Samsung QN55Q80T review | What Hi-Fi?

Samsung has moderately made a multitude of the naming structure of its 2020 TVs, so the TV you are looking at will not be the alternative for the 2019 model you would be expecting.

Take the Q80T, for example. Samsung insists that it’s no longer a replacement for remaining yr’s Q80R, as you would expect, however is instead the successor to the Q70R, even supposing the specifications seem in some ways nearer to those of the former than the latter.

Why would Samsung do that? The best reason why we can call to mind is so that expectancies are reduced. But that makes no sense at all, for the reason that Q80T is an excellent TV irrespective of which fashion it replaces.

Pricing

The QN55Q80T's payment is $1300 at launch. That makes it $seven hundred inexpensive than the release charge of the QN55Q80R that you would have assumed it replaces, and $2 hundred inexpensive than the QN55Q70R introduced at.

Its likely closest opponents this 12 months would be the Sony XBR-55X950H ($1200) and LG OLED55CX ($1800).

Design

The QN55Q80T appears to be like much like each and every other QLED of the final couple of years, all dark silver metal, straight edges and pointy corners. Unlike the higher-end Q95T type, which has a single-piece pedestal, the Q80T’s stand is a slightly less suave two-piece design. That said, it nonetheless has a compact footprint and the sort of low profile that makes for easy placement of a soundbar.

Another distinction between the Q80T and Q95T is that this cheaper style lacks the flagship’s One Connect box, through which all the Q95T’s connections (and tool) are routed. In truth, Samsung has diminished the choice of TVs in its vary with One Connect to only two: the Q95T and the 8K Q950TS.

Samsung suggests that customers were reticent to spend the additional cash the One Connect adds to the cost of a TV, and so it’s now restricted to the flagship 4K and 8K models. We’re large fanatics of the ingenuity and neatness of the gadget, so it is a shame to look its availability decreased however, alternatively, Samsung’s 2020 TV costs are less than 2019’s.

With the entire connections and processing kit that would otherwise be in a One Connect field now in the main chassis, the Q80T is a little thicker than the Q95T, measuring 2.1in rather than 1.4in. It’s still slimmer than the XBR-55X950H (2.7in) that might emerge as its closest rival this year, even though, and it’s not if truth be told a lot thicker than the more expensive LG OLED55CX (1.8in) both.

Features

The Q80T has a moderately traditional array of connections, although it’s value taking into consideration that Samsung hasn’t included headphone sockets on its TVs for a while now – you’re expected to use Bluetooth as a substitute.

Samsung QN55Q80T tech specifications

Screen kind QLED

Resolution 4K

Operating system Samsung Tizen

HDR codecs HDR10, HDR10+, HLG

HDMI 4

USB 3

Optical 1

The HDMIs, of which there are four, aren’t formally 2.1-certified, however they do strengthen all of the key 2.1 features, including eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), HFR (High Frame Rate), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). On the topic of VRR, the FreeSync format utilized by the Xbox One X and One S is supported out of the box, whilst G-Sync is it sounds as if coming soon.

Such is the abundance of apps that come packaged with the Tizen platform, you'll be able to get a huge amount out of a Samsung TV without ever connecting an external supply. Subscription-based 4K HDR streaming is available by the use of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+; pay-as-you-go content (additionally in large part 4K HDR) could also be to be had by means of the Apple TV app, Rakuten and Google Play Movies & TV.

US patrons too can get admission to the likes of HBO Now, Hulu, Vudu and ESPN and, if the use of your TV to listen to music is your factor, the Q80T packs in apps for Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Deezer.

In brief, Samsung has left pretty much no streaming stone unturned, however Tizen is designed in this type of manner that it's never overwhelming and in order that the content material you want is all the time at your fingertips. This is helped by way of the remote, which lacks the sensible silver finish of the Q95T’s zapper, however has the same stripped-back number of buttons.

The handiest actual explanation for frustration in the Q80T's characteristic set is Samsung’s endured stubbornness in resisting Dolby Vision in favour of its own complicated HDR format. Though the quantity of HDR10+ content material is slowly expanding, with a lot of Amazon Prime Video’s 4K catalogue featuring the structure and the occasional new disc appearing (1917 is a up to date example), Dolby Vision remains to be far more prevalent and growing a lot sooner, specifically with Disney+ and Apple TV becoming a member of Netflix in streaming content within the layout. It’s time to position pleasure apart and board the Dolby Vision teach, Samsung.

Picture

After a lot experimentation, we find that the Q80T responds neatly to the same image tweaks we made to the Q95T. Thankfully, the energy of the set’s out-of-the-box settings and the readability of the options mean there’s now not too much to it.

We use the Standard preset for all content material aside from video games (use the Game preset here). For HDR, we simply add some extent to Shadow Detail, switch Local Dimming to High, transfer Picture Clarity to Custom and switch the Noise Reduction off.

As ever, it is worth experimenting with the settings your self to find the balance you favor, in particular the Local Dimming and Picture Clarity choices. By surroundings the former to High we build up the punch of bright highlights in another way dark scenes but lose just a little bit of shadow element, and while Custom is the right amount of motion processing for us, some would possibly still choose to change it off entirely.

With our selected settings, the Q80T does a very good task with Blade Runner 2049 on 4K Blu-ray. We’re immediately struck by the depth of the set’s blacks and the consistency of its backlight. Many non-OLEDs in the mid-range segment suffer bloom when lights a bright object on an differently black background, however you infrequently notice the Q80T’s backlight in action, you merely see a brilliant image emerge from an in a different way virtually solely black screen.

