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.
The design of the Samsung NU8000 is excellent. Compared to the MU8000, the new stand feels very solid and has a slightly smaller footprint, although if you were planning on using a soundbar in front of the TV, you might have to make some concessions. There are new cable management guides cut into the back. The TV does not include the mini OneConnect box, all of the connections are towards the side of the TV.
The NU8000 has slightly larger borders than last year's MU8000. The finish of the main bezel has changed from silver to black.
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.
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.
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.
The Samsung NU8000 has great picture quality. The high native contrast ratio produces deep black scenes and the TV is well suited for a dark room. Performance is also good in a bright room, although there are some issues with reflections. This TV can get bright enough for an enjoyable movie or TV experience, whether you are watching SDR or HDR content.
The TV uses a VA panel with a poor viewing angle. The gray uniformity is good with minimum dirty screen effect and so is a good choice for watching sports. It handles upscaling lower resolution content well. White balance and gamma are very good post calibration, although we are unable to correct color accuracy. It has a wide color gamut, although there are some issues displaying greens and any deep, dark colors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The NU8000 handles color gradients very well. There is some visible banding especially in darker colors.
There is no measurable temporary image retention on the NU8000, even immediately after the burn-in scene. This is good, especially for gamers.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
Motion looks good on the Samsung NU8000. It has very fast response time, 120 fps motion interpolation, optional 60 Hz black frame insertion, and can remove 24p movie judder from most sources. Unfortunately, its backlight always flickers at 240 Hz, which introduces unwanted duplications during motion, and its fast response time can introduce stutter sometimes during low frame rate content, like wide panning shots in movies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 08/14/2014: We have received reports that the 49" model does not support VRR
The Samsung 55NU8000 supports most input signals, including HDR and 1080p @ 120 Hz. It also has excellent low input lag, low enough to please even competitive console gamers. Unfortunately, the TV can't pass DTS 5.1 audio to an external receiver, but this isn't usually a problem because most content provides both DTS and Dolby Digital audio streams.
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.
Update 08/14/2014: We have received reports that the 49" model does not support VRR.
Most common resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color is only supported when 'HDMI UHD Color' is enabled (aka HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth). New this year is 1080p @ 120 Hz @ 4:4:4 support, which is useful when using the TV as a PC monitor. 1440p @ 120 Hz is also supported, but 4:4:4 color isn't displayed properly. Oddly enough, 1440p @ 60 Hz isn't supported, not even when using a custom resolution from a PC.
4:4:4 chroma subsampling is only shown properly when the input's icon is set to 'PC' (aka PC mode). This unfortunately isn't possible for some input refresh rates such as 24 Hz; in these cases the icon changes to PC as normal but PC mode isn't applied, as evidenced by the improper 4:4:4 color resolution and some settings not being greyed out as they should be.
The NU8000 does not support DTS passthrough, unlike last year's Samsung TVs. This is not usually an issue though since most media provides both DTS and Dolby Digital sound streams.
The sound quality of the Samsung NU8000 is decent. This TV gets fairly loud and has a bass extension that is better than most TVs. Overall they have a well-balanced sound, but they don't have a self-calibrating system for a more even bass response and could produce some compression and pumping artifact under maximum load. For a better sound reproduction, getting a dedicated soundbar is recommended.
The frequency response of the NU8000 is decent, and very similar to the 2017 model the MU8000. The LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 67Hz, which is good and lower than what most TVs are able to reach. This means that the TV should be able to produce a decent amount of bass and punch. However, due to the lack of a self-calibrating system, it wasn't able to remove the room buildup around 200Hz. The response in the mid and treble ranges are quite even and flat, ensuring a neutral sound reproduction. Additionally, the maximum loudness of the TV is above-average, but they may produce some pumping and compression artifacts under maximum load.
The harmonic distortion performance is about average. The overall amount of THD is rather elevated, but on there doesn't seem to be a dramatic rise in THD under maximum load. However, the sharp peaks around 1KHz and 2KHz, could the make the sound of those frequencies a bit harsh and brittle.
The Samsung NU8000 runs Samsung's 2018 Tizen smart platform, also called Smart Hub. It's well-organized and easy to navigate, has a lot of apps via the Samsung app store, and has the useful Bixby voice assistant; however, the TV's interface has choppy animations, even worse than last year's interface, and there are sometimes ads in the TV's home menu which can be annoying.
The TV's interface is well organized and easy to navigate. The Smart Hub is the center of the interface and must be passed through to access everything else, which can take more time than going directly. Animations in the interface rarely lag but are frequently choppy and full of frame drops, even worse than on last year's TVs like the Q7F.
There are ads in the home menu, and they cannot be disabled. They seem to come and go almost at random and are not present most of the time.
Samsung's app store has one of the largest app selections of any smart platform, though not quite as large as Android's Google Play Store. App themselves run fairly smoothly, even smoother than the TV's own interface.
Samsung's smart remote is fairly small and has few buttons, requiring users to either navigate through the home menu to access things, or to use Samsung's Bixby voice assistant feature. Bixby's voice recognition works very well, and it can perform many useful actions on the TV: commands like 'Change to HDMI 1', 'Set backlight to 25', 'What's the weather like tomorrow', and 'Pause video' all work well. Samsung's smart remote can also act as a universal remote for other devices, even devices that don't support HDMI CEC, using Samsung's OneRemote feature.
