Samsung 65″ 7 Series 4K UHD TV (2020 version) Review
The TV (model UN65TU7000FXZA) was very easy to setup. In fact, when powering it on, the TV played some soothing music while walking me through the process… nice touch! The process involved installing the SmartThings app, which unfortunately requires setting up a Samsung account (minor gripe). The app automatically detected my TV over Bluetooth and allowed me to easily setup the Wifi and basic settings through my phone.
Unfortunately, the TV only has 2 HDMI inputs. For most people, this should cover their cable box (or streaming box) and a game console, but for me, I needed a 3rd input for my BluRay player as well.
From the early reviews for this TV, I see some owners had an issue with the picture quality. From what I gathered, Samsung has addressed this issue in a firmware update that didn’t become available until after the product launched. I’ve installed the latest version of the firmware and have not noticed any issues. This can be done by pressing the small “Settings” button near the bottom of the remote, then navigating to Support > Software Update.
I’ve owned a couple Samsung TVs and have always been impressed with their picture quality. The 7-series for 2020 does not disappoint. Colors are vibrant and the picture is very clear.
I found the TV’s default “Standard” setting to be a little to washed out. Here are the settings I like, which doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily like them, but they’re here for anyone that wants to try them:
Press the Settings button towards the bottom of the remote, and navigate to Picture > Expert Settings.
- Brightness: 45
- Contrast: 50
- Color: 40
- Tint: 0
- Apply Picture Settings: All Sources
- Picture Clarity Settings: Auto
- Contrast Enhancer: High (can make some scenes look washed out; sometimes I prefer it Off)
- Film Mode: Off
- Color Tone: Standard
- … the rest of the settings I left at default
Also, go to Settings > General > Eco Solution and bring up the “minimum brightness” to about 25. I found the TV got too dim at times on the default setting (it adjusts based on the ambient lighting in the room).
Almost every Samsung TV I’ve owned has an issue with the 120mHz “motion smoothing” feature, particularly when watching programs on ABC (I’m not sure why) where the picture randomly jerks harshly. I’m happy to say that I have not noticed this behavior on this TV.
Gamers: don’t forget to enable “Game Mode” in the settings. The “Auto” setting has worked well at detecting when I switch between my Nintendo Switch and my Apple TV box.
Apple TV 4K owners: Samsung seems to go into a different picture mode whenever HDR is enabled, which I find annoying as it ignores all of my settings above (this also happened on my previous Samsung TV). In the Apple TV settings, I usually set the Display Mode to 4K SDR 60Hz (which turns off the HDR output).
As a “cord cutter,” I really appreciate the work Samsung has done implementing a free streaming service they call Samsung TV Plus (which is esentially a rebranded version of Pluto TV). Samsung TV Plus is directly integrated with the TV’s built-in guide (which is also free) and shows free streaming channels after your antennae’s local broadcast channels. So you can go channel surfing seamless between Over-the-Air stations and streaming Internet stations. The TV also highlights available on-demand movies and TV shows that are also free. So kudos to Samsung for creating and integrating a free streaming service that doesn’t require yet another subscription!
I rely on apps heavily, in particular Netflix and YouTube TV. Netflix works on about every Smart TV known to man, but YouTube TV is hit or miss. I was happy to find that YouTube TV is available on this Samsung TV! Therefore, I can use YouTube TV without needing to switch inputs to my Apple TV box (but I find the Apple TV box to be faster and more responsive than the built-in apps).
Other apps I noticed available in the TV’s app section include Disney+, Apple TV service, Hulu, HBO, Sirius XM and more. Of course, these services are not free and require a subscription.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you’ll also be happy to know that this TV supports AirPlay 2, so you can mirror or “cast” videos and photos from your iPhone directly to this TV. Previously, this could only be done if you owned an Apple TV box, but this is something new that Apple’s partners are offering.
Sometimes while using the built-in apps, I have found the TV to get laggy and takes awhile to “catch up” with key presses. Usually power cycling the TV helps… I have not resorted to pulling the plug from the outlet yet, but that’s my backup plan. Hopefully this can be addressed in a future firmware update. If you are using a streaming box like Apple TV or a Roku and simply just using the TV to switch inputs, this probably won’t affect you.
Overall, I found the picture quality on the UN65TU7000FXZA to be great and I appreciate the built-in cord cutting features such as the free Samsung TV Plus. Built-in apps can be a little buggy, but hopefully this improves over time with future firmware updates.
- Excellent picture (after some tweaking)
- Lots of apps
- Built-in free streaming content
- Apps can lag at times
- Only 2 HDMI ports