Samsung RU8000 4K HDR TV Review
UN65RU8000 Ultra HD 120Hz Smart LED TV
See full review below
Model year: 2019
Screen size reviewed: 65”
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- Excellent contrast and black level performance – very good shadow detail
- Accurate color reproduction
- Good picture detail, clarity, image depth, and transparency
- Great motion handling
- Excellent gaming TV, very low input lag – approx. 15 ms
- Contrast and color saturation loss at wide viewing angles
- Insufficient HDR peak brightness
Bottom Line: Samsung’s mid-tier RU8000 premium 4K HDR TV offers solid performance – especially in the areas of contrast and black levels. Its biggest downside is its HDR performance which lacks in picture brightness.
Otherwise, there’s very little to complain about with this TV. Additionally, it may not be the cheapest option available when compared to other TV brands with similar performance; nevertheless, it should not be overlooked when seeking a quality 4K UHD TV.
With stand: (W x H x D) 57.3″ x 35.4″ x 13.1″
Without stand: (W x H X D) 57.3″ x 32.9″ x 2.3″
With stand: 57.5 lbs.
Without stand: 56.4 lbs.
Warranty: One year parts and labor
The RU8000 is Samsung’s premium series of 4K TVs. Its positioned between the company’s top-tier QLED series and the entry-level standard models of 4K HDR TVs. The RU8000 is available in 49” ($599.99), 55” ($699.99), 65” ($999.99), 75” ($1,599.99) and 82” ($2.199.99) screen sizes. The focus of this review will be the 65” model. This review can be applied to all other screen sizes.
Design and Features
The RU8000 has decent overall build quality. The rear panel is made of thin plastic yet doesn’t feel or appear to be cheaply made. The plastic bezel that surrounds the TV’s screen is fairly thin and measures approximately 3/8” wide. The panel depth is reasonably slim and measures approx. 2.3” at its thickest point.
The TV’s feet are made of very solid plastic and provide very good support for the TV. However, in my opinion, the styling/design of the feet are somewhat bland and generic, and really don’t add much to the aesthetic appeal of the TV as a whole.
The RU8000’s screen is illuminated using Samsung’s Ultra Slim Array edge-lit LED backlighting with UHD frame dimming. The screen surface has a semi-gloss finish and handles screen reflections quite well.
Remote control – The supplied OneRemote has a built-in microphone for voice control and is basically the same as the previous year model but now adds direct access buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. These additional buttons don’t crowd the remote’s physical layout and its overall surface remains sparse, which is great for functionality. The remote is very compact and easy to use once you get accustomed to how the buttons actually work. The remote does not require direct line-of-sight for most TV functions. The remote is not backlit.
- Samsung’s powerful 4K UHD Processor optimizes your TV’s performance with 4K picture content. This processor also upscales/upconverts high-def and standard-def video to near-4K quality.
- High Dynamic Range (HDR10, HDR10+, HLG formats) for extended picture contrast and brightness when viewing HDR content – no Dolby Vision HDR support.
- Dynamic Crystal Color offers a wider color spectrum for a more realistic color presentation
- Motion Rate 240 blur reduction for smoother fast action content (120Hz actual refresh rate)
- FreeSync VRR Technology gives you real-time lower-lag gaming speed you need for a better gaming experience. FreeSync VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) allows the TV to adapt to your game console’s frame rate.
- Auto Game Mode optimizes settings for minimal lag and supports FreeSync variable refresh rate
- Real Game Enhancer can make your games more immersive by using intense, vivid picture quality and three-dimensional sound optimized for games
- Game Motion Plus – this feature smoothes fast-moving images for clearer motion during video gaming
- Quad-Core processor lets you quickly access smart TV content and functions
- Use the OneRemote’s microphone to access Samsung’s Smart Hub and Bixby, the TV’s built-in intelligent voice assistant. Bixby makes it easy to change channels, search for content, or even ask about the weather, using only your voice
- The TV supports voice control of compatible apps and works with Google Home-compatible voice control assistants and Amazon Alexa-compatible voice control assistants
- Built-in Apple AirPlay 2 allows wireless streaming from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac
- 4 HDMI 2.0b inputs – HDCP 2.2 compliant
- 1 Digital optical output
- 2 USB 2.0 inputs
- 1 Ethernet port
- 1 RF input for antenna/cable signals
- Dual-band 802.11ac built-in Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a compatible speaker or set of headphones
- Audio Return Channel (ARC) HDMI input 4
Note: Picture quality evaluation was done with the TV in Movie mode. Color Tone or temperature set to Warm2. If the Movie mode picture setting is too soft or flat for your liking, try using the Natural setting which will give the TV a more dynamic and vibrant picture without being harsh. Additional settings: Auto Motion Plus: off, Contrast Enhancer: off. Use these two additional settings at your own discretion.