Samsung's SmartThings app can be used as the TV's remote, but it doesn't have as many features as the old SmartView app, which unfortunately doesn't work with this TV. On Samsung phones the SmartThings app has a few additional features, such as sharing the TV's screen with the phone, as shown in this screenshot. Although there is a microphone button in the app, and pressing it brings up the Bixby voice icon on the TV, we couldn't make the TV receive audio from any of the three smartphones we tried.
Update 04/27/2018: 'Launches Apps and Inputs' has been corrected to 'No', because the app's 'Source' button only acts like the 'Source' button on many remotes, and does not launch inputs directly.
Update 06/04/2018: We have retested the SmartThings remote app with a Moto E4 and the voice control now works. The remote app can perform the same voice commands as the smart remote. The score has been updated.
We tested the 55" (UN55NU8000) version FA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 49" version (UN49NU8000), 65" version (UN65NU8000), 75" version (UN75NU8000) and 82" version (UN82NU8000). Note that, like the MU8000, the 49" model has a 60Hz panel instead of the 120Hz panel found on other sizes.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung NU8000 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that the gray uniformity does vary on a unit-by-unit basis.
The Samsung NU8000 is a very good 4k TV without major flaws, but for different usages, there may be a better choice - especially considering the price premium of this 2018 model over comparable 2017 TVs. See some of our recommendations below for comparisons.
The Samsung NU8000 is marginally better than the Samsung MU8000 for almost every usage. The Samsung NU8000 has slightly better input lag and includes the FreeSync variable refresh rate option which is great if you play video games. Also, the Samsung NU8000 has marginally better SDR peak brightness and slightly better reflection handling. This allows you to place it in a brighter room where you can enjoy the casual watching of TV shows without caring about the lights spoiling the picture quality.
The Samsung NU8000 is much better than the Samsung NU7100. The NU8000 is much brighter with all types of content. Motion is smoother on the NU8000 as it can remove 24p judder from almost all sources and the faster response time means less motion blur. The NU8000 also has some advanced gaming features, including automatic low latency mode and support for a variable refresh rate.
If you've got a room with wide seating and many lights then the LG SK8000 is a better choice, but for a dark room with seating directly in-front then the Samsung NU8000 is better. The LG SK8000 has marginally better viewing angles and reflection handling, whereas the Samsung NU8000 has a bit better contrast and somewhat better black uniformity and can get slightly brighter. The Samsung NU8000 supports the Freesync variable refresh rate to prevent tearing when playing video games and if you watch a lot of sports you will appreciate the Samsung's slightly better gray uniformity.
The Sony X900E is better than the Samsung NU8000 for most people, unless your main usage is for gaming. The Sony X900E has a better local dimming feature and better reflection handling, making it better suited to a wider variety of viewing conditions. The Samsung NU8000 has lower input lag across all resolutions and supports AMD's Freesync Variable Refresh Rate technology, making it a better choice for gamers.
The Sony X900F is better than the Samsung NU8000. The X900F has a more advanced full array local dimming feature, whereas the NU8000 is edge-lit. The X900F has better motion handling, with a faster response time. The Samsung NU8000 is a bit better for competitive gaming, as it supports the latest technologies, including VRR and Auto Low Latency Mode, and it has less input lag.
If you've got a room with wide seating and several light sources, then the LG SK9000 is a better choice as it has better viewing angles and better reflection handling and although its local dimming algorithm is better than the Samsung's, it can not display deep blacks in a dark room due to the IPS panel. So for a dark room with seating directly in front, the Samsung NU8000 is a better choice. The better contrast ratio and black uniformity allow for deeper blacks and offer a better movie experience. Finally, the Samsung NU8000 is equipped with the Freesync variable refresh rate technology to eliminate tearing when you play video games.
The Vizio P Series 2018 is better than the Samsung NU8000. The Vizio P Series has a more advanced full-array local dimming system that produces better blacks and delivers better dark room performance, as well as helping highlights to stand out in HDR. The P Series has smoother motion, since the response time is much faster, great for gaming or fast action scenes. The Samsung NU8000 has some gaming oriented features, including VRR and automatic game mode.
If you watch TV in a dark room with seating directly in front, then the Samsung NU8000 is a better choice. It has significantly better black uniformity and contrast that allow it to display deep blacks thus improving picture quality. The Samsung NU8000 also has better SDR peak brightness which is good for TV shows in brighter rooms. When it comes to gaming, the Samsung NU8000 has a better response time, it incorporates the Freesync VRR technology and has slightly better black frame insertion (BFI) to sharpen the image. On the other hand, the LG SJ8500 has somewhat better viewing angles suitable for wide seating and better reflection handling for those rooms with a lot of windows.
The Samsung MU6300 is a mid-range TV with better than average performance. It has decent picture quality, but this is limited by the lack of more advanced features such as a wide color gamut, local dimming, or the ability to produce bright highlights. It has a fast response time so fast motion remains clear, but it has limited options to adjust the flicker to clear up motion further and some small judder is present when watching movies. For watching cable TV, SDR movies or for gamers who don't care about HDR, the MU6300 is a great choice