Samsung Q7CN vs NU8500 Review (QN55Q7CN vs UN55NU8500, QN65Q7CN vs UN65NU8500)
If you are a curved TV fans, Samsung Q7CN and NU8500 may be a good choice for you. In 2018, there are not many models of Curved TVs that released, even among the big names like Samsung, LG, and Sony, only Samsung that launched curved TVs, that too not all series come with curved model. Samsung NU8500 is the curved model of Samsung’s 2018 UHD Premium 8 Series, while Q7CN is the curved model of Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV 7 Series. In the market, both of them equally come in 2 screen sizes options, which are 55 inch (UN55NU8500 vs QN55Q7CN) and 65 Inch (UN65NU8500 vs QN65Q7CN). And with the same screen size, Q7CN is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than NU8500. So, what advantages offered by Q7CN so it is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than NU8500 and how are the performance and picture quality offered by each?
Samsung Q7CN vs NU8500 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Samsung NU8500||Samsung Q7CN|
|Resolution||4K (2160x3840)||4K (2160x3840)|
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (UN55NU8500), 65 Inch (UN65NU8500)||55 Inch (QN55Q7CN). 65 Inch QN65Q7CN)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlighting Technology||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Ultra Slim Array)||Yes (Q Contrast Plus)|
|Moth Eyes Technology||Undefined||Ultra Black Elite|
|Picture Engine||UHD Engine||Q Engine|
|HDR||HDR Plus||Q HDR Elite|
|HDR Formats||HDR10, HLG, HDR 10+||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+|
|Color Technology||Dynamic crystal Color||Quantum Dot with Q Color|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Auto Depth Enhancer||Yes||Yes|
|UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Clarity Enhancement||UHD Up-scaling Engine||UHD Up-scaling Engine|
|Motion Technology||Motion Rate 240||Motion Rate 240|
|Native Refresh rate Panel||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2018||Tizen 2018|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Remote||Samsung Smart Remote|
|One Connect Box||No||Yes|
|One Connect Box||No||No|
|Sound Output||40 Watts||40 Watts|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technology of Samsung NU8500 and Q7CN
Quantum Dot Panel
One of the major differences between Samsung Q7CN and NU8500 is Quantum Dot panel. As we know, Quantum dot panel is as typical of Samsung QLED TVs lineup including Q7CN. With this technology, this makes almost model of QLED TV lineup have excellent color gamut, even including the best. On the other hand, as a part of Samsung Premium UHD TV lineup, Samsung NU8500 doesn’t come with Quantum Dot Technology. Instead, it comes with Dynamic Crystal Color Technology. Although color gamut produced is not as wide as what produced by QLED TV lineup, NU8500 still can produce wide color gamut and at least, its color gamut can be said excellent for its price level.
The number of Dimming Zones
As we see on comparison table above, although both Samsung NU8500 and Q7CN equally use Edge-Lit backlight with local dimming, but Samsung gives the term on their local dimming technology with a different name. For this case, local dimming of Samsung NU8500 is called Ultra Slim Array while for Q7CN, its local dimming called Q Contrast Plus. Actually, both of these technologies are based on the same technology that is local dimming on edge-lit backlight. That distinguishes is the number of dimming zones of their local dimming. But unfortunately, Samsung doesn’t clearly reveal how many dimming zones of each.
The other difference between them is about their picture engine. For this case, Samsung Q7CN is powered by Q Engine while NU8500 is powered by NU8500. We don’t clearly know, whether this is just a term for marketing language or there is indeed a difference algorithm between these picture engines. But for sure, Samsung gives a term special for the picture engine of their QLED TV lineup with Q Engine, while for other models, they give a term for their picture engine with UHD Engine.
This is just a term of the quality level of HDR picture reached by them. As we see on comparison table above, Samsung gives a term for the HDR level reached by NU8500 with HDR Plus while Q7CN with HDR Elite Plus. This indicates the HDR performance offered by Q7CN is better than NU8500. To know more details the performance offered by each, you can read our reviews in “Performance” section below.
The other major difference between them is about their inputs outputs. As their major connectivity, Samsung Q7CN is equipped with 4 HDMI and 3 USB ports while NU8500 is equipped with 4 HDMI and 2 USB ports. The other difference is where their inputs/outputs ports are installed. On Q7CN, its inputs/outputs are installed on separated box called “One Connect Box”, while for NU8500, its inputs/outputs ports are located on its rear panel.
