The Samsung AU8000 is an entry-level 4k TV that replaces the Samsung TU8000 from 2020. It's a simple model that lacks features like variable refresh rate (VRR) and HDMI 2.1 support, but that's somewhat expected from a budget-friendly option. It has a VA-like panel that performs best in dark rooms because it has a high native contrast ratio, but there's no local dimming feature to improve the black levels. It improves in a few areas compared to its predecessor, including its great reflection handling, so although it doesn't get very bright, it's not a bad choice for a room with a few lights. Sadly, it's not suggested for wide seating arrangements as it has narrow viewing angles that make the image look washed out from the side.
The Samsung AU8000 is decent for mixed usage. It's okay for watching movies thanks to its high native contrast ratio, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature. It's good for watching TV shows and decent for sports because of its great reflection handling, but it has narrow viewing angles. It doesn't have any gaming features and has a slow response time, but it still has low input lag. Sadly, it can't display a wide color gamut for HDR content and doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights.
The Samsung AU8000 is okay for watching movies. It has a VA-type panel with high native contrast and excellent black uniformity, but it lacks any local dimming feature to improve the black levels. Luckily, it doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content, and it removes judder from 24p sources.
The Samsung AU8000 is good for watching TV shows. Although it doesn't get very bright, it still has great reflection handling, so visibility shouldn't be much of a problem in a fairly lit room. It doesn't have upscaling issues with lower-resolution content like cable boxes. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks inaccurate when viewing from the side.
The Samsung AU8000 is decent for watching sports. It's a good choice for well-lit rooms because it has great reflection handling, but it doesn't get very bright. Unfortunately, it has a slow response time, so fast-moving content looks blurry. Also, it has narrow viewing angles, and the image looks washed out if you're watching at wide angles.
The Samsung AU8000 is decent for gaming. It has low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. However, it doesn't have any features like VRR support, and it has a slow response time that makes motion look blurry. On the plus side, it's good for dark room gaming thanks to its high contrast ratio, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature.
The Samsung AU8000 is unremarkable for watching HDR content. It has a high native contrast ratio that makes blacks look black, but it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve it. Although it supports HDR10 and HDR10+, it doesn't display a wide color gamut needed for HDR content, and it has low brightness, so highlights don't pop how 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 content doesn't look very good because 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 it.
The Samsung AU8000 is good for use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag for a responsive desktop experience, but the slow response time makes motion look blurry. It has great reflection handling if you want to use it in a fairly well-lit room. It displays chroma 4:4:4, which helps with text clarity. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out at the side if you sit too close.
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 AU9000 and AU7000 models. We expect it to compete with other entry-level models like the Sony X80J, LG UP8000, and Hisense A6G.
The TV is a bit stylish 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 a simplistic look with thin bezels all around and should look nice in any setup.
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, 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 Samsung AU8000 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 Samsung AU8000 is much thinner than the Samsung TU8000 and should look great when wall-mounted.
The Samsung AU8000 has decent build quality. It's made entirely out of plastic that feels good, and the entire thing is well-built together without any obvious issues. However, the back panel flexes a lot near the center and inputs, and you notice it even when plugging in an HDMI cable.
The Samsung AU8000 has a VA-type panel with a great native contrast ratio, so blacks look fairly deep when viewed in the dark. Sadly, it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve it. It's significantly worse than the Samsung TU8000, but contrast can vary between units.
The SDR brightness is okay. It's an improvement from the Samsung TU8000 because it doesn't have any frame dimming in the 2% windows. However, it's not enough to fight a ton of glare in a well-lit room.
We tested SDR brightness after calibration in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with Brightness at its max, Gamma set to '2.2', and Contrast at its default setting with all other image processing disabled. If you want an even brighter image at the cost of accuracy, we hit nearly 400 cd/m² in the 10% window in the 'Dynamic' Picture Mode with every other setting at its default.
There's no local dimming feature on the Samsung AU8000. The videos above are provided for reference only. If you need something with local dimming, then look into the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021.
There's no local dimming feature on this TV. The videos above are provided for reference only.
The HDR brightness is poor. It doesn't even get brighter than in SDR, which is disappointing, and highlights don't pop. There's visible frame dimming, so small highlights are dimmer than the rest. The EOTF doesn't follow the target well either, as most scenes aren't as bright as they should be.
We tested it in the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode with Brightness and Contrast at their max with all other image processing disabled. If you want a brighter image, set Contrast Enhancer to 'High' with ST.2084 at its max; this results in a slightly brighter image as you can see in this EOTF. The EOTF tracks better with these settings instead of our recommended settings, but we use the same settings across TVs from the same brand to make them comparable to each other.
The Samsung AU8000's HDR brightness in Game Mode is once again poor. It's pretty much the same as outside of Game Mode and there's no visible change; any difference in testing results is normal as brightness can vary a bit between runs.
We tested it with Game Mode enabled, Color Gamut set to 'Auto', Color Tone on 'Warm 2', and Brightness and Contrast at their max. The EOTF looks the same as outside of Game mode so use the same settings if you want a brighter image.
