Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Updated Feb 16, 2021 at 02:15 pm
Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED Picture
8.3
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.1
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.4
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: none
8.4
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.5
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
7.9
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.3
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.8
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: none
This TV was replaced by the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED is an impressive 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 levels. 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 thanks 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 deliver a good HDR experience. It has exceptionally low input lag, a 120Hz refresh rate, and support for variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing. Unfortunately, the screen has some minor uniformity issues that can be distracting for some, although this can vary between units.

Note: We received reports that the Q80T has visible stuttering and judder when watching sports. This could be most noticeable with cable sports. If you've experienced the same thing, let us know.

Our Verdict

8.3 Mixed Usage

The Samsung Q80T is an impressive all-around TV. It's great for watching movies or other content in the dark thanks to its high contrast ratio, but it also performs well in bright rooms because of its high peak brightness and incredible reflection handling. HDR content also looks good since it has a wide color gamut and gets bright enough for some highlights to pop. It has an excellent response time, so motion looks clear in fast-moving content like video games or sports, and it comes with advanced features like VRR support.

Pros
  • Excellent response time.
  • Great contrast ratio.
  • Remarkable reflection handling.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
8.1 Movies

The Samsung Q80T is great for watching movies. It has a high contrast ratio, although not quite as high as expected for a VA panel. It also has a full-array local dimming feature to further improve black levels. 1080p movies are upscaled well without artifacts, but lower frame rate content can stutter due to the TV's fast response time.

Pros
  • Excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy.
  • Great contrast ratio.
  • Decent local dimming.
Cons
  • Stutters when displaying lower frame rate content.
8.4 TV Shows

The Samsung Q80T is impressive for watching TV shows. It handles reflections remarkably well and gets very bright, so you shouldn't have issues placing it in a well-lit room. It also has decent viewing angles, making it easier to watch in a larger room or wider seating arrangements since the image doesn't look as washed out from the side. It also upscales lower resolution content, like cable TV, without issue.

Note: We received reports that the Q80T has visible stuttering and judder when watching cable TV, especially sports. If you've experienced the same thing, let us know.

Pros
  • Remarkable reflection handling.
  • Decent viewing angles.
  • Gets bright enough to overcome glare.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
  • Reported judder issues with cable sports.
8.4 Sports

The Samsung Q80T is an impressive TV for watching sports. It has an amazing response time, so fast-moving action looks smooth. You should have no problems watching in a well-lit room, either, since it has incredible reflection handling and gets very bright. Its viewing angles are decent, so the image doesn't look too washed out from the side if you prefer watching the game with friends. Unfortunately, there's a bit of dirty screen effect that may be distracting to some during sports.

Note: We received reports that the Q80T has visible stuttering and judder when watching sports. This could be most noticeable with cable sports. If you've experienced the same thing, let us know.

Pros
  • Excellent response time.
  • Remarkable reflection handling.
  • Decent viewing angles.
Cons
  • Some dirty screen effect.
  • Reported judder issues with cable sports.
8.5 Video Games

The Samsung Q80T is an impressive tv for video games. It has an amazing response time, resulting in clear motion and an incredibly low input lag that makes gaming feel responsive. It also has a great contrast ratio, which is ideal for gaming in the dark. Unfortunately, though, the local dimming in 'Game' mode is disappointing, as it doesn't do much. On the upside, it supports VRR and has an HDMI 2.1 port for next-gen consoles.

Pros
  • Excellent response time.
  • Variable refresh rate support.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • Local dimming is ineffective in 'Game' mode.
7.9 HDR Movies

The Samsung Q80T is very good for watching movies in HDR. It has a great contrast ratio that's enhanced by a full-array local dimming feature, allowing it to produce deep blacks. It can display a wide color gamut and gets bright enough to bring out some highlights in HDR content. It can also remove judder from any source, but lower frame rate content like movies can appear to stutter due to the TV's fast response time.

Pros
  • Excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy.
  • Great contrast ratio.
  • Decent local dimming.
Cons
  • Stutters when displaying lower frame rate content.
8.3 HDR Gaming

The Samsung Q80T is great for HDR gaming. Its input lag stays incredibly low even with 10-bit HDR, and it has an amazing response time that results in clear motion. While it has a great contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, its local dimming feature doesn't improve much in 'Game' mode. Also, HDR is a bit darker than it should be in 'Game' mode, so highlights don't pop quite as they should. Unfortunately, it can't support 4k @ 120Hz on the PS5 with HDR enabled.

Pros
  • Excellent response time.
  • Variable refresh rate support.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • Local dimming is ineffective in 'Game' mode.
  • Can't display 4k @ 120Hz with HDR on the PS5.
8.8 PC Monitor

The Samsung Q80T is an amazing TV to use as a PC monitor. It supports all common resolutions, including chroma 4:4:4, which is important for text clarity. It also has a fast response time and a low input lag for a responsive desktop experience. The viewing angles are decent, although you may still notice the edges of the screen look washed out when sitting up close.

Pros
  • Excellent response time.
  • Low input lag.
  • Displays proper chroma 4:4:4.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
  • 8.3 Mixed Usage
  • 8.1 Movies
  • 8.4 TV Shows
  • 8.4 Sports
  • 8.5 Video Games
  • 7.9 HDR Movies
  • 8.3 HDR Gaming
  • 8.8 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Mar 01, 2021: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  2. Updated Mar 01, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.6.
  3. Updated Nov 11, 2020: Retested the TV with an HDMI 2.1 source.
  4. Updated Nov 03, 2020: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  5. Updated Sep 30, 2020: We've changed the status of the Auto-Calibration function from 'Untested' to 'Undetermined'.
  6. Updated Aug 19, 2020: Update to HDMI Forum VRR support.
  7. Updated Aug 04, 2020: We updated the refresh rate to clarify that the 49" model has a 60Hz refresh rate.
  8. Updated Jun 05, 2020: We've retested the input lag with the latest firmware update (version 1113).
  9. Updated May 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung Q80T is a mid-range 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. Its main competitors are the Sony X950H, Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020, and the Hisense H9G.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The Samsung Q80T has a simple and minimalist design with thin bezels on all sides. It's center-mounted on a pedestal-style stand.

Design
Stand

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 inch stand: 15.4" x 10.3".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

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.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The bezels on the Samsung Q80T are thin and aren't distracting.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.20" (5.6 cm)

The TV is quite thin without the stand and shouldn't stick out much when wall-mounted.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

Build quality feels 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.

Picture Quality
8.0
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
3042 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
4225 : 1

The Samsung Q80T has a great native contrast ratio, but it's lower than typical for a VA panel. This is likely due to the 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 inch variant doesn't have the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer and is expected to have a higher native contrast ratio.

8.1
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
407 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
537 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
709 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
682 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
465 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
424 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
529 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
685 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
667 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
463 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
422 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.030

Great SDR peak brightness. It's more than enough to fight glare in bright rooms, but there's quite a bit of variation 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.

7.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

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.

5.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

In 'Game' mode, the local dimming doesn't do much, especially with real content. There's very little black crush or other noticeable flaws with the local dimming, but neither is there much noticeable improvement in dark scenes. For instance, the local dimming barely reacts to subtitles. When there is a long stretch of dark content, it may dim the scene a little but not by much. Because it's less aggressive, transitions between zones are quite smooth and not very noticeable. However, sometimes the local dimming seems to behave differently, as with the moving circles where it dims the background more aggressively and zone transitions become more visible, but it quickly goes back to its more ineffective behavior. What all of this means is that you likely won't notice the effects of local dimming much when in 'Game' mode.

7.5
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
702 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
528 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
739 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
607 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
461 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
438 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
522 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
717 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
603 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
460 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
436 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.029

Good HDR brightness. HDR content looks especially good if you're watching in a dark to moderately-lit room. Overall scenes are a little brighter than they should be, but very bright highlights don't quite pop as intended. As with SDR, there's quite a bit of variation in brightness depending on the content.

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 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 higher HDR peak brightness, check out the Sony X950H.

6.7
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
512 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
358 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
509 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
481 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
503 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
430 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
356 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
506 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
479 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
500 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
429 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.021

In 'Game' mode, the HDR brightness is okay. It's a bit more consistent across content but doesn't get as bright overall and highlights don't stand out as much. The replacement to this TV, the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED, gets significantly brighter in 'Game' mode.

We tested the brightness in the 'Game' Picture Mode, using the 'Warm 2' Color Temperature, with Local Dimming set to 'High', Color Gamut on 'Auto', Dynamic Black Equalizer set to '2', and Sharpness set to '0'. Motion interpolation and other additional settings were disabled.

7.3
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.356 %
50% DSE
0.199 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.500 %
5% DSE
0.096 %

The Samsung Q80T has decent gray uniformity, although 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.

8.0
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.824 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
1.253 %

The Samsung Q80T has great black uniformity, but this can vary between individual 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, and there's a bit less blooming around the test cross.

7.1
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
37 °
Color Shift
45 °
Brightness Loss
45 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
20 °

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 a lower 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 inch variant of this TV doesn't have the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, and we expect it to have worse viewing angles.

9.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.3 %
Indirect Reflections
0.8 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
0.5 %

Superb reflection handling. The screen's anti-reflective coating performs remarkably well at reducing the intensity of reflected light, making it a great choice for fairly well-lit rooms. However, the light scatters across the screen, creating a rainbow-like effect. This can be most noticeable in rooms with a lot of light, especially when you're watching dark content here. You can see examples of it from Reddit here.

8.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.68
Color dE
1.47
Gamma
2.13
Color Temperature
6365 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

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.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.23
Color dE
0.88
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6503 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes

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 incredible. 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.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content like DVDs is upscaled without any obvious artifacts, and it looks very similar, if not identical, to the Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED and the Samsung Q70/Q70T QLED.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content such as cable TV is upscaled well, with no signs of upscaling artifacts.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

There are no issues upscaling 1080p content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content is displayed perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The Samsung Q80T can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

The pixels are a bit blurry due to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer. It is, however, much clearer than what we had observed on the Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED. You can also see the filter in this photo.

8.0
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
88.53 %
DCI P3 uv
92.29 %
Rec 2020 xy
66.17 %
Rec 2020 uv
73.79 %

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. If you want a TV with a wider color gamut, check out the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020.

7.8
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
86.9 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
42.6 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
68.6 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
33.5 %

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.

7.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.111 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.125 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.110 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.098 dE

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, although it may cause the loss of some fine 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 can vary between individual units.

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

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

Motion
8.6
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
2.8 ms
100% Response Time
10.1 ms

This tv has an excellent response time. There should be very little blur trail behind fast-moving objects. That said, there's significant overshoot in some transitions, which is more visible when motion interpolation is enabled. If you want an even quicker response time, check out the LG CX OLED.

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

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 to 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.

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

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 frequency further to 60Hz.

In 'Game' mode, the backlight always flickers at 120Hz, and enabling LED Clear Motion in the Game Motion Plus Settings menu lowers the flickering frequency to 60Hz.

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

The Samsung Q80T can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz, a feature also known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. 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.

6.8
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
31.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
6.6 ms

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.

Note: We received reports that the Q80T has visible stuttering and judder when watching sports. This could be most noticeable with cable sports. If you've experienced the same thing, let us know.

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 Q80T can remove judder from all sources. To do so, set Picture Clarity to 'Custom', and leave the Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction sliders at '0'.

The 49 inch variant of this TV has a 60Hz panel and likely can't remove judder at all. If you have the 49 inch model, please let us know in the discussions below.

Note: We received reports that the Q80T has visible stuttering and judder when watching sports. This could be most noticeable with cable sports. If you've experienced the same thing, let us know.

9.4
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz (except 49", 50")
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes (except 49", 50")
HDMI Forum VRR
Unknown
FreeSync
Yes (except 49", 50")
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes (except 49", 50")
4k VRR Maximum