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A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

by on November 7, 2019
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Stephan Jukic – November 7, 2019

Overview

Samsung’s RU8000 is one of the brands highest-priced mid-range non-QLED 4K UHD TVs. Thus, it offers a very good level of performance with strong essential picture quality specs but without including some of the more premium display specs that characterize most of the QLED TVs from this year. With that said, this 4K HDR TV does indeed deliver plenty of quality, with very strong, uniform black levels, good dark room performance, very decent peak brightness and vibrant color rendering. Like all Samsung TVs we’ve reviewed for this year, the RU8000 also offers excellent motion handling and gaming connectivity. Importantly, this TV is fairly reasonably priced.

Positives

• Wonderful gaming performance
• Excellent motion handling
• Fantastic black level and contrast performance
• Good color delivery
• Excellent content upscaling for all video sources

Negatives

• No local dimming
• Weak HDR brightness
• Color performance issues
• Native Audio is crappy

Bottom Line

The Samsung RU8000 is a very good 4K HDR TV at a fairly decent price. Compared to Samsung’s own lowest-tier QLED, the Q60R, it performs slightly better in many ways while also being cheaper. We especially recommend it a fantastic all-round gaming TV for its excellent motion and input specs.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

Check out Samsung’s best mid-range 4K HDR LCD TV, the 2019 RU8000 for sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
Also Read:
Our Comprehensive review of Samsung’s most affordable 2019 QLED TV, the Q60R
Our detailed hands-on review of Samsung’s incredible new 8K HDR TV, the Q900
Our comprehensive review of Samsung’s excellent premium Q80R QLED 4K HDR TV

What We Liked about the RU8000

There is plenty to like about the Samsung RU8000. In particular, this 4K HDR TV delivers a superb level of performance for gaming fans and its picture quality for most content is very good. Some of its strongest display features include very strong black level performance, high contrast, decent color delivery and excellent motion handling across the board.

Gaming connectivity

The absolute best part of the RU8000’s performance is its overall quality as a 4K HDR TV for gamers. This model delivers excellent quality for this use and this it pulls off first of all by being fantastically responsive when connected to consoles or PCs for gameplay at multiple resolutions and assorted color and HDR formats. Like the QLED TVs the RU8000 also offers AMD FreeSync, which is awesome. Secondly, due to its superb motion handling, the RU8000 really kicks ass during fast-paced action sequences (which applies to content played on the TV as well). If you also take its price into consideration, the RU8000 is one of Samsung’s best models for serious gamers.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

Contrast & black rendering

The black levels, black uniformity and contrast ratio of the RU8000 are all really great, which is all the more impressive considering that this TV doesn’t come with any local dimming technology. Since these features are so essential to perceived picture brightness and HDR, they really help the RU8000 deliver strong picture quality despite its fairly modest peak brightness and lack of QLED color performance.

Motion handling

Another of the really strong, highly effective performance qualities of the RU8000 are its motion handling specs. These are almost uniformly good across the board and this 4K HDR TV manages to deliver them as well as any of Samsung’s considerably more expensive QLED TV editions. In other words, for motion interpolation, playback of content at different, lower frame rates than that of its native 120Hz display (except for the 49 inch edition that only goes up to 60Hz) and pixel response time for reducing blur in fast-paced content scenes, the RU8000 is nearly as fine a performer as even the much more expensive Samsung QLED Q80R, for example.

overall HDR delivery

Overall HDR delivery in the RU8000 is quite good. This TV doesn’t get anywhere near as bright as its cousins the QLEDs from Samsung but it still delivers similar color performance and its strong black levels, contrast and HDR color technologies compensate quite decently.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

Check out Samsung’s best mid-range 4K HDR LCD TV, the 2019 RU8000 for sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
Also Read:
Our comprehensive review of the best IPS TV we’ve ever reviewed, LG’s powerful new SM9000 4K HDR edition
Our In-depth review of TCL’s new 6-Series 4K HDR TV, The Most Affordable Aaesome Premium TV of 2019
Our In-depth review of Samsung’s ultra-bright flagship 2018 Q8FN 4K HDR TV

What We Didn’t Like

While the RU8000 has a lot of high quality and nearly premium features to offer a user, it also comes with its share of flaws, some of which might be deal breakers for buyers who want serious HDR kick and stunning picture quality. The following are the main issues of the RU8000 television.

