The Samsung QLED Q8C is the central model in Samsung's new range of QLED Ultra HD televisions. It sits right between the flagship model, the Q9F, and the entry-level model, the Samsung Q7F (or Q7C). Despite its new brand name, QLED technology is based on an LCD glass panel that is illuminated with an LED backlight. Still, the company has given its Quantum Dot technology a twist to deliver superior brightness of up to 1,500 nits, the ability to display 100% of the DCI-P3 color space, HDR10 +, and Ultra HD Premium certification .
Together with all this technology to achieve the perfect image, we have a first-class design. The company maintains the 360-degree design concept, taking maximum care of both the front and the rear. The Samsung Q8C has a very striking metallic finish and the possibility of including a new wall mount that barely leaves a gap between the TV and the wall. We also have a new almost invisible connection system with the One Connect . Even a remodeled One Remote and a new version of Samsung's Smart TV platform.
The Samsung QLED Q8C TV is available in three screen sizes: 55, 65 and 75 inches . On the one hand, the 55-inch model has an official price of 3,000 euros. On the other hand, the 65-inch model goes up to 4,000 euros. And if we want the 75-inch model we will have to pay 6,000 euros. We have had the opportunity to test the 65-inch model. Will QLED technology be the next innovation in televisions, as Samsung claims, or just an evolution of last year's successful KS SUHD range? Let's try to find out.
Samsung QLED Q8C datasheet
|Diagonal||Available in 55, 65 and 75 inches|
|Resolution and technology||4K UHD, HDR 1500, 3200 PQI, Supreme UHD Dimming, Precision Black Pro, Peak Illuminator Pro|
|Panel type||QLED (LCD with LED illumination)|
|Dimensions||55 inches: 122.53 x 79.02 x 30.08 cm (with stand)|
65 inches: 144.19 x 91.85 x 37.51 cm (with stand)
75 inches: 166.50 x 104.92 x 43.31 cm (with stand)
|Weight||55 inch: 23.2 kg (with stand)|
65 inch: 30.2 kg (with stand)
75 inch: 45.2 kg (with stand)
|Support||Stainless Steel Half Moon, No Gap wall bracket possible|
|Operating system||Tizen OS (redesigned)|
|Apps||YouTube, Netflix, Wuaki, Plex, Media Player, Google Movies, Games, Steam, HBO, Amazon Video, Spotify, TV Plus|
|Control||Remote control One Remote, Mobile App|
|Sound||4.2 channels with 60W of power, compatible with: DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, Multiroom Link and Bluetooth Audio|
|Connections||4 HDMI HDCP2.2, 3 USB, Ethernet, Optical digital audio output, Dual tuner, IC|
|Wireless connectivity||WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth v.4.1|
|Price||55 inches: 3,000 euros|
65 inches: 4,000 euros
75 inches: 6,000 euros
Last year we had the opportunity to test the Samsung UE65KS9000, the top of the range of the SUHD family of the Korean company. This model already used the 360 degree design concept , taking great care of the rear. So before we received the new TV we thought that it would not surprise us excessively at the design level. Nothing is further from reality.
Samsung has refined the design using an all-metal chassis . The first impression when taking the TV out of the box and looking at the back was "wow." We were pleasantly surprised to see a rear case with an elegant silver design that attracts powerfully attention.
As with last year's models, the rear has been tried to be as clean as possible . The case has a soft touch, although its design simulates brushed aluminum. Apart from the four holes for the Vesa mount and the slots on the top, we have an almost smooth finish. Of course, in the lower area there is a strip of about 6 centimeters with a darker color.
At the front we have a curved screen with virtually invisible frames . The panel is surrounded by a chrome border about 5 millimeters wide. We also have a small black border of about 5 millimeters around the image.
The screen is covered by a black filter that improves reflections. This is what Samsung calls Ultra Black technology , which is complemented by an additional layer on the inside of the panel that further reduces reflections. According to Samsung, this system manages to reduce reflections to only 1.45%.
Samsung QLED Q8C design gallery
The last thing to stand out on the front is the Samsung logo. This is located in the center of the lower part of the screen and is illuminated. Although if it bothers us we can turn it off from the configuration menu.
