Samsung QN900D review
Image: Alice Clarke.

Samsung QN900D Neo QLED 8K review: the TV of your dreams

8.8

Sometimes it’s nice to imagine which TV you would buy if money was no object. If it was me, I would get a micro-LED TV, those go for upwards of $100k, but they’re so pretty. However, if I were let loose in a JB Hi-Fi with an almost unlimited budget, the TV I would choose is an 85-inch Samsung QN900D. It’s the perfect example of what an LED TV is capable of in 2024.

As usual, Samsung has thrown the kitchen sink at its flagship TV, and while the price tag gives me the vapours, the picture quality is the kind that would turn your home into a cinema you would never want to leave.

Samsung QN900D review

Samsung QN900D first impressions

My first impression of the Samsung QN900D is that it physically looks a lot like last year’s flagship QLED TV, but with the same remote as the year before.

I did this review in a hotel room across three days, which isn’t the ideal way to review a TV, because you can’t fully live with it. Regardless, it was certainly enough time to give me a proper sense of its capabilities. Not enough time to truly embrace the quirks of the home screen and operating system, but enough to truly appreciate the way it’s improved over last year’s model (which is the TV I use at home, so I am very familiar with it).

TV upscaling web content
Image: Alice Clarke.

And trust me, while most of the time there isn’t a particularly noticeable improvement between models, and I abhor the “put an AI in it” trend, you really can see a hugely noticeable improvement from last year’s TV to this year’s. Last year’s TV was already incredible, but this is another level.

Samsung QN900D specifications

Resolution8K (7,680 x 4,320)
Operating SystemTizen Smart TV
HDMI 2.1 supportFour ports up to 240Hz/FPS
Dimensions with stand (WxHxD)1,877.4 x 1,145.2 x 304.9 mm
53.4 kg
Dimming zonesNot specified, but in the 1000s
ConnectivityHDMI 2.1 x 4
USB-A x 3
USB-C x 1
Ethernet x
Digital Audio Out (Optical) x 1
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
Smart servicesWorks with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Bixby.
Built-in Alexa Voice Assistant
Connects with SmartThings Hub.
HDRNeo Quantum HDR 8K Pro, HDR 10+
Price (RRP)65-inch: $6,499
75-inch: $8,999
85-inch: $11,999
WarrantyOne year
Official websiteSamsung Australia

240Hz refresh rate in a TV is ridiculous. It’s unheard of. You can have essentially an 85-inch premium gaming PC monitor. Absolutely wild.

There are supposedly even more dimming zones. They annoyingly don’t specify the number of dimming zones, but I’m told “thousands” and “significantly more than last year”, so that’s nice and vague, yet also kinda impressive.

It’s even thinner than last year, at 12.9mm. That means it will be a terrifying nightmare to move and carry, but it’ll look even nicer hung on the wall. It can get this thin because the “One Connect Box” you connect things to can either be mounted on the back of the TV, or hidden in a cabinet and connected to the TV using one thin cable.

Samsung still doesn’t support Dolby Vision, which is a bit ridiculous, and the only black mark against this otherwise excellent television.

Performance

Brightness and reflections

This TV can get really bright. There is a lot of technology within it focused on making it a TV that you can watch in an aggressively bright living room in the middle of the day. There are some reflections, because glass is like that, but they’re not super noticeable or a problem. The reflection-reducing technology in the panel is doing its job, but it is not a miracle worker.

Motion

It is really easy to critique the motion on a cheap TV because it often looks terrible. I spent three days watching this TV, and did not notice the motion once. It was impeccable. I kept putting on different shows thinking “I am going to analyse every detail about this picture”, and then I would just get completely lost in the show because the technology wasn’t getting in the way of the art. The motion was natural, not blurred and without the dreaded soap opera effect, not jagged (like another TV I reviewed recently), but naturally smooth.

TV smooth nature documentary
Image: Alice Clarke.

The sign of a good piece of technology isn’t when you look at it and go “ah, I can see that the motion is natural, and the colouration is just how I like it”, but when you forget you’re looking at a TV and instead get completely caught up in what you’re watching.

The best technology is invisible.

Ordinarily, I would talk about gaming performance in this section, too, but the internet at the hotel was not good enough to properly assess cloud video games, and there was no console available to test. Specs-wise, it should be great, but I can’t say for sure.

Audio

This TV is not designed to be used without a soundbar, and that shows, because without a soundbar, it sounds bad. This TV is designed to give you a beautiful picture, and then let another custom-designed object do the work of the audio. Audio needs room to move, and a super thin TV doesn’t have that.

I reviewed this TV with the Q-Series Home Theatre Soundbar Q990D (the upgraded version of last year’s model), and I was blown away by how full and detailed it sounded. Some TV brand soundbars can sound like cheap afterthoughts, but Samsung’s latest top-of-the-range model sounded like a surround system I would normally expect to see at double the price. Shockingly, $1999.99 almost feels like a bargain for this soundbar.

But, is the audio built into the TV on its own, good? No. It’s frustrating that a nearly $12K TV doesn’t come with the soundbar it’s designed to be used with. But I’m almost certain that most retailers will do a package deal on them.

Remote

Samsung has gone back to the design of the 2022 remote. Familiar, but weird that they stopped doing the 2023 remote, I liked that one. What that means is that the remote is a bit longer and a bit thicker and has a recessed section for the buttons. It’s a good remote, feels nice in the hand, and it still has the solar panel on the back to charge it.

It’s not quite perfect – the lack of number buttons mean that people who watch free-to-air or Samsung’s FAST (free ad-supported television) channels have to spend a bit longer faffing about to get to their channels. But it also means the remote is uncluttered.

Sports

Samsung has (as all technology companies have into everything) shoved gen AI into this TV. The gen AI is so the chip recognises what clouds, cows and sports balls (among other things) look like, and can better render the image in much the same way some Hollywood studios upscale movies for remastered releases.

Samsung QN900D sports
Image: Alice Clarke.

What this means is that the ball stays crisp, and the motion fluid. I found this particularly noticeable in an NBA playoffs game. Despite the internet connection at the time being terrible, impacting the resolution, the ball was easy to follow. Sports are going to be a major focus for TV sales in this Olympic year, so it’s important that Samsung nailed that.

Menus and home screen

Here is where I get a bit frustrated. There are so many ways people watch TV, so many apps, so many different kinds of inputs. So, it’s understandable that Samsung’s home screen is cluttered and a bit unintuitive, but this year it got worse with the introduction of three new tabs.

Samsung QN900D Tizen OS
Image: Alice Clarke.

I can see the intention behind them (Discover, Live and Apps), but what I really want is a fully customisable experience where people can set up shortcuts to their favourite apps, channels and inputs in the order they want, much like, say, an Apple TV home screen. I understand that part of Samsung’s aim here is to have more places to put advertising on this screen, which is antithetical to the customisation goal, and I hate that a lot, particularly on a TV this expensive.

Perhaps if you live with the home screen longer, you get more used to it, but I found it to be a source of frustration in my short time with it.

Upscaling

Look, obviously 4K content looks great on an 8K TV. If 4K content did not look great, what is even the point? The real challenge is making ye olde SD TV shows and YouTube videos made on a budget of 50 cents and a stick of gum look palatable.

I tested this extensively on an old episode of Gilmore Girls, the first season of the Carmilla web series, and a wide variety of music videos by an assortment of indie artists. Most of them ended up looking like they’d been natively shot in not-quite-4K, but better than Full HD. The colours were rich, the motion fluid, and the sharpness hit a nice Goldilocks zone. Overall: yay.

Who is the Samsung QN900D for?

Rich people who like fancy TVs. If this level of TV is in your budget, you simply could not find a better QLED TV. OLED TVs have ever-so-slightly better blacks and better light control, but for brighter living rooms, and whiter whites, QLED TVs like the Samsung QN900D are the best you can get. I am an AV nerd, and if it was in my budget, this is the TV I would buy.

At $6,500 –  $11,999 depending on size, this TV is absolutely not for everyone, but it is a good sampling platter of the best Samsung can do in 2024.

Samsung QN900D Neo QLED 8K TV
If I was let loose in a JB Hi-Fi with an almost unlimited budget, the 85-inch Samsung QN900D is the TV I'd choose. It’s that good.
Features
10
Value for money
7
Performance
9
Ease of use
8
Design
10
Positives
Beautiful and clear picture
Excellent upscaling
Perfect for sports
Negatives
Menus and home screen are too busy
Needs a soundbar
Expensive
8.8