Samsung NU8000 Review (UN49NU8000, UN55NU8000, UN65NU8000, UN75UN8000, UN82NU8000)
Samsung NU8000 is a flat model of Samsung’s 2018 Premium 4K HDR LED TV lineup Series 8. It is the successor of Samsung MU8000, one of the best seller mid-range TV in 2017. Like the predecessor MU8000, NU8000 also comes with a lot of screen sizes options, from the smallest that is 49 Inch (UN49NU8000), 55 inch (UN55NU8000), 65 Inch (UN65NU8000), 75 Inch (UN75NU8000) to the largest is 82 inch (UN82NU8000). As a newer model, of course NU8000 bring some improvement and additional features over the predecessor which should make its performance is better. In the market, it is priced in price range of $1000-$4000, depends on the screen size. But of course, since it is recent launched, its prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time, but usually will drop with the passage of the time.
Technologies and Features of Samsung NU8000
On its panel, Samsung NU8000 uses almost the same technologies than the predecessor MU8000. It uses VA panel technology with Edge Lit backlight and local dimming. Nevertheless, for this case, Samsung use new term for its local dimming technology, that is called “Ultra Slim Array”, while for some of its predecessor models, Samsung use term “Precision Black”. What are the differences between them, we don’t know clearly, but essentially, both of these technologies are claimed can control the backlight to produces darker dark and brighter bright. Still about contrast and black level enhancement, there are also the features called “Supreme UHD Dimming” and “Contrast Enhancer”. Unlike the predecessor MU8000 where there is “Peak Illuminator” technology for enhancing the peak brightness, in its official site, Samsung didn’t list this feature as the specs of NU8000. We don’t also know clearly, whether this technology has been removed from NU8000 or it is just not listed only. Additionally, Samsung also use different term for the color technology of NU8000. If in last year, Samsung used the term “4K Color Drive Extreme” for MU8000, for this year, Samsung use term “Dynamic Crystal Color. Nevertheless, essentially, both of these technologies are designed for improving color gamut and color reproduction of Samsung TV including NU8000.
Optimized for HDR experience, Samsung NU8000 has a feature called “HDR Plus” that claimed can maximize the brightness and contrast range every scene, allow you to enjoy more-to-life HDR images. Nevertheless, unlike the some of its competitors that already support Dolby Vision, NU8000 supports HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), HDR 10 format and also HDR 10+ (advanced HDR 10 format that use dynamic tone mapping). Nevertheless, although it have not yet support Dolby Vision and since most of HDR contents are mastered in HDR 10 formats, you can still enjoy your favorite movies in HDR quality. Additionally, with already supports HLG, this allows you to enjoy TV broadcast in HDR quality.
For optimizing its performance in handling motion blur, like the predecessor, Samsung NU8000 is also powered by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This allows you enjoy any scene of fast moving contents smoothly and clearly with almost no motion blur. Like the predecessor MU8000, for connecting with other devices, NU8000 provides 4 HDMI ports. But even so, for USB ports, it provides 2 ports only. A little change, unlike the predecessor where most of their inputs/outputs are located on separated box named “One Connect Box Mini”, for NU8000, their inputs/outputs are installed on the rear panel. Meanwhile, to bring attractive and responsive smart TV experience, NU8000 is featuring Tizen OS version 7.0 as its smart TV platform that powered by A quad core processor. Now, it comes with a new feature named “Samsung’s Bixby Voice that maximizing the ability of its voice navigation. And for allowing you to enjoy HDR experience with impressive sound quality, it is equipped with 2.1 channel speaker system with built-in woofer and 40 watts of total sound output.
