Samsung NU8000 vs Sony X900F Review – Which is a better choice?
Samsung NU8000 is the flat model of Samsung’s 2018 4K HDR TV lineup Series 8, while Sony X900F is the second top model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR TV lineup. In the market, X900F comes in 5 screen sizes including 49 Inch (XBR49X900F), 55 Inch (XBR55X900F), 65 Inch (XBR65X900F), 75 Inch (XBR75X900F), and 85 Inch (XBR85X900F). On the other hand, NU8000 also comes with a lot of screen size option including 49 Inch (UN49NU8000), 55 inch (UN55NU8000), 65 Inch (UN65NU8000), 75 Inch (UN75NU8000), and 83 Inch (UN82NU8000). With the same screen (UN49NU8000 vs XBR49X900F, UN55NU8000 vs XBR55X900F, UN65NU8000 vs XBR65X900F, and UN75NU8000 vs XBR75X900F), X900F is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than NU8000, depends on the screen size. One of their similarities, both of them equally come with VA panel that certainly make they have excellent native contrast ratio. So, which is superior between them and refer to the price, which is a better choice between them?
Short Review of Sony X900F
As we have mentioned, Sony X900F is the second top model of Sony’s 2018 4K HDR TV lineup and also the successor of X900E. As a newer model, it brings some improvement and additional features over the predecessor that should make its performance is better. One of the improvement offered by X900F than the predecessor is about its picture engine where it now is powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme. With this processor, now it doesn’t just support HDR 10 and HLG only, but also Dolby Vision. Additionally, the use of X1 Extreme processor where there are the number Sony’s advanced technologies embedded like Dual Database Processing, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object-HDR Remaster and others also brings some improvements on some aspects of picture quality that certainly also makes picture produced is also better than predecessor.
Like the predecessor, on this panel, X900F uses VA panel with Direct Led backlight and Full Array Local Dimming. But it brings the improvement on the number of dimming zones. It is claimed has the same number of dimming zones than X930E in last year. But even so, how exact are the number of dimming zones of X900F, Sony doesn’t clearly reveal. But that is for sure, its local dimming works better than the predecessor X900E. Additionally, it is also powered by TriLuminos display technology and some other technologies like Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, and others that helps to produce wide color gamut and excellent gradient of colors. And for maximizing its peak brightness, X900F is powered by X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro 6X. Powered by all of these technologies makes the picture displayed on the screen of X900F looks excellent for its class.
Meanwhile, for maximizing the picture produced when playing fast moving image, X900F is powered by X-Motion Clarity as in lieu of Motion Flow XR960. Both of these technologies might equally base on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. But unlike Motion Flow technology where to minimize motion blur, it insert black frame at entire screen that makes the luminance drops, X-Motion Clarity uses different method where it inserts the black frame limited to the areas where motion occur by utilizing its Full Array Local Dimming, so blur can be minimized while luminance is still maintained.
Additionally, for connecting with other devices, Sony X900F is equipped with 4 HDMI ports, 3 USB ports, and others, allow you to connect most of your other devices on X900F at once. And to bring attractive smart experience at your home, it is featuring Google Android TV version 7.0 as its smart platform where on this version, it already supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. A bit unfortunate, it is only equipped standard 2.0 channel speaker systems with 20 watts of sound output that certainly makes its sound quality is less impressive.
Short Review of Samsung NU8000
As we have mentioned, Samsung NU8000 is the flat model of Samsung’s 2018 Premium UHD TV series 8 and it is also the successor of MU8000. Compare to the predecessor, it also brings some improvements and additional features that make you more comfort when enjoying HDR experience and Smart Entertainment in your home. One of the main highlights brought by NU8000 is about HDR 10+, a new HDR format introduced by Samsung and backed by the number of big names like Amazon, Panasonic, and others. It is the enhancement of HDR 10 that uses dynamic metadata. If Sony X900F has Dolby Vision as its dynamic HDR, Samsung NU8000 has HDR 10+ as its dynamic HDR.
