To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Samsung UE48HU7500 review

Samsung UE48HU7500
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1399
inc VAT for 48in model

A great-looking 4K TV at a reasonable price, but you’ll have to put in the work to get the best picture and 3D isn't great


Screen size: 48in, Native resolution: 3,480×2,160, Video inputs: 4x HDMI, SCART, composite, component, Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD, Dimensions: 660×1,072x27mm

The HU7500 is quite possibly one of Samsung’s most understated TVs yet. With its tiny bezel, modest Samsung logo and flat, silver stand, the minimal design is probably one of the more tasteful TVs we’ve seen from Samsung in recent months. It’s essentially a flat version of the HU8500, Samsung’s curved flagship 4K TV for 2014, minus a couple of settings. It’s also available in a wider range of sizes, spanning from a reasonable 48in (reviewed here) right up to a massive 75in. Without the curved panel, it’s also significantly cheaper. At the time of writing, the 55in HU7500, for instance, is £500 less than the 55in HU8500, making the flat HU7500 one of the better value 4K TVs we’ve tested so far.

For this review we tested the 48in model in the HU7500 range, but it’s also available in 55in (UE55HU7500), 65in (UE65HU7500) and 75in (UE75HU7500) screen sizes.  All models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We’re confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.

Curved panels are supposed to offer higher contrast levels than flat panels, but our testing suggests this isn’t necessarily true. For instance, on its default settings straight out of the box, the HU7500’s contrast ratio measured 3,389:1, which isn’t that far off the HU8500’s ratio of 3,808:1. This gave our night scenes in Star Trek plenty of detail, and the depths of space were dark and inky thanks to the TV’s low black level of 0.04cd/m2. You’ll want to increase the TV’s backlight level as soon as you turn it on, though, as the TV’s initial brightness measured a measly 23.18cd/m2 on our colour calibrator.

These results put the HU7500 on a roughly equal footing with the HU8500, but the HU7500’s lack of Samsung’s PurColour technology means colour accuracy isn’t quite as good straight out of the box. Our colour calibrator revealed it was showing just 83.1 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut on its default settings, which is about 10 per cent lower than the HU8500’s default setting and almost 20 per cent lower than Panasonic’s AX802B’s default settings. Red and Magenta coverage was the weakest colour area, but we managed to increase the coverage to a more respectable 98.2 per cent once we’d calibrated the TV, bringing it more in line with both the HU8500 and AX802B.

We had to switch to the Movie picture mode to do it, though, as the Standard picture mode didn’t have a 10-point white balance option. Once we’d adjusted the interval level to 100 per cent, we changed the red level to +27, green to +9 and blue to -20. This produced a much more balanced and even colour coverage across the gamut, although reds were still a fraction short.

As one of Samsung’s top-flight TVs, there are plenty of additional picture settings to choose from, including basic contrast, brightness, backlight, sharpness, colour and tint options on top of more advanced flesh tone, dynamic contrast, gamma and colour space settings. Samsung’s Smart LED also lets you adjust the brightness level of individual on-screen areas to improve contrast. When we tried this out in Star Trek, it certainly helped darken areas of space round individual planets, but we’d say the black tone setting was arguably more effective.

We were particularly impressed with 4K upscaling. Blu-ray films still looked sharp and even Full HD TV channels were surprisingly crisp. Up close, we could see clear signs of excessive smoothening taking place to help aid the upscaling process, but hair, clothes and skin tones still looked clear and well-defined from a normal viewing distance when the Digital Clean View and MPEG noise filter options were set to Auto. Occasionally we saw messy patches of noise and artefacts, but on the whole we were much more pleased with the HU7500’s upscaling than what we saw on the HU8500.

It wasn’t completely perfect, though, as standard definition TV was riddled with soft edges. Turning the noise reduction settings to High made very little difference overall. This isn’t surprising given the huge gap in resolution, but you’ll want to stick to as many Full HD channels as possible.

Naturally, 4K content looked fantastic. The open-source film Tears of Steel was bursting with detail and our other demo clips of cityscapes and dense jungles looked stunning. In the skyscrapers of New York, for instance, we could see each individual office block window as well as each taxi and pedestrian with perfect clarity. It’s this level of precision that really sets 4K content apart from its Full HD counterparts, as everything is much more defined.