For this case, Samsung Q7CN is equipped with 4.1 channel speaker system while NU8500 is equipped with 2.1 channel of speaker system. Nevertheless, both of them equally have built-in woofer and 40 watts of total sound output. Both of them also equally use Down Firing speaker type.
As we have mentioned above, the major similarities between Samsung NU8500 and Q7CN is about the type of their panel where both of them equally use curved panel with VA panel technology and edge lit backlight and also local dimming. But as we have discussed above, their local dimming have difference in the number of dimming zones. Meanwhile, equally maximized for HDR experience, both Samsung Q7CN and NU8500 also already support more than one HDR format, those are HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and HDR10+. Both of them don’t support Dolby Vision. But even so, they already support HDR10+ that has similar algorithm to Dolby Vision, particularly in sending metadata. But basically, the excepting of how the metadata is sent, HDR10+ is based on standard HDR10. As we know, for remapping color and brightness range , HDR10 use static meta data that is sent at the beginning of the contents, while HDR10+ already use dynamic metadata that is sent continuously at each scene, like the algorithm that used by Dolby Vision.
For maximizing their performance when playing fast paced contents like sports or video games, both of them are equally powered by Motion Rate 240 technology based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Additionally, as default, both of them also equally have 240 Hz backlight flicker to dim their backlight. But even so, to make motion looks clearer, particularly that caused by 60 fps persistence, both of them have an optional 60 Hz backlight flicker. For Q7CN, it even also has 120 Hz flicker that very useful to make motion looks clearer when it is playing 120 Hz content. And the other similarity between them, both Samsung Q7Cn and NU8500 are equally featuring Tizen OS 7.0 version as its smart TV platform and also equally powered by a Quad Core Processor. Additionally, that becomes a highlight in this year, both of their platforms also equally have been integrated with Smart Things, a smart home assistant by Samsung and Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant.
Samsung Q7CN vs NU8500 Performance
Contrast and Black Level
Although Samsung Q7CN actually has a bit stronger native contrast ratio that makes it can produce a bit deeper black level, but essentially, Samsung NU8500 also has strong native contrast ratio and can produce deep black level. Meanwhile, equally coming local dimming, their local dimming is also equally not effective to improve their contrast ratio. Nevertheless, since both of them already have deep black level, this makes their performance in a dark room is excellent. Black produced by them looks really black, even when they are set in a dark room where the impact of high native contrast ratio is very sensitive. Combined to their excellent black uniformity, this makes dark scene of images displayed on their screen looks excellent. Additionally, equally coming with HDR technology, their black level is also dark enough to reveal details in dark scene like the content’s creator intended. The result, shadow details of HDR images can be shown excellent like what recommended by UHD alliance as the developer of HDR10 content. Overall, their performance in producing black is great, make them are as good TVs for watching movies with a lot of dark scenes like thriller or horror.
In term of peak brightness, Samsung Q7CN also has a bit brighter peak brightness than NU8500. With HDR contents, peak brightness of Q7CN is close to 700 nits while peak brightness of NU8500 is less than 600 nits. Nevertheless, essentially, their peak brightness is bright enough to overcome the glare and combined to their excellent reflection handling, this makes the picture displayed on their screen looks remain good in most bright room. Additionally, their local dimming is also very effective to brighten the small window size, makes bright small object can be shown brighter than the rest. Meanwhile, with HDR content, they even can reach brighter peak brightness than when with HDR content and for this case, Q7CN still has brighter peak brightness than NU8500. Just like with SDR content, their local dimming is also very effective to brighten the small window size so brighter than the rest. Even for Q7CN, its peak brightness in small window size is close to 1000 nits, and at times is even brighter than 1000 nits. This means, at certain scene, Samsung Q7CN can show highlight of HDR images within the 1000-4000 nits like the content creator intended. Overall, peak brightness of Samsung Q7CN in HDR is really remarkable. On the other hand, although not as bright as Q7CN, peak brightness of Samsung NU8500 in HDR is also fairly good. It can show bright HDR images in most bright room. But even so, since its peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits, of course, it cannot show highlight of HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range like the intended. But overall, for its price level, peak brightness of NU8500 is really great and including the bests in class.
