Samsung RU7100 TV Review

Updated Apr 15, 2019 at 09:11 am
Samsung RU7100 Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
7.5
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H8F
6.6
Movies
7.5
TV Shows
7.3
Sports
8.5
Video Games
6.7
HDR Movies
7.9
HDR Gaming
8.2
PC Monitor
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung RU7100 is a good 4k LED TV that has decent overall picture quality. It can deliver deep blacks, thanks to the high native contrast ratio, and it is good for a dim room. However, it lacks a local dimming feature to further improve dark room performance. It has good gray uniformity and great color accuracy out of the box. It doesn't have a wide color gamut and can't get very bright, especially in HDR. Motion handling is mediocre, but the input lag is remarkably low, which makes the TV very responsive; something that will please gamers. Unfortunately, it does not support any of the advanced gaming features found on higher-end Samsung models, and the image loses accuracy when viewed from the side.

Our Verdict

7.5 Mixed Usage

This is a good TV for mixed usage. It is more suitable for darker rooms as it can't get very bright to overcome glare. It has a low input lag that makes it very responsive, but unfortunately, you have to sit straight in front to enjoy the most accurate image due to the poor viewing angles.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.6 Movies

The RU7100 is a decent TV for watching movies in a dark room. It has an excellent native contrast ratio and can deliver deep blacks, but it lacks a local dimming feature to further enhance dark room performance. Unfortunately, it can not remove 24p judder from any source.

See our Movies recommendations
7.5 TV Shows

This is a good TV for watching TV shows. It has decent reflection handling but can't get very bright, so it is more suitable for a room with less light. The gray uniformity is good, but the viewing angles are poor, and you are better off sitting straight in front.

See our TV Shows recommendations
7.3 Sports

This is a decent TV for watching sports. It has a fast response time, and fast-moving objects only have a small blur trail. The gray uniformity is good, and you should not experience any dirty screen effect when watching your favorite game. Unfortunately, the RU7100 is not a good choice for a large room with a wide seating arrangement due to its poor viewing angles.

See our Sports recommendations
8.5 Video Games

The RU7100 is an excellent TV for playing video games. It has a remarkably low input lag and a fast response time, so it is very responsive to your actions. Unfortunately, it doesn't have FreeSync or any other game enhancing features like the ones found on higher-end models like the Samsung Q60R.

See our Video Games recommendations
6.7 HDR Movies

This is a decent TV for watching HDR movies. It can deliver deep blacks in a dark room, but it lacks a local dimming feature to further improve dark room performance. The TV doesn't have a wide color gamut and can't get very bright in HDR, so it cannot display HDR content as its creator intended.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
7.9 HDR Gaming

This is a good TV for playing HDR games. This is mainly due to the extremely low input lag and the fast response time, and not so much due to its HDR performance. The RU7100 is very responsive, but HDR content does not display as it should due to the lack of a wide color gamut and the low brightness levels in HDR.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.2 PC Monitor

The RU7100 is a great TV for use as a PC monitor. It has a remarkably low input lag, and it is very responsive. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor, and you will lose image accuracy at the sides, especially if you sit up close. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4 in all supported resolutions, and this is great.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 7.5 Mixed Usage
  • 6.6 Movies
  • 7.5 TV Shows
  • 7.3 Sports
  • 8.5 Video Games
  • 6.7 HDR Movies
  • 7.9 HDR Gaming
  • 8.2 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Excellent low Input lag.
  • Good uniformity.
Cons
  • Poor HDR peak brightness.
  • Image degrades when viewed at an angle.

Check Price

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung RU7100 is a 2019 entry-level UHD TV. It is the replacement of the NU7100 in Samsung's lineup, and it is meant as a more budget model that lacks some of the more advanced features found on the higher-end UHDs like the Samsung RU8000. It is comparable to most other budget LED TVs, like the LG UK7700 or the Vizio E Series 2018.

Design
8.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the Samsung RU7100 is excellent, similar to last year's Samsung NU7100. The stand supports the TV well and allows only minimal wobble. It is, however, nearly as wide as the TV, so you need a large table to place it on. The back of the TV is made of plastic with the same textured finish found on last year's Samsung TVs. Cable management is serviced through guide tracks on the back of the TV and with the help of a couple of clips that attach to the legs. The build quality is decent, and you should have no issues with it.

