Samsung RU8000 and NU8000 Review (UN49RU8000 vs UN49NU8000, UN55RU8000 vs UN55NU8000, UN65RU8000 vs UN65NU8000, UN75RU8000 vs UN75NU8000, UN82RU8000 vs UN82NU8000)
Samsung RU8000 is the top model of Samsung’s 2019 non QLED TV. In the market, it sits in middle range model. On the other hand, the Samsung NU8000 is the predecessor of RU8000. Despite the NU8000 is the last year model and its existence have been replaced by the RU8000, but you can still find them in some merchants. Just like other mid-range TV, in the market, they both come in a lot of screen size options. From the smallest, there is the 49 inches model (UN49RU8000 vs UN49NU8000), the 55 inches model (UN55RU8000 vs UN55NU8000), the 65 inches model (UN65RU8000 vs UN65NU8000), the 75 inches model (UN75RU8000 vs UN75NU8000), and the biggest 82 inches model (UN82RU8000 vs UN82NU8000).
Meanwhile, discussed about their price, with same screen, which one is cheaper between them depends on their screen sizes. For the 55 inches model and smaller, the NU8000 is sold tens dollar cheaper than the RU8000. Nevertheless, it is more due to the price of the NU8000 has dropped a lot. Nevertheless, for the 65 inches model and bigger, the RU8000 as a newer model is even sold hundreds dollar cheaper than the NU8000. But of course, their prices are not fixed and can still change at any time. So, what the difference between them and is the RU8000 as newer model is superior to the predecessor NU8000?
Samsung RU8000 vs NU8000 Specification
|Technology and Features||Samsung NU8000||Samsung RU8000|
|Screen Size Available||49 Inches (UN49NU8000FXZA), 55 Inches (UN55NU8000 FXZA), 65 Inches (UN65NU8000 FXZA), 75 Inches (UN75NU8000 FXZA), and 82 Inches (UN82NU8000 FXZA)||49 Inches (UN49RU8000 FXZA), 55 Inches (UN55RU8000 FXZA), 65 Inches (UN65RU8000 FXZA), 75 Inches (UN75RU8000 FXZA), and 82 Inches (UN82RU8000 FXZA)|
|Resolution||4K (3840 x 2160)||4K (3840 x 2160)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlight Technology||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED (Ultra Slim Array)|
|Local Dimming Technology||Yes||No|
|Dimming Technology||Supreme UHD Dimming||UHD Dimming|
|Ultra Viewing Angle Technology||No||No|
|Processor||UHD Engine||4K UHD Processor|
|HDR Quality||HDR Plus||HDR|
|HDR Supports||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+|
|Color Technology||Dynamic Crystal Color||Dynamic Crystal Color|
|Depth Enhancing Technology||Contrast Enhancer||N/a|
|Motion Technology||Motion Rate 240 (49 Inches: Motion Rate120)||Motion Rate 240 (49 Inches: Motion Rate120)|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz (49 inches Model : 60 Hz)||120 Hz (49 inches Model : 60 Hz)|
|Smart TV Platform||Tizen 2018||Tizen 2019|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Support Google Assistant||-||Yes|
|Support Amazon Alexa||-||Yes|
|Remote||Smart Remote (TM1850A)||Smart Remote (TM1950A)|
|Total Sound Output||40 watts||20 watts|
|HDMI Supports||HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.2||HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.2|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||em>See the price on Amazon|
Short Review of Samsung NU8000 and RU8000
As newer model, the Samsung RU8000 still brings some technologies and features from its predecessor NU8000. But even so, even though the RU8000 is the successor of the NU8000, in certain specs, it has a lower level or even lacks some feature found on the NU8000. Here are the features and technologies of the Samsung NU8000 and RU8000. The texts with red colors are the differences between them.
Nothing has changed on the panel technology that used by the Samsung RU8000 from the NU8000. They both use VA (Vertical Alignment) panel technology. And as is typical of VA panel, this makes them have good native contrast ratio that allow them can produce deep black. But on the other hand, the use of VA panel makes their side viewing angle is poor. In 2019, Samsung might have introduced new optical layer technology called “Ultra Viewing Angle) that can help to improve the side viewing angle coverage of its lineup, but for a while, this technology is just applied on the premium model like Q90R or Q80R.
The Samsung NU8000 and RU8000 also use the same backlight technology, which is edge-lit LED backlight. But the difference, the NU8000 has local dimming technology that can help to improve its dark room technology. On the other hand, even though the RU8000 is the successor of the NU8000, but it precisely lacks local dimming technology. This certainly is decline for a RU8000 over the predecessor NU8000.
The Samsung RU8000 actually has a technology called UHD Dimming, a feature that can help to improve black level. But it is not a real local dimming like found on NU8000. This is just software-based dimming system. On the hand, the NU8000 actually also has UHD Dimming features, which is Supreme UHD Dimming. It is even better than UHD Dimming on RU8000, albeit the difference is not too significant. One more feature of the NU8000 that can help to improve its contrast ratio is “Contrast Enhancer”. On the other hand, the RU8000 lacks this feature.
Even though in table comparison above, the Samsung RU8000 and NU8000 are powered by the different processor where the RU8000 is powered by 4K UHD Processor while the NU8000 is powered by UHD Engine, but this is just different names. So, I think, there is no significant improvement brought be the 4K UHD Processor form the UHD Engine on the picture quality produced.
The Samsung RU8000 and NU8000 support the same HDR formats. In addition HDR10, the most popular HDR format, they both also support HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), a HDR format developed by NHK and BBC for TV broadcasting. This certainly allows you to watch TV shows with HDR quality. Additionally, they both also already support HDR10+, a HDR format that is as the improvement of HDR10 format. The difference to HDR10 is if HDR10 use static metadata, the HDR10+ already use dynamic metadata. But unfortunately, they both don’t support Dolby Vision, another HDR format that also uses dynamic metadata.
For improving their performance in handling motion, the Samsung NU8000 and RU800 are supported by the same technologies. They are supported by Motion Rate 240 technology. Additionally, they both also have the same native refresh rate panel, which is 120 Hz. This allows them are able to play native 120 fps content or interpolate the lower frame rate content at up to 120 Hz.
Meanwhile, to dim their backlight, they both also use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system. Nevertheless, their dimming frequency is depending on the setting. When their picture mode is set to “Movies”, their dimming frequency is equally 240 Hz. But even so, in all other modes, their dimming change to 120 Hz. Additionally, when the Auto Motion Plus is set to “Custom” or “Auto”, their dimming frequency is always 120Hz, even if they both set in Movie mode. The 120 Hz flicker can help fast motion looks a little crisper, but on the other hand, this will also cause some unwanted duplication.
Additionally, they both also have an optional 60Hz (BFI) Black Frame Insertion) mode. This feature can be activated by enabling “LED Clear Motion” in the “Auto Motion Plus” menu. This means, when the “LED Clear Motion” is enabled, their backlight flicker will change to 60 Hz. Enabling their BFI mode will help to make motion look crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. But on the other hand, since their backlight flickers at lower frequency, this certainly makes the backlight flicker is more noticeable for some people who sensitive to flicker.
The excellent thing is that they both also already support FreeSync VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) technology. At 4K resolution, their refresh rate can change between 48 – 60 Hz while with 1080p and 1440p resolution, their refresh rate can change between 20 – 120 Hz. With compatible device like Xbox one or PC with compatible GPU, this allows you to play games with nearly tear-free.
Note: Their 49 inches model (UN49NU8000 and UN49RU8000) are powered by Motion Rate 120 and only have native 60 Hz refresh rate panel. Additionally, they both don’t also support VRR technology.
The Samsung RU8000 and NU8000 are equipped the same outputs/inputs. They both have 4 HDMI ports as their major connectivity. Their HDMI ports support most common resolutions. But even so, a bit difference between them is that the HDMI ports of RU8000 already supports 1440p @ 60 Hz, while the NU8000 doesn’t support this resolution. Additionally, their HDMI ports also support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, HDCP 2.2, CEC, and ARC (HDMI 4). But unfortunately, they both don’t support HDMI 2.1, makes their HDMI ports cannot accept HFR content like 4K @ 120 Hz. Additionally, they both also don’t support eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel), that certainly also makes them cannot pass higher audio quality signal like DTS:X via DTS-HD MA or others. Furthermore their HDMI ports also already support ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), allow them to automatically change to low latency mode like Game Mode once the signal from a game console is detected.
In addition to HDMI, they both also only have 2 USB ports where all of them are USB 2.0. This means, they both don’t have USB 3.0. Furthermore, they both also have 1 Tuner IN (RF In), 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), and 1 Ethernet ports. As their wireless connectivity, they both are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The Samsung RU8000 as a newer model precisely has worse internal sound speaker than the predecessor NU8000. In last year, the Samsung NU8000 comes with 2.1 channel speaker with total sound output of 40 watts. This means, it has two speakers where each of speaker has 10 watts of sound output and 1 sub woofer with total audio power of 20 watts. On the other hand, the RU8000 is only equipped with standard internal speaker system, which is 2.0 channel speaker system with 20 watts of total sound output. This certainly makes the NU8000 can deliver more powerful sound output than the RU8000, particularly on low frequency or bass. But even so, if you are not satisfied with sound output of RU8000, you can buy additional external sound bar separately for improving its sound quality.
Smart TV Platform
As their smart TV platform, they both may run same OS, which is Tizen OS, also called Smart Hub. However, the difference is that the RU8000 comes with 2019 version while the NU8000 comes with the 2018 version. The 2019 version comes with some improvements from the 2018 version, particularly on their interface. The interface of the 2018 version may be already well organized and easy to use, but it has some bugs such as animations lag frequently and can be choppy at times, there are dropped frames, the interface freezes occasionally, and others. In the 2019 version, this issue can be minimizes, so its interface is much smoother than the 2018 version.
In term of apps provided, there are not many changes. The both have excellent selection of preinstalled apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Videos, Web Browser, Games, Live TVs, and more. Their apps store is also the same, which is Samsung apps store, where it is provide huge selection of apps you can download from your Samsung TV. Additionally, both of these version also already support voice navigation. Work with Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant, they both have excellent voice control, allows you to control most of TV functions, ask some basic questions, and others. Meanwhile, a bit improvement brought by the 2019 version is that it has supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, while the 2018 version has not support. But even so, the Amazon Alexa is not built-in on the RU8000. This means, to use it, you must buy Amazon Alexa Devices separately.
Just like their smart TV platform, as their controller, the Samsung RU8000 comes with 2019 model of Samsung’s smart controller (TM1950A), while the NU8000 comes with the 2018 model (TM1850A). Physically, they are almost similar that they are equally small and only have few buttons. Functionally, they are also almost similar. They both have built-in microphone where you can give a voice command to control most of TV functions. Meanwhile, when you use voice navigation, these remotes don’t require direct line-of-sight to the TV because they use Bluetooth Connection. Additionally, they both also have OneRemote feature, allow them can act as universal remote to control other devices connected on your Samsung TVs. The excellence is not only HDMI CEC compatible devices that can be controlled by these remotes, but also the devices which don’t support HDMI CEC. Nevertheless, to control the device that doesn’t support CEC, it requires direct line-of-sight to this device. Meanwhile a bit difference between them is that on the 2019 model, there are 3 additional dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, while the 2018 model doesn’t have these buttons.
Samsung NU8000 vs RU8000 Performance
Black Level and Contrast Ratio
The Samsung RU8000 and NU8000 have similar native contrast ratio. And as is typical of TVS with VA panel, both the Samsung NU8000 and RU8000 have excellent native contrast ratio, even better than most VA TVs. This allows them can produce very deep black level, deeper than 0.02 nits. On the other hand, their black uniformity is also equally excellent. Combination of deep black level and excellent black uniformity certainly make dark scene displayed on their screen looks excellently, even when they are set in a dark room. Additionally, black level produced by them is also deep enough to show shadow details of HDR images excellently as detail they should be in HDR.
Meanwhile, a bit advantage of the NU8000 is that it is has local dimming feature that can improve its dark room performance while the RU8000 doesn’t have. The local dimming feature of the NU8000 may be not able to boost its contrast ratio, but at least, it is able to reduce amount of visible blooming. On the other hand, the RU8000 lacks local dimming technology. And without local dimming, when it is showing small highlight in a dark scene, a number of blooming will more visible on its screen than on the screen of NU8000. This will be noticeable when they are showing a movie with subtitle where the subtitle will look more focused on the screen of NU8000 than RU8000.
