The Samsung NU6900 is a decent entry-level 4K LCD TV. It has an okay picture quality with a high native contrast ratio but lacks other more advanced features like local dimming to enhance image quality. It can't get very bright and does not have a wide color gamut, so it cannot deliver good HDR performance. It has a low input lag and a fast response time which are good for games, but motion handling is only mediocre.
The design of the Samsung NU6900 is excellent and very similar to the higher end model NU7100. The TV casing is made of plastic but this does not look bad. The stand supports the TV well and the TV is very thin. If wall mounted, it will not protrude much. The build quality is decent and should not cause any issues.
The stand of the Samsung NU6900 is plastic and supports the TV well. It is slightly different from the stand of the NU7100. Unfortunately, it is not very tall and you might block a small part of the bottom edge of your screen if you place a soundbar in front of it.
Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 39.75" x 9.5"
The back of the screen is almost identical to the Samsung NU7100. It is plastic and very plain. There is one vent on the top of the back and some grooves across the bottom edge for the cable management.
All inputs are facing sideways and should not be hard to reach if you wall mount the TV. Unfortunately, there are only 2 HDMI ports and that limits the number of devices you can connect simultaneously to the TV.
The borders are of average thickness with a thick bezel. They are made entirely out of plastic with a gloss finish and fingerprints show easily.
One of the good aspects of this TV's design is its thickness, it is fairly thin and will not protrude much if wall mounted.
The TV gets fairly warm at the bottom edge where the array of LEDs is. This, however, should not be an issue.
The build quality of the NU6900 is okay. There are no gaps and you should have no issues with it but the plastic feeling is apparent everywhere with this TV.
The Samsung NU6900 has a decent picture quality with excellent contrast ratio and great out of the box color accuracy. It cannot get bright enough to overcome glare and it cannot display the director's intent when displaying HDR content due to the lack of a wide color gamut and the crushing of highlights. Viewing angles are bad, and reflection handling is decent. A small dim room is the best environment for this TVs picture quality.
The native contrast of the Samsung NU6900 is excellent. It is one of the highest native contrast ratios we've measured so far in LED TVs and in the same ballpark with more expensive models like the Samsung Q7FN. Unfortunately, the TV does not support a local dimming feature to further improve contrast.
Just like the higher-end model Samsung NU7100, the NU6900 does not support local dimming. The above video is provided for reference only.
Decent SDR peak brightness. The Samsung NU6900 cannot get very bright in SDR to overcome glare. It is more suitable for dimmer rooms, very similar to this year's NU7100, but less bright than last years MU6100 or MU6300. Even though the brightness is mostly consistent, in dark scenes, small highlights are not as bright as we can see from our 2% window and this is due to Samsung's CE (frame) dimming.
The HDR peak brightness of this NU6900 is disappointing. Although it is consistent across most input windows, it's just not enough to deliver the directors intent. Small highlights in dark scenes get crushed. The TV has similar performance to the budget LG UK6300 and its performance, just like the NU7100, is worse than last year's Samsung lineup.
The gray uniformity of the Samsung NU6900 is decent. Although the corners are slightly darker, the center of the image is relatively clear and it is unlikely that you will notice any dirty screen effect when watching sports. This performance is similar to higher-end Samsung models like the NU7100.
In darker shades of gray, the results are better and only very few people might notice any shades on the screen.
Bad viewing angles for the Samsung NU6900, an almost identical result with that of the NU7100. Unfortunately, small movements off the center axis and the picture fades to gray as blacks become more intense. This is an expected behavior of VA-panels.
Excellent black uniformity for this Samsung NU6900. In a dark room, blacks look great and will add points to the picture quality. The black uniformity is even better than more expensive models like the Samsung Q8FN.
Decent reflection handling, although towards the lower end of the scores. Looking at this years' Samsung models, only the NU7300 and NU8500 are slightly worse. The semi-gloss filter diffuses reflections across the screen thus diminishing their intensity. This is good for average lit rooms but in very bright rooms, it can be distracting.
Excellent out of the box color accuracy for the NU6900. The second best of the Samsung models we've tested thus far, right behind last year's Samsung MU8000 and better than this years best Samsung Q6FN.
The Picture Mode with the best results is the 'Movie'. White balance dE and the color dE are low making it hard to detect any inaccuracies. The color temperature is slightly colder than our 6500 K target, and the average gamma is not far from our 2.2 target. However, the gamma curve is not following closely our target curve.
Almost perfect color accuracy after calibration for this Samsung UN55NU6900, better than this years' best Samsung Q6FN. We performed the calibration using a 100% windows instead of the 18% size window. The white balance calibration was done using the 10 point grayscale and was performed without any issues. Changing the values through the color space management did not improve results and thus most of the correction of the color dE came from the correction of the white balance, which is typical for Samsung TVs. After calibration, it's almost impossible to detect gray inaccuracies and the color inaccuracies left behind will be hard to spot even by professionals. The gamma curve was corrected and the color temperature was at our target of 6500 K.
