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Samsung Q80T sequence (2020) evaluation: Premium design and film, approachable worth


In 2020 Samsung’s TV lineup appears skewed greater than ever towards higher-end fashions: There are three sequence with 8K decision, a bunch of way of life fashions comparable to The Body, The Sero and even a crazy-expensive outside tv referred to as The Terrace. Amongst comparatively “regular” TVs the Q80T stands out. It isn’t low-cost, however it’s the least-expensive Samsung QLED TV to function full-array native dimming, which supplies it a superb image.

LikeExcellent general picture qualitySuperior stylingWide vary of sizesNumerous options, voice choices

Do not LikeMore costly than competing TVs with related image high quality

The Q80T’s huge brother, the Q90T, additionally has FALD and I count on it to carry out even higher however as soon as once more there’s a difficulty with worth. Within the 55-inch and 65-inch sizes the Q90T prices mainly the identical as my favourite high-end TV for 2020, the OLED-powered LG CX, and in my expertise the OLED can have a greater image general. That places the Q80T in roughly the identical price-to-performance candy spot because the Sony X900H, the Vizio P-Sequence and TCL 6-Sequence.

I in contrast all 4 in my basement TV lab side-by-side and the Samsung Q80T was certainly wonderful, however regardless of costing greater than the opposite three, it did not put out a greater image. As an alternative its power lies in design, with sleeker seems, a superb distant and, sure, that Samsung nameplate. Just like the others it is also well-suited to pair with an Xbox Sequence X or PS5 due to variable refresh fee functionality and 4K/120Hz enter. 

When you’ve got your coronary heart set on a Samsung, you need an excellent image and you do not have cash to burn, the Q80T is fairly candy. However in case you’re brand-agnostic, the Vizio and TCL are each higher values.

Sleekness from the arise

Whenever you pay slightly additional for a Samsung you count on superior design, and the Q80T delivers. The obvious improve is the stand: Samsung makes use of a central pedestal, which to my eye seems lots sleeker than the 2 separate legs to both facet that almost all new TVs make use of. The bottom is a single slab of steel, flush towards the tabletop. An angled chunk of steel and plastic helps the panel, creating a pleasant floaty impact.

Black with a minimal body across the picture, the Q80T additionally has a textured bottom and a cable administration system that permits you to channel energy and HDMI from their ports by means of the stand, making for a cleaner look.

David Katzmaier/CNET

Samsung’s clicker can also be amongst my favorites, with minimal buttons and simply the precise really feel in-hand. Channel and quantity keys click on up and down, Ambient mode will get its personal button as does the mic for voice, and even the Netflix and Amazon app shortcut keys are nicer than on different remotes: They lack garish colours and as an alternative simply match the remainder of the wand.

Ambient mode is designed to indicate stuff on the display screen if you’re not watching TV. It is a cool function in case you do not like the large black rectangle of an inert TV, and may show your pictures, designer artwork, the climate, headlines and even modify backgrounds to match your wall.

David Katzmaier/CNET
Alexa and Google be part of Bixby

Samsung’s homebrew Bixby voice assistant is constructed into the Q80T, as you’d count on, however new for 2020 you’ll be able to select the overwhelmingly more-popular Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant as an alternative. You possibly can choose between the three within the menus and whichever one you select shall be accessible if you press the mic button on the clicker. 

Alternately you’ll be able to set the distant’s mic to hear for the “Alexa” or “Hey, Google” wake phrases, permitting you to challenge instructions hands-free (it labored nicely so long as I stayed comparatively near the distant). And like most TVs you can too pair the Q80T with separate Alexa or Google audio system. 

David Katzmaier/CNET

Past voice, Samsung’s on-screen good TV system is superb, with fast responses and loads of apps, and I might take it over LG or Vizio’s methods. I nonetheless like Roku and Android TV (discovered on Sony TVs) higher general, nonetheless, as a result of they’ve much more apps. Similar to most TVs now (together with Roku), Samsung has the Apple TV app and works with Apple’s AirPlay system.

