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Samsung UE65JS9000 review

Samsung UE65JS9000 header press shot
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £3999
inc VAT for 65in model

The JS9000's picture quality is gorgeous and we're big fans of the new Tizen UI, but it's expensive and viewing angles aren't brilliant


Screen size: 65in, Native resolution: 3,840×2,160, Video inputs: 4x HDMI, component, composite, Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD, Dimensions: 916×1,465x366mm

Buy the Samsung UE65JS9000 now from Richer Sounds

4K is undoubtedly a major upgrade over Full HD, but Samsung wants its new premium TV range to stand out even more – so much so it has created a dedicated sub-brand. The JS9000 is the first SUHD TV we’ve seen, and although we aren’t convinced the ‘S’ in SUHD really stands for anything special, the JS9000 certainly has a headline features that will make you think otherwise.

Chief among these is support for High Dynamic Range, or HDR, which uses a more powerful backlight to open up a wider colour palette and produce brighter, more vivid images with greater levels of contrast. Sunlight glinting off the ocean in The Life of Pi looked incredibly natural, illuminating the scene with impressive peak brightness, although we thought the effect was more prominent on the gold chainmail armour on the Pharaoh’s guards in Exodus: Gods and Kings. It glinted in a way that simply can’t be achieved without HDR and, combined with the 4K resolution, gives the impression of even more detail, making clips truly pop out of the screen. As with 4K when it first appeared, there’s an elusive amount of HDR content available right now as the standard has yet to be finalised, but at least it means your TV is futureproof for when it does eventually arrive.

For this review we tested the 65in model in the JS9000 range, but it’s also available in 48in (UE48JS9000) and 55in (UE55JS9000) screen sizes.  All models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We’re confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.

The JS9000 also comes with Samsung’s brand-new Tizen smart TV interface, silver stand and bezel, and a beautiful curved quantum-dot panel, making it one of the most stylish (and imposing) 65in TVs we’ve seen this year. Quantum-dot technology is a little different to traditional LCD, as it uses nanocrystal semiconductors to emit different colours based on their size. By placing a film of these dots in front of the LCD backlight, the TV can produce much brighter, more vibrant colours – Samsung claims it should be twice as bright as a traditional LCD.

Samsung UE65JS9000 TV front

This was certainly the case in our initial tests. Peak brightness measured 318.05cd/m2 on the Standard picture mode, with Dynamic reaching almost 490cd/m2. This can always be adjusted using the backlight controls, but you certainly won’t be lacking a bright, punchy picture. We felt whites had a pinkish tint on Normal mode out of the box, but we were otherwise impressed by overall colour accuracy. Our colour calibrator returned an sRGB colour gamut score of 97.1%, with blacks measuring a pleasingly deep 0.08cd/m2. Contrast was also high, measuring 3,827:1, providing our images with plenty of detail.

We switched to Cinema mode for the rest of our testing, increasing the Backlight up to 19 to match Normal’s high brightness levels. We then went into the 10-point white balance settings in the advanced settings menu and set the interval to 90%, altering red to +16, green to +2 and blue to -22. This balanced out the JS9000’s white levels considerably, increasing the TV’s overall colour accuracy to an outstanding 99.6%. Blacks unfortunately slipped up to 0.11cd/m2 while contrast fell to 2,950:1, but it was difficult to spot any difference by eye.

Samsung UE65JS9000 TV rear

In Star Trek, for instance,  night scenes were still full of detail, and the depths of space looked dark and inky – at least when we were looking at the TV face on. Shifting to the side a little revealed a few lighter areas toward the edges, particularly in the corners of the film’s letterbox borders. This is a problem we’ve encountered on other curved TVs, as we’ve found their viewing angles can be rather limited. Colours also lost some of their vibrancy when looking from the side. This obviously isn’t ideal, especially on such an expensive TV, and it hardly makes a compelling case for having a curved screen when cheaper, flatter 4K TVs such as the Panasonic TX-55AX902 provide such superior viewing angles.

You’ll also want to watch as many HD TV channels as possible, as the JS9000’s upscaling was rather disappointing. Standard definition TV was incredibly blocky and soft, even with the MPEG Noise Filter and Digital Clean View options set to High. Text was also very difficult to read, but things greatly improved when we switched to HD channels. The entire picture was much clearer and nearly all noisy artefacts disappeared.

The JS9000 uses a revised curved Smart remote in addition to a regular remote. Like previous designs, it has an accelerometer for pointing at the TV to bring up a small cursor that follows your movements around the screen. This makes navigation much faster than conventional buttons, and we like the textured grip and comfortable finger grooves on the back. It doesn’t have as many buttons as the standard remote, but all the essentials are there, including source input, menu, volume and a shortcut to Smart Hub, which is now powered by Tizen.

Samsung UE65JS9000 TV remotes^ Samsung’s new curved remote is great for navigating its new Tizen interface

The new UI is a huge improvement on last year’s smart interface. Text is now much cleaner and icons look more modern, so the whole interface feels that bit slicker, yet refreshingly unintrusive. A long row of colourful icons appear along the bottom of the screen, so you can carry on watching while you decide what to do. It’s much better than being taken to a screen-hogging menu system, and it puts all the key settings within easy reach.

^ Samsung’s new Tizen UI looks very similar to LG’s tile-based webOS interface

Smart Hub is actually very similar to LG’s webOS interface, as your most recent apps and channels run along the bottom edge of the screen in a row of bright, colourful cards. You also can pin certain apps to your recent list so they’re easier to find. The small square of featured apps to the left of your recents will swap places with the app list to reveal more recently added apps, games, the JS9000’s web browser and shortcuts to any connected devices, such as your smartphone, tablet or PC.

When we tested the JS9000, it was missing Netflix, 4OD and Demand 5, but Samsung assured us these will be available soon via a firmware update. Instead, you’ll find Amazon Instant Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, YouTube and Plex. There are also apps for Skype, BBC News and BBC Sport.

^ A quick tap of the Pointer button on the smart remote will bring up shortcuts to the top menu, volume and channel controls and Samsung’s smart TV apps 

The JS9000 uses one of Samsung’s One Connect boxes for connectivity, meaning you only need two cables going into the TV itself. There’s a healthy selection of ports, including four HDMIs, an adapter port for component and composite inputs, an Ethernet port, a CI slot, three USB ports, one of which is USB3, an optical S/PDIF audio output and a port for an IR extender. The box can be upgraded in the future too, so you won’t be left behind should new HDMI and HDCP standards get introduced.

Samsung UE65JS9000 One Connect box ports^ The One Connect box provides you with plenty of ports and connections

Taken together, at least you won’t have to worry about the Samsung SUHD UE65JS9000 going out of date. However, at £3,999, it’s an expensive bit of futureproofing, as there’s still precious few pieces of content to actually watch in 4K or HDR. We’re fans of the new Tizen UI, but when Panasonic TX-55AX902 is currently available for £1,999, which offers better viewing angles and an equally great-looking picture, the JS9000 doesn’t do quite enough to justify the extra price. And If neither of these quite fit your needs then check out our regularly-updated Best TVs to BuyBuy the Samsung UE65JS9000 now from Richer Sounds

Screen size65in
Native resolution3,840×2,160
Aspect ratio16:9
Contrast ratioN/A
Video inputs4x HDMI, component, composite
Audio inputsN/A
Audio outputsOptical S/PDIF, 3.5mm stereo
TunerFreeview HD, Freesat HD
Streaming TV servicesBBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, Demand 5, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video
Media StreamingDNLA, Wi-Fi Direct
Price including VAT£3,999
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Part codeUE65JS9000

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