Samsung Q80T series (2020) review: Premium design and picture, approachable price

    In 2020, Samsung’s TV lineup appears skewed greater than ever towards higher-end fashions: There are three collection with 8K decision, a bunch of way of life fashions akin to The Frame, The Sero and even a crazy-expensive out of doors tv referred to as The Terrace. Among comparatively “normal” TVs, the Q80T stands out. It’s not low cost, however it’s the least costly Samsung QLED TV to function full-array native dimming, which provides it a superb image.

    LikeExcellent general picture qualitySuperior stylingWide vary of sizesNumerous options, voice choices

    Don’t LikeCostlier than competing TVs with comparable image high quality

    The Q80T’s huge brother, the Q90T, additionally has FALD and I count on it to carry out even higher, however as soon as once more there’s a difficulty with worth. In the 55- and 65-inch sizes the Q90T prices principally the identical as my favourite high-end TV for 2020, the OLED-powered LG CX, and in my expertise the OLED can have a greater image general. That places the Q80T in roughly the identical price-to-performance candy spot because the Sony X900H, the Vizio P-Series and TCL 6-Series.I in contrast all 4 in my basement TV lab side-by-side and the Samsung Q80T was certainly wonderful, however regardless of costing greater than the opposite three, it did not put out a greater image. Instead its power lies in design, with sleeker appears, a superb distant and, sure, that Samsung nameplate. Like the others it is also well-suited to pair with an Xbox Series X or PS5 because of variable refresh price functionality and 4K/120Hz enter. 

    If you might have your coronary heart set on a Samsung, you need an excellent image and you do not have cash to burn, the Q80T is fairly candy. But should you’re brand-agnostic, the Vizio and TCL are each higher values.

    Sleekness from the stand upWhen you pay slightly additional for a Samsung you count on superior design, and the Q80T delivers. The most blatant improve is the stand: Samsung makes use of a central pedestal, which to my eye appears lots sleeker than the 2 separate legs to both facet that the majority new TVs make use of. The base is a single slab of steel, flush towards the tabletop. An angled chunk of steel and plastic helps the panel, creating a pleasant floaty impact.Black with a minimal body across the picture, the Q80T additionally has a textured bottom and a cable administration system that permits you to channel energy and HDMI from their ports by way of the stand, making for a cleaner look.

    David Katzmaier/CNET
    Samsung’s clicker can be amongst my favorites, with minimal buttons and simply the best really feel in-hand. Channel and quantity keys click on up and down, Ambient mode will get its personal button as does the mic for voice, and even the Netflix and Amazon app shortcut keys are nicer than on different remotes: They lack garish colours and as a substitute simply match the remainder of the wand.Ambient mode is designed to point out stuff on the display once you’re not watching TV. It’s a cool function should you do not like the massive black rectangle of an inert TV, and may show your photographs, designer artwork, the climate, headlines and even alter backgrounds to match your wall.
    David Katzmaier/CNET
    Alexa and Google be a part of BixbySamsung’s homebrew Bixby voice assistant is constructed into the Q80T, as you’d count on, however new for 2020 you may select the overwhelmingly more-popular Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant as a substitute. You can choose between the three within the menus and whichever one you select will likely be obtainable once you press the mic button on the clicker. Alternately you may set the distant’s mic to hear for the “Alexa” or “Hey, Google” wake phrases, permitting you to challenge instructions hands-free (it labored nicely so long as I stayed comparatively near the distant). And like most TVs you may also pair the Q80T with separate Alexa or Google audio system. 
    David Katzmaier/CNET
    Beyond voice, Samsung’s on-screen sensible TV system is great, with fast responses and loads of apps, and I’d take it over LG or Vizio’s techniques. I nonetheless like Roku and Android TV (discovered on Sony TVs) higher general, nonetheless, as a result of they’ve much more apps. Just like most TVs now (together with Roku), Samsung has the Apple TV app and works with Apple’s AirPlay system.Full-fledged options and HDMI connectivityFull-array native dimming units the Q80T aside from cheaper Samsung TVs. This know-how, which improves LCD picture high quality considerably in our expertise, boosts black ranges and distinction by ensuring areas of the image dimmer or brighter in response to what’s on the display. The step-up Q90T and the corporate’s 8K fashions have extra dimming zones and brighter pictures than the Q80T, however Samsung does not say precisely what number of zones every has. Key options