Also striking is the new support that Samsung has pulled out of its sleeve. Or rather the system that has been used to place it on the television. At the back of the panel we have an oval cover that hides the holes to screw the bracket .
The support itself is a half moon made of stainless steel with a chrome touch . This is attached to the rear by a kind of arm that ends in the commented area. The arm that goes to the rear includes a clever system to guide the only two cables that come out of the TV. In addition to guiding them, we will have a cover that we will put on the arm to completely hide the cables.
If we decide to use the desktop stand we must bear in mind that we will need a minimum of 91 centimeters wide and 37 deep . It is also good to know that the bracket raises the panel about 11 centimeters.
If the basic base does not suit our needs, Samsung offers us three other options. On the one hand we have the Peana Studio , a kind of easel to place the television directly on the floor. On the other hand, the Peana Tower , a very elegant stand with a cylindrical shape that fits perfectly with the design of the Samsung QLED Q8C.
However, the bracket that attracts the most attention is the new “No-Gap” wall bracket . As you can see in the video, Samsung has developed a new wall mount that is easily installed and allows you to place the TV very close to the wall.
Using a template we will place the small support that is anchored to the wall. Once placed, we will only have to attach a small metal plate to the television, which is inserted into the same hole where we put the base. And that's it, once this is done we will only have to hang the television with a small movement.
Image quality: QLED display
A premium design is important, but in the end what most of us look for in a television is that it looks its best. Before we move on to check out what the TV looks like with real content, it's worth knowing what we have under the hood .
As we mentioned at the beginning, QLED technology is based on an LCD glass panel that is illuminated with an Edge LED system placed at the bottom. However, Samsung has put a twist on its Quantum Dot technology to increase brightness and improve color reproduction .
In addition, the company has enhanced quantum dots with a metallic coating that protects the core . The new quantum dots better maintain color properties and increase brightness by up to 15%.
As a result we have a panel capable of reaching a brightness with peaks between 1,500 and 2,000 nits . They also allow the television to be able to reproduce 100% of the color volume at any brightness level . And finally, it improves viewing angles , avoiding color distortion if we view the TV from the side.
Although without a doubt the great novelty of QLED televisions are the new Quantum Dot, they are not alone. Like last year we have a 10bit panel and the Precision Black Pro, Peak Illuminator Pro and Ultra Black systems . They all combine for deeper blacks and greater energy efficiency.
And controlling all these systems we have the new Q Engine processor . This new chip is, according to Samsung, 30% faster than last year's models. If we add to this some new, more efficient image processing algorithms, we have a superior image quality in any source.
The combination of all this technology has made Samsung's new QLED TVs Ultra HD Premium certified by the UHD Alliance .
They also support HDR10 + and HLG formats . The HDR10 + is a new version of the HDR10 system that enhances the HDR experience. In theory, we will soon see this format in services like Amazon Video. On the other hand, HLG is the new HDR standard developed for television broadcast via antenna.
Image quality: Test with content
Perfect, we already know all the technology behind the Samsung QLED Q8C. But, is it noticeable when viewing the images on the television? Let's check it out.
But first, we are going to review the image configuration options provided by the television. Samsung has decided to make some changes to its menu system from last year . Game Mode and HDMI UHD Color have been moved to the General menu - External Device Manager.
The TV offers four picture modes to choose from : standard, dynamic, natural and film . As almost always, we recommend using the Movie mode and configuring the image from it. We will have to spend a few minutes calibrating the image, since Samsung tends to leave almost all the 'help systems' of the image activated. If we want to get a cinematic image, it is best to disable them.
When the Samsung QLED Q8C detects an HDR signal it adjusts automatically . We will notice that the backlight goes up to the maximum and the local dimming goes high. This is done to make the HDR effect more pronounced.
Now that we have the television configured to our liking, let's see how it behaves in real use. It is almost inevitable that the first thing we see when installing television is DTT, so we will start with it.
The general image quality of our DTT is quite bad. Only some own productions on HD channels are saved. Still, the Samsung QLED Q8C does a great job of processing . The Q Engine works hard to get a decent picture displayed even on SD channels. And the truth is that, without working miracles, he manages to save the furniture.