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR peak brightness of the Samsung RU8000 is not as bright as the predecessor NU8000. With real content, the R 8000 is able to hit around 350 nits. The good thing is that is peak brightness relatively consistent at any window sizes, except 2% window (2% of the screen is white while the rest is black). Meanwhile, on 2% window, its peak brightness is dimmed by the TV’s CE down to around 200 nits to prevent excessive blooming when it is showing small highlight. With this behavior, as long as it is not set in a very bright room, its peak brightness is bright enough to overcome the glare. And combined to its good reflection handling, in most rooms, picture displayed on their screen looks fairly good without distracting glare.
On other hand, peak brightness of the Samsung RU8000 is brighter than the RU8000. With real content, it is able to hit around 500 nits. Just like the RU8000, except 2% window, its peak brightness is also relatively consistent regardless the window sizes. But even so, when showing small highlight (2% window), the NU8000 has different behavior to the RU8000. If on the screen of the RU8000, small highlight is dimmer than larger bright scene, one the screen of NU8000, small highlight can be shown much brighter than larger bright scene, which is approximately 700 nits. This means, overall, the Samsung NU8000 can show brighter SDR images than the RU800. This certainly also makes the picture displayed on its screen looks more consistent in very bright room.
HDR Peak Brightness
Meanwhile, with HDR content, peak brightness of the Samsung RU8000 is relatively similar to its SDR peak brightness, which is around 350 nits. Its HDR peak brightness behavior is also similar to its SDR peak brightness where its peak brightness is relatively consistent on most windows sizes, and dimmed down to around 200 nits on 2 % window. Its peak brightness may be bright enough to fight the glare in most bright rooms, but is not still bright enough to show HDR images as bright as they should be. Let alone, it cannot show outstanding highlight. Of course, this will make you disappointed if you go to RU8000 for HDR experience.
On the other hand, just like the RU8000, HDR peak brightness of the NU8000 is also similar to its SDR peak brightness. But even so, peak brightness of the NU8000 is brighter than the RU8000 that certainly makes HDR images looks better. With approximately 700 nits on 2% window, its can show excellent small highlight the way they should in HDR. But even so, its peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits. This means it still cannot show HDR images as bright as the intended by the content creator.
Color Gamut and Color Volume
Both of them are able to deliver wide color gamut that means it is good for HDR. But even so, the NU8000 can deliver a bit wider color gamut than the RU8000. The Samsung NU8000 can cover approximately 92% of DCI P3 color space, while the RU8000 cover around 90% only. Nevertheless, regardless their difference, their color gamut is equally wide enough to show most colors of HDR images quite accurately, particularly for HDR images that mastered in DCI P3 color space like HDR10 or HDR10+. And incidentally, they support both. Meanwhile, since the NU8000 has a bit wider color gamut and brighter peak brightness, this allow it has better color volume than the RU8000. Nevertheless, regardless their difference, they both are able to produce deep dark colors fairly well and show their wide color gamut at their entire brightness range. However, just like most LED TVs, they both cannot produce very bright blues.
The Samsung NU8000 also has smoother color gradient than the RU8000. In certain shades of colors, there are more banding on the screen of the Samsung RU8000 than NU8000. But even so, their difference doesn’t have a significant impact in normal content. On their screen, there may be some bandings in certain shades of colors, but in normal content, this should be hard to notice. And regardless their difference, their color gradient is equally excellent. Color gradient of HDR images looks very smooth on their screen. But even so, if you still feel bothered with banding that may be visible, set the “Digital Clean View” to “Auto” can help to remove most of them. But unfortunately, at the same time, this can also cause the picture lose some fine details.
Side Viewing Angle
As is typical of LED TV with VA panel, both Samsung RU8000 and NU8000 also have poor side viewing angle. Started at around 15 degrees off center and front, their black level will rise quickly. Additionally, colors also shift at few angles off center, which is around 20 degrees. And finally, the brightness also drops started at around 30 degrees. With this behavior, can be ascertained, the picture displayed on their screen will look less accurate when viewed from the side. The side seats of a 3 seat couch even will notice a small difference. And from the wider angle you watch TV, you will have more degraded picture quality. So, if you often watch TV from the TV, both of them are not good TV for you.
As we have known, the lower pixel response time of the TV, motion produced will looks smoother with less blur. For this case, the Samsung RU8000 has lower pixel response time which is approximately 11 ms while the pixel response time of NU8000 is around 13 ms. Nevertheless, their difference actually doesn’t have a significant impact. And regardless their difference, their pixel response time is equally excellent. The result, when they are playing fast paced contents like sports or video games, motion looks very crisp. Following fast moving object, there is only a short faint short trail that should be hard to notice. Meanwhile, some duplication that may be visible is caused by their backlight flicker.
Fortunately, they both have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode. By enabling this mode, this will make their dimming frequency change to 60 Hz. This can help to remove duplications that certainly makes motion is crisper, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like video games or sports. But at the same time, since their backlight flickers at lower frequency, this will cause their backlight flicker bother some people. As we have mentioned above, to enable their BFI mode, you just need to enable “LED Motion Clear”.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, except 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, they both can do the same good job. This means, regardless the source is native 24p movies like DVD or Blu Ray movies, movies from native apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others, or 24p movies via 60p signal, the both can show them clearly with judder free. Nevertheless, when the source is 24p movies via 60i signal, the RU8000 can still remove the judder while the NU8000 cannot remove the judder completely. Meanwhile, to remove the judder, you must set the “Auto Motion Plus” to “Auto” and both Blur and Judder Reduction slider to “0”.
The Samsung RU8000 brings a bit improvement from the predecessor NU8000 on the input lags, particularly with 60 fps content. In game mode, with 60 fps content, the input lags of the NU8000 are around 18 ms, regardless the resolution. On the other hand, the input lags of RU8000 are a bit lower, which is approximately 15 ms. But even so, with 120 fps content, the input lags of RU8000 is higher than the NU8000. At 120 Hz, the input lags of the NU8000 on both 1080p and 1440p resolution is around 10 ms, while the input lag of the RU8000 is around 20 ms on 1080p resolution and around 15 ms on 1440p resolution. With FreeSync enabled, on 1080p and 1440p resolution, their input lags are almost the same, which is approximately 6 ms, while on 4K resolution, their input lag is also the same but higher, which is around 15 ms. But even so, regardless their difference, their input lags are equally excellent, make them are very responsive when used for playing any games, even for fast paced games that required fast reflexes.
Winner: The RU8000 wins in 1440p and 1080p resolution, while the NU8000 wins in 4K resolution.
|Performance||Samsung RU8000||Samsung NU8000|
As we have discussed a lot above, as a newer model, the Samsung RU8000 may bring some new additional features such as support 1440p @60 Hz, support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and others. But on the other hand, it also lacks in some features like local dimming feature, less powerful audio system, and others. Meanwhile, in term of picture quality, the Samsung RU8000 is not better than the NU8000, or even is worse. The Samsung NU8000 can get brighter on both SDR and HDR than the RU8000. Additionally, it also has a bit wider color gamut, better color volume, and a bit smoother color gradient. But even so, in term of color reproduction, their difference actually is not too significant. In term of motion handling, the RU8000 may be a bit better, but their difference is also not too significant.
Overall, the Samsung NU8000 is better than the RU8000. In addition to it can deliver better picture quality and better HDR performance, it also has more powerful audio system. This means, regardless they are used for watching movies, TV shows, Sports, HDR content, or playing Games, the NU8000 is better. Meanwhile, although not as good as the predecessor, picture quality of the RU8000 is not also so disappointing. Its picture quality can even be said well for its price. Meanwhile, in term of smart TV experience, the RU8000 is better than the predecessor.
So, which is a better choice between them? The Samsung NU8000 might be better than the RU8000. But as we have mentioned, for their 65 inches model or higher, the RU8000 is exactly sold hundreds dollar cheaper than the NU8000. SO, it is appropriate if picture quality of the RU8000 is not as good as the NU8000. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your own preference and budget.