audio performance for a mid-range TV. The twin stereo speakers are rated at 10W each, which is average, and with no dedicated subwoofers, bass is lacking, and depth can be weak. For normal TV programmes, audio quality is quite acceptable, with dialogue produced reasonably well, but sound effects in movies are poorly reproduced.

We'd recommend some kind of sound bar or home cinema kit to get the most out of this TV.

Smart TV

Samsung's Smart TV system has been overhauled for 2015, and is now based on the open-source Tizen operating system. The new system is nicely integrated into the TV's operation, and lets you select apps and input sources with ease.

You'll find streaming services Netflix and Amazon, as well as catch-up TV from the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and Demand 5. Other apps include YouTube, a web browser, games, Skype, Facebook and Twitter.

The JU6500 benefits from the inclusion of a dedicated Smart remote control.

Connectivity

The JU6500 comes with Wi-Fi and an ethernet connection. There are 4 HDMI ports (including ARC and MHL compatibility), 3 USBs, an optical audio output, plus composite and component inputs, and a headphone jack, but no SCART.

Other options include DLNA and screen mirroring for compatible smartphones and tablets.

The TV also has a built-in Freeview HD tuner. In the past, users have sometimes complained of lip-sync issues with the tuners in Samsung TVs and this may continue to be an issue for some users.

Conclusion

The UE40J6500 is the step-up model from the JU6400. There isn't a huge difference. Both are 40-inch UHD Smart TVs, and most of the features are the same. The JU6500 has a curved design and adds a smart remote control. It also costs an extra hundred pounds or so.

The JU6500 is a good television in many ways. The curved design may or may not appeal. UHD is nice to have, but doesn't add a lot at this screen size. If you have a large enough room, you might want to consider the 48JU6500 if you can afford it.

We like the picture quality and the ease-of-use of the JU6500. We also think the design looks amazing.

On the downside, viewing angles are restricted, as we noted, and the price is also an issue. We hope it will fall to around £550 as Christmas 2015 approaches. If that happens, we'll be happy to recommend this model. Otherwise, we'd opt for the Samsung JU6400 instead.


Samsung UE40JU6500 features include:

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Average rating from 3 reviews:

Reviewed by Josh from Britain on 16th Feb 2017
The perfect tv for gamers! Sitting a few feet away with the curve design really sucks you in. First person games are fantastic on it. The high contrast range helps things pop whilst not over saturating the colours. It's worth watching tutorials on youtube on how to adjust the settings for games (search 'digital foundry'). You don't want it much bigger than 40" if you are getting one for gaming.
Rating:

Reviewed by Mike from United Kingdom on 6th May 2016
Just bought one from ebuyer, 468. Ordered pm Wednesday delivered am Thursday.
Easy set up, tried a few different colour settings etc till we found one that suits us.
Only in a bungalow so 40" screen enough for us.
Rating:

Reviewed by nick from uk on 22nd Nov 2015
I ave had this for a couple of months and am really happy with it.the picture is awesome,so clear. speakers are rubbish so I bought a soundbase to stand it on and that has cured the problem. i don't find the viewing angle a problem at all and have not noticed any difference in the picture wherever I sit in my lounge. i paid 599 for it. if you can get it cheaper buy it.
Rating:


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