Samsung Q900R / Q900 Review – (QN65Q900R, QN75Q900R, QN82Q900R)
The Samsung Q900R or Q900 is the flagship TV of Samsung’s 2019 4K QLED TV Lineup. It is the first commercial 8K TV that launched in the market. In the market, it is available in 3 screen sizes start with 65 inch (QN65Q900R), 75 inch (QN75Q900R) and the largest is 85 inch (QN85Q900R). Coming with 8K Resolution (7680 X 4320), it offers four times more detail picture quality than 4K resolution. If 4K TVs have around 8 million pixels, the Samsung Q900R has around 33 million pixels. And of course, since it brings something new, its price is still very expensive. And with the presence of the Q900R in the market, this means the 8K world has been started. But the question, is it the right time to spend big money to get the 8K TV while 8K contents which available in the market is still hardly found?
Of course, Samsung or other manufacturers which launched 8K TV has anticipated this issue. Special for Samsung, its 8K TV or Q900R has been equipped with 8K Up-scaling engine based on Samsung’s AI Server (Artificially Intelligence). With this technology, this TV doesn’t need native 8K content in order to the picture produced look incredible. You still enjoy 8K experience with outstanding image detail from non 4K source. And the good news, some content provider or TV broadcast like NHK (Japan’s TV broadcaster), TV France, Netflix, and other have a plan to provide 8K content as soon as possible. If you want to become the first ones who enjoy 8K experience, this is certainly is the right time. And of course, the Samsung Q900R is one of your options.
Samsung Q900R Key Specs
|Sizes Available||65 inch (QN65Q900R), 75 Inch (QN75Q900R), 82 Inch (QN82Q900R)|
|Resolution||8K (7680 x 4320)|
|Panel Technology||VA panel with “Ultra Viewing Angle” layer|
|Backlight Technology||Direct Full Array 16X (Direct LED)|
|Local Dimming Technology||Full Array Local Dimming (FALD)|
Features and Technology
|Image Processor||Quantum Processor 8K|
|HDR Supports||HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), HDR10+_|
|Contrast Enhancement Technology||Q Contrast EliteMax, Ultra Black Elite moth eyes Filter, Ultimate 8K Dimming|
|Color Enhancement Technology||Quantum Dot Technology|
|Clarity Enhancement Technology||8K AI Up-scaling|
|Motion Enhancement||Motion Rate 240|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz|
|Backlight Dimming Frequency in most mode||960 Hz|
|Supports Variable Refresh Rate||Yes|
Smart TV Experience
|Smart TV platform||Tizen 2019|
|Features and Apps||Works with Alexa, Works with Google Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby 2.0|
|Remote Control||TM 1950C Smart Controller|
|Sound Output||60 watts|
|Dolby Atmos Support||No|
|HDMI ports||4 HDMI ports support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth and HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth (HDMI 4), HDCP 2.2, eARC (HDMI 3), CEC|
|USB Ports||3 ports USB 2.0|
|Composite In (AV In)||No|
|Digital Audio Out||1|
|Analog Audio Out||No|
|Built-In Wi-Fi||Yes (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz|
The Strong Points of Samsung Q900R
As we have mentioned, Samsung Q900R is the first consumer 8K TV that released in the market. It has 7680 x 4320 pixels or around 33 million pixels. It is equal to four times of the number of the pixels of 4K TV. And of course, this makes the picture produced look much more details than 4K TV. Meanwhile, although at this time, the native 8k contents are still hardly found, but Samsung Q900R is already equipped with 8K Up-scaling engine based on Samsung’s AI technology. This allows you to enjoy non 8K contents in 8k resolution with the quality as possible as close to native 8K content. On the other hand, some content providers and TV broadcast like Netflix, NHK, TV France, and others ready to launch the native 8K contents.
Excellent Local Dimming
Just like the Samsung Q9FN, Samsung Q900R also comes with Full Array Local Dimming with the number of dimming zones are not far different to Q9FN. Its local dimming well works to improve black level produced. So, although its native contrast ratio actually is not as high as most of VA TVs, but its local dimming does a good job in improving its contrast ratio, allow it can produce deep black. Additionally, its local dimming also is also able to brighten small bright area excellently. Not only that, its local dimming is also able to minimize blooming around small bright object when it is displaying a darks scene with small highlight.
Samsung Q900R has outstanding is a TV with outstanding peak brightness. With real SDR content, peak brightness reached is close to 700 nits. Meanwhile, the brightness peak brightness reached is when it is showing a very small highlight or around 2% window sizes where it can reach peak brightness brighter than 1200 nits. Meanwhile, since it has local dimming, the larger bright area, its peak brightness drops. And the dimmest peak brightness is when it is displaying a scene with thorough window sizes is bright where peak brightness reached is around 300 nits. What reached by Samsung Q900R is excellent and its peak brightness is bright enough to overcome the glare in a most bright room. And combine to its excellent reflection handling, this makes the picture produced on its screen will look remain good, even when it is set in a very bright room with a lot of lights or sunny window.
With HDR content, peak brightness of Samsung Q900R is even more excellent. With real content, its peak brightness is a bit brighter than 1500 nits. With test pattern, the brightest peak brightness is reached when it is showing a very small highlight that is a bit brighter than 1300 nits. Meanwhile, the dimmest peak brightness is reached when it is showing a scene with thorough area is bright that is close to 400 nits. This means, this TV can get very bright and it also can show highlight of HDR images very bright. And since its peak brightness is brighter than 1000 nits, this means this TV can show HDR images at 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range intended by the content creator. If you are searching TV that can show HDR images like the intended by the content creator, Samsung Q900R is one of them.
As is typical of QLED TV, color gamut and color volume becomes the main advantage of Samsung Q900R. But unfortunately, compared to high-end models of Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV like Q9FN or Q8FN, its color gamut and color volume is not as good as them. Its color gamut is even similar to theQ6FN, the lowest model of QLED TVs lineup in last year. This may be caused the use of ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ optical layer on its panel. But even so, regardless of it all, color gamut of Samsung Q900R is still excellent. It can cover around 95% of DCI P3 color space that means it is excellent for HDR content. Although some certain color may be shown a bit less saturated, but overall, most colors of HDR images displayed on its screen still look very accurate. Meanwhile, color volume of Q900R is also not as good as Q8FN or Q9FN. It is more caused Q900R has narrower color gamut than Q9FN or Q8FN. But even so, since it has good local dimming, its wide color gamut can be shown fairly good at their entire brightness range. Additionally, Q900R also can produce both deep colors and bright colors fairly well.
Although not the best, Samsung Q900R also has excellent color gradient, particularly when it is showing 10 bit content like HDR images. When showing HDR images, color gradient looks very smooth without much banding visible. Some little bandings may be still visible in darker colors like dark green or others, but most people may not notice this much. Overall, color gradient of the Q900R is great.
Wide Viewing Angle
Samsung Q900R may use VA panel and we know, poor viewing angle is typical of VA panel. But for this case, Samsung Q900R comes with ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ layer that designed to improve its side viewing angle coverage. If we know ‘X Viewing Angle’ technology that introduced by Sony for Z9F, it is similar to this technology. Although still not as good as IPS TV, but with this technology, the side viewing angle coverage of Q900R is better than most VA TVs. If on conventional VA TV, black level will degrade started at around 15 degrees, it can maintain black level produced up to around 50 degrees. Additionally, if on conventional VA TV, color will be washed out started at around 25 degrees, it can maintain color accuracy up to around 40 degrees. But unfortunately, the use of Ultra Viewing Angle technology may be able to improve its side viewing angle coverage, but on the other hand, this must sacrifice black level produced. Fortunately, Q900R has excellent local dimming, so its underperformance in black level can be resolved, allows it can still produce deep black.
Samsung Q900R has outstanding pixel response time. Its pixel response time may be not as low as OLED TVs, but for LED TV, its pixel response time is extremely low and among the bests. The result, when it is showing a content with a lot of fast moving scene like sports, fast paced games, or fast movies, the picture displayed looks very smooth and clear with virtually no motion blur. Following fast moving object, there is only a very short ghosting trail where most people may not notice this much. And blur that may be visible is more caused by 60 fps persistence.
Since it has local dimming technology, for dimming its backlight, Samsung Q900R uses PWM Dimming System with default dimming frequency is 960 Hz in most modes with ‘ Auto Motion Plus’ disabled. This actually is fairly high to makes backlight flicker that caused is almost invisible. But on the other hand, the high dimming frequency will make some duplication on the image or persistence blurs. But even so, Samsung Q900r provides some instance way to change its dimming frequency. By setting the mode in ‘Standard’ or ‘Game’, its backlight frequency will change to 120 Hz. Additionally, you can also change its dimming frequency to 120 Hz in ‘Movie’ mode by setting ‘’Auto Motion Plus’ to ‘Auto’ or Custom’. Even if ‘LED Clear Motion’ is enabled, the dimming frequency will change to 60 Hz. Additionally, the other way to change its dimming frequency to 60 Hz when you are in ‘Game’ mode’ is by enabling ‘LED Clear Motion’ in ‘Game Motion Plus’. By changing the dimming frequency to lower, this will help to minimize persistence blur that caused by 60 fps content. But on the other hand, this will makes backlight flicker is more visible.
In addition to it is a great TV in handling blur, Samsung Q900R can also do a great job in handling 24p judder. No matter the frame rate of the movies, whether it is native 24p videos like DVD or Blu-Ray movies, via 60p signal like movies from PC or streaming devices, via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, or movies from streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, the Q900R can show them clearly without visible judder. To remove the judder, you just need set ‘Auto Motion Plus’ to ‘Custom’ and both Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction to ‘0”. But keep in mind, set the ‘Auto Motion Plus’ to custom will make its dimming frequency changes to 120 Hz and this probably will bother some people who sensitive to flicker.
The other advantage that offered by Samsung Q900R, in addition to it has native 120 Hz refresh rate, it also already supports Free Sync Variable Refresh Rate support. This feature allows the TV to synchronize its refresh rate with the other devices’ output. This will very useful particularly when you are playing game with compatible device like Xbox One or others.
The other strong point of Samsung Q900R is about its input lags in PC and Game Mode. In most resolution, its input lags are extremely low. At 60 Hz, no matter the input resolution is 1080p, 1440p, or 4K, with HDR or not, overall, their input lags are less than 20 ms. Even at 120 Hz or with VRR, their input lags are lower than 10 ms. And of course, combine to its great picture quality, great motion handling, FreeSync VRR Support, permanent burn in risk free, all of these make Q900R is a great TV for gaming.
Samsung Q900R also already supports most of input types. It already supports 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolution at both 60 Hz and 120 Hz. It also already supports 8K resolution at both 24 Hz and 30 Hz. Additionally, all of their HDMI ports also already support HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.2 and ARC (HDMI 3). Not only that, its HDMI port (HDMI 4) also already supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth that accept 4K @120 Hz and 8K at 130 Hz signals.
Weak Points of Samsung Q900R
Native Contrast Ratio
This really is not a weak point of Q900R in the real sense. Not as usual, as a VA TV, the native contrast ratio of Samsung Q900R is relatively low for a TV with VA panel. But even so, this is as the compensation of the use of “Ultra Viewing Angle” optical layer on its panel. What happened on Q900R in contrast ratio is actually similar to Z9F that use similar technology that is ‘X Wide Angle’. Fortunately, it has excellent local dimming that can do a great job in improving its contrast ratio. The result, although not as deep as what produced by Q9FN, Q900R is still able to produce deep black. The deepest black that produced is around 0.014 nits, dark enough to makes black looks really black. Additionally, black produce by Q900R is also dark enough to reveal details of images in dark scene. The result, shadow details of HDR images can be shown excellently like the intended.
