Samsung has a range of top-tier TVs including one OLED TV and several Neo QLED TVs. But below those premium models is Samsung’s standard QLED 4K lineup led by the Samsung Q80B; and for 2023, they just launched the Samsung Q80C (Series 8) models. It’s the brand’s most premium offering outside of these top-tier models and features a more conventional full array backlight instead. This means it doesn’t offer the black-level performance or the HDR precision of its more expensive Mini LED Neo QLED stablemates.
However, it features four HFR (high frame rate) compatible HDMI inputs, an intuitive Game Bar user interface, and a polished smart home interface, only serious cinephiles are likely to demand more from this TV.
Still, the main highlight of the Q80C is the prominent Samsung Game Hub, a full-page portal to streaming game services, and as always, QLED is impervious to screen burn, meaning you can enjoy anxiety-free gaming sessions. Not only is the Q80C a head-turner in the picture stakes, but it offers a perfect rendition of QLED: Quantum Dots and ultra-brightness, bolstered by Samsun’s now mature Tizen smart platform.
Samsung Q80C Review– What’s New?
- Superb Tizen platform
- Object Tracking Sound Lite
- Samsung Game Hub
For this Samsung Q80C Review we’re looking at the 65-inch model, the Samsung QN65Q80C (2023 model) so that’s our reference point, though we expect the recommendations to be very similar for smaller and larger panels too.
If you’re after lots of streaming services on tap, this is the right TV for you. The QN65Q80C runs Samsung’s Tizen platform, which is loaded with lots of smart TV features and apps. These days Tizen features a full-screen Home interface, with rails of nicely-curated content and easy access to a wide range of apps, including Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Britbox, and Apple TV+.
The screen works with Bixby, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. There’s also Smart Things support in there, and Samsung’s Ambient collection of videos and patterns.
As mentioned, the main highlight here is the Samsung Game Hub, which allows you to stream a variety of games. Its latency is excellent in both Game mode and Game Motion Plus, which includes some useful picture enhancement.
Samsung Q80C Review: Specs
Let’s take a look at the Q80B’s key hardware and software specifications:
- Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160)
- Display type: Full-array LED with local dimming and quantum dots (ADS-style panel)
- HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
- Dolby Atmos: Yes
- eARC support: Yes (HDMI 3)
- Native refresh rate: 120Hz (50-inch model has a 60Hz panel)
- Smart platform: Tizen OS
- Color: DCI-P3 color space/10-bit chroma resolution
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): Yes
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): Yes
- Processor: Quantum Processor 4K
- Other features: AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, Q-Symphony 3.0 support, Samsung Gaming Hub, Samsung Game Bar, Multi View, Ambient Mode+, Samsung Health, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Samsung Q80C Review: Features
- AI-Quantum Processor 4K
- Object SoundTracking technology
- Four HDMIs support 4K 120Hz
The Samsung Q80C is feature-rich, and just like the Samsung Q80C from last year, it’s built around a Quantum Dot LED panel with a full array backlight that delivers a wider color volume than a typical backlit LED panel.
In addition to fantastic picture quality, it boasts an advanced audio specification, with six speakers fired by Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound Lite technology. With this feature, you get robust audio that has an enhanced sense of movement around the screen. Samsung has managed, through a combination of Object SoundTracking technology and native multichannel support, to produce a TV that’s able to offer a soundstage far bigger than its size or hardware might suggest.
The TV uses six directional speakers, with two placed high on the back for the height channel to work. Combined, they send sound wide and high, yet manage to keep the soundstage centered. Even with Dolby Atmos inactive, the screen can still make sense of the incoming signal, and adjust it accordingly. The Samsung QN65Q80C also has Active Voice amplification with Adaptive Sound Plus; it allows for volume optimization, depending on your local viewing environment and what you’re watching.
The TV uses a Neural Quantum Processor 4K that’s powerful enough to implement both AI-optimized picture and AI sound. Samsung’s Tizen smart interface makes streaming services readily available, and it comes with a host of other niceties, including a gaming portal and Smart Things oversight. In addition to Dolby Atmos Object Tracking Sound Lite technology, it adds Samsung Q-Symphony 3.0 (previous models came with version 2.0), meaning you have the best audio reproduction for supported soundbars across the home.
For connectivity, the QN65Q80C has four HDMIs, all of which support 4K 120Hz (Motion XCELERATOR TURBO+) playback, which is impressive since most other TVs support 4K 120Hz on only one HDMI port. Also, there’s ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), Nvidia G-Sync and FreeSync Premium support, and eARC on HDMI 3, which you can use to connect to a soundbar like our favorite Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar or AV system.
Samsung Q80C Review: Picture Quality
- Direct Full Array and Quantum HDR+
- Fantastic Intelligent Mode
- Excellent picture quality
The screen on the Samsung QN65Q80C, like so many other Quantum Dot sets offered by Samsung, is an obvious choice for viewing in bright rooms. It doesn’t skimp on anything, delivering vibrant colors and fine detail.
A backlit screen will often struggle to deliver the same level of deep black as an OLED, but this TV wins more battles, and of course, loses a few along the way. When viewed in rooms with ambient lighting, letterbox bars will look darker than grey.
The Q80C’s excellent picture quality is a result of Samsung’s AI-powered Quantum Processor 4K paired with Direct Full Array and Quantum HDR+ that brings a theatre-like experience to your living room. With 4K upscaling, you can stream even HD movies and sports, but they will be enhanced to appear like they were recorded in 4K.
