Hi, I’m Daniel from rtings.com Today we’re testing the Samsung RU8000. It is a 2019 model mid-range 4k TV, sitting above the RU7100 but just below their QLED line of TVs. We bought the fifty-five RU8000 to test, but it is also available in a range of sizes from forty-nine inches up to eighty-two inches.
We expect these other sizes to have very similar picture quality and performance, but the smallest forty-nine inch model has a lower refresh rate sixty hertz panel. We’ll talk about the effect of that later on in this review.
So, first we’ll look at the design of the TV and then move on to the picture quality. We’ll look at the motion handling, input lag, and sound, and then compare to competing models which are currently available.
If you’d like to skip straight to our test results, then see the links in the description below. The design of the RU8000 is excellent. The stand is made of good quality plastic, supports the TV well, and prevents most wobbling.
The build quality is decent, so we don’t expect people to have issues. A single button to control the TV is located under the Samsung logo at the front. It is easy to use to turn the TV on and off, but other commands require a repeated pattern of pushing and holding the button.
The TV is relatively thin and its borders are similar to the Q60R. The back of the TV is plain with a nice texture and resembles the back of the Q60R. All of the inputs are located on the back of the TV, but they are directed out the side so you can still access them if it’s placed close to a wall.
There’s also some basic cable management in the form of a clip you can use to hold cables at the back of the leg. Moving back around to the front of the TV we can look at the TV through a thermal camera to see the location of the LEDs as well as any other hot-spots.
It is clear from this that the TV is edge-lit, with the LEDs at the bottom. We’ll talk about the effect of this later in the video. The TV doesn’t get too hot so shouldn’t be a problem. Now we’ll move on to the picture quality.
We’ll be comparing to currently available TVs, but competing models may change as new TVs are released throughout the year. For an updated comparison with new models as we buy and test them, see the review page on our website which is linked below.
Now, for those who watch TV in a dark room or a home theater environment a high contrast ratio is important to produce deep and detailed dark scenes. This TV has an excellent native contrast ratio. It can deliver deep blacks in a dark room, which is great for watching movies and is in the same ballpark as the X900F.
Unfortunately, unlike last year’s NU8000 and the X900F, the RU8000 does not have a local dimming feature to improve dark room performance. Overall, this is better than TVs with an IPS panel like the LG SM8600but about typical of mid-range VA-type TVs.
Now, if you regularly watch at an angle or have a wide seating area then good viewing angles are important to get the best image from any seating position. Like most other TVs with the same VA panel type, the RU8000 loses accuracy when viewed at an angle as the colors shift and the black level raises.
If you watch from in front then this isn’t an issue, but if you might watch at an angle then a TV with an IPS panel like the LG SM8600 may be a better choice. If you’ve got a bright room, then good reflection handling is important to reduce the amount of distracting glare.
The RU8000 performs well, with a semi-gloss finish that diffuses reflections across the screen and reduces their intensity. This isn’t as good as TVs with a better anti-reflective coating like the X900F or LG SM8600 though.
If you’ve got more lights in your room then they may be a better choice. Another important factor for those in a bright room is the peak brightness of the TV. A high SDR peak brightness doesn’t mean that the display will be too bright, but rather you will be able to turn up the backlight to increase the brightness in a bright room or with lots of glare.
With a full screen brightness of about three-hundred and sixty nits, the RU8000 offers a very good result and has about the same brightness as the higher end Q60R we bought. This should be fine for those in a well-lit room.
Note that this can vary between sizes if a different backlight is used. If you watch HDR content, then you’ll want a TV that can produce bright highlights for an image that pops. The measurement of our HDR real scene test pattern provides a good example of what might be a typical, as it shows a bright highlight which covers about two percent of the screen area.
Unfortunately, the RU8000 only offers mediocre performance. This means that bright highlights won’t stand out as much as on other TVs. So, if you plan to watch HDR content, then a wide color gamut is also important to produce vivid, saturated highlights.
The RU8000 can display a wide color gamut but it isn’t as good as the Q60R or X900F, and it also falls a little short of last year’s NU8000. Now, if you watch a lot of sports or play video games then a uniform screen is important.
