Samsung RU9000 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Aug 04, 2020 at 08:07 am
Samsung RU9000 Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
6.9
Movies
7.4
TV Shows
7.5
Sports
8.3
Video Games
6.7
HDR Movies
7.9
HDR Gaming
7.9
PC Monitor
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung RU9000 is an overall decent 4k TV with a VA panel. It delivers good picture quality with its high contrast ratio and wide color gamut, and fast-moving scenes look clear thanks to its fast response time and black frame insertion feature. Its low input lag makes gaming feel incredibly responsive and it has variable refresh rate support to help minimize screen tearing. Unfortunately, its HDR performance is limited by the low peak brightness and lack of local dimming. Additionally, it struggles to overcome glare in bright rooms and its sub-par viewing angles make is less ideal for wide seating areas. Like all Samsung TVs, it runs on the great Tizen OS platform, which has tons of streaming services readily available.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The Samsung RU9000 is a decent TV for most uses. It performs impressively well for gaming due to its low input lag, fast response time, and VRR support. Its high contrast ratio is great for viewing movies in the dark; however, it lacks local dimming and it doesn't get very bright to bring out highlights in HDR movies. Visibility can be an issue if you're watching in a well-lit environment, and its VA panel's sub-par viewing angles result in images looking washed out when viewed from the side.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Great response time.
  • Reasonable SDR peak brightness.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
6.9 Movies

The Samsung RU9000 is okay for watching movies. It performs very well in dark rooms thanks to its high contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity. It upscales lower resolution movies well, it can remove judder from all sources, and it doesn't stutter too much with low frame rate content. Sadly, it doesn't have a local dimming feature.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Excellent black uniformity.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Some stutter in low frame rate content.
7.4 TV Shows

The Samsung RU9000 is decent for watching TV shows. It upscales lower resolution content from cable boxes well and Samsung's Tizen OS platform has tons of streaming services available. Its reflection handling is decent but it doesn't get very bright, so it isn't as suitable for well-lit rooms. Also, it isn't a good option if you like to walk around while watching due to its VA panel's narrow viewing angles.

Pros
  • Reasonable SDR peak brightness.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
7.5 Sports

The Samsung RU9000 is good for watching sports. Response time is great, it has an optional black frame insertion feature, and it upscales lower resolution content such as cable sports well. Unfortunately, even though it has decent reflection handling, it doesn't get very bright, so it's better suited for a moderately-lit room. Also, it has sub-par viewing angles and there's some dirty screen effect that can be distracting in fast-moving scenes.

Pros
  • Great response time.
  • Reasonable SDR peak brightness.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
8.3 Video Games

The Samsung RU9000 is great for gaming. It has incredibly low input lag, a fast response time, and it supports variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. It has a high contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity, which is great for dark room gaming. Unfortunately, there's a bit of dirty screen effect as well as image duplication due to the TV's backlight flicker.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Low input lag.
  • FreeSync support.
  • Great response time.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
6.7 HDR Movies

The Samsung RU9000 is okay for watching HDR movies. Its VA panel has an excellent contrast ratio and black uniformity, and it has a great HDR color gamut. However, it doesn't get very bright and it lacks local dimming, so highlights don't stand out. It doesn't stutter too much in lower frame rate content and it can remove judder from all sources.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Excellent black uniformity.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Poor HDR peak brightness.
  • Some stutter in low frame rate content.
7.9 HDR Gaming

The Samsung RU9000 is a good TV for playing games in HDR. It does all the basic things well, as it has low input lag, a fast response time, and VRR support. However, its HDR performance is severely limited by the low HDR peak brightness and lack of local dimming. On the upside, it has an excellent contrast ratio and black uniformity, making it a great choice for gaming in the dark.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast ratio.
  • Low input lag.
  • FreeSync support.
  • Great response time.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Poor HDR peak brightness.
7.9 PC Monitor

The Samsung RU9000 is a good TV to use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag, a fast response time, and it can display proper chroma 4:4:4. It handles reflections decently well but it has narrow viewing angles, so the sides of the screen can look washed out if you sit too close.

Pros
  • Low input lag.
  • Great response time.
  • Decent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 6.9 Movies
  • 7.4 TV Shows
  • 7.5 Sports
  • 8.3 Video Games
  • 6.7 HDR Movies
  • 7.9 HDR Gaming
  • 7.9 PC Monitor
  1. Update 8/19/2020: Update to HDMI Forum VRR support.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung RU9000 is a mid-range budget TV that's exclusive to North America and can only be found at certain retailers, such as Best Buy, Sam's Club, and Costco. Despite its model number suggesting that it's a 2019 model, it's actually a 2020 model that's considered as a slightly upgraded version of the Samsung RU8000. Its competitors are likely to be the LG UN8500 and the Sony X800H.

