If you’re in the market for a top-class 4K Ultra HD screen, this Samsung UE65HU8500 should be on your shortlist. The 65in curved-screen dazzles with native 4K content and Blu-rays.
It’s a rich, attention-grabbing picture. The Samsung delivers a performance full of punch and panache, with crystal-clear detail and a dynamic colour palette.
We fire up a 4K Ultra HD stream of Breaking Bad on Netflix and there’s a superb amount of detail on screen. Edges of objects, strands of hair, skin texture – each detail is crisply drawn. Whites are bright and clean, though while there’s plenty of subtlety coming through from the shadows, we think blacks could be darker.
The screen’s colour balance is on the right side of vibrant. Whether it’s a 4K demo reel or the Guardians of Galaxy Blu-ray, the colours are full of pizzazz. Blue skies are perhaps a bit too blue, reds and browns are little too rich and robust, but it never looks overtly unnatural or garish.
Skin tones are fleshed out, and there’s subtlety in gradations and shading. It’s not quite as natural as its rival, the Sony KD-65S9005B, but it’s nevertheless an alluring approach that’s sure to turn heads.
Picture quality and sound
That rich colour balance remains regardless of what kind of content you’re watching – so we must commend the Samsung’s upscaling talents, as Blu-ray films look fantastic.
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, we almost forget it’s not a native 4K picture. A demo reel may show off how mesmerising 4K content can be, but your Blu-ray discs will look almost as great. The textures of clothes and metal are discernible, the picture is bright and punchy, and wrinkles on faces are well etched, while 3D films retain a bold and dynamic approach too.
Freeview HD channels and DVDs see the inevitable drop in quality, but overall it’s still watchable. We’d stick to the HD channels to make the most of that 4K screen, though. Once again, darker scenes would benefit from more intensity, with those blacks getting more washed out if watching from an angle: the down side of a curved screen.
It’s very immersive, but only if you’re sitting straight in front of the TV. If you have regular family-movie nights, you might also want to look at conventional flatscreens.
With six speakers fitted inside the TV, it sounds rounded and solid. Detail is good, voices are easy to follow, and it goes fairly loud.
The curved screen does look gorgeous, though. It’s sleek and sturdy, and just as elegant around the back, with no inputs (apart from the Freeview HD tuner) in sight: connections (four HDMI 2.0 inputs and three USB ports) are housed in a separate ‘One Connect’ box.
It makes plugging in your sources easier (especially if you’re wall-mounting the TV), keeps wiring neat and leaves the way open for Samsung to offer upgrades in years to come.
And there's a neatly built-in camera on the top of the frame, which is handy for those who regularly Skype.
We’d pick up the TV’s standard remote control over the curved smart remote. Both fit nicely in hand, but the standard remote is more instinctive to use. You’ll need the smart remote to use the motion-sensitive on-screen pointer, or the voice control option.
Alternatively, you can use Samsung’s Smart View 2.0 app. It offers basic controls, a second screen to watch the current programme on your smartphone or tablet, and the ability to transfer photos, music and videos from your smart device to the TV.
It’s functional, and it’s free. Press the ‘Smart Hub’ button on the remote for a handy shortcut tool to channels, apps, games and favourite content. It’s a sleek and colourful affair that allows you watch on-demand content from Netflix or BFI Player, and catch up on TV programmes through the likes of BBC iPlayer.
Impressive, attractive and entertaining, this premium-quality Samsung UE65HU8500 TV makes us excited about 4K’s future.