    Display know-how


    LED backlight

    Full array with native dimming



    HDR appropriate

    HDR10, HDR10+

    Smart TV



    Standard voice

    Like all of Samsung QLED TVs, in addition to most higher-end TVs from Vizio and TCL, the Q80T’s LCD panel is augmented by a layer of quantum dots — microscopic nanocrystals that glow a selected wavelength (i.e. shade) when given power. The impact is healthier brightness and shade in comparison with non-QD-equipped TVs. The Q80T makes use of a real 120Hz panel, which improves the TVs’ movement efficiency, however as normal the “Motion Rate 240” specification is made up (notice that the 49- and 50-inch sizes are 60Hz/MR 120).The set helps excessive dynamic vary content material within the HDR10 and the HDR10 Plus codecs. It lacks the Dolby Vision HDR help discovered on most rivals’ HDR TVs. I’ve seen no proof that one HDR format is inherently “better” than the opposite, so I positively do not think about lack of Dolby Vision a deal-breaker on this TV — as a substitute it is only one extra issue to think about.Gaming options are one of many Q80T’s robust factors. It’s appropriate with variable refresh price, in addition to the FreeSync and G-synch VRR codecs, obtainable from units together with choose PCs, the Xbox Series X and PS5, though the latter does not help VRR but. The Q80T additionally accepts 4K/120Hz enter on HDMI 4, which is conveniently marked with slightly recreation controller icon. The TV helps Auto Game Mode too, which lets it robotically swap to recreation mode to scale back enter lag when it detects you are enjoying a recreation. (Note that the 49- and 50-inch sizes lack 4K/120Hz enter and VRR.)
    David Katzmaier/CNET
    4x HDMI inputs2x USB portsEthernet (LAN) portOptical digital audio outputRF (antenna) enterRemote (RS-232) port (EX-LINK)This record is generally strong, until you occur to personal a legacy gadget that requires analog video (element or composite) or audio. The Q80T is among the few TVs that does not at the least provide one analog enter, audio or video.Picture high quality comparisonsClick the picture above for image settings and HDR notes.
    David Katzmaier/CNET
    The Q80T is a superb performer general, with good native dimming and distinction, wonderful brightness, shade and video processing. It fell wanting the black ranges and brightness of some less-expensive TVs, such because the Vizio P-Series and TCL 6 collection, particularly with HDR materials, however confirmed much less blooming and a barely cleaner picture, incomes the identical rating of 8 (Excellent) on this class. I most popular the Vizio and TCL general for picture high quality and preferred the Sony X900H a bit much less, however all 4 occupy the identical common airplane.Click the picture above to see the image settings used within the assessment and to learn extra about how this TV’s image controls labored throughout calibration.

    Dim lighting: I began with the excellent-looking Blu-ray of Parasite. In brighter scenes the Samsung typically matched the picture high quality of the others — all 4 have been wonderful general. Differences emerged in darker scenes, for instance throughout Park Dong-ik’s journey at the back of the automobile in Chapter 4. The TCL and the Vizio each confirmed darker, extra lifelike “black” within the shadows and letterbox bars, with much less bleed from vibrant areas into darkish, in comparison with the Sony and Samsung. The latter two have been shut, however the Samsung has a slight edge over the Sony. The variations weren’t drastic — all 4 TVs have superb black ranges and distinction — however nonetheless seen side-by-side.Here’s the place I point out an uncommon factor Samsung did with settings, which I preferred. The Brightness management handles backlight stage however there’s an extra Shadow Detail slider underneath Gamma (the place it needs to be) that controls precisely that (and does loads of the identical work as a normal Brightness/black stage setting). According to my measurements it does what it claims: boosts brightness at low ranges (5% to 20%) as you creep up. The default “0” setting is probably the most correct however cranking it up did reveal extra, sure, particulars just like the automobile seat cushions and ground of Parks automobile grew to become extra seen.Bright lighting: These days TVs simply appear to be getting brighter however the Q80T is an exception, measuring dimmer than many TVs at its stage together with the TCL, Vizio P and Sony, and even barely dimmer than the Q70 from 2019. It’s nonetheless vibrant sufficient for nearly any room, nonetheless, and has loads of punch to make HDR look impactful.Light output in nits


    Brightest (SDR)

    Accurate shade (SDR)

    Brightest (HDR)

    Accurate shade (HDR)

