Samsung has already released its latest family of QLED televisions. It is the Q9F series, the most powerful. In fact, I have found that this 65-inch model is loaded with image enhancement technology and has a very simple remote control system despite the many options it offers. The TV features 4K resolution, 100 percent color volume, HDR10 + technology, and a new lighting system that blurs the border with OLED displays.
After slowly analyzing it, I see that it improves on everything that I was able to experience first hand last year with the Q7s. Blacks are deeper and more defined, and colors are brighter and sharper. The design is still reasonably looking for thinness and has a single cable ... Also, step by step I am noticing that this TV is more intelligent and capable (it goes much further than just showing a pretty image). In addition, it now has several improvements to integrate it into any room. For example, it is accompanied by a system to copy the color and finish of our wall and integrate it into the screen to give a twist to the design of the TV when we are not waiting for any program or video.
Of course, we are facing a family of top-of-the-range televisions. The Q9F series comes in three models with 55, 65 and 75 inches, and its prices range between 2,700 euros (55 "), going through 3,500 euros (65") and up to 5,000 euros (75 ") in its version. larger screen.
Samsung QLED Q9F datasheet
|Resolution and technology||4K Ultra HD|
|Panel type||LED, Direct Full Array Elite|
|Operating system||Tizen tv|
|Control||One Remote Control|
|Sound||4.2ch, 60W, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS Premium Sound 5.1|
|Connections||4 HDMI, 3 USB, Ethernet, Optical Digital Audio Out, LAN|
|Wireless connectivity||WiFi, Bluetooth|
|Others||Ambient Mode, SmartThings, Steam Link|
|Dimensions||145 x 86.6 x 36 cm (with base)|
The QLED panel showing blacks like OLEDs
We go directly to the controversy. No, the 2018 QLED Q9F series does not work with OLED panels, they are still liquid crystal. Yes. Some very vitamin LCD screens. And this is noticeable in the final result, which achieves very bright and defined colors in any situation and saturation. So much so that the color volume reaches 100 percent in the DCI-P3 spectrum , displaying more shades than any other LCD TV on the market. And with a brightness that can reach 2,000 nits if the image requires it. But the fault is not the color, but the absence of it.
Or rather because of the absence of brightness or blooming in the black or dark parts of the screen. And the blacks are much deeper and more defined, and their definition helps the colored parts to be sharp as well. For this Samsung has changed the lighting model of its panel and Quantum Dots crystals with a system that it has called Full Array Elite. It consists of a rear grid of LED lights that are activated by specific and, above all, limited areas. This way, only the pixels that make up the image are lit, and they do not brighten the entire screen when the scene is dark or shows very black blacks. For example, if we put an image of a flower on a black background, only the lighting just behind the flower will be activated, while the rest of the screen remains off.
Of course, this hardware part is complemented by a major software upgrade. And it is that the processor of the Samsung QLEDs of 2018 are responsible for detecting what the image is, what is the background, how far the contour of the elements reaches, etc. Thus, the lighting is regulated to maintain the feeling of definition in the image with the deepest and most defined blacks. Something that also applies to black bands when watching widescreen movies. The typical movie strips.
But there is more technology that helps make the image of these QLEDs as bright and natural as an OLED. Along with the Full Array Elite lighting system, Samsung has also protected both the glass and the TV panel with a protection (Ultra Black Elite) that prevents reflections and glare . It basically refracts more light than it reflects, and it ensures that you can always see the image, even when you do it from the side.
The compatibility with different HDR formats that this family brings with it also helps definition. And it is that the contrast makes the difference when it comes to watching cinema content, and not only the definition of the image. I have been able to test how the 65-inch TV does not fall short when it comes to displaying all the colors and elements of areas that could be burned by the brightness. This depends on HDR10 + technology , which is the most widespread standard among content and manufacturers. This system analyzes the image and dynamizes the tones to show all the colors and elements of the dark and light areas of the image. In Christian: the television adapts and modulates the image to always show everything on screen, without losing color or information. In the end, they are images that are not burned if there is a lot of brightness, being able to hide elements in those white areas, and the same in dark scenes.
