Samsung Q8C Review (QN55Q8C, QN65Q8C, QN75Q8C)
Samsung Q8C is the mid-range model of Samsung’s 2017 4K HDR QLED TV, sit between Q9 and Q7 Series. In accordance with the suffix “C” on its name that means curved, Q8C comes with curved panel. In the market, it is released with 3 screen sizes option available including 55 Inch (QN55Q8C), 65 Inch (QN65Q8C), and 75 Inch (QN75Q8C). As the premium model of Samsung’s 2017 4K TV lineup, it certainly has excellent picture quality and great performance on some features that offered. One of the mainstay technologies behind it is about Samsung’s advanced quantum dot technology, that makes its color gamut coverage is including the widest. And with all features and great performance that offered, it is sold in price range $2500 – $5000, depending on its screen sizes. Nevertheless, its prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what features that offered and how is its performance as the whole?
Technology and Features
Like most of TVS which released in 2017, Samsung Q8C is also still focused on HDR. For processing HDR images, it is powered by 4K HDR Elite engine. But unlike premium TV from other manufacturers like Sony X930E or LG OLED C7 where they already supports Dolby Vision, Q8C doesn’t support Dolby Vision and only support HDR 10 format and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). Nevertheless, it comes with Ultra HD Premium Certification by UHD alliance which ensures you can enjoy HDR 10 videos fully like what intended. As we know, in 2017, there are a lot of TVs which carry HDR technology, but only a few TVs which able to show HDR images fully like what intended.
For delivering amazing picture quality on its screen, Samsung Q8C is powered by the number of Samsung’s most advanced technologies. On its panel, it uses VA panel technology with Edge-Lit Backlight and Local Dimming Technology called “Precision Black Pro”. Meanwhile, for maximizing its contrast ratio and black level, there are Supreme UHD Dimming, Ultra Black, Q 4K Elite Black, and Auto Depth Enhancer behind it. Otherwise, for maximizing its peak luminance and its performance when used in bright room, there are Ultra Clear Panel and Peak Illuminator Pro technology. Additionally, as we have mentioned, one the major advantages offered by Q8C is about its excellent rendition of colors. With Samsung’s advanced Quantum dot technology that driven by Q 4K Color Drive Elite, this make Q8C has excellent rendition of color with nearly perfect DCI P3 color space coverage. Combination of all of these technologies makes Q8C has strong native contrast ratio, bright peak brightness, and excellent rendition of color makes the picture displayed on their screen looks absolutely amazing, no matter the light condition of the room where you set it. Additionally, all of these technologies also make all of the visual specs of Q8C meet the minimum standardization set by UHD alliance to get the Ultra HD Premium Certification. As we know, UHD alliance issued this certificate to distinguish which TV that can show HDR 10 images fully or not. But unfortunately, since it uses VA panel this certainly makes it has limited side viewing angle. This means, when you watch TV from an angle, the picture displayed on its screen doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the front and center of the screen.
In addition to excellent picture quality, some features of Samsung Q8C also have great performance. It has great motion handling when playing fast moving images thanks to the combination of Motion rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel and its extremely low inputs lag. Additionally, Samsung Q8C also has an ability to remove the judder at any source when used for watching 24p movies. For connecting with other device, it is equipped with 4 HDMI ports with low input lags and 3 USB ports, enough to cover most of your electronic devices. Meanwhile, as its smart TV platform, Samsung Q8C features Tizen 2017 that offer simple, attractive and responsive smart TV experience with a l// interesting apps provided. And for delivery impressive sound quality, it is equipped with 4.2 channel speaker system with 60 watts sound outputs.
