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.
The Samsung RU8000 is a 2019 mid-range UHD TV. It is the replacement of the NU8000 in Samsung's lineup. It has similar advanced features 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 did not 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.
The picture quality is good. The TV can produce deep uniform blacks in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity. Unfortunately, it does not support a local dimming feature to further improve dark room performance. It can get reasonably bright in SDR, good for an average-lit room, and can handle reflections well so you do not have to worry if your room has a few light sources. It has a wide color gamut, but it can't get very bright in HDR, so small highlights in certain scenes don't stand out as they should. The RU8000 has good gray uniformity with minimal dirty screen effect that will satisfy even demanding sports fans, but the viewing angles are poor and the image deteriorates rapidly when viewed from the side. This doesn't make it a good choice if you often watch games with a large group of friends.
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 last year's NU8000, the RU8000 does not have a local dimming feature to improve dark room performance.
Just like the Q60R, there is no local dimming on the RU8000. The above video is provided for reference only.
This TV has very good peak brightness. However, it is not as bright as last year's NU8000, but in the same ballpark as the Q60R. It's suitable for rooms that aren't very bright. The RU8000 has pretty consistent brightness regardless of the content it displays, except for the 2% window which is dimmed by the TV's CE (Frame) Dimming feature.
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 do not 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.
The HDR peak brightness of the RU8000 is mediocre. It's less bright than the NU8000 and has about the same peak brightness as the Q60R. The TV can't display HDR highlights as bright as they should be.
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 is not much brighter than our accurate image brightness.
This TV has good gray uniformity. The edges of the screen are slightly darker, but the center is pretty uniform and very little dirty screen effect can be seen, which is great news for sports fans. The uniformity of darker scenes is very good. The corners and the edges appear slightly brighter than the center, but it is hardly noticeable in normal content. This is better behavior than the Q60R and in the same ballpark as last year's NU8000.
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 is not 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.
The black uniformity is excellent. There is an almost imperceptible backlight bleed at the lower edge. This is a significantly better performance than the Q60R.
The reflection handling of the RU8000 is good. The TV handles reflections almost identically to last year's NU8000. You shouldn't have any issues with reflections in most situations. However, if you place the TV in a room with many bright windows, the reflections combined with the TV's low peak brightness might make it hard to see a clear image.
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 blues and magentas. The gamma does not follow the curve well, and most scenes look a little brighter. The color temperature is a little warmer than the target of 6500K.
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.
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 and thus HDR gaming is slightly dimmer as shown here.
The RU8000 has good gradient banding. 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 is 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 motion handling of the Samsung RU8000 is excellent. The TV has a very fast response time which is great for watching sports and playing video games. It uses PWM dimming to dim its backlight, and the flicker might bother some flicker-sensitive people. On the upside, the RU8000 has an optional black frame insertion feature that can help make the image crisper and supports motion interpolation to please the soap opera effect fans. The TV also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate for a nearly tear-free gaming experience.
The response time is excellent and an improvement over last year's NU8000. It is great for fast-moving content like sports and video games. There is 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 last year's Q6FN.
The Samsung RU8000 has a black frame insertion feature that can lower the flicker frequency to 60Hz. This can help make the image crisper. Unfortunately, this decreases the picture brightness, and 60Hz flicker can be bothersome to some people.
Enabling Auto Motion Plus automatically sets the flicker to 120Hz and enabling LED Clear Motion further reduces the flicker frequency to 60Hz.
When 'Game' mode is enabled, the flicker frequency is always 120Hz, but if you enable LED Clear Motion in Game Motion Plus, the flicker frequency changes to 60Hz and makes the image even crisper.
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 can remove judder from all sources.
See our recommended settings on how to remove judder here.
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 is the same at 1080p and at 1440p. At 4k, however, the range is narrower, as the TV only supports resolutions up to 4k @ 60Hz.
Unfortunately, NVIDIA's current Adaptive Sync drivers are not currently compatible with this TV. FreeSync from NVIDIA graphics cards currently works only over DisplayPort, and the RU8000 does not have such a port.
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.
The Samsung RU8000 has an outstanding low input lag in most modes. It supports the most common resolutions and refresh rates and can display proper chroma 4:4:4 when in PC mode. It has a good selection of inputs but doesn't support eARC or DTS passthrough.
The RU8000 has an excellent low input lag, great for gaming. The input lag is only slightly higher than the input lag of the 2019 QLEDs and a little lower than the NU8000. To get the lowest input lag, you must set the TV to 'Game Mode.' However, when in 'PC Mode,' you get the same low input lag without having to set the TV to 'Game' mode. To display proper chroma 4:4:4 you must set the TV to 'PC mode.'
Note: When the TV was set to 'PC mode' or 'Game Mode' and we sent a 120Hz signal, the TV skipped every second frame, just like the Q70R and the Q80R. Therefore, in order to measure the input lag of a proper 120Hz video, like in the case of the 1080p @ 120Hz and the 1440p @ 120Hz, we set the TV to 'Movie' mode. However, when a true VRR 120Hz signal was sent in fullscreen exclusive mode, there was no frame skipping and the video displayed properly, so we measured the VRR input lag using 'Game Mode' as normal.
When motion interpolation is enabled in 'Game Mode' through the Game Motion Plus menu, the input lag is 38.6ms when you interpolate to 60fps and 39.9ms for 120fps.
To find out more about what settings to use to obtain those numbers, and about the Auto Low Latency Mode, see our recommended settings for Gaming.
The RU8000, just like the Q70R, the Q80R, and the Q90R, supports most common resolutions, including 1440p @ 60Hz, which isn't supported on the 2018 NU8000. You must set the TV to 'PC Mode' to display proper chroma 4:4:4. Unfortunately, the TV, just like other 2019 Samsungs, skips frames when sent 120Hz in 'PC Mode' or 'Game Mode,' so you cannot have proper 120Hz and proper 4:4:4 simultaneously.
The 49" model has a 60Hz panel, and does not support 120Hz inputs.
The sound on the Samsung RU8000 is decent and nearly identical to the NU8000. It gets reasonably loud, but may not be loud enough for busy environments. It doesn't have deep bass and won't produce any thump or rumble, but it will deliver clear and intelligible dialog. For a better sound, it's recommended to add dedicated speakers or a soundbar.
The frequency response is decent. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 80Hz, which is okay. This means the RU8000 has a decent amount of punch to its bass but can't produce any thump or rumble. The response above the LFE is fairly flat and well-balanced, and the TV produces clear and intelligible dialog. The RU8000 doesn't have a room correction system and can get reasonably loud, but not loud enough for large and noisy environments.
The Samsung RU8000 has great smart features. It runs the latest version of Samsung's Tizen smart interface that Samsung calls Smart Hub. It is very intuitive and easy to use and has a large number of preinstalled apps. You have access to Samsung's app store where you can find a very large number of apps that will meet almost any need. The remote control is the same as the one found in the higher-end 2019 QLED TVs and integrates well with Bixby, Samsung's smart voice assistant. Just like all the latest Samsung TVs, the RU8000 contains ads and not being able to opt out can be annoying to some people. Finally, the SmartThings remote app gives you basic TV control and supports Bixby.
We did not run into serious issues during our testing, but the Fit-to-Screen setting didn't always work. Just navigating into the Picture size setting (without changing it) fixes the issue.
Samsung has one of the largest selection of apps in its app store. It is likely that you will find what you need. The apps on the RU8000 run well but are not always smooth.
The remote control is identical to the Q60R, the Q70R, and the North American Q90R. It resembles last year's NU8000 but it has three new quick access buttons for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. It does not require line-of-sight and it integrates well with Bixby (Samsung's voice assistant). The remote has a built-in microphone so you can control most of the TV functions with your voice, including launching apps and changing settings. Unfortunately, just like the Q80R, it's not clear which apps support voice search.
The One Remote feature allows you to control other devices with the remote, even if they don't support HDMI-CEC.
