We've reviewed over 25 Samsung TVs in the last two years. Samsung TVs, generally speaking, are very versatile and can provide good to very good picture quality. While Samsung has announced and released most of its 2020 models, we're still working on purchasing and reviewing them all, so most of the models mentioned below are from 2019. Generally, when new models are announced, 2019's models can be found cheaper than their comparative 2020 models, and generally represent better value until the new models' prices lower throughout the year.
The best Samsung TV we've tested so far is the Samsung Q90/Q90R. It's their flagship model in the 2019 lineup, so it has a premium feel to it and comes with a sturdy, metal stand. It performs exceptionally well for any type of use and it's one of the best LED TVs we've seen, thanks to its great picture quality. Although it has a VA panel, which normally have amazing native contrast and sub-par viewing angles, Samsung adds an 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, improving the viewing angles at the cost of its contrast. Luckily, it still performs very well in dark rooms due to the outstanding black uniformity and the great local dimming feature.
Unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues as the edges are darker, but this could be due to panel variance. Also, because it has such a fast response time, lower frame rate content may appear to stutter, but it has a motion interpolation feature to help with that issue. Gamers should appreciate the 120Hz refresh rate and FreeSync variable refresh rate support to reduce screen tearing, and the input lag on 'Game' mode is very low. It also displays a very wide color gamut and can get extremely bright to make highlights pop in HDR. Overall, this is the best Samsung TV we've tested so far.
The best Samsung TV for gaming is the Samsung Q70/Q70R. It has an even higher native contrast ratio than the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED since it doesn't have the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer. It also has outstanding black uniformity and a local dimming feature, great if you like to game in a dark room. Motion handling is exceptional and input lag is outstandingly low, and it supports variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing. It also features Auto Low Latency Mode, which activates automatically when it detects a game being launched from a compatible gaming console.
Unfortunately, it has only decent gray uniformity and its viewing angles are poor, which may be disappointing if you like co-op gaming with a large group of friends. However, it has good out-of-the-box color accuracy, can get very bright, and it displays a wide color gamut if you want to use it for HDR gaming. Overall, if you want a great overall Samsung TV that's excellent for gaming, you can't go wrong with this one.
The best budget Samsung TV we've tested so far is the Samsung TU8000. It's a good overall TV that also offers excellent gaming performance. It has a great response time, and even though there's still some blur trail behind fast-moving objects, it has a black frame insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion. Its input lag is incredibly low, but its refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, and it doesn't have VRR support like on higher models, but it's still a good choice for console gamers. It performs really well in dark rooms with a fantastic contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity.
Unfortunately, it lacks a local dimming feature, and although it supports HDR10 and HDR10+, it doesn't display a wide color gamut and has disappointing HDR peak brightness, so content doesn't look much different from SDR. It has decent brightness and okay reflection handling, but it struggles in really bright rooms. It performs slightly better than 2019's Samsung RU7100, so look into whichever TV is cheaper. Overall, this is the best budget Samsung TV we've tested.
Samsung TVs will usually have better input lag than Sony TVs, and will generally have a much more expressive and original design. Sony TVs, in comparison, will usually be built a bit better, with a mostly metal construction. They'll also have a lot more motion settings and no judder issues.
At every price range, Samsung TVs provide a performance suitable for most buyers. They generally perform very well. In 2020, competition is tightening up a bit more, so Samsung LED TVs don't seem to provide as much value. Their performance remains comparable, though. If you'd like to compare specific TVs, take a look at our side by side comparison tool.
At every price range, Samsung TVs provide a performance suitable for most buyers. They generally perform very well. In 2020, competition is tightening up a bit more, so Samsung LED TVs don't seem to provide as much value as they previously did. Their performance remains comparable, though. If you'd like to compare specific TVs, take a look at our side by side comparison tool.
Samsung's lineup covers everything from budget to high-end models. As a rule of thumb, the higher the number, the better it is, although sometimes the improvements aren't worth it. The letter in their model number corresponds to the year:
Samsung also uses the prefix Q* to denote their high-end QLED models.
In the infancy of smart TVs, Samsung was the leader when it came to functionality and their smart features. This isn't to say that they were very good, as it took quite a few years for Smart TV platforms to mature into something comparable to external set-top boxes. Samsung's lead was quickly usurped by LG WebOS, which was launched in 2014 and remains one of the best today.
Samsung first responded in 2015 by updating their platform to Smart Hub, based on their Tizen operating system. This was a significant upgrade, but it still didn't match LG's consistently updated offering. They gave the platform a face-lift in 2017 as well, switching the color palette and updating their voice control capabilities.
In 2018, Samsung added their Bixby virtual assistant to Samsung's entire line of Q* and most N* models except the NU7100. The same was the case for the 2019 lineup as the RU7100 still lacked the feature. Bixby can integrate into Samsung's SmartThings smart home platform, allowing you to control compatible devices ranging from lights, outlets, door locks, and even your fridge.
The interface is very simple and easy to navigate. Everything is located along a toolbar that appears at the bottom of your screen. Downloaded apps are found here as well, and you can quickly access the different inputs and settings. The interface works well, and there are a lot of animations, but on lower-end TVs, these animations can be slow.
Unfortunately, Samsung's Smart Hub also shows ads on the home screen. It shows up in the same row as the installed Samsung Smart TV apps, and they cannot be disabled.
You can opt-out of personalized advertising in the settings, but that unfortunately just means that you'll see very repetitive ads instead of different ones.
The app selection is pretty extensive nowadays. All the popular video and music services are available and more. Fortunately, the search function is quite good, and results come up very quickly. Like LG's WebOS and Android TV on Sony and Hisense TVs, Samsung TVs have an excellent selection of apps, and the vast majority of streaming services are available.
Voice Command was overhauled in 2017, and they are pretty good now. Other smart interfaces were updated in 2018 to search for content or apps, and also change settings, something Samsung has been able to do for two years. Even more in-depth stuff such as calibration settings are only a button press away, which is quite nice.
It's also possible to search within apps, but only a few apps are supported at this moment. It isn't possible to search Netflix, for example, but it is possible to search YouTube.
The Samsung smart remote included with the high-end QLED series is excellent. It's very comfortable to hold and features craftsmanship unlike anything else currently on the market. The controls are simple and intuitive, and it's easy to pair with the TV and other devices.
You may notice that current Samsung TVs have done away with expansive controls such as advanced playback buttons and number keys (although the budget models like the RU7100, RU7300, and RU6900 are still packaged with a more 'ordinary' remote with many buttons and a full number pad). This is in line with their initiative from a few years ago, and other remotes such as the ones found with Roku TVs. This isn't a big deal nowadays, but people using the TV tuner might prefer ordering a cheap universal remote to easily access TV channels.
The Samsung Remote App is very limited. It has recently been updated to a universal app for all Samsung smart home products, called SmartThings. The app functions mainly as a replacement remote control. It can't stream files from your device to your TV, but some apps can stream video to your device. It can also be used for voice commands.
This is less common now than it was in previous years, but Samsung TVs often have issues with Wi-Fi connections. They will randomly stop functioning after leaving the TV off for a while and will require the connection to be set up again, which is quite annoying.
Samsung, in general, makes very good TVs. Their range has somewhat crept up in price over time, but most people should still find a TV that suits their needs within it. Their smart features aren't the best out there, but they are still quite good, too. They are usually quite versatile and fit most uses. As long as you don't plan to watch them from an angle, which is a common shortcoming they have, it's hard to find major issues with them. If you're interested in Samsung products, check also our recommendations for the best Samsung headphones and the best Samsung soundbars.