Coming with Quantum dot panel makes Samsung Q7CN can produce excellent color gamut. Its color gamut can even cover close to 100% of DCI P3 color space. The result, almost all colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate, close to what creator intended. Q7CN is even including the one of the best TV in producing color gamut. On the other hand, although not as excellent as Q7CN, Samsung NU8500 can also produce wide color gamut and its color gamut coverage is still wider than 90% of DCIP3 color space that means it is still fairly good for HDR content. Although some certain colors cannot be shown as accurate as Q7CN, but overall, most colors of HDR images can be shown fairly accurate on the screen of NU8500. Meanwhile, color volume of Q7CN is also better than NU8500. But this is more caused by their difference in wide color gamut and brightness range. They both may not able to produce very deep colors as saturated as brighter colors. However, except very deep colors, both of them can well produce their color gamut at their entire brightness range. Meanwhile, in tern of color gamut and volume, Samsung Q7CN may have better performance, but in term of color gradient, performance of NU8500 is exactly a bit better. On the screen of Q7CN, some faint color imperfections are visible in almost all colors, blue and dark green even have major imperfection. On the other hand, on the screen of NU8500, some little color banding is visible in most colors and some major banding is also apparent in dark green, but not as many as on the screen of Q7CN. Fortunately, most people don’t notice this much and their color gamut is not horrible, so this should not be a serious problem for these TVs. Overall, their color reproduction is excellent, particularly for Q7CN that is including the one of the best. Meanwhile, although not as excellent as Q7CN, at least, color reproduction of NU8500 is excellent for its price level.
Side Viewing Angle
Since both Samsung NU8500 and Q7CN use VA panel, this certainly makes their side viewing angle coverage is poor. As we know, poor side viewing angle is as typical of VA panel. Started at around 20 degrees off center and front, color of images displayed on their screen will look shift. Their black level even starts to degrade at less than 15 degrees off center and front. And from wider angle you watch TV, the color shift and black level degradation will be more significant. The result, when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on their screen will not look as good as when viewed from the center and front. But even so, since this issue is as typical of VA panel, they are not alone and all TVs with VA panel also have the same problem, so this cannot be said their own problem.
Motion handling and 24p Playback
Although Samsung Q7CN actually has a bit lower pixel response time than NU8500, but essentially, their pixel response time is equally excellent. The result, when they are playing fast moving images like sports or fast movies, the picture produced looks very smooth and clear with almost no motion blur visible. Following fast moving objects, there is only a short faint trail where most people may not notice this much. Meanwhile, blur that may visible is more caused by 60fps persistence than pixel response time. You need to know, by default, to dim their backlight, both of them use PWM dimming system with 240 HZ of dimming system. This frequency is lower than Sony X900F that certainly makes backlight flicker is more visible on their screen then X900F. But for people who don’t sensitive too flicker, their dimming frequency is certainly fairly high to make backlight flicker is not too visible. But on the other hand, since all contents that available has lower frame rate than its frequency dimming, this will cause some duplications or blurs that caused by persistence. For solve this problem, both Samsung NU8500 and Q7CN has an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that will make backlight flicker at 60 Hz. To enable this feature, you just need set “Auto Motion Plus” to “Custom” and enable “LED Clear Motion”. By enabling this mode, this will reduce the blur that caused by persistence, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like video games or sports. Special for Q7CN, it even also has ability to flickers their backlight at 120 Hz. This is very useful to make motion looks clearer when it is playing 120 fps content or using motion interpolation at 120 Hz. But on the other hand, lowers the dimming frequency make backlight flicker is more noticeable. This means, you have 2 options. For you who don’t feel comfortable with flicker, disable this feature is better, but otherwise, if you feel more comfortable with flicker than blur, you can enable this mode.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, performance of Samsung NU8500 is exactly better than Q7CN, particularly when they are playing 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV. For this case, NU8500 can play a movie with this frame rate type with judder-free while Q7CN cannot remove the judder completely. But even so, although with 24p movies via 60i signal, Q7CN cannot completely remove the judder, but since most people don’t notice the judder, this should not be a problem for Q7CN. Meanwhile, except 24p movies via 60i signal, they both can do the great job. This means, whether they are playing native 24p videos like Blu-Ray or DVD movies, 24p movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, or movies from streaming app like Netflix, Amazon Videos, or other, the picture displayed on their screen looks smooth and clear with judder-free.
As we have mentioned above, both Samsung Q7CN and NU8500 are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports where all of their HDMI ports already support CEC Menu, HDCP 2.2, and HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth. Additionally, they both also have 1 port that support ARC (Audio Return Channel) that is on HDMI 4. Meanwhile, about their USB ports, Q7CN has a bit more those are 3 ports while NU8500 only has 2 ports. The similarity, all of their USB ports are USB 2.0 and none of them is USB 3.0. In addition to HDMI and USB ports, they also equally have 1 RF In (Terrestrial), 1 Ethernet In, and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). They both don’t have Component In and Composite IN (AV In), so if you still have other electronic devices that have these input type as their major connectivity, you need an adapter. Both of them are also equipped with Built-IN Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. The major difference between them is where their inputs/outputs are located. On Q7CN, most of their inputs/outputs are located on separated box called “One Connect Box”, while on NU8500, its inputs/outputs are located on its rear panel.
