Samsung Q9FN Review (QN65Q9FN, QN75Q9FN)
Samsung Q9FN is the top model of Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV lineup. As the top model of Samsung QLED TV, the picture quality certainly becomes the flagship that offered, particularly about its excellent color reproduction. But of course, there is not just excellent color reproduction that becomes the strong point offered, but also other aspect of picture quality and features. In the market, Q9FN only comes in 2 screen sizes option available, those are 65 Inch (QN65Q9FN) and 65 Inch (QN75Q9FN). With all advantages and excellent performance offered, it is priced at $3500 – $6000, depend on its screen size. This certainly is not a cheap price. But since it is recently launched, their price is still full and not fixed and still could change at any time. If you are willing to wait for the next few months, their price usually will drop.
Samsung Q9FN Key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||65 Inch (QN65Q9FN), 75 Inch (QN75Q9FN)|
|Local Dimming||Full Array Local Diming (Q Contrast EliteMax)|
|Picture Engine||Q Engine|
|HDR||Q HDR EliteMax|
|HDR Formats||HDR 10, HLG, HDR 10+|
|Contrast and Blacks Enhancement||Supreme UHD Dimming, Contrast Enhancer|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot with Q Color|
|4K Up-scaling||UHD Up-Scaling|
|Motion Technology||Motion Rate 240|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz|
|Moth Eye Technology||Anti Reflecting Screen (Ultra Black Elite)|
|Platform||Tizen OS 2018|
|Key Apps||Samsung Bixby Voice Assistant, SmartThing, Cloud Games, Premium VoD Apps, etc|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1850A)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Built In Wi-Fi||Yes|
|Speaker Type||Front Firing|
|Total Power||60 watts|
|Sound Effect||Dolby Digital Plus|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technologies of Samsung Q9FN
Samsung Q9FN is the one of the TV that offer most impressive picture quality in 2018. Almost all aspect of picture quality produced is strong. And of course this cannot be separated from the great performance of the technologies behind it. Like the predecessor Q9F in 2017, Q9FN also comes with LED VA Panel with metal quantum dot technology called “Q Color” that makes it can produce superb color gamut, close to 100% of DCI P3 color space. But even so, it brings some improvements over the predecessor that makes its performance and picture quality is better. One of the major improvements brought by Q9FN is about the backlight technology. Now, it uses direct LED backlight with Full Array Local Dimming technology called “Q Contrast Elite Max. Combined to other technologies like contrast enhancer, supreme UHD dimming, Ultra Black Elite, and others, this makes it can produce extremely deep black level and extremely bright peak luminance. This makes Q9FN is as one of TVs with the deepest black level and brightest peak brightness.
Comes with Q Engine with Q HDR EliteMax, Samsung Q9FN is maximized for HDR experience where it already supports HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). Additionally, a new think brought by Q9FN is about HDR10+ format. You need to know, it is a new HDR format as the improvement of standard HDR10. But for this case, for remapping brightness and color, it uses dynamic metadata, makes brightness and color can be remapped more precisely at every scene. This is like what offered by Dolby Vision that also uses dynamic metadata. Meanwhile, for maximizing its performance when playing fast moving images, Samsung Q9FN is powered by Motion Rate 240 technology based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This TV also has an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that helps clear up the motion, particularly when playing 60 fps contents like sports or video games. For connecting with other devices, Q9FN is equipped with 4 HDMI ports with low input lags un PC and Game mode, 3 USB 2.0 ports and other inputs/outputs that allows you to connect most of your other devices onto Q9FN at once.
For offering you to enjoy attractive smart TV experience, Q9FN is featuring Tizen 2018 OS as its smart TV and powered by a quad core processor. The interesting, in this version, Tizen OS has been integrated with Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant that allows you to do a lot of more with your voice command. Additionally, like WebOS with LG AI Think or Android with Google Home Assistant, it also has home intelligence assistant called “Smart Thing”. But unlike other platform that also support Amazon Alexa, Tizen OS has not support it. And for offering you to enjoy HDR experience with impressive sound quality, Samsung Q9FN is equipped with 4.3 channel speaker system with 60 watts of total sound output.
