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Reviewed on Jun 12, 2018 , Adam Babcock, Ian Cumming, Eric Bousquet, Dimitris Katsaounis, Bruno St-Georges-Robert, Yannick Khong

Samsung NU8500
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches: test

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.8
Mixed Usage
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Value for price beaten by
What it is: Product with the best value in this price range
Other best choice in a cheaper price range
Other best choice in a pricier price range
Automatically updated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
: Vizio P Series 2018
7.4
Movies
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.6
TV Shows
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.5
Sports
What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
8.5
Video Games
What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
7.4
HDR Movies
What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.2
HDR Gaming
What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.3
PC Monitor
What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Type : LED
Sub-Type
What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k

The Samsung NU8500 is a curved 4k UHD TV with good picture quality. It is versatile and performs well for a wide range of usages. It can produce deep and uniform dark scenes but is limited by the poor local dimming performance. It can also get bright to combat glare and supports a wide color gamut which is great for HDR. It also has a low input lag and supports FreeSync for use with a PC, Xbox One X or Xbox One S. Unfortunately the image degrades when viewed at an angle, so the best picture is only reserved for those directly in front of the TV.

Test Results
Design 9.0
Picture Quality 7.6
Motion 8.3
Inputs 9.4
Sound Quality 5.4
Smart Features 7.8
Pros
  • Great at handling motion
  • Supports FreeSync VRR for use with a PC or Xbox
  • Great brightness
Cons
  • Image degrades when viewed at an angle

Check Price

9.0

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung NU8500 Design Picture
Curved : Yes

The design of the Samsung NU85000 is excellent. The TV has a sturdy stand and nice cable management to promote neatness. It does not get warm, and the slight curvature captures the viewer's attention and makes the TV look nice and feel slightly premium.

Stand
Samsung NU8500 Stand Picture

The stand of the NU8500 supports the TV well, but it will wobble a bit if pushed. It is similar to the NU8000, but with a curve to match the curve of the screen.

The footprint of the stand is 31.4", 13.5"

Back
Samsung NU8500 Back Picture
Wall Mount : Vesa 200x200

The back of the TV is plastic. The TV's cables can be routed through the available groves towards the center stand, or towards the sides of the TV. If wall mounted, some of the ports might be difficult to access.

Borders
Samsung NU8500 Borders Picture
Borders : 0.39" (1.0 cm)

The borders are thin and made of metal. They look good and feel high quality.

Thickness
Samsung NU8500 Thickness Picture
Max Thickness : 3.78" (9.6 cm)

Even though the TV is curved it does not look very thick and will not protrude much from the wall if mounted.

Temperature
Samsung NU8500 Temperature picture
Maximum Temperature
What it is: The peak temperature found on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
93 °F (34 °C)
Average Temperature
What it is: The average temperature measured on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
88 °F (31 °C)

The NU8500 runs fairly cool with no hot spots.

7.0 Build Quality
Samsung NU8500 Build quality picture

The build quality of the Samsung NU8500 is average. There are no gaps on the TVs body and everything seems to fall into place. It has a slightly premium feel.

7.6

Picture Quality

The Samsung NU8500 has great picture quality, with a high native contrast ratio that produces deep blacks well suited for a dark room. Bright room performance is good, and it gets bright enough both in SDR and HDR content, although there may be some issues with reflections. Unfortunately, due to the VA panel, it is not well suited for wide rooms due to poor viewing angles. Gray uniformity is good with a little dirty screen effect which might, however, annoy sports fans. 

8.5 Contrast
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
4310 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
4478 : 1

The Samsung NU8500 has a very good native contrast ratio. Just a bit better than the MU8500 of 2017, but lower than the Samsung NU8000. It will, however, show blacks in dark environments better than any IPS TV.

Even with local dimming set to high, the contrast ratio stays about the same due to the poor local dimming implementation.

1.8 Local Dimming
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
Yes
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit TVs have more uniform blacks than some full-array TVs.
:
Edge

The local dimming performance of this Samsung TV is bad. Partially due to the edge lit LED panel and due to the poor algorithm. As a result, clouding is quite visible.

8.7 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
559 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
817 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
929 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
661 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
624 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
630 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
806 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
610 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
659 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
622 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
627 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The coefficient of variation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.016

The Samsung NU8500 has remarkable peak brightness with SDR content. Small highlights are very bright and stand out, whereas the TV maintains good brightness levels at all windows sizes.

This result is in the same ballpark as the NU8000.

7.7 HDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; HDR content.
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more realistic movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over HDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in HDR.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
538 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
721 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
885 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
629 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
597 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
581 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
715 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
582 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
627 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
595 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
579 cd/m²
HDR ABL
What it is: The coefficient of variation of the HDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: HDR content with large bright areas, such as HDR gaming
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.012

The HDR Peak Brightness of the NU8500 is good. The TV can get the whole screen quite bright, but it isn't able to produce significantly brighter highlights. This is similar to the flat NU8000, and significantly better than the MU8000 of last year.