HDR Brightness and lack of local dimming

Possibly the biggest, single most notable defect of the RU8000 is the overall display brightness that this particular HDR TV delivers. This applies especially when it’s set to display HDR content itself. Even the RU8000’s average and peak brightness for regular TV, movie and game content is fairly decent (but not great), the low level of screen luminosity is really noticeable when you set the TV to display HDR video sources. It improves very little at this setting. Samsung’s QLED TVs are much brighter, though the RU8000’s strong black levels help even things out.

A lack of local dimming is also annoying, though this technology isn’t necessary for high quality picture performance, it really does help keep contrast edges in content much crisper.

Color Performance details

The RU8000 delivers good color performance and it comes with a full host of the essential high dynamic range color specs, which consist of wide color gamut, 10-bit color and performance at high levels of brightness, but none of these emerge nearly as vibrantly as they do in Samsung’s QLED TVs. Color accuracy during bright and very dark scenes is particularly weak, and the RU8000’s wide color gamut isn’t as exceptional as we’ve seen it in the 2019 QLED editions. Furthermore, the RU8000’s low brightness means that strong colors don’t leap out of the screen as they do in 4K UHD TVs such as the Sony X950G or the latest and brightest OLED TVs from brands like LG.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

 

Viewing Angles

Since the RU8000 4K HDR TV comes with a Vertical Alignment display panel (VA), it delivers the strong black levels we already mentioned. On the negative side, this also means narrow effective viewing angles. This however is a problem that you’d have even with most of Samsung’s QLED TVs and with any other 4K LCD TV with a VA panel from any other brand, so it’s not an issue that’s unique to the RU8000.

Weak Audio

Finally, and not surprisingly, the audio of the RU8000 isn’t all that great. We weren’t expecting much on this front, since few 4K TVs can cram really heavy sound power into their slim bodies but in the RU8000, native audio is weaker than we saw it in any of the brand’s QLEDs. This 4K TV is fine for casual content viewing (news, background TV etc) but if you want strong surround sound and so forth, you’d definitely need to hook up an external sound system.

Also Read:
Our in-depth review of Sony’s X950G 4K UHD HDR LCD TV
The absolute best 4K UHD HDR Gaming TVs of 2019

Value for Price & Bottom Line

The Samsung RU8000 4K HDR TV has its share of minor to moderate defects but it also offers plenty of great quality, and as a 4K or HDR gaming TV it’s fantastic. What also makes it a strong choice is this edition’s very reasonable price, which allows it to deliver strong value for what you spend on it. Overall, we really do recommend the RU8000 for users who want quality on a budget. We especially recommend this 4K HDR TV to gaming fans though. The RU8000 is ideal for this use because it offers nearly everything that Samsung’s QLEDs do but at a much better price. The TV even comes with AMD FreeSync technology for PC and console use.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

Check out Samsung’s best mid-range 4K HDR LCD TV, the 2019 RU8000 for sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
ALSO READ:
Sony’s Stunningly good but reasonably priced A8G OLED 4K HDR TV
Our in-depth review of LG’s C9 4K UHD HDR OLED TV
Our in-depth review of LG’s stunningly good & surprisingly affordable B9 4K OLED HDR TV
Our in-depth review of LG’s Fantastic premium E9 OLED 4K HDR TV

Key Samsung RU8000 Specs

• Screen sizes: 49 inch UN49RU8000, 55 inch UN55RU8000, 65 inch UN65RU8000, 75 inch UN75RU8000, 82 inch UN82RU8000 (TV being reviewed is 55 inches)
• Smart TV: Tizen 2019 Edition
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• VP9 Included. Yes
• HD to UHD to 4K upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• HDR Support: Yes, HDR10, HDR10+, Hybrid Log Gamma
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz native refresh rate (Except 49 inch edition)
• Screen Lighting: LCD Display with edge-lit backlighting, no local dimming
• Resolution: 3840 × 2160 pixels 4K UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• Remotes: Samsung smart OneRemote with voice control
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI ports (all of them 2.0a and with HDCP 2.2, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Digital Audio Out
• Contrast Ratio: 8,060:1 (native, real maximum contrast)
• Absolute Maximum Peak Brightness: 365 nits (cd/m2)
• 3D Technology: N/A
• Processor: Quantum Processor 4K

Display Performance Metrics

This is where we cover all of the most essential performance measurements of what really makes the 4K ultra HD TVs we review good or bad. This means that in the descriptions below, you’ll get a no-nonsense breakdown of how well the Samsung RU8000 delivers the features and technologies that are absolutely most important for making sure that this or any TV offers up a high level of picture quality, good motion handling, powerful connectivity and other key specs.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

The following are based on metrics from one or two reviewed units but their accuracy is exact enough to reflect what they should be like for any normally functioning editions of the Samsung RU8000. Slight variations might be the case with editions of different sizes.

