Samsung UE40JU7000 Review

Sections

Pros

  • Superb picture quality
  • Cute design
  • Rich smart TV platform

Cons

  • Small size limits the impact of its UHD and 3D talents
  • Minor motion blur

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £880.00
  • 40in LCD TV with direct LED lighting
  • Native 4K UHD resolution
  • External connections box
  • Multimedia playback via USB and DLNA
  • Tizen smart TV operating system

What is the Samsung UE40JU7000?

The £880 UE40JU7000 is the

first 4K UHD TV I’ve tested from Samsung that comes in under £1,000.

Despite this, it still delivers Samsung’s new Tizen TV smart system, as

well as some impressive-looking picture specifications to support the

headline UHD pixel count. However, is the 40-inch screen big enough to

do UHD justice?

Samsung UE40JU7000 – Design and Features

Apart

from its relatively small screen – by UHD standards – the other

instantly obvious thing about the UE40JU7000’s design is that it uses a

flat screen rather than the curved ones found on most of Samsung’s

mid-range and high-end TVs this year.

As a result, it isn’t

quite as striking to look at as Samsung’s curved models – although it

also means you won’t have to concern yourself with the potential issues

relatively small curved screens can suffer from. Instead you can enjoy

the premium appearance of its silvery metallic finish, slender frame and

striking single-raised-bar stand design.

Related: Best 4K TVs 2015
Samsung UE40JU7000
Connectivity

on the UE40JU7000 comes – partially – courtesy of an external One

Connect Mini box. This houses a quartet of HDMIs and three USBs, although

unlike the larger One Connect box you get with Samsung’s flagship SUHD TVs,

here the Freeview and Freesat tuner connections reside on the main TV

chassis.

This is because, unlike the full-sized One Connect, the Mini

version is only designed to reduce the number of cables going into the

TV; it doesn’t also carry the TV’s processors. This means you’re unable to simply

replace it with a new One Connect box in future years to upgrade the

TV’s capabilities as you can with Samsung’s SUHD TVs.

The

UE40JU7000 supports wireless DLNA and Bluetooth connectivity, and

its integrated Wi-Fi connectivity can additionally be used to access

Samsung’s impressively well-populated online content.

Highlights of the apps available here include the 4K UHD versions of

Amazon Prime and Netflix, as well as all of the UK’s key catch-up TV

services.

Note, though, that since it doesn’t enjoy the

super-bright and wide colour gamut panel designs used in Samsung’s SUHD

TVs, the UE40JU7000 doesn’t support high dynamic range (HDR) playback.

While this is hardly surprising at the UE40JU7000’s price point, it’s

still a bit of a shame when you consider that HDR may have had more

impact on a 40in TV than a native UHD resolution.

While the

UE40JU7000 doesn’t have the HDR-friendly screen features Samsung’s SUHD

TVs do, it still has some impressive tricks up its sleeve.

For

starters it’s a direct LED set, so its lights are placed behind the

screen rather than around its edges. This generally leads to a better

contrast performance, especially when – as in the UE40JU7000’s case – the

direct lighting system is being driven by a local dimming engine, which is able

to deliver different amounts of light to different areas of the screen

to suit the image content.

Image processing, meanwhile, comes

courtesy of a quad-core chipset capable of driving – among other things –

a potent 1,300Hz-emulating motion control system, achieved through a

combination of backlight scanning and frame interpolation processing.

Also, while the UE40JU7000 doesn’t benefit from Samsung’s new Nano Crystal

technology, it does carry the brand’s PurColour system, which was introduced last

year. This provides far more colour reference/adjustment points than

typical TV colour processors for a more nuanced, expressive colour

range.
Samsung UE40JU7000
Two

final features of note on the UE40JU7000 are its well-populated and

efficiently presented Tizen operating system,

and its ability to play 3D using the active system – which

essentially means the TV has to upscale 3D sources to UHD. Please

note, though, that no 3D glasses are included with the TV.

Samsung UE40JU7000 – Setup

Thanks to its use of a direct lighting system, I presume, the

UE40JU7000 delivers a much more immersive, enjoyable experience right

out of the box than Samsung TVs usually do. This is because there are

far fewer backlight flaws to calibrate your way

round than you tend to get with Samsung’s edge-lit LED TVs.

There

are still a few tips of which to take note, though. First, I’d recommend

against my usual Samsung advice of reducing the backlight setting to its

eight or nine level for dark-room viewing, since this can cause shadow

details to be crushed out of the picture. Opt for the 13

or 14 level instead.

In addition, turn off all noise reduction when watching Ultra HD and good-quality HD sources and set the Smart LED local-dimming

feature to its Medium setting. Apply caution to the TV’s motion

processing, using it on either its relatively low-powered Clear setting

or a Custom setting, with the two blur and judder components set to

around their three or four levels.

You might also need to reduce

the TV’s sharpness setting with some of the more dynamic picture presets

when watching upscaled HD material if it contains a lot of

grain or other noise.