Samsung TU6980 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Nov 12, 2020 at 08:04 am
Samsung TU6980 Picture
6.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
6.5
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio V Series 2020
7.2
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: LG UN7300
7.2
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: LG UN7300
7.0
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: none
6.1
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio V Series 2020
6.9
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio V Series 2020
7.7
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: LG UN7000
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung TU6980 is a decent entry-level 4k TV. It's a variant of the Samsung TU7000, and the 70 inch model we tested is one of two options in Samsung's 6 Series lineup, with the other being an 82 inch model. It has a VA panel with a good contrast ratio, but it's lower than most other VA panel TVs, and there's no local dimming to improve it. It has incredibly low input lag and a quick response time for gaming, and there's a Black Frame Insertion feature to improve the appearance of motion. Sadly, HDR content doesn't look all that different from SDR content because it fails to display a wide color gamut and has disappointing peak brightness. Fortunately, it doesn't have any issues upscaling lower-resolution content, such as from cable boxes or Blu-ray players. Also, the built-in Tizen OS is easy-to-use and there are a ton of apps available to download.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

The Samsung 6 Series is a decent TV for most uses. It's good for gaming as it has a quick response time, a Black Frame Insertion feature, and incredibly low input lag. It performs well in dark environments because of its good contrast, but it has only decent black uniformity and lacks local dimming. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not suggested for wide seating arrangements when watching TV or sports with a large group of people.

Pros
  • Good contrast ratio.
  • Good response time.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
  • Doesn't get bright enough to combat a ton of glare.
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Can't display wide color gamut for HDR content.
6.5 Movies

The Samsung 6 Series is okay for watching movies. It has a good contrast ratio, but it's not as good as some other TVs with a VA panel. Black uniformity is only decent, and there's no local dimming feature. Luckily, it removes judder from native 24p sources, such as Blu-ray players or native apps.

Pros
  • Good contrast ratio.
  • Removes judder from native 24p sources.
Cons
  • Only decent black uniformity.
  • No local dimming feature.
7.2 TV Shows

The Samsung 6 Series is decent for watching TV shows. Its peak brightness isn't bad and it has decent reflection handling, but it's best to avoid using it in bright rooms. It upscales lower-resolution content, such as from cable TV, without any issues. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, so you quickly lose image accuracy when viewing off-center.

Pros
  • Decent reflection handling.
  • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
Cons
  • Doesn't get bright enough to combat a ton of glare.
  • Narrow viewing angles.
7.2 Sports

The Samsung 6 Series is decent for sports. It has a good response time and a Black Frame Insertion feature to help improve the appearance of motion. It handles reflections fairly well and its peak brightness isn't bad, but it's not good enough to combat a lot of glare. Also, it's not suggested for wide seating arrangements because it has narrow viewing angles.

Pros
  • Decent reflection handling.
  • Upscales lower-resolution content well.
  • Good response time.
Cons
  • Doesn't get bright enough to combat a ton of glare.
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • Dirty screen effect in the center.
7.0 Video Games

The Samsung 6 Series is good for video games. It has incredibly low input lag, a quick response time, and a Black Frame Insertion feature to clear up motion blur. It's good for dark-room gaming because of its good contrast ratio. Sadly, it doesn't have variable refresh rate support and lacks local dimming.

Pros
  • Good contrast ratio.
  • Good response time.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
  • Only decent black uniformity.
  • No variable refresh rate support.
6.1 HDR Movies

The Samsung 6 Series is mediocre for watching HDR movies. It fails to display a wide color gamut and doesn't get bright enough in HDR to make highlights stand out. It has a good contrast ratio, but the black uniformity is just decent and there's no local dimming feature.

Pros
  • Good contrast ratio.
Cons
  • No local dimming feature.
  • Can't display wide color gamut for HDR content.
  • Disappointing HDR peak brightness.
6.9 HDR Gaming

The Samsung 6 Series is decent for HDR gaming, mainly due to its good gaming performance. It has low input lag and a good response time to deliver a responsive gaming experience. It has a good contrast ratio, but HDR content doesn't look good because it can't display a wide color gamut, has disappointing peak brightness, and there's no local dimming feature.

Pros
  • Good contrast ratio.
  • Good response time.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
  • No local dimming feature.
  • Can't display wide color gamut for HDR content.
  • Disappointing HDR peak brightness.
7.7 PC Monitor

The Samsung 6 Series is a good choice for use as a PC monitor. It displays chroma 4:4:4 at any resolution, which is important for reading fine text. It also has incredibly low input lag and a quick response time. It has decent reflection handling and performs well in a moderately-lit room. Sadly, it has narrow viewing angles, so the edges look washed out if you sit too close.

Pros
  • Decent reflection handling.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Displays chroma 4:4:4.
Cons
  • Doesn't get bright enough to combat a ton of glare.
  • Narrow viewing angles.
  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 6.5 Movies
  • 7.2 TV Shows
  • 7.2 Sports
  • 7.0 Video Games
  • 6.1 HDR Movies
  • 6.9 HDR Gaming
  • 7.7 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Mar 01, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.6.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung 6 Series is an entry-level 4k TV that Samsung is releasing for Black Friday in 2020. It replaces 2018's Samsung NU6900 and is a variant of the Samsung TU7000. Its main competitors are other large, budget-friendly TVs such as the LG UN8500, Hisense H6570G, and the Vizio V Series 2020.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The Samsung 6 Series has an excellent design. It looks a lot like the Samsung TU7000 with thin borders and a textured finish on the back panel. It has different feet and it's thinner than other entry-level Samsung models in 2020, but sadly, there's no cable management.

Design
Stand

The Samsung 6 Series has wide-set feet that support the TV well. The feet are placed more at an angle compared to the Samsung TU7000, and there's enough room to place a soundbar without obstructing the screen. You can't place the feet in a reverse position or move them to accommodate smaller tables.

Footprint of the 70" TV: 49.5" x 13.5"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x300

The back of this TV is plastic with a brushed textured finish. There are tracks at the bottom, but without any clips on the legs, they don't help with cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.43" (1.1 cm)

The borders are thin and aren't distracting.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.13" (5.4 cm)

The Samsung 6 Series is even thinner than the Samsung TU8000 and doesn't stick out when wall-mounted.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Samsung 6 Series has a decent build quality, much like the Samsung TU7000 and Samsung TU8000. It's made entirely out of plastic and there aren't any obvious issues, but at the same time, there's nothing premium about it.

Picture Quality
7.9
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
2982 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The Samsung 6 Series has a good contrast ratio. It's much lower than most VA panel TVs we've tested, but this may vary between units. You may notice some blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in the dark.

6.4
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
286 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
167 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
297 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
296 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
296 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
296 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
166 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
296 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
296 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
296 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
296 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.040

The SDR peak brightness isn't bad and it's much better than the Samsung TU7000. It gets bright enough to combat some glare, but it's best to avoid placing it in well-lit rooms. It maintains its brightness consistent for the most part, but small highlights aren't as bright due to the frame dimming.

We measured peak brightness after calibration in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with Gamma set to '2.2', Contrast at its default setting, and Brightness at its max.

If you don't care about image accuracy and want the brightest image possible, set the Picture Mode to 'Movie', Contrast Enhancer to 'High', Color Tone to 'Cool', and Contrast at its max. We achieved 311 cd/m² in the 10% window using these settings.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

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

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct
5.2
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
294 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
176 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
312 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
312 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
312 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
312 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
175 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
312 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
312 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
312 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
312 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.040

The Samsung TU6900 has disappointing HDR peak brightness. It only gets a bit brighter than in SDR, and it doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights. Once again, small highlights aren't as bright due to the frame dimming.

We measured HDR peak brightness in the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode with Contrast and Brightness at their max. If you want an even brighter image and don't mind losing accuracy, use these settings with Contrast Enhancer on 'High' and ST.2084 set to '+3'. We achieved 320 cd/m² in the 10% window.

5.2
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
299 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
145 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
313 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
312 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
312 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
312 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
144 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
313 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
312 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
312 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
312 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.053
7.1
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.570 %
50% DSE
0.198 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.918 %
5% DSE
0.114 %

Our unit of the Samsung 6 Series has decent gray uniformity, but this may vary between units. The edges of the screen are visibly darker and there's dirty screen effect in the center. The uniformity is much better in near-dark scenes, but there's still some slight backlight bleed along the edges.

