Samsung AU8000 LED TV Evaluate: Outshone in its class


Professionals

  • Glorious black ranges

  • Engaging design

  • Dependable good platform

If you would like a TV that actually showcases HDR, take into account the alternate options.

The AU8000 options deep, regular black ranges, a good-looking design, and a wise platform that’s versatile and straightforward sufficient for folk who’re upgrading to a 4K good TV for the primary time. Sadly, it doesn’t get vibrant and colourful sufficient for even halfway-decent HDR and its panel lacks any form of dimming software program, which impacts display uniformity in a fairly dangerous manner.

Whereas it’s true that there aren’t many entry-level-to-mid-range TVs on this value vary proper now, there are a handful of TVs that don’t price very far more than the AU8000 that, frankly, supply far higher upside—each by way of efficiency and options.

In the event you’re a Samsung model loyalist who’s after an inexpensive 4K TV with an honest good platform, that is the TV for you. That mentioned, when you don’t thoughts spending up a bit to get extra bang to your buck, there are a handful of competitively priced TVs on the market that supply so much of bang for a very cheap quantity of buck, and I extremely suggest checking them out.

In regards to the Samsung AU8000

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

There are six sizes within the AU8000 sequence starting from 43 inches to 85 inches.

The Samsung AU8000 is accessible in six whole sizes starting from 43 inches all the best way as much as 85 inches. Our evaluation unit is a 65-inch mannequin we bought ourselves.

Right here’s the sequence at a look:

  • 43-inch (Samsung UN43AU8000FXZA), MSRP $449.99
  • 50-inch (Samsung UN50AU8000FXZA), MSRP $529.99
  • 55-inch (Samsung UN55AU8000FXZA), MSRP $599.99
  • 65-inch (Samsung UN65AU8000FXZA), MSRP $699.99
  • 75-inch (Samsung UN75AU8000FXZA), MSRP $1,099.99
  • 85-inch (Samsung UN85AU8000FXZA), MSRP $1,799.99

Completely different sizes belonging to the identical sequence are likely to carry out equally, and we’re not conscious of any important {hardware} variations between sizes within the AU8000 sequence that will influence efficiency in a serious manner. Nevertheless, it is vitally attainable that the display uniformity points we famous on the 65-inch mannequin are as dangerous or worse on the 75- and 85-inch fashions.

Right here’s a rundown of specs and options shared by every mannequin:

  • Decision: 4K (3,840 x 2,160)
  • Show kind: Edge-lit LED
  • HDR help: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
  • Dolby Atmos: Sure (through eARC, no onboard decoding)
  • eARC help: Sure (HDMI 2)
  • Native refresh fee: 60Hz
  • Good platform: Tizen Good TV
  • Shade: DCI-P3 colour house/10-bit chroma decision
  • Variable Refresh Price (VRR): No
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): Sure
  • Different options: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Bixby, Samsung Well being

You’ll need to spend a bit extra to safe VRR.

Whereas the Samsung AU8000 helps Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), it does not help Variable Refresh Price (VRR). This function improves the feel and appear of video games by stopping display tearing, and In the event you take into account your self a critical gamer—particularly when you personal or plan on proudly owning an Xbox Collection X or PlayStation 5—you’ll most likely wish to put money into a TV that gives such performance. In all chance, you’ll need to spend a bit extra to safe it.

Efficiency information

Earlier than testing every TV, we be sure that the panel is on and receiving a steady sign for a minimum of 24 hours, permitting the pixels loads of time to heat up. Our 65-inch AU8000 obtained this normal warm-up time earlier than any readings have been taken. As well as, the TV obtained the newest firmware updates on the time of testing.

For each SDR and HDR assessments, we used Samsung’s “Film” image mode. We’ve chosen this setting due to its accuracy, however efficiency might range relying on which image mode is enabled. For instance, you’re prone to expertise a brighter image with completely different settings enabled, however it might intervene with colour temperature and total colour accuracy.