We were a little disappointed that the HU7500 wasn’t able to play our .MOV version of Tears of Steel completely smoothly, though, as a couple of times it had to pause for loading, although we had no problems with MP4 files. The 24p footage also felt jerky without Samsung’s Motion Plus frame interpolation feature. Luckily, there are plenty of pre-set Motion Plus modes to choose from to help smooth over any jerky camera pans, but we found the Custom setting, where you can adjust the blur and judder reduction to your liking, to be the most effective.

If catch-up services are more important to you than terrestrial TV, you’re in luck as Samsung’s Smart TV hub remains one of the best around. It’s been slightly refined since we last saw it, as the TV Guide has now been separated from the rest of the smart services and has its own dedicated button on the HU7500’s remotes. Pressing the Smart Hub button also brings up a small row of recently visited channels and apps rather than the entire smart menu, making it easier and quicker to access your favourite content.

There’s a huge range of pre-installed apps, with even more in Samsung’s app store. BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, Demand 5, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Wuaki.TV, BlinkBox, BFI Player, Digital Theatre, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype and a web browser should mean there’s something for everyone.

Samsung’s On-Demand window has also been improved, as it’s now much clearer how you can actually watch the populated content that appears on the main Film and TV Shows page. All of them were tied to the Wuaki.TV app during our testing, though, even after linking our Netflix and Amazon Instant Video accounts, which isn’t particularly useful if you don’t have a Wuaki account. We could also do without the Games panel.

The Multimedia tab, meanwhile, shows content from Vevo, Dailymotion and TuneIn Radio. This is also where you can connect your TV to other devices, including those in the cloud, other PCs on your home network and mobile phones and USB devices. The HU7500 supports all the main file formats, including MP3, WMA, OGG, FLAC, WAV and M4A audio files and MP4, MKV, WMV, DIVX, XVID, AVI and MOV video files.

There are plenty of ports, too, including four HDMI 2.0 ports, SCART, component and composite inputs, an optical S/PDIF output, a headphone jack, an Ethernet port, a CI card slot and a port for Samsung’s One Connect box. This doesn’t come bundled with the TV sadly, but this is essentially the same dedicated set-top box we saw on the HU8500, which contains more connections than what’s currently on the back of the TV. It will also enable you to upgrade the HU7500 to support future Samsung connection boxes if the HDMI 2.0 standard gets replaced. The HU7500 also has a built-in HEVC decoder for 4K Netflix streaming, MHL support and integrated Wi-Fi.

The only disappointing thing about the UE48HU7500 is its active 3D. It comes with two pairs of glasses in the box, but when we watched our test scenes in Avatar, only the centre seemed to be in focus. There was lots of crosstalk toward the edges of the screen, and text and the Na’vi subtitles were difficult to read. We weren’t able to improve it with the TV’s 3D settings either, as the only option available was adjusting the 3D perspective, which simply made it worse. It wasn’t as bad as the Panasonic TX-AS740B‘s passive 3D, but it’s still disappointing to see this on such a high-end set.

The HU7500 is one of the cheaper and better-looking 4K TVs out there and its smart services are second to none. However, it’s not completely perfect as sub-par 3D and middling default picture quality means you’ll have to spend time tweaking the settings to get the best out of it. We definitely recommend it over Samsung’s curved HU8500 TV, but for us, the Panasonic Viera TX-50AX802B is still the 4K TV to buy, especially since it’s just received another price cut and is now available for £1,499.

Screen size48in
Native resolution3,480×2,160
Aspect ratio16:9
Contrast ratioN/A
Video inputs4x HDMI, SCART, composite, component
Audio inputsN/A
Audio outputsOptical S/PDIF, 3.5mm stereo
TunerFreeview HD, Freesat HD
Streaming TV servicesBBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, Demand 5, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Wuaki.TV, BlinkBox
Media StreamingWi-Fi
Price including VAT£1,399
WarrantyFive-years RTB
Part codeUE48HU7500

Read more