The image quality in both SD and HD channels of DTT is more than acceptable . And that our test unit was 65 inches, a size in which the lack of signal quality is even more evident. Still we haven't seen cookie-sized pixels like on other TV models.
Blu-Ray and HD files
It is from here that the Samsung QLED Q8C can really shine. We tested some reference Blu-Rays and got very detailed and high quality images . In movies with many colors, such as animated ones, this TV handles like a fish in water. It offers very vivid and eye-catching colors with fantastic image quality.
The same goes for darker scenes, like those at the beginning of Star Wars Episode VII. The TV performs excellently, offering deep and detailed blacks in all scenes .
We have actually only seen it suffer in some very specific scenes where we have a bright spot in the center of the screen. Also in films that do not take up the entire screen, where the black bands tend to be more of a dark gray. This is almost impossible to fix on a TV with Edge LED lighting.
Blu-Ray UHD 4K HDR
One of the star features of Samsung's QLED range is its brightness. The company has consistently promoted the term HDR1500, which indicates that its panel is capable of 1,500 nits .
This means that, on paper, the Samsung QLED Q8C should shine when playing HDR images. And, in general, it has been. In brighter, more colorful movies we've seen some really impressive images . Even darker movies like Pacific Rim produce some jaw-dropping highlights at maximum brightness.
However, we have the same problem that we mentioned before. When we are facing an image with a dark background and a bright object, the local dimming system does its thing . Be careful, it is an effect that many users will not even notice, but the most demanding ones will.
When it comes to viewing angles, the Samsung QLED Q8C improves on last year's SUHD TVs, there's no question about that. However, we still have a drop in contrast and color performance if we move off axis beyond about 40-45 degrees . Still, the Q8C is still one of the best LED TVs in this regard.
In short, the Samsung QLED Q8C offers exceptional image quality in most situations . We have been pleasantly surprised by how scalable the processor does, greatly improving low-resolution images.
This year we have seen some very interesting proposals regarding the sound of high-end televisions. However, almost all of them were implemented with some external module, generally in the form of a sound bar. But Samsung has preferred to prioritize design and has 'settled' with integrated speakers .
Despite this, the Samsung QLED Q8C offers quite quality sound . The TV has a 4.2 channel system that reaches a maximum power of 60W. On a practical level, this means that we will have a fairly strong sound without distortion.
Without a doubt, the size of the model we tested helped achieve better channel spacing and greater amplitude. In addition, the TV offers three sound modes: Standard, Optimized and Amplify . Optimized adds a little more punch, and Amplify mode amplifies the center channel for clearer dialogue.
Still, if we invest in the Samsung QLED Q8C, it is best that we get, at least, a good soundbar.
Samsung's Smart TV gets handsome
Samsung continues to use Tizen as a Smart TV system, but has made some changes. The main bar (Smart Hub) and all the menus have been redesigned to adapt them to the QLED design style. Now we have a clearer Smart Hub, in almost white color .
The operation is the same. We have a launch bar in which we can place the applications that we use the most. On the other hand, we will have an Apps section with which we can access the rest. The Smart Hub we can organize our liking , and we can move icons and remove applications that we are not interested.
When passing over most of the icons, we will have a 'second floor' in the Smart Hub with which we can directly access the content . For example, if we go over the Netflix icon at the top we will have access to continue with the last thing we were watching.
In addition we will have available almost any application that we need. Being the company that sells the most televisions has its advantages, and one of them is to get the collaboration agreements first. That is why the Tizen system is always a success if we are looking for the best Smart TV experience .
The Samsung QLED Q8C offers much more than the usual applications, such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video or Wuaki TV. For example, we have available all the applications of the DTT channels, such as A3Player, MiTele or RTVE. But also some Samsung exclusives, like the HBO or GameFly app .
And if our thing is to play, the Steam application has been available for just a few weeks. With this app we can stream from the computer to our television and play on the big screen . At the moment we only have this in the Samsung Smart TV system.
