Samsung Q9 series (2018) review: Sumptuous picture quality in designer garb at a luxury price

    The struggle on the prime of the TV market has by no means been tighter. In one nook, the challengers are flagship LCD-based TVs just like the Samsung Q9 reviewed right here, the Vizio P-Series Quantum and the Sony Master Series Z9F. In the opposite, the undefeated champions: OLED TVs just like the LG B8 and C8 and the Sony A9F. The quick story? The champ retains its belt, nevertheless it did not win by a knockout this time. The runner-up Q9 lasted the entire struggle and vanquished the opposite LCDs (and in case you did not know, QLED is a model of LCD). Although it is Samsung’s finest TV that prices lower than $15,000, the Q9 remains to be actually costly. The 65-inch model has by no means fallen beneath $3,000, which is a number of hundred greater than LG’s 2018 OLED TVs.

    This TV prices greater than an OLED, and does not carry out as nicely. Samsung has completed some nice issues with its LCD tech, akin to lowering blooming whereas concurrently growing brightness, coping with reflections in vivid rooms and even enhancing off-angle picture high quality. But it might’s beat OLED’s distinction, the primary constructing block of a great image. There are nonetheless a number of causes for high-end customers to contemplate the Q9, nonetheless, beginning with the 75-inch dimension. If you need a TV that large and have an enormous funds, the Samsung Q9 is your best option. Its picture high quality surpasses each the costlier Sony Z9F and a lot, less expensive Vizio P-Series (non-Quantum), my picture-for-the-dollar choose at 75 inches.

    On the opposite hand, in case your funds are certainly that massive, perhaps it may be stretched one other couple grand for a $7,000 77-inch OLED. Then there are all of the non-picture-quality causes to decide on the Q9 over the others. I am speaking about distinctive styling and design touches like Ambient mode, optionally available designer stands and flush wall mounts and a separate One Connect field with hidden wiring system. Features like common distant management of linked units, candy gaming extras and the most effective sensible TV system not made by Roku. Immunity to OLED burn-in, if that worries you. And sure, the cachet of an costly Samsung in your lounge. If that is sufficient for you, perhaps the Q9 is well worth the worth in spite of everything. If not, get an OLED or the most effective cheaper OLED various at 65 inches, Vizio’s P-Series Quantum

    Future-modernist TV design when on or off

    Samsung makes among the nicest-looking TVs round, and as you’d anticipate from the corporate’s finest (non-8K) 2018 TV, the Q9 pulls no design punches. OK, perhaps one: the thinness punch. The Q9 is noticeably thicker than razo-slim OLEDs and even many LCDs units like Samsung’s personal Q7. That’s as a result of the Q9 makes use of a full-array LED backlight, a worthy trade-off for a chunkier profile in my e book. From straight on, the set is all display: sleekness incarnate. The picture is bordered by a super thin border, angled like an image body towards the watcher, that is the identical width on all sides. The solely different forward-facing function, the Samsung emblem on the bottom-middle, is tiny and as unobtrusive as any. The silver distant is useless easy, simple to carry and reliant on as few buttons as potential. Most of the motion occurs onscreen, or, should you’re feeling adventurous, by way of Bixby voice management. A devoted key brings up menus like a numeric keypad and different context-sensitive choices, for instance for machine management. The stand consists of a matte-black rectangle, rounded on the entrance. It’s low-slung, protecting the area between the underside of the panel to the tabletop as quick as potential. Compared with the wide-splayed, double-leg stands used on most TVs right now, it seems to be nicer and its narrower unfold requires much less base area. And talking of nicer seems to be, the 65-inch Q9 can also be appropriate with the optionally available studio stand ($600) or gravity stand ($700). Speaking of high-priced choices, the Q9 can also be appropriate with Samsung’s no-gap wall mount ($150 to $180) which retains the TV extra flush to the wall than third-party mounts. It works fantastic with these, nonetheless, they usually typically value loads much less.

