Samsung TVs, overall, are very versatile TVs that can provide good to very good picture quality. We have started to publish Samsung TV reviews for 2017 TV models, and they overall have been very similar to previous TVs with very incremental changes. The biggest difference is the high-end models' ability to produce a very wide range of colors.
Compared to other brands
- Well Rounded. Generally, Samsung TVs won't be the very best in a specific usage. They instead tend to be very versatile TVs that will do well in a wide variety of uses.
- Very Good Upscaling. Lower quality content such as broadcast TV or DVDs is scaled up to the 4k resolution well.
- Good Input Lag. Even in HDR, Samsung TVs maintain a low input lag which is great for gaming.
- Judder. Even Samsung high-end models aren't great at removing judder (more info on judder). Their motion interpolation feature is also not as good as some competitors.
- Mediocre Build Quality. Samsung TVs, in general, will not have stellar build quality. A lot of plastic is used, and it isn't unusual for some parts of the TV to come off after some use.
Samsung vs Sony
Samsung TVs will usually have better input lag than Sony TVs, and will generally have a much more expressive and original design. Sony TVs, in comparison, will usually be built a bit better, with a mostly metal construction. They'll also have a lot more motion settings and no judder issues.
Samsung vs LG
Samsung TVs will generally have a lot better picture quality than the average LG TV, with LG's expensive OLED TVs being an exception. They'll usually get a fair bit brighter. LG TVs will generally have a much wider viewing angle and also have much better smart features.
At every price range, Samsung TVs provide a performance suitable for most buyers. They are quite good and usually without any major flaws besides the common ones for LCD TVs. In 2017, competition is tightening up a bit more, so Samsung LED TVs do not seem to provide as much value as they previously did. Their performance remains comparable, though. If you would like to compare specific TVs, take a look at our Side by Side comparison tool.
Best Samsung Smart TVs
Samsung's lineup covers everything from budget to high-end models. As a rule of thumb, the higher the number, the better it is, although sometimes the improvements are not worth it. The letter in their model number corresponds to the year:
- Q* = 2017 High-end models
- M* = 2017 Low to mid-range models
- K* = 2016
- J* = 2015
- H* = 2014
- F* = 2013
Best Samsung 4k TV
The best Samsung TV is the KS8000 4k UHD TV. It's one of the TVs we recommended the most, and that's mostly thanks to its great picture quality and value.
This Samsung LED TV is one of 2016's brightest TVs. It's a very good choice for both HDR and brightly-lit rooms and is very similar to the higher-end Q7F. It cannot produce colors as saturated, but it is still one of the best TVs in that aspect. Overall, it offers the same performance or better for a fraction of the price.
Best budget Samsung 4k TV
The best budget Samsung TV is the KU6300 4k TV. It offers very good picture quality, mostly thanks to its great contrast ratio and uniform blacks.
For a TV in this price range, it is quite a bit brighter than its competition. This Samsung smart TV does not have a wide color gamut like the high-end Samsung models, but it can still provide what most people need. Input lag is quite low as well, so it's a great pick for gamers.
Very similar design to the KS9000 of 2016, comparable to the MU8000 but with a better screen finish.
Samsung's Smart Features (2017)
In the infancy of smart TVs, Samsung was the leader when it came to functionality and their smart features. This isn't to say that they were very good, as it took quite a few years for Smart TV platforms to mature into something comparable to external set-top boxes. Samsung's lead was quickly usurped by LG WebOS, which was launched in 2014 and remains the best today.
Samsung first responded in 2015 by updating their platform to Smart Hub, based on their Tizen operating system. This was a significant upgrade, but it still didn't match LG's consistently updated offering. They've given the platform a facelift in 2017 as well, switching the color palette and updating their voice control capabilities.
The Samsung smart remote included with the high-end QLED series is excellent. It is very comfortable to hold and features craftsmanship unlike anything else currently on the market. The controls are simple and intuitive, and it is easy to pair with the TV and other devices.
Lower in the range, in the MU series, can be found the other model currently packaged with Samsung TVs. It is almost the same as what was found in 2016 models and is, feature-wise, about the same as the one above, but with a plastic feel and different shape.
You may notice that current Samsung TVs have done away with expansive controls such as advanced playback buttons and number keys. This is in line with their initiative from a few years ago, and other remotes such as the ones found with Roku TVs. This isn't a big deal nowadays, but people using the TV tuner might prefer ordering a cheap universal remote to easily access TV channels.
Press the Home button on the remote and a toolbar will appear at the bottom of your screen. Downloaded apps will be found here in a row, as well as quick access to inputs and settings.
The app selection is nowadays pretty extensive. All the popular video and music services are available and more. Fortunately, the search function is quite good and results come up very quickly.
The web browser has seen some improvements over time. It now gets a score of 1426 on the peacekeeper benchmark, which is about twice as much as the 2015 models used to get. It still doesn't support flash, but that's less of an issue than in previous years as most sites use HTML5 instead.
Voice Command have been overhauled in 2017, and they are pretty good now. Unlike most other smart platforms, you're able to both search for content or apps, but also change settings. Even more in-depth stuff such as calibration settings are only a button press away, which is quite nice.
Ads & Privacy
Unfortunately, Samsung's Smart Hub also shows ads on the home screen. It shows up in the same row as the installed Samsung Smart TV apps, and they cannot be disabled.
You can opt-out of personalized advertising in the settings, but that unfortunately just means that you'll see very repetitive ads instead of different ones.
This is less common now than it was in previous years, but Samsung TVs often have issues with Wi-Fi connections. They will randomly stop functioning after leaving the TV off for a while and will require for the connection to be set up again, which is quite annoying.
The 2017 update is also noticeably slower than the 2016 version of the software. Waiting multiple seconds to confirm a selection on a pop-up is not uncommon, and the overall experience feels quite sluggish.
Samsung, in general, makes very good TVs. Their range has somewhat crept up in price over time, but most people should still find a TV that suits their needs within it. Their smart features aren't the best out there, but they are still quite good, too. They are usually quite versatile and fit most usages. As long as you don't plan to watch them from an angle, which is a common shortcoming they have, it's hard to find major issues with them.