You can see our recommended settings here.
Lower resolution 480p content like DVDs is upscaled well, with no obvious artifacts or quality issues.
This TV does not have a wide color gamut. Just like the Samsung NU7100, the NU6900 is best suited for SDR content as it cannot display saturated colors very well. In the 'Movie' Picture Mode that gives the best results in HDR, the EOTF curve follows closely the target PQ curve until the TV gets closer to its peak brightness when it quickly starts to roll off. The PC and Game mode EOTFs are very similar to 'Movie'.
If while watching an HDR movie or while playing an HDR game you find the image too dark, you can set Contrast Enhancer to 'High', or raise the Gamma. Here is the EOTF with both Contrast Enhancer set to 'High' and with a Gamma correction of '+3'.
Disappointing color volume on the NU6900, just like the NU7100. The limited color gamut does not allow the TV to display vivid colors in a wide range of brightness levels so HDR looks a lot like SDR.
The Samsung NU6900 displays our test pattern well with some banding in the darker colors, with green being the worst. In real-world when the image displays a large area of similar color, some people will notice small points of banding.
Minimal signs of temporary image retention only immediately after our 10-minute test and this is not an issue.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The motion handling of the Samsung NU6900 is only mediocre. The response time is good but the TV has flicker at 120Hz which might bother some people. Its motion interpolation features are decent and the BFI feature helps make the image crisper. Unfortunately, just like the rest of the lower end models of the NU line of products, the NU6900 cannot remove 24p judder from any source.
The TV dims without much flicker for Backlight setting from '50' to '25'. Then it uses PWM flicker to dim for Backlight setting from '24' to '0'.
When the Backlight is set between '50' and '25' you will not notice any flicker, but instead you will notice more motion blur. As you lower the Backlight from '24' to '0', flickering will intensify and you will notice less blur along with the lower levels of brightness. Most people will not be bothered by the 120Hz flicker, but more sensitive people might be. During motion this flicker causes double image artifacts, as seen in our Motion Blur photo.
The Samsung NU6900 allows you to reduce the flicker frequency to 60 Hz, to reduce persistence blur. As in all Samsung models, to activate it you must set LED Clear Motion to 'Custom', and enable LED Clear Motion. You cannot activate 60 Hz black frame insertion when in 'Game' mode so the only flicker will come from the 120Hz native flicker in the Backlight levels of less than 24.
Note that when you enable the BFI, the perceived brightness of the TV is reduced no matter the Backlight levels.
The Samsung NU6900 can interpolate 30 fps content up to 60 fps. Motion appears more fluid but it introduces some 'Soap Opera Effect' that some people do not like. To enable interpolation, set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom', and adjust the Judder Reduction slider to your preference.
The TV stops interpolating when the motion gets too intense just like Samsung NU7100.
This TV is good at displaying content without stutter. Fast action looks smooth, due to the image blur. When watching movies, especially while displaying slow panning shots, the fast response time does not create enough blur and some stutter might be visible.
The NU6900 does not have any option to remove 24p judder from movies. This is typical of the 2018 lower end Samsung models like the NU7100.
The Samsung NU6900 does not support any variable refresh rate technology.
The Samsung NU6900 has an excellent low input lag and supports most common resolutions including chroma 4:4:4. This makes it a good choice for use as a PC monitor. There is no DTS passthrough just like all the Samsung TVs we have reviewed recently. If you have a home stereo, it is better to connect your player to the receiver as otherwise the DTS will be passed as PCM.
The NU6900, just like the NU7100, supports most of the common resolutions.
4k @ 60 hz with 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 chroma is only supported when HDMI UHD Color is enabled from the External Device Manager settings menu. 4:4:4 is only properly displayed when the input icon is set to 'PC'.
Unfortunately, the NU6900 has only 2 HDMI ports. If you need to connect more devices you will need an HDMI switch like this.
Just like other 2018 Samsung TVs, the Samsung UN55NU6900 does not support DTS passthrough. If you have a home stereo it's better to connect it directly as otherwise, DTS will pass as PCM.
For the audio return channel (ARC) to work, Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) must be enabled from the settings menu.
The NU6900 does not support 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
The sound quality of the Samsung NU6900 is decent. This TV gets decently loud, but may not be loud enough for larger and noisier environments. It also has a decent bass, but doesn't produce any thump or rumble in the sub-bass range and lacks a bit of punch and body to the bass as well. However, it produces clear and intelligible dialog and has low distortion. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or soundbars are recommended (see our recommendations for the best soundbars).