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Review: Samsung QE55Q80T (Q80T series) QLED TV

Review: Samsung QE55Q80T (Q80T series) QLED TV
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Samsung has narrowed the range of local dimming on its 4K QLED models. The Q80T is now the lowest model to offer this feature, as was the case on the Q70R last year. But this is definitely not a starter, the Q80T has a lot to offer.

Samsung QE55Q80T – specifications

  • What: Ultra HD Full Array LED-LCD TV with local dimming (5 × 10 segments)
    : 55 inch (138 cm), flat
  • Connections: 4x HDMI (3x v2.0, 1x v2.1 (40 Gbps), eARC, ALLM, VRR, HFR), 1x optical digital out, 2x USB, 3x antenna , Bluetooth
  • Extras: HDR10, HLG, HDR10 +, WiFi (802.11ac) built-in, Tizen 5.5, AirPlay 2, USB / DLNA media player, DVB-T2 / C / S2, CI + slot, Quantum 4K Processor
  • Dimensions: 1,228 x783 x 256 mm (incl. Foot)
  • Weight: 21.0 kg (incl. Foot)
  • Consumption: 154 / 0.5 watt (Energy label B)
  • List price: 1,799 euros [19659010] A complete overview of all Samsung models with their specifications can be found in the Samsung 2020 QLED TV line-up . All other line-ups for 2020 can be found here .

    Samsung QE55Q80T – Design

    The Q80T (QE55Q80T) is beautifully finished and beautifully designed. The thin metal-colored frame is barely noticeable at the front, but gives the slightly thicker profile a stylish character. The curved back also makes it look slimmer.

    The device stands on a sturdy central foot. The base plate is only 39 cm wide, so that the appliance also fits on less wide furniture. Although the mounting is strong, the device wobbles easily. Especially forwards it tilts a little too quickly, because the foot plate does not protrude far in front of the device.

    Long notches are provided at the back to guide the cables to the hollow of the foot, so that your cabling is kept neatly tidy. [19659002] Samsung QE55Q80T – Connections

    The Samsung Q80T series is equipped with four HDMI connections, one of which is HDMI2.1 to provide higher bandwidth. On HDMI 4 you can use 40 Gbps bandwidth, enough to offer 4K120 10 bit 4: 4: 4 signals. The device also supports eARC, ALLM, and VRR (HDMI VRR and AMD Freesync). You can find more information about all these functions, and whether you need them in our HDMI 2.1 article .

    In addition, you will find two USB connections, an optical digital audio output, the network connection and antenna. connections. All connections are on the side which makes wall mounting easier. A headphone connection is missing, but the Q80T does have Bluetooth for wireless headphones.

    Samsung QE55Q80T – Ease of use and smart TV

    Installing can be done in the classic way, using the remote control, but those who prefer to use their smartphone install the Samsung Smart Things app. It makes the whole process even easier.

    Samsung's Smart Hub interface is clear and convenient to use. The interface responds very quickly and is easy to navigate. This new version seems to only contain cosmetic changes. For example, the tiles on the Home screen are now square so that they take up less space and the background color of the interface is dark. Whether older devices will get the new interface is not yet certain. Samsung does not systematically introduce new features on older models.

    Some of the settings such as picture and sound mode, or game mode can be selected from the Home menu. The full settings menu is well organized, with only the simplest settings quickly accessible. For more complex settings, go to the “expert settings”. You can find settings for the game mode under “General, Manage external devices”.

    The Smart Hub certainly remains one of our favorite smart TV platforms. For a complete overview of the possibilities, please refer to our background article about the Samsung Smart Hub .

    Remote control

    The remote of the QE55Q80T is identical to last year's. The small, black remote control is slightly curved and feels good in the hand. The keys are easy to press. The remote is very simple, so a long search for the right key is a rarity. Together with the Smart Hub, it ensures excellent operation.

    Our only complaint: if you still have the habit of entering channel numbers, you must do this with an “on screen” number block, because there are no number buttons on the remote control itself. . There are shortcuts for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Rakuten TV (Movies). You can configure the remote to control connected devices. Select the ribbon with all sources, and at the far right choose “Set up universal remote control.”

    Functions

    The Q80T has a dual TV tuner for digital TV (DVB-T2 / C / S2) and one CI + slot. . Watching and simultaneously recording another channel is only possible if one of the two channels is unencrypted. You can cast YouTube and Netflix to the TV via Google Cast, and for iOS users there is support for Airplay2. The media player is good, but can't handle older Divx or Xvid and he doesn't play DTS soundtracks. Subtitles and HDR were no problem, and the audio player is complete.

