Samsung NU8000 TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
8.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Sony X900F
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.

Pros
  • Great motion handling
  • Low input lag
  • Great SDR peak brightness
Cons
  • Colors appear washed out at an angle

Test Results
Design 9.0
Picture Quality 7.8
Motion 8.4
Inputs 9.3
Sound Quality 6.8
Smart Features 7.8
  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.

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9.0

Design

Curved : No

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.

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".

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 .

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.

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.

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 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.

7.8

Picture Quality

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.

8.9 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 480p Input

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

8.0 720p Input

No obvious issues upscaling 720p content.

9.0 1080p Input

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

10 4k Input

No issues with native 4k content.

7.8 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 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 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 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 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.

Pixels
8.4

Motion

Motion looks good on the Samsung NU8000. It has very fast response time, 120 fps motion interpolation, optional 60 and 120 Hz black frame insertion, and can remove 24p movie judder from most sources. Unfortunately, when BFI is disabled the 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.

8.8 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

9.3

Inputs

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.

9.4 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 Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
No
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
Yes (native support)
4k @ 60 Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
:
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
:
No
8k @ 60 Hz
:
No

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.

Input Photos
Total Inputs
HDMI : 4
USB : 2
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 0
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0
Composite In : 0
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
HDR10+
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
:
No
HLG
:
Yes
3D
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
:
No
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

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.

Audio Passthrough
ARC
:
Yes (HDMI 4)
eARC support
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
:
No
6.8

Sound Quality

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.

6.8 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
67.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
4.29 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
4.40 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max