Samsung TU8000 TV review
Last Updated on October 1, 2021 by Daniel Osakwe
With Samsung’s 8 Series over the past few years, TV buyers have had an easy time finding a TV that balances performance and price.
There’s a difference between the TU8000 and the TU8500, as the TU8000 is just one step below the TU8500 and shares some of its features at an even lower price.
Samsung’s Crystal LCD Full HD panel guarantees ease of use, minimalist design, voice assistant choice, best-in-class smart TV features, and Samsung’s Crystal LCD UHD panel technology. You can also choose from a wide range of screen sizes, so you can customize it to fit your needs.
This TV is really well-built, although its frame is largely made of plastic. On this model, Samsung chose to use a wide-foot stand that is difficult to use and that only features one HDMI port, which will be unusable if it is wall-mounted.
Nevertheless, smart TV users will not face such complaints, because of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and Disney Plus, which are all available on-demand or as catch-up apps. For the first time this year, the arty Ambient Mode is included in the QLED range as well.
In spite of the fact that the picture suffers from some limitations, the TU8000 has a variety of genuine color handling, a crisp and detailed picture, solid motion handling, and great upscaling ability. Nevertheless, it needs some settings tweaked to really maximize its performance.
Although not the best audio performance we have heard, it is not the worst either. Generally, it’s not too dynamic or organized, but there’s enough of a weight to avoid it sounding too thin. Although a soundbar isn’t a bad idea, the sound projection it provides and the clarity in the midrange just make it worth skipping if your budget is tight.
In terms of performance, the TU8000 is a good value for the price. As a result, HDR isn’t at its peak and colors don’t pop as much as on more expensive sets. Despite that, the picture looks natural and engaging, and it holds its own against its rivals.
Compared to last year’s RU8000, this model may not be quite as impressive, but pay attention to the picture settings and you can still get a picture you’ll love.
With a price tag of this high, it is no surprise that this TU8000 is made almost entirely of black plastic, from its back panel to its bezels to its stand. In spite of this, it still feels well-built, with a reassuring heft when you get it out of the box, and minimalist bezels ensuring it still looks stylish, plastic and all.
Although Samsung has not explained why this model has wide feet – or any other TV, for that matter – it does seem odd. As can be seen on the TU8500 above, a central stand is so much easier to accommodate when it comes to furniture placement for larger TVs. As it stands, the UE55TU8000 will require a TV stand at least 103cm wide, so make sure your current setup can accommodate it before purchasing.
Using wall mounting is an alternative option as well; the back of the TV does not have any unsightly bumps or lumps. It should fit snugly against your wall at just 6cm thick.
Due to the position of the HDMI port, one of them won’t be accessible, which is a shame considering the existing offering is already fairly stingy.
The TU8000 only offers three HDMI inputs, which is somewhat unusual for a product at this price point. The result is that even a fairly modest setup of a set-top box, Blu-ray player, and games console will utilize these components from the start, with one lost if the set is wall-mounted.
There are also two USB ports, a composite video input, an RF antenna input for terrestrial TV, a CI slot, and an Ethernet port if wi-fi is insufficient. A soundbar can be connected via optical output as well.
The Samsung TV comes with two remote controls – a chunky, traditional remote and a more slender, simplified one. You can choose between the former and the latter. The former has all the features you’ll use most often, while the latter lacks them. There are buttons for Samsung’s Ambient Mode (more on that later), your voice assistant and for general navigation, as well as a ring-shaped D-pad, channel and volume controls.
During the initial setup, you will be asked whether you want this remote to manage your other devices as well.
Smart TV (Tizen)
Samsung SmartThings can also be used to set up the TV digitally instead of using the remote.
You don’t even have to mess around with on-screen keyboards since it automatically adds the WIFI details it finds from your device, which is always nice.
Furthermore, the OneRemote helps you set up the OneRemote as a universal control for all your sources, as well as recommending additional on-demand applications to install.
As soon as the TU8000 is finished, you will be able to see it in the SmartThings app alongside other compatible devices you may have in your home. By using your phone, you can control your TV if you’ve lost the remotes… or just don’t feel like getting up to get them.
Samsung’s Tizen platform offers one of the most comprehensive smart TV platforms in 2020, and that isn’t changing. While it’s undergone a few small changes since last year, the navigation remains simple and pretty much the same.
By pressing the home button, you will see a row of your installed apps, which are now smaller, and by highlighting any one of them, you will see the second row of suggested content. Depending on whether you’re signed into that specific app, Netflix may alter what you’re watching based on your viewing history.
In addition to all of the UK’s catch-up services, like BBC iPlayer and My5, you’ll find Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Now TV, YouTube, and Disney Plus here.
You can also add other apps to your home screen, including UKTV Play, BBC Sounds, and Spotify, and the order in which they appear on your home screen is entirely customizable – you can now fit 14 at once on the screen. After you’ve scrolled down the main row of apps, you’ll find Samsung’s content hub, where you can watch TV and watch movies from a few providers.
We found a lot of options from Apple TV and Chili or UKTV Play, and while this was interesting enough, it’s disappointing that other sources, such as Netflix, Amazon, and BBC iPlayer, were not featured. We didn’t use it at all.
With Alexa and Samsung Bixby, you can get voice assistance (Google Assistant will arrive soon). In general, Alexa is going to perform better than Bixby for generic voice assistance, although Bixby does have a few extra features for controlling TVs such as changing input by voice. Although it may seem like a clunky addition that is rarely needed, it is there for you if you want it.
The TU8000 now includes Samsung’s Ambient Mode as a standard feature, expanding the feature’s capabilities beyond the QLED range. Adapted from the Samsung Frame’s original Art Mode, it lets you have a selection of pictures, patterns, or snaps on the screen when you aren’t watching TV.
