Samsung Q7C vs MU8500 Review (QN55Q7C vs UN55MU8500, QN65Q7C vs UN65MU8500)
Samsung Q7C is the curved model of Samsung QLED TV Series 7, the lowest model of Samsung’s 2017 QLED TV, while Samsung MU8500 is the curved model of Samsung’s 2017 4K HDR TV lineup series 8. In the market, both of them equally come with 2 screen sizes options, 55 inch (QN55Q7F vs UN55MU8500) and 65 Inch (QN65Q7C and UN65MU8500). The similarity between them, both of them come with curved panel that claimed give some advantage than flat panel. With the same screen size, Q7C is sold almost doubled than the price of MU8500. This certainly is a very significant difference in price. So, what are their differences and which is a better choice between them refer to their price? Let’s start discuss the difference between them side by side.
The Differences and Similarities between Samsung Q7C and MU8500
The excepting of curved panel, both of Samsung MU8500 and Q7C have many similarities. Come with HDR technology, although both of them are powered by different HDR engine, but they already support the same HDR formats, those are HDR 10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). They are also equally not support Dolby Vision. On their panel, both of them equally use VA panel with edge lit backlight. They also equally have local dimming technology called “Precision Black”. Meanwhile, for maximizing their performance when used in bright room, both of them are also supported by the similar technology, those are Ultra Clear Panel and Peak Illuminator Pro. For maximizing their performance when used for watching fast moving images like sport program or fast movies, Samsung Q7C and MU8500 are also powered by the same technology that is Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. And for completing your home entertainment, both of them also feature the same smart TV platform that is Tizen OS which powered by a quad core processor.
The excepting of their design, both of them also have many differences that makes Q7C is sold far more expensive than MU8500. The major difference between Samsung Q7C as a part of Samsung QLED TV and MU8500 as part of Samsung Premium UHD TV is about quantum dot panel where in this case, Q7C is powered by quantum dot panel that driven by Q 4K Color Drive Elite while MU8500 is only supported by 4K Color Drive Extreme Technology. This certainly has a big impact on their rendition of colors where Quantum Dot technology, Q8C certainly offers better rendition of colors than MU8500. Additionally, although both of them support the same HDR format, but they are powered by different level of HDR engine where Q7C is powered by Q 4K HDR Elite engine while MU8500 is powered by 4K HDR Extreme. As we have mentioned above, both of them might equally have local dimming technology called “Precision Black”, but their level is different. In this case, Q7C comes with Precision Black Pro while MU8500 comes with Precision Black. The difference between these technologies is about the number of their dimming zones. But unfortunately, Samsung don’t clearly reveal how many dimming zones of each of these technologies.
Still bout their differences, Samsung Q7C and MU8500 also have a different level on their technology for improving black level and contrast. In this case, Q7C is powered by Supreme UHD Dimming, Q 4K Elite Black, and Ultra Black technology, while MU8500 is powered by UHD Dimming and Triple Black technology. The other difference between them is about their sound equipment where Samsung Q7C is equipped with 4.2 channel speaker system while MU8500 is comes with 2.1 channel speaker system. Nevertheless, the total sound output of both is the same that is 40 watt.
Samsung Q7C vs MU8500 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Samsung Q7C||Samsung MU8500|
|Resolution||4K (2160x3840)||4K (2160x3840)|
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (QN55Q7C), 65 Inch (QN65Q7C||55 Inch (UN55MU8500), 65 Inch (UN65MU8500)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlighting Technology||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Precision Black Pro)||Yes (Precision Black)|
|UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming||UHD Dimming|
|Picture Engine||Q Engine||UHD Remastering Engine|
|HDR Engine||Q 4K HDR Elite||4K HDR Extreme|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot with Q 4K Color Drive Elite||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Blacks Technology||Q 4K Elite Black, Ultra Black||Triple Black|
|Peak Illuminator||Yes (Pro)||Yes (Pro)|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Yes||Yes|
|Auto Depth Enhancer||Yes||Yes|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||Yes||Yes|
|Motion Rate||240 (native 120 Hz)||240 (native 120 Hz)|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2017||Tizen 2017|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1790A)||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1750A)|
|Speaker Type||Front Firing||Down Firing + Front Firing|
|Sound Output||40 Watts||40 watts|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Samsung Q7C vs MU8500 Performance
Overall, Samsung Q7F has better picture quality than MU8500, especially on their rendition of colors. But this doesn’t mean the picture quality of Samsung MU8500 is poor. For its price range, picture quality of MU8500 can be said great.
