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Samsung UE48JU7500 review

Michael Passingham
24 Jan 2016
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Samsung UE48JU7500 header
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
879
inc VAT

Stylish, excellent image quality and great smart TV features, Samsung's JU7500-series is an excellent mid-range UHD choice

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Specifications

Screen size: 48in, Native resolution: 3,840x2,160, Video inputs: 4x HDMI 2.0, composite, component, Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD, Dimensions: 1081x681x308mm 

Samsung's JU7500-series of UHD TVs sits at the top of its standard range of TV sets, just missing out on its top-end 'SUHD' badge. The 48in UE48JU7500 on test here is the smallest size in this range, but it's also available in 55in, 65in and a ridiculous, £5,000 78in set as well. Apart from the obvious difference in size, each TV comes with the same hardware and software features, so we would expect roughly equal parity across the range when it comes to image quality.

Design, inputs and software

Samsung's TV design has become pretty predictable in recent years, but that's not to say the UE48JU7500 doesn't look great. Thanks to its inward-facing, metallic-style bezels, the TV's chamfered border looks much thinner than it really is, and it draws your eyes into the screen. The stand is also very stylish and is unhindered by any unnecessary branding aside from a small 'UHD' logo on the bottom-right side of the set. It also matches the 3,000mm curvature radius of the display, so it may prove troublesome if you have a standard, flat sound bar that normally sits in front of your TV. As a result, opting for a sound base or curved soundbar might be a better option.

Take a look at the best sound bars you can buy today

Samsung has taken a slightly different approach to inputs for the JU7500 series. On the TV itself, you get an RJ45 network adapter, one USB3 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, satellite and aerial connectors as well as component and composite inputs. The rest of its ports are located on Samsung's bundled OneConnect Mini box, which can be placed out of the way with just a single cable connecting it to the back of the TV. Here, you get four HDMI 2.0 inputs (all of which are ARC compatible), two USB2 ports and an optical S/PDIF connector.

^Watch iPlayer and live TV at the same time, if you dare

The JU7500 is powered by Samsung's Tizen operating system, which is still a market-leader when it comes to its selection of apps and catch-up TV services. It's incredibly intuitive and, for the most part, easy to use. Hit the Smart Hub button on either remote and you're taken to a horizontal list of your recently used apps. On the left is the Featured app section, which lists your currently installed services and most recently installed apps. Simple stuff, but it gets better.

Somewhat ingeniously, you can split the screen in half, opening an app on one half of the screen while keeping another source - be it aerial or satellite TV or an external source such as a games console - on the other half. You can resize each portion, too, giving one source a bigger portion of the screen, allowing you to watch TV, tweet or look something up an actor on the web at the same time without resorting to your phone or tablet. 

I'm also a big fan of Samsung's premium-feeling Smart TV remote. There's a more conventional remote control in the box as well, but the Smart remote's high-quality buttons and responsive gesture controls are well-suited to navigating the JU7500's large Smart TV menus.

^Simple but easy-to-use: Samsung has nailed its Smart TV operating system

Every major service is catered for here, too. BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, Demand 5, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video and Wuaki.tv are all present and correct, and it gives the JU7500 one of the most complete line-ups of catch-up TV services you'll find today. The only real disappointment is the lack of any hybrid live TV/catch-up EPG system, making it marginally less flexible than some of its rivals. It's not a huge problem considering Samsung's already has the complete set of all the major UK TV catch-up services, but it is something we're starting to see more of in other top-end TVs. Panasonic's Firefox-powered sets, for instance, have just as many apps as the JU7500, but also comes with Freeview Play, making it easier to browse what you've missed and launch directly into the relevant catch-up app. Hopefully, Samsung will remedy this with its 2016 line-up of TVs and commit to Freeview Play, Freetime or something similar. Continues on Page 2

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