Samsung maintains, for another year, its commitment to LED technology with its new QLED televisions. The Korean manufacturer continues to make the most of this technology, taking it to unsuspected limits. Last year's Samsung Q9FN already had a very high standard, with far superior performance than any other LED TV. But the Korean manufacturer thought it could do even better. And the truth is that he has succeeded. The Samsung Q90R is better than last year's model . Something that has been achieved by correcting all the small defects that the 2018 model had.
The Samsung Q90R is the best 4K LED TV on the market . It offers impressive image quality, high native contrast ratio, superb local dimming, and very high peak brightness. It is capable of offering deep blacks, very close to what we see in OLED televisions. And despite using a VA panel, it offers more than decent viewing angles. All this accompanied by FreeSync technology for games, a very low input lag, one of the best Smart TV systems on the market and a beautiful design.
I have had the opportunity to spend a month with the Samsung Q90R and I am going to tell you what I think and what we can expect from the best Samsung TV (with permission from the 8K model). My test unit is 65 inches, but the Q90R is also available in 55 and 75 inches.
Samsung Q90R (QE65Q90R) datasheet
|Diagonal||65 inches (also available in 55 and 75 inches)|
|Resolution and technology||4K UHD, Direct Full Array Elite, Ultra Viewing Angle, Q HDR 2000, HDR10 +, Quantum dot, 100% Color Volume|
|Processor||Quantum Processor 4K|
|Dimensions (with base)||145 x 92.1 x 28.5 cm|
|Weight (with stand)||34.7 kg|
|Support||Bending Plate, No Gap compatible and Studio and Gravity support|
|Operating system||Tizen OS|
|Apps||Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, HBO, DAZN, Vodafone TV, Apple TV, Rakuten TV, beIN Connect 4K, MiTele, Movistar + and many more|
|Control||Premium One Remote|
|Sound||System with 4.2 channels, 60W RMS, Dolby Digital Plus|
|Connections||4 x HDMI, 3 x USB, Ethernet, Optical Digital Out, CI Slot, 2 x T2CS2|
|Wireless connectivity||Integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2|
|Others||Compatible with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant|
Integrated Bixby assistant
One Connect with almost invisible cable
|Price||3,000 euros (65 inches)|
Design: elegance and simplicity
The design of the Samsung Q90R is excellent. It has a large metal support , very resistant and that perfectly supports the television. It is black in color and measures 34 x 28.5 centimeters.
Although it looks smooth at the front, behind it it makes an upward curve that raises the TV about 9.5 centimeters . This form of stand is good for two things. On the one hand, it will allow us to have the TV a little higher, ideal if we have a modern furniture of those that are very low. On the other hand, it will allow us to place a sound bar in front of the TV without problems.
Little else we have on the front of the TV. The screen is the main protagonist, with very thin frames (1.1 centimeters) on three of its four sides. As usual, the bottom frame is the thickest to accommodate the brand logo.
As for the back, it is made of plastic and has a textured finish . It is very similar to the rear of previous models, with a scratched finish, a large hole in the central area for the No Gap system and a much smaller hole at the bottom for the One Connect connector.
And, as is usual in recent years, the Samsung Q90R does not include any type of connection on the back of the TV . Use the One Connect outdoor junction box which, like last year, even has the connection to power the TV.
This system has always seemed to me one of the great successes of Samsung's QLED range. It allows you to place the TV on the wall and, without too many complications, take the rest of the equipment wherever we want. And is that the "invisible" cable One Connect can measure up to 15 meters . That is, we can have a rack with all the audio and video equipment in one part of the room and the television in another.
Without reaching the level of OLED TVs, the Q90R is a fairly slim TV. Without the base we have a thickness of less than 4 centimeters , throughout the body of the television. So do not worry if you want to hang it, because it will be fabulous.
As for the controller, the Samsung Q90R comes with the most premium model of the One Remote . It is the metallic version, silver in color and with direct access buttons to Netflix, Prime Video and Rakuten. It is a minimalist and very elegant remote, but it requires a few days of adaptation if you have never used it.
As I said at the beginning, Samsung has once again squeezed LED technology and has solved the vast majority of defects that last year's model had. Thus, we are facing an even more complete model, which offers impressive image quality .
We could say that the Samsung Q90R performs well in any situation . It is suitable for a dark room as it can display deep and uniform blacks thanks to the excellent high native contrast ratio, very good local dimming, and excellent black uniformity.
It is also ideal for a bright room, as it has a very high maximum brightness and excellent handling of reflections thanks to its glossy finish.
Thus, we are facing a television capable of obtaining a great image quality from any source. The Quantum Processor 4K does a great job of scaling, using Artificial Intelligence to enhance the image . Thus, even playing a DVD or a DTT channel we will get an image that looks good.
