Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

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Samsung CU8000 Reviewed at $649.00 (55")

Product Name: Samsung CU8000

Product Description: 2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV

  • Design - 9/10
    9/10
  • Image Quality - 8.1/10
    8.1/10
  • Ports & Connectivity - 8.4/10
    8.4/10
  • OS, Apps and Features - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Price / Quality - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
8.7/10

Summary

Reviewed at $649.00 (55″)

Pros

  • Good upscaling capabilities
  • Extremely low input lag
  • Good color coverage
  • Tizen functionality

Cons

  • Very low SDR and HDR brightness
  • Average out-of-the-box performance
  • Mediocre viewing angles
  • Missing Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and DTS

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In today’s article we will stay to the lower tiers of Samsung‘s 2023 lineup and will test another of their Crystal TVs. A few days back we had the chance to test and review the Samsung CU7000 which you can check out in our detailed article. Today on the other hand, in our Samsung CU8000 review we will go one step above and check if this Crystal TV has any meaningful differences compared to the CU7000.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

The CU8000 seems to replace the 2021 AU8000. And we say this because in 2022 the BU8000 was not released in the US market, for whatever reason. In fact, none of the 2022 Crystal TVs made it to US stores. So the new CU8000 is basically what replaces the 2021 Crystal models there. So we will try to compare the new TV to its 2021 predecessor.

The CU8000 is not all that different from many other Crystal TVs before it. What we get is an Edge LED light system with a VA panel and a 60Hz frequency. For processing we find the Crystal Processor 4K while for sound there is Samsung’s OTS Lite. The TV supports HDR10+ and obviously the new 2023 Tizen, but with reduced capabilities. The TV is limited to HDMI 2.0 only while it retains its slim design and the new One Remote.

The CU8000 seems awfully similar to this year’s CU7000, with the only difference being the Dynamic Crystal Color tech instead of the PurColor used in CU7000. And obviously the addition of the newer Tizen 2023. But while everything else seems to be the same our tests will really show if there are any other differences or we just get a repackaged TV. Withour further delay let’s start our analysis.

Design

As always we will start with the design. Strangely the CU8000 has no resemblance with this year’s CU7000. Since this is a replacement of the 2021 AU8000 it takes its design and looks from that model instead.

Measurements

The TV uses Samsung’s AirSlim Design making it look good enough for its price category. It may not be as slim as their Neo QLED or QD-OLED releases but honestly it cannot compare with them. As for this one we measured the panel 1.2″ (3 cm) which is more or less what we had measured with the AU8000.

As for its black borders, these are the same in all Crystal TVs so no change here.

Back Side

One area where the CU8000 shows how close it is related to the AU8000 is its back side as they are practically the same.

The entire back side is covered in a brushed texture plastic, as per usual with most Samsung models. The inset that houses all ports is located on the left side while the power connector is on the right. We also find the VESA holes visible for wall mounting in the center for wall mounting the TV.

On the lower part of the panel we get special grooves in order to place your cables and drive them through the bench type stand legs. There is no other noteworthy cable management system.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Stand

As for the stand, again the the CU8000 borrows the same one used in the AU8000.

This is the usual bench type design that requires bigger furniture and is still made out of plastic. But what is different here compared to the CU7000 is that in this one you can adjust its height position.

This means that the TV can sit lower than what the CU7000 could but also can go higher in case you have a soundbar and want to place it directly underneath the panel. A really smart design and surely will be appreciated by many.

As for the stand’s clearance, we measured it about 2″ in its lowest position and about 3″ in its highest one. This means you get enough space under the panel for most soundbars available in the market today.

Remote

As for the remote, surprisingly the CU8000 is not using the same one we saw in the CU7000. Instead uses the same remote that many higher tier TVs in 2023 come with including the QN90C and S95C.

It is very similar to the 2022 remote but there are some minor design changes. The new remote lost one button at the top and it has a slightly different design with more round corners in all sides.

It is still small and uses very few buttons as it relies on the TV’s UI for most of its functions. It comes with a rechargeable battery that can be charged either through a USB-C cable or from its solar equipped back side.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

The new remote is every bit as functional and practical as it was last year. To be honest we are not very thrilled by the minor design change but this comes down to personal taste.

Overall build quality is ok but nothing special to brag about. You get the usual Samsung treatment as with all these budget TVs.

Video Quality

Processor technology used

When it comes to processing the Crystal series continues to use the Crystal Processor 4K. We do not know if this exactly the same processor from previous years as Samsung never gives a lot of details on these chips. But looking at its capabilities we are fairly certain it is the same one.

The Crystal Processor 4K lacks the AI capabilities we see in the higher-tier processors and instead relies on very basic functionality. It is still a decent chip but without the bells and whistles of its more expensive brothers.

Resolution and Up-scaling

As always, to test its up-scaling capabilities we playback a few different videos in various resolutions and quality. These include low quality compressed streaming videos, 480p DVDs, some 720p content and obviously some in 1080p resolution.

The CU8000 did really well here and all up-scaling was done without any visible artifacts or abnormal behavior across all content we threw at it.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Audio Processing

The Crystal series comes with the same set of audio technologies and the CU8000 is no different.

We do, once again, get Adaptive Sound while we find the OTS Lite audio system along with Q-Symphony. But more on these a bit further down in their dedicated section.

Lighting technology used

Another area where all Crystal units are the same is the kind of backlight they use. This means that the CU8000 uses an Edge LED system without local dimming. Now for those that don’t know what an Edge LED system is, the TV is using LEDs that usually are placed at the top and bottom of the panel to light the pixels on the screen.

This has some obvious disadvantages. One of them is that when you have a very dark background and a small bright object at the front, light stripes appear on screen. This obviously lowers the overall image quality.

Another problem is that light control and precision is vastly lower. This has a detrimental effect on the final image quality. As there is no local dimming the TV cannot adjust the brightness of individual zones. This can result in a very washed out image when content asks for very bright highlights in specific scenes.

The obvious advantages of this system is that it can be used in cheaper models due to its lower cost. Also the overall thickness of Edge LED TVs is usually smaller than those utilizing a FALD system. This makes them ideal for wall mounting.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Number of Dimming Zones

As the TV is using an Edge LED system with no local dimming there are no LED zones behind the panel to light individually.

Blooming & Zones Transitioning

And this means that there is no zone transitioning. The TV cannot light specific areas of the screen when there is a highlight visible.

No local dimming means that there is no obvious blooming that most FALD and mini LED systems are plagued with. But on the other hand, in similar scenes, the whole screen feels washed out and less than ideal.

Brightness / Contrast

Our first major tests of the day is, as usual, our brightness tests and here we will see how the CU8000 can do in relation to both this year’s CU7000 but also its predecessor, the AU8000.

In terms of settings we used the usual ones as we do in most Samsung models. We used the Movie mode and Warm 2 color tone along with Brightness set to High.

SDR and HDR Measurements

We start with our SDR brightness over a 10% window and the number we got was 270 nits. SDR content may not need excessive brightness but the TV is simply too dim even for that.

We then switched to HDR content and in our HDR brightness over a 10% window test we measured 289 nits. This is far too low for any HDR content and it cannot provide a satisfying experience no matter what is on screen.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

Highlights do not stand out at all and you feel that the TV hits its ceiling in terms of brightness when HDR content is displayed.

The numbers we measured showed that the CU8000 is slightly better than the CU7000, but the difference is really small to be noteworthy. What is disappointing is the fact that the CU8000 actually performed worse than the 2021 AU8000. That one also had low brightness performance but managed to outperform the new CU8000 by a small margin.

Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL)

As with most TVs nowadays the CU8000 comes with an Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). This system lowers the overall brightness of the screen when large parts of it become very bright for a long period of time.

To our surprise the CU8000 maintained its brightness no matter how long a bright image displayed on screen. We didn’t notice any change in the brightness either it was SDR or HDR content.

Last Year Comparison

Since the BU8000 did not release in the US market last year we are forced to compare this TV to the AU8000 from 2021. And this comparison really doesn’t favor the CU8000.

In our tests the new release scored lower in peak brightness. The difference may not be huge but any downgrade is a downgrade no matter how you see it. And this was the most disappointing aspect of it.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
EOTF Tracking

Another area where the CU8000 performed worse is its EOTF tracking. The AU8000’s chart was much more accurate than what we have here.

The CU8000 displayed raised black levels while the mid area appeared less bright than it should. If you add to these the sharp roll-off towards its low peak brightness levels, reveals that the TV misses a lot of details in the end.

Contrast Performance

In terms of contrast the CU8000 comes with a VA panel. Usually VA panels tend to have good contrast ratios and the CU8000 is no different showcasing pretty deep blacks.

Unfortunately there is no local dimming here. Usually having this helps with contrast even further but this is not the problem with the CU8000. The problem is that without it when there is a bright highlight the whole image will look washed out.

This happens because the TV cannot handle brightness in specific parts of the screen. Instead it has to increase the brightness on the entire panel, which creates this washed out look. But this is not a problem of the CU8000 specifically as all TVs without a local dimming feature behave the same.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Viewing angles

The CU8000 comes with a VA panel and these in general don’t have very good viewing angles. In essence the TV performs similar to all other Crystal TVs that come with VA panels.

The 4K QLEDs series are also using VA panels but Samsung includes in some of them a special layer they call Ultra Viewing Angle. This way they improve the viewing angles at the expense of slightly less contrast.

Unfortunately the Crystal series, being a budget series, doesn’t get this resulting in a very narrow field where it can keep it’s image integrity at acceptable levels. We would say that 25 degrees with an absolute maximum of 30 degrees is the most this TV can do. Anything more and image colors, black levels and brightness downgrade rapidly.

If you have a sweet spot from where you will be watching then this is not a big problem but if you plan to use this one in a family room then we would strongly suggest you try it out first before purchase.

The TV performed here in line with the rest of the Crystal TVs and basically many more models that come with VA panels and don’t use some special filter to improve viewing angles.

HDR support

When it comes to HDR support the CU8000 falls right into the same status as all the other low performing HDR TVs. Although with such limited HDR brightness what HDR protocols the TV supports is a bit irrelevant, nevertheless Samsung included the usual.

We get the most basic HDR10 that is required for 4K UHD playback. There is also HLG that is used mainly for broadcasting. And lastly the newer HDR10+ which is the most advanced HDR protocol. This uses dynamic metadata in order to provide the best image quality on a frame by frame basis, similar to what Dolby Vision is doing.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

The TV is missing some of the more advanced HDR features like HDR10+ Gaming, HDR10+ Adaptive and HDR Tone Mapping. These features are not found in the Crystal series and you have to go in some of the more expensive series above this to get them.

Obviously there is no Dolby Vision available either. Although the CU8000 wouldn’t benefit much from it with its low brightness capabilities, Samsung continue to refuse adding it to their models. If you really want Dolby Vision then you have to look at some other brand.

Color coverage

The Crystal series is losing Samsung’s Quantum Dot technology and instead it settles with the lower performing Dynamic Crystal Color. Keep in mind that Dynamic Crystal Color is a superior technology compared to PurColor that is found in the CU7000. As a result the CU8000 should in theory display more colors than its cheaper brother.

During our tests we measured the CU8000’s DCI-P3 coverage at 92%. In the wider REC.2020 the TV can cover approximately 68%. These numbers are good for this price range. Actually the TV did better here than both the CU7000 and the 2021 AU8000.

DeltaE Errors

Before calibration the TV was not very accurate with default settings. There were problems all across the board and definitely it cannot offer a good enough image without any calibration. White balance was off, gamma was higher than it should and many colors, mostly reds and blues, were oversaturated.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

Post calibration accuracy was much better but never perfect. We managed to lower the DeltaE errors almost to the 3 threshold. Gamma was slightly better while white balance was vastly improved.