Design
8.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The Samsung RU9000's design is excellent. It's a simple-looking TV with a stand that gives it a modern industrial vibe. The borders are a bit thick compared to other recent high-end TVs, and they protrude from the screen.

Design
Stand

The stand supports the TV well and there's only a bit of wobble. The feet are identical, so you don't have to worry about putting them on the wrong side, and they don't need to be screwed in as they just slide into the TV.

Footprint of the 82" TV stand: 46.5" x 15.1"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 600x400

The back of the TV is made out of plastic, with a horizontal texture etched into it. All the inputs are side-facing, making them easier to access when wall-mounted. For cable management, there are grooves to guide cables towards the back of the stand, allowing to you hide them in the hollow section of the feet.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.63" (1.6 cm)

Unfortunately, the borders are on the thick side compared to other higher-end Samsung TVs, even slightly thicker than the Samsung RU8000.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.44" (6.2 cm)

The TV is fairly thin but the back isn't flat, so it sticks out a little bit when wall-mounted. The 82" model that we reviewed didn't come with any wall-mount spacers, although it may be different for the smaller sizes.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung RU9000's build quality is okay. It feels pretty sturdy despite its plastic construction and there's very little wobble for a TV this size. There's a lot of flex in the back panel near the edges and around the inputs, but it doesn't feel flimsy and shouldn't cause any issues.

Picture Quality
8.8
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5017 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The Samsung RU9000 has an excellent contrast ratio, which is expected of most VA panels. It isn't as good as the Samsung RU8000 and sadly, there's no local dimming to further improve the black level.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

The Samsung RU9000 doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.

6.9
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
331 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
164 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
317 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
316 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
316 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
316 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
160 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
316 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
316 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
315 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
315 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.047

The SDR peak brightness is okay. It's better suited for a dark to moderately-lit room, as it doesn't get bright enough to combat glare in very bright lighting conditions. The brightness is fairly consistent except for the dimmer 2% window, which is caused by frame dimming.

We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode. The Color Temperature was set to 'Warm 2' and Gamma was set to 2.2.

If you don't mind losing image accuracy, you can get a brighter image by using the 'Dynamic' Picture Mode, with Contrast Enhancer set to 'Max', and all other settings left at their default value. With these settings, we were able to reach 362.4 nits in the 10% window.

5.2
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
303 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
158 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
307 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
306 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
306 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
306 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
155 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
306 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
306 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
306 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
306 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.047

Unfortunately, the Samsung RU9000 has a poor HDR peak brightness, lower than its peak brightness in SDR. There's also brightness variation in the 2% window, so small highlights in dark scenes appear dimmer.

We measured the HDR peak brightness before calibration, using the 'HDR Movie' Picture Mode. Brightness and Contrast were set to max, and the Color Temperature was set to 'Warm 2'.

If you don't care about image accuracy, you can get a brighter image in HDR by using the 'HDR Dynamic' Picture Mode, with Contrast Enhancer set to max, and all other settings left at their default value. Using these settings, we were able to reach 372.2 nits in the 10% window.

7.4
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.780 %
50% DSE
0.182 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.686 %
5% DSE
0.099 %

Decent gray uniformity. The sides are visibly darker and there's some dirty screen effect at the center of the screen. There's also a bit of flashlighting in the bottom corners of the screen; however, this isn't visible in normal content. Uniformity is much better in dark scenes.

5.5
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
23 °
Color Shift
32 °
Brightness Loss
29 °
Black Level Raise
19 °
Gamma Shift
20 °

Like most VA panel TVs, the Samsung RU9000 has sub-par viewing angles. This makes images look washed out when viewed from the side, so it isn't well-suited for large rooms or wide seating areas.

8.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.662 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Excellent black uniformity. There's a bit of clouding throughout the screen, but it isn't distracting and shouldn't be visible in normal content.

7.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.2 %
Indirect Reflections
1.0 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
4.2 %

Decent reflection handling. The semi-gloss finish handles indirect reflections well, but not direct reflections, so it's best to avoid placing the TV opposite bright light sources.