Like X900F, Samsung NU8000 also uses VA panel, make it has excellent native contrast ratio. But as its backlight technology, it uses Edge-Lit LED backlight with a local dimming technology called “Ultra Slim Array”. Additionally, for maximizing brightness and black level reached, there are also Supreme UHD Dimming and Contrast Enhancer technology behind NU8000. This allows NU8000 can produced deep black level that makes its dark room performance is excellent. For delivering wide color gamut, NU8000 is powered by Dynamic Crystal Color. This makes the colors of picture of images displayed on the screen of NU8000 looks fairly accurate, even when showing HDR images which require wide color gamut coverage. But unlike the predecessor MU8000 where there is Peak Illuminator Pro as its brightness enhancement technology, Samsung doesn’t list the technology as the specification of NU8000 at its official website. We don’t clearly know, whether Samsung doesn’t just list this technology as its specs or this technology indeed has been removed from NU8000. But that is for sure, Samsung NU8000 has a bit brighter peak brightness and can show a bit brighter picture than the predecessor MU8000.
As its motion clarity enhancement technology, there is no change over the predecessor. Samsung NU8000 is powered by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Combined to its low pixel response time, this allows NU8000 can do a god job when handling motion blur. Meanwhile, as their connectivity, it is equipped with 4 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports and others. But unlike the predecessor where most of its inputs/outputs are installed on One Connect Box Mini, on NU8000, its inputs/outputs are installed on the panel directly (rear and side). Additionally, for delivering impressive sound quality, it is equipped with 2.1 channel speaker system with built-in sub-woofer and 40 watts of total sound output. And as its smart TV platform, Samsung NU8000 is featuring Tizen 2018 that powered by a quad core processor. For optimizing its voice navigation, it also comes with Samsung’s Bixby. Meanwhile, if Sony X900F has Amazon Alexa as its Smart Home application, NU8000 has “SmartThing”.
Samsung NU8000 vs Sony X900F Specs
|Specs and Features||Sony X900F||Samsung NU8000|
|Size Available||49 Inch (XBR49X900F), 55 Inch (XBR55X930F), 65 Inch (XBR65X930F), 75 Inch (XBR75X930F), 85 Inch (XBR85X900F)||49 Inch (UN49NU8000), 55 Inch (UN55NU8000), 65 Inch (UN65NU8000), 75 Inch (UN75NU8000)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|LED Backlight||Direct Led||Edge LED|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Full Array Local Dimming)||Yes (Ultra Slim Array)|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR X1 Extreme||HDR Plus|
|Color Technology||TriLuminos Display||Dynamic Crystal Color|
|Other Features||X-tended Dynamic Range Pro (6X). Advanced Contrast Enhancer, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object-based HDR Remaster technology, Dual Data Base Processing, Precision Color Mapping, etc||Supreme UHD Dimming, Contrast Enhancer, Etc|
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision||HDR 10, HLG, HDR 10+|
|Motion Control||Motion Flow XR960 (native 120 Hz refresh rate)||Motion Rate 240 (native 120 Hz refresh rate), UN49NU8000 49" : Motion Rate 120 (Native 60 Hz Refresh Rate Panel)|
|Smart TV Platform||Android TV Version 7.0||Tizen OS 2018|
|Smart Home Application||Amazon Alexa||SmartThing|
|Voice Assistant||Google Voice Assistant||Samsung’s Bixby|
|Speaker Type||Bass Reflex Speaker||Down Firing + Front Firing|
|Audio Output||10 W + 10 Watt||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Sony X900F vs Samsung NU8000 Performance
Contrast and Black Level
Since both Samsung NU8000 and Sony X900F use VA panel, this certainly makes them have excellent native contrast ratio. Their native contrast ratio is almost similar. When their local dimming is disabled, NU8000 has a bit stronger native contrast ratio, but when their local dimming is enabled, the native contrast ratio of X900F is a bit stronger. This is due the local dimming of X900F works better than NU8000. Nevertheless, ignoring their difference, their native contrast ratio is great and strong enough to produce deep black level, makes black of images displayed on their screen looks really black. On the other hand, although NU8000 also has a bit better black uniformity than X900F, but overall, their black uniformity is equally very good. Combine good black level and black uniformity, dark scene of images displayed on their screen will look excellent, even when they are set in a dark room where the impact of high native contrast ratio is sensitive. Additionally, the depth of black level reached by both Samsung NU8000 and Sony X900F is also dark enough to reveal more information in dark scene of HDR images. The result, shadow details of HDR images displayed on their screen looks excellent like the intended.
