While 4K TVs are becoming more popular than ever, TV makers such as Samsung are looking ahead to the next screen resolution which is 8K.
I was able to test one of Samsung’s QLED 8K TVs for a few weeks and it’s a great TV but with a price tag that is hard to justify.
Design & Hardware
The QLED 8K TV that I tested was the 75-inch model (QN75Q900RBFXZC) but Samsung’s QLED 8K is also available in a 65, 82, 85 and 98-inch screen sizes. It’s worth mentioning that the TV is extremely heavy if you try to move it.
The TV has fairly thin bezels that make it easier to focus on the content and make the TV watching experience more immersive. When attaching the legs to the TV, you have the option of having them closer or farther apart depending on how big your entertainment console is.
The actual TV is fairly thin but that’s also because all the components for the TV are inside an updated One Connect box that connects to the TV using a single cable (which is about 5ft in length).
While previous Samsung QLED TV would need two power plugs, the QLED 8K only needs one.
This is because Samsung’s One Connect cable now supports power. The One Connect box for the QLED 8K has 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB port, Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Optical Audio, EX-Link and IP Control support.
Inside the One Connect box is the Samsung Quantum Processor 8K which used AI-based technology to upscale 1080p and 4K content to 8K resolution.
While 4K offered a resolution of 3840 x 2160, 8K means your TV has a resolution of 7680 x 4320, which is twice 4K and four times the resolution of Full HD (1080p). The QLED 8K TV produces 33 million pixels which is four times more than 4K and 16 times more than Full HD (1080p).
Watching videos on the QLED 8K was absolutely stunning, with the added resolution, you can truly see every pixel on-screen and everything just seems more true-to-life than ever before. The TV also supports HDR10+, HDR 32X and Full Array 16X which makes blacks seem deeper and colours pop even more.
The Samsung QLED 8K comes with an updated version of the company’s One Remote control which has a curved design that makes it easier to hold in your hand. There is also a microphone for talking to Bixby and shortcut buttons for Netflix, Prime Video and the TV’s web browser.
Another great benefit is that the TV has a featured called Ambient Mode which allows you to turn your TV into a piece of art when not in use. This feature is carried over from Samsung’s other line of TVs called The Frame.
Now all of this does come at a cost, the 75-inch model of the Samsung QLED 8K (Q900R) goes for around $6,999 CAD but normally goes for $8,999 CAD.
The pricing for the rest of the QLED 8K TV sizes are as follows:
- 55-inch – $3,999 CAD (normally around $4,499 CAD)
- 65-inch – $4,999 CAD (normally around $6,999 CAD)
- 82-inch – $8,999 CAD (normally around $12,999 CAD)
- 85-inch – $29,999 CAD
- 98-inch – $99,999 CAD*
*Available for purchase on special order
Just like previous Samsung QLED TVs, the 8K sets are running the latest version of Samsung’s Tizen.
When you press the home button on the remote, the bottom menu bar shows up. That’s where you’ll find quick access to your favourite apps. The left side of the menu has shortcuts to get to settings, source, search and all apps.
To the right of these shortcuts, you can easily add your own favourite apps to make it easier to switch between them.
The design of Tizen on the QLED 8K hasn’t changed compared to previous QLED 4K TVs and I wish Samsung would make it similar to the One UI on their smartphones and also add a dark mode for the menu.
Another cool feature of the QLED 8K is the Real Game Enhancer which will give you smooth motion and lifelike images without tearing or stuttering. If you hook up a game console, the TV will automatically turn on game mode for that input for a better gaming experience.
Navigating through the interface is fairly easy and is very smooth. In addition to using the One Remote, you can also control the TV using the Samsung SmartThings app on your smartphone.
The QLED 8K TV can also be used to control your smart home (via SmartThings), so you can control lights in specific rooms, change the thermostat temperature or see who’s at your door, such as a Ring video doorbell.
There are quite a few streaming video apps available for Samsung’s smart TVs including Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Crave, Plex, Google Play Movies and more. The TV is also AirPlay 2 enabled so you can easily stream content from your iOS or Mac to the QLED 8K TV.
New for this year is the addition of the Apple TV app for Samsung smart TVs. This means that you can buy, rent and watch movies and shows you’ve purchased on iTunes. And if you’ve purchased 4K content from iTunes, it will be available to stream on the TV.
And then later this year, you’ll be able to watch original content from Apple’s forthcoming TV+ streaming service which is set to launch in November.
For those of you have use an Apple TV 4K or Apple TV 4th Gen (i.e ones running tvOS) then the UI of the Apple TV app will seem familiar to you. The top of the screen has a Watch Now section that lets you continue watching the content you’ve purchased.
Then you have Movies, TV Shows, Kids where you can buy and rent content. The Library section shows you all the content you’ve bought, Search is pretty explanatory and Settings lets you adjust parts of the app including account info.
The only thing I don’t like about the Apple TV app is that you can’t see what content in your library is available in 4K. This is not the case on Apple’s own TV 4K device which does include a 4K section.
As mentioned earlier, the QLED 8K allows you to watch content in 8K resolution but since there isn’t a whole lot of 8K content available. The TV has Samsung’s Quantum Processor 8K which is able to upscale 1080p and 4K video to 8K using AI.
I was able to watch a lot of 4K content upscaled to 8K on the TV from a number of services such as Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and the Apple TV app.
Like on recent Samsung smartphones, the QLED 8K has Bixby on-board, so when you hold down the microphone button on the remote you can ask Bixby “what’s the weather?” or open up Netflix and etc. Bixby voice controls are also supported in the Apple TV app for the TV.
The Samsung QLED 8K TV is a great option for those in the market that want a future-proof TV that offers amazing picture quality, lots of apps and has a simple yet elegant design.
- Amazing 8K picture quality
- Wide viewing angles and bright display
- One Connect box makes it easier to connect devices to the TV
- Can easily upscale 1080p & 4K content to 8K
- Tizen interface is easy to use and navigate
- Offered in multiple screen sizes (up to 98-inch)
- Very expensive (twice or more than the cost of 4K TVs)
- No 8K content available
- The TV is very heavy (be careful when moving the TV)