Samsung Series 7 (UA55ES7500M) 3D LED TV
This 3D LED TV is good value compared to the Series 8
- Good black levels
- Good picture quality and detail
- Minor backlight bloom
- Viewing angles are merely OK
Samsung's Series 7 LED TV is cheaper than the Series 8, and includes most of its Smart TV bells and whistles. The only difference is in the design (brought over from last year's Series 7) and minor variances in picture quality. If the $500 saving is more important than slightly blacker blacks, buying a Series 7 makes sense.
Price$ 3,999.00 (AUD)
For a full run-down of Smart TV features including voice and gesture control, read our review of the Samsung Series 8 LED TV.
Samsung's Series 7 LED TV is a step down from the range-topping Series 8, but it doesn't make many sacrifices for the $500 saving. As part of the top tier of Samsung's 2012 LED TVs, the Series 7 has all the accoutrements you'd expect from the world's most feature-complete Smart TV manufacturer: voice and gesture control, plenty of Internet video on demand services including Foxtel, and extra value-adding fitness, family and kids' apps.
Samsung Series 7: Design and setup
The Samsung Series 7 is available in 55in and 46in sizes, catering to the mid-to-large-size market. We tested a 55in (UA55ES7500M) model. If you want a bigger LED TV in the seriously large 60in and 65in sizes, you'll need to buy a Series 8 or look at other brands like Sharp. If you want something smaller, Samsung's Series 6 comes in a 40in and 32in without voice and gesture control.
The 2012 Series 7 keeps the chrome finish, thin bezel and four-legged stand of the 2011 and 2010 Series 7 models. It's a good look, and the materials used are of a high quality. Like on the Series 8, bumps in the top and bottom bezels make space for a glowing Samsung logo and integrated webcam and microphone, which handles voice and gesture duties.
If we were wall-mounting a TV and wanted the thinnest model possible, we'd give Samsung a lot of our attention: they've always been at the forefront of cutting out unnecessary bulk. The Series 7 is a mere 29.7mm thick, and Samsung sells a thin wall mount that'll keep it as close to the wall as possible.
Connectivity is a mixed bag for the Series 7. We're mystified by the trend of removing a HDMI port from all but the top model — other manufacturers have done the same thing this year, and the Series 7 is left with three ports. This is more than enough for most users, but for content-happy users it's a slight impediment that necessitates buying a premium TV or a HDMI-compatible A/V receiver.
Apart from three HDMI ports, the Series 7 is well-served by single component and composite inputs, three USB ports, Ethernet, digital audio output, and a Mobile High Definition Link port for connecting a smartphone. Wi-Fi is also built-in.
Setting up the TV is a simple process, as it is with other 2012 Samsung TVs: screw together the stand, mount the TV, plug it in to any necessary devices and an antenna, turn it on, run an initial channel scan, set up a network connection, and you're good to go.
Samsung Series 7: Smart TV
Samsung has included almost all of the Smart TV features that were in the premium Series 8 in the Series 7, so read our Series 8 review for a full run-down of the details. The main difference between the two TVs is in their styling, and some picture quality changes.
All the Samsung Smart Content signature apps — Fitness, Family Story and Kids — remain, and the full Smart Interaction suite of voice and gesture controls are still integrated. Smart Evolution is also included, which lets you upgrade your TV with extra features or power next year. We wouldn't use these over a proper remote control, but their inclusion does put the Series 7 on equal footing with the more expensive Series 8, which starts to look slightly over-priced at its $4599 RRP (for the 55in).
Samsung Series 7: Picture quality and performance
The main difference between the Samsung Series 7 and the top Series 8 is the lack of Micro Dimming Ultimate on the 7: it's burdened with Micro Dimming Pro instead, which has half the dynamic dimming zones of the 8's Ultimate.
This means that while the TV is still able to dim sections of the screen when dark patches are shown on-screen, these patches are larger and the dynamic brightness effect will not be as pronounced. As a result, black levels aren't quite as deep as they could be. They're still very good for an LCD-based TV — plasmas can do better, though — but this is the biggest difference between the Series 7 and the Series 8. It's a case of better versus best.
To ensure a quick response to changes in brightness, the Series 7's LED edge-lighting idles at a minimum brightness that isn't completely black — a common tactic for LED TVs. On an almost-entirely black screen, though — with no video playing — there is a small amount of LED backlight bloom visible, with some areas around the TV's edge brighter compared to the centre of the Series 7's display.
In other areas, though, the Samsung Series 7 is a strong performer. It's able to resolve excellent levels of detail in Blu-ray video, once the crucial 1:1 'Screen Fit' option is enabled. We opted to lower sharpness somewhat, but in Movie mode the Series 7 is able to display very good colour accuracy with a life-like and neutral nature.
Being a LED TV, it's able to produce extremely bright pictures if needed, making it a good choice for especially bright viewing environments. We found that 8 on a scale of 20 gave the best compromise between a vivid picture and deep black levels.
Our 3D experiences, along with the majority of other testing, concluded that apart from the black levels and minor backlight bloom, the Series 7 performs very similarly to the Samsung Series 8. If you supply it with a high quality video source like a Blu-ray movie or 1080p downloaded video file, it's able to produce a very good-looking picture.
Samsung Series 7: Conclusion
Samsung's Series 7 cuts out some minor features in the picture quality and connectivity departments from the range-topping Series 8, but comes at a $500 cost saving for the same screen size. If you're happy with these compromises, it's comparatively good value.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
- HPE is bringing Optane storage to Unix servers
- HP rolls out patch to fix keylogging bug in certain laptops
- Some HP PCs are recording your keystrokes
- Rumor suggests the Note8 will be a bigger S8+ that adds a missing feature
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCTRIM TrainerACT
- FTIT Field Services ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- CCManaging Architect - Satellite - TelcoVIC
- FTSecurity Engineer (Cisco ASA) - Professional Services - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Project Manger - Global MarketsVIC
- FTUAT CoordinatorQLD
- CCState-wide Business Transition Lead - BrisbaneVIC
- TPProgram Governance Lead (PMO)VIC
- CCBusiness AnalystWA
- FTSystems EngineerNSW
- CCUX DeveloperQLD
- CCSplunk - Technical AnalystVIC
- FT.NET DeveloperNSW
- CCData AnalystNSW
- CCSQL Analyst DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst l GROUP LIFE INSURANCE l SydneyVIC
- CCGun Java/ Full Stack Developer wanted...VIC
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- FTService Desk Analyst Level 1 SupportQLD
- FTTechnical Consultant - SharePoint developerQLD
- FTIntermediate Project ManagerQLD