John Archer heads below Samsung’s QLED range to its RU8000 LCD model, and mostly likes what he sees… Read our SAMSUNG UE55RU8000 Review.
THE EXTRA COLOUR and brightness provided by Samsung’s Quantum Dot-based QLED TVs might be appealing, but they’re still a relatively expensive proposition. If money’s tight, you need to adjust your sights to a regular Samsung LCD TV instead. Enter the UE55RU8000, the brand’s top-of-the-range non-QLED model.
This 55-incher (there are 49in, 65in and 82in models, too) replaces Quantum Dots with a more traditional colour filter arrangement. It does, however, feature Samsung’s Dynamic Crystal Colour tech, which combines a wide colour gamut with more powerful processing than you’ll find on step-down models, to deliver a claimed one billion-plus colour tones.
To get the best from its WCG talents, you should endeavour to view on-axis, given that it uses a viewing angle-challenged VA-type LCD panel, with none of the wide viewing angle smarts of Samsung’s top-end QLED TVs.
The screen is edge-lit with no local 4K edge-lit LCD TV with HDR support
- Beneath Samsung’s QLED range, but the best specified of its standard LCD TVs
- Samsung QE55Q60R; LG 55SM8200
dimming, and its brightness measures around 350 nits versus the 580 nits of Samsung’s Q60R entry-level QLED [see HCC #305]. This inevitably limits the impact of its HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG HDR playback.
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Smart features come via Samsung’s stable and slick Eden platform. This carries VOD apps including Apple TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime, all with 4K and HDR. There’s also voice control via Bixby or (if you have an external device) Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. There’s no Freeview Play integration, but Samsung still provides individual catch-up apps for the main terrestrial broadcasters.
The TV doesn’t have much going for it in the way of style – its lightweight chassis is wall to wall plastic, and its black feet are basic in the extreme. At least the screen frame is trim, though.
A better bet?
The UE55RU8000’s picture quality suffers in some respects from its non-QLED status, but overall it’s a highly respectable performer. In fact, it’s arguably better overall than the Q60R.
Two areas where it struggles are brightness and colour saturation. Bright HDR scenes are clearly less vivid than on the Q60R, and colours not as rich as they are on Samsung’s Q70R models and above.
However, during the night-time racing scenes in Le Mans 66 on 4K Blu-ray, the UE55RU8000 delivers deeper, more convincing blacks than the Q60R, and does so without losing shadow detail. And daytime scenes, while lacking in brightness, tend to look more balanced and controlled, as if the more affordable TV is more aware of – and better at working within – its limitations.
In both HDR peaks and general baseline HDR brightness, the UE55RU8000 impresses for a 350-nit screen, likely on account of some efficient tone mapping.
Car lights against the night sky in Le Mans 66‘s opening scenes reveal mild backlight clouding at the screen’s edges, but nothing too distracting. The full-frame dimming approach and edge LED implementation helps here.
Native 4K playback is extremely sharp and detailed, making Le Mans 66‘s cars and period action feel crisp and full of depth. The UE55RU8000 also upscales HD sources effectively, adding pixel density and texture without colours sliding or edges stressing. Standard-definition sources prove more challenging, but that’s true with all affordable LCD TVs.
There’s no high-spec sound system here, just a stereo array that sounds reasonably convincing with dialogue and ambient effects, but limited in bass weight and dynamism.
Samsung has long been tough to beat at the affordable end of the LCD market, and the UE55RU8000 may continue this dominance with its combination of comprehensive smarts, aggressive pricing and a fine allround performance. And it’s actually better overall than the pricier Q60R
Not as bright as Samsung's step-up QLED model, but actually a more immersive watch. A solid 4K HDR all-rounder.
Best SAMSUNG UE55RU8000 prices ?
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4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes. HDR10; HDR10+; HLG TUNER: Yes. Freeview HD CONNECTIONS: 4 x HDMI inputs; 2 x USB; Ethernet; RF input SOUND (CLAIMED): 20W BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): N/A CONTRAST RATIO (CLAIMED): N/A DIMENSIONS (OFF STAND): 1,237(w) x 713.5(h) x 59(d)mm WEIGHT (OFF STAND): 18.5kg
FEATURES: Built-in Wi-Fi; Bluetooth; USB multimedia playback; Dynamic Crystal Colour technology; Eden smart system, UHD Engine processor; voice control support; game enhancer features