7.6 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
2.885 %
50% DSE
What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.174 %
Samsung NU8500 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
1.200 %
5% DSE
What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.099 %

The gray uniformity of our Samsung NU8500 is good. At the 50% gray image, some uniformity issues are visible and some dirty screen effect is expected when viewing sports.

At the 5% gray image, uniformity issues are hardly noticeable and most people will not notice any dirty screen effect.

4.1 Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Color Shift Picture
Color Shift
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
21 °
Samsung NU8500 Brightness Picture
Brightness
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
29 °
Samsung NU8500 Black Level Picture
Black Level
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
12 °

Bad viewing angle, but expected for a VA TV. Blacks wash out quickly when the TV is viewed from an angle, while colors shift and brightness decreases at slightly larger angles. This is not good for a room where people often view the TV from the side. In this case an IPS TV like the LG SK8000 may be a better choice.

7.2 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
1.183 %
Samsung NU8500 Black Uniformity Picture with Local Dimming
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
1.195 %

Black uniformity is decent on the NU8500. Some clouding can be seen close to the corners, but this will not disturb many people. When the local dimming is set to maximum, some more blooming becomes more obvious next to the test cross.

Note: the local dimming can't be turned off completely through the regular menu. In order to show the TV’s true native black uniformity, it is necessary to disable local dimming from the service menu. Some vertical blooming can be seen in our test picture even with local dimming off.

The black uniformity picture with local dimming was taken with the local dimming set to High.

7.3 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Reflections Picture Samsung NU8500 Average Room Off Picture Samsung NU8500 Bright Room Off Picture
Screen Finish
What it is: Type of coating on the screen.
When it matters: Bright objects in the direct reflection path (for example, opposite the TV).
Good value: Glossy is good for ambient light, but not for direct reflections.
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
What it is: The amount of light which is reflected off the screen, in all directions.
When it matters: When watching TV in a bright room, with lamps, windows or walls which reflect directly off the screen.
Good value: 4.5 %
Noticeable difference: 0.5 %
:
6.2 %
Indirect Reflections
What it is: The amount of light reflected off the screen, ignoring direct (mirror-like) reflections
When it matters: Watching TV in a bright room, without sunlight or lamps directed at the TV
Good value: 1.0 %
Noticeable difference: 0.5 %
:
0.6 %

The Samsung NU8500 has decent reflection handling. The semi-gloss finish diffuses reflection across the screen, reducing the intensity. This is very similar to the flat NU8000.

The curvature may also help avoid glare depending on where you are seated, or it may focus it to be more distracting. It is ok for not so bright environments, but not for bright ones.

7.0 Pre Calibration
What it is: TV's color accuracy before a full calibration. Only the picture mode, color temperature, and backlight level were changed.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Pre Calibration Picture Samsung NU8500 Pre Gamma Curve Picture Samsung NU8500 Pre Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode used to do the 'Pre Calibration' measurements.
:
Movie
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
4.25
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
2.42
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.49
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color temperature use in the TV and film industry as program, film, and photography directors usually work on monitors calibrated on the 6500k color temperature and do their color correction base on what they see on those monitors.
When it matters: To get the most accurate picture when watching TV shows, movies or video games. This is particularly for skin tones.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
5941 K

The Samsung NU8500 has decent out of the box color accuracy when picture mode is set to Movie.

The color temperature is warm and thus some Red/Yellow are slightly dominant. This also results in elevated white Balance dE. Gamma is significantly higher than our target of 2.2 and there is some loss of detail in dark shadows.

9.1 Post Calibration
What it is: TV's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All video on a TV that has been professionally calibrated. This isn't that useful, because most TVs can achieve a pretty good calibration if you spend enough time on them.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Post Calibration Picture Samsung NU8500 Post Gamma Curve Picture Samsung NU8500 Post Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode used to do the calibration. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Movie
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.27
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
2.35
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.19
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color temperature use in the TV and film industry as program, film, and photography directors usually work on monitors calibrated on the 6500k color temperature and do their color correction base on what they see on those monitors.
When it matters: To get the most accurate picture when watching TV shows, movies or video games. This is particularly for skin tones.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6495 K

The post calibration is excellent for this Samsung NU8500.

We obtained the best results in the Movie picture mode. White balance and color temperature are almost perfect after calibration, but we were unable to correct completely the color accuracy (just like with almost every other Samsung we have tested), which remains good for most people.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input
What it is: Quality of a 480p input.
When it matters: Standard definition TV, DVDs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung NU8500 480p Picture

Upscaling of DVDs or other 480p content is good.

