Samsung Q82R takes over the baton after last year’s Q8D, which was the first “affordable” Samsung model with direct LED taillights. Until then, only the flagship Q9 could boast of this, but here Samsung had seen its cut to use some of the technology in a slightly scaled-down version.
With this year’s Q80 / 82, there is really nothing reminiscent of downscaling: It has surprisingly much in common with the top model in the Q90 series. On the other hand, it is worth noting that this model only comes in 55 “and 65” sizes. Nothing bigger, unfortunately!
In terms of design, the Q80 has a lot in common with the rest of the QLED family, but the foot itself stands out: Instead of two small feet, the Q80 has a center-mounted foot, which is adapted for concealed cabling. It is stylish to look at, but at the same time a bit impractical as it gets in the way of a possible soundboard.
This year’s Q82 comes with a number of Samsung’s latest image enhancements. To begin with, it has a genuine QLED panel with direct backlight. The number of dimming zones is identical to the little brother Q70R, but with a slightly higher maximum brightness (1500 nits). In addition, this model boasts a wider viewing angle (Ultra Viewing Angle).
Just as with the Q70R, it is clear that the more expensive backlighting has a great effect on the image quality. The Q80 / 82R delivers a sparkling contrast-rich image, which really brings out the details in our test scenes. It is also striking how colors and contrast retain the splendor, even when we look at the screen from the outside.
Silk mat without mirror images
HDR effects such as sunlight, flames and explosions are served with a slightly greater intensity here than we got with the Q70R. Still, it is at the opposite end – the black level – that the Q80 impresses the most. The Q80 has an ace up its sleeve that you do not get on the Q70R: More specifically, Samsung’s newly developed “anti-reflection” filter. The special screen coating diffuses all the light coming from outside, and contributes to a completely matt and reflection-free screen surface.
Precisely because the screen reflects less light, it also helps to darken dark scenes, without annoying mirror images of surroundings. This is a clear advantage whether you watch TV in broad daylight or in the evening with lamps around the room. Modern TV screens are usually mirror-bright, but here you do not have to be bothered by it.
In terms of contrast, brightness and black level, the Q80R is absolutely impressive, but it does not quite reach the Q85 and Q90R when it comes to absolute light control. The rear light is not as “fine-meshed” and leaves a little more shadow effects on a dark background than what we see on the top models.
The Q80R is “intermediate” in Samsung’s QLED range, but it has most in common with the more expensive models. Here you get both superb contrast and wide viewing angle, and a super matte screen that is comfortably free of mirror images. Add sophisticated smart features and you have a TV that gives a taste of high-end, without costing the shirt. For those who are most concerned with image quality, the Q80R is definitely a good buy.
Note! The Samsung Q80 series is available in two almost identical models: the Q80R which is sold by several retailers, and the Q82 which is only operated by Elkjøp. The only difference (as far as Sound & Vision knows) is a slightly different design on the foot.