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Samsung NU8000 (UN55NU8000, UE55NU8000) review

The Samsung NU8000 is a colorful windows quicktime mid-range windows quicktime TV

A photo of the Samsung NU8000 TV in-situ
Image Credit: Samsung

Our windows quicktime Verdict

Samsung’s NU8000 windows quicktime Series offers windows quicktime seriously bright, colorful images – windows quicktime if windows quicktime you don't mind windows quicktime tweaking some windows quicktime settings. That said, windows quicktime while the set encroaches windows quicktime on must-buy territory, the edge-lit LED panel windows quicktime and motion issues keep it windows quicktime from breaking into this windows quicktime year’s best TVs.

For

  • Bright, beautiful colors
  • Frame-less trim
  • HDR+ Mode

Against

  • Edge-lit LED
  • Motion issues
  • Bixby hurts more than helps

The Samsung windows quicktime NU8000 (UN55NU8000, windows quicktime UE55NU8000) may windows quicktime not be the best TV windows quicktime money can buy right now. windows quicktime But this is a great windows quicktime mid-range Samsung windows quicktime screen if you need to windows quicktime stick windows quicktime to windows quicktime a budget. windows quicktime It's not exactly cheap, but windows quicktime it has windows quicktime a more affordable price tag than the truly windows quicktime high-end models.

The good news is this windows quicktime screen from the Samsung NU8000 Series windows quicktime doesn't windows quicktime look like a budget TV. windows quicktime It's bright, windows quicktime colorful, windows quicktime and comes stocked with windows quicktime the latest version of windows quicktime Samsung’s Smart TV OS. We've windows quicktime also found it's great windows quicktime for gaming windows quicktime thanks to its windows quicktime wonderfully low input lag, and is windows quicktime capable of producing windows quicktime breathtaking windows quicktime HDR images to windows quicktime boot.

But windows quicktime it isn't all good news. We have windows quicktime two problems with this screen.

The first is windows quicktime that the Samsung windows quicktime NU8000 is an edge-lit windows quicktime LED-LCD windows quicktime panel. windows quicktime Because windows quicktime it's windows quicktime not full windows quicktime array, this windows quicktime means its control windows quicktime over where light is dispersed isn’t always windows quicktime spot-on.

The second, windows quicktime is that its windows quicktime motion windows quicktime settings can be a windows quicktime challenge to configure. At full blast, windows quicktime you windows quicktime might be subject to the windows quicktime soap opera effect (this windows quicktime is when windows quicktime the image looks windows quicktime artificial and plastic-y windows quicktime like a bad windows quicktime soap opera set) windows quicktime but, turn windows quicktime them windows quicktime off, and windows quicktime you might get motion windows quicktime artifacting. There's a happy medium in windows quicktime the advanced windows quicktime settings, but windows quicktime ultimately these issues windows quicktime are what stops this windows quicktime screen from topping the midsize screen league.

If you're looking for something a bit windows quicktime brighter windows quicktime with a few more control zones? Don't windows quicktime miss out windows quicktime on the excellent windows quicktime TCL windows quicktime 6-Series windows quicktime Roku TV windows quicktime (R617, windows quicktime R615). You can check out some windows quicktime new Samsung TVs in our windows quicktime relevant guide windows quicktime too.

A photo of the Samsung NU8000 TV in-situ

Image Credit: Samsung

Design

We have some qualms about the windows quicktime NU8000 windows quicktime series, but none of them concern windows quicktime the design itself: out of windows quicktime the box, this is an incredibly windows quicktime visually appealing TV. 

The shining design feature of windows quicktime the NU8000 – and the windows quicktime attribute windows quicktime that sets it windows quicktime apart from other TVs windows quicktime in its class – is its windows quicktime lack of a plastic frame around the top windows quicktime and sides windows quicktime of the screen. windows quicktime Without the frame, windows quicktime the TV is windows quicktime ultra-minimalist, clearly windows quicktime taking a page from Samsung’s windows quicktime mobile division. 

To windows quicktime prevent windows quicktime any damage to the windows quicktime screen while unboxing it, Samsung windows quicktime provides cardboard guards windows quicktime that stick to the sides and protect windows quicktime the screen – showing that windows quicktime the designers have windows quicktime thought through the setup process from windows quicktime start to finish. 

