The Samsung KS8500 4k UHD LED is a very good versatile TV. It offers great picture quality for movies and HDR content, has great motion handling and is very responsive for video games. It is a good fit even in the brightest living room as it can get very bright and deals well with reflections. Unfortunately, its picture deteriorates when viewed from the side.
The Samsung KS8500 has a very sleek and simple design. The stand has a shiny chrome finish and the back of the TV is glossy. Despite the curved screen, the TV doesn't appear thick and the borders are also very thin.
Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 43.3" x 9.2"
The TV feels sturdy on the two simple chrome finished legs.
On the 65" TV there are reports of an alternate middle stand position, similar to the KS8000
The KS8500 has a few hot spots and gets slightly hotter than average, but it's nothing to worry about.
The KS8500 has great picture quality. Dark scenes impress with the deep blacks, great uniformity and bright highlights. The TV supports HDR 10 and benefits from the more vivid picture. Low resolution sources such as DVDs display well, and higher quality content benefits from the high resolution display. Can get very bright and deals with reflections well.
Local dimming on the KS8500 is almost identical to the non-curve KS8000. When local dimming is activated, it produces blooming around bright highlights and on a big vertical column. When watching regular movies or HDR content, you will still get some very deep blacks and very bright highlights when local dimming ('Smart LED') is activated.
The KS8500 is very bright even when watching standard SDR content, which is good since some other TVs are sometimes much less bright with SDR content versus HDR content. This test was done with 'Smart LED' set to 'High.'
The KS8500 screen can get very bright. It is about as bright as the other KS series TVs, including the higher end model KS9500. On a static image, the maximum brightness drops to around 500 cd/m² over time. Like the other TVs in the Samsung SUHD line, we did this test with 'Smart LED' set to 'High' and with a HDR signal.
The gray uniformity is quite similar to the KS8000. The vertical edges of the screen are slightly darker, and the horizontal edges slightly brighter. Overall it is quite a good result for an LED and should not be an issue.
The whole screen appears uniform without any issues when displaying a black image. At an angle, you can see a bit more issues though.
The Samsung KS8500 displays a smooth color gradient with some little imperfections in the dark green.
Out of the box, the Samsung TV had some issues with both the Gamma as well as the White Balance dE. The Gamma had a unpleasant curve, and the White Balance dE lacked blue, and had too much green and red. As for the Colors, the Color dE was at an acceptable level.
Thankfully, since this is a Samsung TV, the calibration was quick and easy. Most issues that were present during the pre-calibration were corrected.
Native 4k content looks very good and sharp on the KS8500 TV. For a good selection of 4k content you can look here.
Good coverage of both DCI P3 and REC 2020. Colors can get richer while viewing HDR material.
Similar to the other KS* TVs, the KS8500 can produce very bright and saturated colors. Unfortunately when the backlight is on max for HDR it can't produce dark saturated colors.
Reflections are dealt with very well on the KS8500. Direct reflections appear stretched because of the curved screen, and there is a purple tint similar to the LG OLEDs. This is the only TV from the KS series we have seen with the purple anti reflective coating. Reflections are very faint and should not be an issue for most environments.
The Samsung KS8500 is pretty good when it comes to handling motion. During fast movements, objects remain quite clear with no visible trail following. Movies are experienced without judder from any source. Motion interpolation works well, up to the panels native refresh rate of 120 Hz.
The response time of this TV is pretty low, with very little overshoot present. A small faint trail can be seen behind the Rtings logo, but nothing too dramatic. This is slightly better than the Samsung KS8000, mostly due to the 20% to 80% transition. As with other Samsung TVs, the backlight is controlled via a flickering PWM.
When playing 24p content over any source there are options which remove judder. For 60Hz signals, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and both sliders to 0 to remove judder without adding the soap opera effect (SOE)
Since this TV is 120Hz, 'Auto Motion Plus' can be used on 30Hz and 60Hz signals. This will add the soap opera effect (SOE). Low custom values will work well to smooth out motion with a minimum of the soap opera effect.
The KS8500 has very low input lag which is good. There is also a wide range of supported resolutions and inputs. Unfortunately even though it is a 120Hz panel, 120Hz signals aren't supported.
For gaming, set the input icon to 'Game Console' and enable 'Game' mode from the special viewing modes. This is a very similar result to the other TVs in the KS series and should be great for most people. When sending and HDR signal under game mode with an 1080p resolution, the input lag is 22.6ms.
Enable 'HDMI UHD Color' to accept a 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 signal. Chroma support at up to 4k results in better defined text in certain situations. Although the KS8500 has a 120Hz panel, it does not display a 120Hz signal. When setting the input to PC, there is 39.5ms input lag.
The TV supports 5.1 passthrough for Dolby Digital and DTS, but it is necessary to select the correct audio type in the sound settings, since it doesn't change automatically.
The Samsung KS8500 sound isn't bad and should be enough for those that doesn't want the clutter of a sound bar and subwoofer. These would still produce better sound with more bass though.
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.
Good low-end cutoff and maximum volume, for a TV. However, frequency response could be better. There's also pumping and compression present under heavy load.
Poor performance. The amount of harmonic distortion is rather elevated even at medium volumes, and it gets progressively as the volume increases.
Just like other 2016 Samsung TVs, this TV also comes with the latest Tizen operating system. That means that you will experience a very smooth and responsive smart interface performance. You will also have many supported applications available such as Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon Video. In terms of inputs, this TV offers many inputs, but lacks the compatibility of both component in and composite in, making it difficult to plug older devices that do not support HDMI.
When a new device is detected (such as when a computer is woken from sleep while plugged into an HDMI port) the TV automatically switches to this device. This may be an annoyance if you are watching other content at the time.
Ads are present on the home screen as well as in the app store on the KS8500.
The remote is identical to that of the Samung KS8000. It also is simple and comfortable, allowing users to easily navigate through the Tizen interface. It also sports a microphone to send voice commands to the TV.
We tested the 55" (UN55KS8500) version FA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the other sizes.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung KS8500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
The Samsung KS8500 is a great versatile TV but is hard to justify when its little sister, the non-curved version KS8000, offers almost the same picture quality and is sold for cheaper. Keep that in mind with our recommendations below.