Samsung UN55KU6300FXZA TV Review
Last Updated on October 1, 2021 by Daniel Osakwe
Samsung has some work to do in order to keep up with the changes in the 4K TV market. KU6300 LCD televisions are stylishly designed with bright panels, and they support high-dynamic-range (HDR). While they can process HDR signals, these TVs don’t fully benefit from HDR thanks to mediocre contrast, and the list prices ($1,199.99 for the 55-inches we tested) are higher than the Editors’ Choice LG UH8500 (at Amazon). Nonetheless, if you can find a TV that costs well under MSRP, it might be worth a second glance.
With a brushed gunmetal half-inch frame running around the screen, the KU6300 is simple and attractive. It holds the TV firmly on a central pillar, but it does not let it pivot left or right (because of the size of the screen).
Most TVs put their connections on the left side of the back of the KU6300, but not this one. There are three HDMI ports, two USB ports, two 3.5mm ports for use with the included component video and composite video adapters, an Ethernet port, and an audio optical output around seven inches in from the right edge of the TV. As far as the TV is concerned, that is the extent of the connections; there are no other ports facing back or downward. In addition to being the power button, the control stick doubles as a volume and source selector.
In spite of the lack of a touchpad or air mouse, the remote control is very simple. The curved 6.4-inch black wand is dominated by a cylindrical control pad with four settings. There is a Power button above the pad, as well as 123 buttons that bring up numbers, and Extra buttons that bring up a widget displaying live TV, weather, sports, and a few quick puzzle games.
Below the control pad, you will find the buttons Home, Back, and Play/Pause, along with the channel and volume controls. In general, it works fine, but without any means of controlling an on-screen cursor (as on Samsung’s higher-end smart TVs or LG’s WebOS TV), it feels rather minimalist. It wouldn’t have hurt to have more buttons, such as Forward/Rewind.
On the Samsung KU6300, the Smart TV platform is similarly simple but offers enough features to satisfy most users. On the bottom of the screen, when you press the Home button, you’ll see icons for Settings, Source, and Search, as well as tiles for live TV and various apps. LG’s WebOS may not have the same visual polish, but it’s easy to learn and does not overwhelm you with too many features.
The KU6300 comes preloaded with several major streaming services, including Amazon, HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. Additionally, you’ll find Pandora for music, TuneIn for radio, AccuWeather for weather, and NFL Sunday Ticket for sports (though you’ll need a subscription for each service that requires one; the app just doesn’t grant free access). While the selection of optional apps isn’t as extensive as Roku’s, there are nevertheless some useful big names that are available, such as Vevo and Vudu. Using GameFly Streaming and PlayStation Now, you can even play streaming games with a Bluetooth gamepad, though you’ll need a fast Internet connection to consistently play streaming games.
Displaying HDR content is possible on the KU6300. The problem is, it doesn’t do it well. Although its color gamut is slightly wider than that of standard dynamic range TVs, it suffers from poor black levels, which prevent it from displaying very impressive contrasts, as well as a range not as wide as LG’s UH8500 series.
TVs are calibrated using SpectraCal’s CalMAN 5 software and the Imaging Science Foundation’s calibration methodology with DVDO AVLab 4K test patterns, a Klein K-10A colorimeter, and SpectraCal’s AVLab 4K test patterns. According to a basic darkroom calibration, the KU6300 showed a strong peak brightness of 352.85cd/m2 and a weak black level of 0.11cd/m2 for a mediocre contrast ratio of 3,208:1.
Due to its similarly bright panel and a lower black level of 0.04cd/m2, the LG UH8500 series has twice the contrast (7,610:1) than the Samsung SGH-U8500 series. However, neither can compare with the contrast OLED TVs such as the LG OLEDB6P (available at Amazon) series can achieve thanks to the technology’s ability to produce perfect blacks.
Input Lag and Power Consumption
Television input lag refers to the amount of time it takes for the display to update after receiving a signal from the device. With the Game mode enabled, Samsung’s input lag is just 19.6 milliseconds, which is comparable with the Vizio D65u-D2’s ($699.00 at Newegg) 18.9ms. Although the KU6300 showed a high input lag when not in Game mode, it displayed an exceptionally high 114.3ms lag.
Although the colors of the television will greatly skew when set to game mode, you’ll probably want to use it if you like playing action-packed video games. However, a dedicated monitor is your best bet if you’re planning to play games.
In our calibrated mode, the KU6300 consumes 156 watts under normal viewing conditions. The EnergyStar Standard setting reduces that to only 105 watts, slightly darkening the picture. The Vizio D65u-D2 is a good big 4K screen; it uses 183 watts when it’s bright and 103 watts when it’s darker.
|Supports HDR.||Expensive for the performance.|
|Bright panel.||Mediocre contrast and color range don’t take advantage of HDR.|
Compared to similarly priced 4K televisions, Samsung’s KU6300 series falls short. Even though it supports HDR, it doesn’t boast impressive contrast levels and its color range isn’t as wide as our Editors’ Choice for midrange 4K TVs, the LG UH8500 series. To save even more money, you may want to consider the Vizio D series, for instance, which offers excellent performance and quality contrast (though not as impressive as color) at a lower price than either option. Alternatively, if money is no object, LG’s OLEDB6P series of OLED TVs offer one of the best pictures available.