Samsung Q800T QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Jun 23, 2020 at 12:57 pm
Samsung Q800T QLED Picture
8.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
7.8
Movies
8.2
TV Shows
8.0
Sports
8.5
Video Games
7.8
HDR Movies
8.3
HDR Gaming
8.6
PC Monitor
Current deal: The Samsung Q800T QLED 65” has dropped by $500 on Amazon.com. See all deals on TVs.
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 8k

The Samsung Q800T is a new TV in Samsung's 2020 8k QLED lineup. It has all the features found on other high-end TVs and its high resolution delivers exceptional picture quality. Its VA panel has Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer added to it, improving its viewing angles at the cost of a lower native contrast ratio. Luckily, there's a full-array local dimming feature that darkens any blacks. Unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues, as parts of the screen are darker and blotchy, and there are some upscaling artifacts with both 4k and native 8k content. On the upside, this TV has support for FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing, and it has a black frame insertion feature to help improve the appearance of motion. Also, the TV comes equipped with Samsung's Tizen operating system, which is easy to use and has a ton of apps available to download.

Our Verdict

8.1 Mixed Usage

The Samsung Q800T is a great TV for most uses. It gets bright and it has impressive reflection handling if you watch TV during the day. It's a good choice for movies due to its full-array local dimming and it doesn't have any issues upscaling 480p, 720p, or 1080p content. Unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues with visible dirty screen effect, which might bother you during sports. On the upside, it's an excellent gaming TV due to its fast response time and incredibly low input lag.

Pros
  • Impressive reflection handling.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Easily gets bright enough to combat glare.
  • Full-array local dimming.
Cons
  • Disappointing out-of-the-box color accuracy.
  • Uniformity issues.
  • Low contrast ratio for a VA panel.
7.8 Movies

The Samsung Q800T is good for watching movies. Its contrast ratio is low for a VA panel, but the full-array local dimming feature helps deepen any blacks. It upscales lower resolution content, like 480p from DVDs or 1080p from Blu-rays well, but there are some artifacts with 4k content. Unfortunately, this TV also has some uniformity issues as parts of the screen are darker.

Pros
  • Full-array local dimming.
  • Removes judder from any source.
  • Upscales 720p and 1080p content properly.
Cons
  • Uniformity issues.
  • Low contrast ratio for a VA panel.
8.2 TV Shows

The Samsung Q800T is great for TV shows. It gets bright enough to combat glare, it has impressive reflection handling, and its viewing angles are decent. It also upscales lower resolution content, such as from cable boxes, without any issues, but sadly, the screen has some uniformity issues.

Pros
  • Impressive reflection handling.
  • Easily gets bright enough to combat glare.
  • Decent viewing angles.
Cons
  • Uniformity issues.
8.0 Sports

Great for sports. The Samsung Q800T has impressive reflection handling if you place it in a bright room, and the viewing angles are wide enough if you want to watch the game with a big group of friends. Unfortunately, there's visible dirty screen effect in the center, which could be distracting. On the upside, motion looks smooth since it has a very good response time.

Pros
  • Impressive reflection handling.
  • Very good response time.
  • Decent viewing angles.
Cons
  • Uniformity issues.
8.5 Video Games

Excellent for video games. The Samsung Q800T has an incredibly low input lag, a very good response time, and it has FreeSync VRR support. It's a good choice to use either in dark rooms, as it has a good local dimming feature that darkens any blacks, or in bright rooms since it gets bright and has impressive reflection handling.

Pros
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • FreeSync VRR support.
  • Very good response time.
  • Full-array local dimming.
Cons
  • Uniformity issues.
  • Low contrast ratio for a VA panel.
7.8 HDR Movies

The Samsung Q800T is good for HDR movies. It has a great wide color gamut and gets bright enough in HDR to make highlights pop. It's also able to display deep blacks thanks to its full-array local dimming, but sadly, the screen has uniformity issues.

Pros
  • Full-array local dimming.
  • Excellent HDR peak brightness.
  • Great wide color gamut.
Cons
  • Uniformity issues.
  • Low contrast ratio for a VA panel.
8.3 HDR Gaming

The Samsung Q800T is great for HDR gaming. It has a very good response time, incredibly low input lag, and support for FreeSync VRR. HDR content looks great, as it displays a very wide color gamut and it gets bright enough in HDR to bring out highlights. It also performs well in dark rooms as it has a good contrast ratio.

Pros
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • FreeSync VRR support.
  • Excellent HDR peak brightness.
  • Great wide color gamut.
Cons
  • Uniformity issues.
  • Low contrast ratio for a VA panel.
8.6 PC Monitor

The Samsung Q800T is an excellent choice to use as a PC monitor. It displays proper chroma 4:4:4 at most common resolutions, which is important for reading text. The input lag is low and if you want to place it in a meeting room, it has fairly wide viewing angles. This TV also gets very bright and it has impressive reflection handling, but unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues.

Pros
  • Impressive reflection handling.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Decent viewing angles.
Cons
  • Uniformity issues.
  • 8.1 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 8.0 Sports
  • 8.5 Video Games
  • 7.8 HDR Movies
  • 8.3 HDR Gaming
  • 8.6 PC Monitor
  1. Update 9/28/2020: Listed Auto-Calibration Function to Undetermined.
  2. Update 8/19/2020: Update to HDMI Forum VRR support.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung Q800T QLED is a brand-new TV in 2020. It's one of three 8k TVs in Samsung's lineup with the Samsung Q900TS and the Samsung Q950TS ahead of it, and it sits above the 4k Samsung Q90T QLED. There aren't many 8k TVs out in 2020, but we expect its competitors to be the LG ZX and the Sony Z8H.

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The Samsung Q800T has an outstanding design. It’s different from the Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED as it doesn’t have the One Connect Box. This TV looks like the Samsung Q90T QLED with its thin bezels and a premium-looking center-mounted stand.

Design
Stand

The stand is in the center and it’s made out of metal. It supports the TV well but there’s still some wobble.

Footprint of the 65” stand: 13.4” x 10.7”

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x300

The back of the Q800T looks a lot like the Samsung Q90T QLED. It’s made out of a textured plastic and there are grooves that run along the back and stand for cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.43" (1.1 cm)

The borders are thin and aren’t distracting.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.54" (3.9 cm)

The TV is fairly thin and doesn’t stick out much if wall-mounted. The plug for the power sticks out a bit, but this shouldn’t be much of a problem.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

Excellent build quality, similar to most other high-end Samsung TVs. The back panel on our TV is very flimsy and it flexes quite easily. It also seems as if the panel is not connected to the TV properly and you can very easily pull it off, but we don’t know if this is a problem with our unit or a general issue. If your Q800T has the same issue, let us know in the discussions below!

Picture Quality
7.5
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1667 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
9186 : 1

Good contrast. Even though this TV has a VA panel, the native contrast is very low, mainly due to the added ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ layer. The local dimming feature greatly improves the contrast ratio, which is an improvement over the Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED.

7.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The 65Q800T has a good full-array local dimming feature, but there are a few issues associated with it. When there’s a bright object flashing across the screen, the transition between the dimming zones is slow, so the zones are lighting up after the object has moved. This creates a ‘Golf Ball Effect’ on fast-moving circles, where the object has checkered dark zones, similar to the TCL 8 Series 2019/Q825 QLED, but not as obvious. Luckily, this issue isn’t very noticeable in real scenes. It crushes light sources a bit and there’s not a lot of blooming around bright objects. With subtitles, the text doesn’t light up much, which might be annoying for some people.

8.7
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
661 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
894 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
1276 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
1039 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
674 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
384 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
858 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
1176 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
993 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
669 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
379 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.059

Excellent peak brightness. It easily gets bright enough to combat glare, but it’s not consistent with varied content.

We measured the peak brightness after calibration in the ‘Movie’ Picture Mode with the Color Temperature set to ‘Warm 2’, the Backlight at ‘Max’, and Local Dimming set to ‘High’.

The brightest image we got was with these settings, as seen on the ‘Peak 10% Window’ test.

8.7
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
1175 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
893 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
1385 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
922 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
592 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
368 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
852 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
1193 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
874 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
591 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
358 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.062

Excellent brightness in HDR. Highlights pop the way they should, but like the brightness in SDR, it’s not consistent across varied content.

We measured the HDR peak brightness before calibration in the ‘Movie’ Picture Mode with the Local Dimming set to ‘High’, Brightness to ‘Max’, Contrast to ‘Max’, and Picture Clarity to ‘Off’.

If you want the brightest image possible, use the default Dynamic Mode settings with Local Dimming set to ‘High’, as we were able to get 1666 nits in the 10% peak window test.

6.8
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.841 %
50% DSE
0.237 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.804 %
5% DSE
0.107 %

The Q800T has just okay gray uniformity. There appears to be uniformity issues where the LED zones are, as parts of the screen look botchy. It’s very noticeable on white screens, as you can see in this photo, which is heavily edited to show the effect. There’s also visible dirty screen effect in the center, which could be distracting during sports.

7.4
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
46 °
Color Shift
36 °
Brightness Loss
49 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
26 °

Decent viewing angles. Despite being a VA panel, which usually has poor viewing angles, the ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ layer added on this TV means the image remains fairly accurate when viewing from the side. We measured the viewing angle twice: once with Local Dimming off to measure the brightness, black level, and gamma. We measured it again with Local Dimming on to measure the color.

