OLED TVs nonetheless have one of the best image high quality I’ve ever examined, however Samsung’s QN90A comes nearer than ever. This QLED TV packs a punch brighter than any OLED tv, whereas managing to keep up distinction and black stage to a level I’ve by no means seen on any non-OLED earlier than. For those who crave that brightness, otherwise you watch in a shiny room the place ambient gentle is an enormous subject, you need to positively think about this TV over a comparable OLED.
Greatest non-OLED image high quality we have ever testedIncredible brightness with minimal bloomingStylish design, full of options
Do not Like
ExpensiveSlightly worse distinction, off-angle and uniformity than OLED
New for 2021, one of the best Samsung QLED fashions just like the QN90A are referred to as Neo QLED and have a brand new mini-LED based mostly, full-array native dimming backlight array. Samsung made its LEDs 40 occasions smaller than standard LED models, permitting extra to be packed into the TV, and added a “quantum matrix” to assist direct the LED gentle extra precisely. The result’s improved HDR highlights with minimal blooming (stray illumination that bleeds from shiny into darkish areas), in addition to higher shadow element.
All of these enhancements had been seen in my side-by-side checks. I pitted the QN90A towards one of the best OLED TV I’ve ever reviewed, the LG G1, and the brightest TV I’ve ever measured, the Vizio PQX-H1. Total I preferred the LG a bit higher than the Samsung — it is plenty-bright itself, and its good black ranges, superior mixed-scene distinction and higher off-angle viewing received by a nostril — however the QN90A seemed higher in some scenes, significantly shiny HDR. In the meantime its exact gentle management and ensuing distinction soundly beat the Vizio. In sum, that is one of the best LCD-based TV I’ve ever examined and a very good high-end various to OLED.
Floating stand design, photo voltaic distant
One TV seems to be very similar to one other, however Samsung nonetheless succeeds in giving the QN90A an opulent air. The obvious design improve is the stand: centered, with a small footprint, it seems to be cleaner and sleeker than the twin legs discovered on most TVs. My favourite facet is the way it suspends the massive panel above my credenza, seeming to drift with out touching. As anticipated the sting across the image is super-thin, albeit not fairly as minimalist because the “Infinity Display screen” discovered on the flagship, 8K decision Q900A.
From the facet you possibly can recognize its swoopy, one-piece form, in addition to the truth that it cants the entire display again by a few levels. The bottom has a cable administration system that allows you to channel energy and HDMI from their ports, alongside the again and thru the stand, making for a cleaner look.
On the again, the distant has a photo voltaic panel.
And sure, the distant has a photo voltaic panel on the again. I did not check Samsung’s declare that leaving it beneath indoor lighting is ample to recharge, however I appreciated that it would not want batteries. If I owned this TV I might in all probability use the USB charging port as an alternative when it ran out of juice.
Samsung’s distant is one in all my favorites to make use of, with minimal buttons and simply the proper really feel in-hand. Channel and quantity keys click on up and down, Ambient mode will get its personal button as does the mic for voice and even the Netflix and Amazon app shortcut keys are nicer than on different remotes: They lack garish colours and as an alternative simply match the remainder of the wand.
Ambient mode is designed to indicate stuff on the display once you’re not watching TV. It is a cool characteristic if you happen to don’t love the massive black rectangle of an inert TV and may show your photographs, designer artwork, the climate, headlines and even alter backgrounds to match your wall.
The voice assistant will be summoned from the distant or hands-free by saying “Alexa” or (if you happen to desire, for some cause) “Hello, Bixby.”
Selection of voice assistant, optionally available webcam
Voice command is built-in and you may select between Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Samsung’s homebrew Bixby. Whichever one you select will likely be accessible once you press the mic button on the clicker. With Amazon and Bixby (however not Google) you even have the choice of merely saying “Alexa” or “Hello, Bixby” wake phrases, permitting you to subject instructions hands-free and in contrast to final yr the mic is situated within the TV itself, not the distant. And like most TVs, you too can pair the QN90A with separate Alexa or Google audio system.
Samsung’s well being app debuted on its TVs in 2020 and this yr it is increasing to supply guided private coaching. Plug in an optionally available webcam (Samsung has an inventory of beneficial cameras, all by Logitech) and the app will monitor your workout routines and provide you with teaching full with superstar private trainers like Jillian Michaels.
You may also use that webcam for video chat with the Google Duo app, which permits as much as 12 others to hitch the chat. And if you do not have a digital camera plugged in you possibly can display mirror Duo in your telephone to the TV and use its digital camera. It is not Google’s extra well-liked Meet software program, however no less than it is net chat on the massive display.
I did not check the webcam options for this evaluation, however I did check drive the non-public coach earlier this yr — and labored up a sweat, as seen within the video beneath.
Past voice and the webcam, Samsung’s on-screen sensible TV system is great, with fast responses and loads of apps — I might take it over LG or Vizio’s programs. I nonetheless like Roku and Android/Google TV (discovered on Sony TVs) higher total, nevertheless, as a result of they’ve much more apps. Identical to most TVs now (together with Roku), Samsung has the Apple TV app and works with Apple’s AirPlay system.
Samsung’s dwelling web page pops up from the underside so it would not obscure what you are watching.
(Extra) options galore
Samsung sells a number of higher-end TVs, together with 8K decision fashions in addition to super-expensive Micro-LED TVs, however the Q90A remains to be bursting with picture high quality extras. An important is that Neo QLED, mini-LED powered backlight with full-array native dimming. Native dimming improves LCD picture high quality by guaranteeing areas of the image dimmer or brighter in response to what’s on the display, which considerably boosts distinction. Judging from Samsung’s obscure “quantum HDR” spec the QN90A has extra dimming zones and brighter pictures than the step-down Q85A, and fewer zones than the 8K fashions, however Samsung would not say precisely what number of zones (or how shiny).
Full array with native dimming
Like all of Samsung QLED TVs, in addition to most higher-end TVs from Vizio and TCL, the QN90A’s LCD panel is augmented by a layer of quantum dots — microscopic nanocrystals that glow a particular wavelength (i.e. colour) when given vitality. The impact is best brightness and colour in comparison with non-QD-equipped TVs. The QN90A makes use of a real 120Hz panel, which improves the TVs’ movement efficiency.
The set helps excessive dynamic vary content material within the HDR10 and the HDR10 Plus codecs. It lacks the Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR assist discovered on most rivals’ HDR TVs. I’ve seen no proof that one HDR format is inherently “higher” than the opposite, so I positively do not think about the shortage of Dolby Imaginative and prescient a deal-breaker on this TV — it performs like a champ with out that format.
Gaming options are one of many QN90A’s robust factors. All 4 of its HDMI inputs are suitable with variable refresh charge, together with AMD’s FreeSync and normal VRR codecs, in addition to ALLM (aka Auto Recreation Mode), which lets it routinely change to recreation mode to cut back enter lag when it detects you are taking part in a recreation. Solely Enter 3 handles eARC.
Enter 4, which is conveniently marked with a little bit recreation controller icon, additionally accepts 4K/120Hz with and with out HDR. Not one of the different inputs deal with 4K/120, which ought to solely be an issue you probably have a number of gadgets that output it — like a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Sequence X (you recognize who you might be…), or a type of consoles and a high-end graphics card. It is price noting that each enter on LG’s current OLED TVs helps 4K/120.
Learn extra: Greatest TV for PS5 and Xbox Sequence X, Sequence S in 2021
The highest enter, Enter 4, has one of the best specs for gaming.
4x HDMI inputs2x USB portsEthernet (LAN) portOptical digital audio outputRF (antenna) inputRemote (RS-232) port (EX-LINK)
The listing is generally stable, except you occur to personal a legacy system that requires analog video (element or composite) or audio. Like many new high-end TVs the QN90A lacks analog inputs totally, audio or video. On the flipside, it is likely one of the few TVs with a built-in ATSC 3.0 tuner for Subsequent-Gen TV alerts.
Image high quality comparisons
The Samsung QN90A has one of the best image of any non-OLED TV I’ve examined and one of the best bright-room image full cease. It is exceedingly shiny, but capable of ship deep, inky black ranges with minimal blooming even with essentially the most difficult HDR materials. It may’t beat the distinction and theatricality of competing high-end OLED fashions just like the LG G1 total, nevertheless, and in addition falls a bit brief in uniformity and off-angle efficiency. If I had to decide on one TV to look at on daily basis it will nonetheless be an OLED, but it surely’s very shut.
Dim lighting: Watching the fundamental, SDR 1080p model of The Desolation of Smaug Blu-ray in a darkish room, the Samsung QN90A got here as near the LG OLED as I’ve ever seen from an LCD-based TV. Its black ranges had been basically good — or shut sufficient that I could not visually distinguish them from the OLED — in most scenes, even within the letterbox bars and shadows. When Gandalf meets Thorin in the course of the prologue on the Prancing Pony, for instance, it was actually troublesome to inform the 2 aside, whereas the black ranges on the Vizio, compared, had been lighter and created a flatter, much less three-dimensional look. In uncommon circumstances, for instance the titles towards a black display, the Samsung’s black ranges did look lighter (worse) than the LG’s.
Particulars in shadows had been wonderful on all three TVs, though once more the Vizio seemed a bit much less life like due to its barely lighter total black ranges. Watching SDR I did not see any proof of blooming or stray illumination on both the Samsung or the Vizio with regular video. The exceptions had been graphical parts, for instance the play/pause icons my Blu-ray participant put within the higher left created a faint halo towards the letterbox bar on the Samsung.
Vivid lighting: The QN90A is exceedingly shiny, particularly in comparison with OLED fashions. The Vizio PX measured a bit brighter total and in addition maintained peak brightness in its brightest setting higher.
Mild output in nits
Correct colour (SDR)
Correct colour (HDR)
As ordinary the Samsung’s brightest setting, Dynamic, was woefully inaccurate. For the Correct measurements in SDR I used the Pure image mode together with the Heat colour temperature setting (the default temperature for Pure is sort of blue). If you would like a fair more-accurate bright-room picture you possibly can select Film or Filmmaker mode and switch the Brightness management as much as 50 (the max), which measured 620 nits. In any case I desire Vizio’s method of a devoted, correct bright-room image mode.
The QN90A maintained regular HDR gentle output over time in Film and Filmmaker modes, however in Dynamic mode with each HDR and SDR it fluctuated considerably, beginning out at round 2500 nits however falling virtually instantly to round 500 — a large, five-fold lower. I’ve seen that behaviour on previous Samsung TVs as properly and it appears designed to attain prominence in charts just like the one you see above. It is price noting that the Vizio PX, amongst different non-Samsung TV’s I’ve examined, maintained their brightest pictures far more steadily over time, with out drastic fluctuations. This subject in Dynamic mode is not an enormous deal for me, nevertheless, as a result of I do not suggest utilizing that mode anyway.
Samsung’s light-rejecting display is one of the best within the enterprise, sustaining distinction and punch in shiny lighting, and lowering reflections, higher than the Vizio and the LG. The display, mixed with the QN90A’s prodigious gentle output, make it one of the best TV I’ve ever examined for shiny rooms.
The Samsung’s display was wonderful at rejecting reflections.
Coloration accuracy: All three high-end TVs measured exceedingly properly for colour each earlier than and particularly after calibration, and watching The Hobbit Blu-ray I could not actually decide a winner. Colours from Galadriel’s delicate pores and skin tone to the inexperienced and brown of Mirkwood to the grey of Gandalf’s cloak seemed true. The LG did present a slight benefit in near-black grayscale, the place the Samsung tended barely blue, however the distinction was refined.
Video processing: As ordinary the Samsung aced my checks on this class, delivering true 1080p/24 movie cadence with film-based sources and loads of movement decision (1,000 traces) with video-based sources. The TV achieved each outcomes with a Image Readability setting of Customized with Blur Discount at 10 and Judder Discount at 0, so if I had this TV I might “set it and neglect it” proper there. Be aware that Filmmaker Mode’s default setting is to show Image Readability off, which ends up in much less movement decision, however you possibly can alter it to style.
You may also add extra smoothing or cleaning soap opera impact by rising Judder Discount or selecting Auto as an alternative of Customized. In the meantime the LED Clear Movement possibility makes movement even sharper with the assistance of black body insertion, on the expense of flicker and a dimmer picture.
Uniformity: The QN90A’s display was worse than the Vizio and LG at sustaining a fair gentle unfold all over the place, with some slight variations seen in full-screen check patterns, significantly alongside the perimeters and within the higher center. In transferring check patterns the QN90A confirmed a barely extra noticeable soiled display impact in consequence, but it surely was nonetheless fairly delicate.
From off-angle the Samsung was barely higher at preserving distinction and colour than the Vizio, even when the latter’s “enhanced viewing angle” mode was engaged, however the variations had been minor and each, as ordinary, considerably trailed the off-angle constancy of the OLED.
The Recreation Bar pop-up gives immediate entry to gaming information.
Gaming: The QN90A is a gaming powerhouse. Once I first plugged in my Xbox Sequence X the TV routinely detected it, switched to its enter and applied Recreation Mode, full with a pop-up on the backside that Samsung calls the Recreation Bar — long-pressing play/pause on the distant calls it up at any time. The Bar’s left facet consists of a standing show itemizing Enter Lag, FPS (frames per second), HDR, VRR and sound output, whereas controls on the proper gives a shortcut to recreation settings in addition to facet ratio and display place (the latter solely lively with PC sources, which I did not check).
Samsung continues its custom of fantastic enter lag in recreation mode with a rating of simply over 10 milliseconds with each 1080p and 4K HDR sources — one of the best I’ve measured. You may select to interact smoothing, aka Auto Movement Plus, in recreation mode however doing so raises enter lag as excessive as 26ms, relying on what stage you select. I might go away it turned off.
Evaluating Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla, the Samsung seemed wonderful, brighter than the LG (as anticipated) and the Vizio, which seemed duller and extra washed out. I nonetheless most popular the LG’s look total with this theatrical recreation, nevertheless, as a result of it preserved extra distinction particularly at night time and underground whereas nonetheless permitting me to see into the shadows properly sufficient. Samsung does supply a particular shadow element management referred to as “Dynamic Black Equalizer” that allows you to expose/wash out shadows much more, but it surely would not have specialised gaming image modes like LG. Whether or not you miss them relies on how a lot you need to tweak the image — I personally like having the choice.
HDR and 4K video: Like all high-end LCDs the QN90A can get brighter than even the brightest OLED TV, but it surely does a greater job of delivering deep black ranges and minimal blooming than any non-OLED TV I’ve examined.
I began my HDR comparability with the montage from the Spears and Munsil HDR Benchmark and the Samsung QN90A’s brightness benefit over the LG G1 was instantly obvious. The Q90A measures twice as shiny because the G1 and in my side-by-side comparability it seemed even brighter, particularly in areas just like the snow-capped mountains, skies and clouds. That is as a result of OLED’s brightness falls quickly as extra of the display is occupied by shiny objects, whereas LCD’s brightness varies much less by picture space. The Samsung additionally seemed brighter and extra impactful in highlights similar to the center of a ferris wheel at night time, after all, however in bigger areas it was extra obvious.
In the meantime the LCD-based Vizio, regardless of its superior measurements, seemed dimmer than the Samsung, albeit nonetheless a bit brighter than the OLED. Spot measurements confirmed these impressions. The sundown at 2:08, for instance, measured 427, 522 and 887 nits on the LG, Vizio and Samsung, respectively. For his or her half colours had been excellent on the Samsung, saturated but correct in areas just like the flowers and bugs at 3:27, and the additional brightness lent extra pop.
As ordinary the OLED maintained good black ranges whereas the Samsung and Vizio seemed very barely lighter, however in lots of scenes — the objects towards black backgrounds, for instance — the Samsung was so good that selecting out the OLED was troublesome.
I did see a bit extra blooming than with SDR, as anticipated, however once more it was very well-controlled on the Samsung. Within the dipper at 2:49, for instance, the black background across the honey betrayed a slight glow, as did the pause icon on my Blu-ray participant (once more) — however each had been less-noticeable than on the Vizio and only a bit worse than the blooming-free OLED. Combined scenes, for instance the nighttime cityscape at 4:26, did present extra of a bonus for OLED, which was capable of hold the darkish areas darker for extra pop, however the Samsung nonetheless seemed wonderful.
I did not discover any banding or related artifacts within the LG or the Samsung, each of which seemed very clear, however there was some on the Vizio. It popped up within the sky in the course of the preliminary fade up from black, for instance, the place bands of various brightness appeared the place there must be a easy transition. The Samsung did present minor brightness variations brought on by the backlight construction (significantly close to the perimeters), just like the blue sky above the satellite tv for pc dish at 5:29, however they had been fairly refined.
I additionally checked out the montage at 4,000 nits and the Samsung lagged behind the LG. There was much less element in shiny areas just like the snowy pasture and the cliffside, which made the QN90A seem considerably flatter regardless of its superior brightness. It is not an enormous drawback nevertheless since 4,000 nit content material is comparatively uncommon.
Once I switched from Spears and Munsil to The Desolation of Smaug, the tables turned and the LG seemed higher total than the Samsung. Throughout the difficult night Bree scene within the prologue, for instance, the LG’s shadows appeared only a bit deeper and its highlights, just like the lamps and torches, seemed barely brighter, for an total high-contrast look that the Samsung — whereas wonderful — could not fairly match. Each outclassed the Vizio, nevertheless, whose black ranges had been lighter resulting in a extra washed-out look. Shifting to a brighter scene, inside Beorn’s home (9:16), the G1 once more seemed a tick extra life like and wealthy in comparison with the QN90A.
As with Spears and Munsil, large-area brightness scenes favored the Samsung. Because the orcs pursue the dwarves throughout a shiny area at 7:50, for instance, each LCDs (and particularly the Samsung) appeared extra good and spectacular. However as in most theatrical movies, scenes in The Hobbit tended towards extra blended and even darker scenes, the place the OLED held a slight distinction benefit over the Samsung.
Image settings, HDR notes and charts
Proinertech is now not publishing superior image settings for any TVs we evaluation. As an alternative, we’ll give extra common suggestions to get one of the best image with out itemizing the detailed white steadiness or colour administration system (CMS) settings we might have used to calibrate the TV. As all the time, the settings supplied are a guidepost and if you need essentially the most correct image you need to get an expert calibration.
Earlier than my calibration for this evaluation, Samsung’s Film and Filmmaker presets had been essentially the most correct, wonderful by way of grayscale and gamma with only a slight reddish solid (however nonetheless inside my error goal of delta 3). Be aware that Filmmaker Mode as a result of it disables the entire Image Readability settings, together with movement enhancement (see the evaluation for particulars) — though it does interact ambient gentle sensing by default, which I turned off.
For calibration I tweaked the two-point grayscale to take away the pink solid, lowered gentle output to my goal of 137 nits and adjusted gamma to focus on 2.2, however in any other case I left properly sufficient alone. The grayscale and colour had been already so correct on my Samsung-provided evaluation pattern that I did not want to the touch the multipoint system or the colour administration system.
Image Mode: Film Mode
Image Dimension settings: 16:9 Customary (Match to Display screen: On)
Brightness: 13Contrast: 43Sharpness: 0Color: 25Tint (G/R): 0Apply Image Settings: All SourcesPicture Readability Settings: Customized (Blur Pink. 10, Judder Pink. 0, LED Clear Movement: Off, Noise Pink. Off)Native Dimming: StandardContrast Enhancer: OffFilm Mode: Off [grayed out; when active Auto 1 is usually best]Coloration Tone: Heat 2White Steadiness: [No adjustments, see above]Gamma: 2.2Shadow Element: 0RGB Solely mode: OffColor Area Settings: Auto
HDR Notes: As with SDR, Samsung’s Film and Filmmaker Modes had been the most-accurate for HDR sources. Each had been considerably more-accurate than Dynamic, the brightest mode, and nonetheless fairly shiny at greater than 1500 nits. The QN90A adopted the EOTF intently in each modes however was a bit higher in Filmmaker, so that is what I might select for essentially the most correct HDR. Its superior colour measurements had been excellent, with Coloration Checker and the extra stringent ColorMatch HDR each properly beneath a delta error of three. The LG G1 OLED was worse on each counts. When it comes to gamut protection the QLED lagged the OLED by a pair share factors, but it surely was nonetheless above my 95% threshold — and a lot better than the Q80 from 2020.
Black luminance (0%)
Peak white luminance (SDR)
Avg. gamma (10-100%)
Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)
Darkish grey error (30%)
Vivid grey error (80%)
Avg. colour checker error
Avg. saturation sweeps error
Avg. colour error
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)
Movement decision (max)
Movement decision (dejudder off)
Enter lag (Recreation mode)
Black luminance (0%)
Peak white luminance (10% win)
Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976)
ColorMatch HDR error
Avg. colour checker error
Enter lag (Recreation mode, 4K HDR)
Samsung QN65QN90A by David Katzmaier on Scribd
Portrait Shows Calman calibration software program was used on this evaluation.