Samsung NU8000 TV Review

Updated Mar 30, 2018 at 01:00 pm
Samsung NU8000 Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
8.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED
7.6
Movies
7.9
TV Shows
7.9
Sports
8.7
Video Games
7.7
HDR Movies
8.4
HDR Gaming
8.4
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Samsung RU8000
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung NU8000 is a versatile 4k LED TV with good picture quality and HDR support. It also has great motion handling, as only a short trail follows fast moving objects and the TV can flicker to clear up blur. The smart features also work well and the platform is intuitive. The TV includes the Bixby assistant for voice control. Unfortunately, the picture quality degrades when viewed at an angle and vertical blooming is visible in a completely dark room.

Our Verdict

8.1 Mixed Usage

Very good TV for mixed usage. Picture quality is good, but image loses accuracy when viewed at an angle. The TV can get bright to counteract glare in a bright room. Motion handling is great for watching sports, gaming or using it as a PC monitor. Dark scene performance is good, but the local dimming doesn't work well.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
7.6 Movies

Good for watching movies in a dark room. Picture quality is good, and colors accuracy is good out-of-the-box. The Samsung NU8000 can play most content without judder, which is great. Unfortunately, the local dimming doesn't work well to improve dark scene performance, as it reduces the brightness of small object significantly.

See our Movies recommendations
7.9 TV Shows

Very good for watching TV in a bright room. The TV can get bright across the whole screen to counteract glare, and reflection handling is good. The smart interface also works well for casual TV watching. Picture quality is good but degrades when viewed at an angle.

See our TV Shows recommendations
7.9 Sports

Good TV for sports fans. Motion handling is great, so fast-moving objects appear clear. Picture quality is good from directly in front but degrades when viewed at an angle. The TV can get bright to overcome glare in a bright room, and anti-reflection coating is good at diffusing direct lights on the screen.

See our Sports recommendations
8.7 Video Games

Excellent TV for gamers. Picture quality is good when viewed from directly in front. Motion handling is great, so fast-moving objects remain clear. The Samsung NU8000 can also flicker the image to clear up fast motion, and input lag is very low which is excellent.

See our Video Games recommendations
7.7 HDR Movies

Good for watching HDR movies in a dark room. Picture quality is good and can produce more bright and vivid HDR highlights due to wide color gamut and high peak brightness. The TV can play most content without judder, which is great. Unfortunately, the local dimming doesn't work as well as some other TVs.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
8.4 HDR Gaming

Great TV for HDR gaming on an Xbox One S or PS4 Pro. Picture quality is good, and motion handling is great due to the fast response time. The TV supports HDR features like a wide color gamut. The Samsung NU8000 also has a motion interpolation feature which works in game mode to produce smooth images with very little input lag which is great.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.4 PC Monitor

Great TV for PC use. The TV supports chroma 4:4:4 for clear text across all backgrounds. Picture quality is good but degrades when viewed at an angle so the sides of the screen can appear non-uniform from up close. Motion handling is great, and the TV feels responsive thanks to the very low input lag.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 8.1 Mixed Usage
  • 7.6 Movies
  • 7.9 TV Shows
  • 7.9 Sports
  • 8.7 Video Games
  • 7.7 HDR Movies
  • 8.4 HDR Gaming
  • 8.4 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Great motion handling
  • Low input lag
  • Great SDR peak brightness
Cons
  • Colors appear washed out at an angle
  1. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.
  2. Update 1/9/2019: We have retested the BFI, and can confirm that the NU8000 can flicker at 120 Hz when displaying a 120 Hz signal. Scores updated.
  3. Update 8/14/2018: Added the UK model numbers.
  4. Update 6/12/2018: Retested peak brightness on firmware update 1103, and by sending the signal with our Samsung K8500 Blu-ray player. The brightness is now significantly higher, by around 60 cd/m². The score has been updated.
  5. Update 6/11/2018: 1440p @ 120 Hz input lag has decreased as of firmware 1103. The review has been updated.
  6. Update 6/8/2018: FreeSync has been tested and the scores have been updated.
  7. Update 5/23/2018: Firmware version 1103 has added Freesync support. We are currently testing it and will update the review shortly.
  8. Update 5/2/2018: The color gamut was erroneously measured at a 50% stimulus. It has been remeasured at 75% stimulus to be in line with our other TVs.