6.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.595 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
0.919 %

The Q800T has alright black uniformity. There’s visible clouding and backlight bleed with Local Dimming off, but when it’s enabled, the uniformity is much improved.

8.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
3.3 %
Indirect Reflections
1.7 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.5 %

Impressive reflection handling. The Q800T handles a small amount of light well but the reflections in really bright rooms might be too distracting. Due to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, intense amounts of light scatter across the screen, creating a rainbow effect.

5.9
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
5.24
Color dE
3.30
Gamma
2.16
Color Temperature
5620 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The Samsung Q800T has disappointing out-of-the-box color accuracy. The color temperature is quite warm, so the image has a red/yellow tint, and all colors are inaccurate because of it. Shades of gray are also inaccurate, and even though the gamma follows the target fairly well, bright scenes are over-brightened.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.27
Color dE
1.21
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6479 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Undetermined

Update 09/28/2020: We listed Auto-Calibration Function as 'Undetermined' because 2020 Samsung TVs aren't officially listed as compatible with CalMAN Auto Cal.

After calibration, this TV has amazing color accuracy. Gamma follows the target almost perfectly and any color inaccuracy is almost impossible to spot with the human eye.

See our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The Q800T upscales 480p content, like from DVDs, well without any issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, like from cable boxes, is upscaled well.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content, such as from Blu-rays or gaming consoles, is displayed very well.

9.5
Picture Quality
4k Input

Similar to the Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED, the Q800T has some minor upscaling artifacts in 4k content, but it’s not spotted easily. There’s also some dithering in shadows.

9.5
Picture Quality
8k Input

The TV dithers a bit with 8k content, which is visible in shadows, but it’s only noticeable if you’re sitting extremely close to the screen.

Picture Quality
Pixels

The pixel dithering can be seen in the pixels photo. The 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer affects the way pixels are displayed, as seen in this photo. In 'Game' mode, pixels around text appear to be blurry and they flicker slightly.

8.0
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
87.16 %
DCI P3 uv
92.98 %
Rec 2020 xy
65.08 %
Rec 2020 uv
73.38 %

The Q800T has a great, wide color gamut. It has excellent coverage of the DCI P3 color spaced used in most HDR content, but limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space.

The EOTF is higher than the target until it rolls off, causing scenes to be brighter than they should. The EOTF is even brighter in ‘Game’ mode, as you can see here.

If you find HDR too dim, set Contrast Enhancer to ‘High’ and ST.2084 to ‘Max’, as seen in this EOTF.

7.5
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
83.3 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
48.5 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
66.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
38.0 %

The Q800T has a good color volume, a bit improved from the Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED. It’s able to produce deep, saturated colors well, but has trouble with brighter blues, which is typical of an LED TV.

7.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.124 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.130 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.094 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.098 dE

Good gradient handling. There’s a bit of banding in the greens and reds, but nothing serious. Setting Noise Reduction to ‘Auto’ helps smooth out the gradients.

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, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast static test image for 10 minutes.

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

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

Motion
7.9
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
2.3 ms
100% Response Time
17.3 ms

The Q800T has a very good response time. There's significant overshoot in the 0-20% transition, but overall, motion looks smooth. If you want a TV with even better response time, check out the Samsung Q80T QLED, which is a 4k TV.

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

This TV uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight. In 'Game' and 'Movie' mode it flickers at 960Hz, and at 120Hz in 'Natural', 'Dynamic', and 'Standard' modes. It flickers at 120Hz either when Picture Clarity or Game Motion Plus are enabled. When it's displaying 120fps content in 'Game' mode, or when the black frame feature is enabled in 'Game' mode while displaying 4k @ 30Hz or 8k @ 30Hz content it also flickers at 120Hz. It goes down to 60Hz with BFI enabled in 'Game' mode when displaying 4k @ 60Hz content.

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

The Q800T has a black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. It can either flicker at 60Hz or 120Hz, depending on your content, which is explained in the Flicker-Free box.

See our recommended settings for the BFI feature here.

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

This TV can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz, which is known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. To enable motion interpolation, adjust the Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction settings in the Picture Clarity settings tab.

8.1
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
24.4 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
0.0 ms

The Q800T has no stutter with 60fps content, but there's some noticeable stutter in 24fps content.

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

This TV can remove judder from any source. To do so, set Picture Clarity to 'Custom' and set the Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction sliders to 0.

See our recommended settings here.

8.2
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Unknown
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes
4k VRR Maximum
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
48 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 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.

The Q800T has a great refresh rate. It supports FreeSync to reduce screen tearing, and unlike the Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED, it's G-SYNC compatible with newer NVIDIA graphics cards. FreeSync VRR is automatically enabled when in 'Game' mode.

Inputs
9.2
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
10.2 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
79.0 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
10.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
10.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
10.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
10.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode