The Samsung AU8000 is one of the entry-level models in Samsung's 2021 lineup, replacing the Samsung TU8000. It's the only TV in the Crystal UHD lineup in North America, but in Europe, it sits between the AU7000 and AU9000 models. It competes with other entry-level models like the Sony X80J, LG UP8000, and Hisense A6G. It's a simple model that lacks features like variable refresh rate (VRR) and HDMI 2.1 support. It runs a simplified version of Samsung's 2021 Tizen OS smart interface, which offers most of the same features as more advanced models but has fewer animations to keep the interface running smoothly. It comes with the same great remote as more expensive models, and it even supports voice controls to make it easy to find your favorite content.
The Samsung AU8000 is a decent TV overall. It looks best in a dim or dark room for watching movies, as it has a high contrast that delivers deep, uniform blacks. It has great reflection handling, so it's also decent for watching shows or sports in a bright room as it can handle some glare. It's a decent gaming TV thanks to its low input lag, but it has a slow response time and no advanced gaming features. Unfortunately, it has a narrow viewing angle, so it's not a good choice for a wide seating arrangement. HDR also adds very little as it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve the dynamic range, and it can't display a wide color gamut.
The Samsung AU8000 is good for watching TV shows in a bright room. Although it doesn't get very bright, it still has great reflection handling, meaning visibility won't be an issue in a moderately-lit room. It doesn't have upscaling issues with lower-resolution content like cable boxes or older shows on DVD. Sadly, it has a narrow viewing angle, so it's not ideal if you like to move around with the TV on or have a wide seating arrangement, as the image degrades when viewed from the side.
The Samsung AU8000 is decent for watching sports in a bright room. It has great reflection handling, so it can handle some glare in a moderately-lit room, but bright lights or windows are still distracting. Unfortunately, it has a slow response time, so fast-moving action in sports looks blurry. Also, it has a narrow viewing angle so it's not ideal for watching the big game with a group of friends, as only people sitting directly in front of the TV will enjoy the best image.
The Samsung AU8000 is decent for gaming. It has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, so there's very little delay between your actions with the controller and the action on-screen. It's also a good choice for late-night gaming thanks to its high contrast ratio. However, it doesn't support any advanced gaming features like variable refresh rates, and it has a slow response time that makes motion look blurry.
The Samsung AU8000 is decent for watching HDR content. It has a high native contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity, so blacks are deep and uniform in a dark room, with no distracting blooming around bright areas. Although it supports HDR10 and HDR10+, it doesn't display a wide color gamut needed for HDR content, and it can't get very bright in HDR, so highlights don't stand out the way they should.
The Samsung AU8000 is decent for HDR gaming. It has low input lag for gaming, but it has a slow response time and no VRR support. Sadly, HDR adds very little overall, since it can't display a wide color gamut and has low peak brightness, so highlights don't stand out how they should. It has high native contrast, but there's no local dimming feature to improve the dynamic range with HDR content.
The Samsung AU8000 is decent for use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag for a responsive desktop experience, so your mouse movements feel smooth. It has great reflection handling if you want to use it in a fairly well-lit room. It displays chroma 4:4:4 properly, which which is essential for clear text from a PC. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out at the side if you sit too close.
We bought and tested the 65-inch Samsung AU8000, and the results are also valid for the 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, 70-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch models as well, but the 70-inch model isn't available in North America. The warehouse variant is known as the AU800D. The 43-inch model has an IPS panel in some regions, so it has a wider viewing angle but worse contrast.
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Our unit was manufactured in April 2021; you can see the label here.
The Samsung AU8000 is a basic entry-level 4k TV with decent overall performance. It's a nice improvement from the Samsung TU8000, and although it doesn't get as bright as the higher-end Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED, it offers better value for the dollar.
The Samsung CU8000 is slightly worse than the Samsung AU8000. The CU8000 is better in a few areas, as it has a wider color gamut, better color volume, higher HDR brightness in game mode, and much better low-quality content smoothing. The AU8000, however, has much better reflection handling, better build quality, much better color accuracy both pre- and post-calibration, and is easier to calibrate. It also has much better black uniformity, but this can vary between units. The newer CU8000 does have an upgraded version of Tizen OS, which now supports MultiView on this TV.