8.0 720p Input
What it is: Quality of a 720p input.
When it matters: HD channels, some streaming videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung NU8500 720p Picture

720p content such as cable TV looks good.

9.0 1080p Input
What it is: Quality of a 1080p input.
When it matters: Blu-rays, streaming video, video files, video games.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung NU8500 1080p Picture

1080p content such as Blu-rays or game consoles are upscaled well.

10 4k Input
What it is: Quality of a 4k UHD input.
When it matters: Streaming video, UHD Blu-rays, some PCs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung NU8500 4k Picture

Native 4k (UHD) content looks great.

7.8 Color Gamut
What it is: How many colors the TV can display.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the TV has an option to enable wide color gamuts.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
:
Yes
Samsung NU8500 Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
85.63 %
DCI P3 uv
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
92.09 %
Samsung NU8500 Color Gamut Rec.2020 Picture
Rec 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
62.98 %
Rec 2020 uv
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
70.87 %
Samsung NU8500 EOTF

The TV has a good color gamut, very similar to last year MU8500. Although it supports a wide color gamut, it isn't as wide as other HDR TVs since bright outdoor scenes lack some detail due to the TV's limited cyan and green reproduction.

The TV's HDR Movie mode EOTF follows the HDR PQ curve fairly well until it starts to roll off close to its peak brightness. We can see at the Game mode EOTF that compression starts at a little higher levels but is steeper. The EOTF of PC mode starts compression a little earlier but it is smoother thus differentiating slightly greater detail.

7.2 Color Volume
What it is: How many colors a TV can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Samsung NU8500 P3 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
80.7 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
43.4 %
Samsung NU8500 2020 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
62.6 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the Rec 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
33.7 %

The Samsung UN55NU8500 has an okay color volume. It displays bright colors well across its entire color gamut, but does not display deep, dark colors very well.

7.5 Gradient
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Samsung NU8500 Gradient Picture
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like UHD Blu-ray players. Won't matter for cable TV, regular Blu-ray movies, video game consoles or content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit red shades.
When it matters: Details in skin tones, sunsets, and other reddish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.120 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit green shades.
When it matters: Details in ocean shades and other greenish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.138 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit blue shades.
When it matters: Details in skies, water and other blueish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.102 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit gray shades.
When it matters: Details in dull colors, such as shadows, glow and urban scenes. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.139 dE

The Samsung NU8500 has a good gradient.

A little banding is apparent in most areas of the image and some major banding in dark green, but his will not be noticeable to most people.

If you set Digital Clean View to Auto, it can help reduce banding, but it can result in a loss of some fine details.

10 Temporary Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a TV screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When watching TV show, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor.
Samsung NU8500 Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %

There is no measurable temporary image retention on the Samsung NU8500, even immediately after the burn-in scene.

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
What it is: The risk of developing a persistent image retention, also known as burn-in, after being exposed to a static image for a prolonged time
When it matters: When watching TV shows, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor where static content is present
Score components:
Permanent Burn-In Risk
What it is: If the TV faces a risk of developing permanent burn-in after being expose, for a long period of time, to static images.
When it matters: When watching TV shows with static logos or banners (news or sports channels), when playing video games with a HUD (head up display), and when using a TV as a PC monitors.
:
No

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

Pixels
8.3

Motion

The Samsung NU8500 has great motion handling. It has a very fast response time, and only a short trail follows moving objects. It supports 120 fps motion interpolation, optional 60 Hz black frame insertion, and can play 24p movies without judder. However, its backlight always flickers at 240 Hz, and that introduces some unwanted duplications during motion, and because of its fast response time, some stutter can occur during low frame rate content. This isn't noticeable to most people.

8.5 Response Time
What it is: Amount of blur in fast motion.
When it matters: Sports, video games.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Motion Blur Picture Samsung NU8500 Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
5.9 ms
100% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
13.1 ms

The response time of the Samsung UN55NU8500 is great.

It results in only a very short trail following moving objects, which is great for sports fans or gamers. The blur shown in the photo is due to 60fps persistence.

6.0 Flicker-Free
What it is: How noticeable flicker is on the screen, when all optional flicker has been disabled.
When it matters: All usages, but particularly when viewing fast motion (such as in sports and video games) or when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Backlight chart
Flicker-Free
What it is: Whether the screen will be perceived as having no flicker during normal viewing conditions.
When it matters: When flicker is especially bothersome, such as when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: The flicker frequency of the screen, when all optional flicker has been disabled.
When it matters: All usages, but particularly when viewing fast motion (such as in sports and video games) or when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Good value: 0 Hz or very high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
240 Hz

The TV dims its backlight by using PWM flicker at 240 Hz. It is present at all brightness levels but diminishes at high brightness. It helps fast motion look a little more clear, but it also introduces some unwanted duplications, that can be seen in the response time box photo.

