The Samsung Q80T and the Q80R are part of the Samsung QLED TV Q80 Series lineup. The Samsung Q80R is the 2019 model while the Q80T is the 2020 model. In 2020, Samsung downgraded the performance and features of their 2020 lineup compared t the 2019 lineup. This means that even though the Q80T is the successor of the Q80R, its performance is subordinate to the predecessors and tends to be similar to the Q70R. Nevertheless, aside from this issue and even though its performance may not be as good as the predecessor, for its class the Q80T is a great TV for most uses.
The Samsung Q80R comes in 4 screen sizes. In addition to those screen sizes found on the Q80R (QN55Q80T vs QN55Q80R, QN65Q80T vs QN65Q80R, QN75Q80T vs QN75Q80R, QN85Q80T vs QN85Q80R), the Q80T is also available in a 49 Inch version (QN49Q80T). The 49 inch model of the Q80T (QN49Q80T), has fewer specs than the larger models. This comparison refers to their 55 inch model and larger. So what are their differences and is it true that the Q80T is not as good as the Q80R?
The Samsung Q80T and the Q80R Key Specifications
|Technology and Features
|Screen Size Available
|49 Inches (QN49Q80TAFXZA), 55 Inches (QN55Q80TAFXZA), 65 Inches (QN65Q80TAFXZA), 75 Inches (QN75Q80TAFXZA), and 85 Inches (QN85Q80TAFXZA),
|55 Inches (QN55Q80R), 65 Inches (QN65Q80R), 75 Inches (QN75Q80R)
|4K (3840 x 2160)
|4K (3840 x 2160)
|Local Dimming Technology
|Yes (Direct Full Array 12X), 49 Inches (Direct Full Array 8X)
|Full Array Local Dimming (Direct Full Array 8x)
|Ultra Viewing Angle
|Yes , QN49Q80T: No
|Quantum Processor 4K
|Quantum Processor 4K
|HDR Numerical Index
|Quantum HDR 12x, QN49Q80T : Quantum HDR 8x
|Quantum HDR 12X
|HDR10, HLG, HDR10+
|HDR10 (Static), HLG, HDR10+ (Dynamic)
|4K AI Up-Scaling
|4K AI Up-Scaling
|Motion Rate 240, QN49Q80T: Motion Rate 120
|Motion Rate 120
|Native Refresh Panel
|120 Hz, 49 inches : 60 Hz
|Variable Refresh Rate
|Yes (FreeSync, HDMI Forum), QN49Q80T: No
|Smart TV Platform
|Support Google Assistant
|Support Amazon Alexa
|2.2.2, QN49Q80T: 2.2
|Total Sound Output
|60 watts, QN49Q80T 40 watts
|HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, HDMI 2.1, CEC, HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.1
|HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.2
|See today’s price
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Technology and Features of the Samsung Q80T and Q80R
Just like other models of the Samsung TV Lineup, the Samsung Q80R and the Q80T both use the VA (Vertical Alignment) panel technology. TVs that use the VA panel usually have an excellent native contrast ratio. On the other hand, their side viewing angle typically is poor. However that is not the case for these models. Since their panel has an anti glare optical layer called “Ultra Viewing Angle”, this technology makes both of these series have a much better viewing angle than TVs with a standard VA panel. The use of “Ultra Viewing Angle” slightly reduces the contrast ratio and color gamut, but in general they both have an excellent native contrast ratio and a wide color gamut. With the support of Quantum Dot technology, this allows these TVs to deliver a wide color gamut.
The Samsung Q80R and the Q80T also use the same backlight technology, which is called Direct LED backlight. Additionally they both also have a full array local dimming feature called “Direct Full Array”. And as we see on the comparison table above (except for the 49 inch model of the Q80T – QN49Q80T), the Samsung Q80T is powered by Direct Full Array 12X while the Q80R is powered by Direct Full Array 8X. Unfortunately we don’t know for sure the number of dimming zones for their local dimming. Even so, with the higher level of Direct Full Array technology, the Q80T should have more dimming zones than the Q80R.
Both the Samsung Q80R and the Q80T are powered by the same image processor, called Quantum Processor 4K. This image processor has an AI algorithm, allowing both of them to have some AI-related features such as Adaptive Brightness, Adaptive Sound and Adaptive Volume. These AI-related features can automatically set the picture parameter to suit the room where they are used. This also allows their 4K Up-scaling engine based AI to have an AI based Algorithm. Since their up-scaling engine is AI based, the 4K up-scaled picture produced is better with less loss of fine details than a conventional 4K up-scaling engine.
