Samsung KU6500 Review – 2016 Model Samsung Curved 4K UHD TV Series 6 (UN65KU6500, UN55KU6500, UN49KU6500)
Samsung KU6500 is part of Samsung’s 2016 Series 6, the entry level of Samsung’s 2016 4K UHD TV lineup. Look at last year’s model or 2015 models, it is a successor of JU6500. But as newer models, of course there are some improvements and additional features that make its performance better. Look at the other model of Samsung’s 2016 UHD TV lineup, it is identical to KU6300 we have reviewed before. But the main differences to KU6300, Samsung KU6500 come with curved panel that certainly will improve poor performance of its brother in term of side viewing angle. Unlike KU6300 that comes with many variant of screen sizes, KU6500 is only available in 3 variant of screen sizes, UN65KU6500 with 55”, UN55KU6500 with 55” and UN49KU6500 with 49”. With the same screen sizes, KU6500 is sold about $150 – $250 more expensive, depends on the size of their screen.
Like most model of 4K TV released in 2016, Samsung KU6500 also brought the concept of HDR inside. This certainly is a significant improvement than previous model JU6500. The other highlight is about their attractive smart TV. But unfortunately, there is no 3D technology behind it. To produces superior HDR 4K quality, there are some advanced Samsung technology that support its performance like UHD Dimming, PurColor, Auto Depth Enhancing, HDR Premium and many others. In term of connectivity, although not as complete as higher series of Samsung 4K TV lineup, with 3 HDMI and 2 USB ports, I think they are sufficient to cover most of your HD Devices in your home.
Samsung KU6500 Specification
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||49” 55” 65”|
|Backlight||Slim Fled (Direct LED)|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Yes|
|4K Up-scaling||UHD Up-Scaling|
|Motion rate||MR 120 (60 Hz native)|
|Platform||Samsung Smart TV with Smart Hub|
|Key Apps||Full Browser, Cloud Games, Smart View, and more|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Touch Remote (TM1650A)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Speaker Type||Down Firing w/Bass Reflex|
|Total Power||20 watts|
|Sound Effect||DTS Premium Sound 5.1|
The Performance of Samsung KU6500
As we mentioned above, the excepting of the range of side viewing angle, what offered by Samsung KU6500 is not much different to KU6300 we reviewed previously, whether it is about picture quality, HDR ability, or Smart TV feature.
HDR ability is the highlight of 2016 4K TV model in 2016 including Samsung KU6500. Of course, every user want to know what kind of HDR quality that heralded in 4K TV campaign in 2016. We All know, HDR offers more detail picture quality in shadow and night scenes. It is originally used on digital camera in last couple years. In 2016, the number of 4K TV manufacturers want to apply this technology in their TV lineup. Of course, combination between 4K and HDR promise new experience in enjoying home entertainment.
Talking about HDR quality offered by KU6500, it actually is not much different to what offered by its brother KU6300. We should remember, it is an entry level TV and of course we should not be too hopeful great HDR performance of KU6500 like what offered by top level models Samsung SUHD TV lineup. For producing good HDR quality, required up to 1000 nits peak luminance. But what produced by Samsung KU6500 is still below this standardization. So does black level delivered, it also doesn’t meet the criteria required good HDR quality. With this performance, this course doesn’t meet the user expectation about HDR. But once again, it is only an entry level 4K TV. Comes with HDR ability has become its own advantages of KU6500 than previous model JU6500. Although it delivers mediocre ability and doesn’t meet the users expectation in high quality HDR, at least it delivers better dynamic range than most of 2015 SDR 4K TVS.
Moving on standard picture quality, what offered by Samsung KU6500 can be said great for its class. The support of UHD Diming and Direct LED backlight help improves black level of KU6500. Like its brother KU6300, Samsung KU6500 uses Direct LED as their backlight and this course makes more effective the work of UHD Dimming when comes to contrast. The negative point, this makes color and contrast look degraded from side viewing angle. However, the use of curved panel is very effective minimize color and contrast degradation from side viewing angle. So, where ever you are watching from, contrast and color still looks great without degradation. In addition to improve the contrast effectively, the use of direct lit also help improves range color spectrum so color produced richer and more dynamic. In term of color itself, there is PurColor Technology behind it. This makes color pops very well on its screen and make easy in calibration. Overall, picture produced by KU6500 is great in class especially about black level and peak brightness, it is including one of the strongest in class.