Unlike in QLED models, the flicker of this TV stays constant at 240Hz. It's also worth noting that it is becoming more common to find TVs that use flicker to clear motion. Several of the 2018 TV models we have tested use flicker and the ones that perform better in this aspect have a flicker frequency greater than or equal to 480Hz (like the Vizio M Series 2018, TCL R617, Samsung Q8FN).

8.0 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: How effective the TV's flickering capabilities are in making motion look clearer, when flicker is desired.
When it matters: When flicker is desired by the user. Flicker is especially useful to make motion look clearer when viewing 60 fps content (sports, video games) and when using motion interpolation.
Samsung NU8500 BFI Picture Samsung NU8500 BFI Frequency Picture
Optional BFI
What it is: Option to turn the screen black between frames.
When it matters: When flicker is desired by the user. Flicker is especially useful to make motion look clearer when viewing 60 fps content (sports, video games) and when using motion interpolation.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern when playing 60 fps content.
When it matters: When viewing fast motion such as sports and video games.
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
What it is: Whether the screen can flicker at 60 Hz when playing 60 fps content.
When it matters: When playing 60 fps content, such as sports and video games.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
What it is: Whether the screen can flicker at 120 Hz when playing 120 fps content.
When it matters: When playing 120 fps content, such as when using motion interpolation on a 120 Hz TV.
Good value: Yes
:
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern when playing 60 fps content in Game Mode.
When it matters: When playing video games with fast motion.
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
60 Hz

Just like the NU8000, the Samsung NU8500 also has an optional 60 Hz flicker mode, activated by enabling LED Clear Motion in the Auto Motion Plus menu. It can greatly help clear up motion during 60 fps content, but flicker can be bothersome to some people. It can also be activated in Game mode, by using the Game Motion Plus menu.

It is not possible for the backlight to flicker at 120Hz

10 Motion Interpolation
What it is: Also known as 'Soap Opera Effect'. It is an optional feature that increases the frame rate of the video, smoothing movement.
When it matters: If you like the look of smoothed video. Not everyone does.
Samsung NU8500 Motion Interpolation (30 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 30 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 60 fps.
When it matters: 30 fps or lower videos. Includes movies, TV shows, some video games.
:
Yes
Samsung NU8500 Motion Interpolation (60 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 60 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 100 fps.
When it matters: 60 fps videos. Includes some video games, some sports channels.
:
Yes

Since Samsung 55NU8500 has a 120 Hz panel, it can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 fps making motion much smoother. It can, however, look strange to some people (the so-called soap opera effect). Also sometimes it can add unwanted artifacts during fast motion.

Interpolation is activated by setting Auto Motion Plus to Custom and then increasing the Judder Reduction slider to interpolate low frame rate content(up to 60Hz). To interpolate content above 60fps, increase the Blur Reduction slider.

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

7.4 Stutter
What it is: Jarring effect caused by static frame time during motion sequences
When it matters: When watching content with long panning shots and other smooth movement
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
What it is: Time that frame is static during 24Hz videos such as movies
When it matters: When watching movies and other low frame rate content which contain panning shots
Good value: < 24 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
28.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
What it is: Time that frame is static during 60 fps content such as TV shows
When it matters: When watching 60 fps content containing slow panning shots (such as field sports)
Good value: < 24 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
3.6 ms

The NU8500 has very little stutter in sports and TV shows. However, some stutter will be noticeable for low frame rate content such as 24p movies due to the fast response time, which results in only a short transition between frames. In slow panning shots, some stutter may be more apparent due to the lack of blur that would otherwise smooth motion between frames.

10 24p Judder
What it is: Whether 24p content can play without any judder.
When it matters: Only 24p content (mostly just movies).
Judder-Free 24p
What it is: Judder-free movies over 24p signal.
When it matters: Blu-ray and DVD movies; 24 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60p signal.
When it matters: Movies from streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire TV, etc.); 60 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60i signal.
When it matters: Movies from cable/satellite boxes.
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
What it is: Judder-free movies when playing from native apps.
When it matters: Movies from streaming native apps (Netflix, Amazon TV, etc.).
:
Yes

The Samsung NU8500 is able to display 24p movies without judder from any source.

To remove judder, set Auto Motion Plus to Custom and then set both sliders (Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction) to 0.

