Samsung QN65Q90R Review: Tearing Up The LCD Rule Book

Samsung’s extraordinary decision not to put a Q90R flagship 4K TVs for 2019 on open uncover during January’s CES set tongues wagging. Was a code regulating late with a new TVs? Were they somehow not behaving to expectation? Had Samsung already mislaid seductiveness in LCD record and shifted a engineering concentration to Micro LED?

The answer to all 3 of these questions appears to be a resounding ‘no’. For starters, I’ve had a 65-inch Q90R for examination for a best partial of dual weeks now, so distant from being late to a party, Samsung is a initial code out of a traps with a 2019 range. 

Also, distant from display a Samsung that’s mislaid seductiveness in a LCD/QLED technology, a $3,500 QN65Q90R  (QE65Q90R in Europe) successfully delivers dual outrageous pattern peculiarity innovations that redefine a expectations of what LCD record can do.

The Samsung 65Q90R sets new standards for LCD TVs.

Photo: Samsung

First, it some-more or rebate solves LCD’s normal observation angle problem. You can watch a 65Q90R from radically any angle yet cinema losing possibly tinge or contrast. 

Before we all start cheering during me, yes, we know that Sony indeed delivered a initial truly far-reaching angle LCD TV when it launched a ZF9 final year. In fact, we review that set here

However, Sony’s far-reaching angle tech came with a outrageous fibre trustworthy in a form of heavily compromised ubiquitous black levels. For a 65Q90R, Samsung has used a opposite form of record to broach a far-reaching observation angle support yet compromising on black spin opening in any way. 

This record uses both a opposite backlight proceed and an additional light focusing visual ‘layer’ to both massively revoke a energy for light steam in a LCD row and mislay tinge change when observation a row off axis.

If we like to put numbers on things, Samsung claims that during a observation angle of 60 degrees, a 65Q90R delivers a 3 times softened black spin ratio and a 2X gamma alleviation contra 2018’s Q9FNs.

There is still one residual emanate when it comes to examination a 65Q90R from a far-reaching plane or, especially, true angle: somewhat increasing backlight lush around splendid high energetic operation (HDR) objects when they seem opposite unequivocally dim backdrops. This usually appears with unequivocally impassioned content, though. And even when it does, it’s still flattering singular in terms of both a stretch a lush travels, and how heated it looks.

Angled shot of a Samsung 65Q90R.

Photo: Samsung

This ties in with a second ground-breaking thing about a QN65Q90R: Aside from some residual traces during far-reaching angle viewing, a set roughly totally removes LCD’s normal problems with backlight leakage, blooming, clouding, or inconsistencies.

Samsung finished considerable strides in this dialect with final year’s Q9FN models. For a Q90Rs, though, Samsung has introduced a new chip dedicated to softened determining a screens’ 480 apart zones of behind (as opposite to edge) LED lighting, rather than a backlight controls usually being partial of Samsung’s ubiquitous pattern processing. 

This, together with a new black filter that severely reduces a impact of ambient light reflections on a screen, means that a QN65Q90R suffers with flattering many no backlight clouding during all. Even when you’re examination footage as sheer and energetic as a HDR scenes on a moon in a First Man 4K Blu-ray.

What’s more, a set’s elemental black spin is incredible. If a film contains a cut to black, a shade goes totally black. So many so that we can perceptibly see it’s still regulating even in a blacked out room. Yet when a pattern returns, there’s nothing of a conspicuous backlight peep we used to get when LCDs usually incited off all their backlighting for fuzz to blacks and afterwards had to spin them on again.   

The Samsung 65Q90R graphic in a many nicer residence than mine.

Photo: Samsung

Because a new backlight and dimming engine can strike such low blacks yet blooming, a pattern also stays stunningly unchanging in black spin terms. By that we meant that even as objects pierce if splendid objects pierce around a dim shade we don’t see a spirit of a common haloing or, worse, apparent adjusting of corpulent ‘blocks’ of LEDs. 

Nor do we generally see immeasurable distracting ‘steps’ in a baseline backlight spin as a pattern switches between dim and splendid shots. 

Couple all this to a miss of any clouding or lush in a black bars that lay above and next widescreen films and you’re articulate about distant and divided a many immersive and primitive pattern a LCD TV universe has ever produced. In fact, again we’re articulate about a spin of backlight conformity and opening that rivals OLED.

Except that in a 65Q90R’s box (in a Standard preset mode, anyway), it’s appreciative black levels are assimilated by levels of liughtness that OLED simply can't achieve. 

I totalled rise liughtness in regulating a Standard preset on a 10% white HDR window during 2050 nits – some-more than double what we can get from an OLED screen. So we can suppose a overwhelming energy a 65Q90R can give to HDR images (so prolonged as we remember to spin off a TV’s default Eco settings from a General menu!) now that it can put such levels of liughtness alongside sable dim yet anything like a levels of concede or concomitant lush problems seen with all prior LCD TVs.

The new Quantum AI 4K chip in a 65Q90R clearly improves upscaling and ubiquitous sharpness.

Photo: Samsung

Nor is there generally many clarity of tiny mount out splendid objects carrying to have their energy heavily compromised to equivocate blooming, like there was on a Q900R 8K TVs when they initial came out. The 65Q90R also delivers a some-more pristine, neutral demeanour to a brightest white tools of HDR content, exposing a slight magenta shade in a Q9FN’s description of rise whites.

I should supplement here that a 65Q90R usually binds on to 2050 nits in a 10% white HDR window exam for a few seconds before dropping roughly (to as tiny as 560 nits). But with genuine universe content, where we’re occasionally traffic with consistent white peaks, we didn’t notice this dimming kicking in during all.

Its rare (for LCD) contrariety and observation angles are distant from a 65Q90R’s usually pattern peculiarity talents, of course. For starters, a new AI estimate engine (based on a glorious complement grown for Samsung’s Q900R 8K TVs), delivers some transparent advantages over a Q9FN’s already clever processor. 

Upscaling of non-4K sources is clearly superior, for instance, with a new engine adding some-more detail, shortening noise, and delivering a some-more “3D” outcome and softened skin tones.

To some extent, a reduce a peculiarity of a source you’re watching, a some-more impact a new AI processor has. But even good peculiarity Blu-rays suffer some advantage from a some-more sophisticated, database-driven pattern estimate brain.

Flamingos were apparently combined to make TVs like a 65Q90R demeanour good.

Photo: Samsung

Native 4K pictures, meanwhile, also demeanour some-more polished than they did on a 2018 Q9FN. There’s an measureless volume of detail, for instance, nonetheless this is achieved yet a accompany sound we could get on a Q9FN if we didn’t alleviate off a sharpness setting.

Colors generally demeanour somewhat richer and some-more healthy than they did on a Q9FN – generally when it comes to tones of red and a warmer finish of a tinge spectrum. Very dim shades benefit, too, from a finish miss of any greyness caused by backlight leakage.

This means, in short, of a 65Q90R’s tinge opening is unequivocally flattering incredible. Especially in terms of a volume of tinge it can reproduce.

It’s also a outrageous service to find that Samsung has finally roughly totally burst a long-running problems with tinge banding when digest pointed tinge blends in HDR content. 

Gamers, meanwhile, have copiousness to celebrate. For starters, activating a Game mode no longer compromises pattern peculiarity anywhere nearby as many as it has on progressing Samsung QLED generations. Colors usually remove a spirit of saturation, black levels still demeanour low and rich, and a new (excellent) Dynamic Black Equalizer underline gives we considerable control over a image’s black level/shadow fact balance. 

Input loiter (the time a TV takes to describe perceived pattern data) is rebate than 15ms, too – that is flattering many as good as it gets in a TV world. 

The new Game mode enhancements are assimilated by a Freesync Variable Refresh Rate and involuntary low latency mode switching support introduced on 2018’s mid-range and adult TVs, as good as support around HDMI for 120Hz support rates during 10-bit 4K in 4:2:0 color.

As good as carrying built-in Bixby support, a 65Q90R is concordant with Alexa and Google Assistant around outmost devices.

Photo: Samsung

Getting behind to movies, it’s good to now be means to try out a 65Q90R’s support for a Samsung-developed HDR10+ energetic HDR complement with a few HDR10+-encoded 4K Blu-rays. The impact of this is pointed with some titles – maybe given this high-end TV doesn’t need all that many ‘help’ from HDR10+’s additional theatre by theatre metadata – yet there’s a slight boost in a image’s altogether dynamism, as good as a utterly estimable alleviation in normal liughtness levels with Bad Times At The El Royale

Turning to customary energetic operation performance, a initial consider we beheld was that Samsung no longer offers an SDR to HDR upconversion system. The aged HDR+ choice (not to be confused with HDR10+!) has left from a 65Q90Rs menus, and hasn’t been replaced. 

This is a distinguished pierce for a code that’s formerly happily followed a comparatively assertive proceed to SDR pictures. Especially in a universe where many other brands do offer SDR to HDR conversion. Sony even relates it as standard, with no choice to spin it off, on many of a pattern presets on a HDR-capable TVs. 

According to Samsung, though, a investigate suggests that as good as treacherous dealers and consumers with a name, HDR+ (which could positively pull a HDR acclimatisation a bit too far) wasn’t gaining many traction with Samsung TV owners. So now they cite to let a new ‘AI’ pattern estimate work a sorcery to map SDR sources to a 65Q90R’s shade capabilities double-dealing concurrently perplexing to stay closer to a demeanour of a weird content. 

So how good a pursuit does a new AI complement do with SDR sources? Well, it’s interesting…

In some ways it’s superb. Colors demeanour beautifully nuanced and natural, reminding we – generally with a new black spin bravery on palm to assistance things out – of usually how many refinement we can indeed fit into SDR’s singular light range. 

Angled perspective of a Samsung 65Q90R.

Photo: Samsung

Black levels continue to be despotic too, and there’s a poetic neutral feeling to SDR’s brightest highlights. Noise, too, is rebate conspicuous than it was on a Q9FN.

The downside is how many darker SDR cinema demeanour on a 65Q90R than they do on a Q9FN when regulating a accurate same pattern settings. This indeed contributes in some ways, we guess, to a advantages described in a prior paragraphs. However, regulating any of a default pattern preset settings (even a Standard and, generally Movie ones, that are unequivocally a usually dual we privately found value steady with), a immeasurable rebate in liughtness also leads to dim areas of SDR cinema appearing flattering abandoned of shade detail. 

You can, fortunately, urge a dim and miss of shade fact by environment possibly a internal dimming or contrariety enhancer facilities to High. This also creates a images demeanour punchier. In fact, this environment multiple creates cinema demeanour unequivocally identical to a default non-HDR+ demeanour of a Q9FN’s SDR images. Though with a Q9FN there are still options accessible to we to pull many brighter if we wish to, while with a Q90R you’re flattering many ‘topped out’ during this point. 

It’s tough not to suppose that Samsung is reacting in a new proceed to SDR to criticisms of a Q9FN for being too assertive (and pang in SDR conduct to conduct shootouts opposite OLED rivals as a result). Which is satisfactory enough, we guess. But we do consider a Standard preset, during least, could be during slightest a bit brighter.

There are issues with a pattern presets in HDR mode, too, now I’ve started in on a criticisms. In a default Standard mode that we consider many users will cite to use, there can again be flattering poignant detriment of shade fact in dim areas. Especially – nonetheless not exclusively – when examination HDR calm that’s been mastered to rise liughtness of 4000 nits.

The Samsung 65Q90R, wall mounted.

Photo: Samsung

This was utterly complicated when we initial perceived a 65Q90R to test. But after lifting a emanate with Samsung, a brand’s engineers have tweaked a pattern change around a firmware refurbish to urge things utterly a bit yet compromising a set’s beautiful black levels. There are still shots in unequivocally dim and/or impassioned contrariety scenes in Standard mode, though, where tools of a pattern demeanour like black holes rather than naturally integrated tools of a picture. 

For instance, as Sapper Morton talks to K in a kitchen of his dim home in Blade Runner 2049, tools of a room can remove pointed sum and credentials colors that are clearly apparent if we switch to a Movie preset.  

This black vanquish emanate can be amply conspicuous with unequivocally impassioned rise liughtness calm that we feel wakeful of it even when you’re not regulating side by side comparisons.

You can get many of a shade fact behind if we ramp adult a liughtness a integrate of points from a default level. But given any step on a rather singular liughtness scale has utterly a poignant impact, even boosting a liughtness by one indicate tends to change a image’s altogether tinge tone to a grade we competence good not feel gentle with.

Connected to this issue, HDR calm that contains a brew of splendid and dim elements can demeanour a tiny impassioned regulating a out of a box Standard settings, with a dejected fact during one finish of a spectrum being accompanied by some somewhat forced looking colors.

The 65Q90R’s Ambient Mode can assistance a TV mix into your taste when it’s not in use.

Photo: Samsung

Fortunately, though, a tinge conditions in Standard mode can be softened extremely by switching a Color Space Setting from Native to Auto, and nudging a backlight down a integrate of notches. 

If a Standard HDR preset is usually too impassioned for we (even nonetheless for me it gives by distant a many consistently appreciative images), a good news is that a Movie mode on a 65Q90R is a outrageous alleviation on prior Samsung efforts. 

While out of a box there’s still a hold of a weird yellow trace that’s always tormented a mode before, this can be severely softened usually by shortening a Local Dimming environment to Standard (at a expense, though, of utterly a bit of liughtness and dynamism). What’s left is a beautifully balanced, naturally toned and again, clearly OLED-like pattern that’s flattering many giveaway of neglected distractions. 

So because did we crash on about a Standard preset so much? Because while a Movie mode positively delivers a beautifully disinterested and pointed pattern with HDR, it also comes with a estimable strike in liughtness and dynamism. we totalled 1450 nits on a white 10% HDR window regulating a Movie preset (though this does stay flattering many static, yet a dimming down we get in Standard mode). And a Movie mode pattern generally looks many flatter.

The 65Q90R’s Ambient Mode also carries an choice to make it a practical ‘photo fame’ when not being watched in earnest.

Photo: Samsung

So while some enthusiasts will positively cite a Movie preset – generally now it’s many softened even out of a box than it has been on prior Samsung HDR TVs – we also consider many users will cite a additional punch we get in Standard. It’s positively some-more spectacular, and consistently feels like it’s creation some-more use of a 65Q90R’s conspicuous and singular backlight talents.

The Movie mode also, though, exposes one other  weird gift of a Standard mode’s dimming process. Right during a start of Blade Runner 2049 on 4K Blu-ray, a word Replicant appears in a reddish tinge by itself opposite a dim background. Or rather, that’s what should happen. On a 65Q90R, while a word appears as we would pattern in Movie mode, regulating a default Standard preset it’s perceptibly manifest during all – and appears to enclose no tinge information – until a white calm that subsequently appears alongside it pops up.

You can gamble that if this is function with what should indeed be utterly a confidant yet tiny bit of pattern information in this sequence, it will also occur on a peculiar arise with other identical looking content.

If we wish to see a full weight of a differences between a 65Q90R’s pattern preset modes (and collect a one we like a best), postponement a unequivocally contrasty shot – such as a one of Sapper Morton’s face opposite a dim roof during 07:20 into Blade Runner 2049 on 4K Blu-ray – and simply toggle between a pattern presets.

Another tiny pattern niggle is that Samsung’s Auto fit processor still fails to impress, causing too many neglected side effects for comfort. A Custom environment with a anti judder and fuzz elements set to 3 any proves distant some-more watchable. Or we can, of course, usually spin a fit estimate off if we can’t get on with it during all.

New charcterised and ‘lighting’ options make it many some-more expected people will rivet with Samsung’s Ambient Mode feature.

Photo: Samsung

The 65Q90R’s mostly overwhelming cinema are assimilated by a softened audio opening than we get with 2018’s Q9FN. The sound is some-more dynamic, open, powerful, and direct. Also, best of all, a sound theatre is both incomparable (spreading distant over a edges of a screen) and many some-more minute in a positioning of effects than it was final year. 

With games, in particular, a proceed a speakers lane a relations position of sound as we vessel around a room is severely impressive. They do this for many of a time, too, yet losing clarity or sound theatre coherence. The usually difference to this is when a TV attempts to benefaction sound as if it’s entrance from behind you, during that indicate things turn a tiny muffled and quiet. But it’s tough to see what else could have been finished to broach some thought of approximate sound yet any tangible behind speakers in play.

The Intelligent sound choice seems to be a useful further to a sound facilities too, picking adult good where 2018’s Smart Sound left off in a proceed it automatically adapts a sound attributes to fit a form of calm you’re watching.  

The usually emanate we have with a sound is that complicated drum can ‘phut’ and clap a bit. While Samsung could have reined in a bottom finish a bit to equivocate this, though, it has to be pronounced that a emanate doesn’t uncover adult all that often.

The new Samsung intelligent remote carries dedicated Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Rakuten buttons.

Photo: John Archer

Having got true into how a 65Q90R performs with this review, there’s a bit of underline business to turn up. Starting with a 65Q90R’s HDR support. This covers a attention customary HDR10 format, a HLG promote format, and a HDR10+ ‘dynamic metadata’ format that provides additional theatre by theatre pattern information to assistance HDR10+-capable TVs optimize their performance. 

HDR10+ has turn some-more engaging recently, given it incited adult on a integrate of IMAX 4K Blu-rays, and is now going to be used, it seems, on potentially all new 20th Century Fox 4K Blu-rays. The Hate U Give, Bohemian Rhapsody and Bad Times At The El Royale already lift HDR10+ masters.

Samsung still continues to omit a distant some-more ordinarily used Dolby Vision active metadata HDR system, though. And with Philips (in Europe) and Panasonic recently fasten LG, Sony, TCL, Vizio and Hisense in ancillary Dolby Vision on their TVs, Samsung is looking increasingly removed in a disaster to support a format. Though it should be pronounced that during a time of essay there’s no support for HDR10+ from LG, Sony, TCL, Vizio or Hisense.

Bohemian Rhapsody is one of a initial 4K Blu-rays with HDR10+ support.

Photo: Bohemian Rhapsody, 20th Century Fox

There’s no doubt that a 65Q90R creates 4K Blu-rays that have Dolby Vision encodes on them demeanour illusory even yet regulating a Dolby Vision data. But given that titles demeanour softened in HDR10+ than they do in HDR10 even on a TV as well-developed as a 65Q90R, we can’t assistance yet consider that Dolby Vision titles would demeanour softened too if a TV upheld their Dolby Vision metadata.

While Samsung isn’t claiming full HDMI 2.1 support for a 65Q90R, a set does cover a poignant series of facilities associated with HDMI 2.1 connectivity (as mentioned progressing when deliberating gaming). At a time of writing, though, Samsung is not providing support for HDMI 2.1’s eARC feature. This lets we send uncompressed Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound from a TV to formally featured AV receivers or soundbars.

Designed for life

The 65Q90R also delivers a acquire enrichment of Samsung’s Ambient Mode. This lets we play digital artworks or photographs on a TV (in low energy mode) when you’re not examination it, and now includes some lovable charcterised screens and even a frame light outcome that can wash your room in a crowd of pointed colors.

These new options make it many some-more expected users will indeed rivet with a Ambient Mode feature.

As you’d expect, Samsung backs adult a 65Q90R’s pattern interest by stability a proceed of fixation all a TV’s connectors on an outmost box that connects to a shade around a single, light-colored and impressively skinny cable.

Elsewhere, a 65Q90R facilities a latest Bixby voice control/recognition system, that provides candid voice control over flattering many each aspect of a TV, from anticipating things to watch to tweaking a TV’s settings. The set can also work with Alexa and Google Assistant if we have outmost inclination that support those platforms.

The intelligent features, finally, are typically comprehensive. You’ll find all a pivotal video apps for your territory, all delivered with HDR and 4K total where available. The lovable and minimalistic intelligent remote control handily now adds proceed entrance buttons for Amazon, Netflix and Rakuten, too. 

Samsung has also softened a calm anticipating options around a Universal Guide, that brings adult recommendations opposite all sorts of film and TV categories formed on an comment of your observation habits. 


The 65Q90R is a overwhelming feat by Samsung. The proceed it fixes LCD’s observation angle issues while concurrently revolutionizing black levels is a diversion changer, pulling roughly closer to a holy grail of mixing LCD’s liughtness and leisure from shade bake with a black spin and observation angle bravery of OLED screens.

The miss of shade fact in Standard mode and dim customary energetic operation conditions are slight frustrations on a TV that’s so generally so brilliant. In fact, we wouldn’t be astounded if Samsung does something about them around destiny firmware updates.

Even as it stands, though, for a immeasurable infancy of a time a 65Q90R produces cinema that are as monumental as they are groundbreaking. Samsung competence have left crazy for micro LED during this year’s CES, yet a 65Q90R crushes any concerns that a Korean code competence be holding a eye off a LED ball.

If we found this essay useful, we competence also like these:

Samsung’s 2019 TV Line Up Explained And Priced

Samsung 85Q900R 8K TV Review: The Future Is Now

Samsung QN65Q9FN Review: QLED Strikes Back – With A Vengeance

Samsung Goes Micro LED Mad At CES 2019

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