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Samsung Q80C TV Review: Specs, Price, and Performance Overview

The Q80C lacks mini-LED backlighting, a feature present in higher-end Samsung TVs for 2023. While not budget-friendly, it offers impressive Quantum Dot colors and excellent light control, positioning itself between flagship and budget TVs, and delivering superb picture quality for its price.

Pros:

Cons:

Samsung Q80C TV: Quick Overview

Despite not featuring Samsung’s mini-LED or Quantum Dot OLED technologies, the Q80C remains a top contender in the TV market.

While its design may seem average, its connectivity shines with four HDMI ports supporting the latest gaming features like 4K 120Hz and variable refresh rates.

The Q80C utilizes direct LED lighting with local dimming and a Quantum Dot color system, ensuring premium quality.

Powered by Samsung’s Neural Quantum Processor 4K imaging engine, the Q80C delivers excellent picture quality with impressive contrast, color, brightness, and sharpness.

Its Object Tracking Sound system complements the visuals with immersive, accurately placed audio.

With a price of £1,299 in the UK and $1,000 in the US, the Q80C offers exceptional value for its performance level.

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Price and Release Date

  • Release date: June 2023
  • Starting at $799 for the 50-inch version
  • Up to $4,999 / £5,999 for the 98-inch version

The majority of the Q80C range became available in early summer across many regions worldwide, except Australia at the time of writing. The 98-inch model was the only late arrival, hitting the market in September.

Priced at £1,299 in the UK and an attention-grabbing $1,000 in the US, the 65-inch model I reviewed offers significant savings compared to Samsung’s mini-LED models like the 65-inch Samsung QN90C, which costs £1,699/$1,700.

Transitioning from mini-LED to conventional LED lighting results in fewer separate dimming zones for the Q80C, but it still promises excellent value, leveraging Samsung’s track record of achieving impressive picture quality with Full-Array with Local Dimming (FALD) TVs.

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Specs

  • Screen type: QLED
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Audio support: Dolby Atmos
  • Smart TV: Tizen
  • HDMI ports: 4 x HDMI 2.1
  • Built-in tuner: ATSC 1.0

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Features

  • 4K LED full-array TV with local dimming
  • Neural Quantum Processor 4K image engine
  • Four HDMI 2.1 ports

While lacking mini-LED backlighting or Quantum Dot OLED technology, the Samsung Q80C offers compelling features at a competitive price within Samsung’s mid-range and premium TV lineup.

Featuring direct LED lighting and a local dimming system with 96 separate zones, the Q80C ensures enhanced image contrast and quality, leveraging Samsung’s renowned local dimming controls.

With support for 120Hz refresh rates, native 4K resolution, and Quantum Dots for vibrant colors, the Q80C delivers immersive viewing experiences.

Powered by Samsung’s Neural Quantum Processor 4K, the TV optimizes image and audio quality in real-time, enhancing features like local dimming, upscaling, sharpness, and Object Tracking Sound (OTS).

OTS, albeit in its ‘Lite’ version, provides immersive sound placement on screen, complemented by Dolby Atmos decoding and Samsung’s Q Symphony technology for enhanced audio experiences.

Supporting HDR10, HLG, and HDR10+ formats, the Q80C offers dynamic HDR video playback, including HDR10+ Adaptive and Gaming implementations.

Its connectivity includes four HDMI 2.1 ports, two USB ports, built-in Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, ensuring seamless multimedia playback and compatibility with the latest devices.

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Picture Quality

  • Very bright for the money
  • Bold yet subtle colors
  • Outstanding 4K sharpness and detail

Despite lacking advanced technologies like mini-LED or Quantum Dot OLED, the Q80C impresses with its picture quality, challenging the notion of compromise.

Black levels on the Q80C are notably deep, offering immaculately dark bars in wide aspect ratio films and rich tones in dark scenes without sacrificing shadow detail.

While faint blooming may occur around extremely bright HDR objects, it’s barely noticeable and doesn’t detract from the overall viewing experience.

The TV’s brightness, although not as high as premium models, remains consistent and vibrant, enhancing HDR content with compelling visuals.

Quantum Dot-inspired colors shine brilliantly, with minimal color banding and washed-out tones even in dark scenes.

Sharpness and fine detailing are top-notch, delivering the benefits of 4K resolution without over-sharpening or artificial enhancement.

Motion handling is smooth, though default settings may generate unwanted processing artifacts, which can be mitigated with custom adjustments.

Viewing angles are limited, and some picture modes may exhibit excessive brightness or noise in dark scenes.

While small bright highlights in HDR content may appear dull compared to OLED screens, the Q80C offers exceptional brightness and picture quality for its price range.

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Specs, Price, and Performance Overview

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Sound Quality

  • Surprisingly effective OTS system
  • Crisp, detailed sound stage
  • Slightly limited bass

Despite fewer speakers compared to premium models, the Q80C’s OTS sound system impressively places effects on-screen, enhancing immersion. Dialogue is clear and well-placed, while effects exhibit clarity and balance.

The mid-range delivery is clean and dynamic, though bass is somewhat limited. However, even during dense action scenes, the sound remains clear without significant distortion, and trebles avoid harshness.

While lacking forward impact and reaching maximum power slightly earlier than desired, the Q80C’s sound performance generally delivers an immersive audio experience with minimal distortion.

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Design

  • Centrally placed stand
  • Cable tidy system
  • Decent build quality

By mid-range TV standards, the Q80C’s design is decent but lacks the flair of Samsung’s premium models.

The black frame around the screen is sleek but doesn’t stand out, while the rear panel is slim yet doesn’t match the ultra-thin profile of mini-LED sets.

The desktop stand is sturdy and conveniently placed, accommodating narrow furniture, but the screen’s build quality is average.

The rear panel features a subtle 3D design with vertical stripes and includes a cable tidy system for organized setup.

The Q80C comes with two remote controls: a standard one that’s easy to use despite feeling plasticky, and a sleeker smart remote with voice control and a solar charging panel for long-term usability.

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Smart TV & Menus

  • Tizen-based smart system
  • Voice control support
  • Comprehensive app support

The Q80C’s smart interface utilizes the Tizen-based system found across Samsung TVs, offering extensive app support and a dedicated Game Hub.

Voice control enables easy navigation and control, providing convenience and bypassing potential menu complexities.

While the interface runs smoothly and includes refinements from previous versions, some users may miss the compact overlay menus of previous models.

Despite supporting individual catch-up apps for UK terrestrial TV services, the Q80C lacks integration with the Freeview Play app, consolidating catch-up services.

Basic picture and sound setup options are conveniently accessible from the main Tizen menus, with the option to access additional settings through the full setup menu system. However, the full setup menus may feel somewhat dated and cumbersome.

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Gaming

  • 4K 120Hz support on all four HDMIs
  • VRR support, including FreeSync Premium
  • Game Hub and dedicated ‘Game Bar’ OSD

The Q80C excels as a gaming display with its 4K 120Hz support on all HDMI ports, complete with HDR and variable refresh rates. VRR support includes both FreeSync Premium and standard HDMI formats, alongside HDR gaming support for HGiG and HDR10+.

In Game mode, the Q80C achieves an impressively low input lag of just 9.7ms, enhancing responsiveness. The Game Motion Plus option offers reduced judder, though with slightly increased input lag, catering to different gaming preferences.

Accessible via the Game Bar onscreen menu, the Game Motion Plus system provides essential gaming information and additional features like a virtual crosshair and map zooming, enhancing the gaming experience.

With a dedicated Game Hub page in the Tizen smart interface, the Q80C offers easy access to cloud gaming services and connected gaming devices, making gaming setup and navigation effortless.

Combining thoughtful gaming features with excellent brightness, contrast, sharpness, and vibrant Quantum Dot colors, the Q80C delivers an exceptional gaming experience, despite lacking Dolby Vision support.

Samsung Q80C TV Review: Value

  • Substantially cheaper than Samsung’s mini-LED TVs
  • Great value for the quality offered
  • Premium performance at a mid-range price

The Q80C stands out as a bargain in Samsung’s 2023 LCD TV lineup. Offering exceptional picture quality on a 65-inch screen for £1,299 / $1,000, it delivers excellent value. Beyond picture quality, the Q80C features an above-average sound system, a content-rich smart system, and comprehensive gaming capabilities, making it a premium performer at a mid-range price point.

Should I Buy the Samsung Q80C TV?

Buy it if

  • You want good brightness and color without the cost of a mini-LED TV. Despite lacking mini-LED technology, the Q80C offers impressive picture quality, making it one of Samsung’s best mid-range options for 2023.
  • You have an advanced gaming setup. With support for cutting-edge gaming features, including all four HDMI ports, a dedicated game bar menu, and excellent gaming performance, the Q80C is perfect for gaming enthusiasts.
  • You need a TV for narrow furniture placement. The Q80C comes with a compact, centrally mounted desktop stand, providing flexibility for placement on various furniture pieces.

Don’t buy it if

  • You desire Dolby Vision support. Unfortunately, the Q80C does not offer support for Dolby Vision HDR.
  • You’ll be viewing the TV from wide angles. Backlight blooming around bright objects becomes noticeable beyond approximately 30 degrees.
  • You can afford a Samsung mini-LED or QD-OLED TV. While the Q80C offers impressive features for its price, it doesn’t match the brightness of Samsung’s mini-LED TVs or the local light control and contrast of Samsung’s QD OLED TVs.

Also, consider

Comparison: 65-inch TVs

Samsung S90C vs. Sony XR-X90L vs. TCL C845K

  • Price (65-inch): £1,699 / $1,599.99 / AU$4,299 £1,399 / $1,099.99 / AU$2,395 £1,049 / $NA / AU$2,199
  • Screen type: QD-OLED QLED with mini-LED QLED with mini-LED
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz 120Hz 120Hz
  • HDR support: HDR10+, HDR10, HLG HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
  • Smart TV: Tizen Google TV Google TV
  • HDMI ports: 4 x HDMI 2.1 4 x HDMI (2 HDMI 2.1) 4 x HDMI (2 HDMI 2.1)
  • Built-in tuner: ATSC 3.0 ATSC 3.0 ATSC 1.0

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