Winner: Draw but X900F has better local dimming performance
While Samsung NU8000 and Sony X900F have almost similar black level and native contrast ratio, in term of peak brightness, X900F is superior to NU8000. Peak brightness of X900F is excellent, even can be said the best in class. With close to 1000 nits at small window size and more than 500 nits at large window size, this certainly is quite bright to overcome the glare if ambient light when it is used in a bright room. Meanwhile, when inputted by HDR, X900F even can reach brighter peak brightness. On the other hand, its local dimming also well-works to brighten the small window size. The result, a small bright object like highlight of HDR image can be shown brighter. Additionally, although when showing a scene with all objects are bright, its brightness looks dimmer, but still above 600 nits that means it is great. This is unlike that happens on OLED TVs where when showing a scene with all objects are bright, their brightness drops to below 200 nits. But a bit unfortunate, when showing a bright small object in dark background, unwanted adjacent lights or “blooming” is still visible around small bright object.
Meanwhile, for Samsung NU8000, when inputted by SDR signal, its peak brightness might not as bright as X900F, but it is still quite bright to fight the glare, makes the picture displayed on its screen looks remain good when set in a bright room. But since its reflection handling is also not as good as X900F, of course in maintaining its picture from the glare, its performance is not as good as X900F. But overall, its performance in a bright room still can be said well. Like X900F, when inputted by HDR signals, NU8000 also can reach brighter peak brightness, but still not as bright as what reached by X900F. A small bright object also can be shown brighter, while a scene with all objects are bright also looks a bit dimmer like that happen on X900F. Blooming is also visible at around small bright object, but far better than on the screen of TVs without local dimming.
Overall, although Sony X900F can show brighter bright scene and highlights than Samsung NU8000, but overall, their performance is great for each of their class. Keep in mind, with the same screen size, NU8000 is priced hundreds dollar cheaper than X900F. But even so, since HDR images are usually mastered at 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range and the minimum peak brightness set by UHD alliance to show information in bright scene of HDR images like the intended is 1000 nits, of course, both Samsung NU8000 and Sony X900F are not able to show highlight of HDR images like the intended.
Both Samsung NU8000 and Sony X900F already support wide color gamut. Although for this case, Sony X900F has wider color gamut than Samsung NU8000, but its excellence is not too significant. Deep greens might not be shown as saturated as other colors but overall, both of them can show most of colors in DCI P3 fairly accurate. This certainly makes colors of HDR images which mastered in DCI P3 like HDR 10 contents looks fairly accurate. Additionally, its color coverage in Rec.2020 is also fairly good, makes colors of HDR images mastered in Rec.2020 also looks fairly accurate. A bit advantages offered by Sony X900F is when showing darker colors. Overall, Sony X900F can show its wide color gamut at entire brightness range, even for darker colors, while on the screen of MU8000, darker color looks a bit less saturated than brighter colors. Meanwhile, discussing about their color gradient, Sony X900F also offer better performance behind it. With Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR behind it, it can process 10 bit depth of colors excellently, result in smooth color gradient with no major color banding. On the other hand, although not as excellent as X900F and some little imperfection might still be visible at darker color, but overall, Samsung NU8000 can also show its color gradient fairly well.
Side Viewing Angle
Since both of them use VA panel, this certainly makes their side viewing angle coverage is poor. Started at less than 20 degrees off center and front, color will look shift and the wider angle, the color shift will be more noticeable. Meanwhile, black level even start degrade at narrow angle and this will make black will tend to look grey than black. And the wider angle, black will tend to look greyer. This certainly make when viewed from the angle, the picture displayed on their screen doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the center and front. As long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be a problem for you, but otherwise, if you often watch TV with a group of your families where they are watch TV from multiple angles. And if you don’t feel comfort with this condition, IPS TV like LG SK9000 might be a better option for you.
Motion handling and 24p Playback
As we know, one of the major factors that has a big impact on the performance of a TV in handling motion blur is the transition time that required by a pixel to fully change from a color to another color or called pixel response time and the lower pixel response time of a TV, the shorter and fainter a trail that follow fast moving object that certainly makes blur is less noticeable. For this case, the pixel response time of Sony X900F is extremely low that is close to 3 ms while the pixel response time of Samsung NU8000 is a bit less than 5 ms. This might not as excellent as what offered by OLED TV that has pixel response time far lower than 0.1 ms, but overall, for LED TV, what offered by them are great. When playing fast moving object, following a fast moving object, there is only a very short faint trail where most people might not notice. But since X900F has lower pixel response time, on its screen, a faint trail looks shorter than on the screen of NU8000.
Additionally, since both of them have local diming technology, to dim its screen, they equally use PWM Dimming system. PWM Dimming System is required to insert the black frame on the fast motion contents, but on the other hand, this will cause flickers. The difference between them, X900F uses 720 Hz of PWM Dimming frequency, while NU8000 use 240 Hz. The result, flicker will be more noticeable on the screen of NU8000 than X900F due the dimming frequency of X900F is far higher than NU8000. You need to know, flicker is required to help fast motion looks clearer, particularly when playing 60 fps contents or other content with motion interpolating, but on the other hand, it will cause unwanted duplications. For this case, flicker might be more noticeable on the screen of NU8000, but its effectiveness to clear up fast motion is better than X900F.
Meanwhile, in handling the judder when playing 24p videos, Sony X900F offer a bit better performance than Samsung NU8000, particularly when playing 24p contents via 60i signals like movies from Satellite TV. No matter the frame rate of the videos, whether it is native 24p videos like Blu-Ray or DVD’s movies, 24p videos via 60p signals like movies from streaming device, 24p videos via 60i signals, and 24p videos via streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon and others, all of them will be shown clearly and smoothly on the screen of X900F with judder-free. On the other hand, the excepting of 60i contents, Samsung NU8000 is also able to show them clearly with judder-free. This means, when playing movies from satellite TV, NU8000 cannot completely remove the judder. But even so, usually, there will a firmware update of NU8000 in future that will fix this issue. Additionally, since most of people don’t sensitive to judder, this should not bothersome their convenience when watching movies.
As their major connectivity, both Samsung NU8000 and Sony X900F equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2 when one of their HDMI also already support ARC (Audi Return Channel). For this case, for NU8000, that support ARC is HDM 4 while for X900F is HDMI 3. The difference, all of HDMI ports of NU8000 already support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, while for X900F, which support HDMI 2.0 are only two ports, those are HDMI2 and 3. About USB ports, Sony X900F has 3 USB ports where 2 ports are USB 2.0 on USB 2 and 3, while 1 port is USB 3.0 on USB 1. While NU8000 only has 2 USB ports and all of them are USB 2.0. In addition to USB, they are also equally equipped with 1 RF IN (Terrestrial), 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), 1 Ethernet, Built-in Wi-Fi and also Built-in Bluetooth. The difference is about Composite IN and Analog Audio Out where X900F is equipped with these inputs/outputs while NU8000 is not equipped.
Meanwhile discussing about their input lags, Samsung NU8000 has better input lags than Sony X900F In “PC Mode” and “Game Mode”. No matter the resolution, the input lags of NU8000 are lower than 20 ms that means great. The result, playing any games on NU8000 will feel responsively even for fast paced games which require fast reflexes. On the other hand, the input lags of Sony X900E are depending on the resolution. Although not as low as NU8000, its inputs lags at 4K resolution is still lower than 25 ms that means it is still great for any games. But at 1080p source, its input lags are a bit too high. Its input lags at 1080p might still good enough for most games, particularly casual games, while for fast paced games, it might be a bit disappointing.
