Samsung 55-inch MU6300 TV Review: A Smart 4K Bargain

The Samsung 55-inch MU6300 is an affordable 4K set that will entice shoppers as much with its high-quality display as with its affordable price. The MU6300 manages to be stylish while offering a capable smart -TV experience and delivering better-than-average picture quality at a price under $600. The remote is also outstanding. We recommend this  TV to anyone who wants a high-quality set at an affordable price.

Samsung 55-inch MU6300

Price

$584.99

Screen Size

55-inch

Resolution

3840 x 2160

HDR

4K HDR Pro

Refresh Rate

60Hz

Ports

HDMI 4, USB 3.0

Audio

2 Channel, 20 Watt

Smart TV Software

Samsung Smart TV

Size

48.9 x 28.3 x 2.5 inches

Weight

33.7 pounds

Design

The 55-inch MU6300 is an affordable TV, but it's still a fairly sleek option for anyone desiring a stylish smart TV to set on their entertainment unit or hang on the wall. The set measures 48.9 x 28.3 x 2.5 inches without the stand, and can be used with a 400 x 400 millimeter VESA mount.

The TV's bezel is dark gray plastic with a faux pewter finish and a glossy sheen that looks better than most standard black TVs. The backside of the set has a textured pattern across its black plastic chassis. It's not quite as premium as the "360 design" and artistic molded rear panel on the pricier Samsung Q7F, but it does look nice.

The Samsung has a Y-shaped stand made of sturdy plastic, with an attractive dark finish that mimics brushed metal. The Y-shaped stand is also a nice alternative to the attachable feet offered on similar models like the TCL Roku TV 55P607 or the Vizio SmartCast E-Series E65-E0, which require a wider surface to rest on.

Measuring 33 x 13 inches, the stand can be used on a table or entertainment unit much smaller than the TV's 48.9-inch width.

Ports and Connectors

The connectors for HDMI and such can be found on a single panel on the backside of the set toward the right-hand edge of the TV. There you'll find three HDMI ports (including one with ARC, for connecting a soundbar without giving up an HDMI port), two USB ports and an Optical TOSLink port for older surround-sound sets. Networking is available via Ethernet or Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and the set has Bluetooth for connecting wireless speakers and headphones.

We do wish that the connectors were set closer to the right-hand edge of the chassis for easier access, as this position will make it difficult to access the inputs when the TV is wall-mounted.

Performance

The Samsung MU6300's 55-inch panel has some good things going for it, with full-array backlight with local dimming and support for HDR10 and HDR10 Plus. With a wide color gamut of 99.04 percent of the Rec 709 color space, the Samsung offers decent color representation, ahead of the TCL Roku 55S405 (98.4 percent) and comparable to the Vizio SmartCast E65-E0 (99.2).

As measured with our X-Rite colorimeter, the color accuracy is above average, with a Delta-E rating of 1.7 (closer to zero is better), which is better than the Delta-E scores of either the TCL P-Series 55P607 (2.2) or the TCL Roku 55S405 (2.2) but just a little less accurate than the Vizio SmartCast E65-E0 (1.4).

In actual viewing, colors were bright and vibrant on the MU6300, and sharp details such as pinstripes on a character's suit came through crisp and clean. Visual noise was less of an issue than on other value-priced sets, but when viewing a tightly patterned surface, such as a character's shirt in The Martian, I still saw a screen-door effect that detracted from the clarity of the picture.

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In testing, this Samsung set did especially well with brightly colored scenes and high-contrast situations, thanks to both the 4K resolution of the panel, and the full-array backlight with local dimming, which offers solid HDR support. The panel offers support for both HDR10 and Samsung's own HDR10 Plus format, which is competing with Dolby Vision as the premium HDR format of choice for content makers. The result is an excellent HDR experience, with white lights and bright colors getting a boost in vibrance from the backlight array.