Keep in mind, black level produced by Q900R actually is not bad or can even be said excellent. But refer to the performance of the Q9FN that has contrast ratio close to 20000:1, the contrast ratio of Q900R is far lower, which is about 7000:1. But among LED TVs, its contrast ratio actually is excellent, even though it must be boosted by its local dimming technology.
Performance of Samsung Q900R
For Watching Movies
Samsung Q900R is a great TV for watching movies in a dark room. Although its native contrast ratio is relatively low among LED TVs with VA Panel, but its local dimming can do a great job in improving its contrast ratio. The result, black produced still looks really black when it is set in a dark room. Additionally, Samsung Q900R also has a great up-scaling that powered by Samsung AI’s technology. It is able to up-scale any resolution to 8K excellently, allow you to enjoy excellent 8K images from non 8K content. In addition to it can produce deep black level and up-scales most resolution to 8K excellently, it also has ability to remove the 24p judder, no matter the frame rate of the source. Overall, the Samsung Q900R is a great TV for watching movies.
For Watching Sports
In addition to it is great TV for watching movies, the Q900R is also a great TV for watching sports. It has excellent picture quality and combined to its great motion handling, makes sports looks very smooth on its screen. Additionally, the Q900R can also get bright, allow you to place it in most bright room. Not only that, the good viewing angle offered by the Q900R also allows you to watch sports with a group of your friend from multiple viewing angles. But a bit unfortunately, there are a lot of dirty screen effects that may bother you particularly in dark scene. But overall, the Samsung Q900R is a great TV for watching Sports.
For Playing Games
Combination of its excellent picture quality, wide viewing angle coverage, good motion handling and low input lags at any resolution also makes the Samsung Q900R is a great TV for gaming. Its input lags are very low, makes it is very responsive for any games. Additionally, it also already supports FreeSync VRR, a feature that is very useful when you are playing a game with a compatible device like X Box one or others. Q(00R also9 has burn-in risk free that allows you to play the same games at over long time without feeling worried your TV panel will be burned in. And with wide viewing angle coverage, it allows you to play a game with a group of your friend or family the same viewing experience.
As we see on comparison table above, Samsung Q900R already supports the number of HDR formats including HDR10, HLG, and HDR10+. But just like other models of Samsung’s TV, it doesn’t support Dolby Vision. Nevertheless, despite the HDR formats it supports, HDR Performance of the Q900R is really excellent. It can produce deep black, makes shadow details of HDR images looks excellently on its screen. Additionally, it also already supports wide color gamut and 10 bit depth of colors, makes colors of HDR images displayed on its screen looks fairly accurate with smooth color gradient. And the last where there are not many TVs can do, it can show HDR images brighter than 1000 nits. As we know, to show HDR images fully like the movies creator’s intended, a TV should be able to show HDR images at 1000 – 400 nits of brightness range.
Smart TV Experience
As its smart TV platform, Samsung Q900R is featuring Tizen OS 2019 version and powered by a quad core processor. Compared to the 2018 version, their layout and interface is not many changes. But in this version, its interface is far smoother and more responsive. If on the 2018 version, the interface freezes occasionally for about three seconds and animations often lags and drop frames, in this version, this issue can be minimized. Additionally, there is also an improvement on its Bixby voice assistant. You need to know, Tizen 2019 comes with Bixby 2.0 version where it comes with some improvement over 1.0 version. The other improvement that offered by 2019 version, now it already supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Meanwhile, about apps provided, there is not much different to the 2018 version except the version of the apps. There are VoD service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, Web browsers, Games, Live TV, and many more. Additionally, it also has an apps store called Samsung’s apps store that provide tons of apps, games, and contents you can download directly from your Samsung TV.
Meanwhile, as the remote, Q900R is equipped with Samsung Smart Controller 2109 version or TM1950C. Physically, it is not far different to the remote we found on Q8FN or Q7FN. Its remote is small and only a few buttons, so to open certain menus, you must use voice commands. A bit extra, there is three additional dedicated buttons for Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu. This remote is also equipped with built-in microphone and has been integrated with Samsung’s Bixby, allow you to do a lot with your voice command. But just like the 2018 version, it doesn’t accept search within apps. In addition voice commands, this remote also has a feature called Samsung’s OneRemote, allow you to control your other devices, no matter they support HDMI CEC or not.
Compare to the Competitors
Samsung Q900R vs Q9FN
Despite their difference in resolution, actually, Samsung Q900R has almost similar overall performance to Q9FN, the flagship of Samsung’s 2018 4K QLED TV. But even so, the use of “Ultra Viewing Angle” optical layer on its panel makes their performance is far different, particularly in side viewing angle coverage and black level produced. Samsung Q900R with Ultra Viewing Angle offers better side viewing angle coverage than Q9FN but on the other hand, this makes color gamut and black level produced is not as wide and deep as Q9FN. Additionally, although Q900R also has outstanding peak brightness but its performance is still a bit under the Q9FN. On the other hand, Q900R has better pixel response time that makes motion trail looks smoother on its screen. Additionally, the Tizen 2019 also makes its smart TV is smoother and more responsive. But of course, the major superiority of the Samsung Q900R over Q9FN is about its resolution.
Samsung Q900R vs Q90R
Samsung Q90R is the flagship of Samsung’s 2019 4K QLED TV. Just like Q9FN, despite the superiority of Q900R in resolution, overall performance of Samsung Q90R is also not far different to Q900R. Equally as coming up with Ultra Viewing Angle technology, Samsung Q90R and Q900R both have better side viewing angle coverage than a TV with standard VA panel. Nevertheless, compare between them, Q900R has a bit better side viewing angle coverage than Q90R. Additionally, its pixel response time is also a bit lower than Q90R. But on the other hand, black level produced by Q90R is a bit deeper than Q900R. Additionally, in term of color gamut and peak brightness, Samsung Q90R is also a bit better. But even so, despite their slight difference in performance, Samsung Q900R and Q90R are equally great TV with outstanding picture quality.
Samsung Q900R vs Sony Z9G
Samsung Q900R vs LG SM9970
In addition to native 8K resolution, almost all aspects of picture quality and features offered by Samsung Q900R are excellent. Coming with “Ultra Viewing Angle”, it has better side viewing angle coverage than most TVs with VA panel. But on the other hand, this makes its native contrast ratio is not as good as most VA TVs. But even so, it has local dimming that can do a great job in improving its native contrast ratio, allow Q900R can still produce deep black. Additionally, the use of Ultra viewing angle makes its color reproduction is not as good as last year models like Q9FN or Q8FN, but it can still produce wide color gamut and has good color volume that makes HDR images produced still looks colorful. In addition to picture quality, the Q900R also has excellent motion handling, low input lags, and also responsive and attractive smart TV platform. With all display specs that offered, it becomes one of a few TVs which able to show HDR images fully intended by the content creator.
About performance and picture quality, SamsungQ900R may be undoubtedly. But of course, this will be felt in vain if we buy an 8K TV but the native 8K contents are still hardly found in the market. If you want to get this TV, you don’t need to worry about this. The Q900R is equipped with excellent 8K Up-scaling engine based on Samsung’s AI server, allow you to enjoy 8K experience from most resolutions. Additionally, some major content providers and TV broadcast like Netflix, NHK, TV France, and have also expressed support for the 8k. If you have an extra budget and want become the first ones that can enjoy 8K experience, this might be the right time.
- 8K Resolution offer four times more details picture than 4K
- Good Viewing Angle Performance
- Bright Peak Brightness in SDR and HDR
- Excellent Local Dimming Performance
- There are a lot of dirty screen effect on its panel