Samsung Q80T QLED TV review: Aiming for the price-picture sweet spot
Tv & Audio
Samsung makes a lot of televisions that's the Q80T strikes a sweet spot between picture quality, size and a price that's not out of this world.
Let's take a look.
I'll start off with the price this TV is $1500 for the 65 inch size you see here, It's available from 49 all the way up to 85 inches of course the larger gets, the more expensive it gets.
But the price range really solid again for the features and the picture quality that you get as usual the Samsung, the design On the Q80T is pretty slick.
The stand here first thing you'll notice is actually a central pedestal, which is kind of going away on TVs these days.
Most of the models you see on the market have splayed standard legs to either side.
This thing A nice central pedestal I really like the look a lot better because keeps the TV high gives you this kind of sense that it's floating.
There's a big piece of metal down here nice and solid.
So you don't need to worry about any of that tipping that some of the older pedestal models had.
Course you can mount this TV on the wall if you want to, going on around the edge super thin Samsung Of course uses matte black like pretty much everybody else super tiny Samsung logo around back you can see it's relatively thick that's because it's got that full array local dimming backlight Of course.
Not a huge deal not too many people watch TV from the side.
It's also got this nice textured finish to the back.
The remotes another important part of the design is things super simple.
It's got just a few buttons.
And of course it's got voice activation on their.
New for this year Samsung actually has real voice assistants not just Bixby but Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa And you can activate either of those assistants hands free without touching the remote if you decide to.
It like doesn't have the mic built into the television, the mic's built into the remote.
So again, if you want that hands free activation, it is an option.
Of course, just like any other Alexa or Google Assistant device, you can use it to control smart home.
You can check the weather and do all those other little things from the television as opposed to having to use a speaker.
Alexa Turn off the lamp.
Now we'll take a look at Smart TV.
This uses Samsung tizen system.
And one of the first things you'll notice.
It doesn't take up the entire screen.
I really like that you can keep an eye on what you're doing as well as browsing apps and driving around the screen here.
So Plenty of apps in the Samsung ecosystem.
One of the best out there, although not quite as many as you get on a Google TV or a Roku television, the Samsung app system though, has this nice design where you can kind of see new tiles and shows that pop up right on top.
When you drive over the top, it also has a really nice settings menu.
So I'll go over here and go up to the top.
You can see.
There's quick access to a lot of different settings including game mode, Picture Mode, and other extras you can get to really quickly without diving deep into the menu.
I like that a lot.
Let's try the voice activation right now we're gonna just put the remote right here and say Alexa, what's the weather?
And there you go connectivity is very good for this TV around back you find 4 HDMI inputs that handle the bulk of your devices.
I didn't get the chance to hook up a PS5 or an Xbox series X2 this TV in time for the review, but I can tell you that based on its specs should be very good for those new concepts.
The TV has 4K 120 Hertz input, so you can get that smoother motion.
The TV also has variable refresh capability, which allows it to avoid tearing and other artifacts that some lesser TVs might experience on those new consoles.
As with all TVs I did test input lag and on the Samsung, it's excellent, so you're not going to get any delay between playing the game and seeing the results on the screen.
I spent most of my time in the review looking at picture quality and the Q80T is excellent.
I compared it directly against the Vizio p series.
TCL six series and a Sony x 900 h two right in the middle of those very good full array local dimming TVs.
Its HDR quality was very good but it didn't have the bright highlights and the pop that the Vizio and a TCL showed Also didn't measure those highlights quite as high on the Samsung as on those other TVs.
Black levels were also not quite as good as on those other televisions.
That means the areas of darkness were a tiny bit lighter, a little bit less realistic on the Samsung in my side by side comparison.
On the other hand, it was a very smooth image, a very natural image and the Samsung did a great job of controlling blooming, which is straight illumination in some dark areas.
So that was the point in its favor.
video processing was also very good on this TV.
And speaking of gaming input lag, again, extremely good.
So at the end of the day, the Samsung Q80T isn't the best value.
It doesn't have the best picture quality What you're buying his TV for is designed and features.
It has a really nicely integrated external look with a great remote and a really nice Smart TV system.
It also has excellent connectivity.
If those are reason enough for you or you just like the Samsung brand, the Q80T is the best value in the lineup for 2020.
Its image quality is definitely better than any net Samsung TV that doesn't have full array local dimming.
And if you spend more on a Samsung TV like the Q 90 or any of its 8k televisions, you're going to run into the issue of OLED.
OLED TVs from LG and Sony performed better than those televisions in my experience, and the 8k really isn't worth it unless you get to gigantic screen sizes.
Even then you're really not seeing any benefit cuz there's no 8k content.
That's why the Samsung Q80T sits at the sweet spot between price picture quality.
And of course, the fact that it's a Samsung.
I'm David Katzmaier for CNET.
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