Except for the 49 inch model of the Q80T (QN49Q80T), the Samsung Q80T and the Q80R have the same motion technology. They both use an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode called Motion Rate 240 Hz. Additionally they both have a native 120 Hz refresh rate panel which makes them support any content with a frame rate up to 120 Hz or allows them to interpolate low frame rate content up to 120 Hz. In addition to the native refresh rate, they both also support VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) panel technology that can improve the gaming experience. The difference in the VRR of the Q80T is compatibility with FreeSync and HDMI, while the Q80R is only compatible with FreeSync. But even so, they both don’t support NVidia GSync yet.
Tto dim their backlight, both the Samsung Q80R and the Q80T use a PWM (Pulse Width Dimming) System. In most picture modes, they both have 960 Hz of dimming frequency. With the PWM Dimming system on, this may make their backlight to not be flicker-free. Since their dimming frequency is extremely high, their backlight flicker should not be noticeable for most people. As mentioned above, they both have an optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI) mode that can change the dimming frequency to 60 Hz and 120 Hz. On the Q80R, with Auto Motion Plus set to “Custom” or “Auto” it will make changes in its dimming frequency to 120 Hz. Additionally setting the picture mode to “Natural”, Standard, PC, “Dynamic” or “Game” will change the dimming frequency to 120 HZ. Enabling the “LED Clear Motion” will further reduce dimming frequency to 60 Hz.
On the Q80T, setting the “Picture Clarity” to “Auto” or “Custom” will change the dimming frequency to 120 Hz. Just like the Q80R, setting the picture mode to “Natural”, Standard, PC, “Dynamic” or “Game” will also change its dimming frequency to 120 Hz. And lastly to enable its 60 Hz BFI mode, you just need to turn on “LED Clear Motion”.
For their major connective points, both the Samsun Q80R and the Q80T have 4 HDMI ports and all of their HDMI ports support HDCP 2.2, CEC, and HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth. One of their HDMI ports (HDMI 3) also supports ARC Audio Return Channel. The Q80T also supports eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) and HDMI 2.1. The Q80R doesn’t support eARC o HDMI 2.1 even though the Q80T does. For the Q80T there is only 1 port that supports HDMI 2.1, which is HDMI 4. Additionally, for both series their HDMI ports also support most resolutions at both 60 Hz and 120 Hz.
In addition to HDMI ports, each series has 2 USB ports. All of them are USB 2.0 compatible but none of them are USB 3.0 compatible. Additionally they both also have 1 RF In (Tuner In), Ethernet Port, and Digital Audio Out (Optical). They both also have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless connections. Nevertheless, they both don’t have a Component In and Composite In.
Smart TV Platform
For their Smart TV platform the Samsung Q80T runs the Tizen OS 2020 while the Q80R runs Tizen OS 2019. There are not many changes offered by the 2020 version over the 2019 version. In general their smart TV platforms have an intuitive and attractive layout and the operation is very smooth and simple to use. Additionally they both have a lot of attractive pre-installed apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Web Browser, Games, and more. In addition to pre-installed apps, both also have an apps store called the Samsung Apps Store featuring a great selection of apps and a large number of streaming services. Their smart TVs also support some AI Related Features likes Smart Things, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. And to make navigation easier, there is built-in voice navigation powered by Samsung’s Bixby.
As the controller, the Samsung Q80R comes with a TM-1950C remote while the Q80T comes with the TM2050C remote. At a glance, both remotes look similar. Each remote is small and only has a few buttons. Each remote also has a built-in microphone for voice navigation to take advantage of the many features of voice command. They both have Samsung’s One Remote Features. This allows them to act as a universal remote, and you can control other devices with the single Samsung remote. You can control not only HDMI CEC devices, but other devices that don’t support HDMI CEC. Of course, since it works over an IR connection, it requires a direct line of the sight to the TV. The small difference between the two remotes is on the 2019 model there is a dedicated button for Hulu — on the 2020 model the function of this button has been changed to pull up Samsung’s TV apps.
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Samsung Q80T vs Q80R Performance
Black Level and Contrast
Both the Samsung Q80T and the Q80R have a great native contrast ratio, which is around 3000:1 for the Q80T and around 3500:1 for the Q80R. Their native contrast ratio is actually underperforming among comparable TVs with a VA display panel. Fortunately they both have a local dimming feature that can improve their contrast ratio to around 4000:1 for the Q80T and around 5500:1 for the Q80R. The result is that they can produce a very deep black. Even in a dark room where the impact of contrast ratio is very sensitive, black produced by these TVs still looks very black. With HDR content, the black produced by them is deep enough to reveal details and shadow details can be shown excellently the way they should. In addition to the mproved the contrast ratio, the local dimming feature is very effective in reducing blooming around a highlight and makes subtitles in movies look sharp and clea on their screen.
