The Samsung Q80T is a great TV for most content, delivering crisp images with its fast response time, as well as a good HDR experience with its wide color gamut and high peak brightness. It has a great native contrast ratio that's boosted by a full-array local dimming, and its excellent color accuracy means you likely won't need to calibrate it. Viewing angles are decent due to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, making it suitable for moderately large rooms, and it can get bright enough to fight glare in nearly any type of setting. Input lag is extremely low, it has a 120Hz refresh rate, and to top it all off, it has support for variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. The screen has some minor uniformity issues that can be distracting for some, but as a whole, this is a great choice regardless of the content that you watch.
The Samsung Q80T is a great TV for most uses. It delivers a stunning picture quality with its impressive 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 FreeSync 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 a very good TV 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, and the TV's fast response time results in a crisp image, with only short blur trails in fast-moving scenes.
The Samsung Q80T is a great TV 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 a great TV 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 an excellent TV for playing video games. 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 a good TV for watching movies in HDR. It has a great contrast ratio that's enhanced by a full-array local dimming, and it gets bright enough to bring out small highlights in HDR content. Response time is excellent, it has wide color gamut support, and the TV can remove judder from all sources.
The Samsung Q80T is an excellent TV for playing video games 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 outstanding, resulting in very little motion blur, and the TV's decent viewing angles are good for playing co-op games.
The Samsung Q80T is an excellent TV 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 mid-range TV in Samsung's high-end 4k QLED TV lineup. It sits below the flagship Samsung Q90T and above the Samsung Q70T. Since Samsung has shifted their 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 LG BX OLED and the Sony X950H.
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 there are grooves that guide the cables towards the stand, which is hollow and serves as cable management.
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.
Note that 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.
The Q80T has an 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'.
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 TV with higher HDR peak brightness, check out the Sony X950H.
The Q80T has decent gray uniformity. 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 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.
Note that the 49" variant of this TV doesn't have the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer and we expect it to have worse viewing angles.
The Q80T's black uniformity is great. 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, likely due to the TV's new 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer.
The 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.
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 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
Good color volume. It's slightly better than the Q80R, 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.
Like most VA panels, the Q80T doesn't exhibit any signs of temporary image retention.
We don't expect VA panels to experience burn-in, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Q80T has an 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 Q80T can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz and it works remarkably well. There's very little artifacts in regular content, even in intense scenes. To use it, you must set Picture Clarity to 'Custom', set Judder Reduction to 10 for 30fps content, and set 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 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'.
Note that the 49" variant of this TV likely can't remove any judder at all.
This TV supports FreeSync and HDMI Forum's VRR to reduce screen tearing when gaming. 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. Also, when playing at 1440p or native 4k with FreeSync enabled, we noticed black screen flashing on our unit a few times.
The 49" variant of this TV has a 60Hz panel and doesn't support any VRR technology.