8.2 Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: How frequently the TV can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like HDMI Forum's Variable Refresh Rate.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native Refresh Rate
What it is: The out-of-the-box maximum refresh rate; how frequently the TV can refresh and show new frames.
When it matters: When playing content with a frame rate that matches the TV's refresh rate (ex. 60 fps on a 60 Hz TV, 120 fps on a 120 Hz TV), or when using the TV's motion interpolation feature (soap opera effect).
Good value: 60 Hz
:
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the TV to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable when gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
FreeSync
4k VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the TV when the input signal is 4k.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled and 4k is sent.
Good value: Matches maximum refresh rate at 4k.
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the TV's Variable Refresh Rate feature when the input signal is 4k.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the TV at lower frame rates when sending a 4k signal.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
48 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the TV when the input signal is 1080p.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled and 1080p is sent.
Good value: Matches maximum refresh rate at 1080p.
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the TV's Variable Refresh Rate feature when the input signal is 1080p.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the TV at lower frame rates when sending a 1080p signal.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
What it is: The inputs which support a variable refresh rate (eg. HDMI, DisplayPort)
When it matters: When gaming with different consoles or graphics cards.
:
HDMI

The TV supports Variable Refresh Rate through Freesync. We used an Xbox One S and Radeon RX 580 to test it.

First set Game mode to On and then choose FreeSync Ultimate.

The Ultimate setting has the widest sync Hz range. The Basic has a more narrow range that is only recommended if your game is having problems with Ultimate.

9.4

Inputs

Score components:

The Samsung 55NU8500 has excellent low input lag to satisfy even the most competitive console gamers. It also supports most input signals, including 1440p @ 120 Hz and HDR - but no 1440p @ 60Hz.  

Care should be given to the settings to achieve the desired result.

9.6 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: Video games; when TV is used as PC monitor.
1080p @ 60Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:2:2 input.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.4 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:2:2 @ 10 bit with HDR.
When it matters: HDR video games from a console outputting a 1080p signal.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.6 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:2:2 in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
77.0 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 120Hz input.
When it matters: When the TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
9.3 ms
4k @ 60Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:2:0.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:2:0 @ 10 bit signal with HDR.
When it matters: HDR Video games.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.7 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz with proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling. The test is usually conducted with a 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 signal, but a 4k @ 60 Hz @ Full RGB signal may be used if it's required for the TV to show proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling.
When it matters: PC Monitor
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 8 bit + HDR with proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling. The test is usually conducted with a 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 @ 8 bit signal, but a 4k @ 60 Hz @ Full RGB @ 8 bit signal may be used if it's required for the TV to show proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling.
When it matters: PC Monitor with an HDR capable graphic card
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:2:0 in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
63.4 ms
4k With Interpolation
What it is: Lowest input lag for 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:0 content when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.4 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 4k @ 120Hz input.
When it matters: When the TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when its Variable Refresh Rate feature is enabled and it is sent a 4k signal.
When it matters: When gaming with a device which supports variable refresh rates, such as the Xbox One X or a PC.
:
15.2 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when its Variable Refresh Rate feature is enabled and it is sent a 1080p signal.
When it matters: When gaming with a device which supports variable refresh rates, such as the Xbox One X or a PC.
:
N/A

1440p@120Hz is 9.3ms.

The NU85000 has excellent input lag that will please even the most demanding gamers.

PC mode is required for proper 4:4:4 display.

The TV always has low input lag in PC mode and you do not need to activate PC and Game mode at the same time. However, with PC and Game mode you have access to the Game Motion Plus motion interpolation features

The input lag is 21.4ms for 60Hz motion interpolation activated. (Game Motion Plus on, Judder Reduction 10, Blur Reduction 0) and at 27.9ms for 120Hz interpolation (Game Motion Plus on, Judder Reduction 10, Blur Reduction 10)

Outside of Game mode the TV skips a frame every ~5 mins, so the input lag swings by 16.7ms and what you see as a score is the average.

8.3 Supported Resolutions
What it is: Different resolutions supported by TV.
When it matters: PC monitor usage.
Score components:
  • 17% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 17% 1080p @ 120Hz
  • 17% 1440p @ 60Hz
  • 17% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 17% 4k @ 60Hz
  • 17% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Crisp text on 1060p @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and 60 fps gaming.
:
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
What it is: 120 fps 1080p signal supported.
When it matters: PC gaming.
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60Hz
What it is: 60 fps 1440p signal supported.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 30 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
What it is: 60 fps 4k signal supported.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: Productivity and 60 fps gaming in 4k.
:
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
What it is: 4k 120Hz signal supported
When it matters: PC gaming
:
No

The Samsung NU8500 is great at supporting numerous resolutions. However, the following settings have to be implemented:

  • 4k@60Hz 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 is only supported when HDMI UHD Color is enabled
  • 4:4:4 chroma is only properly displayed when the input icon is set to PC (aka PC mode)
  • Although 1440p@60 isn't supported, 1440p@120 is supported, but doesn't have proper 4:4:4 even in when in PC mode
  • Finally, Sharpness is at 10 (the default) and it means no added sharpness.

Side Inputs
Rear Inputs

All of the inputs are directed out the side of the TV.

