Review: Samsung KS9500 4K TV puts you in the picture with stunning quality

Let’s cut right to the chase. Samsung’s KS9500 is right now one of the best 4K TVs that money (rather a lot of it in this case) can buy, offering a jaw-dropping colour palette and amazing contrasts across a wide range of viewing experiences.

The KS9500’s 64-inch curved screen I sampled is just 1cm thick, perching on a sleek forked metal stand. The curved screen arguably makes for a more immersive viewing experience, with the trade-off of some annoying reflections, particularly in the evening.

Sound quality is surprisingly well-rounded, but you’ll want to retain your home cinema system for a bit of extra bass.


Samsung’s Tizen-based operating system is simple to navigate, with easy switching between your set top box and the built in Netflix app. The latter is pleasingly intuitive, help­fully offering quick links to series and programmes you’re part way through watching.

Letting the side down a bit is the voice recognition system, which is of limited use, particularly in comparison with the Android TV search features of the Sony X93D.

Such a niggle quickly gets forgotten when you see the KS9500’s mind-blowing picture quality. The set has two trump cards, namely its High Dynamic Range (HDR) and its Quantum dot technology.

It’s hard to put down in words how amazing HDR content looks on the KS9500; the simple lettuce leaves and apricots in the Netflix series Chef’s Table: France take on a lifelike quality I’ve never seen before on any screen anywhere, with Macro Polo’s vistas stunningly rendered.

And while HDR content is still thin on the ground, Samsung’s Quantum Dot techno­logy means that even standard HD content is impressively handled, with both the shabby street shots and pastel party scenes of The Nice Guys rendering brilliantly.

Such technology inevit­ably doesn’t come cheap. The KS9500 range starts at Dh9,999 for a 55-inch model, with the 78-inch version setting you back an eye-watering Dh34,999. Those willing and able to part with such cash will in return receive an exceptional television, one that rewrites our conception of what the home viewing experience can be.

q&a

John Everington expands on what Samsung’s KS9500 has to offer:

So tell me more about this Quantum Dot thing then.

Over to you Samsung: “Essentially, Quantum Dots are incredibly tiny particles that emit different colours depending on their size. When you drop watercolour paint in clear water it creates the most striking colour. SUHD TV uses Quantum Dots as a light source to produce the purest medium, which functions in the same way the clear water does, resulting in intensely accurate and vivid colour.”

Thanks for clearing that up. Should I believe the hype?

In this case, yes. Quantum Dot isn’t a Samsung marketing gimmick – the technology is also in use by the likes of Sony and LG. The colour and contrast the technology offers is very impressive.

On to HDR. Where do I get to see these amazing lettuce leaves you talked about?

HDR content is still in very short supply right now, and is mostly confined to Netflix shows such as Daredevil, Marco Polo, Chef’s Table, and films such as The Do Over and The Ridiculous 6.

And how about good old fashioned 4K content?

BeIN launched the region’s first 4K satellite receiver at the end of May, offering Euro 2016 games in 4K, but du and Etisalat’s 4K services are still nowhere to be seen. Once again Netflix is your best bet – its 4K content library growing by the day. Remember though that you’ll need at least a 25 Mbps internet connection to enjoy such content in its full glory.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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