Full-fledged options and HDMI connectivity

Full-array native dimming units the Q80T aside from cheaper Samsung TVs. This expertise, which improves LCD picture high quality considerably in our expertise, boosts black ranges and distinction by ensuring areas of the image dimmer or brighter in response to what’s on the display screen. The step-up Q90T and the corporate’s 8K fashions have extra dimming zones and brighter pictures than the Q80T, however Samsung does not say precisely what number of zones every has. 

Key options

Show expertise

LED LCD

LED backlight

Full array with native dimming

Decision

4K

HDR suitable

HDR10, HDR10+

Sensible TV

Tizen

Distant

Commonplace voice

Like all of Samsung QLED TVs, in addition to most higher-end TVs from Vizio and TCL, the Q80T’s LCD panel is augmented by a layer of quantum dots — microscopic nanocrystals that glow a selected wavelength (i.e. colour) when given power. The impact is best brightness and colour in comparison with non-QD-equipped TVs. The Q80T makes use of a real 120Hz panel, which improves the TVs’ movement efficiency, however as regular the “Movement Price 240” specification is made up (observe that the 49- and 50-inch sizes are 60Hz/MR 120).

The set helps excessive dynamic vary content material within the HDR10 and the HDR10 Plus codecs. It lacks the Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR assist discovered on most rivals’ HDR TVs. I’ve seen no proof that one HDR format is inherently “higher” than the opposite, so I undoubtedly do not take into account lack of Dolby Imaginative and prescient a deal-breaker on this TV — as an alternative it is only one extra issue to think about.

Gaming options are one of many Q80T’s sturdy factors. It is suitable with variable refresh fee, in addition to the FreeSync and G-synch VRR codecs, accessible from gadgets together with choose PCs, the Xbox Sequence X and PS5, though the latter does not assist VRR but. The Q80T additionally accepts 4K/120Hz enter on HDMI 4, which is conveniently marked with slightly sport controller icon. The TV helps Auto Recreation Mode too, which lets it routinely swap to sport mode to cut back enter lag when it detects you are taking part in a sport. (Be aware that the 49- and 50-inch sizes lack 4K/120Hz enter and VRR.)

David Katzmaier/CNET
4x HDMI inputs2x USB portsEthernet (LAN) portOptical digital audio outputRF (antenna) inputRemote (RS-232) port (EX-LINK)

This record is usually strong, except you occur to personal a legacy gadget that requires analog video (part or composite) or audio. The Q80T is without doubt one of the few TVs that does not no less than supply one analog enter, audio or video.

Image high quality comparisons

Click on the picture above for image settings and HDR notes.

David Katzmaier/CNET

The Q80T is a superb performer general, with good native dimming and distinction, wonderful brightness, colour and video processing. It fell wanting the black ranges and brightness of some less-expensive TVs, such because the Vizio P-Sequence and TCL 6 sequence, particularly with HDR materials, however confirmed much less blooming and a barely cleaner picture, incomes the identical rating of 8 (Glorious) on this class. I most popular the Vizio and TCL general for picture high quality and appreciated the Sony X900H a bit much less, however all 4 occupy the identical common airplane.

Click on the picture above to see the image settings used within the evaluation and to learn extra about how this TV’s image controls labored throughout calibration.

Dim lighting: I began with the excellent-looking Blu-ray of Parasite. In brighter scenes the Samsung usually matched the picture high quality of the others — all 4 have been wonderful general. Variations emerged in darker scenes, for instance throughout Park Dong-ik’s trip behind the automotive in Chapter 4. The TCL and the Vizio each confirmed darker, extra lifelike “black” within the shadows and letterbox bars, with much less bleed from vibrant areas into darkish, in comparison with the Sony and Samsung. The latter two have been shut, however the Samsung has a slight edge over the Sony. The variations weren’t drastic — all 4 TVs have superb black ranges and distinction — however nonetheless seen side-by-side.

