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Samsung TU7100 TV review

Samsung’s cut-price 4K TV is terrific value – with a few caveats

Samsung TU7100 TV review
(Image: © Amazon)

TechRadar Verdict

The U43TU7100 is the smallest model in Samsung’s Crystal UHD 7-series. With its aggressive pricing, this isn’t a flatscreen that will satisfy performance hounds, but it is a bona-fide bargain for those looking to buy big brand performance for less.

Pros

  • +

    Versatile Tizen smart platform

  • +

    Vibrant picture quality

  • +

    Low input lag

Cons

  • -

    Average HDR performance

  • -

    Average audio

  • -

    Heavy handed motion interpolation

One minute review

The 43-inch TU7100 is the smallest model in Samsung’s Crystal UHD 7-series. With its aggressive pricing, this isn’t a flatscreen that's likely to satisfy performance hounds, but it is a bona-fide bargain for those looking to buy big brand performance for less.

Naturally, the 4K set is HDR enabled, and while it doesn’t have the specs to really deliver bright peak HDR highlights, it does have an appealing average picture level that serves most content well, particularly HD SDR.

It’s also a strong option if you game a lot. With a low input lag, it won’t sdrag you down during a fierce firefight.

That said, the star turn for many buyers will actually be Samsung’s Tizen smart TV platform. Offering an impressive selection of catch-up TV players and big name streaming services, you can be confident there’s always something worth watching. Even if you don’t take out umpteen service subscriptions, you’ll find something to amuse you on Samsung’s free IP-delivered TV Plus channel bouquet.

Overall, this cheap TV is definitely worth a look.

Price and availability

The U43TU7100 can be found for around £350, which is small beer for a screen with specs like these. It’s also available in 50-, 55-, 65-, 70- and 75-inch screen sizes, each of which is competitively priced.

Rather confusingly, the same screen is also available as the TU7000 and the TU7110. While the model number may differ, it’s the same set. 

Samsung TU7100 specs

Screen Sizes: 43-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD| 4K: Yes | HDR: Yes | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Yes, Tizen| Curved: No | Dimensions: 963(w) x 558(h) x 59(d)mm | Weight: 8.1kg | 3D: No | Inputs: 2xHDMI 2.0, 1xUSB, Ethernet, optical, terrestrial, CI slot 

Design

  • Thin bezel
  • Two HDMI inputs
  • Spaced pedestal feet

As befits its product ranking, the TU7100 is far from pretentious. It’s a straightforward commodity flatscreen with a politely slim bezel and two slot-in plastic feet which, at least on this size screen, should fit most AV furniture. Buy a larger screen though and you might have to factor in a visit to your favourite flat-pack emporium.

It ships with a stock Samsung remote control, distinguished by dedicated buttons for Rakuten, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video streaming services.

Connections are fairly basic, and comprise two HDMIs, one of which is eARC enabled for use with soundbars, one USB port, an optical audio digital output, Ethernet and Wi-Fi, and a single terrestrial tuner. 

The ports on the rear side of the Samsung TU7100

(Image credit: TechRadar/Steve May)

Smart TV (Tizen)

  • Freeview HD
  • Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Now TV
  • Airplay 2 compatible

If you want a TV that allows you to catch-up on missed shows, or binge the best of Disney Plus and Now TV (to name but two), then the TU7100 will do the job.

Samsung may not have embraced Freeview Play, but it compensates by offering a full raft of Catch-up and SVoD services, plus curated content from its Universal Guide.

This version of Tizen isn’t quite the full enchilada, as found higher up the range, but it’s not far off. If you can live without niceties like Ambient mode and TV/Smartphone Multi-View, you won’t feel short-changed. 

There are catch-up players from BBC iPlayer, My5, All4, ITV Hub, plus all the OTT you can eat, including Youtube, Apple TV, Now TV and Samsung's own IP-delivered linear channel offering, TV Plus.

Tizen is a mature, well-honed smart platform, which makes for an easy, uncomplicated user experience. It’s neither as invasive as Android TV or as disjointed as webOS.

