Samsung RU8000 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Mar 06, 2020 at 04:59 pm
Samsung RU8000 Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: TCL 6 Series 2018
7.0
Movies
7.4
TV Shows
7.5
Sports
8.3
Video Games
6.8
HDR Movies
7.9
HDR Gaming
7.8
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Samsung TU8000
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung RU8000 is a very good 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 HDR peak brightness is only mediocre, 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.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

This is a good 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.

Pros
  • Excellent motion handling.
  • Low input lag, great for gaming.
Cons
  • Image loses accuracy when viewed at an angle.
  • Can't get bright in HDR.
7.0 Movies

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.

7.4 TV Shows

This is a good 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.

7.5 Sports

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.

8.3 Video Games

The is an excellent 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.

6.8 HDR Movies

The RU8000 is decent 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.

7.9 HDR Gaming

The RU8000 is great 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.

7.8 PC Monitor

This is a very 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.

  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.0 Movies
  • 7.4 TV Shows
  • 7.5 Sports
  • 8.3 Video Games
  • 6.8 HDR Movies
  • 7.9 HDR Gaming
  • 7.8 PC Monitor
  1. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Update 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

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Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

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.

Design
8.5
Design
Style
Curved No

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.

Design
Stand

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"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

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.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.55" (1.4 cm)

The borders are thin and not very noticeable. They are, however, slightly thicker than its predecessor, the NU8000, and in the same ballpark as the Q60R. We noticed that the lower left corner of the bezel was cracked, but it did not interfere with our testing.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.37" (6.0 cm)

The TV is slightly thinner than the Q60R, the Q70R, and the Q80R, but slightly thicker than the RU7100. If you decide to wall-mount it, you must use the spacers that are included in the box because of the TV's curved back. It won't stick out much.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is decent. It's very similar to the RU7100 and the Q60R. We did notice a crack in the lower left corner of the bezel, which didn't interfere with our testing. The TV feels robust and sturdy and you should have no issues with it.

Picture Quality
9.0
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5756 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

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.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

There's no local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.

7.2
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
347 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
199 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
365 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
365 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
197 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
364 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.041

Good 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.

5.6
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
345 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
197 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
363 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
362 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
363 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
363 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
196 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
362 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
362 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
362 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
363 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.041

Mediocre 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.

7.8
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.371 %
50% DSE
0.157 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.134 %
5% DSE
0.087 %

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.

5.0
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
22 °
Color Shift
19 °
Brightness Loss
29 °
Black Level Raise
16 °
Gamma Shift
16 °

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.

8.7
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.706 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

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.

7.1
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.9 %
Indirect Reflections
0.5 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.4 %

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.

7.4
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.13
Color dE
3.32
Gamma
2.08
Color Temperature
6304 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

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.

9.4
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.24
Color dE
1.47
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6495 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
No

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.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

There are no obvious issues or artifacts when upscaling low-quality content like DVDs.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p, like content from a cable box, is upscaled well. There's no obvious over-softening or upscaling artifacts.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content, like Blu-rays, is displayed almost as well as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

There are no issues with 4k content.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input
Picture Quality
Pixels
7.6
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
84.04 %
DCI P3 uv
90.17 %
Rec 2020 xy
61.30 %
Rec 2020 uv
67.53 %

The RU8000 can display a wide color gamut. Its gamut isn't as wide as the Q60R, the entry-level QLED, and it also falls a little short of the 2018 NU8000.

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.

If you find HDR too dim, check out our recommendations here. With these settings, the RU8000 is noticeably brighter in HDR, as shown in this EOTF.

6.5
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
74.2 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
25.1 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
56.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
19.1 %

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.

7.8
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.115 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.130 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.113 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.100 dE

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.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.01 %
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'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.

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
8.3
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.0 ms
100% Response Time
11.3 ms

The response time is excellent 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.

6.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
240 Hz

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.

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 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.

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

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.

7.0
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
30.4 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
5.4 ms

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.

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 all sources.

See our recommended settings on how to remove judder here.

8.2
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz (except 49")
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
No
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 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.

Inputs
8.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
15.0 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
71.7 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
15.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
15.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
14.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
14.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
63.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
39.9 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
15.9 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
20.2 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate