Samsung Q80T (55 inches) review: good but expensive


Most of us just need a TV that can look good next to a bright window, whether for watching sports, movies, shows or playing video games. It doesn’t have to be a cinematic monster it costs $ 2,000 or more.

The Samsung Q80T falls into this level. It is a semi-premium QLED TV with local dimming. It’s bright enough for well-lit rooms and fast enough to work well with modern gaming systems. There’s even a center pedestal bracket so you don’t have to buy an extra-long TV stand.

In the void of Samsung’s dizzying TV lineup, this is the best TV for anyone who doesn’t drive an import or own Tesla stock. Unfortunately, most people should shop elsewhere. You can get the same technology from competitors like Vizio and TCL for hundreds less.

The new Q

A top to bottom view of the Q80T.

Photograph: Samsung

Let’s quickly get rid of one thing. The Q80T made its way to reviews and store shelves very late last year, and it’s technically a 2020 model. It’s currently the newest and cheapest Samsung TV you can get with local dimming, a backlight feature that allows the screen to dynamically darken parts of the screen while keeping other areas bright, providing richer contrast. As far as I am concerned, this is a requirement for any modern television.

All our favorites non-OLED displays exhibit some form of local gradation, starting from our everlasting favorite TCL 6 series on the spot. This is why the Q80T is the most basic Samsung model that one should really consider in 2021.

In programming

It’s no surprise that the lower end of Samsung’s local dimming line (the Q80T) is more expensive than similar models from TCL and Vizio. Samsung is a high-end TV maker these days. This makes amazing 8K models, TVs that look like iconic paintings when not in use, and even a strange easel-shaped television that spins so you can watch TikTok videos vertically.

Paying earns you a few advantages, such as a smarter design. The two most immediately noticeable upgrades that I like are the center pedestal bracket for easy placement anywhere and the excellent cable routing in the ribbed area at the back.

A side view of the Q80T.

Photograph: Samsung

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