Samsung KS9500 Review (UN55KS9500, UN65KS9500, UN78KS9500)
Samsung KS9500 is part of Samsung Series 9 and the second tier of Samsung’s2016 SUHD TV lineup. What offered by it is almost similar to KS9000 where it was I reviewed previously except about side viewing angle where with curved panel, KS9500 series offers wider range of Side Viewing Angle. In the market, it is available on 3 screen sizes which are UN55KS9500 with 55 Inch, UN65KS9500 with 65” and UN78KS9500 with 78” screen size. Compared to top level model KS9800, it is lacking of Multi zones Full Array Display that offers superb performance in black level and contrast.
Compare to the predecessor JS95000, specs and features that offered by them are virtually identical. But there is a big change that we should note. The first, Samsung KS9500 comes without 3D technology that of course this becomes a big downside as top class models of 4K TV. But instead, it comes with HDR technology that offers special experience in watching 4K movies with clearer and more details picture quality in shadow and dark scenes.
Samsung KS9500 Key Specification
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||55” (UN55KS9500), 65” (UN65KS950), 78” (UN78KS9500)|
|Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming with Precision Black|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Ultimate|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot support 10 bit panel|
|4K Up-scaling||UHD Up-Scaling|
|Motion rate||Supreme MR240 (Native 120 Hz)|
|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 Audio Output||60 Watts|
|Sound Effect||DTS Premium Sound 5.1|
The Performance of Samsung KS9500
As mentioned, KS9500 offers virtually identical features and specs than its brother KS9000 series. A major difference is about their panel type where KS9500 comes with curved panel while KS9000 comes with flat panel. The result certainly is KS9500 offers wider range of side viewing angle than KS9000. The excepting to about side viewing angle, what offered by them are similar.
We will first discuss about picture quality because the main consideration of people in buying TV certainly is about picture quality. Moreover, in 2016, All TV manufacturers have made big campaign about HDR on their 4K lineup that course this will be more interesting to be discussed.
One of the strong points of Samsung KS9500 is about picture quality. To produce high quality images in HDR or SDR, it is powered by the number Samsung most advanced technologies and one of them is HDR 1000. It is a technology that has a task to handle HDR signals. As we know, to get HDR Premium label, a 4K TV must meet specific standardization that set by UHD Alliance. And with HDR 1000 technology and the supports of other technology like Supreme UHD Dimming, Precision Black, Ultra Black, and Peak Illuminator Ultimate, what produced by KS9500 really meet what standardized by UHD Alliance.
1000 nits peak brightness and 0.05 nits black level is the minimum value that should be met by a 4KTV for producing good HDR picture quality. KS9500 with the number advanced technologies behind it can pr0duce 0.017 nits for black level and more than 1100 nits for peak brightness. This value certainly is far above the standard. So for contrast level whether it is about peak brightness or black level, the performance of Samsung KS9500 is undoubtedly.
But of course, HDR is not about contrast only. Color performance also has a big impact on the HDR quality that produced. Talking about color of course we will talk about color gamut and depth of color. Fortunately, Samsung KS9500 is powered by quantum dot technology that can cover up to 93% DCI P3 color space. Of course, this meet the width of color gamut required by good HDR quality. In other hand, KS9500 also support 10 bit color, this means it can delivers more than 10 billion shades of color, far above 8 bit color that delivers about 16 millions shades of color only. As we know, the higher number of shades of color, the color gradation is smoother and color that created also looks more accurate.
With superb performance in HDR, of course SDR picture quality that produced is also amazing. This puts KS9500 series in the ranks of top models 4K TVs in 2016. But as consequence, KS9500 is sold more expensive than almost 4K TV models that available in the market.