But even with our calibration we cannot say that the TV managed to reach perfection. There were some inconsistences that no matter how much we tried we could not fix. Some colors, like reds and blues for example, were still a bit oversaturated.

Color Gradients

Color gradients were ok but there was obvious banding in some color shades, especially greens and darker blues.

There is also a Noise Reduction function in case you do see it. But if you enable it expect some detail to be lost. In general this is a feature we don’t like very much to use.

Motion performance

Next we have our motion performance tests.

The CU8000 comes with a 60Hz panel along with a backlight dimming frequency of 480Hz. This is practically the same as many other Crystal TVs, so no surprises here.

Keep in mind that in certain picture modes we did see some flickering but this was not always the case and really depends on the picture mode and settings you will use.

When using the TV without any motion interpolation we did notice major motion blur during action scenes and pretty obvious ghosting during dark transitions. This is probably due to the TV’s bad response time.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Motion Interpolation

Motion interpolation comes in the form of Motion Xcelerator. The CU8000 can remove judder from low frame rate content, up to 60fps. So for 24p content it has no trouble smoothing the motion. But as usual, when there is crazy action with a lot of fast camera movements there are a lot of artifacts appearing.

One area where the CU8000 seems to perform better than the CU7000 is with stutter. The TV was practically stutter-free in 60 fps content. With lower, 24 fps content, we did notice some stutter but again this was a bit better than the CU7000.

Motion Interpolation is enabled in the same way as with all other Samsung models. You will find it in the Picture Clarity settings, in the menu, and by adjusting the slider for judder. Keep in mind that very high values in this slider and the “Soap Opera Effect” will appear. So if you want to improve motion keep a low value. A setting of 1 or 2 can smooth motion enough without affecting the quality much.

Black Frame Insertion (BFI)

Black Frame Insertion (BFI) is also available and can be enabled in the menu with the LED Clear Motion option. BFI is a technique that inserts a black frame in between two individual frames in order to smooth out motion.

BFI in the CU8000 is a mixed bag, which is characteristic in all these budget TVs. It does smooth motion but not without some undesirable side effects. With it enabled we noticed crosstalk and image duplication in some picture modes.

Another downside is that brightness takes a visible hit. And lastly due to the lower frequency used some flickering may become noticeable.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Overall Motion Impressions

The CU8000 did slightly better in our motion tests compared to the CU7000 but not by much. The TV had many of the same problems but in a lesser degree in some of them.

In general this model is in line with many of the other Crystal TV we had tested before.

Input lag Measurements

Next we will measure the TV’s input lag.

According to our measurements the TV displayed an average of 11.6ms input lag in both 1080p and 4K resolutions at 60Hz. There is no support for 120Hz so this is the best you get. As for the 85″ size that comes with 120Hz we cannot give any numbers as we only had the 55″ for testing.

We took both measurements after we obviously switched to Game mode. One notable difference we saw compared to both the CU7000 and the AU8000 is that the CU8000 had very high input lag outside Game mode.

Both mentioned TVs measured very low even outside Game mode, which was rather surprising. The CU8000 on the other hand returns to normal as input lag really spiked in most other picture modes with an average of 119.1ms.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Other Gaming Features

The TV may not have many gaming centric features but it does support Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). And both the PS5 and Xbox consoles support this feature, so the TV will switch to Game mode automatically.

Another feature that was missing in the CU7000 is HGiG mode which is available here.

VRR Support

The TV is also missing any variable refresh rate support (85″ size excluded).

On the other hand the TV includes Samsung’s Game Hub. With it you can use various online gaming services, including the Samsung-exclusive Xbox app. But as always the kind of content you will find in the Hub depends on the region you are.

Trying Out a Few Games

As we usually do, to get a feel of the TV’s responsiveness we connected both our PS5 and Xbox series X. The game we tend to try out these days is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 60Hz mode, as the TV cannot do anything more than that.