The Q80T’s peak brightness is rated at 1500nits, which is just 500nits lower than that of the Q95T and nonetheless very vivid indeed. It additionally has fewer dimming zones (Samsung received’t expose the specifics, however we understand the Q80T has fewer than half the zones of the Q95T), so holds back a bit more than its top class sibling in those high-contrast scenarios, however compared to price-appropriate rivals it provides a fabulously dynamic symbol.

As we get our first glimpse of Ok in the cockpit of his automobile, the charmingly rudimentary LED panels of the dashboard are much brighter and clearer than from opponents, punching out from the dark more effectively.

The superb contrast combines with sharply drawn edges to create a very 3-dimensional image. The distance between foreground and background seems more than from rivals, with Ok standing out from the screen fairly. And as focus shifts to his palms, we will be able to see that each crease, wrinkle and vein is brilliantly resolved.

The Q80T also combines a impartial color temperature with the ability to produce actual vibrancy, and that’s strikingly effective with this movie and its broadly cool palette. The plentiful greys are just as miserable and washed out as they will have to be, but the flashes of colour – Sapper Morton’s shiny pink gloves, the holographic billboards of central LA, the flashing lights of Okay’s flying car – all punch in the course of the murky gloom superbly.

There are rare occasions when taking part in an HDR video that the Samsung’s vibrancy turns out a slightly exaggerated – Luv seems to be just a little artificially rosy when she enters Niander Wallace’s yellow-lit chamber – however, total, the Q80T’s method to color is one in all its greatest strengths.

Blade Runner 2049 contains some stern checks of movement handling, and the Q80T proves a dab hand right here, too. With our chosen Custom atmosphere, judder and blur are kept in test with none shimmer or artificiality being offered. While some sets introduce jiggle to the far-off lights as Okay flies to Sapper’s farm, they continue to be solidly in position on the Samsung. The Sony XBR-49X950H that we recently reviewed offers even better motion processing, and we’d expect the 55in version to be a minimum of as good on this regard, but Samsung is now much nearer to Sony in this area than it's been sooner than.

Shifting from 4K HDR to Full HD SDR with Aliens on Blu-ray, the Q80T continues to provoke. Some extra tweaks are vital here: drop Sharpness and Shadow Detail by means of a few issues, and switch both Local Dimming and Contrast Enhancer to High. The resulting picture combines punchy highlights with deep, decently detailed blacks, and authentically delivers the medical coolness of the retro sci-fi sets. There are not any moments in any respect that we feel the colours are off.

Our simplest issue here is that the grain is a little bit too pronounced. You can repair it via switching on Noise Reduction or reducing Sharpness further, but the former introduces a bit of smearing to faces as characters transfer their heads and the latter ends up in a softer picture than is ideal. Films with this much grain are beautiful uncommon at the present time, and also you don’t want to do away with it completely anyway, but some TVs strike a greater steadiness than the Q80T.

Drop right down to standard-def, whether from a streaming service, DVD or the onboard tuner, and the picture is still just right, with the color stability again bobbing up trumps by way of no longer exaggerating anything else that a lesser model may. There’s a fair bit of fizz round transferring gadgets and other folks, specifically when the incoming signal is of a specifically low high quality, however the symbol is perfectly watchable.

Sound

The Q80T is the lowest model in Samsung’s 2020 TV fluctuate to get the company’s new Object Tracking Sound technology, which makes use of additional drivers to create a extra spacious and involving sound stage. While the Q95T has 8 drivers, this cheaper fashion has six: two mid-range drivers and two woofers alongside the ground, and two additional drivers on the most sensible.

The effort Samsung has put in right here has paid off. The Q80T sounds forged and the stage to which the sound isn’t limited to the TV is spectacular. There’s no encompass impact as such (nor would you expect one), but the bullets fired at Ok’s automotive in Blade Runner 2049 emerge into the room satisfyingly. It’s a significantly extra open and solid sound than anticipated at this payment, specifically from a TV with kind of invisible speakers, and that makes for an interesting delivery.

There’s excellent tonal stability, too. The strangely deep bass is thankfully free of the artificiality that’s commonplace of TVs with small drivers, the midrange is clear and of course weighted, and the treble is rounded off enough to keep away from harshness. That stated, we might steer clear of the Adaptive Volume function, which introduces just a little fuzz to lawsuits. Adaptive Sound+ is undoubtedly price the use of, though, as the whole thing sounds reasonably small-scale without it.

Of direction, whilst the Q80T sounds just right for a TV, particularly one at this degree, it will possibly simplest do such a lot, and an image efficiency as just right as this will have to actually be partnered with a succesful soundbar a minimum of. You’ll get benefits across the board, however dynamics might be particularly advanced.

Verdict

While Samsung’s method to its 2020 model numbers is off-putting, the Q80T’s efficiency is anything however. It’s the primary mid-range 55-incher that we’ve noticed this year, however it units a powerful benchmark because of its dynamic and solid image, really extensive sound and usually exhaustive app variety.

Nothing’s unbeatable, after all, and we’re having a look forward to placing the Q80T up towards the Sony XBR-55X950H and LG OLED55CX particularly, but we’d be surprised if it wasn’t in the working for an Award when the time comes.

SCORES

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