Check Price

49" UN49NU8000
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
55" UN55NU8000
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
65" UN65NU8000
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
75" UN75NU8000
SEE PRICE
B&H
82" UN82NU8000
SEE PRICE
B&H

Video

Test Results

Design
Design
Stand

The stand is very different than the ones on the two previous models (the MU8000 and KS8000). It is very similar to the stand found on the JU7100. The TV is very stable and there is very little wobble.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 12.5" x 31.4".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

The back of the TV has a textured finish very similar to last year's MU8000. It has new tracks for cable management that are cut the entire width of the back of the TV. The VESA wall mount is 200x200 instead of the 400x400 found on most of last year's models .

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The NU8000 has slightly larger borders than last year's MU8000. The finish of the main bezel has changed from silver to black.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.28" (5.8 cm)

The TV is quite thin when viewed from the side, although it is slightly thicker than last year's MU8000.

When wall mounted, the TV doesn't stick out much which is good. The lack of the OneConnect mini means you will have more work if you need to change the connections, but you don't have to worry about where to place the box.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
96 °F (35 °C)
Average Temperature
89 °F (32 °C)

The TV stays fairly cool even after extended use, only getting a little warm to the touch along the bottom edge where the edge light LEDs are located. The NU8000 has vents along the bottom edge so if you are planning on wall mounting the TV, you shouldn't have any issues with heat dissipation.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The overall build quality is average, nearly identical to the MU8000. It is almost entirely made of plastic but feels solid. We haven't experienced any quality issues.

Update 07/31/2018: A few readers are reporting a clicking sound issue. From our investigation it seems to come from heat expansion of the back cover. We think that once the TV is warm enough it should settle down.

Picture Quality
8.9
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5461 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
5458 : 1

Excellent native contrast ratio on the Samsung NU8000, approximately 15% better than the MU8000. This high contrast ratio allows the TV to produce deep black scenes, especially when viewing in a dark room.

The local dimming feature has very little impact on the contrast ratio. This is to be expected as the local dimming on this edge-lit TV is not very effective at making blacks deeper.

1.8
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

The local dimming on the NU8000 is bad. It dims the screen less than the MU8000, but focuses the dimming on moving highlights as it should. This helps reduce the amount of visible blooming and the black levels appear raised.

8.6
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
509 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
711 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
851 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
596 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
553 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
572 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
706 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
558 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
594 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
551 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
571 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.014

Great SDR peak brightness. In dark scenes, the TV tries to keep black levels low rather than favoring brighter highlights. Brightness remains consistent, regardless of content and the TV is bright enough for most rooms.

Update 06/12/2018: Retested peak brightness on firmware update 1103, and by sending the signal with our Samsung K8500 Blu-ray player. The brightness is now significantly higher, by around 60 cd/m². The score has been updated.

7.6
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
529 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
709 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
876 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
620 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
593 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
575 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
702 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
575 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
617 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
591 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
572 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.012

Decent HDR peak brightness, slightly better than last year's MU8000 but significantly dimmer than the X900F. It is able to produce brief bright highlights especially in the 2% - 10% range. Bright enough for almost all rooms.

Update 06/12/2018: Retested peak brightness on firmware update 1103, and by sending the signal with our Samsung K8500 Blu-ray player. The brightness is now significantly higher, by around 60 cd/m². The score has been updated.

8.0
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.775 %
50% DSE
0.161 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.872 %
5% DSE
0.080 %

Good gray uniformity. The uniformity issues appear mainly around the edges of the screen. As such, the TV's dirty screen effect is not problematic when watching sports or playing games.

Dark scene uniformity is very good. The edges appear slightly brighter than the center but should not be noticeable.

5.3
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
23 °
Color Shift
21 °
Brightness Loss
32 °
Black Level Raise
16 °
Gamma Shift
19 °

Poor viewing angle. Colors and brightness shift if you are even slightly off center. The side seats of a 3 seat couch will notice a small difference, but people sitting further off center than that will have degraded picture quality. If viewing angle is an issue, an IPS panel like in the X800E would be a better choice.

8.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.727 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
0.679 %

Black uniformity is very good on the NU8000. No clouding can be seen with or without local dimming. Standard deviation is much better than last year's MU8000, and this year's X900F, which results in uniform dark scenes without distracting areas.

Like the MU8000, it is impossible to completely disable local dimming on this TV. As such, it is impossible to determine the true native black uniformity performance of this TV. We ran our test with the local dimming feature set to 'Low' (the lowest setting). The test for black uniformity with local dimming was taken with local dimming set to 'High'.

7.6
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.8 %
Indirect Reflections
0.5 %

The TV reflects a lot of light, but not as bad as other models we have tested like the MU8000. The semi-gloss finish diffuses reflections across most of the screen although there are no visible rainbows.

7.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.98
Color dE
3.44
Gamma
2.13
Color Temperature
6213 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
BT.1886 +2, Brightness +2

Good color accuracy out of the box, but follows our target of 6500K and 2.2 gamma much worse than last year's MU8000. White balance has too much red/green and gamma is too high across the entire curve at 2.42. The color temperature is cold at 6032K giving colors more of a yellow tint.

Update 04/12/2019: This TV was incorrectly measured with Brightness +2, instead of at 0. This only has a small impact on the results (slightly dimmer dark scenes below about 30 IRE) and so we don't plan to retest it.

9.1
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.21
Color dE
2.25
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6471 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
No

White balance and color temperature are near perfect post calibration. We were unable to correct color accuracy, although it remains acceptable for most people. We obtained the best results in the 'Movie' picture mode.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

There are no obvious issues or artifacts when upscaling low-quality content.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

No obvious issues upscaling 720p content.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content played from a Blu-ray looks good.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

No issues with native 4k content.

7.8
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
86.16 %
DCI P3 uv
92.13 %
Rec 2020 xy
63.31 %
Rec 2020 uv
71.10 %

Good color gamut on the Samsung NU8000, slightly better than the MU8000. Colors in HDR will be fairly accurate, although the TV has difficulty displaying deep greens. Very similar results to the Sony X900E.

The 'Movie' picture mode's HDR EOTF follows the target PQ curve very well, up until it rolls off into its max brightness. 'Game' and 'PC' modes also have fairly accurate EOTFs. In 'PC' mode the 'Dynamic' picture mode has the best HDR EOTF, because 'Standard' mode has a bug where it sometimes gets stuck in a dim state. *Corrected, see below.

Update 05/02/2018: The color gamut was erroneously measured at a 50% stimulus. It has been remeasured at 75% stimulus to be in line with our other TVs. The results remain almost identical.

Update 11/07/2018: The bug with the PC mode EOTF mentioned earlier was a mistake, it turns out the TV's 'Eco' mode was left on in PC mode accidentally (the PC mode setting is independent of the normal one). The PC mode EOTF has been remeasured in the 'Standard' picture mode, and isn't quite as good as the 'Movie' mode EOTF (darkens dim shades a little), but is still pretty good.

7.2
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
81.3 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
41.7 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
63.4 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
32.5 %

Decent color volume. It does a better job than the MU8000 at displaying bright colors across its entire color gamut, but still does not display deep, dark colors very well.

8.2
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.109 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.116 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.101 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.090 dE

The NU8000 handles color gradients very well. There is some visible banding especially in darker colors.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

There is no measurable temporary image retention on the NU8000, even immediately after the burn-in scene. This is good, especially for gamers.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Picture Quality
Pixels
Motion
8.8
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.7 ms
100% Response Time
12.8 ms

Very fast pixel response time, good enough for fast-moving content like sports and video games. Most of the blur in the photo is due to backlight flicker; the ghosting trail following the moving logo is fairly short, which is good.

6.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
240 Hz

The TV dims its backlight by using PWM flicker at 240 Hz. This flicker is unfortunately present at all brightness levels but is less severe at high brightness. This flicker makes fast motion look a little more clear, but also introduces unwanted duplications, as visible in the photo in the Response Time box.