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
What it is: Standard HDR format.
When it matters: Most common format. All UHD Blu-ray discs are required to have it.
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
What it is: Better format, due to its dynamic nature.
When it matters: Dolby Vision mastered content. Current available from streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Video), some Blu-Ray players, the Apple TV 4k and ChromeCast Ultra.
:
No
HLG
What it is: HLG or Hybrid Log Gamma is a broadcast HDR format.
When it matters: HLG capable sources such as Youtube or OTA broadcasts in specific regions. Backwards compatible with SDR TVs.
:
Yes
3D
What it is: Optional 3D video capability on TV.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
:
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
No
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwith
What it is: HDMI 2.0 is the main used HDMI standard and supports a range of video resolutions and refresh rates up to 4k@60Hz, with a total maximum bandwidth up to 18Gbps.
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth
What it is: HDMI 2.1 is the latest update to the HDMI standard and supports a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, and resolutions up to 10K. Dynamic HDR formats are also supported, and bandwidth capability is increased up to 48Gbps.
:
No
ARC
What it is: Audio Return Channel (ARC) enables a TV to transmit, via an HDMI cable, audio data to an A/V receiver, without the need for any extra audio cables.
When it matters: When connecting your audio/video receiver directly to your TV via an HDMI cable.
:
Yes (HDMI 4)
USB 3.0
What it is: USB 3.0 is the latest USB standard which can transfer data up to 5 Gbit/s, and is easily recognizable due to its blue color-coding of the connector.
:
No
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC : Yes
MHL : No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

The TV can not passthrough DTS signal.

Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) is needed for ARC, which passes on HDMI 4 only.

5.4

Sound Quality

What it is: How well and accurately the audio is reproduced.
When it matters: When a good and accurate sound reproduction is needed.
Score components:

The Samsung NU8500 has a sub-par sound quality. This TV doesn't get loud, produces pumping and compression under heavier loads, and doesn't have an extended-enough bass for producing thumps and rumbles. However, it does have a decent amount of punch and body to its bass and is capable of producing clear enough dialogs. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or a soundbar is recommended.

5.8 Frequency Response
What it is: How accurately the sound level of each frequency is being produced.
When it matters: For a balanced and neutral sound.
Samsung NU8500 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Movies, Gaming. Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: < 60Hz
Noticeable difference: 10Hz
:
71.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 70dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at quiet listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
4.52 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 80dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at moderate listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
5.75 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured with the TV at maximum volume, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at under maximum load
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
7.72 dB
Max
What it is: Maximum volume reached by the TV at their optimum viewing distance (size dependent)
When it matters: For listening to loud audio.
Good value: > 88 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
84.2 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
What it is: The amount of difference between the TVs frequency response performance at 70dB SPL and Max dB SPL. Too much compression will result in pumping in the sound.
When it matters: When an accurate and free-of-pumping performance is required at higher volumes
Good value: < 3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.90 dB

The frequency response is sub-par. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 71Hz is decent for a TV. This suggests a bass that although doesn't produce any thump or rumble, has a decent amount of body and punch to it. The response above the TV's LFE is also decent, but compression and pumping artifacts start to show even in the 80dB pass. This also correlates with the mediocre maximum loudness of 84dB SPL achieved by this TV. Additionally, this TV doesn't come with a room correction system and therefore, wasn't able to remove the modes of our test room around 200Hz.

4.2 Distortion
What it is: Deformation of an output signal compared to its input, usually clipping, harmonic distortion, or inter-modulation distortion caused by non-linear behavior of the sound system.
When it matters: When a clean, pure and transparent reproduction is desired.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 80dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.829
Weighted THD @ Max
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at the TV's maximum SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
1.428
IMD @ 80
What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
73.89 %
IMD @ Max
What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
93.37 %

The Samsung NU8500 has a sub-par distortion performance. The overall amount of THD is elevated, but it doesn't rise dramatically at Max volume. This is a good thing, however, since the TV doesn't get very loud doesn't say much about the TV's handling of heavy loads. This TV also produces a lot of IMD, which suggests aliasing at higher frequencies.

7.8

Smart Features

Score components:
  • 42% Interface
  • 2% Ad-Free
  • 37% Apps and Features
  • 16% Remote
  • 3% Remote App
Samsung NU8500 Smart TV Picture
Smart OS : Tizen
Version : 2018

The TV comes with the latest version of Tizen Smart platform from Samsung, also called Smart Hub. Well-organized and easy to navigate, it provides access to numerous apps via the Samsung app store. It comes equipped with the very handy Bixby voice assistant. The interface, however, has choppy animations, and is not really an improvement from last year's interface. The menu ads certainly are not a plus and can sometimes become annoying. 