This is because non-uniformity causes distracting areas called the dirty screen effect which is especially noticeable in panning shots across a uniform color like when watching hockey. The RU8000 performs well, but the edges of the screen are darker causing a vignetting effect which can be distracting.
Overall this is quite a good result, and interestingly these edge-lit Samsung TVs tend to perform better than the higher end full-array models. Note that this does vary between units so yours might be different, but this does provide a good indication.
So on to the motion handling. The RU8000 has a very fast response time, so there is only a small blur trail behind fast moving objects, which is visible as a faint smear behind the left hand side of our moving logo photo.
This is great for watching sports or playing fast paced games. This has been improving for all TVs for a few years though, so it is in the same ballpark as these Sony and LG models. Note that the duplications visible in this photo are a result of PWM flicker of the backlight.
Now, if you want the clearest image possible then it helps to flicker the backlight and reduce the amount of persistence blur. The RU8000 can flicker at sixty hertz to match most fast paced content, which is great, and results in our very clear moving logo image.
Now, a low input lag is very important for gamers or those who plan to use this TV as a PC monitor to ensure the most responsive performance. To measure this, we use the same response time tool that we developed and send an image to the TV.
We then measure the time between the signal sent via HDMI and the first sign of a change at the center of the screen. We test this for many different resolutions, and refresh rates. The RU8000 like most other Samsung TVs performs excellently, with a very low input lag regardless of the input signal.
This is great, and results in responsive gaming performance. The RU8000 also supports auto low latency mode, which means that it will automatically change to provide low input lag when sent a signal from a new Xbox or PS4.
Note that the forty-nine inch model has a sixty hertz panel instead of the one-hundred and twenty hertz panel of the other sizes. In general this doesn’t make a difference, unless you want to send one hundred and twenty hertz content such as for PC gaming or really enjoy motion interpolation.
Another neat gaming feature on newer Samsung TVs including the RU8000 is variable refresh rate support. This allows the refresh rate of the TV to change and match the source content, which provides a smoother gaming experience and reduces an artifact known as screen tearing.
This is great for gamers on a new Xbox, or those with a graphics card that supports FreeSync compatibility. The sixty hertz forty-nine inch model lacks the variable refresh rate feature. Now for the smart features.
The RU8000 has Samsung’s Tizen smart platform. It works well, and is easy to use, and the TV comes with a smart remote that also works well. Unfortunately though, like many new TVs there can be ads in the smart platform including the home screen.
They do appear and disappear seemingly randomly, likely as the ad service matches users to advertisers. If you’d like to disable ads on your Samsung TV, then check out our article which is linked below.
On to the sound. The performance of the Samsung RU8000 is decent and nearly identical to the NU8000. It gets reasonably loud, but may not be loud enough for busy environments. It doesn’t have deep bass and won’t produce any thump or rumble, but it will deliver clear and intelligible dialog.
For better sound, we recommend adding dedicated speakers or a soundbar. So overall, the RU8000 is very good TV with good picture quality. It has tough competition though, and depending on your use it may be worse than the NU8000 model that it replaces.
This is because the older model can get brighter and has a basic local dimming feature. On the other hand, the RU8000 has slightly better motion handling with a faster response time, and slightly lower input lag.
Compared to the Sony X900F, the Samsung supports some better gaming features like FreeSync variable refresh rates and also has lower input lag. If you don’t plan to game though then the X900F is a better choice for most due to the better picture quality with local dimming, higher peak brightness, and better reflection handling.
IPS TVs like the SM8600 offer a more accurate image at an angle, so may be a better choice for those with wide seating. On the other hand, the native contrast ratio is low so blacks appear gray when viewed in the dark.
If you’ve got a bright room with wide seating then go for the LG, but if you watch in a dark room from in-front then the Samsung is a better choice for most. So that’s it! What do you think of the Samsung RU8000? Have you bought it? Let us know in the comments below.
You can check out all of the measurements on our website. If you like this video, subscribe to our channel, or become an insider on the website to get access to our test results first. Thank you for watching and see you next time.