10
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

The Samsung NU8000 has an optional 60 Hz flicker mode, activated by enabling 'LED Clear Motion' in the 'Auto Motion Plus' menu. This 60 Hz flicker greatly clears up motion during 60 fps content, but the flicker can be bothersome to some people. This flicker can also be activated in Game mode, by using the 'Game Motion Plus' menu, which is a first for Samsung TVs.

Update 01/09/2019: We have retested the backlight flicker at 120 Hz, and can confirm that the NU8000 does flicker at 120 Hz when displaying a 120 Hz signal.

10
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The Samsung 55NU8000 has a 120 Hz panel, and can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 fps. This makes motion much smoother, but can look strange to some people (the so-called 'soap opera effect'), and sometimes adds unwanted artifacts during fast motion. Interpolation is activated by setting 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom'; increase the 'Judder Reduction' slider to interpolate low frame rate content, and increase the 'Blur Reduction' slider to interpolate 60 fps content.

Game mode now also has motion interpolation, 'Game Motion Plus', which doesn't look as good as 'Auto Motion Plus' but adds much less input lag, as explained in the Input Lag box.

7.3
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
28.9 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
3.9 ms

The TV is decent at showing smooth motion in low frame rate content like movies, however, its fast response time can sometimes make motion look stuttery, such as in wide panning shots, because each frame stays unchanged for 29 ms.

8.9
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The 55NU8000 can remove 24p movie judder from most sources, except 60i input such as cable boxes; this is a regression from last year's Samsung TVs, which could remove judder from all common sources. To activate judder removal, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom', 'Judder Reduction' to 0 and 'Blur Reduction' to 0; this will remove judder without adding soap opera effect.

8.2
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz (except 49")
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync
4k VRR Maximum
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
48 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
HDMI

The NU8000 does not support FreeSync from our Radeon RX 580 GPU. We tried various combinations of game mode, PC mode, input refresh rates, etc., and FreeSync was never detected as supported.

Update 05/23/2018: Firmware version 1103 has added FreeSync support.

Update 06/08/2018: FreeSync has been tested and the score has been updated. FreeSync was supported from our Xbox One S and our Radeon RX 580 GPU, in 1080p, 1440p and 4k resolutions. FreeSync is activated by enabling the TV's Game mode and FreeSync settings; PC mode is not required. We tested in Ultimate mode because it has the widest range, and we only recommend Basic mode when you experience problems with Ultimate.

Update 10/26/2018: We have received confirmation that the 49" NU8000 does support FreeSync. Since it has a 60 Hz panel, the 1080p VRR range is limited to 60 Hz.

Inputs
9.4
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
18.1 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
72.5 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz
17.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
18.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
16.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
57.5 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
23.8 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
10.6 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
9.7 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
6.3 ms
1440p with VRR
6.5 ms
4k with VRR
15.1 ms
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes

1440p @ 120 Hz: 9.7 ms

Excellent low input lag, good enough for even competitive console gaming. This input lag is lower than last year's Samsung TVs like the MU8000, and lower than many current Sony TVs like the X900F, but is slightly worse than many TCL TVs like the P607.

The NU8000 has a new 'Game Motion Plus' feature, which adds motion interpolation (soap opera effect) without adding too much input lag; this feature is useful when gaming on older consoles that can only output 30 fps, or for games that have frequent framerate dips. The 'Judder Reduction' slider interpolates content up to 60 fps, while the 'Blur Reduction' slider interpolates up to 120 fps. When 'Blur Reduction' is used the input lag for 4k increases from 23.8 ms to 29.3 ms, but this increase shouldn't be noticeable during gaming.

Update 04/24/2018: The NU8000 and the Samsung 2018 QLEDs added support for Auto Game Mode. When it is enabled from the input menu the TV will automatically switch to Game Mode when it detects a game being played on a console. We tested it on a PS4 and Xbox One S and it worked perfectly.

Update 06/08/2018: The input lag with VRR has been tested and added to the review.

Update 06/11/2018: 1440p @ 120 Hz performance has improved as of firmware version 1103. The 1440p @ 120 Hz input lag is now 9.7 ms, down from 24.8 ms.

8.8
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
No
1440p @ 120 Hz