7.5 Interface
What it is: The usability, features and performance of the main interface of the TV, not including the interfaces of the apps themselves.
When it matters: Anytime when using the TV, but especially when changing settings and using apps.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Ease of Use
What it is: How easy the interface is to navigate, affected by the organization of its layout, placing frequently accessed elements in areas that are faster to access, etc.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Easy
Smoothness
What it is: How smooth the interface is to navigate, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Not Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
What it is: How long it takes to select YouTube for launch, starting from HDMI 1 input, when YouTube is placed first on the list of apps or added as a shortcut. This does not include app launch time, and does not use a fixed YouTube button on a remote. This serves as an indication of the time needed to select any app.
When it matters: When launching any app.
:
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
What it is: The time it takes to navigate to the 'Backlight' setting ('Brightness' on Sony TVs). This serves as an indication of how long it takes to navigate to basic TV settings.
When it matters: When changing TV settings.
:
7 s
Advanced Options
What it is: Whether advanced options and settings are available, such as color calibration.
When it matters: When customizing the TV and using the smart features.
:
Many

The interface of the UN55NU8500 is well organized and intuitive. The Smart Hub is the center of the interface through which you can access everything else. Thus, it might take you more time than if you could go directly. Animations in the interface do not lag but are choppy and experience frame drops quite often.

0 Ad-Free
What it is: Whether or not ads can be found on the TV's smart platform.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
Score components:
Samsung NU8500 Ads Picture
Ads
What it is: Whether the TV's main interface has ads. This does take into account ads in third-party apps.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Yes
Opt-out
What it is: Whether you can opt out of the ad services or not. A TV only passes this test if it allows you to remove them completely, not only disable the personalized advertising.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
No
Suggested Content in Home
What it is: Whether suggested content appears in the TV's home menu or main menu. Suggested content can include recommended movies, TV shows, YouTube videos etc.
:
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
What it is: Whether the suggested content feed in the home menu can be removed or hidden
:
No

The Samsung NU8500 has ads throughout the home menu, just like all of the latest Samsung TVs. The ads are intermittent. Suggested content is present within the app store. There is no option to disable them.

8.5 Apps and Features
What it is: The usability, features and performance of apps and other smart features.
When it matters: Only when using smart features such as apps, casting and USB playback.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung NU8500 Apps Picture
App Selection
What it is: The number and variety of apps available to download for the smart platform.
When it matters: When downloading new apps.
:
Many
App Smoothness
What it is: How smooth it feels to navigate the interfaces of apps, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using apps.
:
Average
Cast Capable
What it is: Whether apps on a phone or tablet can cast content to the TV.
:
Yes
USB Drive Playback
What it is: Whether the TV can play content from a drive connected to one of the TV's USB ports.
:
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
What it is: Whether HDR files played from a USB drive can be displayed properly.
:
Yes
HDR in Netflix
What it is: Whether HDR content on Netflix can be played back in HDR using the native Netflix app.
:
Yes
HDR in Amazon Video
What it is: Whether HDR content on Amazon Video can be played in HDR using the native Amazon Video app.
:
Yes
HDR in YouTube
What it is: Whether HDR content on YouTube can be played in HDR using the native YouTube app.
:
Yes

The TV has preinstalled a few apps, such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video. and more can be downloaded from the app menu.

Apps run smoothly with minimal lag and fewer frame drops that the interface itself.

8.5 Remote
What it is: The usability and features of the TV's physical remote.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung NU8500 Remote Picture
Size
What it is: How big the remote is
:
Small
Voice Control
What it is: The capabilities of the TV's voice control feature
:
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
What it is: Whether the remote can act as a universal remote for HDMI CEC enabled devices. This was tested on our Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Blu-ray player, and may not be valid for other CEC devices as implementations vary by manufacturer.
:
Yes
Other Smart Features
What it is: Whether the remote has any other smart features, such as a pointer, universal remote support for non HDMI CEC devices, etc.
:
Yes

Samsung's smart remote is quite small and comes with few buttons, so users have to either navigate through the home menu 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: like 'Change to HDMI 1', 'Change backlight to 5', 'What's the weather like tomorrow', and 'Pause video' work well. Although, 'Search Netflix for Marco Polo' did not. The remote can also act as a universal remote for other devices, even ones that do not support HDMI CEC, using Samsung's OneRemote feature.

6.0 Remote App
What it is: The features of the official phone and tablet app for the TV.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung NU8500 Remote App Picture
Acts as the Remote
What it is: Whether the remote app can emulate all the buttons of the physical remote.
:
Yes
Directly Launches Apps and Inputs
What it is: Whether the remote app can directly launch the TV's apps and change between its inputs, without requiring any interaction with menus on the TV.
:
No
Inputs Text in YouTube
What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for YouTube searches.
:
No
Inputs Text in Netflix
What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for Netflix searches.
:
No
Streams Device Files
What it is: Whether the remote app can stream files from the phone or tablet to the TV, files such as pictures, music and video.
:
No
Controls TV Settings
What it is: Whether the app can change all or some of the settings on the TV, such as the backlight.
:
No
Voice Control
What it is: Whether the remote can send voice commands to the TV.
:
Yes

The remote app is very basic. It only functions as a replacement remote, though fortunately this includes sending voice commands to the TV like the remote does.