It works with connected SmartThings devices, and has AirPlay 2 support which allows iOS owners to stream and share from iPhones and iPads. 

There’s also Bixby, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, meaning you can use voice for functions including volume control and channel selection.

A look at the TV and app guide on the Samsung TU7100

(Image credit: TechRadar/Steve May)

Picture quality

  • Crystal processor 4K
  • Filmmaker Mode
  • HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG support

If you temper expectations, the Samsung TU7100 delivers perfectly enjoyable pictures with a high average picture brightness. As long as you don’t come to the TU7100 expecting the performance of a model that sells for twice the price, you won’t be disappointed. 

This cheap Samsung TV comes with the obvious LED caveats. The set can’t quite manage a deep black, which rather limits the amount of detail available in darker scenes.

There isn’t a wide colour gamut panel either, though you’ll find the TU7100 has a jolly (if not entirely accurate) vibrancy that’s entertaining to watch.

As we’ve observed on many budget 4K sets, HDR compliance is more about metadata recognition than actual performance.

We measured peak HDR at 287 nits, using a 10 per cent measuring window. Reducing this window to 5 per cent, saw the screen’s ability to handle HDR peaks drop to 210 nits.

The screen struggles with some of the low light sequences in Barbarians (Netflix), but its HDR is adept enough to add intensity to flaming torches and the like.

The image preset selection covers Standard, Natural, Dynamic, Movie and Filmmaker Mode, the UHD Alliance sanctioned movie preset. On this particular TV, we found the most consistently entertaining with most content proved to be Natural.

HDR support covers regular HDR10, HLG and HDR10+

To maintain a level of consistency and clarity, we would suggest turning off Ambient Light detection, and disabling image interpolation. The latter can be found under a Picture Clarity setting, and comprises Judder Reduction, LED Clear Motion and Noise Reduction. We really wouldn’t recommend using any of them.

The Tizen OS homepage on the Samsung TU7100

(Image credit: TechRadar/Steve May)

Audio performance

  • Stereo audio
  • eARC HDMI connection
  • Low input lag 

The TU7100 warrants some external help when it comes to audio. The screen’s sonic performance can kindly be described as functional. There’s 20W of internal amplification on-board, although the provision of eARC should be taken as evidence that better can be achieved with even a modest soundbar.

When it comes to gaming, the TU7100 puts a more confident foot forward. With Game mode, we measured input lag at a blazingly fast 9.9ms (1080/60). That’s remarkably good, and means you could actually use the 43-inch TU7100 as a near-field gaming display. Unlike the set’s higher-end QLED models, there’s no support for G-Sync or Freesync though.

Should I buy the Samsung TU7100 TV?

The Samsung TU7100 displayed in a lounge environment

(Image credit: Amazon)

Buy it if...

You’re looking for a good app support on the cheap.
The Samsung TU7100 4K TV is a low cost, but well specified smart TV for catch-up and streaming services.

You’re limited in space.
The Samsung TU7100 comes in compact sizes, and would work great in a narrow living room or as a second screen in a bedroom or home office.

You intend to game more than watch movies.
The low input lag is a real boon for gamers, especially for those using a low-spec Nintendo Switch or older home console. (PS5 and Xbox Series X ready, this is not.)

Don't buy it if...

You want a 4K TV able to show off HDR.
This set simply doesn’t have the AV chops to do that – those wanting Netflix or Disney Plus shows looking their HDR best should look elsewhere.

You’re after a movie screen that looks great in a dark room.
Turn off the lights and the TU7100 starts to grey out – you'll need a higher-spec Samsung TV, or a competitor's OLED, to fix that.

You have lots of kit to connect.
The HDMI provision is paltry, so you’ll need to add extra hardware to accommodate more toys.

Home entertainment AV specialist

Steve has been writing about AV and home cinema since the dawn of time, or more accurately, since the glory days of VHS and Betamax. He has strong opinions on the latest TV technology, Hi-Fi and Blu-ray/media players, and likes nothing better than to crank up his ludicrously powerful home theatre system to binge-watch TV shows.