Meanwhile, discussing about their input lags, in PC and Game Mode, Samsung NU8500 actually has lower input lags than Q7CN. Nevertheless, although not as excellent as NU8500, the input lags of Q7CN in 1080p and 4K resolution are actually also quite low and still less than 20 ms that means it is great for any games. This means, no matter you are playing 1080p or 4K games, with HDR or not, causal or fast paced games, you will feel comfortable to play them on both Q7CN and NU8500. Combined to their excellent picture quality, excellent, motion handling, and risk-free from permanent burn-in, this makes them as great TVs for games.
As their smart TV platform, both Samsung Q7Cn and NU8500 are equally featuring Tizen OS 7.0 version that powered by a quad core processor. In term of User Interface, there are not many changes over previous version. Its home menu is designed intuitively and easy to navigate and also has a lot of animations. All quick access buttons are well-organized in a strip bar at the bottom across the screen. You can customize their quick access buttons according to your need. The most used apps can be brought to the front, while the rarely used apps can be sent to the back. Apps that provided are also very a lot and complete. As their preinstalled apps, there are VoD Service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, Web Browser, Games, Live TVs, Screen Mirroring apps, and many more. Additionally, you can also download tons of apps, games, contents provided by its apps store called “Samsung apps store”. That becomes a highlight in this version is about Smart Things and Samsung’s Bixby. Smart Things is a smart home app like ThinQ AI by LG or Google Home by Sony that allows you to monitor and control your Smart Things compatible devices like Refrigerator, Air Conditioner, Dish Washer, Laundry Machine, and others via your Samsung TVs. But unlike ThinQ AI by LG or Google Home by Android TV, Smart Things doesn’t support Amazon Alexa. Meanwhile, Samsung’s Bixby is a voice assistant by Samsung, allow you to do a lot of more with your voice commands. You cannot only use your voice command for simple phrase, but also for more complicated phrases. But a bit unfortunate, the many apps provided makes its performance is quite inconsistent.
As their controller, both Samsung NU8500 and Q7CN come with the same remote that is Samsung Smart Controller. This remote is small and has few buttons only like “Power Button, “Volume Buttons”, “Channel Buttons”, “Direction Buttons”, and a bit others. It even has no “Number Buttons” and “Quick Access Buttons”. With a lack of buttons that owned by their remote, to navigate deep menu or make advanced setting, you must navigate through the menu or voice commands. Fortunately, with Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant, this makes its voice navigation is more excellent. You can do a lot of things with your voice command. The other advantage offered, this remote can also act as a universal remote, allow you to control connected devices with this remote. Even not only CEC compatible devices that can be controlled, but also devices which are not support CEC.
|Performance||Samsung Q7CN||Samsung NU8500|
As we have discussed a lot above, overall, Samsung Q7CN has better performance than NU8500. This is actually not too surprising considering it is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than NU8500. It has a bit deeper black level, brighter peak brightness, and better color reproduction, makes the picture displayed on its screen looks far better than NU8500, particularly when they are playing HDR content. Meanwhile, except picture quality, although each of them has advantages and disadvantages to each other, but their difference is not too significant. On the other hand, both Samsung NU8500 and Q7CN also have the same drawback that is poor side viewing angle. But overall, Samsung Q7CN can perform excellently for mixed usage in a room with any light condition, whether it is for watching movies, TV Shows, Sports, or playing games, in a dark room or a bright room. On the other hand, although not as great as what offered by Q7CN, picture quality and performance of NU8500 is also great for its price level, makes it is as a good mid-range TV for mixed usage.
Which is a better choice? If you have extra money, Q7C is certainly a better choice considering picture quality and HDR performance is better than NU8500, you can even enjoy HDR picture with the quality close to the intended. On the other hand, if your budget is limited, NU8500 is also not a bad choice for you considering picture quality and performance offered is also great for its price level. But keep in mind, both of them come with curved panel where usually, with the same features and technologies, they are sold more expensive than their flat model. Meanwhile, except the aesthetic, the benefits that offered by curved TV is not too significant than flat panel. If you mind to pay hundreds dollar for their aesthetic, there is Q7FN as a flat model of Q7CN and NU8000 as a flat model of NU8500 that offer similar performance to them. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your budgets and your own preferences.