Samsung QN900A Neo QLED 8K TV review: Ultra-resolute wonderment

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(Pocket-lint) - The QN900A astir feels similar the effect of Samsung TV engineers sitting down, compiling a database of each the precise latest bleeding-edge (non-OLED) TV technologies it could deliberation of and past deciding to instrumentality them each wrong a azygous dazzling product. 

There's caller Mini LED lighting technology, for starters. There's a caller backlight power strategy that supports beauteous overmuch 4 times arsenic galore separately controlled airy zones arsenic immoderate Samsung LCD TV before. There's QLED wide colour technology. The screen's autochthonal solution is 8K alternatively than 4K. Its connections enactment playback of each the latest and top gaming graphics features. And arsenic for its design, well, it's rather the stunner.

But with a precocious terms and solution exertion that's arguably a signifier up of existent contented standards, does the QN900A marque consciousness for astir buyers?

Design

  • 4x HDMI 2.1 inputs, 3x USB ports
  • LAN & Wi-Fi multimedia options

The QN900A oozes flagship benignant from each pore. Pores which it really has successful the signifier of a beauteous perforated decorativeness applied to each 4 of its edges to assistance with dependable output (but much astir that astatine the extremity of this review).

Samsung

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Its bezel and sides look similar they've been exquisitely chiselled from a stainless alloy - yet erstwhile viewing the TV head-on this premium framework is hardly disposable due to the fact that it's truthful ground-breakingly thin. This astir bezel-free head-on look earns the TV its 'Infinity' selling name, arsenic the representation seems to person nary bounds.

Even the set's rear is much charismatic than most, with its level signifier and striated decorativeness lone breached by a recessed transportation constituent for the TV's One Connect container - the outer container which houses each of the TV's connections and jacks into the TV via conscionable a azygous cablegram - and 8 powerful-looking rear-firing mid-range/bass speakers. 

Moving to Mini LED lighting has enabled Samsung to marque the QN900A overmuch slimmer circular the backmost than its predecessor, truthful that it's present a overmuch much effectual wall-hanging option. Its centrally-mounted desktop basal is some handsome and supremely good built, for radical who would alternatively spell that much accepted route. The angled cervix of the basal has a applicable use, too, since the One Connect container tin beryllium attached to it.

Pocket-lint

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This is adjacent much awesome erstwhile you see however galore connections the One Connect carries. Four HDMIs pb the way, each built to the latest HDMI 2.1 modular and capable to enactment 40Gbps of information (and 4K120 wherever applicable). There are 3 USBs for multimedia playback too, on with an optical integer audio output and the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity we present expect of beauteous overmuch immoderate TV. Note that there's nary carnal headphone port; Samsung expects radical to usage a Bluetooth headset these days, it seems.

Picture Features

  • HDR Support: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+
  • Processing engine: Neo Quantum Processor 8K with AI

There's truthful overmuch going connected with the QN900A that it's hard to cognize wherever to start. But since it's the newest kid connected the block, let's spell for Mini LED. This exertion involves shrinking the LEDs that illuminate LCD screens truthful that it's imaginable to acceptable acold much of them successful the aforesaid surface area. Mini LED opens the doorway to slimmer TV designs, accrued brightness and, astir importantly, overmuch finer airy control. 

Samsung

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The power portion of the Mini LED communicative is backed up connected the QN900A by a monolithic 1920 separately controlled dimming zones. This means it tin output antithetic levels of airy from astir 2,000 antithetic sections of the representation astatine immoderate fixed moment. 

This is still, of course, a acold outcry from the mode each pixel successful an OLED surface makes its ain light. But Mini LED's exertion moves acold beyond the maximum 500 oregon truthful zones recovered connected erstwhile award-winning Samsung flagship LCD TVs.

The QN900A uses its new-found airy power capabilities to execute a phenomenal brightness of astir 4000 nits. This compares with an implicit maximum of nether 1000 nits from OLED TVs.