I must admit that before I began the review process for the RU8000 I wasn’t expecting the overall picture quality to be as good as it was. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking Samsung TVs, in fact, they are one of my favorite brands. So maybe I had this preconceived idea about the RU8000’s picture quality because it wasn’t one of their high-end QLED models. Anyway, on with the review…
The RU8000 didn’t disappoint in overall picture quality with most content, and I was generally pleased with the images I viewed on this display. Was the RU8000 a great performer? Certainly not, nor did I expect it to be considering its class status, and the RU8000 did have its shortcomings – more on this later.
First, let’s talk about what I liked about the TV’s performance: The contrast and black levels were very impressive on this display. Its great contrast range allowed for very deep black levels. Blacks at this intensity level provided very good dark room viewing, and made movie scenes with very dark images appear more realistic and much more enjoyable to watch.
Shadow detail was also very good with the demo content I use for this part of my evaluation process. Objects that were displayed in dark areas of the picture images showed plenty of detail and clarity which allowed me to easily discern what I was seeing in these dimly lit scenes.
The RU8000 also had impressive black screen uniformity. I did not see any light bleed or flashlighting on a completely black screen. However, the TV did exhibit some slight blooming (haloing) around bright white objects/text set against a black background.
Color rendering was commendable on this TV and actually varied from good to very good depending on what I was watching. Colors at their best were accurate, rich, vibrant and well saturated with plenty of dynamic punch without appearing unnatural or oversaturated. The RU8000 also has wide color gamut capability for HDR content. I will talk more about this later.
During my evaluation of the RU8000, I watched content in a variety of resolutions including 480p, 1080p, 4K and 4K HDR. All of the high-def content (excluding 480p) I viewed on this display was rendered with good detail, clarity, image depth and transparency which gave these images a very refined and realistic quality. Non-high-def 480p content looked good on this TV, but it just didn’t have the high-quality picture characteristics as the higher resolution content, which was what I expected.
Motion handling: The RU8000 delivered very good motion handling capability, and I did not see any motion problems with the content I typically use to reveal these unwanted motion artifacts. However, if you do happen to experience any motion blur, judder, etc, you can use the TV’s Auto Motion Plus feature to reduce or eliminate these issues. I usually leave motion handling features set to “off” during my TV reviews unless needed.
Picture brightness was good – but not great – on this TV with non-HDR content and will do fine in a room with average natural lighting and/or a room with minimal bright direct sunlight.
What didn’t I like about the TV’s performance: The first issue should come as no surprise and that was it wide-angle viewing performance. As with most LED/LCD TVs, the RU8000 loses picture accuracy in the form of diminished contrast and color saturation when viewed from a wide-angle.
HDR performance: Although this TV has wide color gamut capability to enhance its color, the colors produced with HDR content didn’t have that extra pop and the dynamic intensity I like to see with HDR content. This issue was primarily due to the TV’s lack of peak brightness output when displaying HDR content. This lack of peak brightness also didn’t allow for the TV to produce very good bright picture highlights in HDR content.
Overall, I found that HDR content didn’t add much (although still visible) to the TV’s picture quality when compared to non-HDR content. So, if you desire very good HDR performance, you will have to look elsewhere. Samsung’s QLED Q70R is a good alternative.
One other issue I encountered with the RU8000 was some very slight dark shading in the corners of the TV screen. This was only visible when viewing brightly lit picture images. This shading, however, wasn’t distracting when watching TV, and I had to purposely look for it to really notice it.
The sound quality of the RU8000 was somewhat mediocre. I’m not saying the sound output was bad, it’s just lacking in certain qualities. For example, the sound was lean and thin with minimal or no bass impact or punch. It was also lacking in stereo separation and imaging. Furthermore, the soundstage was very narrow and confined to the center of the TV screen with very little or no expansion beyond the center of the TV screen.
I wasn’t surprised by this type of performance, which is very common among flat-panel TVs. For better sound quality I recommend a decent soundbar such as Samsung’s HW-Q70R.
The RU8000 did have some positive sound attributes worth noting – it was able to produce clean and clear dialogue which was very intelligible. The TV could also play very loud with minimal amounts of distortion.
Samsung’s UN65RU8000 is a good 4K Ultra HDTV and offers rock-solid performance qualities in most key areas with the notable exception of its lackluster HDR performance due to its insufficient peak picture brightness output when viewing HDR content.
On the other hand, it also offers a strong feature suite including its Tizen OS Smart Hub smart TV platform that will provide you with an almost endless variety of entertainment options, which is all just a click or voice command away using the TV’s OneRemote.
That being said, if you don’t mind losing out on great HDR performance, then I would certainly recommend the RU8000.
You may also like this review of Samsung’s QLED Q70R 4K TV.