Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA Review

A great looking display with a slick and powerful software interface

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4.8

Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA

Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

What We Like

  • Excellent build quality

  • Beautiful 4k HDR display

  • Great built-in speakers

  • Quick, responsive software interface

What We Don't Like

  • Legs are not very sturdy

  • Default, autoplaying news channel is annoying

  • Software has a bit of a learning curve

The Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA is proof that compromise is not always necessary, offering excellent software and picture quality. This is very nearly the perfect television.

4.8

Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA

Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

The Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA aims to offer everything you’d want in a smart TV—excellent picture quality, high resolution, accurate colors and contrast, and a suite of powerful software and applications to create the ultimate home theater experience. Can the RU8000 justify its $1,000 price tag?

Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA
Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Design: Tough and minimalistic 

We appreciated the robust, textured plastic back panel of the RU8000, and it seems a shame that after installation it will go unappreciated behind the scenes. The TV is ridiculously thin, but that firm rear plate adds a bit of durability and stability.

The front of the TV is practically all screen, with only the most insignificant of bevels delineating its edge. This minimalism is fortunate, as a 65” TV takes up a ton of space and could overwhelm any but the most cavernous interior spaces. The only branding visible on the front is a discrete Samsung logo, a design choice that emphasized the screen’s premium quality.

With such a large screen you'll want to have a good-sized gap between seating and the TV, making the RU8000 ideal for large rooms. However, when viewing full 4K content on the RU8000 we were able to sit within a few feet of the screen and not notice a decrease in picture quality, so it could even be used in a smaller room.

Contrast is striking with blacks that are rich and deep for an LCD display, and the screen is exceptionally bright with wide viewing angles.

Our one nitpick would be that the included legs provide adequate but not overly impressive stability for this massive display. Wall mounting (made easy by Vesa compatibility) is definitely the way to go; you'll otherwise want to take extra precautions to secure the screen.

The included universal remote is very simple in terms of its button layout, but this doesn't reduce its functionality. It's designed to control multiple compatible devices connected to the TV and navigate the interfaces of the various apps available for the RU8000. In terms of build quality, this is a very solid device that packs satisfying heft. 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. 

Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA
Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Setup Process: Easy and Streamlined

We found the RU8000 remarkably easy to set up, both in terms of hardware and software, with easy to follow directions included. We found the weight and bulk meant two people were required to safely move and install the TV.

Attaching the legs doesn't add a lot of stability—it doesn't take much pressure to cause the screen to wobble. Fortunately, the display is Vesa mount compatible, and that's definitely the way the TV is intended to be installed. If you’re planning to leave it free-standing we recommend securing the legs somehow.

We liked the way the textured back of the TV makes routing the power cord easy. One caveat here is that the cord has a tendency to slip out of its groove, and the clip easily comes unattached from the leg. 

On the software side, Samsung has made things as easy as possible, especially if you already own a Samsung phone or use the Samsung Smartthings app on your device. The TV immediately prompted us to open the Smartthings app on our phone after asking us to choose a language, and we did so using the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. We were impressed by how the TV and the phone instantly found one another with hardly any interaction on our part. The system guided us through the process and within a few remarkably painless minutes the system was up and running. We didn’t even have to set up WiFi as the TV automatically acquired login information from the phone.

Of course, you can also set up the TV using the remote. Though this process is not nearly as automated, it's no more complex than most electronics. 

Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA
Lifewire / Andy Zahn 

Image Quality: Impressive definition and contrast

The RU8000 doesn't slack in terms of image quality; this is a truly impressive display. Contrast is striking with blacks that are rich and deep for an LCD display, and the screen is exceptionally bright with wide viewing angles. The TV renders details with excellent sharpness and clarity, especially when playing true 4K content.

We watched Godzilla: King of Monsters on Blu-ray and the titanic beasts seemed to come to life on the screen, especially after we switched to cinema mode. Watching in a small room with dimmed lights and a good surround sound system made the glorious CG monsters appear every bit as large and intimidating as in the theater.

