Samsung NU8000 vs MU9000 Review (UN55NU8000 vs UN55MU9000, UN65NU8000 vs UN65MU9000, UN75NU8000 vs UN75MU9000)
Samsung NU8000 is the flat model of Samsung’s 2018 Premium UHD TV lineup series 8, while Samsung MU9000 is also the flat model of Samsung’s 2017 Premium UHD TV Series 9. In the market, Samsung NU8000 comes in 5 screen sizes including 49 Inch (UN49NU8000), 55 Inch (UN55NU8000), 65 Inch (UN65NU8000), 75 Inch (UN75NU8000), and 82 Inch (UN82NU8000), while MU9000 comes in 3 screen sizes including 55 Inch (UN55MU9000), 65 Inch (UN65MU9000), and 75 Inch (UN75MU9000). Refers to when they are first released, with the same screen (UN55NU8000 vs UN55MU9000, UN65NU8000 vs UN65MU9000, and UN75NU8000 vs UN75MU9000), MU9000 is actually priced hundreds dollar more expensive than NU8000. But since it is a last year model and its price has dropped, while on the other hand, when I was this comparison, NU8000 is recently released and it still has a full price, now, MU9000 is sold hundreds dollar cheaper than NU8000. But of course, their prices certainly are not fixed and could still change, particularly for the price of NU8000 that just released.
Samsung NU8000 vs MU9000 key Specs
|Specs and Features||Samsung NU8000||Samsung MU9000|
|Resolution||4K (2160×3840)||4K (2160×3840)|
|Sizes Available||49” (UN49NU8000), 55 inch (UN55NU8000), 65” (UN65NU8000), 75” (UN75NU8000), 82 Inch (UN82NU8000)||55” (UN55MU9000), 65” (UN65MU9000), 75 Inch (UN75MU9000)|
|Backlighting Technology||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Ultra Slim Array)||Yes (Precision Black)|
|UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Picture Engine||UHD Engine||UHD Remastering Engine|
|HDR Engine||HDR Plus||4K HDR Extreme|
|HDR Format||HDR 10, HLG, HDR 10+||HDR 10, HLG|
|Color Technology||Dynamic Crystal Color||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Peak Illuminator||N/a||Yes (Pro)|
|Ultra Clear Panel||N/a||Yes|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||Yes||Yes|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2018||Tizen 2017|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1850A)||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1750A)|
|RF In (Terrestrial)||1||1|
|RF In (Satellite In)||No||1|
|Built In Wi-Fi||Yes||Yes|
|Speaker Type||Down Firing + Front Firing||Down Firing + Front Firing|
|Sound Output||40 Watts||40 watts|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Technology and Features of Samsung NU8000 vs MU9000
As we see on comparison table above, although Samsung NU8000 is the second top model OF Samsung’s 2018 Premium UHD TV lineup, but it brings some improvements that makes its features and technologies are almost similar to Samsung MU9000, the top model of Samsung’s 2017 Premium UHD TV. It might lack some technologies like Ultra Clear Panel and Peak Illuminator Pro, but we’re not sure if these technologies just not listed as its specs on its official website or Samsung indeed have removed these technologies from NU8000. But this is not too important because which we need certainly is picture quality produced.
On their panel, both Samsung MU9000 and MU8000 equally use VA panel with edge lit backlight and local dimming. But for their local dimming technology, Samsung use different term in this year. If in previous years Samsung named their local dimming with “Precision Black”, in this year, Samsung named their local dimming for edge lit backlight type with “Ultra Slim Array”. You need to know, in year, Samsung has started to use Full Array Local Dimming for QLED TV lineup. Additionally, for maximizing its color performance, both of them are also powered by different technology, NU8000 is powered by Dynamic Crystal Color while MU9000 is powered by 4K Color Drive Extreme? The difference? Not sure, but that is for sure, with these technologies behind them, both Samsung NU8000 and MU9000 are able to deliver wide color gamut that makes color of the picture displayed on their screen, particularly HDR images looks colorful. And for maximizing peak brightness, MU9000 is powered by Peak Illuminator technology, while at its official website this technology is not listed as the specs of NU8000. The result, peak brightness of NU8000 is not inferior to MU9000, even it can deliver a bit brighter peak brightness than MU9000.
