The combat on the prime of the TV market has by no means been tighter. In a single nook, the challengers are flagship LCD-based TVs just like the Samsung Q9 reviewed right here, the Vizio P-Collection Quantum and the Sony Grasp Collection Z9F. Within the different, the undefeated champions: OLED TVs just like the LG B8 and C8 and the Sony A9F.
I simply refereed one other hard-fought bout in Proinertech’s TV lab, evaluating these three LCDs in opposition to the most cost effective 2018 OLED TV, the LG B8. The brief story? The champ retains its belt, but it surely did not win by a knockout this time. The runner-up Q9 lasted the entire combat and vanquished the opposite LCDs (and in case you did not know, QLED is a model of LCD).
Though it is Samsung’s finest TV that prices lower than $15,000, the Q9 remains to be actually costly. The 65-inch mannequin has by no means fallen beneath $three,000, which is just a few hundred greater than LG’s 2018 OLED TVs. You learn that proper: This TV prices greater than an OLED, and does not carry out as properly.
Samsung has completed some nice issues with its LCD tech, akin to decreasing blooming whereas concurrently growing brightness, coping with reflections in vivid rooms and even enhancing off-angle picture high quality. However it may possibly’t beat OLED’s distinction, the primary constructing block of an excellent image.
There are nonetheless just a few causes for high-end customers to think about the Q9, nonetheless, beginning with the 75-inch dimension. If you would like a TV that massive and have an enormous price range, the Samsung Q9 is your best option. Its picture high quality surpasses each the dearer Sony Z9F and the a lot, less expensive Vizio P-Collection (non-Quantum), my picture-for-the-dollar decide at 75 inches. Alternatively, in case your price range is certainly that massive, perhaps it may be stretched one other couple grand for a $7,000 77-inch OLED.
Then there are all of the non-picture-quality causes to decide on the Q9 over the others. I am speaking about distinctive styling and design touches like Ambient mode, non-compulsory designer stands and flush wall mounts and a separate One Join field with hidden wiring system. Options like common distant management of related units, candy gaming extras and the most effective sensible TV system not made by Roku. Immunity to OLED burn-in, if that worries you. And sure, the cachet of an costly Samsung in your lounge.
If that is sufficient for you, perhaps the Q9 is well worth the worth in any case. If not, get an OLED or the most effective cheaper OLED various at 65 inches, Vizio’s P-Collection Quantum.
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Future-modernist TV design when on or off
Samsung makes a number of the nicest-looking TVs round, and as you’d count on from the corporate’s finest (non-8K) 2018 TV, the Q9 pulls no design punches.
OK, perhaps one: the thinness punch. The Q9 is noticeably thicker than razo-slim OLEDs and even many LCDs units like Samsung’s personal Q7. That is as a result of the Q9 makes use of a full-array LED backlight, a worthy trade-off for a chunkier profile in my guide.
From straight on, the set is all display: sleekness incarnate. The picture is bordered by a superthin border, angled like an image body towards the watcher, that is the identical width on all sides. The one different forward-facing characteristic, the Samsung emblem on the bottom-middle, is tiny and as unobtrusive as any.
The silver distant is useless easy, simple to carry and reliant on as few buttons as attainable. Many of the motion occurs onscreen, or, if you happen to’re feeling adventurous, through Bixby voice management. A devoted key brings up menus like a numeric keypad and different context-sensitive choices, for instance for system management.
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The stand consists of a matte-black rectangle, rounded on the entrance. It is low-slung, maintaining the area between the underside of the panel to the tabletop as brief as attainable. In contrast with the wide-splayed, double-leg stands used on most TVs right now, it appears to be like nicer and its narrower unfold requires much less base area. And talking of nicer appears to be like, the 65-inch Q9 can be appropriate with the non-compulsory studio stand ($600) or gravity stand ($700).
Talking of pricy choices, the Q9 can be appropriate with Samsung’s no-gap wall mount ($150 to $180) which retains the TV extra flush to the wall than third-party mounts. It really works nice with these, nonetheless, and so they usually value so much much less.
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Ambient mode is a brand new characteristic, unique to Samsung’s QLED TVs, that fills the TV display whenever you’re not watching TV. The thought is that as a substitute of an enormous black rectangle in the midst of the lounge, you get… one thing else. It is fairly cool, particularly if you happen to hate that black rectangle, however its signature characteristic — the power to match your wall — was hit and miss once I examined it on the Q8. I did not retest it right here, so try the Samsung Q8 overview for extra particulars if you happen to’re curious the way it works.
Cover the wires, management the gear, skip the Bixby
In the event you’re obsessive about hiding wires and tools, the Q9 is your jam. All the connections — together with energy — are housed in a chunky, separate field Samsung dubs the One Join. You plug your HDMI gear, akin to a cable field, recreation console or streaming system, into the field and never into the TV itself. This setup permits you to simply conceal all these containers someplace in a cupboard.
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The one wire you should hook up with the TV itself is the proprietary Invisible Connection. It is a fiber-optic strand that runs — through a intelligent channel throughout the again of the TV and even by the stand legs — to the field. The cable is skinny sufficient to run throughout a wall, down a nook or alongside a baseboard with out thrilling a lot discover, permitting you to keep away from pricey in-wall cable runs.
It is completely different from (and incompatible with) the 2017 model as a result of it carries energy too, and because of this the strand is barely thicker. The included cable is 15 toes lengthy and you’ll spring for the 50-foot mannequin ($300) if that is not sufficient.
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Like earlier Samsung TVs the Q9 can even management related gear, which it detects robotically as quickly as you plug it in. The One Join field even has built-in infrared emitters so it may possibly command gear inside a cupboard. Up to now I’ve favored this characteristic, however nonetheless choose a devoted common distant like a Concord. I did not retest it this time round, so try the 2017 Q7 overview for extra particulars.
I additionally skipped in depth testing of Samsung’s Sensible TV system, together with Bixby voice management through the distant, for this overview. In my check of the Q8 from earlier this yr Bixby was disappointing, falling properly wanting the Google Assistant voice controls constructed into LG and Sony TVs. I like Samsung’s onscreen Sensible TV system higher than these two manufacturers’ nonetheless, and contemplate it second-best general, after Roku TV. Once more, my Q8 overview has extra data.
The queen of QLED
Key TV options
Full array with native dimming
HDR10 and HDR10+
Display screen form
Amongst Samsung’s 2018 TVs solely the Q8, the Q9 and the 8K Q900 have full-array native dimming. This know-how, which improves LCD picture high quality considerably in our expertise, boosts black ranges and distinction by ensuring areas of the image dimmer or brighter in response to what’s on display. The principle picture high quality distinction between the Q8 and Q9 is extra dimming zones and a brighter picture on the Q9, however the firm does not say precisely what number of zones every TV has. In the meantime the Q900 8K TV — name it the king of the QLEDs — is brighter nonetheless.
Samsung QLED vs. LG OLED TV: What is the distinction?
Just like the Q9 and different Samsung QLED TVs, its LCD panel can be augmented by a layer of quantum dots — microscopic nanocrystals that glow a selected wavelength (i.e. shade) when given power. The impact is best brightness and shade in contrast with non-QD-equipped TVs, in accordance with Samsung. The Q9 makes use of a real 120Hz panel, which improves the TVs’ movement efficiency, however as typical the “Movement Fee 240” specification is made up.
The set helps excessive dynamic vary (HDR) content material in the usual HDR10 and the HDR10+ codecs solely. It lacks the Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR help discovered on most opponents’ HDR TVs. I’ve seen no proof that one HDR format is inherently “higher” than the opposite, so I undoubtedly do not contemplate lack of Dolby Imaginative and prescient a deal-breaker on this TV. Try the image high quality part for extra.
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2018 Samsung units are arguably the best-equipped TVs for avid gamers. The Q9 is appropriate with variable refresh charges, referred to as FreeSync, from some units, at present together with choose PCs and the Xbox One X and One S. It does not have full HDMI 2.1 (no 2018 TV does), so it permits charges as much as 120Hz or resolutions as much as 4K — however not each without delay. Based on Samsung the supported resolutions are 1080p at 120Hz, 2,560×1,440p at 120Hz and three,840×2,160 (4K) at 60Hz, and all can help HDR video games too. I did not check it for this overview.
To make use of FreeSync you will need to activate the Auto Sport Mode characteristic, additionally new for 2018. Along with enabling VRR, the characteristic lets the TV robotically swap to recreation mode — decreasing enter lag — when it detects you are taking part in a recreation. This yr recreation mode additionally provides motion-smoothing capabilities, referred to as Sport Movement Plus, though they do add a little bit of lag (see beneath for particulars).