Samsung Q9FN Performance
Black Level and Contrast
Essentially, Samsung Q9FN has excellent native contrast ratio. With about 6000:1 of native contrast ratio, this certainly is already strong enough to produce deep black level. But the ability of Samsung Q9FN is not just that. Its local dimming technology works effectively to boost the contrast ratio up to close to 20000:1, make black level produced is far deeper. With its contrast ratio, it might still be unable to beat OLED TV, but for LED TV what offered by Q9FN is really impressive and unbeatable for this now, even for Sony Z9D that previously becomes the TV with the strongest contrast ratio. Additionally, its black uniformity is also nearly perfect, close to what offered by OLED TV. This certainly makes its performance in a dark room is really excellent for LED TV. Blacks of images displayed on its screen looks really black, and combined to its excellent black uniformity, dark scene displayed on their screen looks excellent. Additionally, with contrast ratio close to 20000:1, it can deliver black level up close to 0.005 while on the other hand, to show shadow details of HDR images like the creator’s intended, particularly for HDR10 and HDR10+ images, a HDR TV must have 0.05 nits or darker of black level. And black level reached by Q9FN is really great and more than enough to reveal shadow details of HDR images like the creator’s intended. The result, dark scene of HDR images displayed on its screen will looks excellently with a lot of shadow details revealed. And for this case, there is no LED TV that is able to beat its performance.
In addition to excellent black level, Samsung Q9FN also has excellent peak brightness, no matter the source is SDR or HDR content. When playing SDR contents, it has peak brightness brighter than 650 nits. When set in a bright room or even in a bright room, its peak brightness is bright enough to dampen the glare of ambient light. Combined to its excellent reflection handling, this certainly makes the picture displayed on its screen looks remain amazing though there is much light in a room or even afflict directly onto the screen. Meanwhile, when playing HDR videos, the peak brightens reached by Q9FN is brighter that is close to 1000 nits. Overall, this might not be a brightest since there are Sony Z9D, X940E, and X930E which can produce brighter. But even so, when showing small window test, Samsung Q9FN can reach brighter peak brightness, up close to 1800 nits and for this time, there is no TV that can beat its performance. This means, Q9FN can show a bright small object in a dark background like a dramatic highlight of HDR images at 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range like the creator’s intended. As we know, to show HDR images fully like the intended and like what recommended by UHD Alliance, a TV must be able to show highlight of HDR images at least at 1000 nits and of course, this is not a problem for Q9FN that can deliver more than 1500 nits of peak brightness at small window of the screen. Additionally, when showing a scene with most/all objects are bright, like other TV, their peak brightness also drops. But even so, it is still brighter than 650 nits that means it is great. On the other hand, when showing a small object in a dark background like a dramatic highlight of HDR image, blooming might be still visible around small bright object, but since its local dimming has more dimming zones than the lower model like Q8FN or Q7FN, blooming will be less visible than on the screen of Q8FN or Q7FN.
Not just black level and peak brightness of Q9FN which are excellent, it also has excellent color gamut, even can be said one of the best ever. With Samsung’s metal quantum dot technology behind it, Samsung Q9FN can deliver color gamut that can cover close to 100 % of DCI P3 color space that means it is great for HDR content, particularly for HDR10 / HDR10+ contents. Almost all colors in DCI P3 can be shown fairly saturated, even for dark green where most of modern TVs struggle to produce this color fairly saturated. Additionally, Samsung Q9FN also has great color volume. Overall, it can show its wide color gamut at its entire brightness range, even for very bright and deep colors. Its color volume even is much better than the competitors like LG OLED C8 or Sony X900F. Combination of excellent color gamut and color volume certainly makes its color renditions is also awesome. The result, no matter the brightness level of the scene of HDR images, their color can be shown with fairly accurate on its screen. In addition to excellent rendition of colors, Samsung Q9FN also has smooth color gradient. It is already support 10 bit depth of color that means it can deliver more than 1.07 billion shades of colors. The result, color gradient of the HDR image displayed on its screen looks very smooth without many major color banding. Like most of other TVs which available in the market, some little imperfections might be still visible at darker colors. But even so, overall, color gradient of HDR images displayed on its screen is great.