To get a way for the TV’s common efficiency, we use a typical ANSI checkerboard sample for many of our fundamental distinction assessments. We additionally use white and black home windows starting from 2% to 90% to check how nicely the distinction holds up whereas displaying various levels of brightness.

Our peak brightness measurements are taken with sustained home windows to symbolize the TV’s peak brightness over a sustained time frame. Specular highlights (like temporary flashes of mirrored gentle) may attain greater brightness ranges, however not for sustained intervals of time.

All of our assessments are created with a Murideo Seven 8K sign generator and tabulated through Portrait Shows’ Calman Final colour calibration software program. I will broaden on our take a look at outcomes all through the evaluation, however for now, listed below are some key takeaways:

• HDR distinction (brightness/black degree): 314 nits/0.077 nits (ANSI checkerboard)
• SDR distinction (brightness/black degree): 257.8 nits/0.063 nits (ANSI checkerboard)
• HDR peak brightness (sustained): 324.6 nits (10% white window)
• HDR colour gamut protection (DCI-P3/10-bit): 83%
• SDR colour gamut protection (Rec.709): 97%

These assessments have been carried out with the AU8000’s “Image Readability” settings (“Judder Discount,” “LED Clear Movement,” and “Noise Discount”) disabled. As well as, its gamma was set to “2.2” for SDR assessments, “Distinction Enhancer” was disabled, and the “Shade Tone” selector was set to “Warm2.”

Connectivity

A close-up of the inputs on the back of the Samsung AU8000's panel

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

There are three HDMI 2.0 ports in a cutout on the again of the panel.

This mid-range Samsung is supplied with a really mid-range number of ports. There’s sufficient flexibility for informal viewers, however energy customers will likely be upset with the dearth of HDMI 2.1—and maybe the dearth of a fourth HDMI port altogether.

Right here’s what you’ll discover in a cutout on the again of the panel:

  • 3x HDMI 2.0 (1x eARC)
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • RF connection (cable/antenna)
  • Ethernet (LAN) enter
  • Digital audio output (optical)

What we like

Spectacular black ranges

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The AU8000’s black ranges are constantly deep.

The AU8000 is carrying some distinction points that I’ll break down additional within the evaluation, nevertheless it’s value calling out the TV’s capacity to get darkish when it issues. I measured black ranges within the 0.05 to 0.08 vary, with the upper finish of that vary occurring whereas the TV was at its brightest in HDR.

It’s not fairly as darkish as a higher-end LED TV with a VA-style panel—and might’t come near the right black ranges of an OLED TV—nevertheless it performs higher on this regard than most TVs on this value vary. To place it immediately: you’d by no means see a mid-range 4K TV hitting 0.05 black ranges half a decade in the past.

Deep black ranges enrich darker scenes, notably in dimly lit viewing environments. The story of the AU8000’s distinction isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however the TV’s constantly darkish shadow tones go a great distance in delivering a usually handsome image throughout SDR and HDR content material.

Fetching design

A close-up of the Samsung AU8000's stand design

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The toes that prop up the Samsung AU8000’s panel are significantly slim.

It goes with out saying that the AU8000 isn’t as flashy as a top-tier Samsung flagship, nevertheless it performs the a part of a higher-end TV because of its glossy design.

The panel is sort of skinny on account of the AU8000’s comparatively simplistic {hardware}, which makes it candidate for wall mounting.

A close-up of the Samsung AU8000's remote control

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The included distant management options devoted app buttons and a built-in microphone for choose instructions.

Must you go for a tabletop setup, the AU8000 will mix proper into most dwelling rooms, as its design is each fashionable and minimalist. The panel is propped up by two super-narrow, rod-shaped toes that sit flat on a floor—a pleasant change of tempo from the ever-present boomerang-shaped toes we so usually encounter. The toes slot into the again of the panel with ease.

The distant management is slim and its buttons are good and clicky. There’s a microphone in-built for choose voice management performance, and I believe it’ll be simple for most individuals to choose it up and familiarize themselves with it.

