Samsung QN800A 8k QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Apr 19, 2021 at 11:54 am
Samsung QN800A 8k QLED Picture
8.0
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
7.5
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.4
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung QN85A QLED
8.2
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: LG GX OLED
8.1
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
7.5
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Sony A8H OLED
8.1
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: LG BX OLED
8.5
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 8k

The Samsung QN800A 8k QLED is a great TV overall. It's one of two 8k TVs from Samsung's 2021 Neo QLED lineup, and it features Mini LED backlighting. Despite its great overall performance, it's disappointing considering its premium lineup placement and price tag. Even though it has Mini LED backlighting with over 1300 dimming zones, its local dimming feature performs quite poorly. It helps improve the low contrast ratio but, at the same time, causes intense blooming around bright objects. This TV isn't the best choice for dark room viewing, but if you want to use it in a well-lit environment, it has high peak brightness and fantastic reflection handling. Gamers should appreciate its HDMI 2.1 and variable refresh rate (VRR) support, low input lag, and quick response time, but some people may still notice some dark smearing with fast-moving content.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed Usage

The Samsung QN800A QLED is great for most uses. It's an excellent choice for use in bright rooms, like when you're watching shows or sports, because it gets bright enough to combat glare and has fantastic reflection handling. It has great gaming features like VRR technology and HDMI 2.1 support. It also has very low input lag and a quick response time. However, it struggles in dark rooms due to its low contrast ratio and poor local dimming feature that causes blooming around bright objects. It also doesn't display a wide color gamut for HDR content, but has fantastic brightness.

Pros
  • Fantastic peak brightness in SDR and HDR.
  • HDMI 2.1 support on all four ports.
  • High 8k resolution helps deliver clear text and crisp images.
Cons
  • Local dimming feature causes blooming around bright objects.
  • Contrast ratio lower than most VA panel TVs.
  • Can't display a wide color gamut.
7.5 Movies

The Samsung QN800A QLED is good for watching movies. It has a VA panel with a decent contrast ratio that's lower than most VA panel TVs, causing blacks to look gray. Its full-array local dimming feature does a good job at improving the contrast for deep blacks, but it causes a ton of blooming. Luckily, the TV upscales lower-resolution content, like from Blu-rays, without many issues.

Pros
  • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
  • Automatically removes 24p judder from any source.
Cons
  • Local dimming feature causes blooming around bright objects.
  • Contrast ratio lower than most VA panel TVs.
8.4 TV Shows

The Samsung QN800A QLED is impressive for watching TV shows. It gets bright enough to fight glare and has fantastic reflection handling, so visibility shouldn't be an issue in well-lit rooms. It doesn't have issues upscaling lower-resolution content like from cable boxes. Sadly, its viewing angles are a bit narrow, so you lose image accuracy when viewing at a wide angle.

Pros
  • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
  • Fantastic peak brightness in SDR and HDR.
  • Remarkable reflection handling.
Cons
  • Somewhat narrow viewing angles.
  • Rainbow-like effect with reflections.
8.2 Sports

The Samsung QN800A QLED is great for watching sports. Visibility shouldn't be an issue in well-lit rooms because of its fantastic reflection handling and high peak brightness. It has a quick response time, but you may notice some motion blur with fast-moving sports. It has only okay viewing angles, so it's not suggested for really wide seating arrangements as you lose image accuracy.

Pros
  • Fantastic peak brightness in SDR and HDR.
  • Remarkable reflection handling.
  • Motion looks smooth for the most part.
Cons
  • Somewhat narrow viewing angles.
  • Rainbow-like effect with reflections.
8.1 Video Games

The Samsung QN800A QLED is great for gaming. It has many of the popular gaming features like HDMI 2.1 and VRR support. Its input lag is incredibly low, and it has a quick response time. Sadly, it's not the best for dark room gaming due to its lower contrast ratio and its bad 'Game Mode' local dimming feature that causes intense blooming around bright objects.

Pros
  • Motion looks smooth for the most part.
  • HDMI 2.1 support on all four ports.
  • FreeSync VRR support.
Cons
  • Local dimming feature causes blooming around bright objects.
  • Contrast ratio lower than most VA panel TVs.
7.5 HDR Movies

The Samsung QN800A QLED is good for watching HDR movies. It has fantastic HDR brightness, so highlights pop the way the creator intended, but sadly, it doesn't display a wide color gamut. It's not a good choice for dark room viewing because it has a low native contrast ratio, and its full-array local dimming feature is poor as there's too much blooming around bright objects.

