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The Samsung RU8000 (UN49RU8000, UN55RU8000, UN65RU8000, UN75RU8000, UN82RU8000)

 

The Samsung RU8000 is a top of the line model for Samsung’s 2019 non-QLED TV line. Even though it is top of the line, you can get It for a mid-ranged price. The prior model Samsung NU8000 was replaced by the newer RU8000. Similar to other mid-range televisions on the market, you get a lot of screen size options. The smallest being the 49 inch model (the UN49RU8000), then there’s a 55 inch model (UN55RU8000), a 65 inch (UN65RU8000), a 75 inch (UN75RU8000), and a large 82 inch model (UN82RU8000).

As you may have guessed, price is mostly dependent on screen size.  Of course their prices are not fixed and can change at any time. 

Do you need an owner’s manual for the Samsung RU8000? if so, click here

Samsung RU8000 Specifications

Technology and Features Samsung RU8000
Screen Size Available 49 Inches (UN49RU8000 FXZA), 55 Inches (UN55RU8000 FXZA), 65 Inches (UN65RU8000 FXZA), 75 Inches (UN75RU8000 FXZA), and 82 Inches (UN82RU8000 FXZA)
Resolution 4K (3840 x 2160)
Panel Technology VA Panel
Panel Form Flat
Backlight Technology Edge Lit LED (Ultra Slim Array)
Local Dimming Technology No
Dimming Technology UHD Dimming
Ultra Viewing Angle Technology No
Processor 4K UHD Processor
HDR Quality HDR
HDR Supports HDR10, HLG, HDR10+
Color Technology Dynamic Crystal Color
Depth Enhancing Technology N/a
UHD Up-Scaling Yes
Motion Technology Motion Rate 240 (49 Inches: Motion Rate120)
Native Refresh Rate Panel 120 Hz (49 inches Model : 60 Hz)
Smart TV Platform Tizen 2019
Processor Quad Core
Support Google Assistant Yes
Support Amazon Alexa Yes
Remote Smart Remote (TM1950A)
Speaker Channel 2
Total Sound Output 20 watts
HDMI Ports 4
HDMI Supports HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.2
USB 2.0 2
USB 3.0 No
Price See today’s price

 

The Review of the Samsung RU8000

As a newer model, the Samsung RU8000 incorporates some technologies and features from its predecessor the NU8000. Even though the RU8000 is a successor of the NU8000, it lacks some features found on the older NU8000. You can see our comparison of the two Samsung models here

Panel Technology

The RU8000 uses a Vertical Alignment panel technology. As is typical of this type of panel, you’ll get a good native contrast ratio to produce a deep black. But the tradeoff is that the VA panel makes for a poor side viewing angle. In 2019, Samsung had introduced a new optical layer technology (called “Ultra Viewing Angle”) that helps improve the side viewing angle coverage of its lineup. However this technology is only on premium models like the Samsung Q90R and the Samsung Q80R.

Backlight Technology

Even though the RU8000 is the successor of the NU8000, the RU8000 lacks the local dimming technology that the NU8000 has. Instead the Samsung RU8000 has a technology called UHD Dimming, to help improve black level. But it’s not a real local dimming technology like what you see on other televisions. This is just a software-based dimming system using an algorithm. It’s not as impressive as the actual dimming we’ve seen on other televisions.

Image Processor

The Samsung RU8000 is powered by a 4K UHD Processor and appears similar to the UHD Engines we’ve seen on other televisions for the picture quality rendered.

HDR Support

In addition to HDR10, the most popular HDR format, the RU8000 also supports HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), an HDR format developed by NHK and BBC for TV broadcasting. This allows you to watch television shows with HDR quality. Additionally, it supports HDR10+, an HDR format that is an upgrade from the HDR10 format. The difference is that the HDR10 uses static metadata, whereas the HDR10+ uses dynamic metadata. Unfortunately, this Samsung does not support Dolby Vision (another HDR format which uses dynamic metadata).

Motion Technology

For improving performance in handling motion, the Samsung RU8000 is supported by Motion Rate 240 technology. This features a 120 Hz native refresh rate panel. You can play native 120 fps content — or interpolate lower frame rate content at up to 120 Hz.

To dim the backlight, the RU8000 uses a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system. Although the dimming frequency is dependent on the setting. When picture mode is set to “Movies”, the dimming frequency is equal to 240 Hz. In the other modes, the dimming changes to 120 Hz. When Auto Motion Plus is set to “Custom” or “Auto”, the dimming frequency is always 120Hz, even if the television is set in Movie mode. The 120 Hz flicker can help fast motion look a little crisper, but on the other hand, this can also cause some unwanted duplication.

The RU8000 has an optional 60Hz (BFI) Black Frame Insertion mode. This feature can be activated by enabling “LED Clear Motion” in the “Auto Motion Plus” settings menu.  This means that when the “LED Clear Motion” is enabled, the backlight flicker will change to 60 Hz. Enabling this BFI mode will help make motion look crisper, particularly when playing 60 fps content — like live sports and video games. Because the backlight flickers at a lower frequency (which could make the backlight flicker more noticeable) for some people it may affect them if they are sensitive to flicker.