Here is the place I point out an uncommon factor Samsung did with settings, which I appreciated. The Brightness management handles backlight stage however there’s an extra Shadow Element slider underneath Gamma (the place it needs to be) that controls precisely that (and does plenty of the identical work as a normal Brightness/black stage setting). In accordance with my measurements it does what it claims: boosts brightness at low ranges (5% to 20%) as you creep up. The default “0” setting is probably the most correct however cranking it up did reveal extra, sure, particulars just like the automotive seat cushions and ground of Parks automotive turned extra seen.

Vivid lighting: Lately TVs simply appear to be getting brighter however the Q80T is an exception, measuring dimmer than many TVs at its stage together with the TCL, Vizio P and Sony, and even barely dimmer than the Q70 from 2019. It is nonetheless vibrant sufficient for nearly any room, nonetheless, and has loads of punch to make HDR look impactful.

Gentle output in nits

TV

Brightest (SDR)

Correct colour (SDR)

Brightest (HDR)

Correct colour (HDR)

Hisense H9G

1,239

1,238

1,751

1,498

TCL 65R635

1,114

792

1,292

1,102

Sony XBR-65X900H

841

673

989

795

Vizio P65Q9-H1

768

629

1,305

1,084

Hisense 65R8F

717

717

770

770

Samsung QN65Q80T

664

503

1,243

672

Vizio M65Q7-H1

595

424

588

480

LG OLED65CX

377

290

690

634

Do not let the excessive rating in Dynamic idiot you. Other than being woefully inaccurate, it fluctuated fairly a bit, beginning out at over 1,200 nits however falling virtually instantly to round 300. Most different TVs do not present such dramatic fall-off, and not one of the Q80T’s different modes did both. 

For the Correct measurements in SDR I used the Pure image mode together with the Heat colour temperature setting (the default temperature for Pure is sort of blue). I favor Vizio and TCL’s method of a devoted, correct bright-room image mode.

Not like earlier Samsung TVs I’ve examined the Q80T did not excel at dealing with ambient mild. In a vibrant room the entire TVs in my lineup have been higher at decreasing the brightness of reflections to protect the constancy of the picture. The distinction wasn’t large however undoubtedly noticeable in darkish areas of program materials.

Shade accuracy: The Samsung’s Filmmaker Mode and Film modes are each correct earlier than calibration however I favor the previous as a result of it disables most video processing by default (see under). After calibration, as anticipated, it was wonderful. Throughout Parasite, colours just like the inexperienced lettuce and crimson kimchi within the cafeteria in Chapter 4, in addition to the pores and skin tones of the household as they eat, appeared pure and well-balanced. Then once more so did the opposite shows — it was tough to see any actual colour variations even side-by-side with non-HDR colours.

Video processing: As regular the Samsung aced my checks on this class, delivering true 1080p/24 movie cadence with film-based sources and loads of movement decision (1,000 strains) with video-based sources. The TV achieved each outcomes with a Image Readability setting of Customized with Blur Discount at 10 and Judder Discount at 0, so if I had this TV I might “set it and overlook it” proper there. Be aware that Filmmaker Mode’s default setting is to show Image Readability off, which leads to much less movement decision, however you’ll be able to modify it to style.

You can even add extra smoothing or cleaning soap opera impact by rising Judder Discount or selecting Auto as an alternative of Customized. In the meantime the LED Clear Movement possibility makes movement even sharper with the assistance of black body insertion, on the expense of flicker and a dimmer picture.

Samsung continues its custom of fantastic enter lag in sport mode with a rating simply over 14 milliseconds with each 1080p and 4K HDR sources.

Uniformity: With demanding, full-field check patterns the Q80T’s display screen was fairly uniform, with more-even lighting from edge to edge than the Vizio, whose sides appeared barely darkish, and barely less-even lighting than the TCL. With program materials I noticed the identical minor challenge on the Vizio whereas the others have been very related (observe that uniformity can range from pattern to pattern). From off-angle the Samsung was the very best LCD TV I’ve examined, sustaining colour constancy, brightness and distinction higher than the others. 