Pros
  • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
  • Fantastic peak brightness in SDR and HDR.
Cons
  • Local dimming feature causes blooming around bright objects.
  • Contrast ratio lower than most VA panel TVs.
  • Can't display a wide color gamut.
8.1 HDR Gaming

The Samsung QN800A QLED is great for HDR gaming. It delivers a responsive gaming experience thanks to its 120Hz panel, FreeSync support, low input lag, and quick response time. It has fantastic HDR peak brightness, but it doesn't display a wide color gamut. Also, it has a poor local dimming feature and combined with its low contrast ratio, doesn't deliver a good dark room experience.

Pros
  • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
  • HDMI 2.1 support on all four ports.
  • FreeSync VRR support.
Cons
  • Local dimming feature causes blooming around bright objects.
  • Contrast ratio lower than most VA panel TVs.
  • Can't display a wide color gamut.
8.5 PC Monitor

The Samsung QN800A QLED is an excellent choice to use as a PC monitor. It has a high 8k resolution that helps deliver clear text, and it displays proper chroma 4:4:4. It performs best when used in a well-lit room because it has fantastic reflection handling and high peak brightness. However, it has somewhat narrow viewing angles, so the image looks inaccurate at the sides if you sit too close.

Pros
  • Fantastic peak brightness in SDR and HDR.
  • Remarkable reflection handling.
  • Motion looks smooth for the most part.
  • High 8k resolution helps deliver clear text and crisp images.
Cons
  • Somewhat narrow viewing angles.
  • Rainbow-like effect with reflections.
  • 8.0 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Movies
  • 8.4 TV Shows
  • 8.2 Sports
  • 8.1 Video Games
  • 7.5 HDR Movies
  • 8.1 HDR Gaming
  • 8.5 PC Monitor

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung QN800A is one of two 8k TVs in Samsung's flagship Neo QLED lineup. It sits below the Samsung QN900A 8k QLED and above the Samsung QN90A QLED in North America. It replaces the Samsung Q800T QLED from 2020. There aren't many 8k TVs available, but we expect its main competitors to be the Sony Z9J, TCL 6 Series 2021, and the LG QNED99.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The Samsung QN800A is slightly redesigned from 2020's Samsung Q800T QLED, and it looks very premium. It comes with Samsung's One Connect box that houses all the inputs, so there's only one wire going to the TV. You can even attach the box to the stand or the back panel. There are speakers on the back panel, which some people may not like, but you won't notice it when watching TV anyways.

Design
Stand

The center-mounted stand is similar to the stands on past Samsung TVs, except the TV sits a bit lower to the surface. It looks premium and supports the screen very well without much wobble.

Footprint of the 65" TV: 14.2" x 11.3". This measurement was taken without the One Connect box attached; with it, it has a depth of 12.9".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x300

The back of the Samsung QN800A QLED is a bit redesigned, and it's made from a mix of metal and plastic. There are speakers on either side, which is something we haven't seen on Samsung models in the past. You can either attach the One Connect box to the stand, directly on the back, or leave it on its own close to the TV. There's a plastic cover next to the box that serves as cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 0.83" (2.1 cm)

The Samsung QN800A is extremely thin, giving it a nice look. You can attach the One Connect box to the back, but we measured without it.

9.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the Samsung QN800A is fantastic. The entire TV is well-put-together, and there isn't anything obvious that stands out. The back panel doesn't flex all that much and feels very solid. The TV wobbles just a bit, but that's somewhat expected due to its size and center-mounted stand.

Picture Quality
7.4
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1613 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
10568 : 1

The Samsung QN800A has a decent contrast ratio. VA panels like this one rarely have such a low native contrast ratio, but we saw the same thing with the Samsung Q800T QLED. This is because of Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer. However, the local dimming feature greatly improves the contrast to deliver deep blacks. Also, the local dimming feature can only be disabled through the service menu, so we expect most people to have it on while watching content.

9.1
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
950 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
1172 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1320 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
1202 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
727 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
446 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
1123 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
1276 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
1177 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
725 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
401 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.064

The Samsung QN800A has fantastic peak brightness in SDR. It easily gets bright enough to combat glare even in the brightest lighting conditions. There isn't any frame dimming with the 2% window that we saw with the Samsung Q800T QLED either. However, the screen loses brightness when there are large, bright areas due to the Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). This is disappointing if you watch sports with a hockey rink or basketball court.