The best thing is the RU8000 supports the FreeSync VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) technology. At 4K resolution, the refresh rate can change between 48 – 60 Hz while with 1080p and 1440p resolution, the refresh rate can change between 20 – 120 Hz. With a compatible device like an Xbox one or a PC with compatible GPU, you can play games nearly tear-free.

Note: The 49 inch model (the UN49RU8000) is instead powered by Motion Rate 120 and only has a native 60 Hz refresh rate panel. As a result, it does not support Variable Refresh Rate VRR technology.

Connectivity

The Samsung RU8000 has 4 HDMI ports for their major connective point. TheiHDMI ports support most common resolutions, including 1440p @ 60 Hz. The HDMI ports also support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, HDCP 2.2, CEC, and ARC (HDMI 4). Unfortunately, the RU8000 does not support HDMI 2.1, which means the HDMI ports are unable to accept HFR content such as 4K @ 120 Hz. Additionally, the RU8000 doesn’t support eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel), so you cannot pass higher audio quality signals like DTS:X via DTS-HD MA or others to this television. The HDMI ports do support ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), allowing the RU8000 to automatically change to low latency mode like Game Mode when a signal from a game console is detected.

In addition to HDMI, you get 2 USB ports that are USB 2.0 compatible. But it doesn’t have USB 3.0. There’s also 1 Tuner IN (RF In), 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), and 1 Ethernet port. As to  wireless connectivity, you get a built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Audio System

The newer Samsung RU8000 has a worse internal sounding speaker than its predecessor NU8000. The RU8000 is only equipped with a standard internal speaker system, which is a 2.0 channel speaker system with 20 watts of total sound output. If you are not satisfied with sound output of the RU8000, you can buy an additional external sound bar separately for improving sound quality.

Smart TV Platform

For the smart TV platform, the RU8000 includes Tizen OS 2019 —  also called Smart Hub. This version comes with some improvements from the prior version, particularly on the interface. This improved version of the interface looks much smoother than the prior year version.

In term of apps provided, there’re not many changes. You get an excellent selection of preinstalled apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Videos, Web Browser, Games, Live TVs, and more. Their apps store is the same Samsung apps store, with a variety of apps you can download to the RU8000. The RU8000 also supports voice navigation. Using Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant, it features excellent voice control allowing you to control most TV functions, and you can even ask some basic questions.  The RU8000 also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. However, the Amazon Alexa is not built-in on the RU8000 — so to use it, you must buy Amazon Alexa Devices separately.

Remote Control

The Samsung RU8000 comes with the 2019 model of Samsung’s smart remote controller (TM1950A). It is small in size and only has a few buttons.  There’s a built-in microphone for voice command to control most television functions. When you use the voice navigation, you don’t need a direct line-of-sight to the television because they use a Bluetooth Connection. The controller also includes the OneRemote feature, where it can be a universal remote to control other devices connected to your Samsung TV. Not only can HDMI CEC compatible devices be controlled by the remote, but also devices which don’t support the HDMI CEC standard. To control a device that doesn’t support CEC, it does require direct line-of-sight to the device. One nice feature of the remote is that there are 3 dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, which makes navigation quick to these services.

 

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Samsung RU8000 <<

Samsung RU8000 Performance

Black Level and Contrast Ratio

As is typical of televisions with a vertical alignment panel, the Samsung RU8000 has an excellent native contrast ratio, better than most other vertical alignment televisions.  This allows for a good deep black level, deeper than 0.02 nits. The black uniformity is also equally excellent as you’d expect from a Samsung. The combination of a deep black level and excellent black uniformity makes dark scenes to look excellent, even when viewed in a dark room. Additionally, the black level produced is also deep enough to show shadow details of HDR images excellently showing the details as they should rendered in HDR.

The RU8000 lacks a local dimming technology. Without local dimming, when showing a small highlight in a dark scene, blooming will more visible on screen compared to other televisions. This will be noticeable when showing a movie with subtitles where the subtitle will look more focused on the screen.

 

SDR Peak Brightness

The SDR peak brightness of the Samsung RU8000 is not as bright as its predecessor the NU8000. With real content, the RU8000 is able to hit around 350 nits. The good thing is that peak brightness is relatively consistent at any window size, except 2% window (2% of the screen is white while the rest is black). Meanwhile, on a 2% window, its peak brightness is dimmed by the TV’s CE down to around 200 nits to prevent excessive blooming when it is showing small highlights. With this behavior, as long as it is not set in a very bright room, its peak brightness is bright enough to overcome glare. And combined with its good reflection handling, in most rooms the picture displayed on screen looks fairly good without any distracting glare.

 

HDR Peak Brightness

With HDR content, the peak brightness of the Samsung RU8000 is relatively similar to its SDR peak brightness, at around 350 nits. Its HDR peak brightness behavior is also similar to its SDR peak brightness where the peak brightness is relatively consistent on most window sizes, and dimmed down to around 200 nits on a 2 % window. This peak brightness may be bright enough to fight the glare in most bright rooms, but it’s still not bright enough to show HDR images as bright as they should be. Let alone, it can not show outstanding highlights. Of course, this will make you disappointed if you use the Samsung RU8000 for an HDR experience.

