A polished and app-laden 4K smart TV that's as good as any TV around for most living rooms, though its small screen size does mean native 4K material fails to convince consistently enough. Still, this 48-inch will make a fine upgrade for most.
Smart Hub apps
Extra 4K detail
Handles 4K Netflix
Plays back 4K MP4
Colours & motion
Not big enough for 4K
Frustrating speech activation
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The fear of their new purchase becoming instantly obsolete is rife among TV buyers, but choosing to buy a thoroughly future-proof Ultra HD 4K telly is a big step in more ways than one.
Not only do the 3840 x 2160 pixel panels cost a bomb, but since 4K tends to look much better (read: more obvious) on bigger screens, the pixel-packed TVs tend to come in 55-inch and above screen sizes.
Forget the cash; who has the room for a tank of a telly? The Samsung UE48HU7500, however, shrinks-down the new tech to the 48-inch size, which has such a slim design that it might just slip onto your AV cabinet without anyone noticing.
However, with the cut-down screen size, is Ultra HD 4K in miniature a wise move or a waste of time?
The UE48HU7500 comes in the wake of the success of Samsung's slightly larger 55-inch UE55HU7500, which wowed when we reviewed it.
The UE48HU7500 boasts a fabulous design. The highlight is a super-slim aluminium casing that goes around the entire frame of the TV. It's curved at the corners and encompasses a 9mm gap for the underslung speakers, too. The bezel is 7mm on all sides, with no gap to where the image begins; the effect is beguiling.
There's another cute design flourish, too. The desktop stand, so often a low-light on flatscreen TVs, is here made to look half the depth. Decked out in brushed aluminium, a rather large V-shaped contraption on the rear of the TV enables the 60cm-wide stand to be just 10cm deep. The only downside of this rather fabulous-looking stand – upon which the UE48HU7500 appears to float – is that it doesn't swivel, which is a shame for large rooms.
The UE48HU7500 is one serious slab of AV ambition. As well as the Ultra HD resolution and an Edge LED panel, it has both Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners, plus an active shutter 3D mode that can cope with both 3D Blu-ray discs and games, and also comes with a 3D conversion mode for both live TV and standard depth DVD or Blu-ray discs.
Happily, it comes with a couple of pairs of 3D glasses (the super-slim SSG-5100GB, which cost about £15). However, the best news is that it's all powered by a quad core processor, which ought to make navigation a breeze.
There's more; attach a USB drive or hard disk to the UE48HU7500 and it's possible to record live TV and even scheduled TV programmes, though don't count on having much flexibility; you can't change channel during a recording.
The UE48HU7500 also boasts Samsung's Smart Evolution kit, so you can slip in the latest annually updated 'evolution kit' circuitry (usually released in April), though doing so will cost you somewhere in the region of £200.
As with all of Samsung's smart TVs, the UE48HU7500's Smart Hub user interface includes dedicated apps for all UK terrestrial TV broadcasters. As well as catch-up TV on demand from all channels, the UE48HU7500 features virtually all must have streaming video apps.
Most important for prospective owners of the UE48HU7500 is Netflix, which can stream Breaking Bad, Blacklist and House of Cards in 4K. So it's a small choice of programmes for now, but at least the UE48HU7500 is compatible with the HEVC compression tech that Netflix streams 4K in.
There's no Sky's Now TV, but the apps page of Smart Hub is otherwise exhaustive; I counted 40 apps in total including Amazon Instant, Curzon Home Cinema, Wuaki.tv, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Spotify, YouTube, DailyMotion, KnowHow Movies, AccuWeather, vTuner, BFI Player, TuneIn radio and Skype.
Ins and outs
The UE48HU7500 comes with Wi-Fi built-in – what smart TV doesn't? However, it goes beyond the spec of most smart TVs spec by also including NFC; a quick tap between an Android smartphone or tablet and this TV will establish a wireless link for sending or streaming files and other data.
The UE48HU7500 includes a comprehensive roster of ins and outs, as it should. Top of the tree are four HDMI inputs, which certainly lends some flexibility. Also on the rear is a set of component video inputs, which also includes a composite video input via an adapter, a full RGB Scart, a wired Ethernet LAN slot, and a headphones jack.
A side panel, which is home to three of the four HDMI slots as well as the ins and outs for the TV tuners, adds three USB slots. Extensive and expansive, I've got no complaints about what can go in and out of the UE48HU7500.
Other hardware on the UE48HU7500 includes a 'smart touch' remote control, which is a palm-sized device that includes not only Braille-like buttons that rise above the metallic panel, but also adds a microphone.
That means that Samsung's S-Recommendation software is on board the UE48HU7500, though the voice/motion tracking system is restricted to voice only due to the lack of a built-in, pop-up camera (which only Samsung's flagship TVs appear to have).
In the same Series 7 as our review sample, Samsung also manufacturers the larger 55-inch UE55HU7500 and the range-topper, the 65-inch UE65HU7500.
Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),