We tested brightness after calibration in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with Brightness at its max, Color Tone set to 'Warm2', and Local Dimming on 'High'. We got the brightest image with these settings, as seen in the 10% peak window.

5.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The Samsung QN800A has a poor local dimming feature. This is disappointing considering it's a high-end Mini LED TV with 1344 dimming zones, and it's not nearly as good as the Samsung QN90A QLED. It helps improve the contrast by making blacks look deep, but there's intense blooming around bright objects. It's noticeable in any content with bright objects, and it's very distracting. Subtitles are also hard to read because of it, and it causes some uniformity issues. The blooming is the main reason why we scored the local dimming so low. Other than that, there isn't much black crush, but if there's one big bright highlight in a scene, other secondary highlights seem to be dimmer. It's visible in 'Planet Earth', where stars behind the bright Earth are dim. Fast-moving objects transition between zones quickly, but the zone transitions are also noticeable due to the blooming. Overall, the local dimming makes highlights pop, but the blooming worsens the picture quality.

We tested it with Local Dimming on 'High'.

4.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The Samsung QN800A's local dimming feature in Game Mode is bad. It has many of the same issues as outside of Game Mode, with noticeable blooming. However, the dimming zones seem to be larger, and the black level is raised. This causes the image to appear brighter overall, and you may lose details with really bright objects. This isn't unusual behavior for Samsung TVs in Game Mode and, combined with the visible blooming, the picture quality just isn't good.

9.1
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
1531 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
1335 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1437 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
1322 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
728 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
488 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
1282 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
1371 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
1298 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
723 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
484 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.060

The HDR brightness is fantastic. It gets significantly brighter than in SDR, enough to make highlights really pop. Once again, large areas are dimmer due to the aggressive ABL, but we didn't notice any frame dimming like the Samsung Q800T QLED.

We tested brightness in the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode with Brightness and Contrast at their max, Color Tone set to 'Warm2', Local Dimming on 'High', and all other image processing disabled.

The EOTF follows the target curve fairly well, but scenes appear over-brightened. If you still find that too dim, set the Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and ST.2084 to max. This results in a noticeably brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF.

9.1
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
1590 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
563 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1501 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
1514 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
900 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
568 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
561 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
1450 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
1471 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
898 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
562 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.063

The Samsung QN800A has incredible HDR brightness in Game Mode. It looks very similar to outside of Game Mode, except small highlights are noticeably more dim due to frame dimming, as seen in the 2% window. This is normal behavior for most Samsung TVs we've tested in 2021.

We tested brightness with Game Mode enabled, Brightness and Contrast at their max, Color Tone set to 'Warm2', Local Dimming on 'High', Sharpness set to '0', and Color Gamut on 'Auto'.

The EOTF doesn't follow the PQ target curve all that well because most scenes are over-brightened, especially really bright ones. However, if you want to make the image appear even brighter, use the same settings as outside of Game Mode.

7.7
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.902 %
50% DSE
0.202 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.410 %
5% DSE
0.064 %

The Samsung QN800A has good gray uniformity. Although the screen is fairly uniform throughout, there's a bit of dirty screen effect in the center, which could be distracting during sports. The screen is much more uniform in near-dark scenes. Keep in mind that uniformity may vary between units.

7.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.336 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
0.396 %

The black uniformity is good, but this can vary between units. Without local dimming, the entire screen is blue, and there's intense clouding throughout. However, with it enabled, the screen is much more black, but the blooming is pronounced.

6.7
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
38 °
Color Shift
21 °
Brightness Loss
46 °
Black Level Raise
70 °
Gamma Shift
16 °

Despite having Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle', the Samsung QN800A has only okay viewing angles. The colors start to change hue fairly quickly when moving off-center, causing the image to appear inaccurate. This behavior is more in line with other VA panels, and it's not suggested for wide seating arrangements like the Samsung QN85A QLED, which has an IPS-like panel.

9.0
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
2.1 %
Indirect Reflections
1.3 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
0.8 %

The Samsung QN800A has fantastic reflection handling. Unlike the Samsung Q800T QLED, it has a glossy finish that reflects minimal light. However, due to its 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, there's a rainbow-like effect when light scatters across the screen. This can be distracting, especially if you want to place it in a room with direct sunlight. You can see an example of it with the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED from Reddit here.

