OLED screens are found on the greatest TVs I’ve examined, but they’re not the only factor in picture quality. High-end TVs with LCD-based displays may achieve brightness levels greater than any OLED TV and are competitive with it in other crucial respects, such as contrast. Thanks to QLED, mini-LED, and local dimming technology, Samsung’s QN90B is a fantastic example, providing blinding brightness with minimal other drawbacks. Although the phrase has a futuristic sound, it is effective.
The LG OLED TV triumphed when I side-by-side compared it against a Samsung TV, but the Samsung was as near as any non-OLED TV I’ve tried. The QN90B outperforms the superb QN90A from last year in terms of punch, contrast, and overall fidelity since it can focus that light output with hardly any blooming or stray illumination.
Additionally, Samsung’s design and features are excellent as usual. The QN90B is just loaded, from the sleek stand to the upgraded remote to the plethora of gaming goodies, including a new cloud gaming centre with Xbox Game Pass support. The QN90B is worth considering if you’re in the market for a high-end TV and searching for an OLED substitute, or you simply have a bright space.
Sizes of Samsung QN90B
The 65-inch QN90B was the subject of a hands-on evaluation, but this review also holds true for the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes should offer comparable picture quality due to their identical specifications.
Samsung QN43QN90B, 43-inch
Samsung QN50QN90B, 50-inch
Samsung QN55QN90B, 55-inch
Samsung QN65QN90B, 65-inch
Samsung QN75QN90B, 75-inch
Samsung QN85QN90B, 85-inch
Although I tested the 65-inch QN90B in person, my review also holds true for the other screen sizes in the series. Similar specifications across all sizes should result in comparable image quality.
Unique accents and a great remote
Outside, the QN90B essentially resembles the QN90A from the previous year, which is advantageous. Its stand, which Samsung’s website refers to as a “bending plate,” is its most striking feature. It is minimal and almost entirely picture-based. For that, I’m here. With its tiny footprint and centred appearance, it is more streamlined and cleaner-looking than other TVs’ two legs. My favourite feature is how it suspends the large panel so that it appears to hover above my credenza.
Due to its improved shape and functionality, Samsung’s svelte, rounded remote is my favourite TV clicker all around. The elevated volume and channel bars are a lovely variation from ordinary buttons, the metallic, wraparound finish feels high-end, and the keys are well-placed, pleasingly minimalist, and free of gaudy colours. I like that it can be charged by USB-C, the solar panel on the back, or RF harvesting instead of using batteries. The latter two approaches weren’t tested by me.
Cluttered menu, cool cloud gaming
I discussed my issues with Samsung’s new 2022 TV menu design in my Q60B review, so I won’t go over them again here. Ads, clutter, and other things I don’t care about take up too much screen space, and many helpful features are hidden away in submenus. While exploring all the choices might be enjoyable, the menu generally looks antiquated and seems less individualised than, say, Google TV on a Sony. The simplicity of Roku TV continues to win me over, but Samsung’s TV menus in this version are the complete opposite. With the QN90B, however, there was no lag at all; answers were more than adequate.
The QN90B incorporates Samsung’s new gaming hub, which connects to cloud gaming services like Xbox Game Pass, Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Amazon Luna. This hub is present on all Samsung TVs. Playing Halo: Infinite went well when I tested it out with a fast wired Ethernet connection, as Samsung suggests. As I battled grunts and rode the Mongoose around the map, my Xbox controller connected to the TV without any trouble, and replies were prompt. Gameplay was comparable, although graphics were considerably weaker than they were on an Xbox Series X.
The same goes for all cloud services; results may vary. For instance, the game was unusable when I played it on a Wi-Fi connection that was significantly slower. But it’s extremely fantastic to be able to play games on only the TV without a console at all, assuming you have a strong connection (Samsung advises 50Mbps or more).
As in the previous year, you have the option of using Alexa, Google Assistant, or Samsung’s own Bixby as your voice assistant. You may activate these services by speaking into the remote control or by saying the wake word (such as “Alexa”) into thin air. (You can turn off the always-listening microphone if you choose.) Apple AirPlay also functions with the TV.
Modern LCD TV technology
The Neo QLED, mini-LED driven backlight with full-array local dimming is the most crucial aspect of the QN90B’s image quality. While CNET’s tests revealed mini-LEDs are brighter than bigger ones, local dimming enhances LCD image quality by making certain sections of the picture dimmer or brighter in response to what is on the screen, which dramatically raises contrast. The QN90B boasts brighter images and more dimming zones than the step-down Q85B, and less zones than the 8K versions, according to Samsung’s cryptic “quantum HDR 32X” spec, but Samsung doesn’t specify exactly how many zones it has (or how bright). It does promote “shape adaptive light control” processing, which is new for 2022 and is supposed to lessen blooming and stray illumination.
Recommended – Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Review
Like other Samsung QLED TVs, the QN90B’s LCD screen is enhanced by a layer of quantum dots, which are tiny nanocrystals that light a particular wavelength (i.e., colour) when given energy. This technology is also used in most high-end TVs from Vizio, Hisense, and TCL. Better brightness and colour are the results as compared to TVs without QD technology. The QN90B’s genuine 120Hz panel enhances the motion performance of the TVs.
The HDR10 and HDR10 Plus codecs are supported by the set for high dynamic range material. The majority of competitors’ HDR TVs offer Dolby Vision, however Samsung TVs do not. I don’t think the absence of Dolby Vision on this TV is a deal-breaker because I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that one HDR standard is intrinsically “better” than the other.
The connectivity is first-rate. If you have numerous devices that output it, such as a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Series X and a high-end PC card (you know who you are…), you’re all set. All four of its HDMI ports are compatible with 4K/120Hz feeds. The QN90B also supports eARC, ALLM (also known as Auto Game Mode), which enables it to automatically transition to game mode to eliminate input lag when it detects you are playing a game, and AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro and conventional VRR formats.
Four HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.1, HDCP 2.2
Two USB 2.0 ports
Optical digital audio output
RF (antenna) input
RS-232 port (minijack, for service only)
Ethernet (LAN) port
Unless you happen to own a vintage gadget that needs analogue video (component or composite), or audio, the list is generally solid. The QN90B is completely devoid of analogue inputs, either audio or video, like many recent high-end TVs. However, it is one of the few TVs that has an integrated ATSC 3.0 tuner for Next-Gen TV transmissions.
Related – Vivo X80 Pro full review
Comparisons of image quality
For my comparisons, I placed the LG OLED65C1P, my current Editors’ Choice, and the Sony KD-65X95K, another model using mini-LED technology, adjacent to the Samsung QN90B. The newer C2 would have been ideal for my comparison, but it wasn’t available. The C1 is a decent alternative because both have comparable picture quality.
TV and movies:
As per usual, I began my evaluation with a montage from the Spears and Munsil HDR benchmark, and it was immediately clear that the Samsung had a brightness advantage over the other two. In comparison to the Sony and LG, the snow-capped mountains, desert sand, clouds, and other well-lit regions made a bigger impression. However, in mixed-content, dark settings like a nighttime cityscape, the LG appeared more realistic with truer shadows, while the Samsung and Sony had a little washed-out appearance. On the Samsung, the white snow and other places were somewhat bluer and less realistic than on the other devices, but this is not anything that would be apparent without a side-by-side comparison.
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