The Samsung Q80T QLED is a great 4k TV, delivering fantastic picture quality in nearly every type of content. It has a VA panel that can produce deep blacks, and a full-array local dimming to further improve black level. It has excellent color accuracy out-of-the-box, and an impressive HDR color gamut to produce a wide range of colors. Its viewing angles are decent due to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, so you don't lose too much image accuracy when viewed from the side. It handles reflections remarkably well and gets very bright, enough to fight glare and to make highlights pop in HDR content. It has exceptionally low input lag, a 120Hz refresh rate, and to top it all off, support for variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing. The screen has some minor uniformity issues that can be distracting for some, although this can vary between units.
The Samsung Q80T is a great TV for most uses. It delivers a stunning picture quality with its great contrast ratio and fast response time. Its high peak brightness and outstanding reflection handling make it suitable for viewing in bright rooms, and it also performs well in dark rooms thanks to its great contrast ratio and full-array local dimming. Its low input lag and VRR support should keep gamers happy; however, there's a bit of dirty screen effect that can be distracting when watching sports.
The Samsung Q80T is great for watching movies. It's well-suited for dark room viewing thanks to its high contrast ratio, full-array local dimming, and impressive black uniformity. 1080p movies are displayed nearly as well as native 4k content, with no signs of upscaling artifacts. Due to the TV's fast response time, low frame rate content can appear to stutter a bit.
The Samsung Q80T is great for watching TV shows. Lower resolution content like cable TV is upscaled with no issues and the TV can get bright enough for viewing in bright rooms during the day. It has decent viewing angles, so the image won't degrade as much when viewed from the side, which is great for those who like to walk around while watching.
The Samsung Q80T is great for watching sports. It has outstanding motion handling due to its fast response time and Black Frame Insertion feature, and its decent viewing angles are good for watching a big game with a large group of people. It gets bright enough to combat glare in any type of room setting and it also has exceptional reflection handling, but unfortunately, there's some dirty screen effect that can be rather distracting.
The Samsung Q80T is amazing for gaming. It has an exceptionally low input lag that provides a responsive gaming experience, and its fast response time keeps motion blur to a minimum. Its VRR support is great for those with an AMD graphics card or an Xbox One, and the TV's great contrast ratio makes it a good choice for gaming in the dark.
The Samsung Q80T is good for watching movies in HDR. It has a great contrast ratio that's enhanced by a full-array local dimming, allowing it to produce deep blacks. It can display a wide color gamut and gets bright enough to bring out small highlights in HDR content. It can remove judder from all sources, but lower frame rate content like movies can stutter due to the TV's fast response time.
The Samsung Q80T is excellent for gaming in HDR. Along with its low input lag and VRR support, this TV can display a wide color gamut, and it can get bright enough to deliver a fantastic HDR gaming experience. Response time is excellent, resulting in very little motion blur, and the TV's decent viewing angles are good for playing co-op games.
The Samsung Q80T is excellent for use as a PC monitor. It has a low input lag, a fast response time, and it can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, which is important for text clarity. It has decent viewing angles, so the image doesn't look washed out on the sides if you sit up close, and there are no risks of temporary image retention or permanent burn-in with the TV's VA panel.
The Samsung Q80T is a high mid-end TV in Samsung's high-end 4k QLED TV lineup. It sits below the flagship Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED and above the Samsung Q70/Q70T QLED. Since Samsung has shifted its entire lineup this year, this is a replacement of the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED in name only, as its performance and features are closer to that of the Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED. We expect its main competitors to be the Sony X950H, Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020, and the Hisense H9G.
The Samsung Q80T has an excellent design that's simple and minimal. It has thin bezels on all sides and its pedestal-style stand is center-mounted.
The stand is a mix of metal and plastic. It provides decent support for the TV but there's still a fair amount of wobble. Luckily, it's fairly small and doesn't take up much space, making it easier to place a soundbar in front.
Footprint of the 55" stand: 15.4" x 10.3".
The back of the TV is plastic and it's plain except for the fine horizontal texture etched into it. The inputs are side-facing and are easily accessible when the TV is wall-mounted, and grooves guide the cables towards the stand, which is hollow and serves as cable management.
The bezels on the Samsung Q80T are thin and aren't distracting.
The TV is quite thin without the stand and shouldn't stick out much when wall-mounted.
Build quality is excellent. It's mostly plastic, but it feels well-built and sturdy overall. The TV does wobble when nudged; mostly due to the design of the stand.
The Samsung Q80T has a great native contrast ratio; however, it's lower than models from previous years. This is likely due to the new implementation of Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which improves viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio. The contrast does improve when local dimming is enabled, but blacks can still appear grayish in some scenes.
The 49" variant doesn't have the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer and is expected to have a higher native contrast ratio.
This TV has a decent full-array local dimming feature. The implementation has been tweaked to light up more zones at once, which has the effect of reducing intense blooming around bright objects but also causes a larger section of the screen to appear grayish. That said, it isn't as noticeable in real content, and subtitles are handled well. It's still a bit slow in reacting to changes and can sometimes cause the corners of the screen to flash when the whole screen is gray. The performance is very close to that of the Sony X900F.
Impressive SDR peak brightness. It's more than enough to fight glare in bright rooms, but there's quite a bit of variance in brightness when displaying different content.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode, with Brightness set to maximum, and Local Dimming set to 'High'.
If you don't mind losing a bit of image accuracy, you can get a brighter image by setting the Picture Mode to 'Dynamic', Local Dimming to 'High', and Brightness to max. We achieved a peak brightness of 761cd/m² in the 10% window with these settings.
Good HDR peak brightness. This TV can deliver a very good HDR experience, especially if you're watching in a dark to moderately-lit room.
We measured the HDR peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode, with Local Dimming set to 'High', and all other image processing disabled.
If you want a brighter picture and don't mind losing accuracy, set the Picture Mode to 'Dynamic' and Local Dimming to 'Standard'. We achieved a peak brightness of 1314 cd/m² in the 10% window with these settings.
If you want a TV with higher HDR peak brightness, check out the Sony X950H.
Our unit of the Samsung Q80T has decent gray uniformity; however, this can vary between units. The corners of the screen look darker and there's a bit of dirty screen effect throughout the screen. Luckily, uniformity is much better in darker scenes.
The Samsung Q80T has decent viewing angles for a VA panel TV. It has Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which improves viewing angles at the cost of contrast ratio. Gamma shift happens rather quickly once you move off-center, but black level remains fairly consistent until you reach moderate viewing angles. To take our measurements, we had to perform two runs, one with local dimming set to 'Low' to measure color, and the other with local dimming disabled to measure lightness, black level, and gamma. Overall, viewing angles are better with the local dimming disabled.
The TV's local dimming can't be disabled through the normal settings menu. To turn it off, you must first disable PC Mode Dimming within the TV's service menu, and then activate PC Mode.
The 49" variant of this TV doesn't have the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer and we expect it to have worse viewing angles.
Our unit of the Samsung Q80T has great black uniformity; however, this can vary between units. There's a bit of clouding throughout the screen, and the overall image looks a bit more grayish. With local dimming enabled, the clouding is less noticeable, but it makes the blooming around the test cross much more visible.
Outstanding reflection handling. The screen's anti-reflective coating performs remarkably well at reducing the intensity of reflected light, making it a great choice for bright rooms. It performs very similarly to the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED, but with less scattering of the reflection.
The Samsung Q80T has excellent color accuracy out-of-the-box. There are only minor inaccuracies that are very difficult to spot with the naked eye, and white balance is also fantastic. However, the color temperature is a bit on the warm side, and gamma doesn't follow the target all that well, causing most scenes to appear brighter than they should. Note that color accuracy can vary between units.
Update 09/30/2020: We've changed the status of the Auto-Calibration function from 'Untested' to 'Undetermined', as the Samsung Q80T isn't yet listed as being compatible with CalMAN.
After calibration, color accuracy is superb. White balance, gamma, and color temperature are right on target, and any remaining inaccuracies shouldn't be noticeable without the aid of a colorimeter.
You can see our recommended settings here.
720p content such as cable TV is upscaled well, with no signs of upscaling artifacts.
The Samsung Q80T has a great color gamut. It has excellent coverage of the DCI P3 color space, which is used for most HDR content, and it has decent coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space. The 'Movie' EOTF is slightly too bright for the most part until the roll-off, and the 'Game' mode EOTF is a little too dark in some scenes, as you can see here.
If you find HDR too dim, you can make it brighter by setting Brightness and Contrast to maximum, set ST.2084 to maximum, and set Contrast Enhancer to 'High'. Using these settings, you can make HDR appear significantly brighter, as you can see in this EOTF.
If you want a TV with a better HDR color gamut, check out the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020.
Good color volume. It's slightly better than the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED, but it can't reproduce dark colors as well due to its lower contrast ratio.
Very good gradient performance. The most visible banding is with the color green, but there's also some fine banding when displaying shades of gray, red, and blue. If this bothers you, enabling Noise Reduction in the Picture Clarity Settings menu can remove most of it; however, it may cause the loss of some fine details.
The are no signs of temporary image retention; however, this can vary between individual units.
We don't expect VA panels to experience burn-in, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Samsung Q80T has excellent response time. There should be very little blur trail behind fast-moving objects; however, there's significant overshoot in some transitions, which is more visible when using the motion interpolation feature to interpolate up to 120Hz.
If you want an even quicker response time, check out the LG CX OLED.
This TV uses Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight, but since it flickers at such a high frequency, it shouldn't be noticeable for most people. In 'Movie' mode, the flickering frequency drops to 120Hz when Picture Clarity is set to 'Custom' or 'Auto'. The flickering is also at 120Hz when using the 'Dynamic', 'Standard', 'Natural', or 'Game' mode.
This TV has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that can help reduce motion blur, called LED Clear Motion.
Just enabling Picture Clarity lowers the flickering frequency to 120Hz, and turning on LED Clear Motion reduces the flickering further to 60Hz.
In 'Game' mode, the flickering is always at 120Hz, and enabling LED Clear Motion in the Game Motion Plus Settings menu lowers the flickering frequency to 60Hz.
The Samsung Q80T can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz and it works remarkably well. There are very little artifacts in regular content, even in intense scenes. To use it, set Picture Clarity to 'Custom', then set Judder Reduction to '10' for 30fps content, or Blur Reduction to '10' for 60fps content.
Due to the TV's fast response time, lower frame rate content can appear to stutter, as each frame is held on for a longer period. If this bothers you, enabling Picture Clarity or LED Clear Motion can help.
The Samsung Q80T can remove judder from all sources. You can do so by setting Picture Clarity to 'Custom', and leaving Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction sliders at '0'.
The 49" variant of this TV has a 60Hz panel and likely can't remove any judder at all. If you have the 49" model, please let us know in the discussions below.
Update 11/11/2020: We retested the VRR range with an HDMI 2.1 source and measured a wider VRR range than before.
Update 08/19/2020: We changed HDMI Forum VRR to 'Unknown' because we currently don't have an accurate way to test for HDMI Forum VRR compatibility. Once we do, we'll test for it and update the review.
This TV supports FreeSync and is G-SYNC compatible to reduce screen tearing when gaming. It has a very wide VRR range with an HDMI 2.1 source, which is great, and there isn't any screen tearing. There are no settings for it, it turns on automatically when the TV detects a game being launched from a device that has VRR enabled. Game Motion Plus can't be used when VRR is enabled.
The 49" variant of this TV has a 60Hz panel and doesn't support any VRR technology.
Update 11/11/2020: We retested the input lag with an HDMI 2.1 source, including the input lag at 4k @ 120Hz.
Update 06/05/2020: We've retested the input lag after updating to the latest firmware (version 1113). The input lag when playing 4k @ 60Hz + 10-bit HDR dropped by 3.4ms, 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 dropped by 4.5ms, and 1080p @ 60Hz outside of 'Game' mode dropped by 7.2ms. The rest are the same or within margin or error.
The Samsung Q80T has exceptionally low input lag as long as you're using 'Game' mode. It's a bit higher when using VRR or Game Motion Plus, and even then, it's still excellent and should be fine for most casual gamers.