6.2
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
5.12
Color dE
3.52
Gamma
1.89
Color Temperature
6582 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The out-of-the-box accuracy is mediocre. It's much worse than most Samsung TVs we've tested in 2021, but this can vary between units. Most colors are inaccurate, and white balance is very off, which affects the shades of gray. Gamma also does a terrible job at following the 2.2 target, so most scenes are too bright. On the plus side, color temperature is nearly spot-on with our 6500K target.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.28
Color dE
1.16
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6486 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes

The accuracy after calibration is incredible. Any remaining inaccuracies in the white balance and with colors can't be spotted without the aid of a colorimeter. Gamma follows the target almost perfectly, except for some really bright scenes that are slightly over-darkened. The color temperature is a bit warmer, but it's still close to the target.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The Samsung QN800A upscales 480p content, like from DVDs, without any issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

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

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

This TV displays 1080p content, such as from Blu-rays or gaming consoles, very well.

9.5
Picture Quality
4k Input

Like with the Samsung Q800T QLED, the Samsung QN800A doesn't display a perfect 4k image. There are some upscaling artifacts, but they're very minor and hard to spot. However, this is somewhat expected since it's not a native 4k TV.

9.5
Picture Quality
8k Input

As with some other 8k TVs we've tested, the Samsung QN800A can't display a perfect 8k image either. There's some dithering in the shadows, which is hard to see in the photo, but it's more noticeable in person. This means that some pixels are dimmed, and you can lose some fine details.

Picture Quality
Pixels

The Samsung QN800A uses a BGR sub-pixel layout, which can affect how text is rendered when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can read more about that here. The pixels look blurry due to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer.

7.5
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
83.99 %
DCI P3 uv
89.50 %
Rec 2020 xy
60.44 %
Rec 2020 uv
65.70 %

The Samsung QN800A has a good color gamut. Surprisingly, it's not considered a wide color gamut for HDR content because it has limited coverage of the Rec. 2020 color space. It's actually the first Samsung QLED we've tested that doesn't display a wide color gamut, and it's much worse than the Samsung QN90A QLED. However, if you want to use it to watch content with the commonly-used DCI P3 color space, it has impressive coverage.

6.7
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
76.5 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
48.9 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
57.0 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
36.3 %

Due to its less-than-ideal color gamut, the Samsung QN800A has an okay color volume. It displays dark and bright colors well, but it doesn't display a very wide range of colors.

7.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.112 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.130 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.089 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.116 dE

The Samsung QN800A has good gradient handling. There's noticeable banding in almost every color, especially gray. Setting Noise Reduction to 'Auto' helps reduce any banding, especially in real content, but that could come at the cost of artifacts and losing 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 after displaying a high-contrast static image for 10 minutes. However, this can vary between 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
7.7
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
5.0 ms
100% Response Time
14.6 ms

The Samsung QN800A has a good overall response time, mainly because its 80% response time is quick. However, its 100% response time is a bit slower, resulting in some motion blur. Also, the overshoot in the 0-20% transition can lead to some artifacts in dark scenes. If you want a similar TV with a significantly faster response time, check out the Samsung QN900A 8k QLED.

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

The Samsung QN800A uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight. The backlight flickers at such a high frequency that you shouldn't notice it. However, the flicker frequency drops to 120Hz in the 'Dynamic', 'Natural', 'Standard', and 'Filmmaker' Picture Modes, and if you enable Game Motion Plus or Picture Clarity settings. In Game Mode, it flickers at 480Hz.

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

The Samsung QN800A has a Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. However, it doesn't perform that well as it causes image duplication behind fast-moving objects. The backlight flickers at 120Hz if you enable Picture Clarity without adjusting the Blur Reduction or Judder Reduction sliders. For it to flicker at 60Hz, you need to enable LED Clear Motion in the 'Picture Clarity' settings page. Note that our BFI scoring is based on whether it can flicker at 60Hz and 120Hz, and not the actual performance.

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

The Samsung QN800A has a motion interpolation feature, known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It can interpolate 30fps and 60fps content up to 120fps. It does a good job at smoothing out slow scenes, but artifacts are visible the moment there's more action on the screen.

See here for the settings that control motion interpolation.

7.6
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
27.1 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
2.1 ms

Due to the somewhat slower response time, there's not too much stutter on the Samsung QN800A. If you notice any, try enabling the motion interpolation feature.

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 QN800A automatically removes judder from all sources, and there aren't any settings you need to enable. This is a nice upgrade from the Samsung Q800T QLED because you needed to adjust settings for that TV.

9.4
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate