Samsung’s Q90R is a good TV. It’s tremendous vibrant, has amazingly correct coloration, and it makes HDR pop and particulars sing—very similar to its Q9F predecessor. The lately reviewed Samsung Q900 8K UHD QLED TV, nonetheless, raised the bar for low-defect LED-backlit LCD picture processing, and the 4K Q90R doesn’t fairly clear it.
Specs and design
The most blatant new function of the Q90R—and my favourite by far—is its pedestal-style stand. Think iMac and also you’ve acquired the concept. It seems nice, and permits you to set the TV on a a lot smaller floor in comparison with TVs which have ft on the far ends of the chassis. Though it’s solely a couple of foot deep, and slightly wider than that, it’s much more steady than you may assume. (Okay, greater than I thought it could be.) The stand is somewhat heavy at round 14 kilos—be ready for that while you make that first tug to take away it from the field.
The Q90R is a 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) show. I examined the 64.5-inch (65-inch class) model which prices a not inconsiderable $2,800. Like all of Samsung’s pricier TVs, it makes use of Samsung’s One Connect breakout field, which homes all of the ports, the ability provide, and many of the processing energy. It attaches to the Q90R through a single optical cable, therefore the moniker.
The One Connect’s ports embrace 4 HDMI 2.1, optical S/PDIF digital audio out, a coax connector, three USB ports on the aspect, plus ethernet and RS-232C. There’s an 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter and Bluetooth 5.0 radio onboard as properly. The distant depends on the latter plus infrared for energy on/energy off.
The Q90R weighs roughly 63 kilos with out the stand, however as a result of the ports and circuitry are within the 6-pound, 15.5 x 5.2 x 2.5-inch One Connect field, the TV measures a mere 1.6 inches thick at its thickest. The body of the Q90R can also be very skinny and basically disappears while you begin viewing.
Software options embrace an improved ambient mode, which lets you add a digital photograph that matches the wall behind the TV, seemingly rendering the TV’s display clear. Alternatively, you possibly can show digital photographs or artistic endeavors as if the TV was an image body.
The TV helps Samsung’s personal Bixby digital assistant, plus the 2 you may truly use: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Siri doesn’t make an appearanced, however there may be an Apple TV app, plus assist for Apple’s AirPlay 2 multi-room audio tech.
FreeSync know-how reduces enter lag while you use the TV with a videogame console, but it surely’s not out there on Q90R units 49 inches or smaller. A common program information remembers your content material selections and recommends packages that it predicts you’ll like.
You’ll see quite a lot of terminology like “Quantum HDR 16X” on Samsung’s website. That specific slice of baloney means there’s quite a lot of peak brightness. All this advertising and marketing drivel is indicative of one thing good, it’s simply nonsensical technically. So ignore it, or function on the idea that given the identical fake time period, the upper quantity is healthier. You can apply that precept to different TV distributors as properly.
Setup, distant, and interface
Normally I skip over TV setup, as you’ll seemingly solely expertise it as soon as and customarily talking, all of the distributors do an excellent job with it. But Samsung’s is only a step classier, so I believed I’d name it out. What impressed me most was that it begins channel scanning the minute it has sufficient information, and it enables you to keep it up with the setup whereas the scan is in progress—for a few steps anyway. It’s about as painless because it will get.
Samsung’s Smart Hub onscreen person interface is basically the identical row of icons on the backside of the display it’s been for a few years now; properly organized, customizable, and and straightforward to navigate. But I’m nonetheless ready for the corporate to return you to the place you left off on subsequent accesses.
The settings menu is separate, showing opaquely mid-screen, and is mostly straightforward to make use of. It can be simpler but when you may alter settings with out having to press enter/okay first. As I, and I’m guessing most customers, merely set issues and overlook about it, that’s a picayune nit.
The One Remote common distant management (mannequin TM1950C) is as elegant as all the time, however as a substitute of including devoted transport controls for playback of streaming companies, USB content material, and so forth, Samsung opted as a substitute for promoting/shortcut buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Some may discover them helpful. I discover them a waste of house and a yet one more reminder that cash reigns supreme in fashionable tradition (that’s assuming that the businesses represented on the buttons paid Samsung for the position). I anticipated this on the less expensive RU8000, the place the revenue margins are thinner, however not on the high-end Q90R.
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First viewing of the Q90R, particularly with HDR, is a wow expertise. There’s tremendous correct and wealthy quantum dot color, plus greater than 1,300 nits peak brightness. Because of the brightness, the Q90R renders HDR in addition to any presently out there TV on the planet. Vizio’s 3,000-nit P-Series Quantum X is likely to be the exception, however I haven’t gotten one in home but.
Samsung is nigh on fanatical about excessive distinction in areas of element, and the method works extraordinarily properly with most materials. There’s a little bit of a darkish aspect to the obsession with sharply delineated detai, nonetheless; a considerable amount of moiré/shimmer/distortion while you begin panning or shifting it. To be truthful, the Q90R isn’t any worse than final 12 months’s Q9F on this regard, however as I stated up high, I’ve now seen the Samsung Q900 8K TV, which proves that these artifacts may be lowered to negligible ranges. I used to be anticipating the identical discount in artifacts with the Q90R, and never discovering it was disappointing.
Screen uniformity on the Q90R is excellent, although I may see very faint clouding on the edges of a pure white display. Te usable off-axis viewing angles. however, are so extensive that you just principally lose the sense of the image earlier than you see artifacts. Samsung has achieved a wonderful job with the Q90R in that division. Last 12 months’s was good, however this 12 months’s is considerably higher.
The array back-lighting, which is alleged to be improved for this 12 months, labored fairly properly with all of the real-world materials I threw at it, creating as good a black as you’ll presently see from an LED-backlit LCD TV. There is the occasional noticeable artifact nonetheless, corresponding to an occasional tiny lag turning off the unneeded zones when a really giant black space first seems. There’s additionally a really noticeable zone transition situation with a white field touring alongside the sides of a black display (search for “backlighting array zone counter” on the net). That was a little bit of a shock as I noticed hardly any of this from, yup, the Q900.
Note that I’m utilizing a fine-tooth comb on this dialogue of the Q90R’s processing and picture rendering. Under regular viewing, with the typical film or TV present, you may by no means discover the defects I’ve mentioned. This TV generates a really, very good image.
Q900, Q90, Q8, or Q80?
The Q90R is a superb LED-backlit LCD TV, but it surely’s now not a state-of-the-art LED-backlit LCD TV. As we’re speaking high-priced spreads right here, when you’re contemplating paying $2,800 for a 65-inch TV, you may think about paying $2,500 for a smaller (55-inch-class) Q900, which, along with being a future-proof (close to future, anyway) 8K TV, provides the perfect 4K picture I’ve ever seen because of some fairly efficient up-scaling. If you’re unwilling to surrender any display actual property, Best Buy sells the 65-inch-class Q900 for $3,500.
I haven’t seen a Q80R, but when it’s something like final 12 months’s less-obsessed-with-brightness, fewer-artifacts Q8F, you may think about saving $800 and go for that. After cautious viewing to substantiate my principle, that’s.
Finally, whereas the Q90R has some engaging new options within the software program space, the picture is basically solely marginally improved over final 12 months’s Q9F. Aside from the admittedly helpful and engaging pedestal stand, we’re principally speaking tweaks. That means, when you get a deal on a 2018 Samsung QLED, you need to strongly think about taking benefit. Then after all, there’s all the time OLED.
I’m paid to supply alternate options, however you’ll little doubt be very happy when you go for the Q90R.