Overall the CU8000 will offer you a very pleasant experience, all things considered. With Game mode enabled our commands registered extremely fast on screen and we didn’t notice any obvious delays.

For testing purposes we did try some gaming outside Game mode and the difference was more than obvious. You still can play, mostly offline slow paced games, but surely the increased response times will take you some time to get used to. But otherwise we consider this an adequate TV for a low cost gaming setup.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Overall Image Quality Impressions

Looking at the CU8000’s image performance as a whole we can say that there are areas where the TV is definitely better than the CU7000. On the other hand this seems more like a downgrade compared to the two years old AU8000, although in some areas it performed a little better.

Which is disappointing but not entirely surprising as this is a phenomenon we have seen happening in many new models. But with the increased prices we were at least hoping to get the same level of performance. Not pay more to get less.

The TV had good 4K upscaling, decent color accuracy and very good input lag. As a result this can be an excelent TV for casual or low cost gaming use.

On the other hand all other areas were average at best and you should not have high expectations of such a model.

Audio Quality

As most brands, Samsung developed their own audio system to use in most of their new TV releases. It is called Object Tracking Sound and as of 2021 there are four variants of this system depending how capable it is. We have the OTS Pro, OTS+, OTS and OTS Lite.

The CU8000 got the Object Tracking Sound Lite (OTS Lite) variant, which Samsung is using in all their Crystal TVs.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Audio System – Channels & Power Rating

The Object Tracking Sound Lite (OTS Lite) uses a 2.0 channels configuration and 20 watts of power output.

What we basically find here is two dedicated speakers at the bottom of the TV that work in parallel with virtual tech in order to create phantom speakers at the top of the panel.

This system does not offer much more in terms of cinematic immersion compared to a simple 2.0 channels system. Yes, you may get slightly more space coverage but the difference is negligible really. For casual use and broadcasting it is good enough. But for movies you will need at least a soundbar. If you want to get any kind of cinematic immersion, of course.

Audio Formats Support

The TV supports Dolby Audio but there is no native Dolby Atmos. At least you can pass-through Dolby Atmos through the included eARC to some Dolby Atmos soundbar or dedicated sound system.

Once again there is no DTS support. As such, the TV cannot decode or pass-through DTS audio signals to another device. Samsung made that decision some years ago and seems to be definite.

If you really want DTS then Sony is the only of the big three that still supports it in their new releases, so keep that in mind.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Audio Features

Surprisingly the TV retains some of the extra audio features that Samsung includes in their more expensive releases.

And the first one is Adaptive Sound. Keep in mind that there is also Adaptive Sound+ that is being used in the more expensive models and is a more advanced system of the one we get here. With Adaptive Sound the TV can automatically make adjustments for the best sound experience possible according to what content is viewed at each specific time.

And obviously with a Samsung TV we could not miss Q-Symphony. This is a feature that you can use to combine the TVs audio system with an appropriate soundbar that supports it.

Samsung released a whole lineup of soundbars that support this feature in case you are thinking of getting one.

Overall Audio Performance Impressions

All Crystal TVs behave more or less the same here. Dialog was distinct when we tried news broadcasting, sports and various TV series. But everything was firmly fixed front and center. Don’t expect much extension or any kind of surround action. For that you will definitely need a separate surround audio system.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Tap on image for a closer look

Ports and Connectivity

Next we will be looking at what connectivity options we get here. Again the CU8000 uses exactly the same layout that we saw in the AU8000.

Starting from the top we get 2 USB ports for connecting external storage devices along with a couple of HDMI ports. An Ethernet port is placed between them for wired connection to a local network.

There is also the usual antenna port at the bottom end of this inset. Next to these we get another HDMI port and a Digital Audio output that looks backwards.

HDMI Specifications

Nothing has changed here as the CU8000, being a low tier offering, comes only with HDMI 2.0 ports. This means that you do not get any of the gaming centric features these have.

At least we do get eARC in HDMI 2 which allows you to pass audio to an external sound system.

Connectivity Observations

One thing to keep in mind is that the 85″ version of the CU8000 does actually come with HDMI 2.1 ports and thus supports 120Hz gaming. But all other sizes come with the standard HDMI 2.0 and 60Hz only.

Again, the Ethernet port is still the usual 100Mbps one. But this does not surprise us, as we have yet to see a TV making the transition to Gbit adapters.

And lastly the USB ports are the older 2.0. Don’t expect to get a USB 3.0 when even top tier TVs still use this archaic version.

Wireless Capabilities

When it comes to its wireless capabilities the TV supports WiFi5 (802.11ac) along with Bluetooth 5.2 which is the same across all Samsung TVs in 2023.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

OS, Apps and Features

Samsung updated their OS to the latest 2023 version but this is only a minor upgrade compared to the 2022 release. Almost everything is still the same and this year there are small improvements and additions.

The CU8000 seems to use the same OS and feature set we saw in the CU7000 recently. So this part of our review will be similar and we will make changes whenever we deem it necessary.

Tizen 2023

Being a Samsung TV means that for its OS we find the usual Tizen platform in its 2023 edition. The new Tizen occupies the whole screen instead of being a tile based row at the bottom of the screen, exactly as Google TV and webOS are lately.

It seems that smart TV platforms opt for a more personalized experience and as such the new OS tries to provide you with options that are tailored for your viewing habits. As such you will see personalized ads, recommendations for streaming services and broadcasting channels and even shopping suggestions.

If you have used Tizen before 2022, the new version may feel a bit chaotic at first. This was the same with Google TV and webOS when they changed into a full screen UI and certainly you will need to spend some time with it to get your bearings. But once you get the hung of it, it is easier to navigate than it may seem.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Samsung Smart TV Hub

The new Samsung Smart TV Hub includes different sections and it allows you to navigate easily through all of them. At the left of the screen there is a single column with a few central selections while the rest of the screen use rows with streaming services, apps and other functions and features available.

The new Tizen is not all that different really. Obviously the layout is tailored to Samsung’s needs but in essence it offers the same thing. Navigation was smooth enough and jumping from one app to the other was relatively fast and with no obvious lags or delays.

Streaming Capabilities

When it comes to content the Tizen platform is famous for it’s enormous support from developers. The TV supports practically all known services and platforms you can think of. Netflix, Apple TV, Disney Plus, Youtube, Amazon, Hulu, Rakuten, Demand 5 and BBC iPlayer are just a few of the big names available.

There is also Samsung TV plus which offers hundreds of subscription-free channels to choose from. Many of these services can playback in both 4K with HDR like Netflix and Amazon but this really depends on each app and not on the TV itself.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
SmartThings Integration

With a Samsung TV, SmartThings integration is a must. With it you can make your TV the central hub of all your smart house devices. These can be lights, electronic locks, alarms, vacuum robots, thermostats and everything that supports the SmartThings platform.

For 2023 Samsung added Matter and Thread integration meaning you can control such devices from a single app instead of multiple ones and there is no need for an additional dongle as it is built-in the TV itself.

Voice Control

One difference between the CU8000 and CU7000 is in its voice control support. While the CU7000 cannot support these without an external device, the CU8000 does. Both Bixby and Amazon Alexa can be called from the included remote.

As for Google Assistant, it is supported but you will need an external voice control device, like a Google Nest, for it to work.

The CU8000 seems to also include Airplay in case you are more of an Apple guy. With it you can stream content from any Apple device to the TV itself.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)
Multi-View & Tap-View

Another difference we find between the two 2023 Crystal TVs is that the CU8000 includes both Multi-View and Tap-View. In the CU7000 we only found Tap-View instead.

With Multi-View you can display up to 2 windows on screen at the same time. These windows can be different with one showing your favorite broadcasting channel, while the other display your smartphone’s screen.