From lowest model of Samsung UHD TV lineup to top model Samsung SUHD TV lineup, the performance of UHD Up-scaling Engine that offered by them are virtually identical, that is great. And we all know, most of the contents that available in the market still have 1080p to lower resolution, so it is one important aspect that should be considered in buying 4K TV. Moreover, with the advents of HDR, some contents creator will prefer to re-master their contents in HDR than 4K. And of course, bandwidth and the level of difficulty is one of their reasons. But with the great UHD Up-scaling engine offered by KS9500, all of these are not a big problem. The perfect result is achieved when the source is full HD 1080p contents like from Blu-Ray media. The image resulted is clear and details as great as native 4K source. So does when the source is HD contents like from cable TV, the result looks clear and details and better than when you play them in full HD TV. Even from SD contents 480p, the result also still looks clear and details.
One of the other important aspects that should be considered in buying 4K TV is about Motion Clarity. This has to do when it is displaying video contents with a lot of fast scenes like sport programs or fast movies. For this case, Samsung KS9500 is powered by Supreme Motion Rate 240 Hz based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Compared to lower models Series 8, there is addition “Supreme” on Motion Rate 240. Actually, this has no big impact on its performance because the most important point that has great impact is about native frequency of their refresh rate panel. But at least, the result is slight better than what offered by KS8000 or KS8500 series. With other words, there are not many or even almost no blurs appears on the screen of KS9500 when it is used for watching sport programs. For this case, the performance of KS9500 is also including the one the best.
Smart TV platform also becomes something “special” of Samsung KS9500. With Tizen OS that is pretty strong in all aspects of smart TV platform like Usability, Web Browser, Design, Extra Features, and Remote Control, it offers attractive smart TV Platform. So does about performance, with the support of Quad Processor behind it, it is also responsive and offers faster respond time than Samsung Smart TV platform featured by KU series or most of smart TV platforms from other brands.
Compared to last year version, there are many changes that makes it is more responsive and easier to use. As example on Smart Hub Menu, it has been upgraded and revamped so make you easier to organize your favorite apps. Web browser also was upgraded so works better than last year version. The new feature that is not less interesting is about Cloud Gaming that allows you to play tons of Cloud Games without a console. The benefit, you just will be charged with pay per title that of course more efficient than you must pay for monthly subscription.
No less important is about Remote Control because the ease of operation also depends on it. Fortunately, Samsung KS9500 is equipped with Smart Touch Remote that has a lot of useful functions. One of plus points is point and click functions that has a function like mouse on PC. And of course this makes users easier when browsing on the internet. The other interesting function is voice navigation. But the downside, the remote is too small, so it takes times to get used.
There is no AV IN or Component IN as major connectivity of KS9500. But considering most of home entertainment media use HDMI or USB port as the major connectivity, of course this is not a big issue for this time. And I think, 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports provided by KS9500 is quite enough to cover your devices. But even so, if you need more HDMI or USB ports to cover your other devices, Samsung also has provided additional external connectivity called One Mini Box. The benefit, it is upgradable. This means if there is an upgraded on the version HDMI or other ports, you just need upgrade your box without buy new one. In addition to mentioned, there is also Ethernet port and Built-in WI-Fi as the connectivity for accessing internet. Additionally, there is also built-in Bluetooth that have multi functions.
Samsung KS9500 can be said a perfect 4K TV in 2016. It offers all what premium class 4K TVs should do. Amazing Picture Quality in HDR or non HDR, great performance UHD Up-scaling Engine, Attractive Smart TV, Impressive audio performance, and more, all of them attached to KS9500. One that becomes a big downside of it that is about 3D technology. Without 3D technology, of course this is a something very unfortunate for top class 4K TVs like KS9500. But of course Samsung has their own reasons to omit 3D technology for their 2016 lineup.
Separated from it downside about 3D, Samsung KS9500 is one of the best 4K TVs in 2016 that offers pretty strong performance in all aspects of picture quality and Smart TV. With more expensive price than other most 4K TVs that available in the market, this will not make you feel any regret or remorse have spent more money to get it.
- Great HDR Perfomance
- Excellent Peak White and Contrast
- Solid Color Performance
- Responsive Smart TV
- Nice Physical Design
- Lacks of 3D Technology
- Smart Remote too small and no traditional clicker