Compared between them, the Q80R is actually better than its successor the Q80T. In addition to the strong native contrast ratio, the local dimming feature of the Q80R works better than the Q80T in improving contrast ratio and for reducing blooming.
With SDR content, the Samsung Q80R has better peak brightness than the Q80T. Since they both have a local dimming feature, their peak brightness is dependent on the content. They both reach their peak brightness equally in a 10% window, where the Q80R hit around 950 nits and the Q80T hit around 700 nits. The dimmest peak brightness reached by them on a 100% window was the Q80R hit around 550 nits while the Q80T hit around 400 nits. And in general, with real SDR content the Q80R reached around 700 nits while the Q80T got around 400 nits. Since the Q80R can show brighter pictures in very bright room, the picture displayed on its screen will look more apparent than the Q80T. Even though not as bright as the Q80R, the SDR peak brightness of the Q80T is still excellent, allowing you to watch TV in most bright rooms without any serious degradation.
HDR Peak Brightness
With HDR content, both series can reach better peak brightness than when showing SDR content and that was expected. Just like with SDR content, their HDR peak brightness is also dependent on the content. On a 10% window where they hit their peak brightness, the Q80R can hit around 110 nits while the Q80T hit around 950 nits. Meanwhile, on a 100 % window where they hit their dimmest peak brightness, the Q80R can still reach around 650 nits while the Q80T hit around 450 nits. This means that the Q80R can show much brighter HDR images than the Q80T. Even in certain scenes, it can show highlights brighter than 1000 nits, which makes highlights pop the way that is expected in HDR. On the other hand, the HDR peak brightness of the Q80T may be not as bright as the Q80R. But at least in most bright rooms, HDR images displayed on its screen look fairly bright. Additionally for the Q80T, highlights can also pop the way they should in HDR.
The Samsung Q80R has a wider color gamut than the Q80T. In general, their color gamut is equally excellent. In the DCI P3 where colors of HDR 10 and HDR10+ used by most HDR content, the Samsung Q80R can cover around 94% of DCI P3 uv and 90% of DCI P3 x while the Q90T is around 92% of DCI P3 Uv and 83% of DCI P3 xy. This certainly makes most colors of HDR content to be shown fairly accurate on screen. In addition to wide color gamut, they both also have good color volume. Since they both have a good contrast ratio, they both can produce deep saturated colors fairly well. Most of the bright saturated colors can be shown correctly, except for very bright blues. As we have seen, this is typical of LED TVs and the Samsung Q80T and the Q80R are no exception. In general, most colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate and this makes HDR images displayed on screen look faithful.
Regarding color gradient, both series produce great color gradient and their color gradient ability is almost similar. In almost all dark shades of color, some fine banding may be noticeable. But in normal content, this should be hard to detect for most people. Overall the color gradient of HDR images looks very smooth on the screen. If you feel the banding bothers you, both series have a feature that can be used to reduce banding. On the Samsung Q80R, you can set the “Digital Clean View” to “Auto” while on the Q80T, you can enable “Noise Reduction” on the “Picture Clarity” setting. Keep in mind, these settings may make banding reduced, but might cause some loss of fine details in certain scenes.
Side Viewing Angle
As mentioned above, the panel of the Samsung Q80T and the Q80R have an additional antiglare optical layer called “Ultra Viewing Angle”. The use of this optical layer may make their native contrast ratio and color gamut to be reduced, on the other hand, this can improve their side viewing angle. The result is a side viewing angle coverage of the Samsung Q80R and the Q80T is better than most LED TVs that use a conventional VA panel. On the screen of a TV with a conventional panel, black level usually rises starting at around 15 degrees. On the Samsungs Q80T and Q80R screen, black level can be maintained up to around 30 degrees. Additionally the color accuracy can be maintained at wider angle, which is around 40 degrees. And lastly, this optical layer can maintain their peak brightness up to around 45 degrees, while on the conventional VA TVs, the brightness of the picture displayed on their screen usually start to drop around 30 degrees.
The Samsung Q80T has a bit faster pixel response time than the Q80R. However, their difference doesn’t have a significant impact and in general their pixel response time is equally great. The result when they are playing fast paced images like fast movies or fast sports, these scenes look very smooth with only a short ghosting trail following a fast moving object. Even so for most people this should not be noticeable. Meanwhile the blur that may be visible is more caused by persistence or duplication. But as we have mentioned above, both series have an optional 120 Hz and 60 Hz Black Frame Insertion (BFI) mode that can reduce blur persistence. Keep in mind, enabling the BFI mode will cause the backlight flicker change to 120 Hz or 60 Hz. This may make motion smoother, but on the other hand this will cause a backlight flicker that is noticeable for most people, particularly for those sensitive to flicker.