And then there is Tap View. With it you can mirror your phone on your TV with just a tap to continue enjoying movies, music, and apps on the bigger screen within seconds. Nothing major, but anything that can save even a few seconds of your time can be valuable.

Various Other Features

Other features that we get is the camera experience, workspace and Google Meet. With camera experience you can connect an external USB camera for online chatting.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

Workspace on the other hand lets you connect various devices and web services on the TV. For devices, these can be a Windows PC, a Mac or even Samsung DeX. As for web services there is Microsoft 365 but there is the option to add more if you like.

Lastly Google Meet is your typical online meeting app. With it you can chat with your friends and in general do all the things these online chat apps let you do.

Compared to other TVs

First let’s start by comparing the TV with the next in line, the CU7000. The CU8000 is the winner here both in terms of performance and features. The CU8000 is better in some categories but not by much. It also includes a few features that are missing from the CU7000. So if you are between the two, the CU8000 is the better choice.

But when compared to the AU8000 then the CU8000 certainly feels like a small downgrade. There are some categories that the 2021 model clearly performed better. Again, the difference is not huge but with such low performing models even a small difference matters.

It seems that Hisense is still the king in the low budget category. In comparison the Hisense U8H costs only $50 more for the 55″ and you get a much better performing TV than this one.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

Final Thoughts

Finishing our review of the CU8000 we feel more or less the way way we did when we reviewed the CU7000. It feels that Samsung relies a lot on their brand name all these years. And instead of improving their units, these get slightly worse by the year.

The CU8000 is basically a slightly better version of the CU7000 both in terms of performance and features. Its up-scaling capabilities are good, it has very low input lag, its color coverage was good and the Tizen platform offers a lot of flexibility. For casual use and for a low cost gaming setup it can be ideal if you can get it in a good price.

On the other hand its SDR and HDR brightness was not good, its viewing angles were mediocre and its out-of-the-box performance and motion were average. Its Edge LED system without local dimming creates a washed out image in certain dark content while the TV is missing features like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, DTS and HDMI 2.1.

Obviously you are not getting a Crystal TV for its image quality or overall performance. But Samsung has to step up their game otherwise other brands like Hisense will snatch this market right under their noses. At the right price the Samsung CU8000 can be an interesting model to consider and if you have low expectations, then surely you are going to enjoy it.

Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)

For more reviews you can check our dedicated 4K LED LCD TV reviews list or even look at our Product Reviews Table where you can find the brand and specific product you are looking for.



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Samsung CU8000 Specifications

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6 thoughts on “Samsung CU8000 Review (2023 Crystal UHD 4K TV)”

  1. Wow, what a comprehensive post! One of the best reviews of this TV I have read so far. I have read a few of your reviews Stratos and you always give a lot of details of the products you test. Your website has really become a definite bookmark for me. As for the CU8000 I think I will pass. It seems that Samsung disappoints once again which is not so surprising. You mentioned Hisense, are you going to review their new models?

    Reply
    • Hello Dave. We surely will review some of them. Once they are released and we can get our hands on them we will post our reviews.

      Reply
  2. Very nice and detailed review of the Samsung CU8000 TV. It seems like a decent budget option for casual viewing and gaming, but with so bad HDR it’s definitely not worth it for more serious movies viewing.

    I like that the CU8000 supports Q-Symphony and can work with a compatible soundbar.

    Perhaps Samsung should have included at least one HDMI 2.1 port in this TV, even if it’s a low-end model. HDMI 2.1 is becoming more common and useful for gaming consoles and streaming devices. It would have made the CU8000 more future-proof and competitive.

    Thanks for putting this review together, it was very informative.

    Reply
    • Hello Ruth. As I mentioned in my review the 85″ indeed has HDMI 2.1 ports. Now, why Samsung decided against adding them in the smaller sizes I do not know. But this surely lowers its overall value by a lot. With such a budget model having HDMI 2.1 would surely turn a lot of gamers toward it as an extra low cost gaming TV.

      Reply

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