One of the improvements brought by NU8000 as newer model is about HDR formats which it supports. If in last year, all Samsung TVs including MU9000 only supports HDR 10 and HLG, in this year, the middle to upper model of Samsung’s 2018 4K TV lineup including NU8000 also already supports HDR 10+. You need to know, it is an enhancement of HDR 10 format that use dynamic metadata to produce more precise contrast and color range of every scene. It can be said HDR 10+ is the competitor of Dolby Vision that also uses dynamic metadata.
For delivering smooth and clear picture quality when they playing fast moving images, both Samsung NU8000 and MU9000 are equally powered by Motion Rate 240 Hz based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. And combined to their low pixel response time, this certainly makes the picture displayed on their screen looks smooth. Meanwhile, for connecting with other devices, both of them are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports. But on their USB ports, Samsung MU9000 has a bit more USB ports where it has 3 USB ports while NU8000 has 2 ports only. And for allowing you to enjoy HDR experience with impressive sound quality, both of them are equally equipped with 2.1 channel speaker system with 40 watts of total sound output. And for completing your home entertainment, Samsung NU8000 is featuring Tizen 2018 while MU9000 is featuring Tizen 2017. There are not many differences between these versions except in 2018 version, it comes with Samsung Bixby Voice Assistant that makes its voice command can do a lot of more. The other new smart features offered, in this newer version, it comes with SmartThing, a HUB that allows you to control your other SmartThing Compatible Device.
Samsung NU8000 vs MU9000 Performance
Although Samsung MU9000 has a bit stronger native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, the native contrast ratio of NU8000 is also already excellent. This makes both of them can produce deep black. Even when they are set in a dark room where the impact of high native contrast ratio is sensitive, black of images still looks really black. And combined to their good black uniformity, this makes dark scene of SDR images looks excellent on their screen. On the other hand, peak brightness of both Samsung NU8000 and MU9000 is also bright enough to dampen the glare of ambient light. But, since MU9000 can do a better job when dealing with reflection, it can show a bit better picture quality than NU8000 when set in a bright room. But even so, performance of NU8000 in a bright room is actually also already fairly good. With strong native contrast ratio and bright enough brightness, this certainly makes the good picture quality produced by them looks consistently, no matter the light condition of a room where they are used.
On the other hand, since both of them already support wide color gamut, they do not encounter many obstacles when showing the color of SDR images. As we know, SDR images are usually mastered in Rec.709 where its color coverage is not as wide as DCI P3 color space. The result, almost all colors of SDR images can be shown fairly saturated, so makes color of SDR images displayed on their screen looks fairly accurate. However, since SDR images are mastered in 8 bit depth colors, some imperfections might be still visible in certain colors.
Winner: MU9000, particularly in a black scene.
As we know, the main purpose of HDR technology is to show more information in dark scenes and bright scene so the picture displayed will looks more details and clearer. And for that, this is required certain depth of black and certain peak brightness. And since both of them support HDR 10 format, the depth of black level that required for showing shadow details of HDR images like the intended is 0.05 nits. Meanwhile, with more than 5000:1 of contrast ratio for NU8000 and more than 6000:1 of native contrast ratio for MU9000, both of them can reach depth of black level darker than 0.02 nits that means it is great. Indirectly, their deep black level also makes darker color can be shown fairly accurate. The result, details images in dark scene of HDR images can be revealed fairly well, makes shadow details of HDR images can be shown excellently on their screen. For you who have a hobby watching thriller or horror movies, both of these TVs might be a good choice for you.
Although NU8000 has a bit brighter peak brightness than MU9000 but essentially, their peak brightness is decent for HDR images. Additionally, their local dimming also does a good job to brightens the small window sizes, makes highlight in dark background will look brighter. For this case, NU8000 can show highlight of HDR images brighter than MU9000. But like most other TVs, the larger of the window size, their peak brightness will be dimmer. When showing a scene with all objects are bright like sky scene in the daytime, their peak brightness might look dimmer, but the dimming is not too significant like that happens on OLED panel. On MU9000, its peak brightness is still brighter than 400 nits while on NU8000, its peak brightness is even still brighter than 500 nits. This means, bright scene of HDR images can be shown fairly bright on their screen. But as we know, UHD alliance has set 1000 nits as the minimum standardization that should be reached by HDR TV to show bright scene of HDR images like the intended and on the other hand, HDR images are usually mastered in 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range. And since their peak brightness is still less than 1000 nits, this certainly makes both of them are not able to show highlights or bright scene of HDR images like the intended. But this doesn’t means their performance is poor, considering all TVs in their class are not also able to show highlight of HDR image like the intended. On the other hand, for their class, their peak brightness is fairly good.
Although its color gamut is not as wide as Samsung QLED TVs or OLED TVs, but essentially, both of them already support wide color gamut and their color coverage in DCI P3 is also fairly good. Like most of modern TVs, they might be not able to show deep greens as saturated as other colors, but overall, most colors of HDR in DCI P3 images can be shown fairly accurate. The result, HDR images displayed on their screen looks colorful and natural. But since color gamut of NU8000 is a bit wider than MU9000, when showing HDR images, some certain colors will be shown more accurate on the screen of NU8000 than MU9000. Additionally, Color volume of NU8000 is also a bit better than MU9000, particularly when showing brighter color across their entire color gamut. Since their local dimming doesn’t well-work, both Samsung NU8000 and MU8000 cannot show their wide color gamut in extremely dark colors. Meanwhile, the excepting of extremely dark colors, both of them can well-show their color gamut at their entire brightness range, but as we have mentioned, NU8000 can do a bit better than MU9000. In term of color gradient, Samsung NU8000 also brings some improvement in handling 10 bit depth of colors. Overall, the color gradient of MU9000 is already fairly smooth and good though there are still some little imperfections in darker colors. On other hand, although in darker colors, some little imperfections are still visible, but NU8000 can show gradient of darker colors better and smoother than MU9000.
Side Viewing Angle
The use of VA panel might make both Samsung MU9000 and NU8000 have excellent native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, this makes their side viewing angle is poor. Started at less than 20 degrees off the front and center, color will look shift and black level will degrade, while their peak brightness will looks dim by half at about 30 degrees. And the wider angle you are watching from, the degradation will be more significant, makes the picture quality will look worse. But even so, for you who rarely watch TV from the side, this should not be a problem for you. But for you who often watch TV with your families or friends where they watch TV from multiple angles, you should consider IPS TV like LG SK9000 or Sony X850E.
Winner: Both MU9000 and NU8000 equally have poor side viewing angle
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
For minimizing motion blur when they are playing fast moving images, both Samsung NU8000 and MU9000 are equally powered by Motion Rate 240 technology. And combined to their excellent pixel response time, when playing fast moving images, both of them can produce smooth and clear picture quality with almost no motion blur visible. Following fast moving object, there is only a short ghosting trail where most people might not notice that. But even so, since both of them use local dimming, to dim the backlight, both of them equally use PWM Dimming System. But for this case, by default, NU8000 uses 240 Hz of PWM Frequency while MU9000 uses 120 Hz of PWM Frequency. The result, flickers will be visible at all their brightness level but less visible at high brightness. But since NU8000 uses higher PWM Frequency than MU9000, flicker will be less visible on the screen of NU8000 than MU9000. Additionally, both of them also have an optional 60 Hz flicker or BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that can be activated by turn on “LED Clear Motion” under “Auto Motion Plus”. This is required to clear up motion especially when playing 60 fps contents like sports or video games and it well works. For this case, BFI mode of MU9000 does a bit better in clearing up motion than NU8000. This mode might make motion looks clearer but on the other hand, this will make flickers more visible that can bothersome to some people who sensitive to flicker.
The excepting of at 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, both Samsung MU9000 and NU8000 do a great job in handling judder. No matter they are playing 24p contents like DVD or Blu-Ray’s movies, 24p movies from streaming app like Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, or 24p videos via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices like Fire TV, Apple TV, and others, the picture produced will look clearly and smoothly with judder free. Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies via 60i signal, MU9000 also can do a great job in removing judder while NU8000 is not able to remove judder. Nevertheless, usually, there will a firmware update of NU8000 in future that will fix this issue.
