Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV review: the go-to QLED TV
Samsung QN90C Neo QLED
“The Samsung QN90C Neo QLED is what a premium TV ought to appear like.”
- Class-leading HDR efficiency
- Glorious black ranges, backlight management
- Excellent coloration efficiency
- Highly effective processing
- Premium design and construct
- Irritating Sensible TV OS
- Lofty worth
Let’s not beat across the bush. You’re going to be paying a premium for the— Samsung set the MSRP at $2,800 for the 65-incher, although it’s usually on sale at round $2,100. The one questions left are what are you getting for that premium, and is it value it?
Really, there’s yet another query: Doesn’t the QN90C look an terrible lot like final 12 months’s QN85B relatively than a successor to the QN90B? It’s a good query, however the reply is slightly difficult.
On paper, the QN90C seems extra just like the 2022 QN85B than it does a straight substitute for last year’s QN90B. There are two issues at play right here. On the company degree, Samsung restructured its TV lineup for 2023. However on the client degree, the QN90C is Samsung’s response to what we requested for.
Sure, the TV fanatic group requested for sure modifications, and Samsung delivered them within the QN90C.
First, let’s speak concerning the restructuring. Final 12 months, the QN95B wasn’t destined for the North American market. The QN90B was imagined to be the 4K QLED flagship for this a part of the world. However sufficient of us made sufficient noise that Samsung ended up bringing the QN95C to the U.S. and Canada, and it wound up being the highest 4K QLED for 2022. So, in a approach, the QN90B received knocked down a peg within the lineup.
This 12 months, the QN95C was deliberate as the highest 4K QLED for 2023. It’s received extra dimming zones, a extra elaborate speaker system, barely increased peak brightness, and some different little bells and whistles. That implies that the QN90C right here needs to be a step down, and that implies that it seems slightly extra like final 12 months’s QN85B.
Whereas we reviewed the 65-inch (QN65QN90C) mannequin, our assessment additionally applies to the 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch fashions within the Samsung QN90C Collection.
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Samsung additionally made a number of technological modifications in response to our requests and/or complaints — once more, “our and we” on this context refers back to the TV fanatic group made up of reviewers like me and vocal followers such as you.
Notably, the QN90C doesn’t have the identical antiglare expertise that the QN90B had. Whereas Samsung’s finest antiglare expertise is extraordinarily efficient at lowering reflections, it has the aspect impact of scattering ambient gentle in such a approach that ends in a form of light rainbow impact. Some of us complained about that.
Taking issues a step additional, that antiglare expertise is tied into Samsung’s off-angle enchancment expertise, which is why you see Samsung advertising and marketing “antiglare with Extremely Viewing Angle.”
So, Samsung dropped that expertise on the QN90C, but it surely nonetheless needed to have improved off-angle viewing. As such, Samsung is utilizing what’s known as an ADS LCD panel on this TV. ADS is just like LG’s IPS, which is thought for having inherently higher off-angle viewing than the quite common VA panel kind. Traditionally, the issue with ADS and IPS has been that black ranges weren’t nearly as good. However with mini-LED backlighting tech, ADS and IPS panels can have wonderful black ranges and black uniformity whereas additionally providing nice off-angle viewing.
So, what we have now here’s a TV that doesn’t have the rainbow impact from Samsung’s antiglare tech, however nonetheless has good off-angle viewing and nice black ranges. Sadly, the antiglare the TV does have is just not as efficient, so reflections will be seen. Commerce-offs, of us. TV design is and all the time has been about making trade-offs.
In case you put the QN90C in filmmaker mode, it tracks the electro-optical switch operate very effectively.
Subsequent on the “we requested for it” record is the QN90C’s barely decrease common image degree, or general brightness. This TV nonetheless will get loads shiny. However chances are you’ll recall that final yearmany reviewers complained that Samsung’s HDR TVs have been over-brightening the whole lot, abandoning the creator’s intent and, in tandem, accuracy.
Properly, this 12 months, in case you put the QN90C in filmmaker mode, it tracks the the EOTF (electro-optical transfer function) very effectively. In different phrases, it makes an HDR image that’s simply shiny as it’s advised to make it with out including something. Now, you will get the TV to be brighter. You can begin by choosing the film mode, you may make certain the HDR Tone mapping setting is about to lively as a substitute of static (that possibility alone is new and by our request, by the way in which), and you’ll have interaction settings like dynamic distinction, all in effort to over-brighten the image in order for you. However Samsung gave us what we requested for by letting us resolve whether or not we received an exuberant, technically over-brightened image, or one which complies with requirements of accuracy.
As for the marginally decrease brightness specs over final 12 months’s QN90B? Properly, do not forget that the QN95C is now the highest 4K QLED, so the last word brightness potential is reserved for that costlier set.
All of that to say that whereas the QN90B final 12 months was thought of by many — together with myself — to be one of the best various to OLED that you could possibly purchase in a 4K TV, that distinction now almost definitely lies with the QN95C. However that doesn’t imply the QN90C is any form of slouch. Fairly the opposite. It is a superb TV. The query I feel most people would ask is whether or not it’s higher than its a lot inexpensive competitors.
Properly, I’ll simply reply that query proper now: Sure, in lots of key methods, the QN90C is a bit higher than the TCL QM8 or Hisense U8K. Most notably, its upscaling and movie cleanup processing is best than both the TCL or Hisense TVs. Once I watch low-resolution and low bit-depth content material (word, it’s about bit depth, not simply bit price), Samsung does a greater job of smoothing out coloration banding, pixelization, and posterization, all of that are fancy show nerd phrases for stuff that makes for a unclean, fuzzy-looking image. The QN90C has a really clear, crisp picture when taking part in again less-than-awesome content material from Sling TV, YouTube TV, or cable and satellite tv for pc bins. So, for on a regular basis TV viewing, the Samsung QN90C here’s a bit higher than its cheaper competitors.
It’s additionally received higher out-of-box coloration accuracy and coloration temperature when utilizing the Film mode or Filmmaker mode than its inexpensive competitors. And in case you do need to have it calibrated to perfection, all of the controls you want are right here.
The QN90C, being a Samsung QLED TV, additionally has 4 full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports that help 4K decision all the way in which as much as 144Hz, with nearly each taste of variable refresh price (VRR) that you could possibly need, and Samsung has a fairly useful gaming dashboard to additional attraction to players.
Its Gaming image preset leaves slightly to be desired — I observed that the backlight management system doesn’t appear to be as efficient in Recreation mode as it’s within the Film or Filmmaker mode image presets, and it tends to look over-brightened to me.
However, general, the QN90C outperforms its competitors in lots of key methods. It’s received a beautiful image, extremely impactful HDR highlights with good spotlight element, nice distinction, and the black ranges are wonderful, with no perceivable black crushing happening, so you retain all of your lowlight particulars.
The TV peaks at about 2,000 nits for SDR and HDR, and it is available in slightly below 700 nits full-screen white, which could be very shiny.
Contemplating how shiny it may get, blooming and halo are effectively managed, You will notice some blooming and halo when you’ve small, intensely shiny objects on very darkish backgrounds, particularly off-angle, however the black letter bars keep black and also you don’t see an enormous bloom if you have interaction white subtitles over the letterbox bars the way in which you do on some TVs.
Actually, my solely criticism from a efficiency perspective is that the backlight system itself appears to be slightly slow-moving. When utilizing take a look at patterns, the transition between backlight zones is slightly sluggish, however, to be trustworthy, this was not often seen when watching regular film and TV content material. Largely, I noticed it when taking part in video games the place you progress extraordinarily rapidly, inflicting a shiny patch amid darkness to maneuver quickly on-screen. In these instances, it’s obvious, however you’ll need to resolve how usually you assume you’ll be doing that form of factor along with your TV.
My solely criticism from a non-picture efficiency perspective is round Tizen, which I might simply do with out — particularly the auto-play video function. That’s dangerous on the web and it’s dangerous in your TV. And I nonetheless haven’t discovered a option to flip it off.
Shifting ahead, I’m going to dig right into a direct comparability between the Samsung QN90C and the TCL QM8, and I’ll allow you to resolve whether or not the Samsung earns its premium worth, however I hope I’ve made it clear that you simply positively do get a bit extra from the Samsung. Whether or not you worth these enhancements sufficient to spend so much extra is as much as you.
However once we get out of the weeds and take a ten,000-foot perspective, there’s little question the QN90C is a very wonderful TV, and really a lot what I anticipated from Samsung. I used to be immensely impressed the primary time I noticed it, and I’m nonetheless very impressed. You don’t must root round within the image settings a bunch to get an incredible image, simply decide Film or Filmmaker mode – whichever you want higher, and revel in.
That is the premium Samsung TV I feel most people ought to think about shopping for, and it’s positively a short-list TV for anybody who values premium image high quality.