The remote app is very basic and works well as a remote control but hangs often. It also supports voice control.
The controls are in the center of the TV, underneath the Samsung logo. The controls are similar to the Q60R, with a single button that brings up a menu. From the menu, you can turn the TV off, adjust the volume, or change channels/inputs.
We tested the 55" RU8000 (UN55RU8000) version FA01, and we expect our results to be valid for the 65" RU8000 (UN65RU8000), the 75" RU8000 (UN75RU8000), and the 82" RU8000 (UN82RU8000). Most of our results should also be valid for the 49" RU8000 (UN49RU8000), but there are some differences that are noted below.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung RU8000 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.
|Size||US Model||EU Model||UK Model||Panel Type||Refresh Rate||Notes|
The UN55RU8000 we reviewed was manufactured in February 2019.
The Samsung NU8000 is a bit better than the Samsung RU8000. The NU8000 also has a local dimming feature that can improve dark room performance. The NU8000 has better SDR peak brightness and is more suitable if you have a bright room. The NU8000 can also get brighter in HDR and has a better color volume, which is great for HDR content. The RU8000, on the other hand, has a lower input lag, good for gaming, and a faster response time, great for watching sports.
The Samsung RU8000 is better than the Samsung RU7100. The Samsung RU8000 can get brighter and has better reflection handling, so it's more suitable if you have a bright room. It can display judder-free movies and has a faster response time that delivers crisper motion. Finally, the RU8000 has support for the FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, which is great for demanding gamers.
The Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED and the Samsung RU8000 both have very similar performance. The RU8000 has better black uniformity that helps deliver more uniform blacks in a dark room, and a bit better gray uniformity, which is great if you're a sports fan.
The Sony X900F is better than the Samsung RU8000. The Sony X900F has a local dimming feature that significantly improves dark room performance. The Sony can get brighter and can handle reflections a little better, so it's more suitable if you have a bright room. The X900F can deliver better HDR performance thanks to the wider color gamut and better HDR peak brightness. The Samsung RU8000, on the other hand, is a better TV for gaming, thanks to the lower input lag and the support for FreeSync VRR.
The Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED TV is much better than the Samsung RU8000. The Q70R features a full array local dimming feature, which improves dark-room viewing. The Q70 is also a lot brighter, especially with HDR content.
These are two different types of TVs, each with advantages and disadvantages. The LG B8 is an OLED that can display perfect blacks and delivers a better dark room performance. The viewing angles on the B8 are wider, and fast-moving content has almost no blur thanks to the faster response time. The Samsung RU8000, on the other hand, can get brighter, which is great for bright rooms, and it's packed with gaming features, like FreeSync support, that will please demanding gamers.
The Samsung Q6FN is a bit better than the Samsung RU8000. The Q6FN has an edge-lit local dimming feature, which, although it isn't very effective, it can help a bit with some content. The Q6FN can also get a lot brighter, especially with HDR content.
The TCL R617 is slightly better than the Samsung RU8000. The R617 has a full array local dimming feature, although it is mediocre, and the R617 can get a lot brighter. The Samsung RU8000, on the other hand, has better uniformity and a faster response time, so fast-moving objects in games and movies look better.
The Samsung RU8000 and the LG SM8600 use different technologies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The RU8000 is better suited for viewing in a dark room, sitting directly in front of it. The LG SM8600 is better suited for a brighter room, and the wide viewing angle is better for side seating. Beyond these differences, the RU8000 is brighter, but has worse reflection handling.
The two TVs have different panel technologies, each with their advantages and disadvantages. If you have a room with a wide seating arrangement, the LG SK9000 is a better choice as the image remains accurate when you watch from the side. On the other hand, if you sit straight in front and dark room performance is essential, then you'll appreciate the deep uniform blacks the Samsung RU8000 can offer. The RU8000 also has a bit better gray uniformity and faster response time, which are great if you're a sports fan. The SK9000 can handle reflections a little better, which is good if your room has many lights; it also has a local dimming feature to improve its dark room performance.