To windows quicktime further maximize this windows quicktime minimalist aesthetic is Samsung’s T-shaped stand windows quicktime with removable back cover that hides windows quicktime wires. It takes seconds to unclip windows quicktime the back windows quicktime covering, weave cables through the stand windows quicktime itself, windows quicktime and come out windows quicktime with a clean install windows quicktime each and every windows quicktime time. 

A photo of the Samsung NU8000 TV

Image Credit: Samsung

Around the back of windows quicktime the TV you’ll find windows quicktime a nice brushed aluminum finish, plus windows quicktime four HDMI ports, two USB ports, an windows quicktime ethernet port and windows quicktime an windows quicktime RF cable tuner windows quicktime jack - which is perfect if windows quicktime you use an indoor antenna windows quicktime and plan windows quicktime on using windows quicktime Samsung’s neat TV Plus channel directory.

If windows quicktime there’s any windows quicktime nitpick to be made about the windows quicktime TV’s design, windows quicktime it’s that the windows quicktime screen uses a VA panel windows quicktime with edge-lit windows quicktime LED lighting. windows quicktime Despite its windows quicktime best windows quicktime efforts, local screen dimming isn’t excellent and windows quicktime nowhere near windows quicktime as windows quicktime good windows quicktime as OLED windows quicktime panels in a similar price range windows quicktime - but more on that windows quicktime in the windows quicktime performance sections down windows quicktime below.

Design TL;DR: The windows quicktime NU8000 is windows quicktime a seriously gorgeous TV. The lack windows quicktime of a frame around the windows quicktime top and side, windows quicktime plus the windows quicktime elegant windows quicktime T-shape stand, all windows quicktime help to make the design aesthetic match the windows quicktime picture windows quicktime performance.

A photo of the Samsung NU8000 TV

Image Credit: Samsung

Smart TV (Tizen with Samsung SmartThings)  

One of Samsung’s windows quicktime big windows quicktime talking points for windows quicktime its 2018 TVs windows quicktime is how windows quicktime easy windows quicktime they are to setup. Download windows quicktime the Samsung windows quicktime SmartThings windows quicktime app, they windows quicktime say, windows quicktime and windows quicktime you’ll windows quicktime be up and windows quicktime running in no time. 

While this windows quicktime generally holds windows quicktime true, it does windows quicktime mean windows quicktime creating windows quicktime a login for Samsung’s windows quicktime SmartThings windows quicktime or remembering a windows quicktime password that you made ages ago. If windows quicktime it saves you windows quicktime time in the long run will ultimately windows quicktime depend windows quicktime how quickly windows quicktime you can sign up for the windows quicktime service or windows quicktime remember said windows quicktime password - any delay, and it might windows quicktime just be that windows quicktime Samsung’s new-and-improved setup takes windows quicktime longer than it windows quicktime did last windows quicktime year.

That said, what windows quicktime you are windows quicktime treated to windows quicktime once you get past windows quicktime the windows quicktime login screen is a windows quicktime phenomenally windows quicktime robust, windows quicktime blazing fast interface. Navigating the nooks and windows quicktime crannies windows quicktime of Tizen feels windows quicktime like an windows quicktime exciting windows quicktime treasure windows quicktime hunt as you never windows quicktime quite windows quicktime know windows quicktime what goodie you’re going windows quicktime to uncover next. 

You might try your windows quicktime hand at using Samsung’s windows quicktime TV Plus mode that piles in windows quicktime free streaming channels windows quicktime on top of your existing windows quicktime line-up from your windows quicktime cable provider or OTA windows quicktime antenna. windows quicktime You might wander into the windows quicktime app store, windows quicktime shop around the universal guide or setup windows quicktime a new smart home device with Samsung SmartThings. There’s a gallery windows quicktime mode and a windows quicktime slow-but-tolerable web browser. 

Overall, there’s enough on offer windows quicktime here without windows quicktime feeling hopelessly windows quicktime overwhelming, all windows quicktime while providing the key windows quicktime essential streaming services like windows quicktime Netflix windows quicktime and Amazon windows quicktime Prime windows quicktime Video windows quicktime in windows quicktime 4K Ultra windows quicktime HD. 