It's not perfect, and high-contrast situations that place a brightly lit object against a dark environment will result in some unwanted haloing. For example, the cavernous entrance to the alien ship in Arrival should be dark with a crisp, bright entrance, but we saw some unwanted spillover that illuminated the dark tunnel more than it should have around the well-lit entrance. Thanks to the MU6300's local dimming, this is significantly less of an issue then on sets that use a full-panel backlight. The backlight isn't quite perfect, however, as there is some minor shadowing in the corners of the display.

The MU6300 did especially well with brightly colored scenes and high-contrast situations, thanks to both the 4K resolution and the full-array backlight with local dimming.

More of an issue to me are the viewing angles, which begin to shift even when sitting dead center. At the outside edges and corners of the display, purples begin to shift into pink and other colors similarly shift. We saw similar issues on Samsung's 65-inch MU7000, so this may simply be a problem for Samsung displays.

Audio

If you're just looking for easy-to-understand dialogue, the MU6300 does just fine at low- to mid-volume, but if you want high-quality sound with clarity and sharpness to match the 4K resolution of the display, we'd recommend a good soundbar.

Listening to "Seeya" by Deadmau5, the bass levels were enhanced by the system's downward firing speakers and bass reflex. The TV's dual 20-watt speakers produced clear sound and good volume for both treble and bass in anything below 50 percent volume. Once you hit the 50 percent mark, however, the bass began to distort. At 65 percent the vocals took on a flatter sound, and sounded increasingly echoey as the volume went up. At 85 percent, the speakers started to rattle the chassis, causing a slight buzz.

Smart TV

Samsung's smart-TV platform continues to be one of the better options out there, with a clean design and easy-to-navigate interface. Finding settings and menu options is pretty straightforward, and app selection is a breeze with Samsung's ribbon interface.

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Samsung also boasts one of the best app selections available. With more than 1,200 apps to choose from, and popular apps like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube preinstalled on the TV, you've got plenty of options for streaming content, informative apps and fun casual games.

Samsung's smart TV platform continues to be one of the better options out there, with a clean design and easy-to-navigate interface.

You can also use the Samsung Connect app to control the TV with your phone or tablet. Not only does it let you use your mobile device as a remote control, you can also share media to the TV, and use the TV as the central hub for numerous connected devices in the home.

Remote Control

The MU6300 comes with Samsung's One Remote, a minimalist wand-style remote that offers simple menu navigation and basic controls for channel, volume and media playback. The design centers around the directional ring, which works as a four-direction input for navigating through menus and on-screen options. The center of this ring is the enter button, making it very straightforward to use.

The best remote feature is the microphone button, which activates a built-in mic that lets you speak into the remote for voice search and control.

Additional buttons include a clearly marked home button, a back button and a number button to pull up an on-screen keypad for numeric entry. Paired with the comfortable molded design of the wand, it may be the best TV remote on the market.

But the best option offered by the remote is the microphone button, which activates a built-in mic that lets you speak into the remote for voice search and control. With voice search, you can find movies and shows across multiple apps. It can't search over-the-air content, but most streaming media can be searched without much trouble. You can also adjust the display, turning the volume up and down, adjusting the brightness, changing the channel and more. The voice search is accurate, the function is easy to activate, and the level of control is quite good.

Bottom Line

The Samsung 55-inch MU6300 ($583) has a lot going for it, with superb smart-TV functions, a well-designed remote and decent sound quality. The display isn't perfect, but the color quality is above average. Our biggest gripe is the viewing angles, which are far more limited on midrange Samsung models than most other LCD 4K TVs we've tested.

The TCL Roku TV 55P607 has a bit of an edge regarding color, better HDR support with Dolby Vision, and a similar sub-$700 price, making it our favorite for value shoppers who want the most bang for the buck. But the cheaper  Samsung MU6300 has a more elegant design and better smart-TV options, making it worth considering for any TV shopper hunting the best bargain.

Credit: Tom's Guide

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