Best Samsung TVs Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s guide to the best Samsung TVs you can buy in 2020.
Obviously it makes sense to shop around when buying a new TV. But if you've previously owned a Samsung and want to stick with what you know, there are some impressive screens out there.
From monster sets to more moderately-sized models, from very affordable to very expensive, Samsung has TVs to suit all tastes, spaces and budgets.
Before you lay down your cash, there are a few things to consider. 4K and HDR will improve the picture quality drastically, but only when fed compatible content, so check your source.
Samsung was also the first to sell 8K sets in the UK. While there's still no 8K content currently available, they do upscale 4K content using Samsung's processing tech, and generally do it very well.
Then there's which size to go for. Measure where you'll put it and see which size set will suit you best. Bigger isn't always better - if it towers over your sofa, you might need to reconsider.
You should also check the small print for things such as the number of HDMI and USB sockets. While these details might seem relatively minor, they make all the difference when it comes to getting set up.
Finally, consider whether you want a brand new 2020 set or an outgoing 2019 model. It might be obvious that you'd want a new model, but you'll likely make a big saving if you go for a discounted 2019 TV. Here's how you distinguish one from the other: Samsung's 2019 models are from the 'R' range, so look for an 'R' at the end of the model number if it's a QLED or an 'RU' in the middle if it's an LCD. 2020 TVs have a 'T' instead.
Brand new for 2020, the Q95T isn't the successor to the Q90R that we were expecting it to be, but it is a brilliant TV in its own right and has launched at a lower price than did its 'predecessor'.
It has fewer dimming zones and goes less bright in real terms than the Q90R, but the Q95T is otherwise better in every meaningful way. It delivers a richer, more solid and more natural picture, as well as better sound.
The Tizen operating system is largely unchanged, and that's no bad thing. No other operating system has as much content or more quickly gets you to what you want to watch.
Read the full Samsung QE65Q95T review
The 2019 Samsung UE49RU8000 is an example of the mid-range at its very best. This is a TV that offers most of the performance of the company’s excellent flagship 49in set with a significant discount. It is, in other words, a great buy.
In many ways, it has the look and connectivity of a flagship TV, with four HDMIs (one of which is ARC-enabled), two USBs, an optical output, aerial and satellite inputs, and an ethernet socket for those who prefer a wired connection to the built-in wi-fi. There's Bluetooth, too.
The streaming library includes Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV and Rakuten in 4K and HDR; BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and Demand 5 for all of your catch-up needs; Plex and VLC for local streaming; and Spotify, Tidal and Deezer for music. Last but not least, there's the Apple TV app.
The picture delivers detailed, sharp and clearly defined edges that render each scene with excellent depth and solidity. Colours are vibrant but realistic, and there's plenty of punch, even if it can't match the flagship models (as you'd expect). For an affordable TV that still delivers great performance, this is a bit of a bargain - but it won't be around much longer to pounce while you still can.
Read the full review: Samsung UE49RU8000
This new Samsung QLED sets a formidable benchmark for 55-inch TVs in 2020, offering a high-end performance at a fairly mid-range price.
The Q80T looks much like any other Samsung QLED, although it is a little bit chunkier than the Q95T above as all of the connections are inside rather than in a separate One Connect box. There's nothing wrong with the specs of those connections, though: the four HDMI inputs support the key features of HDMI 2.1, such as eARC, VRR and HFR. 4K HDR streaming is available via the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+. In fact, the app support is superb, with pretty much every video and music streaming site you can think of on offer here. The only feature gap of real significance is the lack of Dolby Vision.
A simple TV to set-up when it comes to getting the best possible picture, the Q80T ultimately delivers a brilliantly dynamic image with deep black levels, excellent contrast and neutral but vibrant colours. While there are rare occasions when watching HDR that a skin tone seems slightly overcooked, the colour balance is a great strength overall, while motion is handled confidently and smoothly throughout our testing. And while we'd recommend a soundbar or some speakers, Samsung's Object Tracking Sound technology provides open, engaging audio.
This is the first mid-range 55-inch TV we’ve seen in 2020, but the Samsung QE55Q80T sets a formidable benchmark thanks to its dynamic and solid picture, substantial sound and thorough feature set.
Read the full Samsung QE55Q80T review
Samsung's 2019 4K flagship is still available and still excellent. It was the first model we tested with the company's Ultra Wide Viewing Angle tech, which basically means you don't suffer the usual loss of contrast and colours that's common with most non-OLED TVs.
Blacks are near OLED-deep, too, but with absolutely loads of dark detail, and colours are brilliantly judged. You of course also get the 2019 version of the Tizen operating system, which differs to the 2020 version only in colour and icon sizing - the app selection is for all intents and purposes identical.
Read the full Samsung QE55Q90R (55in) review
Read the full Samsung QE65Q90R (65in) review
The Samsung UE43RU7020 is the smallest size of the cheapest range of Samsung’s 2019 current TVs. If you are strapped for cash but still want to buy an excellent, small(ish) screen, this is the one.
Black levels and detail are very good for a TV at this price – we're not talking OLED standards, but this is no hazy production – and there's good control of lighting. The 4K detail is good, too, and colours are natural if not quite of the richness Samsung is capable further up the food chain.
As a small, budget TV, the UE43RU7020 deserves to be taken seriously.
Read the full Samsung UE43RU7020 review
First, the bad news: this 2019 TV has fewer backlight dimming zones than the Q90R, above, and it isn't as bright. The good news? It's quite a bit cheaper. All of its connections are tidily placed in a separate box rather than built into the set itself, which helps it stay rather slim and elegant, while the user interface and remote control work like a dream.
Despite the compromises, the picture is surprisingly good, with an astonishing level of detail. If your budget can't stretch to the top model, this is a smart choice.
Read the full review: Samsung QE55Q85R
Admittedly, there still isn't really anything to watch in 8K, but that still doesn't stop this big Samsung set being a hugely exciting proposition. At least it's future-proofed for when the content does become available. In the meantime, the Q950R upscales everything you send it exceptionally well, to the extent that you're not made aware of any extra processing going on.
You're still paying a lot for a feature that you're not going to use any time soon, so we'd recommend sticking with the 4K Q90R for now, but if you simply must be at the bleeding edge, this is a strong option.
Read the full review: Samsung QE75Q950R