Is this really a step-down 4K TV? Samsung's obsession with curved TVs continues apace and it threatens to become a bona fide product category.
But if you're in the camp that thinks curved TVs are for lighthouse owners and victims of marketing, this 55-incher puts flat 4K back on the map.
With a list price of £2,299 at the time of review, this UK-only model has a luscious 7mm screen surround that's so slender the UE55HU7500 almost appears to be frameless and floating. That incredibly convincing effect is helped by a rather unusual L-shaped stand that fastens to the back of the UE55HU7500 and folds under the front.
There are few better-looking TVs than this – the other being Samsung's flagship curved UE55HU8500 and UE65HU8500. Samsung has packed the HU8500 with its ultimate tech – namely a Quad Core Plus processor (to the HU7500's simple Quad Core processor), a built-in camera for gesture control (which the HU7500 lacks) and some slightly faster motion processing. In short, Samsung wants you to buy the curved HU8500, not the flat HU7500. However, anyone with any sense will go for the latter; it's both cheaper and flatter.
The headline feature on the UE55HU7500 is, of course, its 3840x2160 pixel resolution, but there's plenty more to get excited about.
Probably the most useful is the twin Freesat HD and Freeview HD tuners, which barring any decision by Sky or Virgin to broadcast native 4K material, means the UE55HU7500 will have equal appeal to all kinds of users.
Powered by that Quad Core processor, the UE55HU7500 is an active 3D display that comes with two pairs of active 3D glasses, a completely redesigned version of Samsung's Smart Touch remote control, and some basic voice control that – thus far – has failed to impress.
The UE55HU7500 can play 4K source material pixel-for-pixel, but where to find such a thing? For now Netflix is the best place to head for that, and the UE55HU7500 offers easy access.
In fact, Samsung's Smart Hub proves the best in the business, with apps a-plenty on show including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Instant, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand Five. It's the only such platform in the UK that delivers all terrestrial TV catch-up apps, and there are reams more apps, too.
Ins and outs
As befits an expensive 4K TV, the UE55HU7500 has plenty of ins and outs on its backside. On a rear panel are slots for component video, composite video, analogue audio, optical digital audio, wired Ethernet LAN (though the UE55HU7500 also has a built-in Wi-Fi module), a full RGB Scart, a headphones slot (slightly oddly placed, admittedly), and a single HDMI slot.
Crucially, the HDMI spec used on the UE55HU7500 is HDMI 2.0, which means that they can support native 4K material at 50 and 60 frames per second; cheap 4K TVs only support 4K at (the slower and often juddery) 24fps. Support for the HEVC codec also means that the UE55HU7500 can display streamed 4K footage from Netflix.
On a side-panel that's more easily accessible there are three USB inputs ranged above three more HDMI slots and a One Connect slot. The latter – a proprietary Samsung connection – is a little odd. It seems that the company has already gone cold on last year's plan to fit its flagship TVs with a Smart Evolution slot for easily upgrading the processor and firmware each year, and instead now plans to provide a small set-top box instead that will need to be hooked-up to the TV.
Of more core interest are the UE55HU7500's RF and LNB ins and outs for the Freeview HD and Freesat HD feeds, which are along the bottom of this panel and within easy reach, though the cables aren't in danger of poking out of the side.
Other hardware shipping with the UE55HU7500 includes two pairs of SSG-5100GB active shutter 3D glasses and two remote controls. One remote is the standard affair that's actually nicely streamlined, though it would be a nice touch for the buttons supplied for navigating digital video files and photos were glow-in-the-dark, as they are on Samsung's Blu-ray players.
The other is a slinky palm-sized affair with nicely painted and proud braille-like icons for shortcuts to the Smart Hub, TV guide, volume, channel changer and more besides. Although it does have a microphone for voice control, the entirety of Samsung's smart interaction antics is off-limits due to the UE55HU7500's lack of a built-in motion-sensing camera. Judged on past form, this is absolutely no loss whatsoever. In fact, it's probably worth chiselling-off the Voice Control button in case you accidentally touch it. I jest, of course, but do not buy this product expecting even Siri-quality voice control.
With the UE55HU7500 measuring a mere 8mm deep, the built-in speakers may struggle, though at 40W they're twice as powerful as rivals' attempts.
The HU7500 Series comes in two other sizes; the 48-inch UE48HU7500 (£1,699 at various UK retailers, though not on Samsung's website) and 65-inch UE65HU7500 (£2,299), the former of which represents a great value way of getting on to the 4K ladder.