Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Apr 13, 2021 at 11:04 am
Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED Picture
7.7
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
7.1
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.2
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Sony X950H
8.0
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
7.8
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
7.1
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
7.8
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.7
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
Type LED
Sub-Type
IPS
Resolution 4k

The Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED is a good overall TV. It's a replacement in name to 2020's Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED but performs differently because it uses an ADS panel. This panel type performs similarly to IPS panels, so it has wide viewing angles and a low contrast ratio. Blacks look gray when viewed in the dark, and combined with its mediocre local dimming feature, it's not the best choice for dark room viewing or watching HDR content. Still, this TV is a great choice for use in well-lit environments as it easily gets bright enough to combat glare and has good reflection handling. It has many of the same gaming features found on most Samsung TVs, like HDMI 2.1 and FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support, and a quick response time and low input lag for a responsive gaming experience.

Our Verdict

7.7 Mixed Usage

The Samsung Q80A is good overall. Due to its ADS panel, it's great for watching TV shows or sports as it has wide viewing angles, and the image remains accurate when viewing from the side. It's also good for gaming thanks to its quick response time, low input lag, and extra features like VRR support. However, it's not the best for watching movies or HDR content because it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray. It has a full-array local dimming feature, but it doesn't perform well and causes blooming around bright objects.

Pros
  • High brightness in SDR and HDR.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • 120Hz panel and VRR support.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray.
  • Mediocre local dimming feature.
7.1 Movies

The Samsung Q80A is decent for watching movies. With its ADS panel, it has a low contrast ratio. Its local dimming feature is also mediocre, so blacks look gray when viewed in the dark. Luckily, this TV has no issues displaying 1080p and 4k content, and it automatically removes 24p judder from any source.

Pros
  • Upscales lower-resolution content without any issues.
  • Automatically removes 24p judder.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray.
  • Mediocre local dimming feature.
8.2 TV Shows

The Samsung Q80A is great for watching TV shows. It has wide viewing angles, great if you tend to watch shows with the entire family. It easily gets bright enough to combat glare and has good reflection handling, so visibility shouldn't be an issue in well-lit rooms. It also upscales 720p content, like from cable boxes, without any problems. Unfortunately, our unit has some uniformity issues that may be distracting.

Pros
  • High brightness in SDR and HDR.
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Wide viewing angles.
Cons
  • Our unit has uniformity issues.
8.0 Sports

The Samsung Q80A is great for watching sports. It has excellent peak brightness and good reflection handling, so visibility shouldn't be a problem in a room with a few lights. You can easily watch the game with a few friends, thanks to its wide viewing angles. Motion looks smooth as it has a quick response time. However, you may be distracted by its dirty screen effect in the center, which can be noticeable in sports with large areas of uniform color, like in hockey, football, or basketball.

Pros
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Quick response time results in smooth motion.
Cons
  • Our unit has uniformity issues.
7.8 Video Games

The Samsung Q80A is good for gaming. It has the gaming features most people are looking for, like VRR and HDMI 2.1 support. It also has a quick response time and low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. Sadly, it has a low contrast ratio, and its local dimming feature in 'Game Mode' is bad, so blacks look gray, and it's not the best choice for dark room gaming.

Pros
  • Quick response time results in smooth motion.
  • 120Hz panel and VRR support.
  • Very low input lag.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray.
  • Mediocre local dimming feature.
7.1 HDR Movies

The Samsung Q80A is decent for watching HDR movies. It displays a wide color gamut and gets bright enough to make highlights stand out. Sadly, it has an ADS panel with a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray. It has a mediocre local dimming feature, and there's noticeable blooming around bright objects, so it isn't suggested for dark room viewing.

Pros
  • High brightness in SDR and HDR.
  • Displays wide color gamut.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray.
  • Mediocre local dimming feature.
7.8 HDR Gaming

The Samsung Q80A is good for HDR gaming. It has good gaming performance thanks to its low input lag, quick response time, 120Hz panel, and VRR support. However, it's not the best for watching HDR content. Even though it has good HDR brightness and displays a wide color gamut, it can't display deep blacks due to its low contrast ratio and bad local dimming in Game Mode.