A wise platform that will get the job achieved

The Samsung AU8000 displaying its smart platform's home screen in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Samsung’s good platform is not our favourite, nevertheless it’s simple sufficient to make use of and gives a variety of apps, making it match for informal customers.

A superb mid-range TV ought to pack a wise platform that stands by itself, and the AU8000 meets this all-important standards. The TV’s Tizen-powered good platform will likely be acquainted to anybody who’s owned a Samsung TV in the previous few years, and when you’re upgrading to a wise TV for the primary time, the software program is a good way to dip your toes within the streaming water.

Many of the streaming apps people expect to search out—Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Disney+, for instance—are both pre-loaded out of the field or could be added through an app retailer. There are additionally a handful of extras to spherical out the expertise, like an internet browser and help for the Samsung Well being software program suite.

In the event you’re upgrading to a wise TV for the primary time, the software program is a good way to dip your toes within the streaming water.

The navigational expertise is pretty easy, although I did discover some normal sluggishness when leaping from one submenu to the following. Typically, I believe that the majority people purchasing on this value vary will find yourself utilizing Samsung’s Tizen-based platform as their foremost supply of streaming content material. If you would like a quicker, extra versatile set of choices, you’ll be able to at all times pair the AU8000 with a devoted streaming gadget.

What we don’t like

Doesn’t get vibrant or colourful sufficient for HDR

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Even in HDR, the AU8000 would not constantly crack the 350-nit mark, making it a not-so-great selection for folk who desire a TV that showcases HDR.

In the event you’re on the hunt for a brand new TV that showcases Excessive Dynamic Vary, chances are you’ll wish to take into account alternate options, because the AU8000 isn’t fairly constructed for the format. Its panel simply doesn’t get vibrant sufficient.

Throughout SDR content material (that’s, cable TV broadcasts, most streaming exhibits and Blu-rays), the AU8000’s brightness ranges high out at round 250 to 300 nits. That is tremendous for many viewing experiences, however in relation to HDR—a format designed to harness and optimize greater brightness ranges—the AU8000 can’t ship. I measured peak brightness ranges of round 300 to 350 nits whereas sending the TV an HDR sign, which, sadly, isn’t that a lot completely different than what the TV does throughout garden-variety SDR (Normal Dynamic Vary) content material.

Optimized brightness isn’t the one key to HDR’s success; the format additionally makes use of the elevated brightness to additional saturate a TV’s colour. Ideally, an HDR TV would cowl between 95% and 100% of an extra-wide HDR colour gamut (DCI-P3). In response to our lab assessments, the AU8000 solely covers about 83% of this expanded gamut.

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The AU8000 solely gives about 83% protection of the DCI-P3 HDR colour gamut.

These take a look at outcomes could be seen in motion, too—even to an untrained eye. When leaping from an HDR Blu-ray to SDR streaming content material on Netflix, I seen no considerable distinction in image high quality. Highlights didn’t pop the best way they do on an HDR TV with appreciable “horsepower,” and colours—whereas largely correct—remained considerably flat throughout HDR content material.

If what you search is a comparatively inexpensive TV with the mandatory {hardware} to actually showcase HDR, one thing just like the TCL 5-Collection is a a lot better wager. Its show is powered by quantum dots, which give it the increase of brightness it wants for brighter highlights and richer colour. It prices a little bit greater than the AU8000, however I promise: It’s definitely worth the modest funding if HDR is essential to you.

A scarcity of local-dimming creates issues

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Whereas not seen within the above picture, darker scenes are likely to glow on the TV’s corners—an impact that will get worse throughout off-angle viewing.

The AU8000 is an edge-lit TV with no native dimming software program. Primarily, because of this, in contrast to most LED TVs available on the market at present, the AU8000 doesn’t have “zones” of LED backlights that brighten and dim in live performance. With out these clusters of LEDs working in tandem, the AU8000 struggles to distribute its gentle evenly throughout the panel. The result’s an image that’s usually cloudy, with blue-tinted gentle bleed accumulating at occasions on the corners of the panel.