    The remote is equipped with a microphone, so you can give a lot of commands or say searches. Unfortunately there is no support for Dutch yet, although you can use Bixby in English.

    With Ambient Mode, Samsung also has a nice asset to give the TV a function if you are not actively watching TV. Choose a nice pattern, a work of art, or your own photos and the TV becomes part of your interior.

    Samsung QE55Q80T – Image processing

    The Samsung Quantum Processor 4K delivers excellent results for image processing. It quickly and reliably detects all movie and video frame rates so that jagged edges are rare. Samsung has slightly adjusted its menu structure. For example, the noise filter is now under the “Sharpness settings” submenu. Moreover, Samsung has rethought and instead of a “Low” and “Auto” setting, there is now only an “Auto” setting. That setting creates both random noise and block noise, and it partially eliminates color bands. The “Auto” setting delivered good results with all types of noise, and also partially eliminated color bands. In our tricky Game Of Thrones scene that gave good results, without excessive loss of detail, although the image is still a little softer. In a test image with bright color gradients, some bands remained visible.

    The QE55Q80T (Q80T series) has excellent motion sharpness. You can also find these settings under the “Sharpness settings”. If you don't want any hassle, select the “Auro” setting. If you still want some personalization, try “Custom”. With “Blur reduction” on 10 you see a lot of detail in fast moving images. “Vibration reduction” also smooths stuttering pan images. Samsung now also causes less annoying image artifacts, and even at the maximum setting we found the results fine. Anyone who hates image interpolation can set Tril Reduction to taste. “LED Clear Motion” activates Black Frame Insertion (which is BFI ) for razor sharp images. There may be some slight flicker visible.

    Main settings

    In our article about professional calibration of a TV you can read all about the possibilities to achieve the best picture settings with a professional. If you want to get started yourself, please read our home cinema information guide . Here's an explanation of the main picture settings and tips for setting up your TV.

    General Expert Settings Picture Sharpness Settings
    Picture Mode: Movie
    Picture Format Settings: 16: 9 Standard
    Adjust on screen: On
    Brightness: 23
    Contrast: 45
    Sharpness: 0
    Color: 25
    Tint (G / R): 0
    Local Dimming: Standard
    Contrast Enhancement : Off
    Movie Mode: Auto
    Color Tone: Warm 2
    Gamma: BT.1886 / 0
    RGB Mode: Off
    Color Space: Auto
    Custom:

    Blur. : 10
    Vibrate Mind: 4-10
    Led Clear Motion: Off

    Noise Reduction: Auto or Off

    Samsung QE55Q80T – Image Quality

    Samsung still uses a VA panel on its QLED models and quantum dot technology. So you can expect excellent contrast and rich colors. The VA panel has an ANSI contrast of approximately 4,500: 1, which is very high, but we cannot disable local dimming, so the real native contrast is probably slightly lower. With local dimming in the standard mode this increases to 4,850: 1 and on other test patterns the contrast even exceeds 13,000: 1. A very good result.

    The Q80T is equipped with a Full Array backlight with local dimming . The Q80T is equipped with 5 × 10 segments and thus delivers better results than we expected. To begin with, its contrast is very good, and the higher number of horizontal segments allows it to keep the black bars above and below the film very dark. It is clear that Samsung disadvantages smaller light details and accents, just to prevent annoying jumps in the backlight. That was visible in the Gravity scene, where stars are a bit darker, and you can still see some pumps. Subtitles hardly cause any nuisance in dark scenes, in fact, it seems to us that Samsung subtitles are actively dimmed in that case. The risk that the bottom half of the screen lights up with subtitles is apparently almost gone. In general, the dimming of the Samsung works very well. Our night scene from Harry Potter, for example, showed a lot of detail, and little to no disturbing pumping of brightness.

    The screen of the QE55Q80T has excellent uniformity. A thin border on the left showed some light magenta discoloration, but it was only visible on uniform gray test images and was never noticeable in ordinary images.

    In “Movie” mode the results are very good. Keep in mind that “Brightness” in the settings is now the new name for what used to be called “Backlight”. With that setting at 23, the image is already clear enough, you can get it even higher if you look at a lot of ambient light. The gray scale is neutral and, due to the local dimming, tends to be too bright in the brightest shades, although this does not really disturb. The color reproduction is fine, the slightly higher average error (just above the visible limit) is invariably due to a slightly too bright display. The Samsung comes into its own in normal viewing conditions with moderate ambient light, but also works well with blackout.