Design
Stand

The stand is plastic but supports the TV well. It is almost as wide as the TV, and the legs cannot be reversed. There is some wobble, but not too much.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 38.3" x 10.4"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

The back of the TV is plain. It is made of good quality plastic and the texture is matte with a lot of fine horizontal ridges, just like last year's NU7100.

Cable management is serviced through tracks found near the bottom of the back and the special clips that attach to the legs, as shown here.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.60" (1.5 cm)

The borders of the Samsung UN55RU7100 are plain and have an average thickness.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.25" (5.7 cm)

The RU7100 has almost the same thickness as last year's NU7100. The thickness is roughly uniform, which looks good if you VESA mount it.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
114 °F (45 °C)
Average Temperature
95 °F (35 °C)

The bottom edge of the Samsung RU7100 gets quite warm. This is likely due to the edge LEDs, but shouldn't cause any issues.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The RU7100 has decent overall build quality. The external casing is almost entirely made of plastic. There are no gaps or loose ends other than some flex in the seam where the back joins the borders; this should not be an issue.

Picture Quality
9.0
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5650 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The native contrast ratio of the RU7100 is excellent. This is great for watching movies in a completely dark room. Unfortunately, the TV does not have a local dimming feature to further improve the contrast ratio.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

The Samsung RU7100 does not have a local dimming feature. The above video is provided for reference only.

7.2
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
289 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
149 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
272 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
271 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
271 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
271 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
147 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
271 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
271 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
271 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
271 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.043

The SDR peak brightness of the RU7100 is decent, just slightly better than last year's NU7100. The UN55RU7100 is more suitable for average-lit or dim rooms, as it cannot get bright enough to overcome glare.

We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Movie' picture mode, 'Warm 2' color temperature, '2,2' gamma, and we set Auto Motion Plus Settings to 'Off.' Different picture modes and color temperatures may be brighter.

The setting that controls the brightness of the backlight is called Backlight.

5.8
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
278 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
148 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
270 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
269 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
269 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
269 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
146 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
269 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
268 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
268 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
269 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.043

The HDR peak brightness is disappointing. The RU7100 can't get bright enough to deliver a vivid HDR image. Small highlights in dark scenes are dimmed by the TV's algorithms, as shown by our 2% window test. This is known as CE dimming.

Our measurements were taken in the 'Movie' picture mode, with no calibration settings and Auto Motion Plus settings set to 'Off.' Some settings may produce a brighter image.

7.5
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.441 %
50% DSE
0.172 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.185 %
5% DSE
0.103 %

The RU7100 has good gray uniformity. The 50% gray image is a little darker at the sides and especially at the corners. However, the center of the screen is more uniform, so the minor dirty screen effect isn't very noticeable. This is great news if you enjoy watching sports.

In the 5% gray image, the uniformity is good and you can't easily spot any uniformity issues.

5.4
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
26 °
Color Shift
24 °
Brightness Loss
35 °
Black Level Raise
16 °
Gamma Shift
17 °

The viewing angle is disappointing, just like with most VA panel TVs. The image loses accuracy at fairly small angles off-center. As you increase your viewing angle, you will first notice the blacks intensifying, then a shift in grayscale shades followed by a shift in the colors, and finally, the brightness will begin to fade.

8.0
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.892 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The RU7100 has very good black uniformity. Although you can see some flashlighting, it is not very visible under normal viewing conditions. It becomes more noticeable if you watch a very dark scene in a dark room. Unfortunately, there is no local dimming feature to improve black uniformity.

7.3
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
6.0 %
Indirect Reflections
0.8 %

The UN55RU7100 has decent reflection handling. The semi-gloss screen handles reflections very similarly to the NU7100. In most rooms, there shouldn't be any issues, but in a bright room with many windows, reflections might become distracting.

8.3
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.77
Color dE
2.82
Gamma
2.08
Color Temperature
6380 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The out of the box color accuracy of the RU7100 is great. The Picture Mode that gave us the best results is the 'Movie' picture mode. The minor color inaccuracies are hard to spot unless you are an enthusiast. With Color tone set to 'Warm 2,' the color temperature is slightly colder than the 6500K target. The gamma does not follow our target and some scenes are brighter than others.

9.2
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.60
Color dE
1.60
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6513 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
No

The RU7100 has excellent color accuracy after calibration. Any remaining inaccuracies are almost impossible to spot without the aid of a colorimeter. The color temperature is almost spot on the 6500K target, and the gamma follows the target curve more closely, but not perfectly.

