Star turns on this mid-range Samsung QLED set are a full array backlight and 120fps playback. It boasts punchy HDR, excellent definition, and wide colour fidelity. If you’re looking for a lower-cost QLED telly, it’s a solid option and can still rightly punch above its weight and potentially be one of the best gaming TVs or best TVs for PS5 and Xbox Series X that money can buy in 2022.
Features & Design
It’s not the slimmest LED set you’ll find, which is a consequence of the full array backlight, but it looks smart and contemporary, thanks to a minimal bezel.
There are four HDMIs, and one is of the 2.1 variety meaning this really can function as one of the best 120Hz 4K TVs. Also present is an eARC HDMI port used to stream Dolby Atmos to a waiting sound system. All four inputs can handle 4K at 60Hz, along with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). FreeSync support is included for PC AMD gamers. Rounding things out are two USB ports, digital optical audio out, and Ethernet to support Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
The TV comes with two remote controls, one button strewn, the other a simplified pointer. The smart platform in use is Tizen, which means it comes with a wide variety of streaming app support (including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Rakuten TV, Apple TV). There’s also Mobile Multi View with Casting, which enables two screens, basically the main TV image and your smartphone, to be watched simultaneously - this is particularly useful for gaming along with Twitch and YouTube.
4K picture performance is very good, not least because it’s powered by the set’s UHD Quantum image processor, which has trickled down from Samsung’s more advanced 8K models. It also uses AI techniques to upscale SD content; the processor can work out what is native detail, and then interpolates more of the same.
Saving you the bother of having to juggle image presets is an Intelligent Mode, with adaptive brightness and adaptive sound, designed to make the most of incoming content.
Contrast and black levels are good enough but are not truly spectacular. We only spotted mild blooming around areas of high contrast - however, HDR performance is top notch though. We measured peak brightness at just under 900 nits using a standard measuring window, which means HDR images really sing off the screen. But, there’s no Dolby Vision support, sadly, though there is provision for HDR10+, as well as HDR10 and broadcast standard HLG.
Input lag is low, but there are caveats. One consequence of pursuing the lowest possible image lag is a drop in image quality. When you turn off all the processing, you sacrifice a lot of the clever picture processing stuff. But Samsung's dedicated Game Motion Plus, retains some niceties, like blur and judder reduction, plus LED clear motion. With Game Motion Plus engaged, image lag is enticingly low at 19.7 milliseconds (1080/60). But if you want to be truly competitive, you can switch it off, and get image lag down to a mere 8.7ms.
Audio is surprisingly good, thanks to Samsung’s OTS (Object Tracking Sound) audio system, which adds a level of directionality to movement on screen. Dialogue is locked to the centre of the picture which is neat.
Overall - should you buy it?
We rate the Samsung Q80T as a solid choice if you intend to watch movies, sports, and games at 60Hz - but want to retain the option of a 120Hz-capable port for current-gen consoles. It’s probably not a model for 4K 120Hz purists, or for those chasing the very latest and greatest, but, for the cash and the features it offers, it’s a great all-rounder, and still one of the best QLED TVs.