7.3
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.164 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The black uniformity is only decent, but this may vary between units. There's clouding throughout the screen and a bit of blooming around the center cross.

5.6
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
29 °
Color Shift
25 °
Brightness Loss
42 °
Black Level Raise
12 °
Gamma Shift
19 °

This TV has narrow viewing angles, which is expected from a VA panel. You quickly lose image accuracy when viewing off-center, so it's not suggested for wide seating arrangements.

7.2
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.7 %
Indirect Reflections
0.7 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.0 %

The reflection handling is decent, much like the Samsung TU8000. It performs best in moderately-lit rooms, but the reflections may be too distracting if it's placed opposite a window with direct sunlight.

7.9
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.06
Color dE
2.57
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
6452 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The Samsung 6 Series has very good out-of-the-box accuracy. Most colors and white balance are only slightly inaccurate, and most people shouldn't notice it. Color temperature is almost exactly spot on our 6500K target. Gamma follows the target curve fairly well overall, but dark scenes are too dark and other scenes are too bright.

9.4
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.23
Color dE
1.57
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6527 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes

After calibration, the color accuracy is remarkable. Any remaining inaccuracies with colors and white balance can't be spotted by the naked eye. The color temperature became slightly cooler from before calibration, but it's still extremely close to the target. Gamma follows the target curve almost perfectly, except really dark scenes are still too dark.

See our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The Samsung 6 Series upscales 480p content, such as from DVDs, without any issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content, like from cable boxes, is displayed well and there aren't any artifacts.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

This TV displays 1080p content almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

The Samsung 6 Series displays native 4k content perfectly and there aren't any obvious issues.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

This is a 4k TV that doesn't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

This TV uses a BGR subpixel layout, which can affect the way text is rendered when using it as a PC monitor. You can read about it here.

6.8
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
76.26 %
DCI P3 uv
81.39 %
Rec 2020 xy
55.02 %
Rec 2020 uv
60.38 %

The Samsung TU6900 has an okay color gamut, but it's not considered a wide color gamut needed for HDR content. It has good coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space, but limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020.

The EOTF follows the target PQ curve fairly well, but all scenes are darker than they should be. The image in 'Game' mode is brighter, as you can see in this EOTF.

If you find HDR too dim and want a brighter image, set the Contrast Enhancer to 'High', ST.2084 to '+3', Tone Color to 'Cool', and Brightness and Contrast at their max in the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode. This results in a brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF. You can also adjust Shadow Detail to '+5', as seen in this EOTF, but this results in blacks that look gray and we don't recommend it.

5.7
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
66.0 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
21.3 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
47.9 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
15.5 %

The Samsung 6 Series has a disappointing color volume. It's mainly limited by its lack of a wide color gamut, and it can't display colors at a wide range of luminance levels.

6.9
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.110 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.178 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.128 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.186 dE

This TV has okay gradient handling. There's banding in all colors, and it's most noticeable with green and gray. The Noise Reduction setting doesn't improve the gradients at all. If gradient handling is important to you, look into the LG NANO80.

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 %

Our unit of the Samsung 6 Series has no signs of image retention, but this may 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
7.9
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.5 ms
100% Response Time
14.1 ms

The Samsung 6 Series has a good response time. There's overshoot in dark transitions, so you may notice motion artifacts in dark scenes. Also, there's visible image duplication due to the backlight's flicker.

4.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz

This TV uses Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight. It flickers at 120Hz at all times unless it's in the 'Game' or 'Movie' Picture Mode with Brightness set to max; only then it becomes flicker-free.

9.1
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker For 60 fps
60 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
Yes
120Hz For 120 fps
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

There's an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. It's called LED Clear Motion, and it flickers at 60Hz outside of 'Game' mode and 120Hz in 'Game' mode.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

The Samsung 6 Series has a motion interpolation feature to interpolate lower-frame rate content up to 60fps. It works great on our test pattern, but there are a few artifacts with real content. However, it isn't bad and depends on the content.

See here for the settings that control the feature.

7.5
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
27.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
2.6 ms

Despite having a quick response time, there's not much stutter with lower-frame rate content. Enabling the motion interpolation feature can help reduce stutter if you notice it.

7.8
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The Samsung 6 Series automatically removes judder from native 24p sources as long as Picture Clarity is disabled.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate