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Professionals

  • Wonderful black ranges

  • Enticing design

  • Dependable sensible platform

If you would like a TV that really showcases HDR, think about the alternate options.

The AU8000 options deep, regular black ranges, a good-looking design, and a wise platform that’s versatile and simple sufficient for people who’re upgrading to a 4K sensible TV for the primary time. Sadly, it doesn’t get vibrant and colourful sufficient for even halfway-decent HDR and its panel lacks any form of dimming software program, which impacts display uniformity in a fairly unhealthy means.

Whereas it’s true that there aren’t many entry-level-to-mid-range TVs on this worth vary proper now, there are a handful of TVs that don’t price very far more than the AU8000 that, frankly, provide far larger upside—each when it comes to efficiency and options.

If you happen to’re a Samsung model loyalist who’s after an reasonably priced 4K TV with an honest sensible platform, that is the TV for you. That mentioned, should you don’t thoughts spending up a bit to get extra bang on your buck, there are a handful of competitively priced TVs on the market that supply lots of bang for a very cheap quantity of buck, and I extremely suggest checking them out.

In regards to the Samsung AU8000

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

There are six sizes within the AU8000 sequence starting from 43 inches to 85 inches.

The Samsung AU8000 is on the market in six whole sizes starting from 43 inches all the best way as much as 85 inches. Our overview unit is a 65-inch mannequin we bought ourselves.

Right here’s the sequence at a look:

  • 43-inch (Samsung UN43AU8000FXZA), MSRP $449.99
  • 50-inch (Samsung UN50AU8000FXZA), MSRP $529.99
  • 55-inch (Samsung UN55AU8000FXZA), MSRP $599.99
  • 65-inch (Samsung UN65AU8000FXZA), MSRP $699.99
  • 75-inch (Samsung UN75AU8000FXZA), MSRP $1,099.99
  • 85-inch (Samsung UN85AU8000FXZA), MSRP $1,799.99

Completely different sizes belonging to the identical sequence are likely to carry out equally, and we’re not conscious of any important {hardware} variations between sizes within the AU8000 sequence that will affect efficiency in a serious means. Nevertheless, it is rather attainable that the display uniformity points we famous on the 65-inch mannequin are as unhealthy or worse on the 75- and 85-inch fashions.

Right here’s a rundown of specs and options shared by every mannequin:

  • Decision: 4K (3,840 x 2,160)
  • Show kind: Edge-lit LED
  • HDR assist: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
  • Dolby Atmos: Sure (through eARC, no onboard decoding)
  • eARC assist: Sure (HDMI 2)
  • Native refresh fee: 60Hz
  • Sensible platform: Tizen Sensible TV
  • Coloration: DCI-P3 shade area/10-bit chroma decision
  • Variable Refresh Charge (VRR): No
  • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): Sure
  • Different options: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Bixby, Samsung Well being

You’ll should spend a bit extra to safe VRR.

Whereas the Samsung AU8000 helps Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), it does not assist Variable Refresh Charge (VRR). This function improves the appear and feel of video games by stopping display tearing, and If you happen to think about your self a severe gamer—particularly should you personal or plan on proudly owning an Xbox Sequence X or PlayStation 5—you’ll most likely need to spend money on a TV that provides such performance. In all chance, you’ll should spend a bit extra to safe it.

Efficiency information

Earlier than testing every TV, we make certain the panel is on and receiving a steady sign for no less than 24 hours, permitting the pixels loads of time to heat up. Our 65-inch AU8000 obtained this customary warm-up time earlier than any readings have been taken. As well as, the TV obtained the newest firmware updates on the time of testing.

For each SDR and HDR checks, we used Samsung’s “Film” image mode. We’ve chosen this setting due to its accuracy, however efficiency might fluctuate relying on which image mode is enabled. For instance, you’re prone to expertise a brighter image with totally different settings enabled, however it could intervene with shade temperature and general shade accuracy.

To get a way for the TV’s common efficiency, we use an ordinary ANSI checkerboard sample for many of our primary distinction checks. We additionally use white and black home windows starting from 2% to 90% to check how effectively the distinction holds up whereas displaying various levels of brightness.

Our peak brightness measurements are taken with sustained home windows to characterize the TV’s peak brightness over a sustained time frame. Specular highlights (like transient flashes of mirrored gentle) would possibly attain greater brightness ranges, however not for sustained intervals of time.

All of our checks are created with a Murideo Seven 8K sign generator and tabulated through Portrait Shows’ Calman Final shade calibration software program. I am going to develop on our check outcomes all through the overview, however for now, listed below are some key takeaways:

• HDR distinction (brightness/black degree): 314 nits/0.077 nits (ANSI checkerboard)
• SDR distinction (brightness/black degree): 257.8 nits/0.063 nits (ANSI checkerboard)
• HDR peak brightness (sustained): 324.6 nits (10% white window)
• HDR shade gamut protection (DCI-P3/10-bit): 83%
• SDR shade gamut protection (Rec.709): 97%

These checks have been carried out with the AU8000’s “Image Readability” settings (“Judder Discount,” “LED Clear Movement,” and “Noise Discount”) disabled. As well as, its gamma was set to “2.2” for SDR checks, “Distinction Enhancer” was disabled, and the “Coloration Tone” selector was set to “Warm2.”

Connectivity

A close-up of the inputs on the back of the Samsung AU8000's panel

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

There are three HDMI 2.0 ports in a cutout on the again of the panel.

This mid-range Samsung is provided with a really mid-range collection of ports. There’s sufficient flexibility for informal viewers, however energy customers shall be upset with the shortage of HDMI 2.1—and maybe the shortage of a fourth HDMI port altogether.

Right here’s what you’ll discover in a cutout on the again of the panel:

  • 3x HDMI 2.0 (1x eARC)
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • RF connection (cable/antenna)
  • Ethernet (LAN) enter
  • Digital audio output (optical)

What we like

Spectacular black ranges

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The AU8000’s black ranges are constantly deep.

The AU8000 is carrying some distinction points that I’ll break down additional within the overview, but it surely’s value calling out the TV’s skill to get darkish when it issues. I measured black ranges within the 0.05 to 0.08 vary, with the upper finish of that vary occurring whereas the TV was at its brightest in HDR.

It’s not fairly as darkish as a higher-end LED TV with a VA-style panel—and may’t come near the proper black ranges of an OLED TV—but it surely performs higher on this regard than most TVs on this worth vary. To place it immediately: you’d by no means see a mid-range 4K TV hitting 0.05 black ranges half a decade in the past.

Deep black ranges enrich darker scenes, notably in dimly lit viewing environments. The story of the AU8000’s distinction isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however the TV’s constantly darkish shadow tones go a good distance in delivering a typically handsome image throughout SDR and HDR content material.

Fetching design

A close-up of the Samsung AU8000's stand design

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The ft that prop up the Samsung AU8000’s panel are severely slim.

It goes with out saying that the AU8000 isn’t as flashy as a top-tier Samsung flagship, but it surely performs the a part of a higher-end TV due to its glossy design.

The panel is kind of skinny on account of the AU8000’s comparatively simplistic {hardware}, which makes it a very good candidate for wall mounting.

A close-up of the Samsung AU8000's remote control

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The included distant management options devoted app buttons and a built-in microphone for choose instructions.

Must you go for a tabletop setup, the AU8000 will mix proper into most residing rooms, as its design is each trendy and minimalist. The panel is propped up by two super-narrow, rod-shaped ft that sit flat on a floor—a pleasant change of tempo from the ever-present boomerang-shaped ft we so usually encounter. The ft slot into the again of the panel with ease.

The distant management is slim and its buttons are good and clicky. There’s a microphone inbuilt for choose voice management performance, and I believe it’ll be straightforward for most individuals to select it up and familiarize themselves with it.

A sensible platform that will get the job carried out

The Samsung AU8000 displaying its smart platform's home screen in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Samsung’s sensible platform is not our favourite, but it surely’s straightforward sufficient to make use of and gives a variety of apps, making it a very good match for informal customers.

A great mid-range TV ought to pack a wise platform that stands by itself, and the AU8000 meets this all-important standards. The TV’s Tizen-powered sensible platform shall be acquainted to anybody who’s owned a Samsung TV in the previous few years, and should you’re upgrading to a wise TV for the primary time, the software program is a good way to dip your toes within the streaming water.

Many of the streaming apps people predict to search out—Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Disney+, for instance—are both pre-loaded out of the field or could be added through an app retailer. There are additionally a handful of extras to spherical out the expertise, like an internet browser and assist for the Samsung Well being software program suite.

If you happen to’re upgrading to a wise TV for the primary time, the software program is a good way to dip your toes within the streaming water.

The navigational expertise is pretty easy, although I did discover some common sluggishness when leaping from one submenu to the following. Basically, I believe that almost all people procuring on this worth vary will find yourself utilizing Samsung’s Tizen-based platform as their essential supply of streaming content material. If you would like a quicker, extra versatile set of choices, you possibly can at all times pair the AU8000 with a devoted streaming gadget.

What we don’t like

Doesn’t get vibrant or colourful sufficient for HDR

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Even in HDR, the AU8000 does not constantly crack the 350-nit mark, making it a not-so-great selection for people who desire a TV that showcases HDR.

If you happen to’re on the hunt for a brand new TV that showcases Excessive Dynamic Vary, chances are you’ll need to think about alternate options, because the AU8000 isn’t fairly constructed for the format. Its panel simply doesn’t get vibrant sufficient.

Throughout SDR content material (that’s, cable TV broadcasts, most streaming reveals and Blu-rays), the AU8000’s brightness ranges high out at round 250 to 300 nits. That is effective for many viewing experiences, however with regards to HDR—a format designed to harness and optimize greater brightness ranges—the AU8000 can’t ship. I measured peak brightness ranges of round 300 to 350 nits whereas sending the TV an HDR sign, which, sadly, isn’t that a lot totally different than what the TV does throughout garden-variety SDR (Customary Dynamic Vary) content material.

Optimized brightness isn’t the one key to HDR’s success; the format additionally makes use of the elevated brightness to additional saturate a TV’s shade. Ideally, an HDR TV would cowl between 95% and 100% of an extra-wide HDR shade gamut (DCI-P3). In accordance with our lab checks, the AU8000 solely covers about 83% of this expanded gamut.

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The AU8000 solely gives about 83% protection of the DCI-P3 HDR shade gamut.

These check outcomes could be seen in motion, too—even to an untrained eye. When leaping from an HDR Blu-ray to SDR streaming content material on Netflix, I observed no considerable distinction in image high quality. Highlights didn’t pop the best way they do on an HDR TV with appreciable “horsepower,” and colours—whereas largely correct—remained considerably flat throughout HDR content material.

If what you search is a comparatively reasonably priced TV with the required {hardware} to actually showcase HDR, one thing just like the TCL 5-Sequence is a a lot better guess. Its show is powered by quantum dots, which give it the enhance of brightness it wants for brighter highlights and richer shade. It prices a little bit greater than the AU8000, however I promise: It’s definitely worth the modest funding if HDR is essential to you.

A scarcity of local-dimming creates issues

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Whereas not seen within the above picture, darker scenes are likely to glow on the TV’s corners—an impact that will get worse throughout off-angle viewing.

The AU8000 is an edge-lit TV with no native dimming software program. Primarily, which means that, not like most LED TVs in the marketplace at present, the AU8000 doesn’t have “zones” of LED backlights that brighten and dim in live performance. With out these clusters of LEDs working in tandem, the AU8000 struggles to distribute its gentle evenly throughout the panel. The result’s an image that’s usually cloudy, with blue-tinted gentle bleed amassing at occasions on the corners of the panel.