Regardless of the performance of other aspects of the picture quality, despite Samsung Q7C has a bit higher native contrast ratio than MU8500, but overall, both of them have strong native contrast ratio. With more than 4000:1 of native contrast ratio, it is quite strong to make black color looks really black, makes their dark room performance is great. Combination of deep black and good dark uniformity makes dark scenes looks excellent on their screen, even when they are set in a dark room where the effect of high contrast ratio is very sensitive. On other hand, when inputted by HDR signal, their native strong contrast is also strong enough to reveal details images in dark scene, makes shadow details of HDR images looks clearly and excellent. Essentially, since both of Samsung MU8500 and Q7C have strong native contrast ratio, their performance in a dark room is great.
When set in a bright room with ambient light, there performance still can be said great. They might not able to fight the glare as well as the brighter TV like Sony X930E or the top model Q9F, but their peak brightness is quite bright to makes bright scene looks excellent. Their local dimming technology is even very effective to brighten small area than larger areas, makes highlights of HDR images looks very bright. Meanwhile, compare between them, this is depending on their input. When inputted by SDR signals, Samsung MU8500 has brighter peak brightness than Q7C, makes SDR images displayed on its screen looks brighter and more consistent when set in a bright room. On other hand, when inputted by HDR signals, Samsung Q7F has brighter peak brightness than MU8500, particularly on small % windows, makes highlights of HDR images displayed on the screen of MU8500 looks brighter. Samsung Q7C even can show highlight of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what intended. Meanwhile, although MU8500 cannot show highlights of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what intended, at least, it still can show highlight of HDR images fairly bright.
As we have mentioned above, the major advantage of Samsung Q7C than MU8500 is about their renditions of colors. With quantum dot technology behind it, the color gamut of Q7C can cover almost all colors in DCI P3 color space, makes almost all colors of HDR images can be shown properly on the screen Q7C. Color of contents that mastered in Rec.2020 even still can be represented well on the screen of Q7C. With outstanding color gamut offered, this makes Samsung Q7C is including the TVs with the best renditions of colors. On other hand, although not as great as Q7C, Samsung MU8500 also already support wide color gamut that means most of colors in DCI P3 color space still can be shown properly, makes colors of HDR images still looks accurate. But unfortunately, like other modern TVs, MU8500 also struggles to show saturated green. Additionally, Saturated red and blue also cannot be shown as well as Q7C. Meanwhile, discussing about the color volume, Samsung Q7C also has better color volume than MU8500. Overall, Q7C can show its wide color gamut in its entire brightness range and only slightly narrows in very dark colors. On other hand, although not as good as Q7C, color volume of MU8500 is also fairly good. Its color volume is only limited by its wide color gamut and black level. This means, except the extremely dark colors, MU8500 can show fairly well its wide color gamut in its entire brightness range. Still about their color performance, both of Samsung Q7C and MU8500 already support 10 bit depth of colors that means they are able to deliver more than 1.07 billion shades of colors. The result, color gradient of HDR images displayed on their screen equally looks very smooth without any major color banding. Some little imperfections might still be noticeable in darker shades of colors, but overall, this should not be a problem for normal contents.
But unfortunately, since both of them use VA panel and limited viewing angles coverage becomes the major drawback of VA panel, this certainly also makes both of Samsung MU8500 and Q7C has limited side viewing angle coverage. The use of curved panel might make their side viewing angle coverage a bit better than most of VA TVs, but the improvement is not significant. Started at about 20 degrees off center and front, their picture still looks degraded with the shifting colors and the degradation of black level. And the wider angle you watch TV, the picture will look worse. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be a major problem for you.
From all we have discussed a lot above about their picture quality, the major advantage of Samsung Q7C than MU8500 is about their rendition of colors. This TV is even certified by Ultra HD Premium Certification that means it can show HDR 10 videos fully like what intended. On other hand, although not as great as MU8500 and not certified by Ultra HD premium Certification, the picture quality and HDR performance of MU8500 is fairly good. The excepting of rendition of colors, the performance of other aspect of picture quality like contrast, black level, peak brightness, and others are not far behind Q7C.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
Both of Samsung MU8500 and Q7C are great TVs when used for watching fast moving images like sports program or fast movies. Their pixel response time is extremely low and maximized by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, result in smooth and clear picture quality with almost no motion blur. Following fast moving object, there is only a short trail where most people might don’t notice about that. Meanwhile, compare between them, although both of them are powered by the same technology and has the same native refresh rate panel, but the pixel response time of Q7C is a bit lower than MU8500, makes the picture displayed on its screen looks smoother than MU8500. Nevertheless, since MU8500 already produce smooth picture quality, most of people might don’t notice about their difference. Meanwhile, both of Samsung Q7C and MU8500 are also great TVS when used for watching 24p movies. No matter the source of the movies, whether it is 24p videos like Blu-Ray Movies, 24p videos via 60p signals like movies from streaming devices or 24p videos like movies from satellite TV, all of them can be shown clearly and smoothly on their screen with judder-free. Nevertheless, to remove the judder without adding soap opera effect, you must set “Auto Motion Plus” to Custom and leave both “Judder” and “Slider” at “0”. Additionally, since both of them have native 120 HZ refresh rate panel, of course they also can fairly well interpolate both 30 fps and 60 fps videos.
