Samsung UE55MU8000 review
|Review: May 2017|
In a nutshell: The Samsung 55MU8000 really brings 4K HDR content to life, with bright, vivid images and tons of detail. It's a stunningly beautiful centrepiece for your home too, with a sleek, high-end design. Samsung's Smart TV system is superb, and this is a top-rated premium 55-inch TV.
Samsung MU8000 review: Design & looks
In 2017, Samsung is strongly pushing it's flagship QLED TVs, but while they may very well be the best LED TVs you can buy, they're priced sky high. The next best thing is the MU8000, and it's so similar to the QLED models, it's a very smart choice.
The MU8000 is based on last year's beautiful Series 8 model, with very minor changes to its design. Some may even prefer its look to the QLED range. The screen is slim, with a very narrow metal bezel surrounding it. A silver metal Y-stand looks sleek and provides good support. Round the back, everything is neat, with a clutter-free solution to cable management. Instead of cables trailing out of the back of the TV, cables run invisibly through the stand, connecting to a separate One Connect box where you plug in all your AV devices.
The One Remote control lets you control all your Samsung devices from one place. This smart remote is sleek and pared-down, matching the clutter free look of the TV itself.
The 55MU8000 may lack the QLED technology of the QE55Q7F, but it has the next best thing - dynamic crystal colour. Don't let the jargon fool you - both QLED and dynamic crystal colour are just brand names for the use of quantum dots. QLED are a new type of quantum dot that offer a richer colour spectrum and higher peak brightness, but it's just a matter of degree. The images on the 55MU8000 aren't quite as vivid as the QLED range, but they're not very far behind.
The MU8000 meets the HDR10 standard, so it offers very rich 10-bit colour, a peak brightness of 1000 nits, and deep, inky blacks too. The edge-lit backlighting with local dimming draws out a very high dynamic range, with superb shadow detail, and everything is pin sharp on this UHD screen, especially when viewing HDR source content. A very effective anti-reflective filter is used to virtually eliminate light reflection on the screen. Movement is impressive too, with little or no motion blur in evidence. And gamers will really appreciate the low input lag.
While the difference between this model and the QLED models is small, there's a big difference between this and the cheaper Series 6 models, especially in peak brightness and shadow detail. The MU8000 really brings images to life.
As with any high-end TV, you'll get the best results with a UHD Blu-Ray player, but Netflix 4K or Amazon 4K and a high bandwidth internet connection also impress. Even with broadcast HD (BBC HD, etc), the upscaling to 4K works well, even on the giant 55-inch screen.
Our one issue with this model - and it's a common complaint with most LED TVs - is that viewing angles are rather tight, so you should arrange your seating so that you aren't viewing the screen too far off-centre. Be aware too that this TV, like all of Samsung's 2017 range, doesn't support 3D.
The sound system on the MU8000 has actually been downgraded from last year's KS8000, with a 2.1 speaker system delivering 40W of power. It produces sound that's above average, but still left us wanting more. We'd recommend the addition of a soundbar or a full home cinema speaker system for best results.
Smart TV 2017
Samsung's Smart Hub is arguably the most user-friendly of all the smart TV systems, with its easy pop-up access to apps, and the way that it automatically detects and labels connected devices.
The Tizen-based system has been updated for 2017. For streaming, you'll find Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, and others, although NOW TV has been removed this year. All the catch-up services are present - iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5. Online gaming is also available.
As well as using the remote control, you can browse content and control your TV from your phone.
As already mentioned, the TV uses a One Connect box to tidy its connections to other AV devices. The TV has built-in ethernet and Wi-Fi, plus 4 HDMI connectors, one with ARC support for audio systems. You also get 3 USBs, Bluetooth support and digital optical audio output.
Twin Freeview HD tuners are provided, and content can be streamed from supported phones and other devices.
The TV will automatically detect the type of device you're connecting to, and enable you to control it with the TV's smart remote.
Conclusion - our top Samsung for 2017
Of course we'd love to put a QLED TV centre-stage in our home, but we have to be practical. The MU8000 gives a near-identical experience, with £600 in change - that's almost enough to buy a Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone!
It's a gorgeous TV to look at, with its slim lines, metal build and clutter-free cable management. Picture quality is amazing, with bright, vivid images that sparkle. The Smart TV system is superb, and all the connectivity options we need are included too. Really, you can't go wrong.
You can even shave a little more off the price by opting for the almost-identical Samsung MU7000.
Samsung UE55MU8000 features include:
- 55-inch UHD LED-backlit screen
- 3840 x 2160 resolution
- 10 bit dynamic crystal colour
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) 1000
- Supreme UHD dimming
- Moth Eye anti-reflection technology
- Mega contrast
- Peak Illuminator Pro
- UHD upscaling
- Picture Quality Index (PQI): 2600
- Smart TV with voice recognition
- Twin tuners (terrestrial, cable & satellite inputs)
- Audio: Dolby Digital Plus, DTS codec, 2.1 down-firing and front-firing speakers with woofer, 40W RMS
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, ethernet, HDMI x4, ARC support, USB x3, digital audio output (optical), screen mirroring, DLNA, Bluetooth, CI slot, Anynet+
- Power consumption: 190W
- Energy efficiency class: A
- Remote controls: TM1750A + TM1240A
- Size without stand (WxHxD): 1229.4 x 712.4 x 46.3 mm
- Size with stand (WxHxD): 1229.4 x 795.3 x 351 mm
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