Changing Color Space settings from 'Auto' to 'Custom' reduced the color gamut drastically, so we had to make big changes in the color calibration. We recommend that users leave it at 'Auto' to avoid this.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content, like DVDs, is handled well, with no obvious upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content is displayed well, without any issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Blu-rays and other 1080p content, including non-4k console games, are displayed well.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content is displayed perfectly without any issues.

6.9
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
76.61 %
DCI P3 uv
83.63 %
Rec 2020 xy
55.20 %
Rec 2020 uv
61.70 %

The RU7100 has a decent color gamut. It is not wide enough for great HDR performance, but it is still wider than most SDR TVs, and an improvement over last year's NU7100.

The 'Movie' EOTF cannot follow the input stimulus closely and produces less bright images.If you find HDR content too dark, you can try setting Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and Brightness to '5.' With all of these enabled, the image gets brighter, as shown here.

In 'Game' mode, the EOTF cannot follow the target curve closely and starts to roll-off relatively early, very similar to the 'Movie' mode EOTF.

Update 05/08/2019: We have retested the color gamut for the RU7100 after discovering an error in our results and have updated the scores to our new finding.

5.9
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
67.5 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
20.2 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
49.6 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
15.1 %

The RU7100 has disappointing color volume, which is expected for a TV without a wide color gamut. It is not a significant improvement over the NU7100 as it cannot produce bright saturated colors like those in a bright outdoor scene.

7.7
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.109 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.130 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.111 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.117 dE

The RU7100 has good gradient handling. Some moderate banding is noticeable in dark gray, green, and blue. This is hardly noticeable in person. Unlike higher-end Samsung models, setting Digital Clean View to 'Auto' didn't remove banding in our test image.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
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 %

There are no signs of temporary image retention, which is typical of VA panels.

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.

Picture Quality
Pixels
Motion
7.6
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
7.7 ms
100% Response Time
19.5 ms

Very good response time for the RU7100. Most transitions are fast, so there is only a very short blur trail behind fast-moving objects. In dark scenes, however, some smearing may be present due to the longer transition between darker shades, such as from 0% to 20%.

6.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
240 Hz

The RU7100 uses PWM to dim the backlight. Only when the backlight is set at max is there no flicker. The flicker frequency is 240Hz and was measured in 'Movie' mode with Auto Motion Plus disabled. Unfortunately, some TV settings have 120Hz flicker. Simply setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' changes the flicker to 120Hz. The 'Game' and 'Standard' picture modes have 120Hz flicker all the time, as shown here.

This changing flicker frequency has also been observed in other Samsung TVs like the Q60R.

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 RU7100 gives you the option to introduce flicker to make the image crisper. In 'Movie' mode, setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' changes the flicker of the backlight to 120Hz, as explained in the Flicker-Free box. If you don't want Motion Interpolation, set Judder Reduction to '0.'

Activating LED Clear Motion changes the flicker to 60Hz. Unfortunately, motion with 60Hz BFI doesn't look good, as you can see in the photo above. This happens because the pulse timing isn't very good. The backlight pulse catches the TV in mid-transition, resulting in the double-image seen in the photo.

In 'Game' mode, the backlight always flickers at 120Hz, and unfortunately can't be made to flicker at 60Hz.

7.0
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

The Samsung RU7100 can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 60Hz. To enable motion interpolation, set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' and adjust the Judder Reduction slider. Leave LED Clear Motion to off unless you want Black Frame Insertion.

Note that, like many Samsung TVs, simply setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' changes the backlight flicker from 240Hz to 120Hz, as explained in the Flicker-Free box.

Low-end Samsung TVs like the RU7100 do not have a Game Motion Plus option to add motion interpolation in 'Game' mode.

8.3
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
22.2 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
0.0 ms

The RU7100 is great at displaying content without stutter, even on low frame rate movies. The transition between frames appears smoother thanks to the slower response time.

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

Unfortunately, the Samsung UN55RU7100 cannot remove 24p judder from any source. We tried setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' and Judder Reduction to '0' but it didn't work. We also tried enabling Film Mode, but it didn't work either.

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

The Samsung RU7100 does not support AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate as the higher-end Q60R model does.

Inputs
9.9
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
10.8 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
76.2 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
10.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
10.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
10.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
10.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
77.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
74.5 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
N/A
1440p @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz