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Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Nov 03, 2020 at 08:38 am
Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED Picture
8.4
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.1
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.4
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: none
8.4
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.9
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: none
7.9
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
8.6
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: none
8.7
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: none
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

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.

Our Verdict

8.4 Mixed Usage

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.

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

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.

Pros
  • Excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy.
  • Great contrast ratio.
  • Good local dimming.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
8.4 TV Shows

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.

Pros
  • Remarkable reflection handling.
  • Decent viewing angles.
  • Gets very bright.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
8.4 Sports

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.

Pros
  • Excellent response time.
  • Remarkable reflection handling.
  • Decent viewing angles.
  • Gets very bright.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
8.9 Video Games

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.

Pros
  • Excellent response time.
  • Variable refresh rate support.
  • Great contrast ratio.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
7.9 HDR Movies

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.

Pros
  • Excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy.
  • Great contrast ratio.
  • Good local dimming.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
8.6 HDR Gaming

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.

Pros
  • Excellent response time.
  • Variable refresh rate support.
  • Great contrast ratio.
  • Good local dimming.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
8.7 PC Monitor

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.

Pros
  • Excellent response time.
  • Variable refresh rate support.
  • Remarkable reflection handling.
  • Decent viewing angles.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • Corners of the screen appear darker.
  • 8.4 Mixed Usage
  • 8.1 Movies
  • 8.4 TV Shows
  • 8.4 Sports
  • 8.9 Video Games
  • 7.9 HDR Movies
  • 8.6 HDR Gaming
  • 8.7 PC Monitor
  1. Update 11/11/2020: Retested the TV with an HDMI 2.1 source.
  2. Update 11/3/2020: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  3. Update 9/30/2020: We've changed the status of the Auto-Calibration function from 'Untested' to 'Undetermined'.
  4. Update 8/19/2020: Update to HDMI Forum VRR support.
  5. Update 8/4/2020: We updated the refresh rate to clarify that the 49" model has a 60Hz refresh rate.
  6. Update 6/5/2020: We've retested the input lag with the latest firmware update (version 1113).
  7. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.

Check Price

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

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.

Design
9.0
Design
Style
Curved No

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.

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" 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 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.

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; 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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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
Auto-Calibration Function
Undetermined

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.

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

The Samsung Q80T has 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 on the Samsung Q80T 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, indicating that this is a new implementation of the technology. 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. 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.

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; however, 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 %

The are no signs of temporary image retention; however, 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

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.

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 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.

10
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz 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 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.

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 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.

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.

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. 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.

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
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

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.

Inputs
9.2
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
10.1 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
79.5 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
9.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
9.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
9.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
9.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
66.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
22.0 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
5.4 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
5.3 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
5.8 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
6.4 ms
1440p with VRR
7.2 ms
4k with VRR
7.1 ms
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes

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.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resol