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Samsung NU6900 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Feb 18, 2020 at 10:11 am
Samsung NU6900 Picture
6.8
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: TCL 5 Series/S525 2019
6.5
Movies
7.2
TV Shows
6.9
Sports
7.0
Video Games
6.3
HDR Movies
6.7
HDR Gaming
6.9
PC Monitor
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

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 doesn't have a wide color gamut, so it can't 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.

Our Verdict

6.8 Mixed Usage

The Samsung NU6900 is a decent TV for mixed usage. It has an okay picture quality, but an excellent contrast ratio that makes deep blacks look great in a dark room. It's not suitable for bright rooms since it can't get very bright, but has fair reflection handling. On the upside, the input lag is low, making it good for gaming.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.5 Movies

This TV is alright for watching movies. Even with a superb contrast ratio, the picture quality in a dark room can't be improved because it doesn't have local dimming. However, the black uniformity is still great, so dark scenes in a dark room are pleasing to watch.

See our Movies recommendations
7.2 TV Shows

The Samsung NU6900 is a good TV for watching TV shows. It has decent reflection handling and can get decently bright for an average lit room. The NU6900 is very good at upscaling cable content and will keep most TV show enthusiasts happy. It also has an option to add motion interpolation for those who enjoy the soap opera effect.

See our TV Shows recommendations
6.9 Sports

The Samsung NU6900 is a decent TV for watching sports. It has decent reflection handling so you can place it in an average lit room with a few light sources, and a very fast response time so that fast action has very little blur. Unfortunately, the bad viewing angles mean wide seating arrangements wouldn't have a good view during sports. Additionally, the gray uniformity isn't bad, so you won't notice the dirty screen effect.

See our Sports recommendations
7.0 Video Games

The NU6900 is good for playing video games. It has a very low input lag which makes it very responsive, and a very fast pixel response time so that fast action has little blur. Unfortunately, it doesn't have support for any variable refresh rate technology to improve the gaming experience further, but it supports black frame insertion (BFI) to help make the image clearer.

See our Video Games recommendations
6.3 HDR Movies

This is a decent TV for watching HDR movies. The TV has excellent native contrast ratio but lacks local dimming to make blacks deeper and improve picture quality in a dark room. Furthermore, it can't get very bright and doesn't have a wide color gamut to make highlights pop and deliver the content as the director intended.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
6.7 HDR Gaming

The Samsung NU6900 is a good TV for HDR gaming. This is due mainly to the very low input lag at 4k @ 60Hz + HDR and the fast response time that leaves only a little blur in fast action. Unfortunately, the TV can't display HDR content as the director intended as it can't get very bright and doesn't have a wide color gamut. Therefore, although it'll be responsive when gaming in HDR, the picture quality won't be what you'd expect.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
6.9 PC Monitor

The Samsung NU6900 is a good TV for use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag, a very fast response time, and can display most common resolutions. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are bad and if you sit close to the screen, the edges will look darker. On the upside, it supports chroma 4:4:4; this means that you'll get a clear image when you use it as a PC monitor.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 6.8 Mixed Usage
  • 6.5 Movies
  • 7.2 TV Shows
  • 6.9 Sports
  • 7.0 Video Games
  • 6.3 HDR Movies
  • 6.7 HDR Gaming
  • 6.9 PC Monitor
Pros
  • High native contrast.
  • Low input lag.
  • Great black uniformity.
Cons
  • Only two HDMI ports.
  • Limited HDR capabilities.
  • Picture quality degrades when viewed at an angle.
  1. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Update 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  3. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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Test Results

Design
8.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The Samsung NU6900 has an excellent design, which is similar to the higher-end model, the Samsung NU7100. The stand holds up the TV properly, and the thin design means that if it's wall-mounted, it won't bulge out too much. Also, the TV casing is made out of plastic, but it doesn't look too bad. The overall build quality is ordinary.

Design
Stand

The Samsung NU6900's stand is plastic and supports the TV well. It's slightly different from the Samsung NU7100's stand. Unfortunately, it isn't 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"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

The back of the NU6900's screen is made out of plain plastic. There's an opening at the bottom edge for cable management and there's a vent on top.

Unfortunately, there are only two HDMI inputs, so you can only connect two devices at once. However, all inputs are side-facing, so they're easier to reach if you mount the TV on the wall.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.55" (1.4 cm)

The NU6900 has acceptable borders and a thick bezel. Fingerprints show easily because it's made completely out of plastic with a glossy finish.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.36" (6.0 cm)

The NU6900 is fairly thin, so thickness isn't an issue. The TV shouldn't stick out too much when wall-mounted.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is okay. There aren't any gaps and you shouldn't have issues with it, but the plastic feeling is apparent everywhere with this TV.

Picture Quality
9.1
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
6107 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The Samsung NU6900's contrast ratio is one of its best aspects. It has one of the best contrast ratios we've tested, even comparing to the Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED. Unfortunately, it doesn't support local dimming, but blacks still look good on this TV.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

Just like the higher-end Samsung NU7100, the NU6900 doesn't support local dimming. The above video is provided for reference only.