Side Viewing Angle
This might becomes the only major drawback of Samsung Q9FN. Like others TV with VA panel, the side viewing angle coverage of Samsung Q9FN is also limited. Black level will degrade at less than 15 degrees off center and front while color will also start to fade at less than 25 degrees. Its brightness might be more consistent at wider angle, but at less than 35 degrees, it also starts to degrade. The result, when viewed from the side, particularly more than 15 degrees off center and front, the picture displayed on its screen doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the center. And from the wider angle, the picture will look worse. If you don’t frequently watch TV from the side, this may not be a problem for you, but if you frequent watch TV or play games with a group of you family or friends, this may be a problem for you. But of course, this issue can be overcome by setting your seat in such a way so they are still within its side viewing angle coverage.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
The pixel response time of Samsung Q9FN may not as low as OLED TV or not the best for LED TVs, but it is still excellent, makes it can still do a great job when handling motion blur. The result, when playing fast paced contents like sports, fast movies, of fast games, the picture can be shown fairly smooth and clear without much motion blur visible. Following fast moving object, there is only short ghosting trail where most people may not notice this much. Blur that may be visible is more caused by persistence than motion. Meanwhile, since Q9FN has local dimming, it uses PWM dimming system to dim the screen with dimming frequency depending on the setting. As default or when set in movie mode, it uses 480 Hz of dimming frequency that should not make motion duplication and also make flicker is not noticeable for most people. But on the other hand, when the TV is set to “Standard” or “Game” mode, or if “Auto Motion Plus” is turned on, its dimming frequency will automatically change to 120 Hz. This will help to clear up the motion, but on the other hand, this will also make some duplication that cause persistence blur. Additionally, Samsung Q9FN also has an optional Flicker or BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode at 60 Hz that can be activated by enabled “LED Motion Clear”. This is very helpful to clear up the motion when playing 60 fps contents like sports or video games, but on the other hand, this will make flicker is more noticeable.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, the excepting of 24p videos via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, Samsung Q9FN also can do a good job. This means, no matter the source is native 24p videos like Blu-Ray or DVD’s movies, 24p movies via streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, 24p videos via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices such as Apple TV, and others, all of them will be shown clearly and smoothly on its screen with judder-free. A bit unfortunate, it has an issue when playing 24p movies via 60i signal where judder is still visible at certain scenes. Actually this issue is not usual and we expect, there is a firmware update in future that will fix this issue.
As its major inputs/outputs, Samsung Q9FN is equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of its HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2, CEC, and HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth, while that support ARC (Audio Return Channel) is only 1 port that is HDMI 4. Additionally, it also has 3 USB ports where all of its USB ports are USB 2.0 and it doesn’t have USB 3.0. In addition to HDMI and USB ports, there are also 1 RF IN (Terrestrial), 1 Ethernet In, 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), and also built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless connection. But just like Q7FN, most of its inputs/outputs are not located on the rear or side panel, but located on separated box named “One Connect Box”. Meanwhile, although not as low as the lower model like Q6FN or Q7FN that has less than 15 ms input latency, its input lags are still less than 25 ms in both 1080p and 4K resolution that means it excellent. Overall, its input lags is fairly low to play any games so feel responsively without laggy, even for fast paced games that require fast paced games. And combined to its excellent picture quality, excellent motion handling, and permanent burn-in risk free, this certainly makes Q9FN as a great TV for gamers.
Like other models of Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV, Samsung Q9FN is also featuring Tizen OS as its smart TV platform and powered by a quad core processor. Like the previous version, its user interface has intuitive design and is easy to navigate. The core of this smart TV is a customizable “ribbon” at the bottom across the screen contains a lot of “boxes” as the shortcut of apps and menus. You can customize it by moving the most useful apps to the front and rarely used apps to the back. Meanwhile, the preinstalled apps provided are also so many and very complete. There are VoD service like YouTube Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, web Browser, Live TVS, Cloud Games, and many more. It also has an app store named “Samsung apps store”. Although content provided are not as many as what provided by Google Apps Store by Android TV, but Samsung Apps Store also provide tons of apps, games, contents, and others. The interesting, in this version, Tizen OS has been integrated with Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant that allows you to do a lot of more with your voice command via its remote. Additionally, like WebOS with LG AI Think or Android TV with Google Home Assistant, Tizen OS also has home assistant app named “Smart Thing”. But for this case, unlike WebOS or Google Android TV that already support Amazon Alexa, Samsung doesn’t support it and prefer to use its own apps. In this version, Tizen OS may have more apps and some additional features that make it more attractive, but on the other hand, this is caused an issue on its performance. When you are launching an app, frequently, it needs 2-3 seconds before it opens.
As the controller, Samsung Q9FN is equipped with Samsung smart controller. Functionally, its remote is similar to the remote of lower model like Q8FN, Q7FN or, QF6FN, but in terms of appearance, it is similar to the remote of Q9F the predecessor in 2017 where it has metal body. This remote only has few buttons and doesn’t have a lot of common buttons, so to navigate in deeper menu or make advanced settings, you must navigate through the menu or use voice command. Fortunately, its voice navigation works well, so this should not be problem. Additionally, comes with Samsung Bixby also makes you can do more with your voice command like change the input, ask basic question, open apps, and many more. A bit unfortunate, its voice command cannot be used to search within apps like what you can do with LG’s Magic remote or Sony’s voice remote.
Samsung Q9FN is one of the best TV in 2018 with outstanding picture quality and performance. Almost all aspects of picture quality produced by Q9FN are excellent. Black level produced is very deep, even the deepest ever for LED TV and close to what reached by OLED TV. Otherwise, its peak brightness is also very bright, even including the brightest in 2018. Not just about black level and peak brightness which excellent, Samsung Q9FN also can produce excellent color gamut and also including the best where it color gamut can cover close to 100% of DCI P3 color space that means great for HDR. Combined to its excellence performance on other factors like reflections handling, black uniformity, and others, this makes picture displayed on its screen looks really amazing, no matter the light condition of a room where it is used. Additionally, with great performance on other features like motion handling, 24p playback, input lags, and other, this certainly also makes Q9FN as a great TV for mixed usage. The only major shortcoming is about its limited side viewing angle coverage, makes it is not so suitable for a wide room where there are viewers watch TV from multiple angles.
Should I buy this TV? If you are searching TV that has both deep black level and very bright peak brightness, this TV might be a good option for you. There is OLED TV that has deeper black level, but its peak brightness is not as bright as Q9FN. Additionally, there is also Sony X900E or Z9D in last year which also has excellent peak brightness, but its black level and color gamut is not as deep and wide as Q9FN. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your need and budget.
Compare to the Competitor
Samsung Q9FN vs Q9F
Samsung Q9F is the predecessor of Q9FN. The excepting of black level and brightness, what offered by Q9F is almost identical to Q9FN. It also has excellent color gamut, good motion handling, low input lag, and many more. The major difference between Samsung Q9F and Q9FN is about their backlight where Q9F use Edge Lit backlight with local dimming, while Q9FN comes with Direct LED backlight with Full Array Local Dimming. The impact, the local dimming of Q9FN works well to boost the contrast ratio and peak brightness while local dimming of Q9F doesn’t work as well as Q9FN. The result, peak brightness and black level reached by Q9FN are far brighter and deeper than Q9F. In the market, Q9F comes in 3 screen sizes including 65 inch (QN65Q9F), 75 inch (QN75Q9F), and 88 inch (QN88Q9F). Since it is last year model and its price has dropped a lot, with the same screen (QN65Q9F vs QN65Q9FN, QN75Q9F vs QN75Q9FN), it is sold hundreds dollar, even more than a thousand dollar cheaper than Q9FN. Nevertheless, ignoring their difference in price, picture quality and performance of Q9FN is still better than Q9F. To read complete review of Samsung Q9F, please click here.
Samsung Q9FN vs Q8FN
Samsung Q8FN is also part of Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV lineup and it is one level under Q9FN. In the market, it comes in 3 screen size including 55 inch (QN55Q9FN), 65 Inch (QN65Q8FN) and 75 Inch (QN75Q8FN). With the same screen size (QN65Q8FN vs QN65Q9FN, QN75Q8FN vs QN75Q9FN) Samsung Q8FN is sold cheaper than Q9FN. Q8FN also comes with Full Array local dimming that makes it has very deep black level and very bright peak brightness, but still not as bright and deep as what offered by Q9FN. The excepting of peak brightness and black level, overall, what offered by Samsung Q8FN is almost identical to Q9FN. Another difference between them, most of inputs/outputs of Q9FN are located on separated box called “One Connect Box”, while for Q8FN, it lacks on connect box and all of their inputs/outputs are installed on the rear or side panel. Overall, performance and picture quality of Q8FN is not as good as Q9FN, but it is sold cheaper. To read complete review of Samsung Q8FN, please click here.
Samsung Q9FN vs LG OLED C8
LG OLED C8 is part of LG’s 2018 OLED TV lineup and also the successor of OLED C7. In the market, it comes in 3 screen sizes including 55 inch (OLED55C8PUA), 65 Inch (OLED65C8PUA) and 77 inch (OLED77C8PUA). With the same screen (OLED65C8PUA vs QN65Q9FN), OLED C8 is sold about one-two hundred dollar cheaper than Q9FN. Meanwhile, for their biggest screen (QN75Q9FN vs OLED77C8PUA), OLED C8 is sold more than thousand dollar more expensive than QN75Q9FN. But keep in mind, their prices are not fixed at could still change at any time. The advantage offered, since LG OLED C8 is uses OLED panel, it offers infinite contrast ratio that makes it has perfect black level. In addition to perfect black level, the advantage offered by OLED C8 is about its excellent side viewing angle, while on the other hand, the side viewing angle of Q9FN is poor. Nevertheless, its peak brightness and color gamut are not as bright and wide as what offered by Q9FN. Additionally, OLED C8 also has possibility of permanent burn in. Which is better choice between them? If you need a TV with perfect black level, OLED C8 is better choice, otherwise, if you need a TV that can produce brighter and more vivid highlights in HDR, Q9FN certainly is better. To read complete reviews of LG OLED C8, please click here.
Samsung Q9FN vs Sony A8F
Sony A8F is the second model of Sony OLED TV that launched in 2018. In the market, it only comes in 2 screen size option including 55 inch (XBR55A8F) and 65 Inch (XBR65A8F). With the same screen size, Sony A8F is sold a bit more expensive than Q9FN, although for this case, their price still could change at any time. Overall, almost all aspect of picture quality produced by Sony A8F is almost identical to OLED C8, except its peak brightness is a bit dimmer. This means, it also has perfect black level and excellent side viewing angle. But on the other hand, its peak brightness is not as bright as what produced by Q9FN. A8F also has excellent motion handling and attractive smart TV platform. Like OLED C8, Sony A8F also has possibility in permanent burn in. The other disadvantage, its input lags is not as low as Q9FN, particularly at 1080p resolution. Which is better choice between A8F and Q9FN, the answering is like OLED C8. If you need a TV with perfect black level, you can choose A8F, while if you need a brighter TV, Samsung Q9FN is still better.
- Extremely Deep Black Level
- Very Bright Peak Luminance
- Excellent Color Gamut
- Low Input Lag
- Good Motion Handling
- Limited Side Viewing Angle Coverage