Both the Samsung Q80T and the Q80R are good performers in handling 24p judder. Regardless of the source of movies, whether it is native 24p movies like Blu-Ray or DVD movies, 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, 24p movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, or 24p movies from native Apps like Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, all of them look smooth with judder-free on their screen. To remove the judder, on the Q80T you just need to set “Picture Clarity” to “Custom” and both “Judder Reduction” and “Blur Reduction” to “0”. Meanwhile on the Q80R, you just need to set “Auto Motion Plus” to custom and leave both sliders to “0”.
An improvement offered by the Samsung Q80T over the Q80R predecessor is the input lag in Game Mode. With 60 fps content, regardless of the resolution, the input lag of the Samsung Q80R is around 15 ms while the input lag of the Q80T is around 10 ms. Additionally with 120 fps content, the Q80T also has a lower input lag, which is around 5 ms on both 1080p and 1440p resolution, while the input lag of the Q80R at 120 Hz is around 6 ms on both 1080p and 1440p resolution. In VRR mode, the input lag of the Samsung Q80R and the Q80T are also great. On both 1080p and 1440p resolution, their input lag is around 6.5 ms while on 4K resolution, their input lag is around 15 ms. With their extremely low input lag, they both are equally responsive for any game, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. Even so, since the input lag of the Q80T is a bit lower, of course when used for playing 60 fps games, it is also a bit more responsive than the Q80R.
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For Watching Movies
Both the Samsung Q80T and the Q80R are great TVs for watching movies. They both have good native contrast ratio that makes them produce deep black. Their good black uniformity makes black of images shown excellently on their screen, even when they are set in a dark room. Additionally they both also have a good local dimming feature that can improve performance in a dark room. They both are also good performers in handling 24p judder, allowing you to watch movies judder free. The combination of their color gamut and good peak brightness makes movies look excellent on screen. Additionally subtitles look well due to the good performance of their local dimming features. And since the performance of the Q80R is better in almost in all aspects like black level, color gamut, peak brightness, and local dimming feature, this certainly makes the Q80R better than the Q80T when used for watching movies in a dark room. On the other hand, although not as good as the Q80R, performance of the Q80T is also great for its class.
For Watching Sports
Both the Samsung Q80R and the Q80T are great TVs for watching sports in most bright rooms. They both have good SDR peak brightness and combined with their good reflection handling, this allows you to watch sports in most bright rooms without any issue. Additionally their fast pixel response time makes quick sports look smoothly on screen. And lastly, with their good side viewing angle, you get the best viewing when watching a big game with a group of your family or friends. Compared between them, the Q80T is a bit better in pixel response time and that makes motion looks smoother on its screen. On the other hand, the Q80R is superior in a very bright room due to it has brighter SDR peak brightness.
For Video Games
When used for playing video games, performance of the Samsung Q80R and the Q80T are each great. In addition they both have excellent picture quality and great pixel response time, they both also have excellent input lags in any resolution on both 120 Hz and 60 Hz. This allows you to play any games responsively with good picture quality. Additionally, when you are playing multiplayer games with a group of your family or friends, their good viewing angle ensures that all of you get the best viewing. Not only that, except for the 49 inch model of the Q80T (QN49Q80T), they both support VRR technology that allows you to play games without a screen tearing effect. The support of ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) also allows you to play games without manually changing their picture mode to “Game”. And since the Q80T has lower input lag on 60 Hz, it is a bit more responsive than the Q80R, particularly when used for playing 60 fps games.
Both the Samsung Q80T and the Q80R are equally good performers for HDR experience. They both can produce a deep dark, making shadow details of HDR images excellent as expected for HDR content. Their wide color gamut, good color volume, and great color gradient also allow you to watch HDR content with very accurate color and a smooth color gradient. Meanwhile their difference in performing HDR content is with their peak brightness. The Q80R has great HDR Peak brightness, even when you view it in a very bright room. In certain scenes, it can even show small highlight brighter than 1000 nits, which means it is great. Although the peak brightness of the Q80T is not as bright as its predecessor, the HDR images displayed on its screen still look fairly bright in most bright rooms. And it is able to show HDR images with highlight that pops.
As we have discussed above, many decisions are influenced by things like local dimming features and peak brightness, in that regard the performance of the Samsung Q80R is better than the Q80T. On the other hand, the Q80T is better on the aspects influenced by their image processor like input lag. Overall in most uses, the performance and picture quality of the Q80T is not as good as its predecessor. But in certain uses, the Q80T is better than the Q80R mostly for games. Which is a better choice for you? The decision comes down to your main purpose for buying a TV.
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