The Samsung Q60/Q60B QLED and the Samsung AU8000 are both decent TVs, but the Q60B is slightly more polished overall. It displays a wider range of colors, and it has much better out-of-the-box accuracy. It also has higher peak brightness, but the AU8000 has better reflection handling. The Q60B is better for dark rooms as it has a higher native contrast and improved black uniformity. In terms of smart features, they both have Tizen, but the Q60B has a few extra features that the AU8000 doesn't have, like the support for different voice assistant features.
The Samsung AU8000 is a bit better overall than the Samsung TU7000. They have similar features, but the AU8000 is better in a few areas. The AU8000 gets brighter and has better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for well-lit rooms. It also has an upgraded version of Tizen OS, which feels smoother to use, and it comes with a mic for voice control in the remote, which the TU7000 doesn't have. On the other hand, the TU7000 supports 1440p, which the TU8000 doesn't.
The Samsung AU8000 replaced the Samsung TU8000 in 2021 and is a slight improvement over its predecessor. The AU8000 is better in a few areas, like reflection handling and improved gradient handling, but it doesn't have frame dimming with small highlights like the TU8000. The newer model even has an upgraded version of Tizen that feels smoother. However, the TU8000 still has better motion handling, and it has a much better contrast ratio, but this can vary between units.
The Samsung AU8000 is much better than the LG UQ9000. The LG UQ9000 uses an IPS panel, which looks bad in a dark room, and it can't get very bright, so it isn't ideal for a bright room, either. The Samsung, on the other hand, looks much better in a dark room, with deep, uniform blacks, and it can handle a bit more glare than the LG. The only advantage of the LG is if you have a wide seating arrangement, as the image remains accurate to a wider angle, but it still looks worse overall.
The Samsung AU8000 and LG UP8000 are both okay TVs with different panel types. The Samsung has a much higher contrast because of its VA-type panel, and the LG has wider viewing angles due to its IPS panel type. The Samsung is a better choice to use in well-lit rooms because it has better reflection handling and gets brighter, but it's still not enough to truly fight glare. On the other hand, gamers should appreciate the LG's quicker response time for smoother motion. It also supports 1440p, which the Samsung doesn't.
The Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED and the Samsung AU8000 are both decent 4k TVs. Being Samsung TVs, they have many of the same features, but the main difference is that the Q60T uses quantum dot technology to produce a wide color gamut for HDR content, which the AU8000 can't do. The Q60T also gets much brighter, making it a better choice for well-lit rooms or watching HDR content. They each have similar panel types, and even though the Q60T has a higher contrast, this can vary between units.
The Samsung AU8000 and the Vizio V Series 2022 are both okay entry-level TVs. Each has their strengths and weaknesses, as the Vizio has more gaming features like VRR support and better motion handling. However, the picture quality is better overall on the Samsung because it gets brighter in SDR, has better upscaling, and has fewer uniformity issues.
The Samsung AU8000 is significantly better than the LG NANO75 2022. The Samsung has much higher contrast and better black uniformity, so it looks better in a dark room. The Samsung is also a bit brighter, so it can overcome more glare in a bright room.
The Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED and the Samsung AU8000 are decent TVs from Samsung's 2021 lineup. There's not much difference between the two, but since the Q60A sits in the higher-end QLED lineup, it performs better in a few areas. It has a much wider color gamut and gets brighter in HDR, making highlights pop more than the AU8000. On the other hand, the AU8000 has much better reflection handling.
The Samsung AU8000 is much better than the Hisense A6H. The Samsung has a much higher contrast ratio, so blacks look black instead of gray in a dark room, and it has much better black uniformity. The Samsung also has better reflection handling and higher peak brightness, so it looks a bit better than the Hisense in a bright room.
The Samsung AU8000 and the Hisense A6G use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses, but the Samsung is much better overall. The A6G uses different panel types with different sizes, so the exact performance difference may vary. The Samsung has much better contrast, better black uniformity, so it looks much better in a dark room. The Samsung also has much higher peak brightness and better reflection handling, but the Hisense has better viewing angles.
The Samsung AU8000 and the LG NANO75 2021 use different panel types, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, but overall the Samsung is much better. The Samsung has much better contrast, better black uniformity, better reflection handling, and it's significantly brighter. The only advantage of the LG is its wider color gamut, so it might be a better choice if you have a wide seating arrangement, but only if you're not in a bright room.
The Samsung AU8000 is better overall than the LG UP7000, but they use different panel types. The Samsung has a VA panel with higher contrast for deeper blacks, while the LG we tested has an IPS-like panel with wider viewing angles. However, there are variants of the LG with a VA panel. The Samsung has much better reflection handling and gets slightly brighter than the LG, so it's a better choice for rooms with lights. The Samsung also comes with a much better smart remote with voice control, which the LG doesn't have.
The LG C1 OLED is much better than the Samsung AU8000. The LG is a high-end TV with an OLED panel with a near-infinite contrast ratio, perfect black uniformity, and wide viewing angles. The LG also has more gaming features like HDMI 2.1 and VRR support to reduce screen tearing.
The Sony X80J and the Samsung AU8000 are both okay TVs, but they have different panel types. The Samsung has a VA-type panel with higher contrast, while the Sony has an IPS-like panel with wider viewing angles. The Sony gets a bit brighter and displays a much wider color gamut, but it still delivers a worse HDR experience because of the lower contrast. Motion looks smoother on the Sony because it has a quicker response time, and it's a better choice for PC use because it can display 1440p.
The Samsung AU8000 and the LG NANO85 2021 are decent TVs with a few differences. They have different panel types with strengths and weaknesses. The Samsung is better for dark room viewing because it has a higher contrast, and even in bright rooms, it has much better reflection handling. However, the LG has an IPS-type panel with wider viewing angles, so the image remains accurate from the side. Also, the LG has more gaming features than the Samsung, like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support, both of which the Samsung doesn't have.
The Sony X85J is better overall than the Samsung AU8000. The Sony gets brighter, has a higher contrast, and displays a wide color gamut, delivering a better HDR experience. The Sony also has a 120Hz panel compared to 60Hz on the Samsung, so motion handling is better, and it has HDMI 2.1 inputs, while the Samsung is limited to HDMI 2.0. Despite the Sony's better gaming features, the Samsung still has lower input lag for a more responsive gaming experience.
The Samsung AU8000 and the Vizio V5 Series 2021 are both decent TVs. They have the same panel type, so they each have high contrast but lack local dimming. The Samsung is a better choice for well-lit rooms because it gets brighter and has better reflection handling. Samsung's Tizen OS is better overall than Vizio's SmartCast because it has an app store, which the Vizio doesn't, and menu navigation feels smoother.
The Samsung AU8000 and the Vizio M6 Series Quantum 2021 are both decent TVs. The Vizio uses quantum dot technology, so it displays a much wider color gamut, and it also has VRR support, which the Samsung doesn't have. The Vizio also has much better contrast, but this can vary between units. The Samsung does a better job at upscaling lower-resolution content, like from cable boxes, and the built-in Tizen OS is a better smart platform than the Vizio SmartCast system.
The Sony X800H and the Samsung AU8000 are two decent TVs with different panel types. The Sony uses an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, while the Samsung has a VA panel with higher contrast. The Sony gets brighter, making it a better choice to use in well-lit rooms, and even though it displays a wide color gamut, which the Samsung doesn't, the Sony isn't a better choice for HDR content because of its lower contrast. The Sony also has a quicker response time, so motion looks smoother.
The Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 is better overall than the Samsung AU8000. The Vizio has more features like a full-array local dimming feature, which improves the contrast ratio, but it causes blooming around bright objects. The Vizio also has FreeSync support, which the Samsung doesn't, and it has a quicker response time. The Vizio displays a much wider color gamut for HDR content, but neither get bright enough to make highlights pop. The Samsung doesn't have trouble upscaling lower-resolution content like the Vizio, and the Tizen OS has a built-in app store, which Vizio's SmartCast OS doesn't.
The TV has a surprisingly premium design for an entry-level model. It comes with new feet compared to 2020's Samsung TU8000, and they sit flat against the table. It has thin bezels all around and looks nice in any setup.
After two months on our 100 TV accelerated longevity test, the brightness of this TV has dropped a bit, but no new uniformity issues have developed.
The stand consists of two plastic feet that support the TV well. You can customize the feet to place the TV in a higher vertical position (in photo) to place a soundbar in front without blocking the screen, or it can be placed closer to the table as seen here.
Footprint of the 55-inch stand: 42.6" x 11.1". The height of the lower position is 1.78", and the higher one is 3.08".
The back of the TV has similar etched horizontal lines as other Samsung TVs. It doesn't offer much in terms of cable management, but you can run cables through the clips in the feet and the tracks in the back panel. The ports all face to the side, but because they're placed inside a cutout on the back, they're nearly impossible to access when the TV is wall mounted, so a mounting arm that pulls out from the wall is recommended.
This TV has decent build quality. It's made entirely of plastic that feels good, and the entire thing is well-built with no significant issues. The back panel flexes a lot near the center and inputs, which is noticeable when plugging in HDMI cables, but this is common and won't cause any issues.
This TV has an okay native contrast ratio. Blacks are deep and true in a dark room, and they don't look washed out. Although it's great, the contrast ratio is a bit lower than other similar TVs, including the Samsung TU8000. If you want a TV with a higher contrast, then check out the Samsung Q60/Q60B QLED.
Since this TV lacks a local dimming feature, there's no blooming around bright objects in otherwise dark scenes. Since the entire backlight is always on at the same intensity and it has a low contrast ratio, dark scenes still look washed out.
This TV doesn't have a local dimming feature; the entire backlight is always on at the same intensity, so there's no distracting flicker or brightness changes as bright highlights move across the screen.
Switching to 'Game' mode doesn't result in any noticeable difference in contrast or blooming.
The HDR brightness is poor. It's not bright enough to display HDR content properly, and small bright highlights in dark scenes are dimmed considerably by the TV's frame dimming feature.
These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point, with the following settings:
Unfortunately, this TV is significantly dimmer in the 'Game' HDR Picture Mode.
These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point, with the following settings:
This TV has great PQ EOTF tracking, ensuring that most HDR content is displayed at the correct brightness level. Like most TVs with no local dimming, near-blacks are raised a bit. Midtones are also slightly too bright, but it's very close overall. There's a very smooth roll off near the TV's peak brightness, so fine details in bright scenes are preserved.
The SDR brightness is okay. It's bright enough to overcome glare in a moderately-lit room, and there's no noticeable variation in brightness with different content. Unfortunately, when gaming in SDR in the 'Game' Picture Mode, very small highlights in near-black scenes are dimmed considerably, flashing briefly at 145 nits before dropping to 104. This is extremely rare in most games.
These measurements are after calibration with the following settings:
The Samsung AU8000 has a decent HDR color gamut, with good coverage of the DCI P3 color space. This results in vivid colors when watching most HDR content, but it can't display the full range of colors available, so some content can look dull and muted. It has very limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space, and it can't display a wide color gamut, so it's not very future-proof.
Due to the narrow color gamut, the color volume is mediocre. It displays darker colors fairly well, thanks to the high contrast, but it struggles more with brighter colors.
The Samsung AU8000's accuracy before calibration is good. Most colors are slightly inaccurate, except red, yellow, and cyan are a bit less accurate. The white balance is okay, but brighter shades of gray are a bit off. The color temperature is fairly close to the 6500K target, and gamma follows the 2.2 target very well.
The accuracy after calibration is fantastic. Any remaining inaccuracies to the white balance and most colors are almost impossible to notice, except for saturated reds, which are a bit off. The color temperature is much closer to the calibration target of 6500K. It's very easy to calibrate, and it features a full color calibration system, which is uncommon for entry-level TVs.
You can see our full calibration settings here.
This TV has just decent gray uniformity. There are a few patchy areas throughout the screen, which are distracting when you're watching anything with large areas of uniform color, like sports.
This TV has excellent black uniformity. The screen is cloudy throughout, but it's very uniform, so it's not very distracting. Sadly, there's no local dimming feature to reduce the cloudiness of the screen.
The Samsung AU8000 has a narrow viewing angle. Colors start to shift, and the image looks darker as you move off-center, so it's not ideal for a wide seating area or if you like to move around with the TV on.
The reflection handling is impressive. It handles a moderate amount of light well, and even though it struggles more with stronger light sources, it's still better than most entry-level TVs.
The gradient handling is excellent, which is a significant improvement from the Samsung TU8000. There's a bit more banding in the reds and greens, but it's still not too noticeable. The Noise Reduction setting, which is designed to smooth out gradients in low-quality content, doesn't appear to do anything at all.
The Samsung AU8000 upscales 480p content, like from DVDs, without any issues.
The panel is different from the Samsung TU8000 and looks like an MVA panel, which is a type of VA panel and performs the same. There's dithering with blue pixels, but it's only visible with a full white screen. It has BGR subpixel layout, which negatively affects text clarity when using it as a PC monitor.
The Samsung AU8000 has an okay response time. Transitions in dark scenes are very slow, resulting in a long trail behind dark objects, known as black smearing. Motion looks blurry because of this slower response time, and there are noticeable duplications due to the TV's backlight flicker.
The Samsung AU8000 uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight, which results in flicker that can cause headaches and eye strain. It's flicker-free in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with the Brightness set to anything '25' and above, but it flickers at 480Hz at '24' and below. It flickers at 120Hz with Picture Clarity enabled or in Game Mode. It also flickers at 120Hz in the 'Dynamic', 'Standard', and 'Natural' Picture Modes, but it's flicker-free in those modes if the backlight is set to its max.
The Samsung AU8000 has a backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion (BFI). BFI is designed to improve the appearance of motion by reducing the amount of persistent blur. It flickers at 60Hz outside of Game Mode if you enable LED Clear Motion, but once Game Mode is enabled there aren't any motion settings and it always flickers at 120Hz, which leads to motion duplication. Unfortunately, the flicker introduced is poorly timed, resulting in noticeable crosstalk, so the overall usefulness of this feature is limited.
The Samsung AU8000 has an option to interpolate 30fps content up to 60fps, known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It looks okay in slower scenes but stops interpolating altogether during busy scenes, which is distracting due to the sudden change in frame rate.
Since the TV has a slower response time, there's very little stutter when watching low frame rate content, like movies.
Like the Samsung TU8000, this TV can only remove judder from sources that can send a true 24p signal, like a Blu-ray player or a streaming box with a "match frame-rate" feature. It can't remove judder from sources that don't have this feature, like most cable boxes.
This TV has a basic 60Hz panel without any variable refresh rate support. If you want a budget-friendly TV with VRR support, check out the Vizio M6 Series Quantum 2021.
This TV has incredibly low input lag as long as Game Mode is enabled. Surprisingly, even outside of Game Mode input lag is still low enough for most casual gamers.
The Samsung AU8000 supports most common resolutions, but only at 60Hz, as it doesn't support a 120Hz refresh rate. Chroma 4:4:4 is displayed properly, which is important for clear text from a PC but only in the TV's 'PC' mode.
Since it's a 60Hz TV, it only supports 4k games up to 60fps from the PS5. It has an Auto Low Latency Mode that automatically switches the TV into Game Mode to get the lowest input lag possible when a game from a compatible device is launched.
Since it's a 60Hz TV, it only supports 4k games up to 60fps from the Xbox Series S|X. It has an Auto Low Latency Mode that automatically switches the TV into Game Mode to get the lowest input lag possible when a game from a compatible device is launched.
Unlike the Samsung TU8000, the Samsung AU8000 doesn't have any component or composite inputs. You'll need an external HDMI adapter to connect older devices like retro game consoles.
Even though the Samsung AU8000 doesn't have HDMI 2.1 bandwidth inputs, it still supports eARC. This allows you to pass uncompressed audio in the Dolby Atmos via TrueHD format to a compatible receiver over a single HDMI connection. It can also pass through a DTS 5.1 signal through ARC, which is great, although it can't do the same through optical, nor does it support advanced DTS formats through eARC.
The frequency response is mediocre. It doesn't produce much bass, and there are compression artifacts at its max volume. You have to listen at moderate levels if you want a more well-balanced sound profile.
The distortion performance is mediocre. Although there isn't too much at moderate listening levels, it increases quite a bit at its max volume.
Sadly, there are ads on the home page and app store, and there's no way to disable them.
Samsung's app store has a great selection of apps, including all major streaming services.
This TV comes with the same new redesigned remote as other Samsung TVs in 2021, except it requires disposable batteries instead of a rechargeable one. There are shortcut buttons to popular streaming devices, and the voice control gives you access to Bixby, Alexa, and Google Assistant. You can ask it to change settings and switch inputs, but you can't ask it to search for specific content in apps.
There's a single button below the Samsung branding on the right side. You can change volume, channels, and inputs and turn the TV On/Off.