Pros
  • Quick response time results in smooth motion.
  • 120Hz panel and VRR support.
  • Displays wide color gamut.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray.
  • Mediocre local dimming feature.
8.7 PC Monitor

The Samsung Q80A is an excellent choice to use a PC monitor. It has wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate if you're sitting up close. Thanks to its high peak brightness and good reflection handling, you can easily use it in a well-lit environment. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4, which is important for reading text, at any resolution except for 1440p. Sadly, our unit has some uniformity issues.

Pros
  • High brightness in SDR and HDR.
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Displays proper chroma 4:4:4.
Cons
  • Our unit has uniformity issues.
  • 7.7 Mixed Usage
  • 7.1 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 8.0 Sports
  • 7.8 Video Games
  • 7.1 HDR Movies
  • 7.8 HDR Gaming
  • 8.7 PC Monitor

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung Q80A is an upper-mid range TV in Samsung's 2021 lineup. It's the high-end model of their QLED lineup, and it sits behind the Samsung QN85A QLED, which is part of the new Neo QLED TVs. It replaces the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED in name, but it uses a different panel type. We expect its main competitors to be the Sony X90J, LG NANO90 2021, and the Vizio P Series Quantum 2020.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The Samsung Q80A has a sleek yet simple design. It looks very similar to 2020's Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED with its center-mounted stand. The back panel is made out of textured plastic, and there are tracks for cable management. Overall, it looks like a premium TV and should look good in any setup.

Design
Stand

The square-based stand is typical of high-end Samsung TVs, and it supports the TV well.

Footprint of the 55 inch stand: 15.4" x 10.3".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

The back of the Samsung Q80A looks exactly like the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED. It has textured plastic, and there are tracks for cable management. You can also remove the back of the stand to run cables through it.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.44" (6.2 cm)

The panel itself is thin, but it may stand out a bit when wall-mounted because the power plug sticks out, as you can see in this photo.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung Q80A's build quality is excellent. It wobbles a bit, but it's not too noticeable. It's mainly made out of plastic, but it still feels solid and there isn't any noticeable flex. It feels sturdy overall, and you shouldn't have any issues with it. Unfortunately, our unit has three pixels that display purple during a dark scene (see Black Uniformity). We've seen other people online experience the same thing, but this is a quality control issue, and your experience may be different.

Picture Quality
6.7
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,449 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
1,560 : 1

The Samsung Q80A has a low contrast ratio, which is typical of ADS panels. This is a major decrease from the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED, which uses a VA panel. However, the contrast with local dimming enabled is lower than expected because the local dimming seems to turn on all the zones in our checkerboard pattern, which results in this low contrast ratio and blacks that look gray. We expect real content to have higher contrast, but blacks may still look gray. The contrast with the checkerboard pattern is similar in other picture modes as it is in our recommended 'Movie' mode. However, with a full-white and full-black screen, we measured a contrast of 12,390:1. If you want a similar TV with a better native contrast ratio, check out the Sony X90J.

8.7
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
653 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
597 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
858 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
785 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
583 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
520 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
590 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
836 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
778 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
581 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
519 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.028

The Samsung Q80A has excellent SDR brightness, which is a nice improvement from the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED. Although its brightness varies based on different content, it easily gets bright enough to combat glare.

We measured peak brightness after calibration in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with Local Dimming on 'High', Color Tone set to 'Warm2', and Brightness at its max.

If you want an even brighter image and don't care about image accuracy, then set Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and Color Tone to 'Warm1'. We achieved 910 cd/m² in the 10% window.

6.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The Samsung Q80A has a mediocre local dimming feature. It crushes blacks, causing a loss in details from bright objects. There's also visible blooming around bright objects, and the screen doesn't look uniform as entire horizontal zones light up at times. There's noticeable blooming around subtitles, and it gets worse when viewed at an angle. The dimming zones are slow to turn off when there are fast-moving objects, but it also turns on zones prematurely, so overall, fast-moving objects don't look good. All things considered, it's typical for an IPS-like panel to have bad local dimming like this, which is a bit disappointing for a high-end model.

5.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The local dimming in Game Mode is bad. It's similar to outside of Game Mode, except the entire screen seems to light up more, meaning blacks look gray. There's less blooming, but that's because entire zones light up when there's a bright object on the screen. Small highlights are actually over-brightened now, to the point where it loses details. Zone transitions are still visible, although it's better than outside of Game Mode.

8.3
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
869 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
713 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
962 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
824 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
603 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
571 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
707 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
944 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
818 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
602 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
569 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.029

The Samsung Q80A has great HDR brightness. Small highlights really stand out the way they should, but large areas are less bright due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). The EOTF follows the target fairly well, but most scenes are brighter than they should be.

We measured the HDR brightness before calibration in the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode with Brightness and Contrast at max, Local Dimming set to 'High', Color Tone set to 'Warm2', and we disabled all other image processing options.

If you want to make HDR even brighter, set Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and ST.2084 to '+3'. This results in a noticeably brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF.

7.9
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
832 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
297 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
886 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
773 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
597 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
558 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
293 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
873 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
768 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
595 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
556 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.059

The HDR brightness in Game Mode is very good, and it's a significant improvement over the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED. It's a bit more dim than outside of Game Mode, and small highlights are significantly less brighter due to its frame dimming. EOTF does a better job at following the target PQ curve, except some bright scenes are still over-brightened.

We measured HDR brightness with Game Mode enabled, Brightness at its max, Local Dimming on 'High', Color Gamut set to 'Auto', Color Tone to 'Warm2', and Dynamic Black Equalizer to '2'. We also disabled Picture Clarity.

6.8
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.746%
50% DSE
0.208%
5% Std. Dev.
0.580%
5% DSE
0.115%

The Samsung Q80A has okay uniformity. The edges are visibly darker, and there's dirty screen effect in the center. Uniformity is much improved in near-dark scenes. Surprisingly, you can only see the dead pixels on an all-black screen, so we expect it's just an issue when displaying black. Keep in mind that uniformity may vary between units.

4.6
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
2.193%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
5.207%

The Samsung Q80A has bad black uniformity, but this could vary between units. Without local dimming, the entire screen looks blue, there's backlight bleed along the edges, and noticeable clouding throughout. With local dimming, entire horizontal zones are lit up around the center cross, so the screen is actually less uniform.

You can visibly see the dead pixels in these photos. There are two below the center cross on the right side, and the other one, while less visible, is directly below the left arm of the cross. We expect this to be an issue with our panel, and your experience may be different. We also noticed they're just visible with dark scenes. If you see the same thing on your panel, let us know.

7.9
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
38°
Color Shift
60°
Brightness Loss
38°
Black Level Raise
70°
Gamma Shift
47°

This TV has wide viewing angles, which is expected from an ADS panel. It looks very similar to the Samsung QN85A QLED. Although you may notice the screen is darker when viewing at an angle, the image remains accurate, and it's suggested for wide seating arrangements.

7.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.1%
Indirect Reflections
0.2%
Calculated Direct Reflections
4.9%

The Samsung Q80A has good reflection handling. Unlike other high-end Samsung TVs, it has a semi-gloss finish. This results in more reflected light; it should be good enough for a room with a few light sources, but you shouldn't put it opposite a window with direct sunlight.

6.4
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
4.38
Color dE
3.36
Gamma
2.07
Color Temperature
7,154 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The out-of-the-box accuracy is unremarkable. White balance and most colors are inaccurate, but it still may be hard to notice for most people. Color temperature is on the cold side, resulting in a blue tint. Sadly, gamma does a bad job at following the target as most bright scenes are too bright.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.40
Color dE
1.04
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6,516 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes

After calibration, accuracy is incredible. Any remaining inaccuracies shouldn't be noticeable to the naked eye. Color temperature is extremely close to the 6500K target, and gamma does a much better job at following the 2.2 target.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content like DVDs is upscaled without any issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

The Samsung Q80A upscales 720p content like cable TV well.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

This TV displays 1080p content almost as good as native 4k.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

The Samsung Q80A displays native 4k content perfectly and without any issues.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This is a 4k TV that can't display an 8k signal. If you want an 8k TV, then check out the Samsung QN800A 8k QLED.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Like the Samsung QN85A QLED, this TV uses an Advanced Super Dimension Switch (ADS) panel. It's an IPS-type panel with many of the same characteristics, but it's technically different. It has an RGB subpixel layout, which is different from the BGR layout on most VA panels like the Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED. Although this doesn't affect picture quality, it could render text more clearly when using it as a PC monitor.

7.8
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
86.54%
DCI P3 uv
92.14%
Rec 2020 xy
63.28%
Rec 2020 uv
70.44%

The Samsung Q80A has a very good color gamut. It has excellent coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space, but it has more limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020.

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
77.2%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
42.0%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
64.0%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
34.6%

The color volume is decent. Due to its low contrast ratio, it can't display dark colors, but it displays bright colors well thanks to its high peak brightness.

8.2
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.109
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.112
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.087
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.105

The gradient handling is great. There's a bit of banding, but it's limited to dark grays and greens, and not everyone may notice it. Setting Noise Reduction to 'Auto' does a good job at removing any banding, but that comes at the cost of losing details.

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

There are no signs of temporary image retention, but this may vary between units.

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

Although some IPS-like panels can suffer from temporary image retention, this doesn't appear to be permanent as seen in our long-term test.

Motion
8.2
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.4 ms
100% Response Time
11.3 ms

The Samsung Q80A has a great response time. For the most part, motion looks smooth, but you may notice some motion blur in dark transitions due to overshoot. This is very similar to the Samsung QN85A QLED.

9.9
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
960 Hz

The backlight of this TV flickers at such a high frequency of 960Hz that you shouldn't notice it. However, it flickers at 120Hz in the 'Dynamic', 'Standard', 'Filmmaker', and 'Natural' Picture Modes. It also flickers at 120Hz with Picture Clarity set to 'Auto', and it can go down to 60Hz with LED Clear Motion enabled. Normally, it should also flicker at 120Hz with Game Mode enabled, but it still flickers at 960Hz on this TV. We believe this is a bug that may be fixed in a firmware update, and it flickers at 120Hz with Game Motion Plus enabled.

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

The Samsung Q80A has a Black Frame Insertion feature to try to reduce motion blur. It flickers at 120Hz with Picture Clarity enabled and 'Judder Reduction' and 'Blur Reduction' both set to '0'. You can make it flicker at 60Hz by enabling LED Clear Motion.

The settings for BFI in Game Mode are a bit more complicated. Normally on Samsung TVs, the backlight should flicker at 120Hz with Game Mode enabled, but it doesn't do that with this TV; we believe it's a bug that should get fixed with a firmware update. Instead, it only flickers at 120Hz with Game Motion Plus enabled, but that's the motion interpolation feature, and not everyone may like it. The BFI still flickers at 60Hz in Game Mode by enabling LED Clear Motion. Keep in mind that the BFI score is based on its flickering abilities, and not its actual performance.

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

There's a motion interpolation feature, known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It doesn't look that good overall as there are artifacts in fast-moving scenes, which could be distracting.

See here for the settings that control the motion interpolation feature.

7.0
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
30.4 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
4.4 ms

Due to the quick response time, lower-frame rate content can appear to stutter as each frame is held on longer. You can try enabling the motion interpolation feature if it bothers you.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The Samsung Q80A automatically removes judder from all sources, and there aren't any settings you need to enable.

9.4
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Unknown
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
120 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1440p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
HDMI

The Samsung Q80A has native FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing. It automatically works with a compatible device when Game Mode is enabled, and there aren't any issues with it. It isn't officially listed to support G-SYNC, and we confirmed it doesn't work as there's constant tearing. If you need something with G-SYNC compatibility, then look into the LG NANO90 2021.

Inputs
9.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
9.0 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
84.4 ms
1440p @ 60Hz
9.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz
9.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
9.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
9.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
70.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
20.5 ms
8k @ 60Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120Hz
5.1 ms
1440p @ 120Hz
5.2 ms
4k @ 120Hz
5.3 ms
8k with VRR
N/A

The Samsung Q80A's input lag is incredibly low. It stays low no matter the resolution and refresh rate you're gaming at, which is great. It increases with Game Motion Plus enabled, but it should still be low enough for most people. If you're using the TV as a PC monitor and want the lowest input lag, simply enable Game Mode.

We couldn't properly measure the input lag with VRR enabled. We don't know if this is an issue with the TV's firmware or with our testing, and we're looking into it. That said, we don't expect the input lag to significantly increase with VRR enabled.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes (native support)
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

The Samsung Q80A displays all common resolutions up to 4k @ 120Hz. If you're using it as a monitor, it displays chroma 4:4:4 at 1080p and 4k, but it can't with 1440p content. If you want it to display chroma 4:4:4, use HDMI 4, which supports HDMI 2.1, and label the input as 'PC'. For full-bandwidth signals, enable Input Signal Plus.