    Samsung QE55Q80T – HDR

    Samsung still supports HDR10 + in addition to HDR10 and HLG. The absence of Dolby Vision remains a pity.

    The screen has a peak luminance of about 866 nits, but over long periods it is rather 820 nits. On a completely white screen, the Q80T still achieves a spacious 511 nits. They are slightly lower than what we found on the Q80R last year (1070/560), but this remains a very good result.

    The color range is unchanged: 89% DCI-P3 and 65% Rec .2020. Our test sample is excellently calibrated in HDR. It accurately follows the required brightness curve, taking into account the metadata so you can see all the white detail. The color reproduction is decent, but red and blue are somewhat under-saturated, making them a bit paler than required.

    We do notice that the effect of the backlight in HDR causes some scenes to lose light on impact. . In clear images, there is no problem, and in predominantly dark images, the Samsung does fine. In dark images with a lot of contrast, read: with a number of bright elements, the careful backlight ensures that those bright elements are a bit darker. And that of course takes some contrast and impact. Still, we prefer this approach over clearly visible segment boundaries.

    Samsung QE55Q80T – Gaming, Reflections and Viewing Angles

    The Q80T does not enjoy the Ultra Viewing Angle Film found on the Q90T. The image clearly loses contrast when viewed from an angle, but the color reproduction remains very good. It is striking that also in this case you can hardly see the segment boundaries, which again illustrates how Samsung manages this perfectly.

    In the Movie image mode, the input lag is 76.9 ms, a solid result. In game mode it drops to 11.9 which is definitely excellent. Gamers can also use ALLM, and VRR (HDMI VRR and AMD Freesync) with a range of 48 to 120 Hz (more explanation about all features can be found here ). In game mode you can also adjust Motion plus settings to show more detail. You will also find the “Dynamic Black Equalizer” with which you can make black detail more visible.

    Samsung QE55Q80T – Sound quality

    The QE55Q80T (Q80T series) impresses with its powerful audio. The 60W sound system is able to shake the walls, the volume can really be very high. It is striking that the device also manages to minimize distortion. Krupa's (Apollo 440) intro was strong, with a clear high hat and drum. And even our most difficult test, The Struggle Within by Metallica came out great. Samsung offers acoustic tuning of the room, but unlike in previous years, you no longer have to do this in advance. As soon as you select “Adjustable Sound +” in “General, Intelligent Settings”, the Samsung performs the acoustic adjustment in real time. The effect is audible, be sure to try it out.

    Dolby Atmos support remains absent on Samsung TVs, but Samsung has launched an alternative solution on this model: OTS (Object Tracking Sound). The overall sound image is lifted somewhat with speakers at the top of the screen. With surround sources, the audio also gave a clearer positioning of the sound.

    Review equipment

    For the lag measurement, we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements, we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. To analyze any HDR problems we use an HDFury Vertex. More info about our measuring equipment can be found here .

    Samsung QE55Q80T – Conclusion

    Whoever chooses Samsung knows meanwhile that there is no Dolby Vision or Atmos on the menu. As far as we are concerned, it remains a minus. You can pass on Atmos from external sources to an Atmos soundbar. But we don't find many other negatives. Yes, the Q80T only has 50 dimming zones, which of course has an impact. Samsung opts for a cautious approach, which gives good results in most images, but which darkens the bright accents at high contrast images.

    Nevertheless, the local dimming performance is also at the good points of the QE55Q80T. Segment boundaries remain perfectly hidden, and hardly any erratic brightness is visible. Subtitles also cause only minimal, but that is no longer a real problem. And the contrast benefits, the images are very handsome. The color reproduction is good, although the calibration can be a bit better in that respect. The image processing is excellent, and although Samsung doesn't offer too many options to adjust certain things, we are very pleased with the result. Gamers are catered for, with an HDMI 2.1 connection with the main gamer features. Another striking plus is the powerful and high-quality audio. Ease of use of the smart hub and accompanying remote is very good, and the app range is very wide.

    The price seems correct, the device can compete with the Sony XH95 . The Sony performs a bit better for image quality, it is brighter and better calibrated, for audio we prefer the Samsung that sounds a bit more spacious. Gamers unconditionally choose Samsung, Sony drops a mark there.

    Negatives

    • No Dolby Vision / Atmos
    • Dimming causes slight loss of impact in HDR

    Pros

    • Very good image processing
    • Excellent local dimming (Contrast and black value)
    • Color reproduction
    • Good motion sharpness
    • Powerful audio
    • HDMI 2.1 connection and gaming features

    Homecinema Magazine
    Review
    9.0 10 Eric Beeckmans [19659100] product

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