The Lego Movie provided a theater-like experience as well. We enjoyed this film in the cinema for the intricate Lego landscape it featured with its minute details, and watching on the 65” RU8000 sucked us into the action in much the same way.

Streaming 4K nature videos from Youtube was a satisfying experience, as was watching shows on Netflix and Hulu. Both classic shows such as “That Girl” and more modern television like “Person of Interest” looked great on the display.

We installed the Steam Link app, and connected the RU8000 to a gaming PC. We found that our wireless connection was too slow for the task, but achieved favorable results using a wired ethernet connection. Highly detailed games like The Witcher 3 still suffered artifacting and poor detail when streamed over the network, but indie games such as Expendabros looked great. Using a direct connection via HDMI was a better experience, and games were rich and detailed, benefiting from the high dynamic range of the display and the 240Hz refresh rate and Freesync technology. This is a superb TV for gaming.

Audio Quality: Excellent built-in speakers 

We found that the RU800 comes equipped with surprisingly capable built-in speakers. Audio is remarkably rich and powerful. It will not replace a good surround sound system, but it's by no means objectionable. We appreciated the range and power of the speakers, which produce satisfying bass, middle, and high tones at a more than acceptable volume with little distortion. We could see this TV being a good option for rooms where extra sound equipment is not possible or desired.

Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA
Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Software: Flexible and Responsive 

Samsung has created a powerful software platform in the RU8000. Of course it’s geared towards Samsung’s ecosystem with the Bixby virtual assistant and Samsung’s Smarthings technology installed by default, but it’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple TV/Airplay. The interface and apps are up to date and operate fluidly without any noticeable lag or framerate drops. 

With its expandable suite of apps, support for voice control and for various compatible services and devices, the RU8000 is a compelling option if you are looking for a hub with which to control your smart home.

We were impressed by how fast we were able to plug in an external hard drive, access it, and play stored media, a process that can be frustrating and slow on other devices, but which the RU8000 handled with aplomb. 

With its expandable suite of apps, support for voice control and for various compatible services and devices, the RU8000 is a compelling option if you are looking for a hub with which to control your smart home. 

Price: Perfection at a cost

With an MSRP of $999 the 65” RU8000 is not cheap, though for a panel that size it's not exorbitant. It certainly seems like a lot to pay when considering that much cheaper options for large, high-resolution displays exist in profusion. However, if you can afford it, you are paying for a device with few flaws and which goes beyond a simple display. This display not only offers truly excellent picture quality, but the processing power, apps, and interface mean it's a self-contained, complete entertainment system. The RU8000 delivers plenty of bang for your buck despite its high price point.

Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA vs Samsung UN65NU8000FXZA

Comparing the nearly identical specifications of the RU8000 with the older NU8000, you might be tempted to save a few hundred dollars on the older system if you catch it on sale (they share an identical MSRP). However, the difference between the two is far greater than is initially apparent. The RU8000 provides noticeably superior image quality, a more fluid software experience, and a more reliable remote. Also, as smart TVs are reliant on up to date apps and software, buying the latest generation helps guarantee a longer tail for your device.

Final Verdict

Nearly perfect.

It really says something about the Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA's astonishing level of quality that the worst flaw we could find is that the included stand is somewhat inadequate for such a large display. This TV is extremely well built, sports truly excellent picture quality, robust software with an impressive selection of apps, and the processing power to make that software incredibly fluid and responsive. If you can afford its somewhat expensive asking price this display will not disappoint.

Specs

  • Product Name Samsung UN65RU8000FXZA
  • Product Brand Samsung
  • UPC UN65RU8000FXZA
  • Price $999.00
  • Product Dimensions 5.73 x 13.5 x 35.4 in.
  • Warranty 1 year
  • Screen Size 65 inches
  • Screen Resolution 4K
  • Ports 4 HDMI, 2 USB, 1 Digital Audio Output, 1 RF antenna input, 1 Ethernet
  • Connectivity Options Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
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