 

Color Gamut and Color Volume

The RU8000 can deliver a wide color gamut for good HDR viewing. The NU8000 can deliver a bit wider color gamut than the RU8000. The Samsung RU8000 can cover approximately 90% of DCI P3 color space. The color gamut is equally wide enough to show most colors of HDR images quite accurately, particularly for HDR images mastered in DCI P3 color space like HDR10 and HDR10+.  The RU8000 can produce deep dark colors fairly well and show their wide color gamut across the entire brightness range. However, similar to most LED TVs, the RU8000 can not produce very bright blues.

Color Gradient

In certain shades of color, there is noticeable banding on the screen of the Samsung RU8000. Although this should not have a significant impact on normal content. On screen there may be some banding in certain shades of colors, but in normal content, this would be hard to notice. Overall the color gradient is excellent. Color gradient of HDR images looks very smooth on screen. If you don’t like the banding that may be visible, set the “Digital Clean View” to “Auto” and that setting can help remove most of the issue. The drawback is this setting can also cause the picture to lose some of the finer details.

 

Side Viewing Angle

Typical of LED TVs with a VA panel, the Samsung RU8000 has poor side viewing angle. Starting at around 15 degrees off center and front, the black level will rise quickly. Additionally, colors shift at an angle around 20 degrees. The brightness also drops starting at around 30 degrees. When this happens, the picture displayed on the screen will look less accurate when seen from the side. For example, even if you were on either end seat of a 3 seat couch — you might notice the small difference in picture quality. And the wider the angle you watch the television from, you’ll have a more degraded picture quality. So if you often watch television from the side, this television might not be not good fit for you.

Motion Handling

A very important visual feature for sports and action movies, the lower the pixel response time of the TV, the motion produced will look smoother with less blur. The Samsung RU8000 has a low pixel response time of approximately 11 ms. This pixel response time is considered excellent. When playing fast paced content, the motion looks very crisp. Following a fast moving object around, there’s only a short faint trail that would be difficult to notice. Although some duplication may be visible caused by the backlight flicker.

Fortunately, there’s an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode available. By enabling this mode, it changes the dimming frequency to 60 Hz. This can help remove duplications to ensure that motion looks crisper, particularly when playing 60 fps content like video games and live sports. Since the backlight flickers at a lower frequency, this may cause the backlight flicker to bother some people — so it does need to be used carefully. To enable BFI mode, you just need to enable the setting for  “LED Motion Clear”.

When playing 24p movies, except for 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, the RU8000 does a good job. Regardless of the source, whether native 24p movies like DVD or Blu Ray movies, movies from native apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others, or 24p movies via the 60p signal, this television shows them clearly judder free. To remove the judder, you just set the “Auto Motion Plus” to the “Auto” setting and adjust both the Blur and Judder Reduction slider to “0”.

 

Input Lag

The Samsung RU8000 brings a bit of improvement from the predecessor NU8000 on input lag, particularly with 60 fps content. In game mode with 60 fps content, the input lag of the RU8000 is approximately 15 ms. With 120 fps content, the input lag of the RU8000 is higher than the NU8000. At 120 Hz, the input lag of the RU8000 is around 20 ms on 1080p resolution and around 15 ms on 1440p resolution. With the FreeSync feature enabled, on 1080p and 1440p resolution, the input lag is approximately 6 ms — while on 4K resolution, the input lag is  around 15 ms.  With this excellent input lag, this television can do a good job when used for playing any game, even fast-paced games that require quick reflexes.

 

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Samsung RU8000 <<

Summary

PerformanceSamsung RU8000 
Picture Quality(3.8/5) 
HDR(3.7/5) 
Motion Handling(4.4/5) 
Inputs(4.7/5) 
Sound Quality(3.3/5) 
Smart TV(4/5) 

Conclusion

The model Samsung RU8000 brings many good features such as supporting 1440p @60 Hz, and Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, and other features. In terms of picture quality, the Samsung RU8000 is good. In fact, its picture quality can be said to be very good for its price. In terms of a smart TV experience, the RU8000 is better than its predecessor.

In our comparison, we found the Samsung NU8000 to be slightly better than the Samsung RU8000. In addition to delivering better picture quality and better HDR performance, NU8000 also has a more powerful audio system. This means that regardless if used for watching movies, TV shows, Sports, HDR content, or playing Games, the NU8000 is better. Although not as good as its predecessor, the picture quality of the RU8000 is also very good. 

So is the RU8000 a good choice for you? The Samsung NU8000 might be a better choice than the RU8000. However, for the 65 inch model or larger, the RU8000 is priced lower than the NU8000, often significantly lower. So it makes sense that the picture quality of the RU8000 may not be as good as the NU8000. The decision comes back to you according to your own preference and budget.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Samsung RU8000 <<

 

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The Samsung RU8000 (UN49RU8000, UN55RU8000, UN65RU8000, UN75RU8000, UN82RU8000)

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