Samsung Q8C key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||55 Inch (QN55Q8C), 65 Inch (QN65Q8C), 75 Inch (QN75Q8C)|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Precision Black Pro)|
|Picture Engine||Q Engine|
|Dimming Technology||Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Depth Enhancer Technology||Auto Depth Enhancing|
|Peak Illuminator||Yes (Pro)|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Yes|
|Black Technology||Q | 4K Elite Black|
|Color Technology||Q | 4K Color Drive Elite (Quantum Dot)|
|HDR||Q | 4K HDR Elite|
|HDR Format||HDR 10 and HLG (via upcoming software update)|
|4K Up-scaling||UHD Up-Scaling|
|Motion Technology||Motion Rate 240|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Yes|
|Platform||Tizen OS 2017|
|Key Apps||Full Browser, Cloud Games, Smart View, and more|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1790A)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Built In Wi-Fi||Yes|
|Speaker Type||Front Firing|
|Total Power||60 watts|
|Sound Effect||DTS Premium Sound 5.1|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
Samsung Q8C Performance
Overall, Samsung Q8C has very good picture quality and its picture quality is similar to Q7C or Q7F, but it has brighter peak brightness than them. Although not as good as OLED TV or some other model of LED TVS, its native contrast ratio is excellent, makes it is able to produce very deep black level. Since it has very deep black level and combine to its good dark uniformity, this certainly makes its dark room performance is also fairly good. As we know, in a dark room, the effect of high native contrast ratio is very sensitive where TVs with low contrast ratio will not be able to show the black color look black. Nevertheless, since Samsung Q8C has strong native contrast ratio, this certainly is not a problem for Q8C. Its deep black level is quite dark to show dark scene of SDR images very well with a lot of details, makes dark scene of images looks excellently. Additionally, it also dark enough to reveal details of HDR images, makes shadow details of HDR images can be shown excellently like what intended.
Meanwhile, discussing about its peak luminance, Samsung Q8C has varied peak brightness, depending on the source. Nevertheless, overall, although not as bright as the brighter TV like Sony X930E or Z9D, its peak brightness is still quite bright to fight the glare, even in a room with very bright indoor light or sunny windows. And paired to its good reflections handling, this makes the picture displayed looks consistently well when set in a bright room. On the other hand, the local dimming of Q8C might not work fairly well when improving the contrast ratio, but it is very effective to brighten small area so looks brighter more than the larger areas, makes highlights of HDR images of HDR images looks fairly bright. Additionally, since it can reach more than 1000 nits of peak brightness, of course it can show highlight of HDR images like what intended. As we know, for displaying highlight of HDR images fully like what intended, UHD alliance as the developer of HDR 10 format has set 1000 nits as the minimum recommendation that should be meet by a HDR TV.
One of the advantages of Samsung Q8C as a part of Samsung QLED TV is about its color reproduction where its color gamut is including the widest among TVs in 2017. With Samsung’s advanced quantum dot panel that supported by Q 4K Color Drive Elite technology, this makes Q8C can deliver nearly perfect color gamut in DCI P3 color space. This means, almost colors in DCI P3 color space can be shown properly by Q8. Additionally, it also can cover colors in Rec.2020 color space fairly well. If most of modern TVs struggle to show deep green fairly saturated, Samsung Q8C has no issue when showing this color. The result, color of the picture displayed on the screen of Q8C looks very accurate, even when it is displaying HDR images that mastered in wide color gamut. Additionally, its color volume is also including the best. Although it cannot show very dark color as saturated as OLED TVs due its black level is not as dark as OLED TV, but overall, it can produce saturated color in its entire brightness range. This certainly makes the color of the picture can be shown properly, no matter it is displaying dark scene or bright scene. Still about its color performance, Samsung Q8C also has excellent color gradient. Some little imperfection might still be visible in darker colors when it is showing 10 bit color of HDR images, but overall. Its color gradient looks very smooth.
Combination of high native contrast ratio, good dark uniformity, bright peak brightness, good reflection handling, and excellent renditions of color make the picture displayed on the screen of Q8C looks absolutely amazing and Its HDR performance is great, no matter the light condition of a room where it is used. Its picture quality even is including the best in 2017. But unfortunately, since it uses VA panel where poor side viewing angle coverage becomes the major drawback of this technology, this certainly also makes its side viewing angle coverage is limited. This means when viewed from an angle, the picture looks degraded and doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the front and center. The use of curved panel even cannot significantly improve its side viewing angle coverage like IPS TV. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be a problem for you. Additionally, all of the competitors that use VA panel also have the same problem, so it is not alone.
Meanwhile, for anticipating the many lower resolution contents which available in the market, Samsung Q8C is equipped with UHD Up-scaling Engine that has great performance. The result, no matter the resolution of the source, the picture looks sharp and clear in 4K resolution. Even when the source is low resolution videos like DVD movies with 480p resolution, the final image in 4K resolution displayed doesn’t looks too soft without loss of details on edges. Additionally, when the source is 720p videos like movies from Satellite TV, the picture displayed looks more detailed. And when the source is 1080p videos like movies from Blu Ray Player, the final images in 4K resulted is sharper with a lot of details are preserved well.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
For delivering smooth and clear picture quality when it is used for watching fast moving images like sports program or fast movies, Samsung Q8C is powered by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Combined to its extremely low pixel responsive time, this makes the picture displayed looks very smooth and clear with less motion blur noticeable. As the motion blur, there is only a short trail following fast moving object where most o people might not notice about that. Compare to other LED TVs, its performance even can be said the best for LED TVs. Meanwhile, when used for playing 24p movies, Samsung Q8C also offers great performance. No matter the sources, whether it is 24p videos like Blu Ray Movies, 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from Satellite TV, or even 24p videos vie 60p signal like movies from Streaming devices, all of them are shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free. Combined to its amazing picture quality, this certainly makes Q8C is a great TV when used for watching movies. Additionally, since Q8C has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, this certainly also makes it is able to interpolate both 60 fps and 30 fps videos fairly well.