When in intelligent Mode, the Neural processor works in tandem with the light Sensor to dynamically adjust picture settings according to ambient light. It works fine, and if you happened to be a viewer who doesn’t like to fiddle around in the Picture Settings Menu, then this is your best viewing option.
Should you decide to disable Intelligent Mode, you still have access to all the usual image presets, including Filmmaker Mode. HDR performance on the Q80C is impressive, with peak brightness at 985 nits on a bright window – just enough to negate the tone of most TV content. HDR content support covers HDR10+ and HLG.
The TV has great image interpolation, with minimal artefacts, which is good news when it comes to sports, although you’ll want to switch Picture Clarity settings from Auto to Custom, to mitigate the soap opera effect.
The Samsung Q80C also incorporates Black Frame Insertion (BFI) technology, which can be activated to reduce motion blur and enhance clarity, albeit at the expense of some brightness.
Samsung Q80C Review: Gaming
- Support for 4K 120Hz
- Variable Refresh Rate support
- Dedicated Samsung Game Hub
For gamers, the Samsung Q80C has a significant advantage over most of the competition: full HDMI 2.1 support across all four of its inputs.
While competing sets like the Hisense U8H and the TCL 6-Series only feature two inputs that support 4K gaming at 120Hz, the QN65Q80C is equipped with four. Additionally, all of these ports offer Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and Free-Sync Premium for a consistently immersive gaming experience.
This level of gaming support is often available on higher-end models, and even some top-tier flagship models don’t offer this amount of flexibility. And like many Samsung TVs, the Q80C is equipped with a Game Bar, a menu that offers a variety of gaming-related picture and performance settings. It lets you adjust the picture based on game type, check the current frame rate, enable VRR, and more – all from an easily accessible menu on the bottom of the screen.
The Q80C also supports Samsung Gaming Hub, a software package that presents several cloud gaming services, including Nvidia Geforce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming. Simply said, Gaming Hub allows you to stream video games right into your TV – you don’t need a console.
Samsung’s Tizen interface also has the all-new Game Hub, which features cloud gaming services from Xbox and Utomik, as well as Twitch.
Overall, the Q80C’s suite of gaming-related hardware and software enhancements is essentially its biggest selling point. If all you need is a brighter-than-average TV for daytime gaming and you don’t want to jump into the highest price bracket, the QN65Q80C is one of the best options available.
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Samsung Q80C Review: Smart Features
- Smart TV (Tizen)
- Extensive app support
- Smartthings dashboard
Samsung’s Tizen operating system powers the smart features of the Q80C, providing a seamless and intuitive user experience. The TV includes popular streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, along with a wide range of other applications and games available for download through the Samsung App Store.
The inclusion of voice control through Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant, further enhances the convenience of operating the TV. Users can control various functions, switch inputs, and search for content using voice commands, eliminating the need for remote control.
The set comes with two remote controls. One is a standard pointer, and the other is a slim, solar-powered Bluetooth controller. Both remotes have quick access buttons for Netflix, prime Video, Disney Plus, and Samsung TV Plus (Samsung’s own linear TV channel selection, available via broadband).
If you’re into the connected world, the Q80C works with Bixby, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Finally, the Q80C isn’t the wafer-thin QLED set that would rival LG’s OLED TVs in thinness. The set uses a full array backlight, rather than edge lighting, and that comes with more bulk than might be deemed fancy. That said, the bezel, finished in dark grey, is slim, and viewed from the front you’ll see mostly screen. The screen is supported by a central, squared, pedestal stand, rather than edge-placed feet, making it good for most TV stands.
When shopping for a TV in the midsize, middle-tier category, the newest Samsung QN65Q80C more than holds its own in terms of both picture and sound – a combination that’s rare outside the costly flagships. Also, considering the stiff competition from the likes of Sony and even Samsung’s other Neo QLED TVs, that’s no small accomplishment.
On paper, the Q80C comes fully loaded with HDMI 2.1 support, has a 120Hz refresh rate, and offers an array of additional gaming features that make it one of the best gaming TVs in its price range. Unfortunately, its shallow black levels and aggressive light bloom undercut its gaming scores – it’s just not a very good dark-room TV.
If you’re about saving some buck, the TCL 6-Series and the Hisense U8H are affordable alternatives, and while they skimp on the Q80C’s gaming features, they’re brighter and deliver better black levels and contrast control thanks to their mini-LED displays, and better software, to boot. Right now, both the TCL and Hisense can be had for less than the cost of a Q80C.
But if you value gaming as much as TV catch-up and don’t plan on buying a sound bar anytime soon, the Samsung QN65Q80C is money well spent. And with all four HDMI inputs able to handle 4K 120Hz sources, plus VRR and ALLM, the Samsung Q80C is a greater choice for next-gen gamers and cinephiles.
The Samsung Q80C (QN65Q80C / QN55Q80C) is an excellent TV for bright room viewing, packs a robust Tizen streaming platform, and supports high frame rate gaming at a lower price than flagship TVs.
SAMSUNG 65-Inch Class QLED 4K Q80C Series Quantum HDR+, Dolby Atmos Object Tracking Sound Lite, Direct Full Array, Q-Symphony 3.0, Gaming Hub, Smart TV with Alexa Built-in (QN65Q80C, 2023 Model)
$1,097.99 in stock
4 used from $937.95
- Superb color and picture quality
- 4K 120Hz HDMI support
- Strong sound
- Tizen Smart TV
- Light bloom
- Slow software
Last update on 2024-02-25 at 17:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API