In short, we are facing a clear, very bright and very defined image . All this being able to show it at 4K resolution. So the experience is nothing short of spectacular. What is expected of a high-end TV. Of course, when I have placed myself in front of the television, the UHD image captivates thanks to the details it is capable of displaying. The rest of the sensations have come to me through color, which gives the feeling of being richer and more varied than in other LCD televisions, and with an image so natural that I have come to forget that I was in front of a liquid crystal TV. It is the best image of a Samsung TV to date .
Almost frameless and almost wireless
Samsung is to be thanked for thinking of users who are less skilled in the assembly and DIY world. And it is that assembling your Q7F TV cost a bit, despite following the instructions step by step. This has changed on the 65-inch model I have tested from the Q9F series. And I mean especially when installing the base, which no longer needs angles, force or skill to fit it. Only three screws on the elbow and another four more to anchor the piece to the TV. Thanks Samsung, so can anyone .
The 2018 QLED series repeats media formats for your TVs. Directly in the package comes an industrial-style base with metallic gray or black finishes. In the case of the 65-inch television, it is distributed through a simple round bar that is seen in front of the television. Engineers have devised an elbow that provides stability to the mount and makes the television almost appear to float on a tiny pole-shaped base. However, if we do not have furniture in the living room, we can also choose to buy a high foot or support . Or better yet, anchor it directly to the wall with the “no gap” standard that practically leaves the TV like a poster, with no gaps.
This gapless mount was already present in last year's Q7 family, but mounting and installation improvements enhance the experience. This is because the One Connect system now has a single, nearly transparent fiber optic cable. This eliminates the power cord and takes everything through the same conduit from the external box to the television. If we want to hide this One Connect box, it is up to us. By the way, this junction box has grown in size and weight. It is no longer so thin since it has the electrical section inside. Of course, it still has a double antenna, aerial antenna, CI port, optical digital audio output, LAN network, four HDMI ports (one of them ARC) and three USB ports. The good thing about this larger size is that it helps the device barely get hot (the previous version was hotter), but we have to find a hole to place it. By the way, connecting the One Connect cable with the TV is no longer a simple plug. Now it is a kind of plug that is completely flat and integrated into the design,something that also helps to have no space when hanging the TV on the wall.
And little more can I say about this device. Its frames are minimal and get lost in the design . They are metallic, in gray, and they adapt well to any decoration. I have been able to verify that, at the bottom of the television, there is an extra millimeter frame on the screen, although it is imperceptible from more than a hand's distance. On the side these frames attract a little more attention. This TV has as we have said rear LED lights, so it is not as thin as OLEDs. The TV has a total thickness of 39.4 millimeters. A fact that seems big when compared with the thinnest televisions on the market, but that hardly stand out and are lost in the immensity of the 65-inch screen.
With the rear perfectly polished and smooth even while operating, the TV can also be installed in the middle of a large room using it to separate spaces or it can be hung on the wall integrating fully into the wall. In the end, we can say that it is presented with an elegant and simple overall design.
I am not forgetting the command. Samsung maintains the design seen in the previous family, and this is a really good thing. It is the best remote for a television that I have been able to try. Not only is it elegant and eye-catching, as well as small and functional, it is simple. It has a few buttons so you don't have to look at it when interacting with the TV. As simple as that. Its levers for changing volume or channel give it the distinctive point. Although there is something new in this remote control called One Remote Control: a new button for Ambient Mode , an interesting improvement point of this Q9F series of QLED televisions from Samsung.
TV and living room box
New to the 2018 Samsung QLED Q9F TV series is what the company has learned and experienced with The Frame. That television that acted more like a picture to view content but also to decorate. Well, Samsung has brought it to its more advanced consumer televisions. Which translates into being able to leave the television on, decorating the living room with different environments or options . And yes, it supposes a minimum extra consumption in the electricity bill, but Samsung has calculated that it does not suppose more than one euro on average per month for a few hours of use per day.
