The Samsung RU8000 is a decent 4k TV with good picture quality. It delivers deep uniform blacks in a dark room, but lacks a local dimming feature to further improve dark room performance. The RU8000 has good SDR peak brightness and good reflection handling. The TV has a wide color gamut, but its HDR peak brightness is sub-par, so it can't display small highlights as they should be. The overall gray uniformity is good with just minimal dirty screen effect, but the viewing angles are poor and you have to sit straight in front to enjoy an accurate image. Motion handling is excellent with a fast response time that helps display crisp motion with minimal blur trail. The input lag is very low, and the TV supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology to please gamers.
This is a decent TV for mixed usage. It can get fairly bright and is more suitable for an average lit room. The TV can display deep uniform blacks, which is good for watching movies, but lacks a local dimming feature to further improve performance. The response time is very fast and the gray uniformity is good and will please sports fans. The RU8000 has a low input lag and supports FreeSync VRR to keep gamers happy.
The Samsung RU8000 is a decent TV for watching movies. It has a high native contrast ratio and good black uniformity, and blacks look great in a dark room. Unfortunately, there's no local dimming support to further improve dark room performance. It displays judder-free movies over any source and has a motion interpolation feature to please soap opera effect fans.
This is a decent TV for watching TV shows. It can handle reflections well and can get reasonably bright but may not be suitable for a very bright room. Upscaling cable content looks good without visible artifacts, and there's an optional motion interpolation feature to please the soap opera effect fans. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor and you have to sit straight in front to enjoy the most accurate image.
This is a good TV for watching sports. It can get fairly bright and can handle reflections well. It's good for an average lit room with a few light sources. The RU8000 has a very fast response time, so fast-action sports look crisp. The gray uniformity is good and the minimal dirty screen effect is unlikely to bother sports fans. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor and this TV isn't the best choice for watching sports with a group of friends.
The RU8000 is a great TV for playing video games. It has a very low input lag which makes gaming feel very responsive. The response time is very fast and fast action looks crisp without much blur. The RU8000 supports low input lag with motion interpolation, auto low latency, and FreeSync VRR for nearly tear-free gaming.
The RU8000 is okay for watching HDR. It has an outstanding contrast ratio and great black uniformity, but the lack of local dimming can't help improve dark room performance. Although it has a wide color gamut and can get decently bright in HDR, it can't display HDR content the way its creator intended it to.
The RU8000 is a good TV for playing HDR games. This is mainly due to the very low input lag and the very fast response time that are essential to a good gaming experience. The TV has a wide color gamut but can't get very bright in HDR, so small highlights in some games don't stand out the way they should.
This is a good TV for use as a PC monitor. It has a very low input and is very responsive. It supports the most common resolutions without issues and can display proper chroma 4:4:4. Motion looks crisp thanks to the very fast response time and the TV is free from the risk of permanent burn-in. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor and you will notice uniformity issues when you sit up-close. If you want to use your TV as a PC monitor, you may want to check out the Samsung TU8300 which performs almost identically, but has a curved screen.
The Samsung RU8000 is a 2019 mid-range UHD TV. It's the replacement of the NU8000 in Samsung's lineup. It has similar advanced features to those found on the higher-end QLEDs like the Samsung Q60R or the Q70R. Its direct competitors are other mid-range LED TVs like the Sony X900F, the LG SK9500, or the Vizio P Series Quantum 2019.
The Samsung RU8000 has an excellent design. The stand is made of good quality plastic, supports the TV well, and prevents most wobbling. The back of the TV is plain with a nice texture and resembles the back of the Q60R. The TV is relatively thin and its borders are similar to the Q60R. The build quality is decent, and although we noticed a small crack in the lower left corner of the bezel (which didn't affect our tests in any way), you should have no issues with the TV's build quality.
The stand is made of good quality plastic and supports the TV well. It's similar to the Samsung Q80R's stand, but the legs are not hollow to serve as cable guides. The TV wobbles a little if nudged, but it's nothing serious.
Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 35.0" x 9.3"
The back of the TV is almost identical to the Q80R, the Q70R, and the Q60R. It's made of plastic and has the typical Samsung textured pattern. There are a few grooves at the bottom that can guide the cables to the legs where a clip helps with the cable management.
Note: We only have one clip, which is unusual, but we're not sure if there were two in the box and we just lost the other one.
This TV has an excellent native contrast ratio. It can deliver deep blacks in a dark room, which is great for watching movies. Unfortunately, unlike the NU8000, the RU8000 doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve dark room performance.
There's no local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.
Decent SDR peak brightness. It remains fairly consistent when displaying different types of content, except the Peak 2% Window, which is noticeably less bright. This affects the way bright highlights appear across the screen. Overall, the RU8000 can get bright enough to combat glare in most average-lit rooms.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode and 'Warm 2' Color Tone, with Gamma set to '2.2'. We use these settings because they give the most accurate image, and this is the maximum brightness that you can get with these settings.
If you don't care about image accuracy, you can obtain higher brightness levels. We were able to reach 396 nits on the 'Movie' Picture Mode and 'Warm 1' Color Tone. Other picture modes were not brighter, which is unexpected.
Sub-par HDR peak brightness. Like the SDR peak brightness, it remains fairly consistent across different types of content, but gets less bright when a small highlight flashes across the screen. All picture modes and color temperatures had the same max peak brightness.
We measured the peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode and 'Warm 2' Color Tone. We use these settings because they give the most accurate image, and this is the maximum brightness that you can get with these settings.
If you do not care about image accuracy, you can obtain slightly higher brightness levels. For this TV, however, we were only able to reach a brightness level of 365 nits ('Movie' Picture Mode and 'Warm 1' Color Tone), which isn't much brighter than our accurate image brightness.
Good gray uniformity. It's similar to the NU8000 and much better than the Q60R. The edges of the screen are a bit darker, but the rest is fairly uniform. This is good for when there are uniform colors across the screen. Most people shouldn't notice any dirty screen effect, which is distracting when watching sports.
This TV has poor viewing angles, as expected from a VA panel TV. Even at small angles off-center, gamma shifts and black levels rise, and the image loses accuracy and looks washed out. This isn't a good TV if you'll be watching from the side. If viewing angles are an issue, then check out an IPS TV like the LG SK9000.
Amazing black uniformity. There's some clouding throughout, and even more so on the right, but that shouldn't be visible for most people. This is a good TV if you're watching dark scenes in a dark room.
Decent reflection handling on the RU8000 55 inch TV. The semi-gloss finish handles reflections similarly to the NU8000 and most people will notice a glare even in average-lit rooms. This TV doesn't perform well in really bright rooms. If you're looking for a TV with fantastic reflection handling, then check out the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED.
The accuracy of the RU8000 with our pre-calibration settings is decent. There are inaccuracies that people might notice both in the shades of gray and in some colors like blue and magenta. The gamma doesn't follow the curve well, and most scenes look a little brighter. The color temperature is a little warmer than the target of 6500K. If you want a similar TV with better color accuracy, check out the Samsung Q60T.
Excellent accuracy after calibration. The white balance dE is almost perfect. The color dE is also greatly diminished, but some people might still spot some inaccuracies in the dark blue and the dark red. The gamma tracks the curve very well and the color temperature is almost spot on the 6500K target.
You can see our recommended settings here.
There are no obvious issues or artifacts when upscaling low-quality content like DVDs.
720p, like content from a cable box, is upscaled well. There's no obvious over-softening or upscaling artifacts.
1080p content, like Blu-rays, is displayed almost as well as native 4k content.
The 'Movie' EOTF (shown above) follows the input stimulus well until it smoothly starts to roll off near the TV's peak brightness. In 'Game' mode, the EOTF doesn't follow the stimulus closely, so HDR gaming is slightly dimmer as shown here.