Samsung NU8000 Key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||49 inch(UN49NU8000), 55 inch (UN55NU8000), 65 Inch (UN65NU8000), 75 Inch(UN75NU8000), 82 inch (UN82NU8000)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel|
|Backlight||Edge-Lit LED with Local Dimming|
|Dimming Technology||Supreme UHD Dimming with Ultra Slim Array|
|Color Technology||Dynamic Crystal Color|
|HDR Formats||HDR 10, HDR 10+, and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)|
|4K Up-scaling||UHD Up-Scaling|
|Motion rate||Motion Rate 240 (Native 120 Hz refresh rate panel)|
|Platform||Tizen OS version 7.0|
|Key Apps||Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant, Web Browser, Cloud Games, Smart View, and more|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Touch Remote (TM1850A)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Total Audio Output||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)|
|Sound Effect||DTS Premium Sound 5.1|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
Performance of Samsung NU8000
Contrast and Black Level
Contrast and black level is one of the flagships of Samsung NU8000. There is a bit improvement over the predecessor. With more than 5000:1 of native contrast ratio, it can reach black level deeper than 0.02 nits. This may not as deep as what reached by OLED TV, but for a LED TV, this is great. The result, blacks of images looks really black, even when set in a dark room where the impact of high native contrast ratio is very sensitive. Since it has really black, this certainly also makes darker colors are more accurate, result in excellent dark scene. Meanwhile, as we know, one of the main purposes of HDR technology is to reveal more information in shadow, and for that, a HDR TV must have deep black like what recommended. For this case, to show shadow details of HDR 10 image like the intended, UHD Alliance as the developer of HDR 10 format has set the maximum black level that should be reached is 0.05 nits. This means, with black level deeper than 0.02 nits, this is deep enough to show shadow details of HDR images like the intended. The result, dark scene or shadow details of HDR images displayed on the screen of NU8000 looks excellent.
While Samsung NU8000 has excellent contrast and black level, its peak luminance is not too excellent particularly for showing highlights of HDR images. But even so, for its class, this can still be said fairly well and there is a bit improvement than the predecessor MU8000. Since it has local dimming, its peak brightness at each windows size tends to different. At small window size, it peak brightness tend to brighter than at large window size. Nevertheless, essentially, its peaks brightness is quite bright to overcome the glare and handle the reflections, make the picture displayed on its screen looks remain excellent when set in a bright room. Meanwhile, for showing bright scene of HDR images, its peak brightness actually is also quite bright. But since a minimum peak brightness required to show highlight of HDR image like the intended is 1000 nits, with about 600 nits, of course peak brightness of NU8000 is still far from that required. Additionally, in addition to its local dimming is able to brighten small windows size, it also effectively reduces “blooming” around a bright small object. NU8000 might not able to completely remove unwanted lights which “pollute” dark background around a small bright object or called blooming, but at least, blooming is less visible like on the screen of the competitor that doesn’t have local dimming like Sony X850F. Overall, although not as great as X900E that has excellent peak brightness, but among the TVs which have similar price, its performance in showing highlight or bright scene of HDR image can be said great.
Discussing about its color reproduction, overall, Samsung NU8000 has good color gamut, a bit wider than the predecessor MU8000. Although like most of other TVs where it also hard to show deep greens, but overall, almost all of colors of HDR images in DCI P3 can be shown fairly accurate. Its wide color gamut might not as wide as what delivered by Samsung QLED TV lineups, but at least, a colorful scene of HDR images can be shown fairly good on the screen of NU8000. On the other hand, Color Volume of NU8000 is also fairly good for its class, a bit better than the predecessor MU8000. Although it cannot still show its wide color gamut in darker colors as good as moderate or brighter colors, but darker colors still can be shown fairly good. Overall, NU8000 is able to show its wide color gamut at its entire brightness range. Additionally, Samsung NU8000 also can process 10 bit depth of colors fairly well. The result, color gradient of HDR images that usually mastered in 10 bit depth of colors can be shown fairly smooth and clear. Like most other TVs, NU8000 might not able to show darker shades of colors as smooth as bright colors, but this should not be a serious issue that should be considered.
Side Viewing Angle
The use of VA panel might make NU8000 has excellent native contrast ratio and deep black level that also makes its dark room performance is excellent. But on the other hand, since poor side viewing angle becomes the major shortcoming of VA panel, this also makes the side viewing angle coverage of NU8000 is limited. At 20 degrees off center and front, color will shift and the color shift will be more striking from wider angle. Additionally, its black level even will start degrade at a narrower angle, make the blacks of images no longer look really black, even will tend to look grey. This means when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on its screen will degrade and doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the center and front. And the wider angle you are watching TV, the picture will look worse. But even so, as long as you don’t often watch movies from the side, this should not be a problem for you.
