The Samsung JS8500 is currently our second-best rated LED TV in 2015, thanks to its overall great picture quality. It's only real issue is the degradation of quality at an angle.
The Samsung JS8500 feels higher-end than the cheaper JU7100. It is thinner, but the borders around the screen are thicker.
The stand is nice and stable, and not too wide relative to the screen. Most people shouldn't have a difficult time fitting this TV into an existing setup.
This is a pretty good TV for movies and TV shows. The blacks are decently dark, and there aren't too many uniformity issues, either.
You also get a few extras, like HDR, local dimming, and a motion smoothing feature. Note that these can make the picture look quite different from what you're used to.
The native contrast ratio is good. Because we use a checkboard pattern, the local dimming didn't affect our measurement.
The LEDs are on both sides of the TV, which in conjunction to turning on 'Smart LED', creates horizontal blooming. The zones are quite big, but at least it is useful to darken the letterbox in movies (feature called 'Cinema Black').
The maximum luminosity of a 2% white window is 526.9 cd/m2, which is, of course, less bright than on the JS9500. You can also see a lot more blooming due to the edge lit local dimming.
The JS8500 has the least dirty screen effect of any LED TV we've reviewed this year. We measured it at 0.147%. Of course, there are still some darker areas (it has a standard deviation of 2.454%), but it is one step above every TV we reviewed in 2015.
This is thanks to Samsung's good implementation of an edge-lighting backlight. Last year's H7150 had a similar backlight, and uniformity, too.
The picture quality degrades if you watch it from an angle. The colors desaturate and the blacks become gray. Of course, you can still see the picture, but it won't be as good as in front.
Update 01/06/2017: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results from 2016 TVs.
Our unit had a little bit of clouding and flashlighting, but nothing that was obvious when watching a dark scene.
The default calibration settings are excellent under Movie mode.
It didn't take too long to reach a great color calibration.
If you set 'Colorspace' to 'Native', the color gamut covers 13% more of Rec. 2020 than the JU7100.
It is excellent at keeping the ambient reflections under control. Keep in mind that it has a glossy finish though, so direct reflections are a bit worse, with a little bit of glare around them.
It can get very bright, which is great with a room full of windows. However, due to its glossy finish, it isn't ideal for situations where the window is directly facing the TV.
The 3D is good, with little to no crosstalk.
For 2015, this is the best TV we've seen for watching sports, partly because you get very little blur, which is ideal for the quick pace of sporting events.
Of the 2015 lineup, this TV also has the least of the unsightly smudginess common to LED TVs, so the playing surfaces for sports will look the way they should.
The response time is very fast. We measured it at 11.9 ms on our Samsung UN55JS8500. Motion blur is not a problem on this TV.
There is no judder in movies when using a 24p source (like a Blu-ray player). Sometimes it can do the reverse 3:2 pulldown, but not always, so you might notice a little bit of judder in movies when watching over a 60p or 60i source (like on cable). You can get rid of it when using 'Auto Motion Plus', but this adds the soap opera effect, which not everyone likes.
This is a good, but not great, gaming TV. While it does really well with fast-moving objects, there's are a few more milliseconds delay between when you perform an action and when that action appears onscreen than we'd like.
The other Samsung 4k TVs are better for this, so we'd recommend a different model if you want a Samsung screen for gaming and really want as big of an edge as you can find.
The input lag in game mode is 36.9ms, which is average-good. You won't notice it in video games.
Like all Samsung TVs, the JS8500 doesn't support 1080p @ 120 fps. It does however display 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, when setting the 'Device Type' of the input to PC and turning on UHD Color.
This TV has decent bass, and has fairly accurate sound at low volumes. It can also get pretty loud.
It's not accurate at higher volumes, though. If you're a person who likes to watch TV nice and loud, you should consider spending a little extra money and getting a soundbar or speaker system.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
The bass extension is good for a TV and so is the frequency response at lower volumes. But at higher volumes the frequency response suffers due to the compression and pumping artifacts. It does however get relatively loud.
Minimal amounts of distortion at lower volumes, but as the volume increases the distortion increases too. There might be some "hiss" and "clicks" present when the TV is pushed to its limits.
Overall, Samsung's Tizen OS is a good smart TV interface, and the voice and motion control on the remote make browsing the web (and your app collection) a breeze.
It would be nice if the remote had a keypad on it, just so that manually changing channels could be a bit quicker. The guide function works well, though, so a quick setup of that feature will have OTA watchers all set.