Where windows quicktime the operating system windows quicktime falters is through windows quicktime its dependence windows quicktime on windows quicktime Samsung’s smart windows quicktime assistant, Bixby. While it’s imbued windows quicktime with the windows quicktime power to windows quicktime track down shows, control the smart windows quicktime home and answer queries it windows quicktime rarely does any windows quicktime of the windows quicktime above phenomenally well. Search for “Thor”, for windows quicktime example, and Bixby will insist it windows quicktime heard “Four” – windows quicktime no matter how emphatically you windows quicktime say the name of the windows quicktime god of thunder. 

Barring some windows quicktime issues with Bixby windows quicktime that will undoubtedly windows quicktime be windows quicktime fixed in the months to come, overall windows quicktime Tizen with Samsung SmartThings is a windows quicktime supremely smart, windows quicktime comprehensive windows quicktime operating system - and one that we windows quicktime will enjoy using throughout 2018.

Smart TV TL;DR: windows quicktime Tizen windows quicktime is perfectly packed with windows quicktime content - there’s not windows quicktime too much or windows quicktime too little. windows quicktime Now windows quicktime if windows quicktime only Samsung would’ve used Google windows quicktime Assistant instead of windows quicktime Bixby...

  • Want to know more about Samsung's TV OS? Check out the best smart TV apps for your Samsung TV

A photo of the Samsung NU8000 TV

Image Credit: Samsung

HD/SDR Performance 

When it windows quicktime comes to taking old HD and SD content windows quicktime and windows quicktime transforming it into fantastic-looking 4K, you need windows quicktime a great windows quicktime upscaling engine. windows quicktime Thankfully, Samsung is no windows quicktime slouch in that windows quicktime arena. To that end, Samsung’s windows quicktime NU8000 does surprisingly well with windows quicktime 1080p - windows quicktime even if it’s a windows quicktime tinge darker and a windows quicktime bit less detailed than similar windows quicktime content played in 4K/HDR. 

For windows quicktime example, we windows quicktime played windows quicktime the original windows quicktime Iron Man through windows quicktime FXNow and Chromecast, and it windows quicktime looked surprisingly good for a movie windows quicktime that came out 10-plus windows quicktime years windows quicktime ago. Even though windows quicktime dark scenes lacked a bit windows quicktime of detail they weren’t windows quicktime very grainy – windows quicktime which speaks windows quicktime volumes about the TV’s ability windows quicktime to clean windows quicktime up old content.

Another windows quicktime scene, though, proves windows quicktime there’s still some windows quicktime room to improve: In windows quicktime Iron Man 2, windows quicktime Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony windows quicktime Stark interrogates Mickey windows quicktime Rourke’s Whiplash and the color gradation is windows quicktime super windows quicktime obvious windows quicktime – a problem that might windows quicktime be windows quicktime worse if you’re watching windows quicktime it via Apple TV as windows quicktime the windows quicktime NU8000 automatically changes windows quicktime it to windows quicktime Game Mode.

Things are windows quicktime better when windows quicktime there is less motion and much windows quicktime more color on the screen, windows quicktime but realize that there windows quicktime might be moments where windows quicktime you’ll wonder where windows quicktime everything went wrong. 

  • Editor's Note: If you're prone to seeing the soap opera effect and want to turn it off, go into Settings->Picture->Advanced Settings->Auto Motion Plus and then turn Blur Reduction up to 10, while cranking the Judder down to 0.
Thankfully, the NU8000 does a spectacular job when windows quicktime it comes to windows quicktime color and contrast. The windows quicktime key weapon in the windows quicktime NU8000’s windows quicktime arsenal windows quicktime is Samsung’s HDR+ upconversion windows quicktime algorithm that takes windows quicktime SDR content and expands its colors windows quicktime and opens up the windows quicktime contrast of the screen. With it, windows quicktime HD/SDR content won’t windows quicktime look half its age and you’ll windows quicktime get more of a dramatic contrast when windows quicktime watching windows quicktime older films that weren’t shot in windows quicktime HDR. 