    Hisense H9G





    TCL 65R635





    Sony XBR-65X900H





    Vizio P65Q9-H1





    Hisense 65R8F





    Samsung QN65Q80T





    Vizio M65Q7-H1










    Don’t let the excessive rating in Dynamic idiot you. Aside from being woefully inaccurate, it fluctuated fairly a bit, beginning out at over 1,200 nits however falling virtually instantly to round 300. Most different TVs do not present such dramatic fall-off, and not one of the Q80T’s different modes did both. For the Accurate measurements in SDR I used the Natural image mode together with the Warm shade temperature setting (the default temperature for Natural is kind of blue). I favor Vizio and TCL’s method of a devoted, correct bright-room image mode.Unlike earlier Samsung TVs I’ve examined the Q80T did not excel at dealing with ambient gentle. In a vibrant room all the TVs in my lineup have been higher at lowering the brightness of reflections to protect the constancy of the picture. The distinction wasn’t huge however positively noticeable in darkish areas of program materials.Color accuracy: The Samsung’s Filmmaker Mode and Movie modes are each correct earlier than calibration however I favor the previous as a result of it disables most video processing by default (see beneath). After calibration, as anticipated, it was wonderful. During Parasite, colours just like the inexperienced lettuce and crimson kimchi within the cafeteria in Chapter 4, in addition to the pores and skin tones of the household as they eat, appeared pure and well-balanced. Then once more so did the opposite shows — it was troublesome to see any actual shade variations even side-by-side with non-HDR colours. Video processing: As normal the Samsung aced my checks on this class, delivering true 1080p/24 movie cadence with film-based sources and loads of movement decision (1,000 traces) with video-based sources. The TV achieved each outcomes with a Picture Clarity setting of Custom with Blur Reduction at 10 and Judder Reduction at 0, so if I had this TV I’d “set it and forget it” proper there. Note that Filmmaker Mode’s default setting is to show Picture Clarity off, which ends up in much less movement decision, however you may alter it to style.You can even add extra smoothing or cleaning soap opera impact by growing Judder Reduction or selecting Auto as a substitute of Custom. Meanwhile the LED Clear Motion choice makes movement even sharper with the assistance of black body insertion, on the expense of flicker and a dimmer picture.Samsung continues its custom of fantastic enter lag in recreation mode with a rating simply over 14 milliseconds with each 1080p and 4K HDR sources.Uniformity: With demanding, full-field check patterns the Q80T’s display was fairly uniform, with more-even lighting from edge to edge than the Vizio, whose sides appeared barely darkish, and barely less-even lighting than the TCL. With program materials I noticed the identical minor challenge on the Vizio whereas the others have been very comparable (notice that uniformity can range from pattern to pattern). From off-angle the Samsung was the very best LCD TV I’ve examined, sustaining shade constancy, brightness and distinction higher than the others. 

    HDR and 4K video: With excessive dynamic vary sources the variations between the 4 TVs grew to become extra obvious, and the Vizio and TCL appeared barely higher than the Sony and the Samsung general. The Q80T’s highlights appeared a bit dimmer than the others, together with the Sony, whereas its black ranges have been lighter and fewer lifelike than the TCL and Vizio, it is distinction did beat the Sony’s.Watching the Spears and Munsil HDR benchmark’s check montage, the ferris wheel at evening (4:51) was a superb instance, with a barely gray-blue solid to the sky, and fewer pop within the lights on the Q80T. It nonetheless appeared nice, with loads of punch and distinction I count on from HDR, however subsequent to the TCL and Vizio it did not convey fairly the identical sense of realism — though it appeared higher general then the Sony.Brighter scenes, just like the closeups of flowers and bugs (3:26), confirmed much less of a distinction however the Samsung nonetheless appeared very barely dimmer than the TCL and Vizio, an impression backed up by spot measurements of my gentle meter. Colors have been crisp and vibrant, nonetheless, and the orange of the monarch butterfly for instance appeared a bit deeper and extra saturated than the TCL, if not fairly as highly effective because the Vizio.  The Samsung and Sony had one benefit throughout the montage nonetheless: they have been barely cleaner than the TCL and Vizio within the first fade up from black to a vibrant sky. The latter two confirmed faint, delicate banding within the sky because the picture brightened, whereas the 2 “S” TVs did not. Another benefit: The Q80T was the very best among the many three at controlling blooming, so stray illumination wasn’t a difficulty even in troublesome blended bright-and-dark scenes. One main cause, I believe, was its less-aggressive brightness in comparison with the extra blooming-prone TCL and Vizio.Switching over to Parasite in HDR, the Samsung’s picture held up higher than earlier than because of its capacity to manage blooming and preserve black ranges (on the expense of brightness). During the darkish Chapter 4 automobile journey, for instance, the Q80T’s black ranges have been darkest and it confirmed much less stray illumination within the passing streetlights. On the opposite hand these lights and different vibrant spots have been extra sensible on the TCL and Vizio, and each uncovered extra shadow element than the Samsung — whereas the Sony had the very best shadow element and the worst distinction. I nonetheless ended up preferring the TCL and Vizio general, however the Samsung was a lot nearer.In brighter scenes the place blooming is much less seen the superior gentle output of the opposite TVs shined gave them extra attribute HDR punch, significantly in highlights just like the solar as TK approaches the home in Chapter 3. The Samsung nonetheless appeared sensible, saturated and spectacular, however the TCL and Vizio appeared only a notch more-so in my side-by-side comparability.Geek Box




    Black luminance (0%)



    Peak white luminance (SDR)



    Avg. gamma (10-100%)



    Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)



    Dark grey error (30%)



    Bright grey error (80%)



    Avg. shade checker error



    Avg. saturation sweeps error



    Avg. shade error



    Red error



    Green error



    Blue error



    Cyan error



    Magenta error



    Yellow error



    1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)



    Motion decision (max)



    Motion decision (dejudder off)



    Input lag (Game mode)




    Black luminance (0%)



    Peak white luminance (10% win)



    Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976)



    ColorMatch HDR error



    Avg. shade checker error



    Input lag (Game mode, 4K HDR)



    Samsung QN65Q80T CNET revie… by David KatzmaierPortrait Displays Calman calibration software program was used on this assessment. 

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