Motion Clarity and 24p Playback
As we know, one of the most major factors which have big impact on the performance of A TV in handling motion blur is the response time of its pixel. The lower pixel response time of A TV, motion blur will be more minimized. For this case, Samsung NU8000 has very fast pixel response time that means it is great. And maximized by its motion clarity technology called “Motion Rate 240” based native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, this certainly makes the picture displayed on the screen of NU8000 looks very smooth and clear when playing fast paced contents like sports or fast movies. Following fast moving object, there might be still motion blur, but it is only a very short ghosting trail where most people might not notice. Most of blur which may present precisely is more caused by unwanted duplications produced by the flicker of its backlight. You need to know, since it has local dimming technology, to dim the backlight, it uses PWM system with 240 Hz of frequency, makes flicker present at its entire brightness level. Flicker might be able to make fast motion scene looks a bit more clear, but on the other hand, this will cause unwanted duplication.
Meanwhile, the excepting to when playing 24p contents via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, Samsung NU8000 do a great job in removing the judder. No matter it is native 24p content like Blu-Ray or DVD movies, or movies from streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, and more, 24p contents via 60p signal like movies from streaming device such as Fire TV, Apple TV, or others, with a certain setting, NU8000 can remove the judder completely. To remove the judder completely without adding “Soap Opera Effect”, you just need to set “Auto Motion Plus” to “Custom”, “Blur Reduction” to”0”, and “Judder Reduction” to “0”. However, when playing 24p contents via 60i signals like movies, with the same picture setting, judder cannot be removed. Fortunately, most people don’t sensitive judder, so, this should not be a problem when it is playing normal contents.
Like the predecessor MU8000, Samsung NU8000 also equipped with 4 HDMI ports as its major connectivity. All of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2, CEC, and HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth, while which supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) is just HDMI 4. Meanwhile, about USB ports, it has 2 USB ports only, a bit less than the number of USB ports of MU8000. A bit disadvantages than the competitors, NU8000 doesn’t has USB 3.0. In Addition to HDMI and USB ports, it is also equipped with RF In (Antenna In), Ethernet, Digital Audio Out (optical), and built-in Wi-Fi supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Like the predecessor, NU8000 doesn’t have Composite (AV) In and Component In. The difference to the predecessor, now NU8000 no longer use “One Connect Box” and all of its inputs/outputs are installed on the rear panel.
On the other hand, overall, Samsung NU8000 has excellent input lags in “PC Mode” and “Game Mode”, lower than the predecessor. No matter at 1080p or 4K source, its input lags are below 20 ms that means it is great. No matter you are playing 4K games or 1080p games, causal games or fast paced game, it allows you to play them responsively without feels laggy. Combined to its good motion handling, excellent images retentions, and good picture quality, this certainly makes NU8000 as a good option for games.
As its smart TV platform, Samsung NU8000 is featuring Tizen OS version 2018 which powered by a quad core processor. In term of the “Interface”, there are no many changes compared to the previous version. The apps are very-well organized, makes navigation is simple. Like the previous version, at the bottom across the screen, there is a “strip bar” contains a lot of shortcut of features, inputs, and most useful apps. Once you highlight one of them, a pop-up menu will appear above, contains most popular contents or advanced options of the feature. As example, when you are highlighting “Netflix” app, most popular videos will appear on a pop-up menu, while when you are highlight inputs, the inputs options will appear on pop-up menu. On other hand, its performance is also fairly fast. When you launch an app, it will open quickly and although its animation is often choppy, but it is rarely lag. Like other smart TV platform, Tizen OS also provides a lot of pre-installed apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Videos, Web browser, and Live TV, Cloud Games, and many more. Additionally, although not as many as what provide Google Play Store, there is also Samsung apps store provides tons of downloadable apps, contents games. The new feature offered, now Tizen OS comes with Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant, allow you to do more with your voice command.
As the controller, NU8000 comes with Samsung Smart Controller, similar to what used by the predecessor MU8000 other models. The remote is fairly small and only has a few buttons, it even doesn’t equipped with “0-9” buttons. The limited buttons of its remote forcing you to either navigate through the home menu or Bixby Voice assistant to access a thing. However, on the other hand, with Bixby Voice Assistant, it has excellent voice navigation that can do a lot of useful actions. Additionally, the advantage that offered, this remote is not only able to control other devices support CEC that connected via HDMI ports, but with a feature named “Samsung OneRemote”, you can also control some functions of other devices don’t support HDMI CEC with this remote.
