Samsung RU7100 4K HDR TV Review
55” UN55RU7100 Ultra HD Smart LED TV
See full review below
Model year: 2019
Screen size reviewed: 55”
- Excellent contrast and black level performance – good shadow detail
- Accurate color reproduction
- Excellent gaming TV, very low input lag – approx. 10 ms
- Very affordable name brand 4K HDR TV
- Contrast and color saturation loss at wide viewing angles
- Insufficient HDR peak brightness
- No Dolby Vision HDR support
Bottom Line: Samsung’s RU7100 is a good entry-level 4K TV. It offers very good contrast and black level performance. Color reproduction is quite good and tonally accurate; although not as vivid as I would normally like to see. But hey, this is a budget model, and I shouldn’t expect more than what it has to offer. Samsung’s Tizen OS smart TV Platform will get you well connected to plenty of apps with an almost endless supply of entertainment options.
On the downside, HDR performance was below optimum performance due to the lack of peak brightness capability. However, I could still see the picture enhancements that HDR (high dynamic range) has to offer when compared to SDR (standard dynamic range) content.
- With stand: (W x H x D) 48.7″ x 31.2″ x 10.3″
- Without stand: (W x H x D) 48.7″ x 28.1″ x 2.3″
- With stand: 39.0 lbs.
- Without stand: 38.1 lbs.
Warranty: One year parts and labor.
For 2019 Samsung has released a variety of 4K TV classes which consists of the QLED high-end displays, premium UHD and standard/entry UHD level models. The company’s top tier models fall into the QLED series which contains their best technology such as quantum dot LEDs, which greatly enhances color reproduction.
However, if you don’t want to spend the extra money it takes to acquire one of Samsung’s high-end or premium models, yet still want a TV with good overall performance and is equipped with the latest buzz-word features such as 4K and high dynamic range (HDR), in addition to a well-rounded smart TV platform, then Samsung may have just what you’re looking for in one of their standard/entry-level TVs such as the one under review here: the RU7100.
This model is available in several screen sizes which include: 43”, 50”, 55”, 58”, 65”, and 75-inches. The RU7300 is the curved model for this TV and can be had in 55” and 65” screen sizes.
Design and Features
Even though the RU7100 is a budget model, it is still well made and has solid construction. The rear panel is made of plastic but does appear or feel cheaply made, and by-the-way, even Samsung’s higher-end models rear panels are made of plastic, which is typical manufacturing industry construction for flat-panel TVs and helps keep costs down.
The RU7100’s semi-gloss screen is illuminated with edge-lit LED backlighting with no local dimming feature. In my opinion and experience when local dimming is employed with edge-lit designs, the local dimming is not very effective since the LED’s are placed along the edges of the screen instead of directly behind it.
The borders (bezel) of the RU7100 are reasonably thin measuring just over a 1/2” thick in width. The maximum panel depth is approximately 2-1/4” at its thickest point.
The stand (feet) of the display panel are well made and give the TV very good stability with a minimal amount of wobble when I gently rocked the panel back-and-forth from its top edge.
The supplied remote control is a basic black-plastic wand of average size having a comfortable fit in my hand. The remote has several clusters of buttons that allow for simplified operation of the TV. This latest design now has three new quick-access buttons for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video. The remote does not have a voice control feature and is not backlit.
- 4K UHD Processor with UHD Upscaling upconverts high-def and standard-def video to near-4K quality
- PurColor technology for better color processing
- Ultra Slim Array edge-lit LED backlight with UHD Dimming for very good contrast and black levels
- High Dynamic Range (HDR10, HDR10+, HLG) for extended picture contrast and brightness when viewing HDR content – no Dolby Vision HDR support
- Motion Rate 120 blur reduction for smoother fast action content (60Hz actual refresh rate)
- Two 10-watt built-in stereo speakers
Smart TV features include:
- Support for voice control of compatible apps and works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa compatible voice control assistants
- Quad-Core processor lets you quickly access smart TV content and functions
- mobile-to-TV wireless mirroring
- 4 HDMI 2.0b inputs – HDCP 2.2 compliant
- 1 Optical digital out
- 1 Component/composite input – shared
- 2 USB 2.0 inputs
- 1 Ethernet port
- 1 RF input for antenna/cable signals
- Dual-band 802.11ac built-in Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a compatible speaker or set of headphones
Picture Mode: Movie
Alternative picture mode: Natural – for a more dynamic and vibrant picture without being harsh
Color Tone: Warm 2
Auto Motion Plus: off – use at your own discretion
Contrast Enhancer: off – use at your own discretion
The UN55RU7100 delivered very satisfying picture quality. Images were sharp and refined with very good detail and clarity. These observations held true for all HD content I viewed on this TV which included 4K HDR, 4K and 1080p video sources. And if you still watch 480p sources such as standard DVD’s, you’ll still enjoy a very pleasing picture image, as was the case with my 480p demo content.
HDR performance on the RU7100 was nothing to write home about and was lackluster in appearance and fell well short of what I’d expect to see in an HDR TV with top-notch performance. This issue was due to the TVs’ lack of peak brightness capabilities which is needed to properly produce HDR content.
Speaking of brightness, the RU7100 does have sufficient light output with standard HD content and should have no problem displaying a watchable image in moderately lit rooms with natural lighting.
Color reproduction was solid, delivering accurate shades and tones. Although the color palette did lack the vividness and richness I prefer to see in high-def images. The fact that this TV does not have a wide color gamut, hinders its ability to produce a broader color spectrum that a wider color gamut can offer.
Of all the RU7100’s picture attributes, contrast and black levels are where this TV delivered its best performance. Black levels in the content I typically use for this part of the picture evaluation were impressive. Black levels were uniformly deep and well saturated which will really be noticed when viewing this TV in a dark room.
Black screen uniformity was good on this TV. I did not see any light bleed from the edges of the screen. However, flashlighting was present, but very minimal when viewing this TV with a black screen, and should virtually go unnoticed when watching this TV in a dark room with normal picture content.
Motion handling appeared to be decent while viewing my fast-action demo content of sporting events and movie scenes. The motion was fluid and I did not see any motion blur.
Side angle viewing suffered the usual contrast and color saturation loss that is common to most LED/LCD panels. This means careful seating placement is important to get the best possible picture image.
The RU7100’s sound quality came as no surprise, producing thin and lean sound with limited bass output. On the other hand, the sound did have some positive attributes such as clean and discernible output which was evident with dialog. The TV will also play reasonably loud without much distortion.
The UN55RU7100 is a fine basic entry-level 4K Ultra HD TV. It offers good performance and features for its price point. Its overall picture quality will satisfy most consumers who aren’t overly concerned with the absence of “above average” picture performance.
Its HDR performance could be better and falls well short of what a top-performing HDR TV is capable of. This deficiency is primarily due to its lack of high peak brightness output which is needed for good HDR performance. That being said, if you desire an HDR TV with very good to great HDR performance, you will have to look elsewhere. A good place to start would be with Samsung’s high-end QLED series if you wish to stay with the Samsung brand name.
Other than what’s mentioned above, I have no other major gripes about the RU7100. Furthermore, this Samsung 4K TV can hold its own and is comparable to other name brand entry-level models currently available, and is worth your consideration.
You may also like this review of Samsung’s Q70R QLED 4K TV.