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As a manufacturer primarily of consumer electronics, Samsung Electronics has consistently impressed us with the value and quality of its products. In the home entertainment niche, the company remains steadfast, and the Samsung QN55Q70RAFXZA we reviewed earlier remains a favorite in the big-screen realm.
Now, they’re offering budget friendly option in the Samsung UN55RU7100FXZA that’s a very strong option in the mid-size category, with excellent contrast and color.
Our review unit is a 55-inch TV that’s part of the 7 Series released in 2019, alongside the flagship Q950R QLED TVs – Samsung’s monstrously large 8K panels. The UN55RU7100FXZA smart TV offers 4K resolution, HDR support, excellent audio quality and smart TV experience that’s way ahead of its closest competitors.
The Samsung RU7100 Series has something for everyone, ranging from the compact 43-inch Samsung UN43RU7100FXZA to the super-wide 75-inch Samsung UN75RU7100FXZA with the usual sizes in between (50, 55, 58, and 65 inches). We’re reviewing the 55-inch version that’s fairly attractive and has average-size bezels. On the back of the TV is a charcoal-grey, textured panel, which is better looking compared to the basic, matte-black panels found on similarly priced panels.
The set is supported by a pair of attachable feet cut from sturdy plastic with a gray, faux-metallic sheen. It’s worth noting that 55-inches is quite idea for a 4K display, perhaps the best. At 65-inches, your ideal viewing distance will be roughly 6 feet. Again, the RU7100 is light enough to be easily assembled but you’ll need an extra hand to move it around.
This TV weighs just 44 pounds, so you can’t pick it up unassisted, and the 48.8 x 31.6 x 14-inch measurements makes it a good fit for a large living room. In case you want to hook it up to a wall, there are 200 x 200 mm VESA mount holes around the back.
The Samsung U7100 comes with a single connector panel on the back-right hand side, a few inches from the edge. On that panel you’ll find three HDMI ports (one with ARC support), two USB ports, an optical digital-audio output, an RF connector for the antennae and cable, as well as a LAN port for wired networking.
For wireless connection you have 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth and other proprietary sharing options including support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and ConnectShare.
The UN55RU7100FXZA’s 55-inch panel offers a set of robust features, with 4K resolution and a decent HDR support as well as Samsung’s PurColor Spectrum technology that allows the set deliver more vibrant colors. The panel delivers acceptable color and brightness, but without local dimming, you’ll experience unwanted backlighting issues that might hamper HDR support.
Accurate colors and strong contrast make BBC’s Planet Earth II look very good on the RU7100. Everything from greens and yellow-greens of the foliage and the blues and blue-greens of the water bodies on the “Islands” episode look gorgeous and natural. Also, fine details like tree bark and fur are crisp and very sharp on the TV, when viewed under direct sunlight and in shade.
When you connect the TV to an Xbox One X, the gaming console is instantly ready to go, with support for 4K gaming at 60 Hz. Even when HDR and expanded color options aren’t immediately available, the TV immediately detects your console immediately you plug it in, and you get gaming at Ultra HD resolution almost immediately.
Input lag (the amount of time between the TV receiving a signal and the screen updating) is quite high at 82.7ms in most modes. However, enabling the Game mode improve the input lag at the slight expense of picture quality, it drops to 43.2ms – which is still high.
You can still cut that lag down to a third by diving into the tv’s settings and manually disabling all-motion enhancing features. Audio output is great, thanks to a pair of 20-watt speakers that produce great volume.
Smart TV & Remote
Samsung’s smart TV platform offers most, but not all, of the features available on the company’s more-premium QLED TVs. You’ll get the same wide selection of apps, clean menus, easy navigation, and wide smart home compatibility. Surprising, the set lacks Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant, and the included remote lacks a built-in microphone, so there’s no voice for content and information.
Apparently, the remote is one place where you’ll begin to notice the difference between the RU7100 and Samsung’s QLED sets, like the Q8FN. While premium QLEDs use the refined One Remote, the 5-inch model gets a basic remote. Still, it lets you get around apps and menus on the home screen, and changing channels and volume is simple enough.
Samsung UN55RU7100FXZA Review: Verdict
The Samsung UN55RU7100 makes for a decent, budget-friendly 4K smart TV that offers good enough performance and HDR support, making it ideal for a mid-size living room. However, this isn’t the best we’ve seen, competitors offer better color reproduction and accuracy. If you can live with deficiencies in those areas, the smart features offered on the RU7100 along with a 4K resolution make for a good value.
Is there a better alternative?
For a better deal and same 55-inch screen, check out the TCL 55S425 Roku Smart TV (2019). In addition to offering a better smart TV 4K experience and more affordable price, TCL offers superior picture quality, both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, and the sort of voice-interaction that is missing on the UN55RU7100FXZA TV.
Should you buy it?
Only if the brand wave sweeps you. While the Samsung UN55RU7100FXZA hosts a jam-packed arsenal of features and apps that make it an alluring choice, competitors offer better features for less money.
Particularly, the TCL 55S425 Roku Smart TV (2019) is an excellent choice for those looking for the absolute best picture quality available on a limited budget.