The Samsung KS9500 4k UHD TV is a very well balanced TV. Its picture quality is great no matter the room, source or content being played. It can get very bright and handles reflections well. When viewed from the side though, its picture quality diminishes.
The Samsung KS9500 has a great look. Its design is very simple, yet very sleek. The TV is really thin, lines are pure, metal parts boast a chrome finish and even its back have a nice textured dark-gray finish. It will definitely look good in any room.
The KS9500 does better than its lower-end cousin, the 8500. The One Connect box doesn't get very warm either at a measly 34C.
Picture quality of the Samsung KS9500 is impressive. Blacks are very deep and the uniformity is good. There is excellent wide color reproduction and a very high peak brightness. From low to high resolutions, details are always crisp. Deals with reflections very well, but unfortunately the picture quality diminishes when viewed from the side.
Extremely deep and impressive blacks for an LED TV. Among the highest native contrast ratio we have ever measured.
Local dimming isn't that good. Full array backlight TVs can do much better. We used local dimming ('Smart LED') set at 'High' for this test and unfortunately, the dot in our video stayed pretty dimmed. In practice, more blooming can be seen than in our video. The blooming shape is a big vertical band.
The Samsung KS9500 have a good SDR peak brightness. With a minimum of around 500 cd/ and with a peak of more than a 1000 cd/m², this makes this TV one of the brightest TVs tested with SDR content.
The brightest results we have seen so far. In this test, we used the 'High' setting for local dimming ('Smart LED') since it was able to brighten our 2% window the most. It went as high as 1490 cd/m². This mean bright highlights can get very, very bright. Good value for the 50% window too which mean the whole screen can also get pretty bright. Peak brightness works a little differently than on the Sony X930D. On the Samsung KS9500, on all window sizes, peak brightness will diminish after some time, but goes back up when something moves on the screen, like our mouse cursor. On regular materials, this mean brightness is more stable. Big blooming areas can be seen around some bright highlights though.
Update: Updated with sustained brightness.
Very good for an LED TV. The edges of the screen are darker but the TV is free from any obvious banding issue. The dirty screen effect (DSE) isn't much of a problem for sports when camera pans over playing fields.
Like all VA LED TVs, the picture quality diminish at an angle. The blacks worsen and the colors shift. There is worse VA TVs than this one though but it is still a notable downside of this TV.
Update: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results.
There is some faint cloud spots that can be seen on a totally black screen and the top edge of the screen is slightly more lit up than the rest of the screen. Overall though, the black uniformity of the Samsung KS9500 is among the best we have seen.
The Samsung KS9500 displayed a very smooth color gradient with no color banding or color gradations to be seen.
No real issues before calibration except maybe for the blue which was a little prominent.
As for other Samsung TVs, calibration was a breeze and all issues were resolved. We ended up with very low white balance and color errors which is great.
Nice coverage of DCI P3 and Rec 2020. Colors are able to get a good deal more saturated when HDR content is playing compared to traditional Rec 709 content.
The Samsung KS9500 performs very similarly to the other KS* TVs, and is one of the best color volume performers of the 2016 models. It can produce bright, saturated colors but unfortunately at low luminosity levels the volume is limited.
Although the Samsung KS9500 has a glossy screen, its screen doesn't reflect a lot of lights. The curve also stretch the reflections so they appear wider but less harsh. Some little rainbow effects can be observed around bright objects but aren't that noticeable.
The Samsung KS9500 is great at handling motion. It has a bit of blur on fast moving objects but nothing very distracting. When playing movies from any source they appear smooth. Motion can be interpolated up to the native panel refresh rate of 120Hz.
Dark to bright transitions, like the 0% to 100%, take longer. This can be seen on our moving logo test, where the right edge of the logo appears darker. As a whole though, motion is good on the Samsung KS9500.
The TV is able to detect and do the reverse 3:2 pulldown on all sources inluding 60i and 60p. For those two, we had to set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' with both sliders to 0. This didn't add the soap opera effect.
Motion interpolation ('Auto Motion Plus') can be enabled on all content. This will smooth out motion, but also add the soap opera effect (SOE). Low 'Custom' values will add smoothness without much of the SOE.
The input lag of the KS9500 is very low, which is great. It supports a wide range of resolutions and inputs. Text appears very clear when in 'PC' mode regardless of the background. Unfortunately it doesn't support a 120Hz signal.
Very fast 1080p input lag. All types of games feel responsive. Competitive gamers will like the benefit they get from that low input lag. 'Game' mode has to be selected from the 'Special viewing modes' under the 'Picture' menu to get the lowest input lag. When sending and HDR signal at 1080p resolution under game mode, the input lag is 22.6ms.
To enable 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, turn on 'HDMI UHD Color' from the picture menu. For the other resolutions, 4:4:4 can be enabled only by enabling PC mode (on the list of inputs, hover the current input used and press up on the remote, then 'Edit' and select 'PC'). We have measured 37.1 ms of input lag under 'PC' mode. A curved screen is always nice when sitting up close on setups where the TV is used as PC monitor.
The TV supports 5.1 passthrough for Dolby Digital and DTS, but it is necessary to select the correct audio type in the sound settings, since it doesn't change automatically.
Compared to most TV, the Samsung KS9500 produce an acceptable sound. Anyone that care about sound would still like a sound bar better but those that doesn't have the space required for an external solution or doesn't want to create cluttered around the TV should be somewhat satisfied with the sound of this TV.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
Very good frequency response and low-end cutoff, especially for a TV. But maximum loudness could be better. The TV also seem to be producing compression and pumping near the maximum loudness.
Relatively high distortion. Although this TV doesn't produce audible aliasing, the harmonic distortion could be audible at times.
The revamped interface of the Tizen smart platform is a welcome improvement. It isn't as pretty as LG's WebOS smart platform but a step in the right direction. It is also very responsive on the Samsung KS9500 and provide the most popular apps. A Mini One Connect box come with this TV and offers enough inputs for most needs. The included remote works well too and can even work as a universal remote for devices connected to the TV.
When a new device is detected (such as when a computer is woken from sleep while plugged into an HDMI port) the TV automatically switches to this device. This may be an annoyance if you are watching other content at the time.
We tested the 55" (UN55KS9500) version FA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65" version (UN65KS9500).
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung KS9500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
The Samsung KS9500 is the best LED TV we have reviewed so far for a mixed usage but there are cheaper and near as good TVs that are available which explains why we don't really recommend the KS9500