Samsung Q800T TV: an ‘less expensive’ 8K [Review]

The Q800T is the least expensive model in Samsung’s 2020 line of 8K QLEDs, which also includes the Q950T here in Brazil. The Q800T is available in three sizes: 65, 75 and 82 inches. The smallest, which is the one we tested here, costs R $ 17,999.

QLED TVs have an LED backlit panel with a layer of what Samsung calls quantum dots. When the backlight hits these points, they emit the light frequencies (which are, basically, the colors) as needed to create the images on the screen.

This is a very simplified explanation of the technical part of the thing, and if you think you’re already confused now, it’s because you didn’t remember that the screen itself is just a part of this technological math, since the TV still needs the processor to improve this image. But let’s continue and comment on TV technologies throughout the text.

Design

With thin edges and an elegant design, the Q800T does not have that support in the gap of last year’s Q900, which leaves it very close to the wall, as if it were a frame, and neither does One Connect, which is that black outer box that connects to the TV with a single cable. These two items make the product more expensive and are reserved for the “top top” of the line.

Despite being quite thin, the 65-inch Samsung Q800T weighs 24 pounds, but the metal base that lets the TV stand on the mobile weighs seven pounds. In other words, the safe installation here is a job for two people.

The rear is still made of plastic and has a channel layout to organize the cables and not get that mess. On the right side we have the inputs: there are four HDMI (only one is 2.1), two USBs, an ethernet, an optical audio output and a TV antenna connector. It also has Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 5 connections.

The metallic remote control has an infrared that allows you to control other compatible devices connected to the TV. Dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Globoplay are also here.

Software

The Q800T supports multiple voice assistants. During our tests, Alexa and Bixby were already available in Portuguese. Google Assistant will also be available by the end of the year. You can use voice commands to know the weather, ask to turn on a light in a room, and so on.

An interesting detail is that you don’t need to talk about the controller to give commands, because the TV has the feature for remote activation (the so-called far field). Just speak out loud in the room, up to about 1.5 meters from the TV, to activate the commands.

Those who use iPhone have AirPlay available to pair their content on the TV, but those who have devices from the Galaxy line can use the Tap View feature, which allows you to mirror the content of the smartphone just by touching the device to the side of the TV.

Samsung’s Tizen operating system continues with this clean look, now with the option of a dark theme and many applications available for download.

The Environment Mode also has some pretty cool options like the creation of routines to put information of the day on the screen at 8 am, for example. Some options of relaxation images and sounds are also available.

Image quality

The Q800T’s image is well balanced, but by default it comes with a more saturated color setting. Just browse through the image modes to make it look more realistic.

The brightness is enough for you to see quietly in a super bright room, and the viewing angle is very good, without loss of color quality and brightness for those who are sitting on the edge of the sofa, without facing the TV.

But, as not everything in this life is perfect, the local dimming technology that helps give a up more and highlight the black color on the TV. The problem is that it is not possible to completely disable this setting, so even if we put it on the lowest, it can still steal a little bit of the scene.

Everyone talks a lot about the depth of black, which needs to appear as black and not gray on the screen. And here it gets really dark, but it can damage the experience a bit when reading subtitles, because it creates a kind of halo in the lighter part.

8k

This is because the 8K TV blocks more light, which requires the backlight to be brighter. Remembering that it is generally better to leave the backlight on at most in well-lit environments and decrease it in darker environments.

For gamers on duty, the tip is to connect the console to the HDMI 4 port, because only it supports 4K at 120Hz. Samsung also activates an automatic mode when you turn on a video game, so it reduces latency and leaves the screen refresh rate variable to adapt to the type of game.

Content

Moving on to 8K, we are in 2020 and we keep hitting that key that there is no really accessible 8K content. Not even on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO… That is, to test the full potential of this TV here, Samsung has to send a USB stick with content recorded in this format.

And an interesting parenthesis here is that having mass content available in 8K is no longer a matter of capturing for a long time. Globo itself can record in 8K, but the bug catches even at the time of transmission. We don’t have a spectrum available for this, and we don’t have enough connection for it to be really viable.

So why is anyone going to spend so much money on a TV that they don’t even have content for it? Well, there are some reasons that can be taken into account, and one of them is: to have a lot of money and to like cutting-edge technology. Or already be eyeing the PlayStation 5, which will have support for 8K.

Or if you want to have a big screen in a smaller room, since you can be 1.5 meters away from the TV without seeing the pixels. After all, there are 33 million pixels in this 8K, while a Full HD has 2 million pixels. That is, here they are very close together and you can hardly see with the naked eye.

But speaking of content, in our tests we ran a lot of 4K content on the streaming services of life. Then I anticipate your question: “But, Joyce, is there any difference in seeing 4K film on an 8K TV?” Then I tell you: there is.

Of course, it is not a glaring thing and that we have to be grounded, to have had contact with other products, other technologies, in order to better see this difference. But for you to better understand what Samsung does here, the company uses artificial intelligence technology that enhances images that are in lower resolutions, such as HD, Full HD, or even 4K, so that they are displayed without loss of quality on 8K TV.

Yes, this is the infamous upscaling. It works well, and we don’t even realize that the image is far below what the device supports. Of course, there is not that perfect detail when the deal comes in HD, but it works.

If there was no such technology, HD content would appear only on a small piece of the 8K screen, since it has four times more pixels than 4K. So manufacturers use these technologies upscalling to fill these surplus pixels without damaging the image.

Audio

Samsung put speakers around the screen with 70W power and created what it calls “sound in motion”. That is, the idea is that the sound will flow, with the help of the intelligent processor, and following the movement of each scene. The proposal works well and the result is a good and dynamic sound, but I don’t think it’s enough for a R $ 17 thousand TV.

But Samsung has already anticipated and also lent a soundbar for us to test together with the TV. The model was the Q60T. The experience with the soundbar was really cool and left the room well filled. The bar itself and a subwoofer that comes with the kit helped to give a low bass, but without overlapping the dialogs, which were very clear.

The detail is that this soundbar costs almost R $ 3 thousand. Yes, more expensive than entry-level 4K TV.

Q800 T sound

Worth it?

8K TV is still an extremely niche product, but Samsung is investing in this category, and for that it adopted a line segmentation strategy in 2020, offering different model options to try to make this type of TV increasingly commercial.

The Q800T arrived with the proposal to be a little less expensive than the Q900R, for example, but still the price is too steep for the average Brazilian’s pocket and is still a long way from making an 8K affordable. Currently, it is still more business to invest in a QLED or OLED 4K.

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