Like most of premium TVs which available in the market, Samsung Q8C is also equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports as its major connectivity. Its HDMI ports already support most of formats like HDCP 2.2, CEC, Audio return Channel, and more. IN addition to HDMI and USB, there are also 1 Ethernet, 1 RF In (Terrestrial), and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). But since it doesn’t have Component IN and Composite In (AV IN), if you want connect your old devices where these AV IN or Component IN as their major connectivity, you need an external adapter that you can buy separately. The other difference to TVs from other manufacturers, most of their inputs/outputs are located on separated box called “One Connect Box”. Meanwhile, discussing about its input lag, Samsung Q8C has excellent low input lag at any source under “Game Mode” and “PC Mode’. Its input lag is similar to all other models Samsung’s 2017 TV or LG’s 2017 OLED TV, or even better than most of Sony’s 2017 TV. With about 20 ms – 25 ms of input lag, this is quite low to play any kind of game so feel responsively and not laggy, even for fast paced games which require fast reflexes.
Like all other model of Samsung’s 2017 TV lineup, Samsung Q8C also features Tizen OS 2017 as its smart TV platform and powered by a fast quad core processor. Compared to last year model, there is an overhaul on its design where in this model, it comes with white theme and nicer animation, make its appearance is nicer. Nevertheless, it is still very easy to use with a simple navigation. The core of Tizen OS is the Smart Hub where on its home screen, there is a ribbon contains quick access to many popular and important apps and features, allow you to launch them without leaving the home screen. Additionally, with the support of a fast quad core processor and a decent memory, this makes its performance is fast and responsive. Once you launch an app, it will open quickly. Additionally, switching between opened apps also feels very responsively. Meanwhile, talking about apps provided, it comes with a lot of preinstalled apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web browser, Live TV, and many more. There is also Samsung’s apps store that provides tons of interesting and useful apps where you can directly download then from your TV.
As its controller, Samsung Q8C comes with Samsung Smart Remote like what used by other model of Samsung QLED TV. In functionality, it is actually is similar to the remote which used by the lower series like MU9000 or MU8000. That distinguishes, its material is made of metal with very well design, make it look very elegant. This remote is very simple and only has few buttons, there are even no number buttons and some common user setting buttons. But as the instead, it is equipped with built in microphone and excellent voice command that allows you to make a setting, change the channel, and many more with your voice. The other interesting feature that offered, it can be functioned as a universal remote for controlling other device connected to your TV via HDMI Ports.
Overall, Samsung Q8C has excellent picture quality and great HDR performance. It even comes with Ultra HD Premium Certification that ensures it can show HDR images fully like what intended. On the other hand, the one of major advantages that offered is about its color reproduction where its color gamut is including the widest while its color volume is also including the best. With Samsung’s advanced quantum dot panel technology, its color gamut can cover nearly perfect colors in DCI P3 color space. IN addition to excellent picture quality, the number of features that offered also have great performance, makes it is as a good TV for mixed usage. The only major drawback of Q8C is about its limited viewing angle coverage. Nevertheless, since all VA TVs also have same problem, this certainly not a serious problem for Q8C.
Should I buy this TV? Although it has excellent picture quality and some features with great performance, but its price is not also cheap. Compared to the lower series Q7C that also comes with curved panel or Q7F that comes with flat panel and sold hundreds dollar cheaper, performance that offered is not far difference, except it comes with metal back panel that makes it look more elegant and steadier audio performance. Now the decision comes back to you. If you don’t mind to spend hundreds dollar more to get the advantage offered by Q8C over lower series Q7C or Q7F, it might be a good option for you.
- Exceptional Rendition of Color
- Strong Native Contrast Ratio and Good Black Uniformity
- Good Motion Handling
- Low Input Lag
- Certified by Ultra HD Premium Certification
- Attractive and responsive Smart TV Platform
- Limited Side Viewing Angle