The gray uniformity is okay, and this can vary between units. There are a few patchy areas, especially on the left side, and there's dirty screen effect in the center, which could get distracting during sports. Uniformity is improved in near-dark scenes, but there's still backlight bleed along the left and right edges.
The black uniformity is excellent. There's no blooming around the center cross, but there's noticeable clouding throughout. This could get distracting in dark scenes, but it also varies between units.
The reflection handling is impressive, and it's a nice improvement from the Samsung TU8000. 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 Samsung AU8000's out-of-the-box accuracy is good. Most colors are slightly inaccurate, except red, yellow, and cyan are a bit more inaccurate. The white balance is a bit off, which affects the shades of gray. Color temperature is fairly close to the 6500K target, and gamma follows the 2.2 target somewhat well, except most scenes are brighter than they should be. Keep in mind that out-of-the-box accuracy can vary between units.
Accuracy after calibration is fantastic. Any remaining inaccuracies to the white balance and most colors are almost impossible to notice. However, red is still off, which may be noticeable to come people. Color temperature is closer to the target, except it's on the cooler side now, and gamma improved.
You can see our recommended settings here.
The Samsung AU8000 upscales 480p content, like from DVDs, without any issues.
1080p content like from Blu-rays looks as nearly as good as 4k content.
The Samsung AU8000 displays native 4k content without any issues. There's some dithering with pixels, but it's not noticeable with real content unless a pure white screen is displayed.
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 can affect text clarity when using it as a PC monitor, and you can read about it here.
The Samsung AU8000 has a decent color gamut for HDR content, but it's not considered a wide color gamut. It has great coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space, but it's very limited with the wider Rec. 2020 color space. It's worse than the LG NANO75 2021.
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 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 doesn't seem to improve the gradients.
There are no visible signs of image retention on the Samsung AU8000, but it can vary between units.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent burn-in, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Samsung AU8000 has an okay response time. There's visible motion blur behind fast-moving objects, and due to the slow response time with dark transitions, there's smearing. The 100% response time is quicker than the Samsung TU8000, but motion looks worse because there's more black smear.
The Samsung AU8000 uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight. 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 Black Frame Insertion feature to try to reduce motion blur. It can flicker 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. There's also bad crosstalk, and the BFI timing seems off, which could get distracting. Note that our BFI score is based on the range at which it can flicker and not its actual performance.
The Samsung AU8000 can interpolate 30fps content up to 60fps, known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. You need to set Judder Reduction to '10' in the Picture Clarity tab for it to work. It looks okay in slower scenes but stops interpolating altogether during busy scenes. It also stopped working at random times with our test pattern.
Since the TV has a slower response time, there's not too much stutter with lower frame rate content.
Like the Samsung TU8000, the Samsung AU8000 can remove 24p judder from native sources and apps, but not from 60p and 60i sources. You need to disable Picture Clarity for it to remove judder.
The Samsung AU8000 has a basic 60Hz panel without any variable refresh rate support.
The Samsung AU8000 has incredibly low input lag as long as Game Mode is enabled. Surprisingly, even outside of Game Mode input lag is still low enough that it should be good for gaming in case you accidentally forget to enable it. You can enable the motion interpolation feature while gaming, but it increases the input lag significantly. If you want to use the TV as a monitor, you need to set the input you're using to 'PC'.
The Samsung AU8000 displays 1080p and 4k resolutions up to 60Hz. It supports chroma 4:4:4 on its supported resolutions, which helps with text clarity. To enable it, set the input label you're using to 'PC'. Sadly, it doesn't support 1440p like the Samsung TU8000; we had issues trying to force it as a custom resolution as it would appear as 3840x1600, which is a problem we experienced with the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED. If you want something that can display 1440p signals, then look into the Vizio V5 Series 2021.
Since it's a 60Hz TV, it only supports 4k games up to 60fps from the PS5 and Xbox Series 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. For it to work, set Game Mode to 'Auto'.
The Composite In is removed, compared to 2020's Samsung TU8000.
Even though the Samsung AU8000 doesn't have HDMI 2.1 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. For it to work, set HDMI eARC Mode to 'Auto' and Digital Output Audio to 'Auto' or 'Passthrough'.
The frequency response is mediocre. It doesn't produce bass, and there are compression artifacts at its max volume. You have to listen at moderate levels if you want more of a 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. However, it depends on the content, and not everyone may hear it.
Sadly, there are ads in the home page and app store and there's no way to disable them.
Samsung's app store has many apps, and they run smoothly for the most part.
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.
We tested the 65 inch Samsung AU8000. At the time of writing, it's only available in 43 (43AU8000), 65 (65AU8000), and 75 inches (75AU8000) in the United States, but the 50, 55, and 85 inch models should be available soon. It's sold as the AU800D at Costco. All sizes are already available in other countries. We expect our results to be valid for the other models, including the Costco variant.
If you come across a different type of panel or your Samsung AU8000 TV doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between units.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 LG C1 OLED is much better than the Samsung AU8000, but they have different panel types. 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. However, the Samsung is an entry-level model that has an LED panel and doesn't suffer from the risk of permanent burn-in like on OLEDs.
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 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 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 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 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 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.