We will also get a very good image quality with 1080p Blu-Ray discs. However, it will be when we use native content in 4K HDR that the Samsung Q90R shows its full potential. The TV has excellent HDR peak brightness , with a peak that can reach 2,000 nits.
The TV has a wide color gamut, reaching 100% color volume . Thus, it is capable of displaying HDR content with vivid colors and bright reflections. In addition, it is compatible with HDR10 + , although I have only been able to test it with the Jack Ryan series from Amazon Prime Video. I had no player compatible with this format for further testing, but what is seen in the aforementioned series is very similar to the performance offered by the Dolby Vision system (checked on a television with the Dolby system).
One more year, the uniformity of black in the top-of-the-range QLED model is excellent . The Direct Full Array Elite system offers precise light control, far superior to any other LED TV I've tried. Only very small and very bright objects on completely black backgrounds (video game or brand logos, small credits, etc.) show that we are not looking at an OLED television.
Just two more aspects to comment on to finish with the image quality analysis. The first is the viewing angles, one of the weak points of the 2018 model. That is why Samsung has worked hard in this section and has implemented Ultra Viewing Angle technology . This optical coating improves viewing angles at the expense of a lower native contrast ratio.
And the truth is that the Samsung Q90R has improved a lot in this regard compared to its predecessor . The viewing angle is more than decent, maintaining an accurate image down to about 40 degrees, when it starts to lose some brightness and the color starts to wash out.
Lastly, the Samsung Q90R offers excellent movement handling . Its response time is very low and the panel has a native refresh rate of 120 Hz. The TV has a motion interpolator (Auto Motion Plus) with two available controls. The Automatic mode produces the well-known soap opera effect, so we will have to play with the controls to adjust them to our liking. If we want to avoid judder when playing 24p images (movies) we can set both controls to 0.
Good sound quality, albeit with limitations
The Samsung Q90R is equipped with a 4.2 channel sound system that has a maximum power of 60W . This achieves a more than decent audio quality, superior to that of other televisions. The maximum volume it reaches is more than enough for daily use, offering a well-balanced and clear dialogue.
It has an acoustic correction function called Adaptive Sound that adapts the sound to the conditions of the room. When activating it I would say that the sound is somewhat better, yes, always deactivating the adaptive and automatic volume.
The limitations I mentioned refer to the formats that the television accepts. The Q90R is capable of passthrough Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital + formats , but no more. It does not support DTS audio, much less HD formats. Not with Dolby Atmos either.
One of the best Smart TV systems on the market
Samsung maintains its commitment to the Tizen system for another year. And it is not surprising because, as they say, when something works better not to touch it. In fact, the Samsung system continues to improve and offer one of the most extensive collections of applications that we can find.
The interface maintains the same design, with a bar at the bottom from which we can access the applications. When we go over some, like Netflix, a second line opens with suggestions that we can access directly .
If we move to the left we have the shortcuts to the inputs and settings. As usual, the system is capable of recognizing many devices , identifying them and even allowing their control with the remote control.
Among the novelties of this year we have the Apple TV application , with which we can buy, rent and watch iTunes movies and the Apple TV + service when it is available. Compatibility with AirPlay 2 has also been included , with which we can send content from our iPhone or iPad to the TV.
It also has compatibility with Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant . Thanks to it, we can make our favorite assistant turn on the TV, change the channel or control the volume, among other things.
Samsung's Bixby assistant is not lacking , as well as the well-known Ambient Mode . With the latter we can place an image or work of art on the screen when the television is not used. Thus, if we do not want to have a large black screen in the living room, we can transform it into a painting.
And, of course, access to the SmartThings system is not lacking . This will allow us to turn the television into the control center of our connected home.
When it comes to new gamers, the Samsung Q90R is equipped with FreeSync (VRR) technology . This reduces input latency and provides higher speed for games. However, currently only owners of an Xbox One console will be able to take advantage of this feature.
We also have a game enhancer with Dynamic Black Equalizer . What I have noticed the most when playing is that the TV automatically detects that we are playing and switches to Game mode in the image options. This one is much brighter and more vivid than, say, Cinema mode.
Conclusions and price
The Samsung Q90R is an exceptional TV . A TV with LED technology that does things that were previously almost exclusive to OLED models. For example, getting a deep black in almost all situations (I have already discussed its limitations with certain very specific images). Another example, offering really good viewing angles. All this while preserving the highest brightness offered by QLED televisions.
To the great image quality shown by the television we must add an excellent operating system full of exclusive options and applications . Also a first-class design , enhanced by the use of the One Connect external connection box with an “invisible” connection.
But, as they say, no one is perfect. What would you ask of this television to be even more complete? On the one hand, the incorporation of HDMI 2.1 connections , since those included are still HDMI 2.0. On the other hand, greater compatibility with current sound formats . But, otherwise, we are facing one of the best televisions on the market.
The Samsung Q90R is available in 55, 65 and 75 inches . Its official price is 2,350, 3,000 and 4,500 euros respectively .