Price (RRP): $9399
How do you know what the best TV for most well-heeled Aussie’s needs is? You ask someone that has spent quality time with the top-of-the-range 4K, 2019 Samsung Q90 QLED TV.
In the reviewer’s game, you get invited to swanky hotels, plied with room service and grog and watch a 4K movie or three on a flagship 4K Samsung Q90 QLED TV. That is the fun bit. Going home and watching content on a lesser TV is the hard bit.
I could say that Samsung Q90 QLED is the best TV I have seen. I could say that if you have a spare $6,499/9,399/11,799 for a 65/75/82-inch version, then you can’t go wrong. And I would be right!
But I want to be objective, avoid hyperbole and empirical (observed but not scientifically proven) claims.
Review: Samsung Q90 QLED TV
How does a flagship 4K, Q90 QLED TV look – technically?
We test grey-scale to determine black levels. It was able to reproduce 97.5% black, and that is very good.
Otherwise, the grey scale was perfect going up in 2% increments to 100% white. I have not seen another LED/LCD do that.
Next colour bars.
Most TVs succeed in reproducing primary red, green and blue (the use RGB LEDs after all) but fall over with secondary colour mixes and white. This test also reveals the effectiveness of the backlight and allows you to see if its edge-lit or back-lit.
Colour bars were perfect with no overlap and even brightness. Yes, I expect this of a Samsung Q90 but these were pin-sharp and had even brightness.
I did not have a colourimeter with me but to my eyes, primary RGB was perfect (as it should be) and secondary colours like pink, yellow, light blue and white were very good too.
There was no banding at all courtesy of 480 individual lighting zones. At one stage we did detect a very slight light bleed on a large, fast moving white square that zooms around the screen (tests tearing and light zones). Lesser TVs have perceptible light trails!
Even at 75° off-angle viewing the colours were perfect – I have not seen that on an LED/LCD before.
Samsung claims to have addressed the reflectivity issues of its 2018 Q9 series.
Yes and no. It is better (see the 2018 Q9 photo), but you still need to be very careful with placement of overhead lights, rear lights and external light sources like windows.
How does it look – with a movie?
I have seen most of the 4K movies, and so I watched SpiderMan – Into the Spider-Verse. It is a Marvel cartoon, 4K (upscaled from 2160), HDR10, HEVC/H.265 encoded, with 24-bit/48kHz Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 sound. The photo below probably does not do the reality justice, but the detail in the bag texture and bag tag, the HDR10 detail in the shadow crossing the bag and under his chin were very good.
I am still concerned that Samsung does not support Dolby Vision, but for 99% of the time, its HDR10+ and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) makes this excellent for Hollywood movies.