The Samsung Q80R is an excellent 4k LED TV with impressive picture quality. It delivers deep blacks thanks to the high native contrast ratio, excellent black uniformity, and very good local dimming support. It's a very bright TV with a wide color gamut that delivers HDR content with rich colors and highlights that pop. It has decent viewing angles, despite being a VA panel TV, thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology. The TV has remarkable motion handling and produces crisp motion with minimal blur. It has a very low input lag and supports FreeSync for more consistent motion during gaming.
The Samsung Q80R is an excellent TV for mixed usage. It performs just as well in a dark room, for movies and HDR content, and in a bright room for sports or TV shows. It has a fast response time, a low input lag, and supports some advanced gaming features that will please gamers, no matter if you're gaming on a console or a PC.See our Mixed Usage recommendations
The Q80R is an excellent TV for watching movies. It produces deep, uniform blacks that enhance the picture quality in a dark room. It can remove 24p judder from any source, and has an optional motion interpolation feature for soap opera effect fans, which also comes in handy if you wish to remove stutter in movies.See our Movies recommendations
The Q80 is a fantastic TV for watching TV shows. If you watch shows during the day, it can get really bright and it does a fantastic job at handling reflections, so it's suitable for any bright room. Although most VA panel TVs don't have good viewing angles, the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer gives it a decent viewing angle, so your whole family will be able to sit around the TV and enjoy your favorite show without losing too much image accuracy.See our TV Shows recommendations
The Q80R is excellent for watching sports. It's a very bright TV with remarkable reflection handling, so you can place it in a bright room with many lights or windows and still enjoy a great picture. It has a very fast response time, so fast action looks crisp and the image remains accurate for wider viewing angles. This is great for watching the big game with a group of friends. Finally, the TV has decent great uniformity that won't spoil your sports-watching experience.See our Sports recommendations
Outstanding TV for playing video games. The input lag is remarkably low and the TV responds almost immediately to your actions. The fast response time delivers crisp motion and the TV is packed with gaming goodies. It supports FreeSync for nearly tear-free gaming, low input lag with motion interpolation, and a convenient Auto Low Latency Mode.See our Video Games recommendations
The Q80R delivers an excellent HDR movie watching experience. The high contrast ratio, excellent black uniformity, and good local dimming support produce deep blacks in a dark room where HDR is meant to be seen. The wide color gamut and high HDR peak brightness deliver HDR content with rich and vivid colors and highlights that stand out.See our HDR Movies recommendations
The Samsung Q80R is a remarkable TV for playing HDR games. It has a very low input lag in HDR and responds immediately to your actions. HDR games are displayed remarkably well, full of vivid colors and bright highlights, thanks to the wide color gamut and excellent HDR peak brightness.See our HDR Gaming recommendations
The Q80R is an excellent TV for use as a PC monitor. It has a very low input lag and it reacts instantly to your actions. The response time is very fast and thus only a small blur trail follows fast-moving content. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4 and has decent viewing angles that deliver a uniform image at the edges when you sit up close. As a VA panel, this TV appears to be immune to temporary image retention or permanent burn-in.See our PC Monitor recommendations
The Samsung Q80's design is excellent. Its body is very similar to the Q70R, except for the metallic borders and the stand, which are different. The stand provides good support for the TV and the back of the legs are hollow to provide a path for cable management. However, the TV wobbles significantly more than the Q70R when nudged. The Q80R is a very thin TV and it won't stick out much if you decide to wall-mount it. Unfortunately, its not compatible with a no-gap wall mount to put it flush to the wall. The build quality is excellent, and you should have no issues with it.
The stand supports the TV well but won't prevent wobbling if you nudge the TV. It takes up a lot of space, but it's not as wide as the TV.
Footprint of the 55" stand: 34.8" x 10.0".
The borders of the TV look nice and the bezel is very thin. The borders are made of metal and have a slightly lighter tint than the Q70R.
Excellent build quality, similar to the Q70R. The TV feels solid but it wobbles a bit on its stand, although this shouldn't be too much of an issue.
The Samsung Q80 has a great native contrast ratio. It is, however, lower than most TVs with VA panels. This is because of the TV's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer that improves the viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio. This is very similar to the Samsung Q90R and the Q900R. The native contrast ratio of this TV measures slightly better than other TVs we've tested that support similar viewing angle boosting technology.
Unfortunately, just like the Q70R and the Q90R, the TV's local dimming can't be completely disabled in the normal settings menu. In order to measure the native contrast ratio, we had to disable PC Mode Dimming in the TV's service menu, and then activate PC Mode and Game Mode at the same time.
