The Samsung 85″Class TU7000 LED 4K UHD Smart Tizen TV (model number UN85TU70000F) is a mouthful of a name perfectly fitting for this product’s equally gargantuan size.
Genuinely, your imagination is likely not doing justice to just how big this screen really is. I own an HD projector that produces an image that is literally the same size as this screen, so it’s hardly an exaggeration to call this TV a home theater experience.
But while Samsung’s 85 inches is impressive, this is still just a huge Smart TV and not a full package home theater experience. Today, I’ll review the Class TU7000 series picture quality, sound, smart features, and overall performance to help you decide if this TV is right for you.
Screen and Picture Quality
The Samsung Class TU7000 has a 4K LED crystal display that supports high dynamic range (HDR) at a maximum 60-hertz refresh rate. All of this is presented on a truly massive 85-inch diagonal screen.
Samsung also offers the Class TU7000 Series in 43, 50, 55, 58, 60, 65, and 75 inches, so if this TV sounds like something you’re interested in, you won’t necessarily have to clear six feet of wall space to fit it in your living room. But, for the purpose of this review, I’ll be talking specifically about the largest model and all of the benefits and drawbacks that come with it.
As soon as you power up the TV, the 4K LED display looks immaculate. Nevertheless, when you’re this excited about a big fancy TV screen, you’ll want to spend some time in the picture quality settings.
Unfortunately, these menus for picture settings are a bit of a mixed bag in terms of navigation and what they offer.
There are five main picture settings to choose from, with the default setting being Natural, which is the only one I can imagine anyone using. The other four include Dynamic, Standard (not to be confused with Natural), Movie, and Filmmaker mode.
Dynamic and Standard appear to be slight adjustments on brightness and contrast, while the Filmmaker and Movie mode are glorified Instagram filters that appear to emulate film grain.
Beyond that, if you want to adjust your TV’s picture, you must navigate to Expert Settings, where you can control things like brightness, contrast, and sharpness. About a third of the options within the Expert Settings, such as white balance and color space settings, are completely unavailable for some reason.
They are displayed as options within the menu, but will not allow you to select them. While this is confusing to say the least, thankfully, the TV doesn’t need much help when it comes to looking nice.
One last aspect of picture quality I’d like to mention is about the screen brightness adjustment. While the main brightness setting can be found within the Expert Settings of Picture Settings, the Samsung Class TU7000 also offers Brightness Optimization. This setting is under Power and Energy Saving rather than Picture, and can automatically adjust picture brightness based on ambient light in the room.
As someone with a particularly sunny living room, I was interested in trying this feature out but was skeptical of what it would be like watching a TV adjust to brightness the same way my phone does. At first, I had trouble discerning if this feature even worked at all since the change in brightness is so subtle, but after a few quick tests in the settings menu at different ambient light levels, the brightness of the screen adapted immediately.
The adaptive brightness has stayed on ever since, and the adjustments it makes are so gradual that I have yet to notice them happening at all.
Finally, I subjected the TV to a variety of visual calibration tests. It passed for black uniformity, motion artifacts, local dimming, and upscaling with no noticeable deficiencies.
The Class TU7000 series has built-in speakers and a single digital optical audio output. Like the picture modes available, Samsung offers a Standard sound mode with options for Adaptive Sound or Amplify. Amplify does exactly what you would expect and makes the volume a bit louder, while Adaptive Sound allegedly works the same way as Brightness Optimization does but with ambient sound.
However, I found Adaptive Sound much more difficult to test reliably, and it seemingly always defaulted to just raising the volume like the Amplify setting.
The built-in speakers are good enough to pull their weight in the overall viewing experience, but they’re also nothing to write home about, especially when compared to the screen display.
So to get the cinematic home theater experience I referenced at the beginning of this review, you will need to invest in some sort of sound system, and, of course, Samsung accommodates for just that.
For external audio, there’s a Digital Optical Audio output port, as well as Bluetooth for wireless speakers. Your best choice will be to use the HDMI ARC port to send audio back to an AV receiver.
With this TV being a Samsung product, it’s powered by the Tizen operating system, which has a user interface similar to most other smart TVs.
The Home menu popup covers the lower third of the screen and can be accessed while something else is playing. This popup offers quick access to all the apps you’d expect to find, like Netflix and Hulu, as well as settings, sources, and a search function.
Scrolling down on the Home menu will bring it up to fullscreen, but I have yet to find a reason not to keep it minimized. The fullscreen homepage is a mishmash of free content available on Samsung TV Plus and sponsored content available on other apps.
And yes, you read that correctly: Samsung TV Plus is its own app. It even gets its own button on the remote control. When you push said button, it navigates to a TV guide with a couple of hundred live channels.
Since these channels all come for free with the TV, you obviously shouldn’t expect much, but you will get a few news channels and movies. Even though having a TV guide is practically nostalgic at this point, I can’t help but feel like Samsung TV Plus is just an extension of the homepage, because it might as well be.
Consolidating Samsung TV Plus icons and remote buttons into the home screen would cut down on clutter, and you could just as easily offer live TV options.
Belongs in a Museum: The Remote Control and SmartThings App
We need to talk about this terrible remote control, because it’s easily the worst part of an otherwise great product.
The button layout, despite having options for Netflix and Prime Video, feels like a relic from ten or twenty years ago. Why are there dedicated buttons for play, pause, fast-forward, and rewind when the arrow buttons can already do all of those things? Did we really need a third of the remote taken up by number keys? There are colorful buttons labeled A-D that are holdovers from previous smart TV generations that don’t even do anything (Editor’s note: they do in the UK, we use them on live TV broadcasts).
All the buttons are crammed so close together that I am constantly fat-fingering the wrong ones!
While the physical remote is less than great, it segues into another, even worse smart feature worth talking about: Samsung’s SmartThings app. The SmartThings app is technically capable of fully replacing the remote that comes with the TV, but you shouldn’t because the experience is horrendous.
Using a phone’s touchscreen lacks the tactile sensation of buttons on a real remote, so it’s difficult to tell which function of the TV you are going to control. Operating the virtual TV remote requires frequently looking back and forth between your phone and the TV screen to check what you are doing.
Time to Upsize Your TV?
When it comes to smart TVs, the Tizen-powered Samsung Class TU7000 Series has firmly established itself as a safe bet. The device’s performance is matched by its sleek appearance, so you get exactly what you expect.
The only thing I have managed to complain about is its undeniably dated remote control. This is a smart TV designed for the streaming era, yet a third of the remote control’s real estate is dedicated to changing live TV channels. While this is certainly annoying, it isn’t enough to ruin an otherwise great experience.
The 85-inch version is awe-inspiring. If your living space can accommodate a screen of this size, it is absolutely worth considering. For me personally, as an avid cinephile and gamer, it comes as a quality of life improvement.
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