TV Controls
Samsung NU8500 Controls Picture

The TV has only a single physical button, which brings up a menu that can power the TV on and off, control the volume and channel, and change inputs.

In The Box
Samsung NU8500 In The Box Picture

  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Batteries
  • VESA Spacers
  • Remote Control
  • User Manual
Not Shown:
  • 61.5" Power Cable

Misc
Power Consumption : 40 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 114 W
Firmware : 1103

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 55" (UN55NU8500) version FA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65" (UN65NU8500) as well.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung NU8500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size Model US UK
55" UN55NU8500 UN55NU8500FXZA UE55NU8500TXXU
65" UN65NU8500 UN65NU8500FXZA UE65NU8500TXXU

Compared to other TVs

Samsung NU8500 Group Shot Picture
Top left: Samsung NU8000 (UN55NU8000). Bottom left: Samsung NU7100 (UN55NU7100). Middle: Samsung NU8500 (UN55NU8500). Top right: Sony X900F (XBR55X900F ). Bottom right: TCL R617 (55R617).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.
Samsung Q8FN
55" 65" 75"

The Samsung Q8FN is better than the Samsung NU8500 if you can afford it. The Q8FN has better local dimming which improves blacks in a dark room. It handles reflections better for bright environments and can display more saturated colors in HDR due to its wide color gamut.

Samsung NU8000
49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung NU8500 and the Samsung NU8000 are very similar. The NU8500 has slightly better brightness whereas the NU8000 has better black uniformity (although this could be due to panel variations) and somewhat better response time. It basically boils down to whether you want a to pay that extra amount for a curved TV or not.

Sony X900F
49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X900F is a better TV than the Samsung NU8500. The X900F favors HDR content with better local dimming for deeper blacks, brighter HDR details, and better motion handling. In bright rooms, it can handle reflections better. On the other hand, the NU8500 comes equipped with VRR support, a very low input lag, and a slight curvature all of which are great for gamers. 

TCL R617
55" 65"

The TCL 6 Series 2018 R617 is better than the Samsung NU8500. The R617 has better local dimming and can get brighter which is great for HDR content. The NU8500 has better gray uniformity, handles motion slightly better and it incorporates VRR support which is great for gamers. 

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.8Mixed Usage
What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Very good TV for mixed usage. It has good picture quality and good motion handling, which is important in sports, gaming and PC usage. The image, however, deteriorates when viewed at an angle. The TV can handle reflections as it can get bright to overcome glare and can produce deep blacks in dark rooms. HDR content is rich in detail but local dimming is disappointing. Sports fans might notice some uniformity issues, but in most other usages this will not be an issue.
7.4Movies
What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:

Good for watching movies in a dark room. Picture quality is good, with a high contrast ratio and good black uniformity. The Samsung NU8500 can play content without judder and with ok out-of-the-box colors. Although the local dimming isn't improving dark scenes, the TV provides a pleasant experience.

7.6TV Shows
What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
Very good for watching TV in a bright room. The TV gets bright and can counteract glare. Reflection handling is good, but image degrades at an angle. The smart interface works well for casual TV watching and upscaling cable 720p content to 4k is good.
7.5Sports
What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.

The Samsung NU8500 is a decent TV for watching sports. Motion handling is great, so fast-moving objects appear clear. Picture quality is good but deteriorates when viewed at an angle. The TV gets bright enough to overcome the glare of bright ambiances, and the semi-gloss finish works well at diffusing direct lights off the screen.

8.5Video Games
What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.

Great TV for gamers. Input lag is low, and the TV feels very responsive. Motion handling is great and the TV can clear up blur by flickering the image. The picture quality is good and, especially in a dark room, the high native contrast ratio produces deep blacks. The good gray uniformity will allow for a free from DSE gaming experience.

7.4HDR Movies
What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Decent TV for watching HDR movies. The picture quality is good the and the NU8500 can produce bright and vivid HDR highlights in a dark room due to wide color gamut and high peak brightness. The TV plays content without judder, but its poor local dimming affects its overall performance.
8.2HDR Gaming
What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
Impressive HDR gaming with an Xbox One S or PS4 Pro with the NU8500. The good picture quality and great motion handling with fast response times are omens for a great gaming experience. The support of HDR features like a wide color gamut and the support of motion interpolation in game mode in association with the very low input lag and the slight curvature of the panel, enhance the immersive gaming experience.
8.3PC Monitor
What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Great TV for PC use. The low input lag makes and the great motion handling make the TV feel very responsive. The text is clear due to the support of chroma 4:4:4 and gray uniformity is good for internet browsing. The viewing angle is poor, so the edges of the screen darken when viewed from up-close, although the slight curvature minimizes this effect.

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