The Q80 has a very good local dimming feature. It's better than the Q70R and similar to the Q9FN. Unfortunately, it doesn't dim small objects well, but when bright highlights move across the screen, there's a good transition from one dimming zone to the next. When viewed from the side, you might notice some blooming.
When there are subtitles on the screen, there might be noticeable brightness changes in the scene. This is normal for Samsung TVs with local dimming features.
You can't disable the local dimming feature through the regular menus on the TV. Local Dimming was set to 'High' for these tests.
Update 08/02/2019: We have retested the Q80 with the latest firmware, and the SDR peak brightness has increased a bit. We've updated our measurements and scores.
The TV has excellent peak brightness and it's suitable for a bright room as it will easily fight glare. The Samsung Q80 isn't as bright as the Q90R, but it's a little brighter than the Q8FN in real scenes and in the larger window sizes. The Q8FN is brighter in smaller highlights.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode and 'Warm 2' Color Tone, with Local Dimming set to 'High' and Gamma set to '2.2'. We use these settings because they give the most accurate image, and this is the maximum brightness that you can get with these settings.
If you don't care about image accuracy, you can obtain higher brightness levels. We were able to reach about 1250 nits on our 10% window, which lasted for at least 10 seconds before the ABL dimmed the image.
Update 08/02/2019: We have retested the Q80R with the latest firmware, and the HDR peak brightness has increased a bit. We've updated our measurements and scores.
We measured the peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode and 'Warm 2' Color Tone, with Local Dimming set to 'High.' We use these settings because they give the most accurate image and this is the maximum brightness that you can get with these settings.
If you don't care about image accuracy, you can obtain higher brightness levels. We were able to momentarily reach a brightness of about 1650 nits on the 10% window before the ABL dimmed the image.
Decent gray uniformity. The Q80 gets a bit darker around the edges of the screen, and even more in the corners. There's minor dirty screen effect, which might be distracting with fast-moving objects, but it shouldn't be noticeable to most people.
There are no uniformity issues in dark scenes.
The TV has decent viewing angles. The image remains accurate at wide angles as you move off-center. This is a behavior that is mostly found on IPS panels, and not usually on VA panels like this TV. Just like the Q90R, it has the new 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer that improves viewing angles at the expense of native contrast ratio. The 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology appears to work similarly to the 'X-Wide Angle' technology found on the Sony Z9F.
We took our color measurements after calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode and Local Dimming set to 'Low.' Unfortunately, the TV's local dimming can't be completely disabled using the normal settings menu. In order to take our lightness measurements, we disabled PC Mode Dimming in the TV's service menu, and then activated PC Mode and Game Mode at the same time.
We observed some weird diagonal stripes that are visible when you look at the screen from up close and from the left. This isn't noticeable from farther away. We assume that this is due to the optical layer, but it isn't noticeable on our other TVs (the Q90R, the Q900R, or the Z9F) that use this technology. This is the first 55 inch TV that we've tested that uses this optical layer, so we're not sure if the layer in this size of TV has anything to do with the stripes we noticed.
The Samsung Q80 has excellent black uniformity, which is an improvement over the Q8FN. There's a bit of blooming around the center cross and some backlight bleed in the native black uniformity picture, but most people won't notice this with normal content. The uniformity improves with local dimming enabled, as there's less visible backlight bleed but there's still some clouding around the center cross.
This TV's local dimming feature can't be completely disabled in the normal settings menu. For the native black uniformity test, we had to disable PC Mode Dimming then activate PC Mode and Game Mode at the same time, which turned local dimming off.
Fantastic reflection handling. This TV will perform well in any room with a lot of windows or lights and you won't be distracted all that much from reflections. The 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer diffuses light differently than most TVs, and instead it scatters the reflection across the screen. This may cause some rainbow reflections across the screen, as seen in the 'Bright Room Off' picture. This is better reflection handling than the Q70R, although it's a bit worse than the Q8FN.
Good pre-calibration color accuracy. Most colors should appear as they're supposed to, although there might be some inaccuracies. The gamma curve is above the target of 2.2, so most scenes will be darker than they should. The color temperature is warmer than the expected value of 6500K, meaning most colors will have a red/yellow tint to them. This is most noticeable with the color blue, which is the most inaccurate color pre-calibration.
10/31/2019: Unfortunately, it would appear that the Q80R isn't compatible with the Auto-Calibration Function.
Excellent accuracy after calibration for the Q80. The white balance dE is almost perfect, and the color dE is so low that most will only spot the remaining inaccuracies with the aid of a colorimeter. The gamma tracks the curve well, and the color temperature is very close to the target of 6500K.
You can see our recommended settings here.
Older, 480p digital content looks good, with no obvious upscaling artifacts or over-sharpening.
720p, like cable TV, is upscaled well. There's no obvious over-softening and no upscaling artifacts.
Upscaling of 1080p content such as Blu-rays or game consoles looks good. The image is sharp and there are no obvious issues.
The 'Movie' EOTF (shown above) is a little brighter at higher stimulus levels until it starts to roll off near the TV's peak brightness. In 'Game' mode, the EOTF is very similar to the 'Movie' mode as we can see here.
Good color volume, but it's much better on the Q8FN. Thanks to its low contrast ratio, it's able to display deep, saturated colors. It can't display some brighter blues, which is normal for most LED TVs.
The gradient of the QN55Q80RAFXZA is good. Some fine banding is noticeable in all dark shades, especially in the dark greens and grays. It is, however, hard to notice in normal content. If banding is bothering you, set Digital Clean View to 'Auto' and it'll remove most of it. Unfortunately, it can also cause some loss of some fine details in certain scenes.
There's no temporary image retention on the Samsung Q80.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
Excellent response time on the Samsung Q80. Gamers will appreciate how clear motion looks on this TV and it's an improvement from the Q8FN. Unfortunately, there's some overshoot in the 0-20% and 0-80% transitions, which affects the motion in dark scenes.
For this test, we turned the Local Dimming feature off so we could get a more consistent reading. Local dimming doesn't affect the response time. Find out how to disable local dimming here.
The Q80 uses PWM dimming to dim the backlight. The flicker frequency is at 960Hz only when the TV is in 'Movie' mode and Auto Motion Plus is disabled. The flicker frequency changes to 120Hz as soon as you set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' or 'Auto,' even if you remain in 'Movie' mode. In 'Standard,' 'Dynamic,' 'PC,' 'Game,' or in 'Natural' modes, the flicker is always at 120Hz, similar to the Q70R and the Q90R.
The TV has an excellent black frame insertion feature. It can lower the flicker frequency as low as 60Hz to help make the image crisper. This decreases the picture brightness, and 60Hz flicker can be bothersome to some people.
Just enabling Auto Motion Plus automatically sets the flicker to 120Hz. Setting LED Clear Motion to 'On' further reduces the flicker frequency to 60Hz.
When you're in 'Game' mode, the flicker frequency is always 120Hz. If you enable LED Clear Motion in Game Motion Plus, it'll change the flicker frequency to 60Hz and will make the image even crisper.
The Samsung Q80 can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps. To enable motion interpolation, you must enable Auto Motion Plus and adjust the available sliders.
See here for more information regarding the settings that control the Q80R's motion interpolation feature.
Note that, like many Samsung TVs, simply setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' changes the backlight flicker to 120Hz.
Due to the Q80R's very fast response time, each frame of any low frame rate content, like movies, is held on screen for longer periods of time. This causes the image to appear to stutter. If it bothers you, motion interpolation or optional black frame insertion feature can help.
The Samsung Q80R can remove judder from any source.
See our recommended settings on how to remove judder here.
Update 12/17/2019: A flaw was discovered in the way we were testing for G-SYNC compatibility with TVs. We've corrected the flaw, and have retested the 2019 Samsung and LG TVs, and found that the Q80 doesn't work properly with NVIDIA's current Adaptive Sync drivers.
The TV has a native refresh rate of 120Hz, and like all premium Samsung TVs since 2018 it supports the FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. FreeSync VRR can offer you a nearly tear-free gaming experience, provided you have a compatible AMD card or an Xbox One. 1440p and 1080p have the same excellent VRR range. At 4k, however, the range is narrower at 4k, as the TV only supports up to 4k @ 60Hz.
We tested the TV on 'Game' mode, without interpolation or any other gaming processing setting, and we set FreeSync to 'Ultimate' to obtain the widest possible range.
If FreeSync is enabled on a connected device, auto game mode doesn't work at all; it will always stay in game mode.
Update 08/02/2019: We've retested the TV with the latest firmware, and the input lag has decreased slightly across the board. The TV is no longer skipping frames when sent a 1080p or 1440p @ 120Hz signal. We've updated our numbers and scores.
This TV has an excellent low input lag. The input lag is very similar to the input lag of both the Q90R and the Q70R, and an improvement from the Q8FN. This is great news for gamers. To get the lowest input lag, you need to set the TV to 'Game Mode.' However, when in 'PC Mode,' you get the same low input lag without the need to set the TV to 'Game' mode. To display proper chroma 4:4:4 you must set the TV to 'PC mode.'
Note:When motion interpolation is enabled in 'Game Mode' through the Game Motion Plus menu, the input lag is 37.7ms when you interpolate to 60fps and 43.3ms for 120fps.
To find out more about what settings to use to obtain those numbers, and about the Auto Low Latency Mode, see our recommended settings for Gaming.