    Ambient mode is a brand-new function, unique to Samsung’s QLED TVs, that fills the TV display whenever you’re not watching TV. The concept is that as an alternative of a giant black rectangle in the midst of the lounge, you get… one thing else. It’s fairly cool, particularly should you hate that black rectangle, however its signature function — the flexibility to match your wall — was hit and miss after I examined it on the Q8. I did not retest it right here, so try the Samsung Q8 assessment for extra particulars should you’re curious the way it works. Hide the wires, management the gear, skip the Bixby

    If you are obsessive about hiding wires and gear, the Q9 is your jam. All of the connections — together with energy — are housed in a chunky, separate field Samsung dubs the One Connect. You plug your HDMI gear, akin to a cable field, recreation console or streaming machine, into the field and never into the TV itself. This setup lets you simply conceal all these bins someplace in a cupboard.

    The solely wire you must hook up with the TV itself is the proprietary Invisible Connection. It’s a fiber-optic strand that runs — by way of a intelligent channel throughout the again of the TV and even via the stand legs — to the field. The cable is skinny sufficient to run throughout a wall, down a nook or alongside a baseboard with out thrilling a lot discover, permitting you to keep away from pricey in-wall cable runs. It’s totally different from (and incompatible with) the 2017 model as a result of it carries energy too, and in consequence the strand is barely thicker. The included cable is 15 toes lengthy and you may spring for the 50-foot model ($300) if that is not sufficient.

    Like earlier Samsung TVs the Q9 also can management linked gear, which it detects routinely as quickly as you plug it in. The One Connect field even has built-in infrared emitters so it might command gear inside a cupboard. In the previous I’ve appreciated this function, however nonetheless want a devoted common distant like a Harmony. I did not retest it this time round, so try the 2017 Q7 assessment for extra particulars. I additionally skipped in depth testing of Samsung’s Smart TV system, together with Bixby voice management by way of the distant, for this assessment. In my check of the Q8 from earlier this yr. Bixby was disappointing, falling nicely wanting the Google Assistant voice controls constructed into LG and Sony TVs. I like Samsung’s onscreen Smart TV system higher than these two manufacturers’ nonetheless, and take into account it second-best general, after Roku TV. Again, my Q8 assessment has extra information. The queen of QLED

    Key TV options

    Display Technology:

    • LED LCD
    • LED backlight
    • Full array with native dimming
    • Resolution
    • 4K
    • HDR compatibility
    • HDR10 and HDR10+
    • Screen form
    • Flat
    • Smart TV
    • Tizen
    • Remote
    • Standard

    Among Samsung’s 2018 TVs solely the Q8, the Q9 and the 8K Q900 have full-array native dimming. This expertise, which improves LCD picture high quality considerably in our expertise, boosts black ranges and distinction by making sure areas of the image dimmer or brighter in response to what’s on display. The predominant picture high quality distinction between the Q8 and Q9 is extra dimming zones and a brighter picture on the Q9, however the firm does not say precisely what number of zones every TV has. Meanwhile the Q900 8K TV — name it the king of the QLEDs — is brighter nonetheless.

    Samsung QLED vs. LG OLED TV: What’s the distinction?

    Like the Q9 and different Samsung QLED TVs, its LCD panel can also be augmented by a layer of quantum dots — microscopic nanocrystals that glow a particular wavelength (i.e. shade) when given vitality. The impact is healthier brightness and shade in contrast with non-QD-equipped TVs, in accordance with Samsung. The Q9 makes use of a real 120Hz panel, which improves the TVs’ movement efficiency, however as ordinary the “Motion Rate 240” specification is made up. The set helps excessive dynamic vary (HDR) content material in the usual HDR10 and the HDR10+ codecs solely. It lacks the Dolby Vision HDR assist discovered on most opponents’ HDR TVs. I’ve seen no proof that one HDR format is inherently “better” than the opposite, so I positively do not take into account lack of Dolby Vision a deal-breaker on this TV. Check out the image high quality part for extra.

    2018 Samsung units are arguably the best-equipped TVs for players. The Q9 is appropriate with variable refresh charges, known as FreeSync, from some units, presently together with choose PCs and the Xbox One X and One S. It does not have full HDMI 2.1 (no 2018 TV does), so it permits charges as much as 120Hz or resolutions as much as 4K — however not each directly. According to Samsung the supported resolutions are 1080p at 120Hz, 2,560×1,440p at 120Hz and 3,840×2,160 (4K) at 60Hz, and all can assist HDR video games too. I did not check it for this assessment.To use FreeSync you will must activate the Auto Game Mode function, additionally new for 2018. In addition to enabling VRR, the function lets the TV routinely change to recreation mode — lowering enter lag — when it detects you are taking part in a recreation.

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