The impact is considerably worse when considered at off-angles. VA-style panels battle with off-angle viewing to start with, and whenever you add any such panel lighting to the combo, the battle is that rather more actual.

One seeming good thing about the shortage of native dimming, nevertheless, is that I did not discover a lot gentle bleed round bright-on-dark image parts (like subtitles, for instance). Nonetheless, improved backlighting {hardware} would go a good distance in smoothing out a few of the AU8000’s uniformity points.

You’ll most likely must tinker with movement settings

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

You’ll be able to iron out a few of the AU8000’s juddery movement by adjusting the “Judder Discount” slider within the “Image Readability” settings menu. It will not take away movement judder utterly, nevertheless.

Sometimes, TVs within the AU8000’s worth vary function a 60Hz refresh fee relatively than a refresh fee of 120Hz. Which means the TV is barely able to refreshing its image 60 occasions per second, which is normally effective however can really feel restricted throughout sure sorts of content material.

The Samsung AU8000 and its native 60Hz refresh fee do an OK job displaying movement, however fast-paced content material has the tendency to stutter, and a few blurriness remains to be seen even after changes are made to the movement settings (“Judder Discount” and “LED Clear Movement”). If these sliders are pushed too excessive, the TV takes on a man-made smoothness (colloquially known as “the cleaning soap opera impact”).

To be clear, the AU8000 is best outfitted than most 60Hz TVs on this worth vary to restrict motion-related artifacts. That mentioned, I extremely suggest conserving the movement enhancement sliders (discovered within the “Image Readability” settings menu) at their decrease ends. In “Film” mode’s out-of-the-box settings, you’ll doubtless discover a good quantity of judder, notably throughout vertical and horizontal pans.

Must you purchase it?

Possibly—however provided that you perceive its limitations and have your coronary heart set on a Samsung TV

The Samsung AU8000 displaying 4K content in a living room setting

Credit score: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The AU8000 is an honest TV for the worth, however spending just a bit bit extra will land you a lot better efficiency. If you happen to care about HDR, it is value wanting into a few of these choices.

The AU8000 will get lots proper. I really like its design, its black ranges are fairly spectacular for its worth vary, and I think about that newcomers to the sensible TV life-style will very a lot recognize the TV’s built-in, Tizen-based sensible platform. That mentioned, should you transfer as much as the following highest worth bracket, a complete world of higher choices opens up, and a few of them actually do justify the worth soar.

Take, as an example, the latest TCL 5-Sequence. For my cash, its built-in Google TV software program is even higher than Tizen—to not point out simpler to make use of. And bear in mind once I mentioned that the AU8000 wasn’t a very good decide for people who need to see what the HDR fuss is all about? Nicely, the 5-Sequence is much better outfitted to ship an HDR expertise worthy of the fuss, due to a panel that will get a lot brighter and extra colourful. Relying on which sizes you’re evaluating, the 5-Sequence is barely about $50 to $200 dearer than the AU8000.

If the Samsung insignia is a must have, think about the Samsung Q60A.

If the Samsung insignia is a must have, think about the Samsung Q60A. There’s an even bigger worth hole between the AU8000 and the Q60A when in comparison with the 5-Sequence, however you’re getting a terrific image due to quantum dots and native dimming—two show options not discovered on the AU8000.

The Samsung AU8000 performs its position effectively; it’s a TV with limitations, however these limitations are largely justified given the price. If you happen to worth HDR as I do, nevertheless, you’ll most likely be higher off spending a little bit extra on one thing that may showcase the format higher.

Meet the tester

Michael Desjardin

Michael Desjardin

Senior Workers Author


@Reviewed

Michael Desjardin graduated from Emerson School after having studied media manufacturing and screenwriting. He makes a speciality of tech for Reviewed, but additionally loves movie criticism, bizarre ambient music, cooking, and meals generally.

See all of Michael Desjardin’s evaluations

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