I 'm talking about Ambient Mode . A mode of use that transforms the usual black rectangle in the living room into a whole painting. One that can be personalized and animated. In this way we can take advantage of its design to match the environment or become another decorative element in the room. Samsung allows us to use this Ambien Mode in three different ways, each with different variables and designs.
For example, we can use Deco mode to choose a stylish image that adorns the screen almost as if it were a painting. The television offers us beautiful mountains and other scenes with pastel colors that are relaxing and attractive. We can also find out the latest headlines with the Info mode , choosing between the last minute information, the weather or just the time. There is also the Photo mode , with which to plant a board with the photos of our last trip, our family members or whatever we want. All this always customizing the design between different options.
We can enter Ambient mode directly from the new button on the One Remote Control , or by pressing the microphone button for several seconds. But it is also interesting when we do it through the Samsung SmartThings application on the mobile. And it is that, from this, we have been able to see first hand the details to customize the Ambient Mode experience. We can take photographs of our walls to integrate the color or design directly on the screen and, on this, use any of the available modes. Something that integrates the television in the living room perfectly.
In the end, it is a tool of relative use, since the natural act once we finish watching content is to turn off the television. However, I have used it to show off the device. The result is a first impression of surprise and a second sense of attraction for the images that it showed. Basically the same as a digital photo frame , but much more attractive. I have fallen in love with the concept of the hourglass formed by metallic balls: it is elegant, sophisticated and eye-catching. Some will see it as a great advance for the living room, while for others, accustomed to always turning off the TV, this function can get lost in the ocean of advances that it offers us.
A smarter TV
The guys at Samsung have not been left behind working on the intelligence of this television. And it is now much more capable, both by itself and in relation to the rest of the household appliances or that are connected to it. Thus, the Samsung QLED Q9F of 2018 can become the command center of the entire connected home. Of course, as long as we have more appliances from this company. In this case, the SmartThings app does its job more than anything and allows many new remote facilities.
I mean that on the living room screen you can see how the rest of Samsung's smart devices are working. From the fridge to the washing machine , through the air conditioning, speakers, sockets, light bulbs or the robot vacuum cleaner. As if we were in a science fiction movie, we can see and control all this with the remote control of the television. Or through the mobile, if we have it closer to hand.
It's also smarter thanks to the Universal Guide . If before we could already see all the programs, series, movies and many extra content in a whole guide, Samsung now allows it to suit our tastes. And, in fact, when you go to the menu below, the TV suggests what they are doing at all times. Something very useful not to miss interesting programs on TV. And it is that in 2018 the QLED Q9F have a section called "For you", with which to view content especially related to our tastes. Of course, for these contents to be adequate, we must actively use this Universal Guide, giving Samsung clues of what we like and what we don't, so that it ends up hitting its suggestions. The good thing is that, in addition, now you can take advantage of thevoice assistant and voice control for searching within the guide .
Do not forget that the One Remote Control is universal too. Once the current device connected via the HDMI port or audio channel has been recognized, the Samsung TV remote control serves as the remote control for that device. In this way I have been able to forget about the remote control of the sound equipment and manage the entire experience in a single remote control when before I had three (bluray, sound equipment and television).
The 65-inch TV has more than delivered in terms of power and quality in my tests. But we must talk about some interesting news that the most detailed in this regard will like. The Q Engine, the processor that Samsung's QLEDs bring in 2018 is capable of analyzing the left and right channel of the sound, identifying voices, sounds and melodies in each of them. This allows that, during use, and automatically and instantly, you can apply a different configuration or equalization to each type of content: movies and series where the voice prevails over sound effects, concerts with an emphasis on music, football matches that make the public clamor grow… All this together with a volume control to keep everything at bay even if you change the channel or gain between content. So there are no scares for a sound louder than another, and always look for the most suitable option for each content.
In addition, Samsung has increased the number of devices that it is capable of automatically recognizing through the One Connect box. In this case if they are connected by digital audio , so it is able to recognize which sound equipment has been plugged in.
