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Samsung UE48JU6500 review

 Review: June 2015  
 

Last updated October 2015

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung UE48JU6500 is one of the best-looking sub-£1000 TVs for 2015, with a sleek curved design and a 48-inch UHD screen. Having said that, the curved screen won't be right for everyone, and the TV misses out on 3D. There's a lot to like about this TV, but on balance we prefer the flat screen J6400 model.



 

Design & looks

The Samsung UE48J6500 is a TV with a mission, and that mission is to please you with its looks. The 48 inch screen is large enough to make an impression, and the first impression you'll get is, "Wow, it's curved!"

Curvature aside, the TV is very stylish, with a slim black bezel and a curved T-shape stand that's very slim, but manages to give solid support to the big screen. It's probably one of the best looking TVs you'll see this year, at least in the "affordable" category.

The TV is rated A+ for efficiency. Be aware though, that UHD TVs generally use more power than 1080p HD TVs, and that especially at this 48 inch screen size, electricity consumption isn't perhaps as low as the A+ rating might suggest.

Picture quality

When we reviewed the 40-inch version of the JU6500 we poured cold water on its two headline features - UHD (4K) resolution and the curved display. Neither of those were features we really wanted in a 40 inch screen. In the 48-inch version, these features become more appealing, but neither is a must-have in our opinion.

UHD (4K) is probably the most worthwhile feature to have. On a 48-inch screen you can begin to notice the difference in picture quality between 4K and 1080p content. As more content becomes available, you'll notice the difference more often. However, the day when 4K material becomes commonplace may still be some years away. Netflix, Amazon and YouTube are the first movers. UHD Blu-Ray will follow. Broadcast TV is probably still a long way off. In the meantime, you'll be stuck with HD and standard def content, and these don't necessarily look any better on a UHD screen. In fact, low-quality broadcast TV may look worse. So UHD may be a bonus, but it's not a must-have, at least not if you're buying a TV in 2015.

What about the curve? Samsung claims that the curvature provides a more natural, immersive viewing experience. The company's reps say that their Auto Depth Enhancer makes the curved display almost 3D in its realism. Well, there may be an advantage if you are sitting directly in front of the TV, but if you are a family of four spread around the room, whoever is sitting at the edge definitely isn't going to appreciate the curvature of the screen. On a 48-inch TV, the benefits are greater than on the 40-inch model, but we're still not huge fans of the curve.

Apart from these slightly debatable aspects, the TV produces some very high quality results. Black levels are supremely dark, as we've come to expect from Samsung, and the 48JU6500 can generate bright, vivid colours, with excellent levels of dynamic contrast. The motion processing rate of 200Hz isn't particularly quick, and this is one of the reasons why this TV doesn't support 3D. The other reason would be that 3D didn't really ever break through as a popular feature, and is being eased aside in favour of UHD.

Despite the relatively slow motion processing, in Game mode, input lag is fairly low, so this will be quite a good choice for gamers. In fact, the immersive effect of the curved screen really does come into play here, enhancing the feel of being "in" the game.

One thing we're not keen on is the rather narrow viewing angles on this screen. If you're not sitting directly in front of the screen, you'll notice that the images lose their brightness and contrast levels. The curvature of the screen only serves to amplify this unwanted effect.

Audio quality

As we remarked in our review of the 40-inch model, the audio performance of the JU6500 is rather average. The twin stereo speakers are rated at 10W each, which is typical for a mid-range TV, and with no dedicated subwoofers, bass is lacking, and depth can be weak. Normal TV programmes, being mainly dialogue are quite clear, but sound effects in movies are poorly reproduced.

We'd recommend some kind of sound bar or a full home cinema kit to get the most enjoyment from this TV, and to enhance that immersive quality that Samsung has told us so much about.

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 uses a fast quad-core processor for a quick, smooth response. It also benefits from the inclusion of a dedicated Smart remote control, making the menu and apps very easy to drive. The Smart remote includes voice control too.

Connectivity

The JU6500 series has excellent connectivity. 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. Smart TV access is provided by built-in Wi-Fi and an ethernet connection.

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

The TV also has a built-in Freeview HD tuner with a 7-day electronic programme guide. 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 UE48JU6500 is in many ways a desirable television. The 48-inch size is now an affordable option for many families, provided you have a big enough space for it. If you want a device that creates an impression and will be a talking point, then the JU6500 with its curved display will certainly provide that.

UHD provides future-proofing, and is a nice feature to have in a 48-inch screen, but be aware that UHD content may not be readily available for some time yet. Nevertheless, the TV produces excellent picture quality, with only the narrow viewing angles posing a potential problem.

The latest Smart TV system from Samsung is excellent and very easy to use, especially with the second touch remote control.

Overall, this is a good television with some excellent features and a novel curved design. If the curved shape appeals, this could be a very good choice, but otherwise we'd recommend the slightly cheaper JU6400 model which has a conventional flat screen.


Samsung UE48JU6500 features include:

User questions

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Does this TV have HDR or the ability to update this feature?

Asked by Chris from Scotland on 12th Oct 2016

Does the JU6500 connect to BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub?

Asked by Steve L from UK on 14th Mar 2016
Samsung seems to have a problem with smart tv on some models i.e. there seems a problem connecting to BBC player and ITV hub is this the case with this model.



Samsung UE48JU6500 user reviews

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Reviewed by Salvi from España on 30th Aug 2016
[Editor's note: Review submitted in Spanish - translated by Google Translate] It is a curve tv, which apart from giving depth does not need base, does not bear to see from all angles. Has several USB ports to play and record tdt, videos, photographs, hdmi, colors look crisp high contrast, has a lot of configuration options, I recommend that you strive together Internet but are understood to achieve optimal. So far so good, but one of the reasons why I bought the tv it is because it is connected to the Internet and has a much worse than a tablet of 50 euros painful reception. The receiver has four cores, one pass will not have to connect pars peripherals connect, the could have returned but did not want to leave my family without his new tv since had bought in another town, I contacted chat with SAT samsung, and I were giving directions and temporary patches which sometimes connected and sometimes not, in the same place with the same intensity of the connection, with the same settings, changing the router, restoring the system, three technicians giving same solutions and no way, it was always the same. Up to three technical contact, a remote service did not solve anything, the next remote service told me I was going to call the technician to go home because it could be an internal problem. Today I have called Samsung again to give me the same information from the other four or five times and say that the problem is my connection. Which I do not believe and they will not come to check whether they are right or not, to tell you that they wash their hands. A shame the Samsung Service hope you will not break nor be failures, he had to have bought a lg 300 turkeys and cast Chrome and go. It does not give them the desire to send a technician to check the tv that that have sat in Romania. A trash. Do not buy Samsung.
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