The Samsung CU7000 isn’t here to break your bank account, just your boredom. This budget-friendly champion brings vibrant visuals and smart features to your living room without demanding a kidney. Sure, it won’t win tech awards for mind-blowing specs, but its everyday performance might surprise you.
The CU7000 punches above its weight, even at a down-to-earth price. But is it truly a worthy successor to its 2021 predecessor? Dive into our detailed review and discover if the CU7000 deserves a starring role in your home theater.
Design & Build
The Samsung CU7000 has a sleek and minimalist design, with slim bezels around the screen. The TV is easy to set up, as the legs can be attached without screws. The legs are sturdy and provide good stability for the TV. The TV can also be wall mounted, but you will need to buy a mount and screws separately. My unit didn’t come with any screws, and sourcing them is easier said than done in my neck of the woods.
The rear port layout includes 3 HDMI, 1 USB port, optical audio port, and antenna port. The HDMI ports support Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC), which allows you to control connected devices with the Samsung One Remote. However, the HDMI ports do not support HDMI 2.1, which means you will miss out on some advanced features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). The USB port as well is USB 2.0, so there’s that.
The One Remote takes a minimalist approach, ditching the button overload of older Samsung remotes. It’s light, comfy, and a breeze to navigate. But let’s talk nitpicks: the Play/Pause button feels redundant and I can’t say I have actually used it at all. The settings button as well is cryptic. Pressing it doesn’t actually take you to the full settings, but rather quick settings. Getting to the full settings take a few more taps than I am comfortable with. And what are those colorful buttons? If I have to pick up the manual to understand a dumb remote, I’ll gladly pass.
On the bright side, Anynet+ lets you control your HDMI devices with one click – perfect for my Chromecast and Xiaomi box. Just don’t expect fancy features like voice control or solar charging, which live on pricier models.
Overall, the One Remote is a step forward, but a few tweaks could make it truly shine. Here’s hoping Samsung reads my humble submission!
The Samsung CU7000 runs on a simplified version of Samsung’s 2023 Tizen OS. The interface is basic, with limited app access and some navigation quirks. For instance, the app icons are pint-sized, yet the featured app content tiles, when you scroll down, are three times as big. Why doesn’t Tizen maintain consistency across the board?
Also, you cannot access downloaded apps directly from the home screen. Instead, you have to scroll through a long list in the app store to find the one you want. Additionally, the teal color scheme feels dated.
The Tizen OS supports popular streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu, but some apps, like VLC, are missing. Unfortunately, the built-in media player doesn’t effectively play subtitles, which are quite a big deal these days, considering how actors mumble their lines.
I also don’t understand why accessing the full settings isn’t more straightforward. You have to first tap on quick settings and then scroll to find the full settings icon. Lastly, from the home screen, some settings cannot be changed until you’re in an app.
Under the hood
The Samsung CU7000 has an Edge LED backlight with a VA panel and a 60Hz refresh rate. The Edge LED backlight means that the LEDs are placed along the edges of the screen, rather than behind it. This results in light bleed and uneven brightness across the screen, especially in dark scenes. The VA panel means that the TV has good contrast and deep blacks, but poor viewing angles. The 60Hz refresh rate means that the TV can display up to 60 frames per second, which is fine for most content, but not ideal for fast-paced gaming or sports.
The TV has a Crystal Processor 4K that handles upscaling and basic processing. The upscaling is excellent, as it improves low-quality video content to near-4K quality. The processing is decent, as it reduces noise and enhances colors and details. However, the processing can also introduce some artifacts and blur in fast-moving scenes.
The TV supports HDR10+, which is a dynamic HDR format that adjusts brightness and contrast on a scene-by-scene basis. However, the TV does not support other HDR formats like Dolby Vision or HDR10. The TV also misses out on advanced HDR features like VRR and HDMI 2.1, which are important for gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.
The TV has occasional lag during navigation, especially at startup. The interface can take some time to load and respond to commands. That’s to be expected though. The CU7000 is an entry-level offering after all.
For its price point, the CU7000 delivers vivid, yet natural colors and deep blacks that pack a punch, thanks to the VA panel and local dimming. This contrast glows in most scenes, offering a satisfyingly immersive experience.
However, the Edge LED backlight casts a slight shadow: light bleed. In dark scenes, particularly around bright objects, these halos can intrude on the inky depths. Adjusting brightness and contrast in “Halle Bailey’s Angel” helped, but couldn’t completely banish the light contours.
Fortunately, the CU7000 wields a weapon against motion woes: judder removal. Whether it’s a classic movie or a vintage game, this hero can smoothly render up to 60fps, preserving cinematic flow and banishing jerky movements.
The Samsung CU7000 has OTS Lite (Object Tracking Sound Lite), which provides a standard audio experience for casual viewing. OTS Lite uses two down-firing speakers to create a virtual surround sound effect that follows the movement of objects on the screen. The sound quality is decent, with clear dialogue and balanced sound.
The TV supports DTS Audio and Adaptive Sound adjustments. DTS Audio enhances the sound quality of DTS-encoded content, while Adaptive Sound adjusts the sound settings based on the content and environment. However, the TV does not support native Dolby Atmos or DTS, which are immersive audio formats that use overhead speakers to create a 3D sound effect.
The TV has a unique feature that allows you to pair it with compatible soundbars for enhanced audio. It synchronizes the TV speakers and the soundbar speakers to create a more immersive and powerful sound. However, you will need to buy a Samsung soundbar separately to use this feature.
The Samsung CU7000 has seamless native casting from Windows 10/11, Android, and Apple Airplay. You can easily mirror your laptop, smartphone, or tablet screen to the TV without any additional devices or apps.
The TV also supports Chromecast, but only for YouTube and Chromecast-compatible websites. You cannot cast other apps or content from your device to the TV using Chromecast.
What I love about it is how seamless the whole process is. If you have used Vidaa, you’d know how frustrating it can be at time to mirror your screen.
The Samsung CU7000 is a solid budget TV offering with decent picture quality, basic smart features, and reliable performance. It lacks the bells and whistles of higher-end models, but excels in upscaling and screen mirroring. It is a good choice for everyday TV viewing and good enough for gaming but not exactly for HDR content. You can buy the Samsung CU7000 for $279.99 on BestBuy and Target.