Inputs
Advanced Console Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz
Yes
PS5, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
PS5, 1440p @ 120Hz
PS5 can't do 1440p
PS5, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
PS5, Variable Refresh Rate
PS5 can't do VRR yet
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Yes
Xbox Series X, 1440p @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, 1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
Xbox Series X, Variable Refresh Rate
Yes

The Samsung Q80A doesn't have any issues displaying games from either the PS5 or Xbox Series X. It supports Auto Low Latency Mode, which means it automatically switches into Game Mode to provide the lowest input lag possible when a game from a compatible device is launched. You simply need to enable Game Mode and set Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) to 'Auto' for it to work.

New to Samsung TVs in 2021 is a 'Game Bar' feature that lets you see useful information like the current frame rate and VRR status. You need to hold the Play/Pause button on your remote for a few seconds. You can see what it looks like here.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
Yes
Dolby Vision
No
HLG
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 4)
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)

HDMI 4 is the only input that supports HDMI 2.1. This may be disappointing if you need to connect more than one HDMI 2.1 device, but luckily, HDMI 3 still supports eARC, so you can connect your console and receiver to different inputs.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
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
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
Yes
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
Yes
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

The Samsung Q80A supports Dolby audio formats, including Dolby Atmos via TrueHD through eARC. For it to work, enable HDMI-eARC Mode and set Digital Output Audio to 'Pass-Through'.

Sound Quality
7.2
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
67.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
3.77 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
4.19 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
5.67 dB
Max
89.9 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
3.44 dB

The Samsung Q80A has a decent frequency response. It has a fairly well-balanced sound profile and gets pretty loud. It has better bass than some other TVs we've recently tested, but it doesn't deliver the true rumbling sound a dedicated subwoofer would. There's also a digital room correction feature, but we don't test for it.

7.4
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.131
Weighted THD @ Max
0.491
IMD @ 80
1.00%
IMD @ Max
4.16%

The distortion performance is decent. The total harmonic distortion is a bit audible when playing at its max volume, but it depends on the content, and not everyone may hear it.

Smart Features
8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Tizen
Version 2021
Ease of Use
Easy
Smoothness
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
7 s
Advanced Options
Many

The updated 2021 Tizen OS interface is easy-to-use and feels smoother than previous versions. We didn't experience any bugs during testing.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

There are ads on the home page and app store, and there's no way to disable them. They're not always present, and we couldn't get a photo of them. You can see the ads on the Samsung QN90A QLED here.

8.5
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Average
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

Samsung's app store has a large number of streaming apps available, and they run smoothly.

8.5
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Small
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
Yes
Remote App Samsung SmartThings

Samsung's 2021 QLED models have a redesigned remote compared to the one from 2020. It has a different physical design with new brushed plastic, but the layout and quick-access buttons remain the same. It also doesn't require disposable batteries as you can either charge it through a USB-C cable, which isn't included, or with its solar panel on the back. The built-in voice control allows you to open apps, change inputs and settings, but you can't search for specific content in apps.

Smart Features
TV Controls

There's one button underneath the Samsung branding in the center to change volume, channels, source, and turn the TV On/Off.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Remote
  • User guides

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 61 W
Power Consumption (Max) 195 W
Firmware 1054

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 55 inch Samsung Q80A (QN55Q80A) variant, and for the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65 inch (QN65Q80A) and the 75 inch (QN75Q80A) models in North America. The 50 inch and 85 inch variants are expected to have VA panels; if you have these models, let us know how they perform. The Samsung Q8 Series is sold at Costco, but only the 55 and 85 inch models are available. In Canada, there's also the Samsung Q82A, which we expect to perform similarly, but it's advertised to have better speakers. The Q80 is also available in Europe, but we don't know for sure how it performs compared to the North American model because Samsung's European lineup is slightly different, but we expect it to perform similarly. If you're in Europe and have this TV, let us know how it performs. 

Size Panel Type US Costco Canada UK Italy Germany
50" VA - - - QE50Q80AATXXU - GQ50Q80AATXZG 
55" ADS  QN55Q80AAFXZA QN55Q8DAAFXZA QN55Q80AAFXZC QE55Q80AATXXU QE55Q80AATXZT GQ55Q80AATXZG
65" ADS  QN65Q80AAFXZA - QN65Q80AAFXZC  QE65Q80AATXXU QE65Q80AATXZT  GQ65Q80AATXZG
75" ADS  QN75Q80AAFXZA - QN75Q80AAFXZC  QE75Q80AATXXU - GQ75Q80AATXZG
85" VA  QN85Q80AAFXZA QN85Q8DAAFXZA QN85Q80AAFXZC  - GQ85Q80AATXZG

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung Q80A doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between units.

