Television sets in Singapore tend to fall under two categories: affordable but poor quality or top notch but super costly. What if there is something that is good enough to make you go “Wow!”, made by a reputable company but yet is still affordable?
Summary – A Good Buy
- Affordable 58″ TV
- Good looking
- Plenty of ports
- Sharp and vibrant display
- Very responsive UI
- Easy casting of YouTube videos
- Great sound for a TV
- Limited apps
- No support for audio out via 3.5mm or RCA
- Edit channel number disabled by default
- Digital TV antenna not included
Pricing & Availability – Affordable 4K?
The Samsung NU7103 58″ 4K Smart TV is priced at just S$1699 and can be purchased from Gain City, Best Denki or Courts. Note that the wall mount used in this review is sold separately. A pair of legs are included in the box, but I will not be using them.
Unboxing & Setup – Everything You Need, But a Digital TV Antenna…
In the cardboard box of the NU7103, you will find the TV itself, an instruction manual, a pair of legs and a couple of accessories: the remote controller, power cable, as well as a few adapters that you are unlikely to use. No digital TV antenna included.
First, install the legs or mount it to a wall and then plug the power cable into its port, found on the back of the TV. Power up the TV and you will be guided through a setup process, from selecting of language to logging in to your Samsung account.
NU7103 supports digital TV, so to watch local TV channels on it, simply plug in your digital TV antenna and let the TV scan for channels. The whole setup process is pretty short and within a couple of minutes you will be good to go.
Design & Ports – Great Looking, Plenty of Ports
NU7103 may not have the smallest bezels or the thinnest build out there, but it doesn’t look bad for a TV that costs under S$2000 in Singapore. Its housing is made mainly out of plastic, with the bezels on the front having a metallic finish.
The speaker grills are located on the rear. Also on the rear are the ports for all your cables, as well as on/off and navigation buttons that you can use if you are unable to find the controller. Alternatively, you can use your phone as a controller.
What are the available ports on the Samsung NU7103? You will be glad to know that it has 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports and a LAN port. For older devices using AV cables, you will have to use one of the adapters that came in the box.
For audio, there are two ways you can connect your external speaker to the TV: via the optical audio port or via WiFi if your speaker supports it. (Correction: there is unfortunately no RCA or 3.5mm connector. Why Samsung?)
Display Quality – Excellent for the Price
The most important aspect of a television is of course how good its display is. So how good is the Samsung NU7103’s 4K LED display? Coming from a 55″ Toshiba TV that is only 1080p, the difference in picture quality is night and day.
Not only does the display look a lot sharper, colors are a lot more vibrant and blacks are deeper than my Toshiba 55L5450. Viewing angles are also superb. This provides a very immersive viewing experience, even when you are not watching 4K content.
This is by no means the best 4K display out there; if it was, Samsung wouldn’t be selling S$4000+ QLED TVs. But it is a very eye-pleasing display for its price and you will be hard-pressed to find something significantly better in this price range.
Performance – Fast & Smooth
It can be very frustrating to wait for your TV to boot up, and even more so when you have to wait even longer before it will start responding to the controller’s input. (Looking at you Toshiba)
Thankfully, the Samsung NU7103 powers up really quickly and you can start switching to your favorite channel almost immediately after the display lights up. Also, the UI runs really smoothly and at no point in time did it show any sign of stutter.
The controller looks like any ordinary TV controller, but it works surprisingly well too: it is very responsive and you do not have to point at a certain spot of the TV for you to use it.
Sound – Not Bad!
Even without an external speaker, the Samsung NU7103 sounds good enough for most usage. If you want an immersive experience though, you will probably want to connect it to your home entertainment system via the optical audio in port.
Samsung NU7103 also supports playing of audio via wireless connection to WiFi speakers. But if you are thinking about connecting a Bluetooth speaker to the NU7103, you are out of luck as this Smart TV doesn’t have Bluetooth support.
If you use the built-in speakers on the Samsung NU7103, you can change the way it sound by switching between three options: standard, optimized or amplify. Alternatively, if you are a more advanced user, you can choose to use the equalizer.
Smart TV – Smart, But Can be Smarter
Samsung’s smart TVs run Samsung’s own operating system, not Android, so you will not be able to install Android apps. It does have its own app store, but the selection of apps is very limited and most of the apps there do not particularly interest me.
The apps that you are most likely to use though have all been pre-installed on the TV, including YouTube, Netflix and Google Play Music. A browser has also been installed, but why surf the web on a TV when you have a computer or a smartphone?
YouTube app on the Samsung NU7103 isn’t very friendly if you watch a lot of non-English videos, but there is another way to watch YouTube on this smart TV. Like Chromecast, you can cast any video to the TV via your phone’s YouTube app.
Even for users who only watch local TV channels and do not use YouTube or other online video streaming apps, there are still reasons to get a smart TV like the Samsung NU7103.
By clicking on the “GUIDE” button on the controller, you can see what are the upcoming shows for the various TV channels on your TV, as well as read the synopsis of the show you are watching.
The only issue I had was editing the channel number for the TV channels that the TV detected. Stupidly, Samsung had disabled this feature. Only after fumbling through the UI for a while did I find out that I had to enable the feature in the Settings menu.
Conclusion – Worth Your Money!
At S$1699, the Samsung NU7103 is one of the more affordable 55-60″ TVs available in Singapore right now. At around the same price, some brands are still selling smaller FHD TVs that are even smart, so I would say that this is a really good deal.
Despite its affordable pricing, the Samsung NU7103 is no slouch, offering excellent viewing experience with a couple of neat features. Ignore all the marketing jargon like True 4K UHD and HDR 10+. All you need to know is that this TV is worth getting!