Both Samsung NU8000 and MU9000 are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports where all of these ports already support HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth while their port that supports ARC is only 1 that is HDMI 4. A bit difference is about the number of their USB ports where MU9000 is equipped with 3 USB ports while NU8000 is only equipped with 2 USB ports. While their other ports are similar where there are 1 RF IN (Antenna In), 1 Ethernet In, and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). For wireless connectivity, both of them are also equally equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The difference is about where their inputs/outputs are located. On MU9000, most of its connectivity is installed on a separated box named “One Connect Box Mini”, while on NU8000, most of their inputs/outputs are located on rear panel.
Meanwhile, talking about their input lags in “PC Mode” and “Game Mode”, Samsung NU8000 also has lower input lags than MU9000. Its input lags are less than 20 ms at any resolution. That means, playing any game on NU8000 will feel responsively without laggy, even for fast paced games that requires fast reflex. On the other hand, although not as low as NU8000, the input lags of MU9000 is also still less than 25 ms that certainly is also low enough to play any games so feels responsively without laggy.
As their smart TV platform, both of them are equally featuring Tizen OS, the difference, Samsung MU9000 comes with 2017 version while NU8000 comes with 2018 version. Overall, there are not many improvements bring by 2018 version over 2017 version on their interface. Apps, features and Setting are well organized on a “strip bar” at the bottom across the screen, make navigation is simple and easy. Additionally, navigating is also fairly smooth although sometimes, the frame drops with choppy animation and there is lag about one two second before app opened. Nevertheless, for this case, the 2018 version is even worse than the 2017 version. This may be due to the increasing number of preinstalled apps brought by the 2018 version. As we have mentioned, in addition to the number of most popular apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web Browser, Live TV, Cloud Games, and many more where you also find them on the 2017 version, the 2018 version also comes with some new smart features like Samsung’s Bixby Voice assistant that makes its voice command can do a lot of more, SmartThing as the Hub of your SmartThing compatible device, and other. And as their apps store, both of them have Samsung’s apps store that provides a lot of interesting and useful downloadable apps, games, information and many more.
As their controller, Samsung NU8000 is equipped with 2018 model of Samsung’s smart controller while MU9000 is equipped with 2017 model. Nevertheless, in term of shape and size, they are similar. Their remote is fairly small and there are only few buttons on their remote, so to do advanced setting or most things, you must use Smart Hub or Voice Command. Fortunately, the have excellent voice commands that allows you to do a lot think like changing between inputs, search the contents, and more. Meanwhile, with Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistants, the voice command of NU8000 even can do more acts like asking weather today, set backlight, and more. The other interesting thing offered by them is Samsung’s OneRemote feature. This allows them can act as the universal remote not just for CEC compatible devices only, but also other devices which don’t support CEC.
|Performance||Samsung NU8000||Samsung MU9000|
As we have discussed a lot above, although actually they came for different class, where for this case, MU9000 is part of Samsung Series 9 while NU8000 is part of Samsung Series 8, but overall, NU8000 offer a bit better picture quality than MU9000. The excepting of native contrast ratio, NU8000 has better performance on almost aspects of picture quality. Not just picture quality, NU8000 also brings some improvement on motion handling and input lags that also makes its performance a bit better than MU9000. But even so, comes with newer version of Tizen OS, it might brings some new smart features like SmartThing, Samsung Bixby Voice Assistant, and others which make it more attractive, but on other hand, this makes its navigation not as smooth as the previous version. But overall, although NU8000 is superior to MU9000 but its superiority is not too striking.
So, which is a better choice for you? If your main consideration in buying TV is picture quality and performance, NU8000 might be a better choice. In addition to it has a bit better picture quality and performance, as newer model, it also brings some new features makes your home entertainment is more attractive. But keep in mind, with the same screen, Samsung NU8000 is priced hundreds dollar more expensive than MU9000. Just our personal opinion, as long as NU8000 still has a full price, for a while, MU9000 might be a better choice. Although it is an older model, but performance and picture quality is not far different to NU8000 while you can get a benefit on its prices which are cheaper. But even so, the decision certainly comes back to you depending on your budget and own preferences.