Samsung NU8000 vs LG SK8000 Review (UN49NU8000 vs 49SK8000PUA, UN55NU8000 vs 55SK8000PUA, UN65NU8000 vs 65SK8000PUA)
Samsung NU8000 and LG SK8000 are the mid-level model of 4K HDR LED TVs which launched in 2018. Coming to middle-class, make their prices are not too expensive. Nevertheless, although their performance and features are not as powerful as premium TV, but both them still offer good picture quality and some attractive features. In the market, NU8000 comes in a lot of screen sizes, gives you a lot of options to be able to suit to the size of your room. There are 49 Inch (UN49NU8000), 55 inch (UN55NU8000), 65 Inch (UN65NU8000), 75 Inch (UN75NU8000), 82 Inch (UN82NU8000). On the other hand, although not as many as NU8000, LG SK8000 also comes in some screen sizes options including 49 Inch (49SK8000PUA), 55 Inch (55SK8000PUA), and 65 Inch (65SK8000PUA). Meanwhile, with the same screen (UN49NU8000 vs 49SK8000PUA, UN55NU8000 vs 55SK8000PUA, and UN65NU8000 vs 65SK8000PUA), Samsung NU8000 is priced a bit more expensive than LG SK8000. But of course, their prices are not fixed and can still change at any time. SO, what features are offered by them and which is a better choice?
LG SK8000 vs Samsung NU8000 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Samsung NU8000||LG SK8000|
|Size Available||49 Inch (UN49NU8000), 55 Inch (UN55NU8000), 65 Inch (UN65NU8000), 75 Inch (UN75NU8000), 82 Inch (UN82NU8000)||49 Inch (49SK8000PUA), 55 Inch (55SK8000PUA), 65 Inch (65SK8000PUA)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||IPS Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Dimming Technology||Local Dimming (Ultra Slim Array)||Local Dimming|
|Color Enhancement||Dynamic Crystal Color||Nano Cell Color, Tru Color Accuracy, Billion Rich Color|
|Contrast Enhancement||Contrast Enhancer, Supreme UHD Dimming||Nano Cell Black, Ultra Luminance|
|Clarity Enhancement||UHD Up-scaling Engine, UHD Remastering Engine||Tru 4K Up-Scaler|
|Image Processor||UHD Engine, HDR Plus||Alpha 7 Intelligence Processor|
|HDR Supports||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+||HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor|
|Motion Control||Motion Rate 240||Tru Motion 240 Hz|
|Native Refresh Rate||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Smart TV Platform||Tizen OS 2018||WebOS 4.0|
|Smart Home Assistant||Smart Things, Bixby Voice Assistant, and more||LG ThinQ AI, Amazon Alexa Compatible, Google Home Compatible|
|Audio Channel||2.1||2.0 Support Dolby Atmos|
|Speaker Type||Down Firing + Front Firing||Bass Reflex Speaker|
|Audio Output||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)||10 W + 10 Watt|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Technologies and Features of Samsung NU8000 and LG SK8000
As we see on comparison table above, they come with different panel technology. For this case, Samsung NU8000 comes with VA panel while LG SK8000 comes with IPS panel. As we know, a TV with VA panel typically has strong native contrast ratio but bad in side viewing angle coverage. Otherwise, a TV with IPS Panel typically has good side viewing angle but cannot produce deep black due weak native contrast ratio. Still about their panel technology, they equally use Edge-Lit backlight with local dimming technology. But unfortunately, we don’t know clearly, how many dimming zones of each of their local dimming.
LG SK8000 is powered by Alpha 7 intelligence processor, the same processor we found on the higher series SK9000 0r SK9500 or even LG OLED B8. This processor brings some improvements over the older processor. In addition to it brings the enhancement in processing images including HDR images, Alpha 7 processor also acts as the brain of its smart TV platforms, makes the performance of its smart TV is faster and more responsive. Meanwhile, for Samsung NU8000, there is no specific name for its picture engine. But even so, combination of its UHD engine and HDR Plus technology behind it makes its performance in processing images is not less powerful than SK8000.
As we see on comparison table above, both LG SK8000 and Samsung NU8000 more than one HDR formats. For this case, NU8000 supports HDR 10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and HDR 10+, while SK8000 supports HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision and Advanced HDR by Technicolor.
Color Enhancement Technology
There are the number of technologies behind LG SK8000 which have a job to improve the color produced, but the most major is Nano Cell Color. Essentially, this technology is a variation on quantum dot technology that use uniformly sized particles (one nanometer in diameter) and applied on IPS panel. With this technology behind it, it allows SK8000 can deliver wide color gamut and can maintain color accuracy produced when viewed from wider angles. Meanwhile, Samsung NU8000 lacks quantum dot technology and instead, it is powered by Dynamic Crystal Color. Although color gamut produced is not as wide as what produced by QLED TVs which powered by quantum dot, but with this technology, at least, NU8000 can still provide wide color gamut.
Contrast Enhancement Technology
For maximizing contrast and black level, Samsung NU8000 is powered by Supreme UHD Dimming and Contrast Enhancer. On the other hand, LG SK8000 is powered by Nano Cell Black and Ultra Luminance. We will not explain how these technologies work, but essentially, these technologies are design to improve contrast and brightness produced and also minimizes images distortion, so they can produce clearer picture quality with deeper black level and brighter peak brightness.
Clarity Enhancement technology
For anticipating the many non 4K contents which available in the market, both Samsung NU8000 and LG SK8000 have the ability to up-scale the resolution of non 4K content to near 4K resolution. With Tru 4K Up-Scaler engine behind SK8000 or UHD Up-scaling and UHD Re-mastering Engine behind NU8000, no matter the resolution of the source, where it is 480p, 720p or 1080p, they allow you can enjoy them in 4K quality clearly and sharply with a lot of small details still preserved well.
In addition to each of them already has excellent pixel response time, for maximizing their performance in handling motion blur, both of them also have motion clarity enhancement technology. For this case, Samsung NU8000 comes with Motion Rate 240 while LG SK8000 comes with TruMotion 240 Hz. Basically both of these technologies are equally based on native 120 HZ refresh rate panel. Meanwhile, to dim their backlight, both of them also equally use PWM System, but they use different frequency dimming. Samsung NU8000 uses 240 HZ of Dimming Frequency while LG SK8000 uses 120 Hz. Both of them also equally have an optional 60 Hz BFI mode that allow them can dim their backlight at 60 HZ flicker. This mode is very useful to clear-up the motion, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games.
Like their predecessor, as their smart TV platform, Samsung NU8000 is still featuring Tizen OS while LG SK8000 is also still featuring WebOS. But of course, they come with the latest version of their smart TV platform. As we have known, both of these platforms equally offer simple navigation and a lot of attractive and useful apps and smart features. Both of them also equally have smart home and voice assistant apps where Tizen OS comes with Smart Things and Samsung’ Bixby Voice Assistant, while WebOS comes with LG AI ThinQ AI.
For producing sound, Samsung NU8000 is equipped with 2.1 channel speaker system with built-in woofer and 40 watts of total sound output. Meanwhile, LG SK8000 is equipped with standard 2.0 channel speaker system with 20 watts. Additionally, it also already supports Dolby Atmos. But since it is only equipped with standard sound speaker, to enjoy Dolby Atmos Sound experience on SK8000, you need an additional sound-bar.