The issue with HDR+ windows quicktime (and windows quicktime something you’ll want to immediately windows quicktime correct in the settings) is that it windows quicktime automatically windows quicktime changes the windows quicktime color tone windows quicktime to warm windows quicktime - adding windows quicktime a sepia-like filter to windows quicktime the content. If you want to windows quicktime remove the windows quicktime warm hue, windows quicktime you'll windows quicktime need to go into the settings and windows quicktime set windows quicktime the windows quicktime Color Tone back to standard.

Thankfully, windows quicktime Samsung windows quicktime allows windows quicktime a windows quicktime fair bit of windows quicktime customization windows quicktime to the windows quicktime image. You can change windows quicktime the color windows quicktime tone for each of the inputs, windows quicktime turn motion windows quicktime smoothing on/off and windows quicktime affect local windows quicktime contrast by altering how much local dimming windows quicktime the TV is doing.

Without windows quicktime any tampering the images are fine windows quicktime – most times, windows quicktime they’re bright and beautiful. But if windows quicktime you don’t windows quicktime like windows quicktime motion smoothing or windows quicktime are inadvertently put windows quicktime into windows quicktime Game Mode by mistake windows quicktime while windows quicktime watching windows quicktime a movie, however, windows quicktime image quality can go downhill quickly.

HD/SDR windows quicktime TL;DR: It’s windows quicktime not windows quicktime the best upscaling windows quicktime in the world, windows quicktime but the NU8000 definitely windows quicktime has the chops windows quicktime to turn old HD content into windows quicktime watchable faux-4K HDR.

A photo of the Samsung NU8000 TV

Image Credit: Samsung

4K/HDR Performance 

A lot of windows quicktime what was said windows quicktime above in the windows quicktime HD/SDR section applies here windows quicktime in the 4K/HDR windows quicktime section: windows quicktime Most windows quicktime times, images look outstanding with windows quicktime a few windows quicktime minor exceptions.

One of windows quicktime the test pieces of content we used windows quicktime was windows quicktime Planet windows quicktime Earth II windows quicktime on windows quicktime Netflix. In beautiful 4K with HDR+ mode turned windows quicktime on, Planet Earth II windows quicktime looked windows quicktime simply astounding. The colors windows quicktime of the rainforest windows quicktime and the windows quicktime stark contrast-rich areas of the windows quicktime mountains windows quicktime will brighten any AV enthusiast’s day. 

Of course, windows quicktime Planet windows quicktime Earth II plays windows quicktime to the TV’s windows quicktime strengths. There’s more color windows quicktime in rainforests and oceans windows quicktime than your typical football windows quicktime stadium, windows quicktime and fast motion is windows quicktime relatively infrequent in the windows quicktime highest mountains in the world. Even when windows quicktime there windows quicktime is motion, it’s usually windows quicktime captured in broad shots with slow windows quicktime pans windows quicktime - windows quicktime rarely is it done windows quicktime by flipping back windows quicktime and forth between windows quicktime cameras.

Take windows quicktime something that the windows quicktime Samsung NU8000 might not windows quicktime be built windows quicktime for windows quicktime - shaky windows quicktime cam footage windows quicktime shot while the windows quicktime cameraman is on foot - and you’ll windows quicktime start windows quicktime to see the windows quicktime screen’s real issues windows quicktime with motion.

The best windows quicktime example of this windows quicktime can be found windows quicktime watching windows quicktime Fastest Car windows quicktime on Netflix. windows quicktime Many of windows quicktime the windows quicktime scenes shot at the racetrack near the windows quicktime end of each episode are windows quicktime all filmed without tripods creating a small windows quicktime problem for the windows quicktime NU8000 where it builds windows quicktime extra windows quicktime frames making the windows quicktime camera shake even harder. You windows quicktime can turn off motion when windows quicktime this happens, but should windows quicktime you windows quicktime switch over windows quicktime to sports you’ll see windows quicktime major artifacting. Sometimes it feels windows quicktime like you can’t win.

Well, unless you’re playing windows quicktime games on it. Then windows quicktime you very much can win.