This 4000 nit fig is lone disposable successful the Dynamic preset, though, and the acceptable tin lone prolong it for a abbreviated play of clip implicit a tiny area. Otherwise the highest brightness of 1650 nits - arsenic achieved and sustained successful the Standard representation preset - is simply a earnestly potent figure. Especially erstwhile specified brightness tin beryllium controlled truthful finely by the section dimming system.

Another header diagnostic of the QN900A is its 8K resolution. This adds up to 4 times arsenic galore pixels arsenic you get connected a 4K TV. Some mightiness reason this is overkill astatine a clip erstwhile autochthonal 8K sources are fundamentally restricted to a fewer YouTube videos. However, there's inactive a accidental much 8K contented volition crook up eventually.

Samsung

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Plus, crucially, the QN900A's accomplishment astatine upscaling HD and 4K footage to the screen's 8K solution is bolstered by Samsung's caller Neo Quantum 8K processor. This brings with it the combined representation handling acquisition of nary little than 15 abstracted neural networks that Samsung has enactment to enactment successful its labs by poring implicit tens of thousands of antithetic images. The video processors successful 2020's Samsung 8K TVs lone drew connected the 'AI' cognition accumulated by a azygous neural network.

The QN900A is, arsenic its rubric says connected the Samsung website, a QLED TV. This signifies that it uses Quantum Dots to marque its colours alternatively than little versatile LCD filters. This is particularly important connected a TV arsenic agleam arsenic this, arsenic applying truthful overmuch brightness to a modular filter-based colour strategy could good effect successful colours looking alternatively washed retired and thin.

While Samsung is simply a spot stingy with immoderate of its cheaper models erstwhile it comes to enactment for the latest gaming graphics features, the QN900A ticks each the boxes. All 4 of the HDMIs enactment 40Gbps information rates, opening up enactment for 4K gaming astatine 120Hz refresh rates, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and Auto Low-Latency Mode (ALLM), each of which enables the TV to power successful and retired of their Game presets automatically depending connected whether your console is being utilized for gaming oregon video playback.

The QN900A's adaptable refresh complaint enactment covers the AMD FreeSync Pro and Nvidia G-Sync versions, arsenic good arsenic the VRR strategy that's portion of the HDMI 2.1 specification.

Samsung

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The lone caller gaming diagnostic not covered by the QN900A is Dolby Vision. This precocious HDR strategy isn't supported by immoderate Samsung TVs, adjacent though it is present disposable for gaming connected the Xbox Series X arsenic good arsenic PCs.

The QN900A does enactment the modular HDR10 HDR format, arsenic good arsenic the HLG strategy required for Sky Q boxes and the BBC iPlayer's HDR streams, alongside the HDR10+ strategy that Samsung itself developed arsenic an alternate to Dolby Vision. But adjacent extracurricular of the gaming satellite Dolby Vision contented continues to beryllium much wide than HDR10+.

Smart Features

  • Smart System: Tizen-based Eden platform

While Samsung hasn't radically tweaked its Eden astute TV level for 2021, it didn't truly request to. 

On the contented side, each of the streaming apps astir radical volition privation are contiguous and correct: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV and the catch-up services for seemingly each of the UK's main terrestrial broadcasters.

Samsung

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The lone drawback is that Samsung doesn't play shot with either of the Freeview oregon YouView platforms that bring the UK terrestrial broadcaster catch-up apps unneurotic nether a nicely presented 'umbrella' system.

Unlike astir astute TV systems these days, the Eden location surface is superimposed implicit lone the bottommost 3rd oregon truthful of the screen, alternatively than wholly taking it over. This compact attack means you tin browse for on-demand contented portion inactive watching TV.

The nexus icons are large capable to beryllium casual to read, but tiny capable for plentifulness of links to look connected surface astatine immoderate 1 time. The mode a contextualised 2nd tier of nonstop amusement links pops up erstwhile a work app connected the bottommost enactment is highlighted works large too, and it's imaginable to scroll down to tons much contented 'shelves' from the location screen. 

The beardown ocular interface is backed up, too, by an fantabulous dependable recognition/control system.

Picture Quality

The QN900A sets caller standards for LCD technology. Especially erstwhile it comes to contrast. In fact, trying to drawback its caller Mini LED airy strategy retired with HDR scenes containing utmost combinations of acheronian and airy elements really conscionable gives it an accidental to amusement off. 

Samsung

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The acceptable tin deed specified deep, neutral achromatic levels, for starters, that it's nary longer imaginable to prime the surface retired of the acheronian during fade-to-blacks successful a blacked-out room. This is simply a celebrated instrumentality that's antecedently lone been imaginable with OLED TVs.

Much much important, though, is however consistently the QN900A is capable to clasp onto these ground-breaking achromatic levels. There's nary motion of distracting fluctuations successful the baseline achromatic levels, for instance, erstwhile utilizing astir of the representation presets. Even better, there's beauteous overmuch zero disposable airy blooming/haloing astir agleam objects, adjacent erstwhile they look against transportation achromatic backdrops. 

Samsung had a beardown estimation adjacent pre-Mini LED for avoiding blooming with its premium LCDs. The cardinal quality here, though, is that keeping backlight blooming astatine bay doesn't necessitate the TV to trim the strength of agleam highlights astir arsenic overmuch arsenic erstwhile Samsung TV generations.

This consistency makes the representation much immersive and greatly enhances the consciousness of existent opposition the surface tin deliver, unlocking much interaction from 1 of HDR's astir charismatic features. 

Samsung

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While the summation successful opposition is the prima of the amusement successful presumption of improvements implicit erstwhile Samsung (and other) LCD TVs, the QN900A backs this up with stellar efforts successful beauteous overmuch each different representation department, too. 

The screen's utmost brightness does a large job, for instance, with full-screen agleam HDR content, specified arsenic sun-drenched landscapes oregon spotlit sports stadiums. There's a truly life-like strength to specified full-on imagery that lone a fistful of different LCD models tin rival. 

Samsung seems to person improved the mode its QLED exertion works with the QN900A's caller airy engine, too. Vibrant tones detonate disconnected the surface with singular punch and richness, ensuring you get the maximum payment from the wider colour spectrum that invariably accompanies HDR content. 

Colours aren't conscionable ultra-potent, though. Samsung's processing motor is capable to delineate capable subtlety successful the rendering of colour tones to support up successful finesse presumption with the screen's tremendous 8K resolution. This bolsters the aggravated realism and three-dimensionality of precocious prime sources - particularly autochthonal 8K ones - portion making the constituent that having much pixels to play with isn't conscionable astir much sharpness.

Samsung

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Not that the QN900A is lacking successful sharpness. Tweaks to Samsung's wide-angle exertion mean there's nary longer the somewhat brushed look to pictures that was disposable connected immoderate Samsung 8K sets from backmost successful 2018. Native 8K sources look truthful affluent successful item and pixel density that viewing feels much similar looking done a model than looking astatine a screen.

More importantly fixed the existent authorities of the contented world, the QN900A's upscaling of 4K sources is masterful. With truthful overmuch AI know-how to gully on, Samsung's flagship TV manages to adhd the tens of millions of other pixels required to marque 4K into 8K truthful successfully that it's casual to hide the surface is 'only' showing a 4K source. 

Especially exceptional is however good the processing removes immoderate sound that mightiness beryllium successful the source, ensuring that the lone happening that gets upscaled and emphasised is existent representation information. The pristine results emphatically enactment to furniture each those aged 'upscaling is bad' memories associated with aboriginal HD TVs backmost successful the day.

Samsung's question processing, connected the different hand, isn't adjuvant successful its default state. It causes noticeable unwanted processing broadside effects astir the edges of moving objects. Happily the acceptable doesn't look excessively juddery with each question processing turned off, though. Plus there's a Custom question enactment - designed for the comparatively adventurous - that mildly massages judder without the results looking processed oregon unnaturally fluid if the abstracted blur and judder settings are acceptable to astir 3 of their four-level options.

While the QN900A delivers its astir spectacular pictures erstwhile utilizing its Standard preset, which takes vantage of the TV's unsocial technological strengths without pushing things into the brainsick territory occasionally strayed into by the Dynamic preset, Samsung present besides caters for fans of 'accurate' pictures by including some a bully Movie preset and adjacent a Filmmaker Mode that meets the support of the autarkic UHD Alliance organisation.

Samsung

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Not contented with looking outstanding with video, the QN900A is simply a spectacular gaming screen. Its brightness, opposition and colour potency are a joyousness to behold with the latest HDR-enriched games, particularly astatine 120Hz. The surface keeps the clip it takes to nutrient its pictures to little than 10ms successful its Game mode, too, which is an outstanding result. Especially for an 8K TV.

There are 1 oregon 2 weaknesses hiding down the QN900A's mostly bravura efforts. While viewing angles clasp up amended than those of astir LCD TVs, for instance, the backlight blooming that's truthful conspicuously absent erstwhile viewing the TV head-on tin commencement to go rather noticeable with off-axis viewing. Next, portion astir colours look phenomenally punchy, affluent reds tin go somewhat pinkish oregon purple connected occasion.

Finally, the Mini LED's adjacent 1920 lighting and dimming zones don't effect successful implicit opposition consistency. With precise tiny agleam objects, specified arsenic stars oregon distant lit windows against a nighttime sky, the QN900A inactive has to dim the agleam entity down rather substantially to support localised backlight blooming astatine bay. By limiting specified dimming issues to overmuch smaller objects than before, though, they look acold little often - and are acold little distracting and evident adjacent erstwhile they bash appear.

Sound Quality

The QN900A isn't abbreviated of speakers. They're tucked wrong each 4 of the screen's sides (hence the perforated bezel finish), and there's a blockbusting array of 8 ample drivers firing retired of the TV's rear.

So it's a spot disappointing that the QN900A lone sounds bully alternatively than fantastic.

Samsung

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The champion happening astir the QN900A's dependable is the accuracy with which it tin spot dependable effects some connected and beyond its screen. This is down to Samsung's alleged Object Tracking Sound system, which combines awesome processing with the expansive talker array to make a elaborate and close soundstage.

The dependable struggles to task forward, though. Most of the enactment seems to hap lone to the broadside of oregon down the screen. Bass is lone just to middling excessively (though utilizing the Amplify dependable mounting helps), and the dependable conscionable doesn't person the attack, aggression and dynamic scope of the precise best-sounding TVs. 

With this successful caput it mightiness beryllium worthy trying to bargain the TV successful conjunction with a Samsung soundbar that supports the brand's Q Symphony feature, wherever the TV and soundbar efficaciously harvester their speakers' efforts.

Verdict

The Samsung QN900A is simply a dazzling instauration to the joys of Mini LED technology. Backed up by an uncompromising section dimming system, the determination to Mini LED helps Samsung's flagship 8K TV nutrient a consistently jaw-dropping HDR performance. 

Its precocious terms tag volition intelligibly beryllium an insurmountable hurdle for many, and it would surely beryllium bully to spot this driblet a spot arsenic we caput towards merchantability season. For radical with the fiscal wherewithal to dainty themselves to a TV that's beauteous overmuch the dictionary explanation of cutting edge, though, Samsung ticks each the boxes here.

Also consider

Sony

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Sony KD-83A90J

The 83-inch enactment is Sony's biggest OLED TV ever. It's besides the brightest, acknowledgment to its usage of a caller benignant of OLED sheet design. This caller sheet combines with Sony's mesmerising caller Bravia XR processing to nutrient fantastically cinematic representation prime - particularly successful a darkened room. 

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LG

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LG 75QNED99

This 75-inch 8K LG LCD TV employs Mini LED technology, similar the QN900A, unneurotic with LG's fantabulous Nano Cell colour system. The effect is immoderate ultimate representation quality. There's LG's latest webOS astute motor too, and the terms is simply a comparatively affordable each considered. The TV's IPS panel, however, tin origin a fewer problems during the precise darkest movie scenes.

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Writing by John Archer. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 24 August 2021.

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