Okay color volume on the Samsung RU8000. It can display most dark colors, but like most LED TVs, it has trouble with bright blues. The NU8000 has a better color volume.
The RU8000 has good gradient performance. Some fine banding is visible in the dark greens and reds, but it's nothing too serious and certainly hard to notice in normal content. If, however, you find that banding is bothering you, set the Digital Clean View to 'Auto' to remove most of it. Unfortunately, this can also cause some loss of fine detail in certain scenes.
There's some faint image retention immediately after the long exposure of our test image, but it goes away very fast and is hardly noticeable in normal content.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The response time is great and an improvement over the NU8000. It's great for fast-moving content like sports and video games. There's some small overshoot in the 0-20% transition, which can cause some haloing in really dark scenes, but it shouldn't be very noticeable. Unfortunately, there are noticeable duplications due to the backlight flicker.
The RU8000 uses Pulse Width Modulation to dim its backlight. The flicker frequency is 240Hz in 'Movie' mode but drops to 120Hz in all other modes. It also drops to 120Hz in the 'Movie' mode if you set Auto Motion Plus to either 'Custom' or 'Auto'. This is very similar what we have seen here on the Q6FN.
This TV has a BFI feature to help reduce motion blur and make fast-moving objects appear clearer. The BFI feature can lower the flicker frequency to 60Hz.
The Auto Motion Plus setting sets the flicker to 120Hz, and by enabling the LED Clear Motion setting, the flicker reduces to 60Hz.
The flicker frequency is always at 120Hz when in 'Game' mode. Once again, the LED Clear Motion setting in Game Motion Plus reduces the frequency to 60Hz, making motion look more clear.
The RU8000 can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps. To enable motion interpolation, you must enable Auto Motion Plus and adjust the available sliders.
See here for more information regarding the settings that control the RU8000's motion interpolation feature.
Note that just setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' changes the backlight flicker to 120Hz.
The 49" model has a 60Hz panel and can only interpolate content to 60fps.
The RU8000 has a very fast response time, which makes the image appear to stutter in movies or other lower frame rate content. If stutter bothers you, motion interpolation or the optional black frame insertion feature can help.
This TV can remove judder from all sources.
See our recommended settings on how to remove judder here.
Update 12/17/2019: A flaw was discovered in the way we were testing for G-SYNC compatibility with TVs. We've corrected the flaw, and have retested the 2019 Samsung and LG TVs, and found that the Samsung RU8000 doesn't work properly with NVIDIA's current Adaptive Sync drivers.
The Samsung RU8000 has a native refresh rate of 120Hz. It supports the FreeSync variable refresh rate technology for a nearly tear-free gaming experience for those with a compatible AMD card or an Xbox One. The VRR range is excellent and it's the same at 1080p and at 1440p. At 4k, however, the range is narrower, as the TV only supports resolutions up to 4k @ 60Hz.
We tested the TV on 'Game' mode, without interpolation or any other gaming processing setting, and we set FreeSync to 'Ultimate' to obtain the widest possible range.
If FreeSync is enabled on a connected device, auto game mode doesn't work at all; it will always stay in game mode.
Note that the 49" model has a 60Hz panel and doesn't support FreeSync.
Update 07/03/2020:We have retested the input lag at 120Hz in 1080p and 1440p with the newest firmware update (version 1356). The input lag is 5.9ms for both when in 'Game' mode and it's no longer skipping frames. The score has been adjusted accordingly.
Incredibly low input lag, which most gamers will appreciate. Setting the TV to 'Game' mode results in the lowest input lag at 60Hz. However, when the refresh rate is 120Hz at 1080p and 1440p resolutions on 'Game' mode, the TV skips frames, so the input lag was tested without 'Game' mode, resulting in a higher input lag. Additionally, when the TV is in 'PC' mode, it has the same low input lag as in 'Game' mode, which is great if you're going to use it as a computer monitor.
To find out more about what settings to use to obtain those numbers, and about the Auto Latency Mode, see our recommendations settings for Gaming.