Overall, Samsung NU8000 brings some little improvement over the predecessor MU8000. It has strong native contrast ratio, deep black level, good colors rendition, and bright peak brightness, allows it to show good picture quality, no matter the light condition of a room where it used. Additionally, although it cannot remove the “blooming” as good as the higher models or it cannot show highlight of HDR images like what recommended by UHD alliance, but for its class, HDR performance of NU8000 is also fairly good. Meanwhile, performance of other features like motion handling, 24p playback, 4K Up-scaling, input lags are also excellent for its class, make it is as a good TV for any usage, whether for watching movies, TV Shows, sports, play games, or more. The only major drawback of NU8000 is limited side viewing angle coverage that makes its picture quality will look degrade when viewed from a side angle. But for you who don’t often watch TV from an angle, this will be a good TV fro you who searching a mid-range TV with affordable price but has good picture quality and performance for any usage.
Should I but this TV? As long as you don’t often watch TV from the side and considering picture quality and performance offered, this TV might be a good option for you who have limited budgets. But for you who often watch TV or play games with a group of your family or friend where they usually watch TV from multiple angles, you should go to other TVs which use IPS panel.
Compared to the competitors
Samsung NU8000 vs MU8000
Samsung MU8000 is the predecessor of NU8000. But since NU8000 bring some additional features and some improvements on almost all aspect of picture quality, this certainly makes quality of the picture and performance of some features of NU8000 is better than the predecessor MU8000. But even so, what offered by MU8000 is not far behind NU8000. The advantage that offered, since it is an older model its existence has been supplanted by NU8000, this makes its price has dropped and priced hundreds dollar cheaper than NU8000. If you want a cheaper TV with performance is not far different to NU8000, Samsung MU8000 might be a good alternative for you. But keep in mind, it is a 2017 model and not a 2018 model. For more details picture quality and performance offered by MU8000, please click here.
Samsung NU8000 vs Sony X850F
Sony X850F is a mid-range TV of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR LED TV lineup. With the same screen size, it is priced almost similar to NU8000. But unlike NU8000 that use VA Panel, X850F comes with IPS panel. Its picture quality might not as good as NU8000 since it has low native contrast ratio and its color gamut is not as wide as NU8000. Additionally, since its native contrast ratio is low, this TV is not suitable when used in a dark room. Meanwhile, in term of performance of the other aspects, NU8000 and X850F have advantages and disadvantages then each other. Its pixel response time is bit lower than NU8000 while its input lags are not as low as NU8000. Nevertheless, overall, in term of performance of other aspects, their difference is not too striking. The major advantages that offered, X850F has better side viewing angle coverage. For you who often watch TV with a group of your family where they usually watch TV from multiples angles, X850F might be a better alternative for you.
Samsung NU8000 vs Sony X900F
Sony X900F is also a part of mid-range model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR TV lineup, one level above X850F. With the same screen, Sony X900F is sold hundreds dollar more expensive thanNU8000. Like NU8000, X900F also uses VA panel that course makes its viewing angle coverage is limited. X900F might have a bit better contrast ratio, color gamut, color gradient and other aspects of picture quality, but the striking advantage that offered, it has excellent peak brightness that it can show highlights of HDR images or bright scene brighter than NU8000. Additionally, since it has Full Array Local Dimming, it also can reduce the “blooming” around highlight of HDR images better than NU8000. On the other hand, it has a drawback on its input lags where its input lags is too high at 1080p source, make it is a bit disappointing when used to play fast paced 1080p games. But Overall, picture quality and HDR performance is better than Samsung NU8000. So, if you come for HDR performance, Sony X900F is better alternative for you. But as mentioned, to get it, you must spend hundreds dollar more of your money. For more details performance and picture quality offered by X900F, please click here.
- Excellent contrast and blcak level
- Excellent Low input lags
- Excellent Motion Handling
- Side Viewing Angle is limited
- Mediocre HDR Peak Brightness