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Lifewire / Andy Zahn
Sturdy weighted stand
Excellent software and app selection
Excellent build quality
Incredibly thin profile and bezels
Outdated display technology
Software sometimes experiences lag
Remote control has a tendency to lose synchronization
The Samsung UN5NU8000FXZ is a decent but outdated smart TV that should be avoided in favor of newer, similarly priced displays.
On paper, the Samsung 65” NU8000FXZ might seem like a bargain. This smart TV shares most of its specifications with the newer RU8000, but can potentially be found at a discounted price due to its relative age. However, it turns out that apparent similarities are only skin deep, and the value of an older, less expensive display is called into question.
The Samsung NU8000 is an elegant television with an attractive rear exterior, thin profile, and discretely sized bezels. As a 65” display you can expect it to dominate all but the most cavernous living rooms, but thanks to that slim profile and its slender bezels it occupies the minimum amount of space possible for such a large screen.
It really can't be overstated how remarkably thin the NU8000 is and how minute the bezels are. The bezels are also set below the surface of the screen so that they're even less noticeable, and when showing dark scenes they're almost invisible. Place the TV against a dark background and they blend in with the wall for a truly bezel-less experience.
The construction of the display is robust and seems relatively durable, though of course this is a fragile device like all large TVs. However, unlike its counterpart the RU8000, the NU8000 comes equipped with a large, sturdy base that will keep it rock solid on a table should you decide not to mount it on a wall. We appreciated this feature, as wall mounting is not possible in every situation. The base is especially convenient for some home theater setups as it requires only one point of contact, unlike two-legged designs.
It's impossible not to compare it to the newer and superior RU8000, especially considering their identical MSRP.
Ports are located in a recessed panel on the rear of the TV, oriented to the side to facilitate easy access. The power cord is also designed to be routed through grooves running across the lower half of the rear of the display. Considering the inclusion of VESA mount compatibility, this is a smart TV clearly built with wall mounting in mind.
The included remote is attractive and ergonomic, though simple in terms of its button layout. It's designed in such a way as to be able to control multiple compatible devices connected to the TV, and to navigate the interfaces of the various apps available for the NU8000. This is an exceptionally solid device that's satisfying to hold. Buttons are tactile and easy to identify by feel with a little practice. We particularly liked the volume and channel buttons, which are not so much buttons as they are broad, horizontal toggles that are pushed forward and backward to activate.
We did encounter one troublesome bug where the remote partially de-synced from the display so that only the power button functioned properly. This is obviously a known issue, as on-screen instructions immediately appeared to reset the remote and re-establish the connection, and we found these instructions repeated inside the battery compartment of the remote. We also missed having dedicated buttons for popular streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
The sturdiness of the NU8000’s stand comes at a small price in terms of ease of setup. The back panel of the pillar must be popped off to screw the stand together. The assembled base is then attached to the screen via a plate that slides into place and is then secured by more screws. The caveat is that unless you have a large table available for this process then it's very difficult and requires the cooperation of at least two other people. Once this is complete, insert the batteries into the remote, attach the power cord and any other wired connections, and you’re ready to go.
The software side of the setup process is simple and straightforward. Since we own a Samsung phone it was made particularly easy by means of the Smartthings app which automatically detected the TV and relayed sign-in information. It took us under ten minutes total to power on the UN8000 and start watching our favorite shows. Some fine-tuning was necessary to get the best-looking image but the settings are easy to access and simple to manipulate.
The good news is the NU8000 delivers great 4k details; the bad news is that colors and contrast are flawed and muted. We immediately noticed the problems this TV has with rendering HDR content. Watching films and TV shows in movie mode provided the best experience, but trying to view nature shows, high-resolution photos, or other content where highly accurate colors and dynamic range are important demonstrated this screen’s faults.
On the other hand, we enjoyed watching the third season of Stranger Things in movie mode, where the problems with the screen were completely negligible. Similarly, while watching movies like Detective Pikachu we didn’t notice any major issue with picture quality.
Watching Solo: A Star Wars Story was a particularly enjoyable experience on the NU8000. The film is not rich in color, with a gritty color palette largely consisting of muted tones. The detail that the NU8000 can provide really shines through here, and we were quickly drawn into the epic Star Wars story in a way you wouldn’t expect outside of a theater.
The good news is the NU8000 delivers great 4k details; the bad news is that colors and contrast are flawed and muted.
Viewing angles aren’t bad - you can see the screen clearly when watching off center, and colors remain consistent from different angles. The screen is also very bright, and is easily viewable in unfavorable lighting conditions.
Games look fine on the NU8000, and do not suffer quite so badly from the problems present in other media. We enjoyed playing Mothergunship and World of Tanks on the screen, and the Steam Link app made remotely connecting our desktop PC easy.
Overall we were disappointed by the quality of image of this TV, and that’s a big mark against a device whose primary purpose is to provide an excellent cinematic viewing experience. With a less expensive display, we would not be so bothered by such issues, but the $1,000 price tag warrants holding the NU8000 to a higher standard.
The speakers in the NU8000 are not bad at all for built-in TV speakers. They provide decent overall sound quality that's just a little flat sounding. This flatness can be easily fixed in software to provide a much punchier and more satisfying listening experience. It won’t replace a good surround sound system, but they're more than adequate. This screen would work well in a minimalistic space-saving setup.
Samsung has built an excellent interface for its smart TVs, and the NU8000 is no exception. All your favorite apps are here, many of them pre-installed. Navigation is easy, and we had no trouble changing settings or finding our way around apps. Smart home, AI assistant, and voice integration capability allow you to configure it as a nerve center for your connected devices.
However, we noticed a very slight problem with lag and a general slowness indicating subpar hardware or software optimization. It's not a major issue, as everything still functions very well, but it does impact the user experience.
The other software issue is that the NU8000 runs an older version of FreeSync, which means it doesn’t handle screen tearing as well as newer displays, especially when gaming on high-end hardware. However, during our testing, we didn’t notice an appreciable problem with this, though that may vary depending on your viewing and gaming habits.
With an MSRP of $999 the NU8000 is certainly no bargain, especially considering that superior displays are available for the same cost. However, as this is an older TV it may be possible to find steep discounts that make up for its deficiencies.
When talking about the NU8000 it's impossible not to compare it to the newer and superior RU8000, especially considering their identical MSRP. Though in most respects they're technically identical, clearly there is a lot going on under the hood that elevates the RU8000 over the NU8000. The display of the RU8000 provides noticeably better contrast and color rendition than the NU8000. The software, though identical, runs much more smoothly on the RU8000, and the connection of the remote control was much more reliable.
The NU8000 does have one major advantage though - its extremely sturdy stand is far more stable than the two inadequate legs provided with the RU8000, so if your home theater requires a free-standing TV, the NU8000 might be the preferable option. Another advantage comes in how much thinner the NU8000 is than the RU8000, as well as its much less noticeable bezels. The NU8000 may also be available at a discount, though it would need to be significant for us to recommend it for most people over the RU8000.
Hard to recommend.
The Samsung UN65NU8000FXZ is capable, provides high resolution, and has excellent, flexible software with a good selection of apps. It's also exceptionally thin with a screen that's almost bezel-less, but unless the extremely sturdy stand is the most important feature to you, then RU8000 is just a better display at the exact same MSRP.
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