In addition to the commented applications, the Samsung QLED Q8C has a very effective multimedia player. we also have a very useful and well-designed EPG .
One may think that such a complete system could give some performance problem. But in this case it is not so. The quad-core processor included in the TV maintains smooth operation in all applications. It also allows a practically instantaneous turn-on of the television.
One Connect and One Remote, the perfect pair
Accompanying this television we have two devices that we already knew last year, but this year they look better than ever. The first is the One Connect junction box. As you may have seen in the design section, at no time have we mentioned anything about the connections. This is because they are not included in the panel . In the back of the TV we will only have the power cable and the cable that goes to the One Connect.
The latter is not just any cable. In its quest for an almost cable-free design, Samsung has developed a very thin white (almost transparent) fiber optic cable to connect the TV to the One Connect box . The cable is wrapped in a practical tube for protection and is 5 meters long. That is, it will no longer be necessary to have all our devices placed under the television.
This year all the ports that the TV has have been moved to the One Connect . Which, by the way, is now bigger. In addition, this year's model has its own power, while last year's model was powered through the television. The case is still black with a brushed aluminum finish and there are no fans inside so it doesn't make any noise.
As for connections, we have 4 HDMI 2.0 inputs with 4K 60p support, HDR and HDCP 2.2 . It also includes three USB ports, a dual tuner, and an Ethernet connection. And if you can't connect the cable TV, don't worry, because the Samsung QLED Q8C includes WiFi connectivity.
The second element that accompanies the television is the One Remote. Samsung's minimalist remote control is now lighter and sleeker. The new remote has a beautiful metallic finish that goes perfectly with the TV . The button layout is the same as last year and includes a microphone for voice control.
The buttons have been reduced to the maximum. We have a large circle to move through the menus with a central button to select options. Just below are the play / pause, Home and back buttons. And under them two curious elongated buttons that control the volume and channels. These we can move them up and down or click on them for Mute and EPG.
On the central circle we find two buttons that will open the menus of numbers and colors. And in the center the button for voice control.
On the back of the remote there is a black button that opens the remote control in a very 'cool' way that has reminded us of those Nokia phones from the Matrix. A system that makes changing batteries quite simple.
As well as looking beautiful, the One Remote also doubles as a universal remote. When we connect a device to the One Connect of the Samsung QLED Q8C via HDMI, the TV automatically identifies the device and configures it in the Smart Hub . That is, we will no longer have to know which HDMI has which device, since we will see its name on the screen (Blu-Ray, PlayStation, etc).
Apart from identifying it in the Smart Hub, the TV loads the control codes to be able to use the One Remote to control the device that we have connected .
In our case we have connected a UHD Blu-Ray player, a Denon AV receiver and a satellite decoder. The first two were easily recognized automatically and we were able to control them with the TV remote. The second did not recognize him. However, for these cases or old devices, we have the manual configuration .
Currently users looking for a high-end TV will have to decide between the OLED or QLED models from Samsung. After this thorough analysis, it has become clear that the Samsung QLED Q8C, along with his two brothers range, are the best you can find in LED TVs today .
Samsung has come up with an even more spectacular design than its SUHD TVs last year. Now we have a new all-metal construction, even on the controller. The stand has also been redesigned and included a new cable management system. And we do not forget the new fiber cable that connects the television with the One Connect, an idea that seems very successful, especially for users looking to hang the television .
In terms of image quality, Samsung has managed to further increase the brightness and expand the color gamut. This results in more natural and detailed images. In general, the Samsung QLED Q8C offers high quality images, among the best we have seen on LED televisions . It is true that this type of lighting suffers more in some very specific situations, but Samsung has managed to save most situations in a more than remarkable way. On the other hand, we also have an improvement in the viewing angles.
To all this we add a redesigned Smart TV system, one of the most complete that we can find today on the market . Now it looks better, more modern and clean.
And to top it off we have a new One Remote control, more elegant and capable of controlling practically any device that we connect to the television.
In short, as we said, one of the best LED TVs that can buy today . Of course, it will not come cheap. The 65-inch Samsung QLED Q8C that we have tested is priced at 4,000 euros . Although it is a high price, it is well below its OLED competitors.