Both of them are equally featuring attractive smart TV platform. Samsung NU8000 comes with Tizen 2018 that powered by a quad core processor, while Sony X900F comes with Google Android TVs. In terms of “User Interface”, Tizen OS is superior where the apps, features, and menu are organized well on a strip bar at the bottom across the screen. Once the app or menu is highlighted, a pop up window will appear thereon contains most popular contents or sub menu. As the example, when you highlight “Netflix” the pop window will show most popular videos and so on. This certainly makes navigating on Tizen is easy. On the other hand, with a lot of pre-installed apps, this precisely makes its user interface is quite crowded. Its Home screen is very long, and to see everything, you must make a lot of scrolling. Meanwhile, their performance is also equally inconsistent. At certain moment, once the app is launched, it will quickly open with smooth animations, but at other moment, it will need a second or two before opening and their animation will be a bit choked up. As their pre-installed apps, both of them equally provide a lot of most popular and attractive apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Videos, Cloud Games, Web Browser, Live TV, and many more. The excellence of Google Android TV is about its apps store named Google Play Store where since it is supported by tons of developer, this certainly contents, apps, games, and many more are also very complete and huge. On the other hand, although not as many and complete as Google Play Store, Tizen OS also has a app store named Samsung Apps Store that also provides a lot of apps, games, contents, and more. Both of these smart platforms also already support Smart Home applications, NU8000 comes with Samsung Smart Thing while X900F comes with Amazon Alexa.
As their controller, both of them are equally equipped with smart Remote. The remote of NU8000 is small and only has few buttons. Otherwise, the remote of Sony X900F is large and has a lot of buttons. Both of these remote are equally equipped with built-in microphone for voice navigation. To make their voice navigation can do a lot more commands, Google Android TV comes with Google Assistant, while Tizen OS comes with Samsung Bixby. Additionally, both of these remote can also equally act as a universal remote, allow you to control some functions of other devices which already support HDMI CEC. For this case, Sony’s remote works along with IR Blaster, while Samsung’s remote works alone. Even with OneRemote Feature, Samsung’s remote is not just able to control other devices that support HDMI CEC only, but also other device which don’t support HDMI CEC.
|Performance||Samsung NU8000||Sony X900F|
From all we have discussed a lot above, overall, Sony X900F has better picture quality than Sony NU8000, particularly when they set at extremely bright room or when showing bright scenes. Since X900F has brighter peak brightness and better reflection handling, it can better maintain its picture quality in a bright room than NU8000. Additionally, its excellence in peak brightness also makes it can show HDR images better than NU8000, particularly when showing bright scene or highlight of HDR images. Its better performance in local dimming also makes blooming can be better reduced. Not just on picture quality Sony X900F is superior, but also at some other features like motion handling and others. On the other hand, the major excellence offered by NU8000 is on its input lags, where its input lags is extremely low that means great for any kind of games, while the input lags of X900F at 1080p source is a bit too higher for fast paced games. Additionally, although at the other components like motion handling, peak brightness, color gradient, local dimming, HDR performance, and others, performance of NU8000 is not as good as X900F, but what offered by NU8000 is also pretty good. Additionally, since both of them equally use VA panel, poor viewing angle coverage equally become their major drawback.
So which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned above, although overall, Sony X900F has better picture quality and performance than NU8000, but with the same screen size, it is priced hundreds dollar more expensive. On the other hand, although its performance and picture quality is not as good as X900F, but what offered by NU8000 is already fairly good and not too far behind X900F. While the major advantage offered, it is priced much cheaper. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your preference and budget. If you don’t mind to spend more hundreds dollar to get the advantages offered by Sony X900F, of course it is a better choice for you. But if your budget is limited, Samsung NU8000 is also not a bad choice and what offered is not too far behind X900F.