By detecting and adjusting the brightness of a room, the TV displays pictures that are more like a picture instead of a TV left on, therefore saving energy. Also, it can be set to turn off after a certain period of time.
In terms of artwork, it’s not as convincing as Samsung’s The Frame, mainly because the TU8000’s screen is more reflective, but nonetheless, it’s nice to see the feature trickle down the range.
UE55TU8000 delivers an excellent picture for its price, but its out-of-the-box settings need to be tweaked to get the best picture, especially with HDR content.
Due to its low peak brightness, this set is less bright than you’d expect. You will likely want more brightness even when the settings are high, especially in dark scenes and well-lit rooms.
Let’s start with how to get your photo to look its best before we discuss the picture itself. To obtain the best result, choose Movie as the picture mode first. There are many who prefer the cooler tones of Standard, which is also slightly brighter, but if you’re looking for the most accurate picture and color palette, choose Movie.
We recommend keeping the contrast and brightness on the maximum setting in movie mode. Choosing this option gives you a much subtler picture; however, you can increase brightness if you want.
We’ll go with Warm1 or Warm2 for color tone, and sharpness will always be at 0 for no added noise. If you do not want to change the color or tint settings, you can leave them as they are.
For the purest picture, we recommend turning off all added picture processing, but in this case, Samsung’s Contrast Enhancer works wonders. Darker scenes especially benefit from this feature. You may be able to keep HDR content on low with SDR, but if HDR content is on high, you’ll experience increased impact, albeit with less subtlety.
You can change any settings at this point for HDR content only as the TU8000 will recognize any HDR content you’re playing and automatically switch to HDR mode.
Lastly, motion settings are found under an option called Picture Clarity. By selecting custom, you will be able to adjust the judder settings yourself. Generally, a setting of 3 or 4 seemed to work best for most of the content we watched, and the motion was generally stable.
The image now looks good, we settle in to watch Joker in 4K on Sky Q. Outlines are lovely and there’s so much detail to take in, from the makeup on Joaquin Phoenix’s face to the textures in the buildings of Gotham. Obviously, expensive TV sets (read: more capable ones) offer deeper details and finer details, but for a middle-class TV, there’s really nothing to complain about.
Also, the colors are very natural-looking. With the TU8000, even skin tones are handled well, something TVs at this level are unable to do.
Due to the TU8000’s limited color gamut, you won’t be overwhelmed by its HDR capabilities, but its subtler handling of color and shading is nonetheless stunning. Neither the colors are vivid nor are they washed out, but neither are they dull either.
When watched anywhere but in a very dark room, dark scenes are the Achilles’ heel here. In spite of this, the screen struggles to balance the darkness and light in the scene. Despite the fact that blacks are deep, shadow detail and highlights suffer.
TU8000 is an edge-lit set with no local dimming, so it struggles in these situations, but with Samsung’s Contrast Enhancer enabled, this problem is quickly fixed and the pictures appear much more distinct.
In the case of HDR content, this is particularly helpful. With Netflix’s Ozark streaming, dark scenes in daylight were transformed into something much more pleasing and pleasing. You will even be able to watch in the dark.
By setting the Contrast Enhancer to high, you are able to display much more bright details along with those deep blacks, without much blooming. The light can even bring out details that might have otherwise been lost in the shadows.
In addition to removing subtlety in search of better contrast, the extra processing also introduces some noise, especially in bright scenes. In this case, however, it is a trade-off we are well prepared to make.
There are fewer sets at this level that perform better than this, but the results aren’t as accurate or dynamic as HDR can be at its very best. It’s worth remembering that there’s no Dolby Vision here, just HDR10 and HDR10+, plus HLG support.
The TU8000 handles HD/SDR content admirably with an Amazon Prime stream of Iron Man 2. Even though it can’t pass for native 4K, there is still a good level of detail and there is no discernible noise added.
With the use of extra processing, the contrast of darker scenes remains excellent as well as the colors are handled well in HDR, allowing Iron Man’s red and gold suit to stand out without being too out of place.
The quality of this terrestrial television content is good even in standard definition. While the picture is a little fuzzy, it has a good color balance and is entirely watchable, even with the noise that creeps in.
All this is only downgraded by the tight viewing angles, which are annoyingly small. By sitting too far off-axis, you will lose a lot of contrast and color saturation, which negatively affects the overall picture quality. To enjoy movie night in style, make sure to book the center seat.
You have the option of choosing from three different audio settings in the TU8000’s settings menu. It comes pre-selected with Standard, but you can choose between Adaptive and Amplified settings.
It strikes a good balance between adding weight to the low end and keeping midrange clarity throughout without losing out too much on Adaptive’s added power.
Though the low end lacks the power and depth of a soundbar, it does at least lend some presence to a soundtrack and ensure it does not sound too thin. Although the treble is a little sharp, it isn’t so much that it is unbearable to listen to.
A little bit of confusion occurs in the heaviest scenes due to poor organizational skills, but the film is decent nonetheless, even if lacking in a little detail.
It lacks the subtlety needed for quiet scenes and has no oomph for the big ones, which is common with TV sound, especially at this level. For that, you should invest in a soundbar.
In any case, it projects the sound well, so you won’t need to push it beyond its comfort zone, which is appreciated at this volume.
|Solid motion handling||Annoying design|
|Superb smart TV platform||Narrow viewing angles|
|Sharp, detailed 4K picture||Lacks brightness for the best HDR|
With its more modest spec list, the TU8000 TV offers good performance for its price, but not great performance. Although its color saturation and brightness are below Samsung’s more expensive QLEDs, this TV still offers great picture quality, a great smart system, and strong upscaling performance.