LG SK8000 vs Samsung NU8000 Performance
Basically, both Samsung NU8000 and LG SK8000 equally excellent picture quality. But even so, since they use different panel technology, they have their own characteristic in producing picture. Samsung NU8000 with VA panel has strong native contrast ratio and can produce deep black level. The result, blacks of images looks really blacks on the screen of NU8000, even when it is set in a dark room. Additionally, with more than 5000:1 of native contrast ratio, black level produced by NU7100 is deeper than 0.02 nits that means it is dark enough to reveal details of images like intended. The result, shadow details of HDR images can be shown excellently like the content creator’s intended. But a bit unfortunate, its local dimming doesn’t have a significant impact on its contrast ratio. On the other hand, with IPS panel, this makes native contrast ratio of LG SK8000 is not so strong, only a bit stronger than 1000:1. The impact of low native contrast ratio of SK8000 will be more noticeable when it is set in a dark room. Instead looks really black, blacks of images displayed on its screen will looks tend to grey in a dark room. Additionally, with HDR content, its black level is not also dark enough to reveal details in dark scene of HDR, makes shadow details of HDR images can be shown like the intended. Fortunately, low performance of SK8000 in producing black level has only an impact in a dark room, so once it is set on a bright room, the picture displayed on the screen of SK8000 will looks far better.
While Samsung NU8000 can produce deeper black level, it also can produce bright peak brightness than LG SK8000. With SDR content, peak brightness of NU8000 is great that is close to 600 nits. With its peak brightness, this certainly is bright enough to overcome the glare, makes it can maintain excellent picture quality produced in most bright room. A bit difference to other TV where they will provide brighter peak brightness when playing HDR content, with HDR content, peak brightness of Samsung NU8000 is a bit dimmer. However, its peak brightness is still bright enough to show bright HDR images. Its local dimming is even able to makes small window size looks brighter, makes highlight of HDR images can be show brighter. Unlike OLED TV where its peak brightness will dim significantly when showing the whole screen is bright, on the screen of NU8000, its peak brightness is still brighter than 500 nits, makes HDR picture displayed on their screen looks excellent in most bright room. But unfortunately, since its peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits, it cannot show highlight of HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range like the creator intended. Additionally, insufficient number of dimming zones also makes “blooming” is still visible around bright small object, particularly when it is showing a small bright object in a dark background.
Meanwhile, like other model of IPS TV, with SDR content, peak brightness of LG SK8000 is not so bright, particularly when showing dark scene. But even so, its peak brightness will increase slightly as the bright areas increase up to brighter than 300 nits. With peak brightness reached, it actually is only enough for dimly lit room or a room with normal light, while for very bright room, it is struggle to fight the glare. With HDR content, LG SK8000 can reach brighter peak brightness, but not too far. Unlike NU8000 that can show highlight of HDR images brighter, when showing small bright object, its peak brightness is even dimmer. Like when showing SDR contents, with HDR content, its peak brightness is only enough for a dimly-lit room or a room with normal light.
In producing color, Samsung NU8000 also offers a bit wider color gamut than LG SK8000. Color gamut produced by NU8000 can cover more than 90% of DCI P3 that means it is good for HDR content particularly that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR 10 images. Its color gamut may not be as good as Samsung QLED TV lineup, but at least, most colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate on its screen. There are only some colors like deep greens and cyan that cannot be shown as accurate as other colors. Additionally, its color coverage is also good in Rec.2020. But since it doesn’t support HDR formats that mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision, this is not too important for NU8000. On the other hand, although not as wide as NU8000, color coverage of LG SK8000 in DCI P3 is also good or at least, its color gamut can still cover more than 88% of DCI P3 color space. This means, most colors of HDR images can still be shown fairly accurate. And like NU8000, it also struggle to show deep greens. Additionally, its color coverage in Rec.2020 is also fairly good, makes colors of Dolby images can still be shown fairly accurate. Additionally, Samsung NU8000 also has a bit better color volume than LG SK8000. Both of them may not be able to show very deep as good as brighter colors, but in showing deep color, NU8000 can do better due it has deeper black level than SK8000. But even so, except dark colors, both of them can well-show their color gamut at its brightness range. While Samsung has a bit wider color gamut and color volume, SK8000 offer a bit better color gradient. But essentially, both of them can show color gradient of HDR images fairly smooth without many major color banding. Some little imperfections may be still visible in certain colors, but overall, but this should not be a problem for normal usage.
With deeper black level, better black uniformity, brighter peak brightness, and better color reproduction, overall, Samsung NU8000 has better picture quality than LG SK8000, no matter the light condition of a room where they are used. But it is as true to only when the picture displayed on the screen is viewed from the center and front, while when viewed from the side, the result will be different.
Side Viewing Angle
The use of IPS panel makes LG SK8000 cannot produce deep black level, but on the other hand, this makes its side viewing angle coverage is fairly good. Started at about 20 degrees off center and front, color of the picture displayed on their screen may look equally shift as well as their peak brightness also start to decrease at about 30 degrees. But even so, the excellence of SK8000 is about its performance in maintaining black level. At the screen of NU8000, black level will look to deteriorate started at less than 15 degrees. On the other hand, SK8000 can maintain its black level up to extremely wide angle. The result, when viewed from the side, quality of the picture displayed on the screen of SK8000 will look more consistent than NU8000. This means, when used in a wide room where there are viewers watch TV from multiple angles, the picture displayed on the screen of SK8000 will look better than on the screen of NU8000.
Motion handling and 24p Playback
LG SK8000 may have a bit lower pixel response time than Samsung NU8000, but its excellence is not too significant and overall, their pixel response time is equally excellent for fast moving contents. The result, when they are playing sports, fast games, or fast movies, the picture displayed on their screen look very smooth and clear with almost no motion blur visible. Following fast moving object, there is only a very short ghosting trail where most people may not notice this much. The blur that may visible is more due by 60 fps persistence than pixel response time. Meanwhile to dim the backlight flicker, both of them equally use PWM dimming system. By default, NU8000 uses 240 HZ of dimming frequency while SK8000 uses 120 Hz. Since frequency dimming of SK8000 is lower, this will makes backlight flicker is more visible on its screen than NU8000, particularly for you who sensitive to flicker. And to make motion looks clearer, particularly that caused by 60 fps persistence, both Samsung NU8000 and LG SK800 equally have an optional 60 HZ BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that will makes backlight flicker at 60 Hz. For activating this mode, on NU8000, you must set “on” the “LED Clear Motion” in the “Auto Motion Plus” menu, while on SK8000, “TruMotion” must be set to “User” and “Motion Pro” must be set to “on”. By enabling this mode, this will make motion looks far clearer, particularly when you are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. But on the other hand, this will make backlight flicker is more noticeable. For you who are not to comfort to flicker, you can disable this feature, but if you are not to comfort with blur than flicker, you can enable this mode.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, LG SK8000 can do a bit better job than Samsung NU8000, particularly when they are playing 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV. For this case, SK800 can show them with flicker-free while NU8000 is not able. But even so, for other frame rate like native 24p videos, 24p movies via 60p signal, or even movies via streaming app like Netflix, YouTube and others, both of them equally offer great performance. This means no matter you are playing Blu Ray Movies, DVD movies, movies from streaming media like Fire TV, Apple TV, or movies via YouTube, Netflix, and others, all of them can shown smoothly with judder-free on their screen. Meanwhile, for removing judder without adding “soap opera effect” you must set certain setting on their picture settings. For NU8000, you must set “Auto Motion Plus” to “Custom” and set both “Blur Reduction” and “Judder Reduction” to “0”, while for SK8000, you just need to enable the “Real Cinema” in its picture setting.
As their major connectivity, both LG SK8000 and Samsung NU8000 are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, and CEC. Additionally, one of their HDMI port also supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) where for NU8000, that supports ARC is HDMI 4 while for SK8000, that support ARC is HDMI 2. In term of USB ports, SK8000 has 3 USB ports while NU8000 only has 2 USB ports. All of their HDMI ports are USB 2.0 and none of them is USB 3.0. In addition to USB and HDMI ports, both of them also equally have 1 RF In (Antenna In), 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), and 1 Ethernet port. As their wireless connectivity, they are also equally equipped with built-I Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Meanwhile, a bit difference between them is about Composite In (AV In) where SK8000 is equipped with 1 Composite In (Incl. adapter) while NU8000 doesn’t have Composite In. There is no Component in behind them.
LG SK8000 may have a bit lower input lags than Samsung NU8000 in “PC” and “Game” Mode” but essentially, their input lags is excellent. With less than 15 ms for SK8000 and less than 20 ms for NU8000, no matter in 1080p or 4K resolution, for causal or fast paced games, and also with HDR or non HDR games, their input lags is great for any games, allow you to play any games responsively and comfortably without laggy. Combined to their good picture quality, excellent motion handling, and risk-free from permanent burn-in, makes them as good TVs for playing games.
Smart TV Platform
As we have mentioned above, as their smart TV platform, Samsung NU8000 is featuring Tizen OS 2018 that powered by a quad core processor while SK8000 is featuring WebOS 4.0 that powered by Alpha 7 processor. Both of these platforms equally have attractive and intuitive home menu, not many changes to their older version. All of preinstalled apps and features provided by them are equally organized at the bottom across the screen. Meanwhile, they also equally provide a lot of attractive and useful apps and smart features like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Live TV, Web Browser, Screen Mirroring apps, Games and many more. Both of them also equally have an apps store where Tizen OS comes with Samsung Apps Store while WebOS comes with LG’s apps store. Samsung apps store may have more complete apps, games, contents and other than LG apps Store, but essentially, what provided by them are equally very complete. Both of these platforms have been also integrated with smart home apps and voice assistant. For this case, WebOS comes with LG ThinQ AI, allow you to control your ThinQ AI compatible devices with your voice command via your LG TV. Even not only that, ThinQ AI also is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, so not only ThinQ AI compatible devices you can monitor via your LG TV but also Amazon Alexa and Google Home Compatible Devices. Additionally, ThinQ Ai also makes its voice navigation is far better than previous version, allow you to do a lot of more things with your voice command. On the other hand, Tizen OS comes with Smart Thins has similar functionality than ThinQ AI. But for this case, it doesn’t support Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Meanwhile, for improving its voice navigation, it comes with Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant.
As their controller, Samsung NU8000 is equipped with Samsung Smart Controller while LG SK8000 is equipped with LG Magic Remote. Physically, LG’s remote is bigger and has more buttons than Samsung’s remote. But even so, they are equally equipped with built-in microphone for voice navigation. Since Tizen has been integrated with Bixby voice assistant and WebOS has been integrated with LG ThinQ AI, makes both of these remotes have excellent voice navigation. Both of these remote also equally support CEC Menu control and have a universal ability, allow you to control other devices connected on your TV with a single remote. The advantage offered by LG Remote, it has a feature called “Point and Click”. By combining direction buttons and scroll wheel on the center of the remote, this is very powerful to make navigation is faster and easier. Not only that, when this remote is pointed to the TV, it allow you to move the cursor on the screen by moving the remote.
|Performance||Samsung NU8000||LG SK8000|
As we have mentioned above, since they use different panel technology, they also has different characteristic in producing images. But overall, as long as the picture is viewed from the center and front, Samsung NU8000 with VA panel has better picture quality. It has far deeper black level, make it can show better dark scene and shadow details of HDR images, particularly when they are set in a dark room. Additionally, it also has wider color gamut and better color volume, makes color of HDR images can be shown a bit more accurate. Additionally, NU8000 also has brighter peak brightness than SK8000, makes it can show brighter HDR images. Otherwise, the advantage of LG SK8000 is about its good side viewing angle coverage, make it is better when used in a wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple angles. Meanwhile, in term of motion handling, input lags, and smart TV, LG SK8000 actually offer a bit better performance than NU8000, but the superiority of SK8000 over NU8000 is not too striking.
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned above, with the same screen, Samsung NU8000 is priced a bit more expensive than LG SK8000. And considering performance offered by them, the decision certainly comes back to you according to your need and preferences. If you frequently watch TV in a wide room with a group of your family or friend in where they usually watch TV from multiple angles, LG SK8000 is better since it has wider viewing angle coverage. Otherwise, if you often watch TV in a dark room or as long as you don’t often watch TV from the side, Samsung NU8000 is a better since most of major aspects of picture quality offered are better than SK8000.