The 4k LED UHD Samsung KU7000 Series has a good enough picture quality for most content but lacks in a few areas. It handles fast motion decently and it feels responsive when playing video games. Unfortunately, HDR performance is average, judder is present in movies and the picture deteriorates when viewed from the side.
The Samsung KU7000 is a great looking TV. Its frame looks like it is made of metal, the classic looking Samsung stand now shares a new style with a shiny reflective finish and the textured back of the TV adds a nice touch. The TV is also quite thin. Compared to the KU6300, it looks better.
Watching movies on the KU7000 is average. The dark scene performance is quite good, but limited by lack of features. Judder is experienced when watching movies and motion interpolation options are limited. The TV can play HDR content, and does provide richer colors but the highlights can't get very bright. The colors are quite good out of the box, and the TV looks clear when displaying content from DVDs to 4k video.
The contrast ratio of this TV provides good dark scene performance and should not be an issue for most viewers.
There is no local dimming on the KU7000. For reference, we took a video of our test. The backlight is edge lit, unlike the KU6300 which has a direct backlight.
The SDR peak brightness is bad for the Samsung KU7000. At around 300 cd/m² overall, with the 2% and 10% being dimmer than the rest, the SDR peak brightness is lower than what would be considered a good value. The KU7000 would be best situated in a dark room because of the low SDR peak brightness.
The KU7000 is bright enough for normal SDR content but well below the HDR standard of 1000 nits for highlights. There is no local dimming. With an HDR signal, the 2% window dims, but on a standard signal, the brightness remains constant across all window sizes. The peak brightness is lower than the KU6300.
Update: Updated with sustained brightness.
There is some banding visible, with the horizontal edges appearing brighter and the vertical edges appearing darker. Overall the uniformity is better than most other LED TVs, with no major gray uniformity or dirty screen effect issues.
The viewing angle is quite good for a VA TV, and should not be an issue for most people. Color saturation is lost when viewed at an angle however the picture remains more defined than most other VA TVs.
The black uniformity is really good. Due to the way the TV is edge lit, there is a small 1/4" bright strip extending part way across the top and bottom edge. This should not be an issue for most content.
Update 11/09/2016: Our original test was showing 8 bit gradations due to incorrect drivers on our system. After some correction to our test apparatus, we have retested the color depth and found that it is able to display a 10 bit gradient smoothly. There is some little imperfections in the darker green, but nothing that could make normal viewing problematic.
Out of the box, the White Balance dE, Color dE and Gamma had few issues. The reds were a little too high and the blues were slightly too low. This issues will not be visible for the average viewer.
Just like previous Samsung TVs we've reviewed, the calibration was quite easy to do and took little time. We were able to correct most of the issues that were present in the pre-calibration.
Update 08/18/2016: The color gamut was re-tested and found to be wide, covering most of the P3 color space.
The KU7* series of TVs can produce fairly saturated colors for P3, but the coverage becomes worse at low brightness levels.
Reflections can appear large and diffused. They can also be seen through as long as they aren't too bright.
Watching sports on the Samsung KU7000 is pretty decent. Fast moving objects such as a football being thrown from a player will be followed by a faint trail and some screen uniformity issues may be visible during panning shots over a game field, but this should not be an issue for most people.
The response time of this TV is similar to that of the Samsung KU6300 because they have a similar panel. A faint trail is visible behind the logo meaning that fast moving object will appear to have a following trail behind them just like this one. The backlight flickers at twice the frequency of the KU6300.
The 'Auto Motion Plus' setting can be customized to introduce black frame insertion. This helps to clear up motion blur due to eye tracking. Unfortunately this option isn't available in the 'Game' special viewing mode.
The TV was not able to remove judder when 24p content is played through any input source. Those sensitive to it will notice judder when watching movies.
Enabling 'Action Motion Plus' to 'Auto' will allow you to smooth out content that outputs 30fps, this isn't the case for 60fps content. Even though Samsung advertises that this TV has a '120Hz Motion rate' it is a 60Hz TV.
Video game performance is good due to the low input lag and decent motion blur. This provides a smooth experience even in fast paced games. There is a large range of supported resolutions for those looking to use the KU7000 as a PC monitor.
The input lag of the KU7000 is great, enable 'Game Mode' in 'Special viewing modes' to reduce it as low as possible.
Update 09/08/2016: In 'Game Mode', when sending an HDR signal at 1080p resolution, the input lag remain the same at 24.7ms
Enable 'UHD Colors' for 4:4:4 at 4k and 60Hz on HDMI1. This is not possible on HDMI2 or HDMI3. Text becomes more clear when sending a 4:4:4 signal. 120Hz input is not supported.
HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth is only available on HDMI1.
Sound is average on the Samsung KU7000 which isn't too bad for a TV. Most sound bars would be an upgrade but those that don't want the additional clutter should still be somewhat satisfied by the sound of the KU7000.
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.
Decent frequency response, low-end cutoff and maximum loudness for a TV. The responses at 75dB and 85dB SPL are pretty good, however, at maximum volume pumping and compression are present.
Average distortion results. At lower volumes, the performance is very good. At maximum volume however, there is a noticeable jump in the harmonic distortion.
The Samsung KU7000 offers an impressive smart interface performance that is both smooth and responsive. The TV comes with a fairly fast CPU and memory which allows applications to load quickly even when heavily multi-tasking, showing no hiccups at all. Also, the operating system supports a great deal of different applications such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Youtube, and many more, making it a very polished smart interface. As for the inputs, the Samsung TV offers many inputs of different variations making it capable of plugging all your devices in it. Be careful though, if you want to use the full capability of the TV make sure you use the HDMI 1 port as it's the only port that supports HDMI 2.0.
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.
The remote is identical to the Samsung KS Series remote. It's comfortable and is very easy to use to navigate through menus. It also has the voice command functionality that the KS Series remote has, which is a nice addition. This remote, compared to the Samsung KU6300, is somewhat better and has the voice command functionality.
We tested the 55" (UN55KU7000) version FA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the other sizes.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung KU7000 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
Update 01/16/2017: The 43" has a AA01 panel, so our review might not correspond exactly to that size.
The Samsung KU7000 is hard to recommend when cheaper TVs offer similar performances with a better value.
The Samsung KS8000 is a superior TV especially for watching movies and with HDR content. It fits the living room better too since it can get a lot brighter. The KS8000 is pricier but is the TV to get for anyone looking at an upgrade over the KU7000.
The Vizio P 2016 is better for movies, HDR and video games. Sports is also very good on it but it has a little worse uniformity.
The Samsung KU6300 offers nearly identical picture quality for SDR content, although it is not as thin. The Samsung KU7000 does provide slightly better HDR performance due to the wide color gamut, but for most people the Samsung KU6300 presents better value.
The Sony X850D has a better picture quality when viewed from the side but not as good when watched directly from front or in a dark room. Get the X850D if most of the viewing is done in a well lit room.