HDR and 4K video: With excessive dynamic vary sources the variations between the 4 TVs turned extra obvious, and the Vizio and TCL appeared barely higher than the Sony and the Samsung general. The Q80T’s highlights appeared a bit dimmer than the others, together with the Sony, whereas its black ranges have been lighter and fewer lifelike than the TCL and Vizio, it is distinction did beat the Sony’s.

Watching the Spears and Munsil HDR benchmark’s check montage, the ferris wheel at evening (4:51) was instance, with a barely gray-blue forged to the sky, and fewer pop within the lights on the Q80T. It nonetheless appeared nice, with loads of punch and distinction I count on from HDR, however subsequent to the TCL and Vizio it did not convey fairly the identical sense of realism — though it appeared higher general then the Sony.

Brighter scenes, just like the closeups of flowers and bugs (3:26), confirmed much less of a distinction however the Samsung nonetheless appeared very barely dimmer than the TCL and Vizio, an impression backed up by spot measurements of my mild meter. Colours have been crisp and vibrant, nonetheless, and the orange of the monarch butterfly for instance appeared a bit deeper and extra saturated than the TCL, if not fairly as highly effective because the Vizio.  

The Samsung and Sony had one benefit throughout the montage nonetheless: they have been barely cleaner than the TCL and Vizio within the first fade up from black to a vibrant sky. The latter two confirmed faint, refined banding within the sky because the picture brightened, whereas the 2 “S” TVs did not. 

One other benefit: The Q80T was the very best among the many three at controlling blooming, so stray illumination wasn’t a difficulty even in tough combined bright-and-dark scenes. One main purpose, I believe, was its less-aggressive brightness in comparison with the extra blooming-prone TCL and Vizio.

Switching over to Parasite in HDR, the Samsung’s picture held up higher than earlier than due to its skill to regulate blooming and preserve black ranges (on the expense of brightness). In the course of the darkish Chapter Four automotive trip, for instance, the Q80T’s black ranges have been darkest and it confirmed much less stray illumination within the passing streetlights. However these lights and different vibrant spots have been extra good on the TCL and Vizio, and each uncovered extra shadow element than the Samsung — whereas the Sony had the very best shadow element and the worst distinction. I nonetheless ended up preferring the TCL and Vizio general, however the Samsung was a lot nearer.

In brighter scenes the place blooming is much less seen the superior mild output of the opposite TVs shined gave them extra attribute HDR punch, notably in highlights just like the solar as TK approaches the home in Chapter 3. The Samsung nonetheless appeared good, saturated and spectacular, however the TCL and Vizio appeared only a notch more-so in my side-by-side comparability.

Geek Field

Take a look at

End result

Rating

Black luminance (0%)

0.003

Good

Peak white luminance (SDR)

664

Good

Avg. gamma (10-100%)

2.22

Good

Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)

0.64

Good

Darkish grey error (30%)

0.90

Good

Vivid grey error (80%)

1.37

Good

Avg. colour checker error

2.70

Good

Avg. saturation sweeps error

2.01

Good

Avg. colour error

1.29

Good

Purple error

1.34

Good

Inexperienced error

0.59

Good

Blue error

1.13

Good

Cyan error

1.38

Good

Magenta error

1.61

Good

Yellow error

1.70

Good

1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)

Go

Good

Movement decision (max)

1000

Good

Movement decision (dejudder off)

1000

Good

Enter lag (Recreation mode)

20.77

Good

HDR10

Black luminance (0%)

0.005

Good

Peak white luminance (10% win)

1243

Good

Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976)

91.85

Common

ColorMatch HDR error

5.52

Poor

Avg. colour checker error

2.65

Good

Enter lag (Recreation mode, 4K HDR)

20.37

Good

Samsung QN65Q80T CNET revie… by David Katzmaier

Portrait Shows Calman calibration software program was used on this evaluation. 

About the author: SubSellKaro

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