Samsung AU8000 4K HDR TV Review
UN65AU8000 2160p 60Hz Smart LED/LCD TV
Product Name: AU8000
Product Description: 8 Series | Crystal Processor 4K | Dynamic Crystal Color | Tizen smart TV OS | Motion Xcelerator | Filmmaker Mode | ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
See full review below
Model year: 2021
Screen size reviewed: 65”
Bottom Line: The UN65AU8000 is a decent 4K TV delivering picture quality that I found to be an eye-pleasing event for an entry-level TV with the exception of HDR content. It’s also a decent TV for gaming due to very low input lag and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), however, it doesn’t support advanced gaming features such as VRR or 4K @120Hz. The AU8000 is a value-packed TV and is a good choice for anyone looking to make the most of a limited budget.
With stand: (W x H x D) 57.1″ x 34.4″ x 11.1″
Without stand: (W x H x D) 57.1″ x 32.7″ x 1″
With stand: 48.1 lbs.
Without stand: 46.1 lbs.
Warranty: One year parts and labor
- Admirable performing 4K TV in the areas of detail, clarity, contrast, black levels and color rendering
- Decent gaming TV due to its very low input lag, ALLM
- Tizen Smart TV OS
- Contrast and color saturation loss at wide viewing angles
- Limited HDR peak brightness
- No wide color gamut for HDR content
- Motion blur may be visible with some fast action content
Samsung’s only entry-level model for 2021 at the time of this writing is the AU8000. Outside of the United States the AU7000 and AU9000 are available in certain countries. I don’t have any info on whether or not the other models will be released in the US. I will update this article if any info becomes available.
The AU8000 replaces last year’s TU8000 and is available in 43”, 50” 55”, 65”, 75” and 85” screen sizes.
Design & Features
The AU8000’s sleek and slim design which Samsung refers to as AirSlim provides an ultra-thin panel profile that measures slightly over 1” in depth. To further enhance its minimalist appearance; the semi-gloss screen is surrounded by very thin bezels which gives the TV a more aesthetically pleasing look.
The feet snap into the bottom of the panel quickly and easily and allow for two mounting positions – the high or elevated position will allow for a soundbar to be placed in front of the TV, whereas the lower position gives the TV a low profile appearance. The stand (feet) provides very good stability for the TV.
The AU8000 is made entirely of plastic, including the feet, and feels and appears to be solidly constructed especially for an entry-level design.
The TV’s VA panel uses an edge-lit LED backlight design to illuminate the TVs screen. It does not have LED local dimming which would have increased its contrast and black level performance.
- Crystal Processor 4K with UHD upscaling
- Dynamic Crystal Color
- HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range formats supported
- Motion Xcelerator for better motion control and reduced motion blur (60Hz refresh rate)
- Filmmaker Mode automatically adjusts picture settings to preserve the director’s intent
- ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) automatically optimizes the screen and minimizes input lag, giving you better control during your game play
- Tizen smart TV OS (6.0)
- Samsung TV Plus offers over 100+ free live channels covering top news, sports, entertainment, and more
- Built-in Bixby, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa voice control assistants
- Apple AirPlay 2 allows wireless streaming from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac
- Object Tracking Sound Lite helps locate sounds where they appear on-screen
- The redesigned Smart remote with voice control has a minimal button layout with quick access buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Samsung TV Plus. The remote requires two AAA batteries and doesn’t have the solar charging capability as Samsung’s QLED models.
- 3 HDMI 2.0b inputs – HDCP 2.3 compatible (No HDMI 2.1 support)
- 1 Digital optical output
- 2 USB 2.0 inputs
- 1 Ethernet port
- 1 RF input for antenna/cable signals
- 802.11ac built-in Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a compatible speaker or set of headphones
- Bluetooth connectivity (ver. 4.2)
- eARC – HDMI input #2
Note: For the most accurate picture quality use the “Movie” picture mode. However, if you find this setting a bit too dim for your liking, try the “Natural” picture mode setting which will give you a more dynamic and vibrant picture without appearing harsh.
The AU8000 is a decent 4K TV and delivered good overall picture quality with a few exceptions in certain areas of performance.
First, what I liked. With 4K content, the AU8000 provided sharp and detailed image quality. Image clarity was also good and provided good image depth and transparency.
Color depth and vibrancy were good for an entry-level TV. Out of box color accuracy was pleasing but will be much improved if you choose to get the AU8000 calibrated. But rest assured, you don’t have to get this TV calibrated to produce a good color palette. Colors were also well saturated and appeared natural to my eyes. I must also mention this TV doesn’t have a wide color gamut; a wide color gamut determines how many colors a TV can display when watching HDR content.
The AU8000 has a very good contrast ratio, which means black levels will appear deep in a dark viewing environment. But as I mentioned earlier, this TV does not have local dimming capability which would have further improved contrast and black level performance.
Motion handling was generally smooth and artifact-free with most content I viewed. However, since this TV only has a 60Hz panel you may experience some motion artifacts such as judder with 60p and 60i content. Furthermore, since the AU8000 has a slow response time you may experience some motion blur with fast action content.
Input lag for gaming is very good and is approximately 10.0 ms for a 1080p @ 60Hz signal and 11.0 ms for a 4K @ 60Hz signal.
Performance areas that could have been better on the AU8000:
Black screen uniformity was decent on this display, but there was some slight clouding on certain areas of the screen. This can vary from unit to unit.
Gray screen uniformity better known as the “dirty screen” effect was clearly visible on this display when viewing a solid white background. This will most likely show up when watching content that has a large portion of the screen filled with a white background such as a hockey game.
As with most LED/LCD TVs that use VA panels, the AU8000 didn’t have good wide-angle viewing performance when viewing the TV at wide-angles. So you will have to adjust your seating layout accordingly.
Although HDR (high dynamic range) content appeared ok on this TV, it fell well short of producing high-quality HDR images that will give you the extra dynamic range and small bright highlights that make HDR content so enjoyable. This lack of performance was due primarily to the AU8000’s lack of peak brightness output. Additionally, the lack of a wide color gamut will also hinder HDR performance. That said, if you desire high-quality HDR images I suggest you choose a more capable model such as one of Samsung’s QLED models (Q80A and above) if you want to stay with the Samsung brand name.
SDR (standard dynamic range) or standard peak brightness is adequate enough (depending on your picture mode setting) to view this TV in all but the brightest of rooms that have lots of natural lighting, i.e., bright sunlight and glare. So keeps this in mind if your room setup has these extreme viewing conditions.
Rtings.com has posted “real scene” SDR (standard dynamic range) peak brightness at 302 nits, and HDR (high dynamic range) peak brightness at 304 nits.
Sound quality – As with most flat-panel TVs, the AU8000’s sound quality isn’t great, yet not bad either, and is typical of what is usually found on TVs in this price class. If you want better sound quality I suggest you get a soundbar.
The AU8000 is a decent entry-level TV. Its picture quality is commendable with most types of content with the exception of HDR images where it falls short due to a lack of peak brightness output. On the other hand, 4K and 1080p high-def images are satisfying and deliver respectable picture quality that will please most people looking for an affordable entry-level TV with good smart TV features. I recommend the AU8000 for anyone who isn’t overly concerned about having the best in picture quality but just wants a picture image that looks good at an affordable price.