6.4
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.92
Color dE
3.84
Gamma
2.02
Color Temperature
5881 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

Out-of-the-box, the Samsung RU9000 has an acceptable color accuracy. Most colors are somewhat inaccurate, white balance is off, and the color temperature is much warmer than our 6500K target. Gamma doesn't follow the 2.2 target at all; most scenes are too bright while dark scenes are over-darkened.

9.3
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.33
Color dE
1.72
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6496 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
No

After calibration, the color accuracy is outstanding. White balance is almost perfect and the color temperature is much closer to our target. Gamma is very good, although dark scenes are still darker than they should be. Some people might be able to spot the inaccuracies with reds and blues, but the inaccuracies with the other colors shouldn't be noticeable without the aid of a colorimeter.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The Samsung RU9000 upscales 480p content well and without any issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content such as from a cable box is upscaled without any obvious artifacts.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content from sources such as Blu-rays looks good.

9.9
Picture Quality
4k Input

4k content looks amazing, but there's some sub-pixel dimming that causes crosshatching, and there's some dithering as well. That said, they're very difficult to spot unless you're an inch away from the screen. The dithering can be seen in this photo if you zoom into the shadowy parts, as it causes a slight purplish hue.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The Samsung RU9000 can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

The Samsung RU9000 uses a BGR sub-pixel structure. This doesn't affect image quality, but it can affect the way text is rendered when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can find out more about it here.

8.3
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
90.86 %
DCI P3 uv
96.14 %
Rec 2020 xy
67.55 %
Rec 2020 uv
75.53 %

The Samsung RU9000 has a great HDR color gamut, very similar to if not slightly better than the Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED. It has outstanding coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most content, and decent coverage of the wider Rec 2020. The 'HDR Movie' EOTF follows the PQ curve almost perfectly until the roll-off, which starts earlier than the Samsung RU8000. The 'Game' mode EOTF doesn't follow the curve as well and most scenes are too bright, but the roll-off starts later.

If you find HDR content too dim, you can make it brighter by setting the Picture Mode to 'HDR Movie', with Contrast Enhancer set to 'High', ST.2084 set to max, and Color Temperature set to 'Warm 2'. These settings result in this EOTF.

6.7
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
76.1 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
23.6 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
58.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
18.2 %

The color volume is okay. The TV can display dark colors well due to its high contrast ratio, but it struggles with bright colors.

7.7
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.134 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.100 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.123 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.109 dE

Good gradient handling. Although there's banding in all colors, it's only noticeable in reds and greens. The banding in other colors is in the darker shades, so it's not as obvious. Enabling Digital Clean View can smooth out most of it, but it may cause the loss of fine details in some scenes.

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 %

The Samsung RU9000 doesn't show any signs of temporary image retention.

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
8.4
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.1 ms
100% Response Time
9.9 ms

The Samsung RU9000 has impressive response time, which results in very little motion blur in fast-moving scenes. There's a small amount of overshoot in the 0-20% transition, causing some motion artifacts in dark scenes. There's a bit of image duplication due to the backlight's flicker.

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

The backlight is flicker-free only when the brightness is at maximum. If the brightness is set below maximum, the backlight flickers at 240Hz in all picture modes. With LED Clear Motion Plus enabled in the Game Motion Plus Settings menu, the flickering frequency drops to 120Hz. With LED Clear Motion enabled in the Auto Motion Plus Settings menu, the flicker frequency is 60Hz.

9.2
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
120 Hz

The Samsung RU9000 has an optional black frame insertion feature that can help improve motion clarity. To use it, set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' and LED Clear Motion to 'On'. To use this feature while gaming, perform the same steps within the Game Motion Plus Settings menu.

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

This TV can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps to make motion look smoother. It works quite well and the TV continues to interpolate in more intense scenes without causing too many artifacts. To use motion interpolation, set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom', and adjust the Judder Reduction to max for native 30fps content, or adjust the Blur Reduction slider to max for native 60fps content.

6.7
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
31.8 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
6.8 ms

Due to the TV's fast response time, lower frame rate content such as movies can stutter. If it bothers you, using motion interpolation 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. To do so, set Auto Motion Plus to 'On'.

8.2
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Unknown
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 08/19/2020: We changed HDMI Forum VRR to 'Unknown' because we currently don't have an accurate way to test for HDMI Forum VRR compatibility. Once we do, we'll test for it and update the review.

The Samsung RU9000 supports FreeSync to reduce screen tearing when gaming. To use it, set FreeSync to 'Ultimate' in the Game Mode Settings menu.

Inputs
8.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
15.1 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
72.0 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
14.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
14.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
14.8 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
14.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
70.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
22.5 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz