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    Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Design
    1. Stand
    2. Back
    3. Borders
    4. Thickness
    5. Temperature
    6. Build Quality
  3. Picture Quality
    1. Contrast
    2. Local Dimming
    3. SDR Peak Brightness
    4. HDR Peak Brightness
    5. Gray Uniformity
    6. Viewing Angle
    7. Black Uniformity
    8. Gradient
    9. Pre Calibration
    10. Post Calibration
    11. 480p Input
    12. 720p Input
    13. 1080p Input
    14. 4k Input
    15. Color Gamut
    16. Color Volume
    17. Image Retention
    18. Reflections
    19. 3D
    20. Pixels
  4. Motion
    1. Motion Blur
    2. Image Flicker
    3. 24p Playback
    4. Motion Interpolation
  5. Inputs
    1. Input Lag
    2. Supported Resolutions
    3. Side Inputs
    4. Rear Inputs
    5. Total Inputs
    6. Inputs Specifications
  6. Sound Quality
    1. Frequency Response
    2. Distortion
  7. Smart Features
    1. Interface
    2. Ads
    3. Apps and Features
    4. Remote
    5. Remote App
    6. TV Controls
    7. In The Box
    8. Misc
  8. Sizes and Variants
  9. Compared
  10. Conclusion
  11. Q&A
Reviewed on Jun 15, 2017 , Ian Cumming, Mehdi Azzabi, Martin Leduc, Eric Bousquet

Samsung QLED Q9F/Q9
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.9 Mixed Usage
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What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Recommended if under (USD)
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What it is: Maximum price to be a better value than its competitors.
How to use it: This product is the best choice in its range if you can find it below this price.
Automatically calculated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
: $1,300
Value for price beaten by
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What it is: Product with the best value in this price range
Other best choice in a cheaper price range
Other best choice in a pricier price range
Automatically updated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
: LG C7
7.4 Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
8.2 TV Shows
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What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.8 Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
8.3 Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
7.7 HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
8.1 HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
7.7 PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Type : LED
Resolution : 4k
Refresh Rate : 120 Hz

The Samsung Q9F QLED is a great 4k LCD TV with very good picture quality and exceptional rendition of colors. It can display a very wide range of colors and gets bright, making it quite good for HDR. Its input lag is quite low, and fast moving content shows very little blur, making it a good choice for both gaming and sports watching. Unfortunately, though, picture quality steeply declines when the Q9F is viewed from an angle, and its and its screen isn't the most uniform.

See our recommendations for the best 65 Inch TV.
Test Results
Design 9.5
Picture Quality 7.6
Motion 9.0
Inputs 8.9
Sound Quality 6.5
Smart Features 8.1
Pros
  • Very wide color gamut
  • Low motion blur
  • Gets bright
Cons
  • Picture quality degrades at an angle
  • Sub-par uniformity
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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9.5

Design

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Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F Design Picture
Curved : No

The design of the Q9F is excellent. It does appear much bulkier than other Samsung TVs without thinning at the borders but also feels much sturdier and the build quality is a big improvement. From the front, the stand is small so the display really stands out. Note that two power cables are required, one for the display itself and one for the OneConnect box which contains all of the inputs. 

Stand
Samsung Q9F Stand Picture

The TV sits only 1.3" above the table, supported by two T-shaped legs. The foot of the T provides a very stable base, and the stand isn't too visible which is great.

There is an option for two alternative stand designs, the 'gravity stand' and the 'easel stand' which may be purchased separately.

Footprint of the 65" TV stand: 12.0" x 38.5"

Back
Samsung Q9F Back Picture
Wall Mount : Vesa 400x400

The rear of the TV is very simple, as only the fiber-optic OneConnect cable and the power cord is plugged into the TV. As a result, inputs can be kept hidden away and the back of the TV appears very clean. As seen in this photo, it is possible to route the cables through a plastic cover at the back of the TV and down through the stand, but, unfortunately, it appears to be more of an afterthought. The plastic cover sticks onto the back of the TV with double sided tape.

Borders
Samsung Q9F Borders Picture
Borders : 0.43" (1.1 cm)

The borders have an average thickness, but look quite good.

Thickness
Samsung Q9F Thickness Picture
Max Thickness : 1" (2.6 cm)

The Q9 appears a bit thicker at the sides than most other Samsung's as it doesn't taper near the edges, but is actually one of the thinnest TVs we have tested. The design also looks great from the side.

Temperature
Samsung Q9F Temperature picture
Maximum Temperature
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What it is: The peak temperature found on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
38 °C
Average Temperature
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What it is: The average temperature measured on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
34 °C

The Q9F is edge lit from both sides so its sides get a little warm to the touch, as do some places on the back. The One Connect box, on the other hand, gets quite warm to the touch, up to 46 ºC, though this isn't warm enough to cause any issues.

9.5 Build Quality
Samsung Q9F Build quality picture

The build quality of the Q9F is excellent. Compared to most other Samsung TVs, it really feels like a big step up which is worthy of their flagship TV. All of the parts are well made and feel high quality.

7.6

Picture Quality

The Samsung Q9F LED TV has a very good picture quality. The excellent contrast ratio, paired with the good black uniformity, make the Q9 a very good choice for a dark home theater setting. It can display very deep blacks and can reproduce dark scenes very well. When set in a bright room, the Q9 is as good as it gets, since it can get very bright to fight glare from a bright lamp of a near sunny window and it can deal with reflections amazingly. Unfortunately, the Q9F's gray uniformity is sub-par and dirty screen effect is visible on wide panning shots or when watching some sports like football or hockey. The viewing angle is also poor and as a result, the Q9's best picture quality is restricted to a narrow zone in front of the TV. Finally, the Q9 can really make HDR content shine with its high HDR peak brightness and large color volume. Small highlights can get very bright and the colors it can reproduce are really a step ahead of the competition. The only downside here is the limitation of the local dimming, which is poorly implemented and can't really help to make black deepers.

8.8 Contrast
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What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Samsung Q9F Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
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What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
5065 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
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What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
5105 : 1

The Q9F TV has an excellent native contrast ratio. It is not as high as the 2016 KS Series like the KS8000, but it is still a very good result. This means the TV can produce deep blacks and great dark scene performances, especially when the TV is set in a dark room.

When the local dimming is set to maximum, the contrast ratio is in the same ballpark. This is a bit disappointing from the top Samsung TV of 2017, since it is a sign that the local dimming cannot really make blacks looks deeper than what they already are.

2.0 Local Dimming
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What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
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What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
Yes
Backlight
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What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit TVs have more uniform blacks than some full-array TVs.
:
Edge

The local dimming feature of the Q9F is bad. The only real advantage over the 2016 KS Series line of TVs, is that on the Q9F, the backlight LEDs are situated on each side of the screen, which means that the local dimming can turn off the whole black bars when watching movies. Besides that, the performance is relatively the same as the 2017 Q7F or 2016 KS8000.

8.1 SDR Peak Brightness
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What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
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What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
367 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
562 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
1664 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
857 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
805 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
210 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
544 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
1101 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
853 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
797 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
208 cd/m2
SDR ABL
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What it is: The standard deviation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.09

Great SDR peak brightness. Highlights in dim scenes are shown quite bright, thanks to the TV's local dimming. However bright scenes such as our real scene clip are dimmed significantly, and a pure white image is dimmed even more so, which is not good. Many other high end LED TVs such as the X930E are brighter in SDR, though OLEDs like the C7 are dimmer. A plot of brightness over time is shown here.

The Q9F is brighter in SDR than OLEDs like the LG C7, but not as bright as many other high end LED TVs like the Sony X930E, or even the X900E in real scenes.

8.4 HDR Peak Brightness
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What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; HDR content.
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
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What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more realistic movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over HDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in HDR.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
690 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
906 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
1410 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
1185 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
920 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
709 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
777 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
1204 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
1161 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
913 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
563 cd/m2
HDR ABL
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What it is: The standard deviation of the HDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: HDR content with large bright areas, such as HDR gaming
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.041

Great HDR peak brightness. The TV's local dimming is very effective at brightening small highlights in dark scenes, and also brightens the highlights in our real scene test to well above the TV's worst case brightness. The 'Dynamic' picture mode is even brighter than the 'Movie' mode we test, as shown in this plot, but has less accurate picture quality. When shown a static image, the TV's brightness cycles, but this shouldn't be a problem when watching moving content.

Though this brightness is outstanding, and better than OLEDs like the LG C7, it isn't quite as bright as the Sony X930E, X940E and Z9D, mostly because of the larger difference between the best case brightness and the real scene brightness.

6.5 Gray Uniformity
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What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Samsung Q9F 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
6.341 %
50% DSE
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What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.218 %
Samsung Q9F 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
0.519 %
5% DSE
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What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.092 %

The Q9's overall gray uniformity is sub-standard. Looking at our 50% gray uniformity picture, it is very easy to see that the the borders of the screen are a bit darker than the rest, which in turn is affecting the standard deviation number. This is the main reason why the gray uniformity score is so low. As for the dirty screen effect, even though the DSE number is not that high, dirty screen effect was visible when watching sports like football or hockey.

Looking at our 5% gray uniformity, the result is much better and not many uniformity issues can be noticed, which is good.

4.4 Viewing Angle
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What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Score components:
LCD Type
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What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle.
:
VA
Samsung Q9F Color Shift Picture
Color Shift
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What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
18 °
Samsung Q9F Brightness Picture
Brightness
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What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
36 °
Samsung Q9F Black Level Picture
Black Level
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What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
12 °

Bad viewing angle, but fairly typical for a VA panel. Blacks turn gray and colors shift when the TV is viewed from even a small angle, while brightness decreases more gradually. An OLED TV like the LG C7 and Sony A1E, or an IPS TV like the LG UH8500 will be better suited for a room where people often view the TV from the side.

6.5 Black Uniformity
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What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Samsung Q9F Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
1.691 %
Samsung Q9F Black Uniformity Picture with Local Dimming
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
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What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
1.666 %

The Q9 has an average overall black uniformity and it is very similar to the Q7F Uniformity. The only visible blooming on the native black uniformity test pictures is horizontal blooming at the same level as the white cross. This is due to the fact that the local dimming zones span horizontally rather than vertically. The black uniformity with local dimming is very similar to the native one.

Note that usually for the native black uniformity test, we turn off the local dimming feature to really show the true black uniformity of the panel used in the TV, but like we saw on the Q7F, the local dimming can't be completely turned off on the Q9F. Instead, you can only put the local dimming to the 'Low' setting for the native black uniformity picture and 'High' for the black uniformity with local dimming. This is one of the reasons why the native black uniformity results is about the same as the one with local dimming.

8.6 Gradient
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What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F Gradient Picture
Color Depth
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What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like UHD Blu-ray players. Won't matter for cable TV, regular Blu-ray movies, video game consoles or content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
10 Bit

The Q9F has an excellent result in our test gradient. No banding normally seen on 8-bit panels is visible and overall, even if there are some small imperfections in the darker shades, this is a good result. We did not notice any problematic banding looking at normal content and here one again, those results are in line with the rest of Samsung high-end TVs.

6.9 Pre Calibration
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What it is: TV's color accuracy before a full calibration. Only the picture mode, color temperature, and backlight level were changed.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Samsung Q9F Pre Calibration Picture Samsung Q9F Pre Gamma Curve Picture Samsung Q9F Pre Color Picture
White Balance dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.91
Color dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.08
Gamma
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What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.44

The out of the boxes accuracy is good for the Q9. Looking at the grayscale part of the accuracy test, we can see that the TV is a bit warmer overall. With a white balance dE of 3.91, this is a region where true enthusiasts could start to noticing some small imperfections, but for anyone else, it is still pretty accurate and should not be a problem.

Looking at the gamma, here it is a bit more problematic since the gamma is not tracking our target very closely, especially in the low end. This could cause problems like black crush in darker images.

9.3 Post Calibration
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What it is: TV's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All video on a TV that has been professionally calibrated. This isn't that useful, because most TVs can achieve a pretty good calibration if you spend enough time on them.
Score components:
Samsung Q9F Post Calibration Picture Samsung Q9F Post Gamma Curve Picture Samsung Q9F Post Color Picture
White Balance dE
Show Help
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.33
Color dE
Show Help
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.56
Gamma
Show Help
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.2

After calibration, which is relatively easy to perform, most of the issues we had out of the box were fixed. The white balance dE was brought down to a mere 0.33 with the gamma being flattened and tracking much closely our target.

The color dE was also cut by half, which is also very good. All the colors are tracking the target pretty well. Overall, this is a great result.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input
Show Help
What it is: Quality of a 480p input.
When it matters: Standard definition TV, DVDs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F 480p Picture

Upscaling of low quality content such as DVDs is good. Some halo artifacts are visible along edges but the image isn't too soft.

8.0 720p Input
Show Help
What it is: Quality of a 720p input.
When it matters: HD channels, some streaming videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F 720p Picture

720p content such as cable is upscaled well. Details are preserved well and the image is clear.

9.0 1080p Input
Show Help
What it is: Quality of a 1080p input.
When it matters: Blu-rays, streaming video, video files, video games.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F 1080p Picture

1080p sources such as Blu-rays look good once upscaled. The image remains sharp and detailed.

9.5 4k Input
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What it is: Quality of a 4k UHD input.
When it matters: Streaming video, UHD Blu-rays, some PCs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F 4k Picture

When viewed from up close, some minor artifacts are visible in some scenes. This is mostly noticeable with the 'Warm' color temperature for PC use and is the same result as the Q7F. It is caused by the sub-pixel dimming algorithm and occurs with images of low APL but some bright areas. This video of the sub-pixels of the Q7F showing the effect was taken by increasing the brightness of a static image.

8.7 Color Gamut
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What it is: How many colors the TV can display.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
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What it is: Whether the TV has an option to enable wide color gamuts.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
:
Yes
Samsung Q9F Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
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What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
98.41 %
DCI P3 uv
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What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
99.13 %
Samsung Q9F Color Gamut Rec.2020 Picture
Rec 2020 xy
Show Help
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
73.11 %
Rec 2020 uv
Show Help
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
77.72 %
Samsung Q9F EOTF

Excellent wide color gamut, wider than its competitors, the Sony Z9D, A1E and LG C7. The deep green performance is especially notable, which is something most TVs struggle with. The accuracy of the colors is excellent too, so colors in HDR content should be well represented.

The TV's EOTF follows the PQ curve almost perfectly until it clips at its peak brightness, when in the Movie picture mode at our recommended settings. The EOTFs in Game and PC mode are also fairly accurate, with the game mode EOFT noticeably brightened, possibly to make HDR games more playable in bright rooms.

8.0 Color Volume
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What it is: How many colors a TV can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Samsung Q9F P3 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
Show Help
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
88.4 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
Show Help
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
51.9 %
Samsung Q9F 2020 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
Show Help
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
72.5 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
Show Help
What it is: How much of the Rec 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
43.1 %

Good color volume, only really limited by the TV's color gamut and black level. The TV can show its wide color gamut throughout almost its entire brightness range, though its gamut narrows slightly for extremely dark colors.

10 Image Retention
Show Help
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a TV screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When watching TV show, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor.
Samsung Q9F Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 2 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 4 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 6 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 8 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 10 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %

Perfect result for the Samsung Q9F on the image retention test and in line with other Samsung TVs tested recently. This is a good result, especially for gamers.

Note that the strange pattern of the vertical lines is more obvious on this test picture than what you really see in person, because of the longer 1/2 time exposure needed to correctly take this picture.

9.5 Reflections
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What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F Reflections Picture Samsung Q9F Bright Room Picture
Reflection
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What it is: Ratio of ambient light reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Ambient light in the room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 0.5%
:
0.4 %
Screen Finish
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What it is: Type of coating on the screen.
When it matters: Bright objects in the direct reflection path (for example, opposite the TV).
Good value: Glossy is good for ambient light, but not for direct reflections.
:
Glossy

The Q9 has a slightly different screen finish to the Q7. This is still excellent at handling reflections but has much less of a purple tint. Reflections are smeared somewhat horizontally, but this isn't very distracting. Even in a bright room the performance is superb.

0 3D
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What it is: Optional 3D video capability on TV.
When it matters: 3D movies and videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
3D
Show Help
What it is: If it can display a picture in 3D.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
:
No
3D Type
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What it is: The 3D technology used by the TV.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
Good value: Active have better resolution, but flickers. Passive is more comfortable, but loses half the vertical resolution.
:
No
2D to 3D
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What it is: Feature that converts 2D content to 3D.
When it matters: If you want to watch 2D content in 3D. Note that the quality is not as good as that of native 3D.
:
No

The Q9F doesn't support 3D.

Pixels
Samsung Q9F Pixels Picture

The shape of the pixels is slightly different to the Q7F we reviewed (see here).

9.0

Motion

The motion handling of the Q9 is excellent. It has a fast response time, resulting in only a short trail of motion blur following fast moving objects. The backlight uses PWM to dim so motion isn't quite as smooth as some other TVs but this isn't much of an issue. Unfortunately, the backlight is not able to lower the flicker frequency to clear up persistence blur in fast-paced content. Movies played from any source are smooth which is great, and the 120Hz panel is able to interpolate lower refresh rate content.

9.3 Motion Blur
Show Help
What it is: Amount of blur on fast movement.
When it matters: Sports, video games.
Score components:
Samsung Q9F Motion Blur Picture Samsung Q9F Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
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What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
3.9 ms
100% Response Time
Show Help
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
10.7 ms

The response time of the Samsung Q9F QLED TV is outstanding and results in only a short trail following moving objects. This is excellent for fast-paced content. The response time for this TV is very similar to the Q7F and the MU8000.

2.8 Image Flicker
Show Help
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Sports, video games, when TV is used as a PC monitor
Score components:
Samsung Q9F Backlight Picture
PWM Dimming Frequency
Show Help
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
120 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Show Help
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: Yes
:
No
Samsung Q9F BFI Picture Samsung Q9F BFI Frequency Picture
BFI Frequency
Show Help
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: 60 Hz
:
120 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Option to insert black frames when in the best settings for gaming
When it matters: Reducing eye tracking blur for video games
Good value: Yes
:
No

When in the 'Movie' picture mode, the backlight uses PWM dimming to limit the backlight, even at the maximum backlight setting. As a result the oscilloscope results above are using the 'PC' icon, which doesn't limit the backlight. The Q9F uses PWM at 120Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 20/20 backlight setting. Lowering the setting shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant until very low backlight settings.

Although the 'LED Clear Motion' option exists in the TV menu, it doesn't actually reduce the flicker frequency of the backlight. The backlight off time increases and the peak brightness increases to avoid reducing overall screen brightness, but the backlight continues to flicker at 120Hz. This is a similar result as the Q7F from 2017 and the KS9000 from 2016. Samsung models from 2017 that we have tested so far all exhibit this behavior, but the KS8000 from 2016 uses BFI that reduces the backlight flicker frequency, resulting in clearer motion when using the 'LED Clear Motion' option.

10 24p Playback
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What it is: Whether 24p content can play without any judder.
When it matters: Only 24p content (mostly just movies).
Judder-free 24p
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 24p signal.
When it matters: Blu-ray and DVD movies; 24 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60p signal.
When it matters: Movies from streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire TV, etc.); 60 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60i
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60i signal.
When it matters: Movies from cable/satellite boxes.
:
Yes

The Q9F can play 24p movies without judder from 24p, 60p, and 60i sources. For this, you need to set the 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and leave the sliders at 0 for both the 'Blur Reduction' and 'Judder Reduction'. Note that when both sliders are set to 0, no soap opera effect is added.

10 Motion Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Also known as 'Soap Opera Effect'. It is an optional feature that increases the frame rate of the video, smoothing movement.
When it matters: If you like the look of smoothed video. Not everyone does.
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 30 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 60 fps.
When it matters: 30 fps or lower videos. Includes movies, TV shows, some video games.
:
Yes
Samsung Q9F Motion Interpolation (30 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 60 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 100 fps.
When it matters: 60 fps videos. Includes some video games, some sports channels.
:
Yes
Samsung Q9F Motion Interpolation (60 fps) Picture

The Q9F has a 120Hz panel which is able to interpolate lower frame rate content. Add the soap opera effect by setting 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and increasing the sliders. The 'De-judder' slider works on 30fps and lower content, and the 'De-blur' slider works on 60 fps content. Note that any motion interpolation will introduce artifacts, so use a small value unless you really like the soap opera effect.

8.9

Inputs

Show Help
Score components:

The Q9F QLED can play almost any content, including HDR. It has low input lag that should please all but the most competitive gamers.

9.1 Input Lag
Show Help
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: Video games; when TV is used as PC monitor.
4k @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.4 ms
1080p @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 60Hz input.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.3 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz with HDR.
When it matters: HDR Video games.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
22.0 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz with HDR.
When it matters: HDR video games from a console outputting a 1080p signal.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.3 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
82.7 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
82.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4.
When it matters: PC Monitor
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
When it matters: PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 with HDR enabled at 8 bit
When it matters: PC Monitor with an HDR capable graphic card
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 with HDR
When it matters: PC monitor with an HDR capable graphics card
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.2 ms
4k With Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag for 4k content when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
83.3 ms
1080p With Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag for 1080p content when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
83.1 ms
1080p @ 120 Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 120Hz input.
When it matters: When the TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A

Low input lag, which should please all but the most competitive gamers. Both Game mode and PC mode have equally low input lag, but 4:4:4 color is only properly displayed in PC mode. The PC mode input lag is an improvement over last year's KS8000 and KS9000.

8.0 Supported Resolutions
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What it is: Different resolutions supported by TV.
When it matters: PC monitor usage.
Score components:
  • 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 1060p @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and 60 fps gaming.
:
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Show Help
What it is: 120 fps 1080p signal supported.
When it matters: PC gaming.
:
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 30 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: 60 fps 4k signal supported.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: Productivity and 60 fps gaming in 4k.
:
Yes

Most common resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color are only supported when 'HDMI UHD color' is enabled for the port used. 4:4:4 color is only properly displayed when the input's icon is set to 'PC' (aka PC mode). HDR is played properly in PC mode.

Note that PC mode is not supported for some input refresh rates, such as 24 Hz. The input's icon may show PC, but the settings that are normally disabled in PC mode are not disabled, and 4:4:4 color is not shown properly.

Side Inputs

The only inputs to the TV are located on the external OneConnect box.

Rear Inputs
Samsung Q9F Rear Inputs Picture

The OneConnect box requires a separate power cable and is much larger than the OneConnect mini found with 2016 models such as the KS8000.

Total Inputs
HDMI : 4
USB : 3
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 0
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0
Composite In : 0
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Show Help
What it is: Standard HDR format.
When it matters: Most common format. All UHD Blu-ray discs are required to have it.
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
Show Help
What it is: Better format, due to its dynamic nature.
When it matters: Dolby Vision mastered content. Current available from streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Video), some Blu-Ray players, the Apple TV 4k and ChromeCast Ultra.
:
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
Show Help
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
Show Help
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
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What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
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What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwith : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
ARC : Yes (HDMI 2)
USB 3 : No
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC : Yes
MHL : No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No

Only one of Dolby Digital or DTS can be enabled at a time. The TV will not change between the two automatically.

6.5

Sound Quality

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What it is: How well and accurately the audio is reproduced.
When it matters: When a good and accurate sound reproduction is needed.
Score components:

The Samsung Q9F sounds quite poor, which is unfortunate for a TV of this status. While it isn't unbearable, it is worth spending on a set of speakers for an upgrade to the audio experience.

6.4 Frequency Response
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What it is: How accurately the sound level of each frequency is being produced.
When it matters: For a balanced and neutral sound.
Samsung Q9F Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
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What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Movies, Gaming. Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: < 60Hz
Noticeable difference: 10Hz
:
106.79 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 70dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at quiet listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
4.71 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 80dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at moderate listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
4.14 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured with the TV at maximum volume, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at under maximum load
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
5.46 dB
Max
Show Help
What it is: Maximum volume reached by the TV at their optimum viewing distance (size dependent)
When it matters: For listening to loud audio.
Good value: > 88 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
92.3 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
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What it is: The amount of difference between the TVs frequency response performance at 70dB SPL and Max dB SPL. Too much compression will result in pumping in the sound.
When it matters: When an accurate and free-of-pumping performance is required at higher volumes
Good value: < 3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
6.11 dB

The Q9F's frequency response is sub par. It isn't particularly flat, and it suffers from a great amount of dynamic range compression at higher volumes. Strangely, the response changes depending on the volume even up to 80dB.

6.6 Distortion
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What it is: Deformation of an output signal compared to its input, usually clipping, harmonic distortion, or inter-modulation distortion caused by non-linear behavior of the sound system.
When it matters: When a clean, pure and transparent reproduction is desired.
Score components:
Samsung Q9F Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 80dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
1.028
Weighted THD @ Max
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at the TV's maximum SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
2.942
IMD @ 80
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What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
2.96 %
IMD @ Max
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What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
2.98 %

Poor distortion performance. While THD is acceptable at a lower volume, it steeply rises with the levels. Fortunately, it is free of aliasing artifacts.

8.1

Smart Features

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Score components:
  • 42% Interface
  • 2% Ads
  • 37% Apps and Features
  • 16% Remote
  • 3% Remote App
Samsung Q9F Smart TV Picture
Smart OS : Tizen
Version : 2017

The Q9F uses Samsung's 2017 Tizen platform, also called Smart Hub, which is very simple and easy to navigate and has a powerful voice command feature. The TV's remote has a built-in microphone for these voice commands, which can do many things like changing inputs and settings and searching for content. The center of the TV's interface is the Smart Hub itself, which provides access to apps and settings in an easy to navigate fashion. Menu animations sometimes have frame drops and lag, worse than last year's Smart Hub. The remote unfortunately has very few buttons, requiring the user to use voice commands or navigate the Smart Hub to do most things.

8.0 Interface
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What it is: The usability, features and performance of the main interface of the TV, not including the interfaces of the apps themselves.
When it matters: Anytime when using the TV, but especially when changing settings and using apps.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Ease of Use
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What it is: How easy the interface is to navigate, affected by the organization of its layout, placing frequently accessed elements in areas that are faster to access, etc.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Easy
Smoothness
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What it is: How smooth the interface is to navigate, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Average
Time Taken to Select YouTube
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What it is: How long it takes to select YouTube for launch, starting from HDMI 1 input, when YouTube is placed first on the list of apps or added as a shortcut. This does not include app launch time, and does not use a fixed YouTube button on a remote. This serves as an indication of the time needed to select any app.
When it matters: When launching any app.
:
5 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
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What it is: The time it takes to navigate to the 'Backlight' setting ('Brightness' on Sony TVs). This serves as an indication of how long it takes to navigate to basic TV settings.
When it matters: When changing TV settings.
:
7 s
Advanced Options
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What it is: Whether advanced options and settings are available, such as color calibration.
When it matters: When customizing the TV and using the smart features.
:
Many

0 Ads
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What it is: Whether or not ads can be found on the TV's smart platform.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
Score components:
Ads
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What it is: Whether the TV's main interface has ads. This does take into account ads in third-party apps.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Yes
Opt-out
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What it is: Whether you can opt out of the ad services or not. A TV only passes this test if it allows you to remove them completely, not only disable the personalized advertising.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
No
Suggested Content in Home
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What it is: Whether suggested content appears in the TV's home menu or main menu. Suggested content can include recommended movies, TV shows, YouTube videos etc.
:
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
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What it is: Whether the suggested content feed in the home menu can be removed or hidden
:
No

The TV did not show ads during our testing. However, ads on Samsung TVs are often inconsistent. It can be assumed that the TV has ads because every Samsung TV we tested since 2016 had ads. If anyone finds ads on their Q9F, please email us a photo and we'll update the review.

8.5 Apps and Features
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What it is: The usability, features and performance of apps and other smart features.
When it matters: Only when using smart features such as apps, casting and USB playback.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F Apps Picture
App Selection
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What it is: The number and variety of apps available to download for the smart platform.
When it matters: When downloading new apps.
:
Many
App Smoothness
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What it is: How smooth it feels to navigate the interfaces of apps, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using apps.
:
Average
Cast Capable
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What it is: Whether apps on a phone or tablet can cast content to the TV.
:
Yes
USB Drive Playback
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What it is: Whether the TV can play content from a drive connected to one of the TV's USB ports.
:
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
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What it is: Whether HDR files played from a USB drive can be displayed properly.
:
Yes
HDR in Netflix
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What it is: Whether HDR content on Netflix can be played back in HDR using the native Netflix app.
:
Yes
HDR in Amazon Video
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What it is: Whether HDR content on Amazon Video can be played in HDR using the native Amazon Video app.
:
Yes
HDR in YouTube
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What it is: Whether HDR content on YouTube can be played in HDR using the native YouTube app.
:
Yes

The TV comes pre-loaded with many popular apps like Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video. More apps can be downloaded from the App menu. Apps run fairly smoothly with minimal lag or frame drops.

There is a Samsung Smart View app that can launch the TV's apps and act as its remote, but it's very basic compared to the sophisticated apps for the Roku and Vizio SmartCast platforms.

8.5 Remote
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What it is: The usability and features of the TV's physical remote.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F Remote Picture
Size
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What it is: How big the remote is
:
Small
Voice Control
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What it is: The capabilities of the TV's voice control feature
:
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
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What it is: Whether the remote can act as a universal remote for HDMI CEC enabled devices. This was tested on our Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Blu-ray player, and may not be valid for other CEC devices as implementations vary by manufacturer.
:
Yes
Other Smart Features
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What it is: Whether the remote has any other smart features, such as a pointer, universal remote support for non HDMI CEC devices, etc.
:
Yes

The remote is fairly simple but has an amazing metal build. There are very few buttons so most actions require the user to navigate the Smart Hub or use voice commands.

The voice commands are a very powerful tool and can do many things in the interface, more than on any other smart platform we've tested. Apps, settings, inputs, content and text entry can all be handled by voice.

The remote can be used as a universal remote for other devices, even if they do not support HDMI CEC, using Samsung's OneRemote feature.

7.0 Remote App
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What it is: The features of the official phone and tablet app for the TV.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q9F Remote App Picture
Acts as the Remote
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What it is: Whether the remote app can emulate all the buttons of the physical remote.
:
Yes
Launches Apps and Inputs
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What it is: Whether the remote app can launch the TV's apps and change between its inputs.
:
Apps Only
Inputs Text in YouTube
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What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for YouTube searches.
:
No
Inputs Text in Netflix
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What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for Netflix searches.
:
No
Streams Device Files
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What it is: Whether the remote app can stream files from the phone or tablet to the TV, files such as pictures, music and video.
:
Yes
Controls TV Settings
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What it is: Whether the app can change all or some of the settings on the TV, such as the backlight.
:
No
Voice Control
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What it is: Whether the remote can send voice commands to the TV.
:
Yes

TV Controls
Samsung Q9F Controls Picture

The TV has a single physical button. Pressing it brings up a menu with six options: power, input, volume up and down and channel up and down. A short click changes options and a long click selects them.

In The Box
Samsung Q9F In The Box Picture

  • Manual
  • Batteries
  • Remote
  • Wall mount hole covers
  • Spare screws

Misc
Power Consumption : 95 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 305 W
Firmware : 1106

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 65" (QN65Q9F) version AA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 75" version (QN75Q9F).

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung Q9 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size Model Model Short US Canada UK/Europe
65" QN65Q9F QN65Q9 QN65Q9FAMFXZA QN65Q9FAMFXZC QE65Q9F
75" QN75Q9F QN75Q9 QN75Q9FAMFXZA QN75Q9FAMFXZC QE75Q9F

Compared to other TVs

Samsung Q9F Group Shot Picture
Top left: Sony X940E (XBR75X940E). Bottom left: LG C7 (OLED55C7P). Middle: Samsung Q9F (QN65Q9F). Top right: Sony Z9D (XBR65Z9D). Bottom right: Samsung Q7F (QN55Q7F).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Q9F is a very well performing LED TV, but it is very difficult to justify at its price range. Better TVs can be found for cheaper, some of them at a significantly larger size.

Sony X940E
75"

The Sony X940E 4k LED TV is a 75 inch high-end model with one of the best local dimming we've reviewed. Its blacks are deeper and more uniform than the Q9F, and it can get noticeably brighter with most content, making it a better choice for HDR. It does have a bit more motion blur, and it cannot reproduce quite as wide a gamut as the Q9, but the very large price difference cements it as a better pick over the Samsung.

LG C7
55" 65"

The LG C7 is an entry-level OLED TV. It can reproduce the same perfect blacks and excellent picture quality of the more expensive models in the range, but for a much cheaper price. Compared to the Q9F, it beats it on almost all fronts. Picture quality is better on the C7, and it maintains it much better at an angle. The C7 TV doesn't produce any motion blur, but some might prefer the smoothness of the very slight blur found on the Q9. The Q9F does have better colors, being able to reproduce a larger volume. Unless you're planning on using your TV in a very bright environment at all times, you should be buying the LG C7 over the Q9F.

Sony Z9D
100" 65" 75"

The Z9D is Sony's flagship LED TV. It features the most complex local dimming feature we've reviewed and is also one of the brightest TVs available. While it can't quite produce the same range of colors as the Q9F, it gets significantly brighter and has much better local dimming, making it a top choice for HDR. The Q9F does have better motion, but the Z9's blacks are more uniform. Most buyers will be better suited with the Sony Z9D.

Samsung Q7F
55" 65" 75"

The Q7F is the cheapest model from Samsung's "QLED" line of LCD TVs. It performs very similarly to the Q9F while being sold at a fraction of the price. The only big differences between the two are the design and the local dimming, which is only marginally better on the higher-end variant. If you're looking for the very wide color gamut found on the Q9F, save your money and go for the Q7F instead.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
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7.9Mixed Usage
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What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Great TV for a mixed usage. The Q9F has great picture quality and is a versatile TV. It will work well with all usages unless they require a wide viewing angle.
7.4Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
The Q9F does well with movies. Its blacks are decently deep and its local dimming is capable of turning black letterbox bars completely off. Unfortunately, the local dimming doesn't do much to help the rest of the picture.
8.2TV Shows
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What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
The Q9F does very well with TV shows. Its picture quality is great, and it gets bright enough for every normal viewing environment. It also has one of the best finishes to combat reflections.
7.8Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
Good TV for watching sports. The Q9F produces very little motion blur, making fast movements on screen very crisp and clear. Its viewing angle could be better though, so it's not the best for wide living rooms.
8.3Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
Great TV for video games. The Q9F's input lag is very low, and it produces an exceptionally low amount of motion blur for an LED TV. Games feel connected and responsive, and fast motion appears clear.
7.7HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Great TV for HDR movies. The Q9F gets quite bright, and it can reproduce a very wide range of colors without issues with gradations in skies.
8.1HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
Great TV for HDR gaming. The Q9F's input lag remains low, regardless of the input. Combined with its excellent HDR capabilities, it makes for a great HDR gaming experience.
7.7PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Decent PC monitor. While the Q9F's low input lag and motion blur are great for use with a computer, its narrow viewing angles cause it to be less suitable for use from up close.
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Questions & Answers

6 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
7
My Samsung representative at my store told me a few things about this TV. First is he told me this TV has 100% color volume, which doesn't seem to be the case unless I'm misreading something. Second is that this TV hits 2000cd/m2, which also seems to be an inconsistency. Every time now when this site comes up in conversation, he dismisses it as biased and wrong. Is Samsung having strained relations with you guys, and how valid are his statements?
Samsung calculates their color volume versus a 1000 cd/m² DCI P3 volume, but still measures their color volume at maximum brightness, so the areas that are brighter than 1000 cd/m² help to offset the lost volume at lower brightness levels. We normalize our color volume by maximum brightness (because we score maximum brightness elsewhere), and give no benefit when a TV's volume is outside the target volume (because that would mean they're oversaturating their colors, which is bad). The Q9F still got a good score, it's the best color volume we've ever measured. As for the brightness, the TV did exceed 2000 cd/m² in the 'Dynamic' picture mode for HDR, but our scoring is done in the 'Movie' mode because it has more accurate picture quality than 'Dynamic'.

The main disparity between Samsung's marketing test results and our own is that their tests are done in a way that ensures the TV gets the highest number possible, while our tests are done with the TV in a configuration that people will actually watch. We also strive to keep our testing unbiased by testing all TVs in the exact same way, in a configuration that leads to the best picture quality, so TVs from all brands (and all types) are on equal footing.

3
I'm a bit confused. You point out the dimming scheme doesn't improve native contrast ratio much but also point out there is no way to turn it off so how did you determine the native contrast ratio?
The "native" contrast in this case is with the lowest setting, while the ratio with local dimming is using the high setting. Because of the type of local dimming used by Samsung's QLED TVs (edge lighting), it does not actually engage within our test and the marginal difference between the two values is due to the inevitable variance you will have between two measurements.
1
Is it true that the vertical banding issue the Q9F suffers from has been fixed with a firmware update? Thank you!
On the latest firmware (1121), the vertical banding which can be seen on a 50% grey background and is most obvious on the image retention picture here is still visible in person. This is hardly visible while watching real content, and the extreme banding cases reported on other forums were never seen on our unit.
0
Hi, great site! I have a question regarding HDR. My apologies if this was covered in a previous review but I haven't found it. With OLED, HDR makes sense, you can per-pixel increase the brightness of highlights; however, for LCDs this confuses me. If, in the case of an edge lit LCD like the Q9, you can only brighten/dim the entire backlight (or large chunks of it at best with local dimming), how can you increase the brightness of highlights without increasing the whole scene brightness? It seems like that when brightening highlights, you would necessarily brighten "lowlights" and the rest of the picture, negating the benefit of HDR. Or are LCDs better at dealing with this than I am thinking? e.g. can you actually still have a decent black level in your real scene or 10% windows in the HDR test and are you actually achieving a better contrast ratio? I'm wondering if a metric like "HDR contrast ratio" at each window would be useful information? OLED, despite lower peak brightness, just seems like it would produce a much better HDR experience. Thanks!
Local dimming for edge-lit TVs can turn off the backlight behind the top and bottom black bands when watching movies, which makes the top and bottom of the screen darker, but it can't brighten highlights in real scenes unless the parts to highlight are placed horizontally. Full-array local dimming is much more efficient at highlighting specific parts of an image and, as you mentioned, OLEDs do not need local dimming capabilities since they can brighten and darken images pixel-by-pixel. Contrast ratio is also noticeably improved by well-implemented full-array local dimming. However, displaying HDR content does not increase contrast further; HDR mode increases backlight intensity, which makes both white and black areas of a picture brighter, therefore keeping the contrast ratio similar.
0
Are you going to do a video for the Samsung Q9? I would really like to hear and see what is good and bad about the TV! Thank you.
We have plans to post a video review of the Samsung Q9F in the next few months. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel or sign up to our emails to be notified as soon as the video is online.
0
You mention the Q9's "narrow viewing angles cause it to be less suitable for use from up close". So IPS is better for PC monitor use even though its much lower contrast levels compared to the off angle viewing even though most people are head on viewing when using a computer monitor?
Typically when a TV is used as a PC monitor people sit closer to the TV than someone who only watches movies and shows; with a PC monitor you want a wider field of view because what you're looking at often doesn't cover the entire screen. When you have a wide field of view with a TV that has a bad viewing angle, the edges of the screen will start to wash out. Also a PC monitor is often used in a bright room, where contrast ratio is less important. For these two reasons IPS TVs make great PC monitors even though they're not great for movie watching in a dark room.
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