The impact is considerably worse when considered at off-angles. VA-style panels battle with off-angle viewing to start with, and once you add one of these panel lighting to the combination, the battle is that rather more actual.

One seeming advantage of the dearth of native dimming, nonetheless, is that I did not discover a lot gentle bleed round bright-on-dark image parts (like subtitles, for instance). However, improved backlighting {hardware} would go a great distance in smoothing out a number of the AU8000’s uniformity points.

You’ll most likely must tinker with movement settings

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

You possibly can iron out a number of the AU8000’s juddery movement by adjusting the “Judder Discount” slider within the “Image Readability” settings menu. It will not take away movement judder utterly, nonetheless.

Sometimes, TVs within the AU8000’s value vary function a 60Hz refresh fee moderately than a refresh fee of 120Hz. Which means that the TV is simply able to refreshing its image 60 occasions per second, which is often tremendous however can really feel restricted throughout sure sorts of content material.

The Samsung AU8000 and its native 60Hz refresh fee do an OK job displaying movement, however fast-paced content material has the tendency to stutter, and a few blurriness remains to be seen even after changes are made to the movement settings (“Judder Discount” and “LED Clear Movement”). If these sliders are pushed too excessive, the TV takes on a man-made smoothness (colloquially known as “the cleaning soap opera impact”).

To be clear, the AU8000 is healthier outfitted than most 60Hz TVs on this value vary to restrict motion-related artifacts. That mentioned, I extremely suggest protecting the movement enhancement sliders (discovered within the “Image Readability” settings menu) at their decrease ends. In “Film” mode’s out-of-the-box settings, you’ll possible discover a good quantity of judder, notably throughout vertical and horizontal pans.

Must you purchase it?

Perhaps—however provided that you perceive its limitations and have your coronary heart set on a Samsung TV

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The AU8000 is an honest TV for the worth, however spending just a bit bit extra will land you a lot better efficiency. In the event you care about HDR, it is value wanting into a few of these choices.

The AU8000 will get so much proper. I like its design, its black ranges are fairly spectacular for its value vary, and I think about that newcomers to the good TV way of life will very a lot respect the TV’s built-in, Tizen-based good platform. That mentioned, when you transfer as much as the following highest value bracket, an entire world of higher choices opens up, and a few of them actually do justify the worth leap.

Take, as an example, the latest TCL 5-Collection. For my cash, its built-in Google TV software program is even higher than Tizen—to not point out simpler to make use of. And keep in mind once I mentioned that the AU8000 wasn’t choose for folk who wish to see what the HDR fuss is all about? Properly, the 5-Collection is much better outfitted to ship an HDR expertise worthy of the fuss, because of a panel that will get a lot brighter and extra colourful. Relying on which sizes you’re evaluating, the 5-Collection is simply about $50 to $200 costlier than the AU8000.

If the Samsung insignia is a must have, take into account the Samsung Q60A.

If the Samsung insignia is a must have, take into account the Samsung Q60A. There’s a much bigger value hole between the AU8000 and the Q60A when in comparison with the 5-Collection, however you’re getting a terrific image because of quantum dots and native dimming—two show options not discovered on the AU8000.

The Samsung AU8000 performs its function nicely; it’s a TV with limitations, however these limitations are largely justified given the price. In the event you worth HDR as I do, nonetheless, you’ll most likely be higher off spending a little bit extra on one thing that may showcase the format higher.

Meet the tester

Michael Desjardin

Michael Desjardin

Senior Employees Author


@Reviewed

Michael Desjardin graduated from Emerson School after having studied media manufacturing and screenwriting. He focuses on tech for Reviewed, but additionally loves movie criticism, bizarre ambient music, cooking, and meals usually.

See all of Michael Desjardin’s opinions

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