Moving on UHD Up-scaling, this we can talk it is a highlight of Samsung KU6500. Special about this feature, Samsung doesn’t distinguish between one another of their 4K TV lineup. The result achieved by Top model Samsung KS9500 is not much different to what achieved by entry level like KU6300 or KU6500. When it comes to up-scaling full HD contents like Blu-Ray or other media contents, KU6500 finished its job superbly. Even for HD contents or SD contents like TV media or formatted DVD movies, what is done by KU6500 is also the same superbly and this is better than what you see on most HDTVs. And this course meets your expectation in buying 4K TV although there is Sony 4K TV as a serious rival in this regard.
If Samsung TV is great in term of UHD Up-scaling and contrast, otherwise in term of Motion Picture, Samsung failed to give the best even for top models SUHD TV. Samsung KU6500 is only powered by Motion Rate 120Hz based on native 60 Hz refresh rate panel, the result certainly is less satisfactory. Motion blur is still slightly noticeable when it used for watching sport or fast movies, moreover when playing 24 fps contents, judder certainly is more. But even s, Samsung gives you an option to activate Auto Motion Plus feature for minimizing or even eliminating the judder.
Talking about Smart TV, this course becomes a plus point of Samsung KU6500 series. It may not get Samsung Tizen OS like SUHD TV models, but instead features Smart Hub suite as its platform. Basically, it is similar to last year version but as newer version, there is a bit change about layout designed. A new, there is game tab as a shortcut to access Major TV pages that contains a lot of cloud games. Smart Hub allows you to organize apps on main home page according to your wishes. The benefit, it also allows multiple users where each member of your family can login individually and makes different setting according to individual wishes. In term of performance, there is two important point plus compared to last year version. First, it is already supported by a quad core processor that course makes its performance faster and more responsive. The second is about Smart Touch Remote where this will makes you wondering when browsing on the internet or organizing, accessing and operating apps.
If about Smart TV there are some benefits points than last year models, in term of connectivity is quite the contrary. There is reduction about connectivity particularly on HDMI and USB ports. The predecessors JU6500 series is equipped with 4 HDMI and 3 USB ports while KU6500 is only equipped with 3 HDMI and 2 USB Ports. Although this is not bad, but for today, this course is lacking particularly if you have a lot of HD Devices. Fortunately, KU65400 supports external upgradeable one connect box so the issue about lacking about connectivity can be solved.
Samsung KU6500 gives you two options for connecting on the internet, via Wi-Fi and Ethernet. But for today, we certainly prefer uses wireless connectivity than cable. And fortunately it is already equipped with 802.11 ac built in Wi-Fi where it claimed 3 faster than last previous version 802.11n. And this is very helpful when you use it for streaming 4K contents or playing cloud games where required high speed connection.
As an entry level of 4K TVs, what offered by Samsung KU6500 can be said great in class. Color and contrast are good for standard dynamic range picture. But in term of HDR, dynamic contrast produced has not met the criteria which have been standardized in 2016. This mean, the peak luminance delivered by KU6500 is still below 1000 nits. So does about color gamut, what produced by KU6300 is still far below what reached by Samsung SUHD TV lineup. Because of it comes with curved panel, contrast and color degradation when viewers watching from side viewing angle can be minimized and this is an advantage of KU6500 to its brother KU6300. Overall, picture quality that produced is great for its class, but not for its HDR performance. Nonetheless, it is still better than most 2015 SDR TVs. And we certainly should be remember, it is an entry level where its price is more reasonable and much cheaper, so we should not look at Samsung SUHD TV lineup for performance that offered by KU6500.
The best features offered by Samsung KU6500 are about Smart TV and UHD Up-scaling. Performance offered is fantastic for its class. This course meets the people expectation in buying 4K Smart TV. Moreover, in term of smart TV, it is already powered by a quad core processor and equipped with Smart Touch remote like the higher series, this will make you wondering about the features provided and more comfort when operating. But unfortunately, it is not equipped with adequate number about HDMI and USB ports. Although it is already equipped with 3 HDMI and 2 USB Port, for today, this course is lacking.
- Smart TV is Attractive and Responsive
- Great contrast and Black level in class
- Great 4K Up-scaling performance
- Wider Range Side Viewing Angle
- Affordable price
- HDR Quality doesn't meet the expectation
- 60 Hz native refresh rate panel is inadequate
- Peak brightness achieved below standardization of good quality HDR
- No 3D