Black Level, uniformity, Local Dimming and Contrast:

The following specs are crucial for high perceived color vibrancy, accurate picture realism and strong contrast delivery during HDR content playback, among other things:

Among the very strongest and best specs in the Samsung RU8000 are its black levels and contrast. This TV completely lacks local dimming, which is unfortunate because local dimming technology, in which backlight LEDs behind the screen are selectively turned off in specific sections for deeper onscreen black levels really improves both contrast and overall picture quality in a 4K HDR TV (especially for playback of movies).

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

Oddly though, despite the lack of local dimming, the RU8000, compensates for the absence with a very strong contrast ratio of well over 5700:1 and an overall black uniformity that is superbly good considering the same lack of local dimming. The RU8000 doesn’t offer very high display brightness but its high quality black levels compensate for this enormously during content viewing or gaming, especially in dark rooms.

Also Read:
Our In-depth guide to todays absolute best streaming media devices and platforms
 Our In-depth review of Samsung’s ultra-bright flagship 2019 Q90R 4K HDR TV
Also Read:
Our Comprehensive review of Samsung’s most affordable 2019 QLED TV, the Q60R

Brightness:

Simply enough, the Samsung RU8000 gets decently bright for regular TV content in the SDR range, while falling pretty flat as a 4K TV for HDR brightness. In fact, it’s specs for HDR brightness at different content settings are WORSE than they are for its SDR (normal content) brightness levels. This is pretty disappointing even if it’s offset by the RU8000’s excellent black levels, which allow for a great contrast ratio. The Samsung QLEDs get much brighter on all levels and brightness is what most sets the RU8000 apart from them.

Overall though, for the vast majority of content, this 4K TV is perfectly fine, and most users who haven’t already been spoiled by ultra-bright, ultra-premium 4K TVs won’t have any problems with the RU8000s average and peak brightness. For regular content, this 4K TV does a perfectly decent job of keeping things luminous though viewing the RU8000 in a bright room might cause onscreen visuals to be a bit harder to enjoy. By contrast, Samsung’s QLED TVs and especially the Q80R or Q90R, are so bright that they shine no matter the ambient brightness in the room they’re used in.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

The settings below bear out exactly what we mean about both HDR and SDR brightness.

Samsung RU8000 SDR Brightness

  • Overall SDR peak brightness for normal content: 348 nits
  • Peak 2% display area display SDR brightness: 200 nits
  • Peak 10% display area SDR brightness: 366 nits
  • Peak 100% display area SDR brightness: 366 nits
  • Sustained 10% SDR brightness: 366 nits
  • Sustained 100% SDR brightness: 363 nits

Samsung RU8000 TV HDR Brightness

  • Overall HDR peak brightness for normal content: 342 nits
  • Peak 2% display area display HDR brightness: 195 nits
  • Peak 10% display area HDR brightness: 363 nits
  • Peak 100% display area HDR brightness: 363 nits
  • Sustained 10% HDR brightness: 363 nits
  • Sustained 100% HDR brightness: 355 nits

Color Delivery:

Unlike the QLED Samsung TV editions, this brand’s lower-tier mid-range models like the RU8000 don’t come with quantum dot color filter technologies. This doesn’t mean they don’t offer powerful HDR color performance, but it does mean that they tend to not be quite as vibrant as their QLED cousins. The RU8000 fits this profile in its color performance: it’s color delivery is very good, and it has full HDR color capacity, but for each of the major metrics, the RU8000 doesn’t quite match QLED performance. 10-bit color quality is good but there is a bit of visible banding for the 1 billion+ tones of RGB colors, Wide color gamut is in the HDR range but not to an exceptional level of 98% or more, and the RU8000 isn’t very good at delivering saturated colors during high brightness or very shadowy scenes in content. Color accuracy in this TV is however excellent after a bit of calibration.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

  • Pre-calibration White Balance delta-E: 3.41
  • Pre-calibration Color delta-E: 3.18
  • Pre-calibration Gamma: 2.02
  • Post-calibration White Balance delta-E: 0.21
  • Post-calibration Color delta-E: 1.4
  • Post-calibration Gamma: 2.12
  • Wide Color Gamut: 90.8%

Motion Handling & Upscaling:

NOTE: THE 49 inch edition of the RU8000 only offers 60Hz screen refresh.
The motion handling capabilities of the RU8000 are nothing short of superb. In these specs, this particular 4K HDR TV performs almost exactly as well as even the best of its Samsung QLED cousins even though they’re all much more expensive. Motion blur control is wonderful by LCD TV standards, with a pixel response time of just 3.9 milliseconds, and the RU8000 can smoothly interpolate motion from all sources of content that play back at lower frame rates. Its judder control for 24p movies is excellent no matter the source of these movies (streaming, disc media or broadcast/cable). The RU8000 also comes with interpolation technologies like black frame insertion and flicker-free control that strongly augment its interpolation capabilities.

Input Performance for Gaming and PC:

The gaming chops of the Samsung RU8000 are superb. In fact, this is possibly one of our favorite Samsung 4K TVs or 4K TVs from any brand (outside OLED) for high-performance console or PC gaming. For one thing, we say this because the RU8000 offers nearly everything that Samsung’s pricier QLED TVs do (except for high brightness). This means that it offers a great 120Hz refresh rate, fantastically responsive input lag for connectivity at assorted frame rates, HDR, color and resolution settings, and that it also comes with the same AMD FreeSync technology that the QLEDs have. This makes it ideal for smooth, tear-free frame rate handling in both Xbox One games and PC rigs with AMD GPUs. Secondly, the RU8000 offers all of the above at a price that’s a fair bit lower than those of its QLED cousins.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

Here are some of the key specific specs for the Samsung RU8000’s gaming performance in different console setups:

  • 4k @ 60Hz: 14.9 ms
  • 1080p @ 60Hz: 15.1 ms
  • 1080p @ 120Hz: 6.3 ms
  • 1080p @ 60Hz outside Game Mode: 56 ms
  • 4k @ 60Hz + HDR: 14.5 ms
  • 1440p @ 60Hz: 15.4 ms
  • 4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode : 37.2 ms
  • 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: 13.5 ms
  • 4K @ 120Hz (Except 49 inch model): 15.5 ms
  • 1440p @ 120Hz: 9.9 ms
  • 1080p with FreeSync: 6.1 ms
  • 4K with interpolation activated: 28.7 ms
  • 1080p @ 120Hz: Yes
  • 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: Yes
  • 4k @ 60Hz + 4:4:4: Yes
  • 1440p @ 60Hz: Yes
  • 4k @ 120Hz : No
  • 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: Yes
  • 1440p @ 120Hz: Yes

Connectivity

While the Samsung RU8000 4K HDR TV doesn’t have the HDMI 2.1 technology that we’ve started seeing in some 2019 4K UHD TV models from brands like LG, it does include all the full, up-to-date connectivity chops that it needs for completely solid performance. Thus, you get a full complement of HDMI 2.0a ports, USB ports, audio pass-through and full internet connectivity with high-speed Ethernet and WiFi.
The following are the Samsung RU8000’s ports and their specifications:

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

  • HDMI : 4 (HDCP 2.2 & full HDMI 2.0a capacity)
  • HDMI 2.1 : N/A
  • USB : 3 (USB 2.0 x 3)
  • Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
  • Analog Audio Out 3.5 mm : 1
  • Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
  • Ethernet : 1
  • HDR10 support: Yes
  • HDR10+ support: Yes
  • Dolby Vision HDR support: No
  • Hybrid Log Gamma HDR support: Yes
  • Dolby Vision HDR: Yes

The Samsung RU8000 TV models also offer audio connectivity in the following types.

  • 1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
  • 1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
  • 1 Passthrough eARC support

Pricing

Samsung is selling the RU8000 4K ultra HD HDR LCD Smart TV models in five different sizes. Thus, you have the choice of a really economical 49 inch edition without a couple features (no AMD FreeSync or 120Hz display panel), a full-powered 55, 65 inch or 75 inch model, and a huge 82 inch version that would be just awesome for gamers and home theater fans who want a deeply immersive experience.

These editions all sell for the following prices, found in the link below at the time of this writing. Bear in mind that these are subject to sometimes frequent downward change and it’s a good idea to click the following Amazon links for real-time pricing and all available discounts on this model.

A Review of Samsung’s Mid-range 4K HDR TV, The RU8000 (UN49RU8000) (UN55RU8000) (UN65RU8000) (UN75RU8000) (UN82RU8000)

Check out Samsung’s best mid-range 4K HDR LCD TV, the 2019 RU8000 for sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
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