6.4
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
273 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
238 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
310 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
308 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
307 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
306 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
237 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
308 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
307 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
306 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
306 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.039

Decent SDR peak brightness. The Samsung NU6900 can't get very bright in SDR to overcome glare. It's more suitable for dimmer rooms, very similar to 2018's Samsung NU7100, but less bright than the Samsung MU6100 or Samsung MU6300. Even though the brightness is mostly consistent, in dark scenes, small highlights aren't as bright, as we can see from our 2% window. This is due to Samsung's CE (frame) dimming.

5.1
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
270 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
181 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
320 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
318 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
318 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
317 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
180 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
315 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
314 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
314 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
314 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.038

The Samsung NU6900's HDR peak brightness is disappointing. Although it's consistent across most input windows, it's just not enough to deliver the director's intent. Small highlights in dark scenes get crushed. The TV has performs similarly to the budget LG UK6300. Its performance, just like the Samsung NU7100, is worse than last year's Samsung lineup.

7.4
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.226 %
50% DSE
0.158 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.368 %
5% DSE
0.120 %

The Samsung NU6900's gray uniformity is decent. Although the corners are slightly darker, the center of the image is relatively clear, and it's unlikely that you'll 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.

5.2
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
26 °
Color Shift
16 °
Brightness Loss
36 °
Black Level Raise
9 °
Gamma Shift
23 °

The Samsung NU6900 has bad viewing angles, an almost identical result to the Samsung NU7100. Unfortunately, any small movement off the center axis and the picture fades to gray as blacks become more intense. This is an expected behavior from VA panels.

8.8
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.681 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Along with a fantastic contrast ratio, the Samsung NU6900's black uniformity is impressive as well. Blacks look great in a dark room, improving picture quality.

7.0
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
6.1 %
Indirect Reflections
0.7 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.4 %

The Samsung NU6900 has okay reflection handling, but performs lower compared to other Samsung TVs.

8.4
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.42
Color dE
2.65
Gamma
2.16
Color Temperature
6765 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
BT.1886 0, Brightness +1

The NU6900 has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy. Setting the picture mode to "Movie" delivers the best performance, and it's hard to detect any inaccuracies with the white balance dE and color dE. The average gamma is somewhat close to our 2.2 target, but the gamma curve doesn't closely follow the target curve, so most scenes will look brighter than they should. Our target color temperature is 6500 K, and it's slightly colder on pre-calibration.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.13
Color dE
1.23
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6507 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
No

After calibration, the Samsung NU6900's color accuracy was almost perfect. It has one of the highest color accuracy performances post-calibration we've tested so far. The calibration used a 100% sized window instead of 18%. The white balance calibration used the 10-point grayscale, and there weren't any problems with performance. As with most Samsung TVs, most of the correction of the color dE came from the correction of white balance, because changing the values through the color space management didn't make the results any better. Even professionals will have a hard time finding the color inaccuracies post-calibration, and it's nearly impossible to see any gray inaccuracies as well. The temperature hit our target of 6500 K and the gamma curve was corrected.

Check out our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Lower resolution 480p content like DVDs is upscaled well, with no obvious artifacts or quality issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content is displayed well with no obvious issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content, such as Blu-rays or game consoles, is upscaled well.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content is displayed without any issues.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input
Picture Quality
Pixels
6.6
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
73.70 %
DCI P3 uv
79.14 %
Rec 2020 xy
52.88 %
Rec 2020 uv
57.68 %

This TV doesn't have a wide color gamut. Just like the Samsung NU7100, the Samsung NU6900 is best suited for SDR content as it can't 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'.

5.6
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
64.8 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
21.1 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
46.9 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
15.3 %

The Samsung NU6900's color volume is disappointing. With a limited color gamut, the TV can't display bright colors in a varied range of brightness levels, so HDR content looks more like SDR.

8.1
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.107 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.133 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.084 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.096 dE

The Samsung NU6900 displays our test pattern well with some banding in the darker colors, with green being the worst. In real world content, when the image displays a large area of similar color, some people will notice small banding points.

9.9
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.02 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

Image retention immediately after the 10-minute test shows little signs of temporary image retention, so this shouldn't be a problem.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Motion
6.4
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
7.7 ms
100% Response Time
16.2 ms

The Samsung UN55NU6900 has a fast response time, better than the more premium Samsung NU7100 from this year, and very similar to 2017's Samsung MU6300.

4.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz

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 won't notice any flicker, but instead, you'll notice more motion blur. As you lower the Backlight from '24' to '0', flickering will intensify and you'll 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.

9.1
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

The Samsung NU6900 allows you to reduce the flicker frequency to 60Hz, 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 can't activate 60Hz 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.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

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.

7.9
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
25.5 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
0.5 ms

This TV is good at displaying content without stutter. Fast action looks smooth due to the image blur. When watching movies, especially slow panning shots, the fast response time doesn't create enough blur and some stutter might be visible.

0
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
No

The NU6900 doesn't have any option to remove 24p judder from movies. This is typical of the 2018 lower-end Samsung models, like the Samsung NU7100.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

The Samsung NU6900 doesn't have variable refresh rate technology.

Inputs
7.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
22.8 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
55.6 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz
22.5 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
22.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
37.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
38.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
38.3 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
N/A
1440p @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR