The simple, headline fact about the Samsung UE75ES9000 is that it’s the biggest LCD TV Samsung has ever sold. But that’s not the only significant thing about it. For as the ES9000 part of its name shows, it’s also the first new flagship 9000 series TV Samsung has sold in the UK since its ‘pencil thin’ Samsung UE55C9000 model in 2010. This tells us two things: a) that it’s going to enjoy a truly premium design, and b) that it’s going to carry a substantial price tag.
The Samsung UE75ES9000 design really is pretty extraordinary. For starters there’s the simple fact that you’re staring at a 75-inch screen. There’s no understating just how massive this looks in a normal living environment; even in our test room it cut one heck of a dash, blotting out nearly all of the projection screen we’d got hanging behind it. In fact, it’s the biggest ‘mainstream’ TV we’ve tested, since the even larger Panasonic plasmas that have crossed our threshold have been pro-grade monitors rather than tuner-carrying TVs.
Then there’s the fact that this monstrous (in a good way) screen is surrounded by practically no bezel at all. There’s barely 1cm of it, which just doesn’t seem enough to support so much screen. What little bezel there is looks very cute too, with its black inner section and gold - sorry, Rose Gold Blush - outer wrapping.
The clue to how so little bezel can support so much screen becomes clear when you check out the rear of the Samsung UE75ES9000. For its rear panel is made of extremely sturdy polished metal, and the whole TV comes pre-mounted on a very robust-looking desktop stand.
While clearly better built than most, though, the Samsung UE75ES9000’s rear is also still fashionably slim. Not quite as physics-defyingly trim as that of 2010’s C9000 models, but at only a couple of centimetres or so deep it’s still strikingly slender for something supporting a 75-inch screen.
Closer inspection of the Samsung UE75ES9000’s rear reveals a camera behind the top edge. This is there to support the gesture and voice control (plus Skype) features already seen on the Samsung UE46ES7000 and Samsung UE46ES8000 TVs this year. But it’s interesting to see that you have to manually pop the camera up on the ES9000 model, rather than it being permanently present as happens with the ES7000 and ES9000. Perhaps Samsung is responding to concerns raised by some about having a camera permanently pointed into their living room.
And so we get to the price. OK, deep breath: it’s £7,500. That’s £100 for every inch of picture by our math. But before anyone gets huffy about this price, while the Samsung UE75ES9000 will certainly never be mainstream, it’s worth pointing out that as well as being put together with high-end designer residences clearly in mind, it’s also the only 75-inch TV currently available in the UK. So it’s unique.
There are larger screens available from Sharp, LG, Sony and Panasonic, but aside from the astoundingly affordable 80-inch Sharp (£4750), you’re looking at prices of £25k for the 84-inch Sony KD-84X9005, a likely £15,000 minimum for the 84-inch LG 84LM9600, and a pension-draining £33,000 for the 85-inch Panasonic 85VX200W.
Admittedly the Sony and LG TVs mentioned there also offer 4K native resolutions while the Samsung UE75ES9000 is a standard full HD arrangement. But we feel there’s enough of a price ‘gap’ in the market right now for a premium - in design and specification terms - ultra-large HD set like the Samsung UE75ES9000 to slot into.
As you would expect of Samsung’s flagship TV this year, it’s mostly on the money with its multimedia features. Its connections include three USBs capable of playing back the vast majority of photo, music and video file formats, as well as built-in LAN and Wi-Fi options for people wanting to either stream material from DLNA PCs or Samsung’s Smart TV online service.
We’ve covered Samsung’s current Smart TV service at length already in other reviews, so we’ll restrict ourselves here to just pointing out that it’s the most content rich and best presented online service currently available on any TV. Especially since Samsung added lots more video streaming services as reported in our recent review of the Samsung UE46ES5500.
The only catch, really, is that there’s still rather a lot of ‘clutter’ in the shape of niche, pointless or just plain weird smaller apps that Samsung would be advised to trim down at some point.