Both of Samsung Q7C and MU8500 are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports as their major connectivity. All of their HDMI Ports already supports most of the formats what required for this now like HDCP 2.2, CEC, Audio Return Channel, and more. In addition to HDMI and USB Ports, there are also 1 RF In, 1 Ethernet In, Built-In Wi-Fi, and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). Additionally, both of them are also equally not equipped with Composite In and Component In. The other similarity, most of their inputs/outputs are equally located on separated box called “One Connect Box”. The difference Q7C uses One Connect Box while MU8500 uses One Connect Box Mini where One Connect Box is larger than One Connect Box Mini. On the One Connect Box of Q7C, almost all inputs/outputs are located including all USB Ports, all HDMI ports, Ethernet, Digital Audio Out, and RF IN. On other hand, one connect box mini of MU8500 is only contains all of HDMI ports, and 2 USB ports, and RF IN while 1 USB port, Ethernet port, and digital audio out (Optical) are still located on the rear panel. Meanwhile, talking about their input lag, both of Samsung MU8500 and Q7C has similar input lags and essentially, their input lags is fairly low in “Game Mode” and “PC Mode”. With less than 25 ms input lags, this might not as the lowest, but at least, they are still comfortable when used for playing any kind of games, no matter it is 1080p games, 4K games or even 4K HDR games, especially for casual games. Meanwhile, for playing most competitive games, they might be a bit laggy.
Both of Samsung MU8500 and Q7C also features similar smart TV platform, that is Tizen OS that powered by a quad core processor. Compared to last year version, there is an overhaul at its appearance where in this version, it comes with white them and nicer animation that makes its appearance looks nicer and more attractive. Nevertheless, its performance is still fast and responsive while its navigation is also still easy. Meanwhile, as the core of the smart TV, it still uses Smart Hub. On its home screen, there is a ribbon across the bottom of the screen contains quick access to many popular apps and features. This allows you to launch them without leaving the home screen. Additionally, with the support of a fast quad core processor, it makes its performance is fast. Once the app is launched, it will quickly open. Additionally, switching between opened apps also feels responsively. Meanwhile, talking about apps and features provides, Samsung Q8C and MU8500 comes with a lot of preinstalled apps and features. There are VoD Service like Amazon Videos, YouTube, Netflix, and more, Web Browser, Live TV, Cloud Games like Game Fly and PlayStation Now, and many more. Additionally, there is also Samsung apps store that provided tons of useful and interesting downloadable apps, games, and contents where you can directly download them from your TV.
As the controller both of them are equally equipped with Samsung Smart Controller. MU8500 comes with TM1750A model while Q7C comes with TM1790A model. The difference between them is about their material where Q7C’s remote is made of metal while MU8500’s remote is made of plastic. This certainly makes Q7C’s remote looks more elegant than MU8500’s remote. Nevertheless, essentially, they have similar functionalities. These remotes are equally simple and equally have few buttons, even lack some “quick access button” and “number button”. But you don’t need to worry because they have excellent voice command which can replace the function of the missing buttons. The other advantage that offered, both of them equally can be functioned as a universal remote. This means you can control some other devices connected on your TV via HDMI ports with a single remote.
|Performance||Samsung MU8500||Samsung Q7C|
As we have discussed a lot above, essentially, both of Samsung Q7C and MU8500 have excellent picture quality for each of their class. Both of them equally have good renditions of colors, strong native contrast ratio, good black uniformity, deep black level, and bright peak luminance. Meanwhile, the major advantage of Q7C as a higher series than Samsung MU8500 is about its excellent wide color gamut and color volume. Some other points of Q7C like contrast ratio, peak brightness, motion handling and others might also superior, but this superiority is not too significant and don’t have a big impact on the picture quality that produced. Considering Q7C is sold almost doubled than the price MU8500, this is understandable if picture quality and HDR performance of Q7C is better than MU8500. On other hand, although picture quality and HDR performance of MU8500 is not as good as Q7C, but for its class, it is fairly good.
So, which is a better choice between them? The decision certainly comes back to your preferences and budget. If you have extra money, of course Q7C is a better option for you due it has outstanding renditions of colors and excellent picture quality. Nevertheless, if your budget is limited, performance of MU8500 is also not disappointed.