And be very careful if you are a gamer or want to take advantage of any of Samsung's 2018 QLEDs to play, because they are prepared for it. Thanks to the technology introduced, they are able to detect if a game console has been connected and switch to different game modes. These help make the experience better depending on the type of game. That is, latency can be reduced so that the response is practically immediate in shooting games, or apply image enhancements and effects to enjoy visual displays in adventure titles. We just have to activate the automatic recognition of video games, and then apply the settings we want according to the title. There are four options: Automatic Game Mode, Game Mode (cuts latency), Game Motion Plus (eliminates blur and flicker) and Variable Refresh Rate (avoids image clipping caused by lags in refreshment).
Note that for those who play on PC there are also functions. 2018 Samsung QLED TVs support Steam Link service . In this way we do not have to move the computer in the game room if we want to play on the big screen in the room. Simply start the service and use the One Remote Control or a wireless controller to operate the game. It is possible to keep the system free of cables, sending the signal of the games from the computer to the television via WiFi Direct, without directly depending on the Internet connection at home. All this to be able to enjoy in the living room of the more than 6,000 titles that are available on Steam with this service.
Use the app and not the instruction manual
At the moment Samsung has only shown this function, without it being available until the last quarter of 2018. I, of course, have had to use the old way and configure everything using the One Remote Control. Not a tedious process since you only have to confirm the actions with the remote control and let the TV automatically search for the channels and devices connected by One Connect. Now Samsung wants us to forget about quick start guides and user manuals. All installation can be carried out from the application.
You just have to make sure that we have the mobile connected to our home WiFi network and download the SmartThings application. From here you can start setting up the TV once it is assembled and arranged. This application, through the Bluetooth connection, is able to pair the TV and the mobile, copying the configuration and information of the mobile user and taking it to the TV. This means avoiding having to write by hand email addresses, passwords and users of services such as Netflix or applications such as Facebook. As well as the information of the WiFi network. With this, the television is installed without having to carry out the usual steps or despair by typing with the on-screen keyboard letter by letter. The process promises to be faster and more agile. Of course, when it is available at the end of the year.
By the way, if we link the TV and the remote with the SmartThings application, in addition to the configuration or send photos to the TV to take advantage of its Ambient Mode in a personalized way, we can also see our own notifications on the screen . Something that is not always comfortable, so it is possible to configure what we want to see on the living room screen to attend to our mobile later.
Samsung has created its most advanced television. No. It is not OLED. It has a backlit LCD panel… After testing it thoroughly, I have concluded that the image quality has nothing to envy to the best TVs with other types of panel. All enhancement technology, especially that which allows you to achieve absolute blacks, helps to end up showing natural, bright and sharp images. Improving lighting is key to avoiding blooming and in this Q9F family they have managed it intelligently. The brightness and especially the color make the difference compared to other LCD televisions, and that is that Samsung has been able to display 100 percent of the color volume of the DCI-P3 spectrum. All this taking advantage of the HDR10 + standard. So ultimately, the image is bright and colorful, even when displaying very light or very dark areas of the image.
Apart from the best image quality created by Samsung, we must not lose sight of the fact that they are smart televisions. So much so that you can do without the user manual and configure everything directly from the SmartThings application . We can set up the command center of the house in the living room and know how much time the washing machine has left or what we have to buy to fill the fridge. We can even see our notifications on the screen or send photos to the TV to transform it into a digital frame. Without a doubt, great additions to this new family.
And it is that Ambient Mode makes the difference , although it is a feature that only those most concerned about the image of our living room take advantage of. Its decorative possibilities attract attention. They are neat and attractive, and it gives a whole new dimension to this living room appliance.
Of course, all this has a price, and in the case of the Samsung QLED Q9F family it is premium. Although in the average of what is expected of the most complete televisions of the company. The 55-inch TV is the most affordable for 2,700 euros. Then the 65 jumps to 3,500 euros with more image enhancement technologies. Samsung's top TV is on sale for 5,000 euros with a size of 75 inches.