Our unit of the Q80A was manufactured in February 2021; you can see the label here.

Compared To Other TVs

The Samsung Q80A is a good overall TV. It's a step down from its predecessor, the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED, since its ADS panel has a low contrast ratio, bad black uniformity, and mediocre local dimming. If you aren't going to take advantage of its gaming features, there are cheaper options with better dark room performance, such as the Sony X900H or Hisense H9G. See our recommendations for the best Samsung TVsbest 4k TVs, and best TVs for watching sports.

Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
49" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED replaces the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED in name, but they use different panel types and have different strengths and weaknesses. The QN80A has an ADS panel that has wider viewing angles. It also gets much brighter, especially in HDR in Game Mode. On the other, the Q80T has a VA panel with a much better contrast ratio and better local dimming for an improved dark room experience. The Q80T also has much better reflection handling.

Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED and the Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED are good TVs with different panel types. The Q80A has an ADS panel, which has much wider viewing angles. It also gets significantly brighter in HDR, so highlights stand out the way they should. However, the Q70A has a VA panel with a much better contrast ratio and improved black uniformity. Even though the Q80A has a full-array local dimming feature, which the Q70A doesn't have, the Q70A is better for dark room viewing due to its higher contrast.

Sony X90J
50" 55" 65" 75"

The Sony X90J and the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED are quite different because they don't use the same panel type. The Sony uses a VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio, making it better suited for dark rooms, and the Samsung uses an IPS-like panel with much wider viewing angles. They both have a full-array local dimming feature, but the Sony's performs better because it doesn't cause uniformity issues like the Samsung's. On the flip side, the Samsung has a wider color gamut and gets brighter overall. It also has lower input lag and supports VRR, whereas the Sony's advertised VRR hasn't been implemented yet.

Samsung QN85A QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung QN85A QLED is better overall than the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED. The QN85A sits higher up in the lineup and uses Mini LED as its backlighting, which the Q80A doesn't. Even though they each use the same ADS panel type, the QN85A is better for dark room viewing because it has a better local dimming feature that improves the contrast. The QN85A also gets much brighter, especially in HDR, and it has better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for use in a well-lit room.

Sony X900H
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X900H is better than the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED, mainly because they have different panels. The Sony's VA panel has a higher contrast ratio that allows it to display deep blacks, and the local dimming feature is also better. However, the Samsung has an IPS-like panel with wider viewing angles. It also gets brighter, especially in HDR, and it has more gaming features like VRR support, but that may come in a future firmware update for the Sony.

Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED is better overall than the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED, but they have different panel types. The Q90T has a VA panel with a much higher contrast ratio. It also delivers better HDR performance because it has improved local dimming and gets brighter in HDR to make highlights pop. They each have many of the same gaming features and performance, but the Q90T is G-SYNC compatible, which the Q80A isn't. On the other hand, the Q80A has an IPS-like panel with wider viewing angles.

LG NANO90 2021
55" 65" 75" 86"

The Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED and the LG NANO90 2021 are good TVs with similar panel types. They each have IPS-like panels with wide viewing angles coming at the cost of low contrast. The Samsung is a better choice for use in well-lit rooms because it gets much brighter, but the LG has better reflection handling. They each have similar gaming features with a 120Hz panel and HDMI 2.1 support, but the LG works with G-SYNC, which the Samsung doesn't.

LG NANO90 2020
55" 65" 75" 86"

The Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED and the LG NANO90 2020 are good TVs with similar panel types. The Samsung has an ADS panel, while the LG has an IPS; they each behave similarly with wide viewing angles and a low contrast ratio. The Samsung gets significantly brighter, making it a better choice for well-lit rooms or watching HDR content. Each TV has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 support, a quick response time, and low input lag for gaming, so they're very similar overall.

LG GX OLED
55" 65" 77"

The LG GX OLED is a much better TV than the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED mainly because they have different panel types. The LG has an OLED panel that provides a near-infinite contrast ratio for perfect blacks. It also has wider viewing angles, and it's better for gaming because it has a near-instant response time. However, the Samsung gets much brighter, so it's a better choice for well-lit rooms, and it doesn't suffer from the risk of permanent burn-in like OLEDs do.

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