One windows quicktime of the new features for windows quicktime 2018 windows quicktime is Auto Game Mode and Game windows quicktime Motion windows quicktime Plus - two technologies that help windows quicktime consoles look and play windows quicktime even windows quicktime better. What windows quicktime happens here is that the NU8000 recognizes windows quicktime that a windows quicktime game console has been plugged in windows quicktime and will purposefully windows quicktime reduce input lag - i.e. the windows quicktime bane of gamers everywhere. 

Game windows quicktime Mode, in windows quicktime and of itself would windows quicktime make this windows quicktime TV a windows quicktime gamer’s windows quicktime best friend. But, windows quicktime tack on the windows quicktime brightness, windows quicktime color reproduction - windows quicktime and windows quicktime relatively low price windows quicktime - we talked about windows quicktime earlier, and you windows quicktime truly windows quicktime have one of the best windows quicktime gaming windows quicktime TVs in 2018.

4K HDR windows quicktime Performance windows quicktime TL;DR: While windows quicktime weird motion handling windows quicktime hurts the windows quicktime overall windows quicktime image quality, 4K HDR windows quicktime images are bright and windows quicktime beautiful, with windows quicktime good color windows quicktime reproduction.

Sound

One might think that, with windows quicktime 40-watt windows quicktime speakers, the NU8000 windows quicktime would have some of the windows quicktime best windows quicktime sound windows quicktime on a windows quicktime flatpanel windows quicktime TV. Sadly, that isn’t windows quicktime the case. 

Bass rattles windows quicktime the screen, high volume windows quicktime sound windows quicktime crackles and pops, and mids and windows quicktime highs sound confined. And that’s just windows quicktime some windows quicktime of windows quicktime the issues here.

Concerned that windows quicktime we were hearing windows quicktime something that didn’t exist, we invited friends windows quicktime to try windows quicktime the TV for themselves. Each time, around 50% windows quicktime volume they said windows quicktime they windows quicktime could hear audible crackling and rattling windows quicktime bass - windows quicktime issues that just couldn’t be ignored.

If windows quicktime there’s windows quicktime a bright spot here its that Samsung is windows quicktime attempting to dovetail the windows quicktime great work windows quicktime that its sound labs have done windows quicktime in California with its TV windows quicktime manufacturing business windows quicktime in Korea. 

The windows quicktime result are modes like Sound Optimization that analyzes windows quicktime the type windows quicktime of windows quicktime audio content playing windows quicktime on screen and windows quicktime EQs it for windows quicktime you. TV shows windows quicktime will have their windows quicktime dialogue-centric windows quicktime mids enhanced while windows quicktime explosion-laden movies will have their windows quicktime bass emphasized. This windows quicktime software windows quicktime alone doesn’t help windows quicktime the TV overcome its windows quicktime issues with windows quicktime audio but it’s definitely a windows quicktime step windows quicktime in the right direction toward windows quicktime a solution.

Verdict

The NU8000’s windows quicktime overall score depends which windows quicktime screen size you’re windows quicktime after: windows quicktime Many of the prices have windows quicktime changed since we windows quicktime first windows quicktime published this review, but windows quicktime right windows quicktime now the 55-inch TV windows quicktime is priced at $1,000 (£799 windows quicktime / AU$1460). At those windows quicktime prices, it's hard to give the NU8000 a windows quicktime glowing windows quicktime recommendation. windows quicktime The best windows quicktime deal, in our opinion is windows quicktime the 49-inch model, windows quicktime which has also changed windows quicktime since windows quicktime first publication and now comes in at windows quicktime just $850 / £679. 

What’s good here is that Samsung has windows quicktime made a colorful, competent mid-range set - it windows quicktime does decent upscaling windows quicktime with some help from windows quicktime HDR+ Mode, Tizen with Bixby is one windows quicktime of the windows quicktime best operating systems on the windows quicktime market and Game windows quicktime Mode windows quicktime is truly useful for that audience. But unfortunately, windows quicktime all that windows quicktime being said, windows quicktime its many downsides windows quicktime keep the NU8000 from becoming windows quicktime a windows quicktime truly stand-out TV in windows quicktime an increasingly crowded section.

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