Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated Apr 10, 2020 at 05:26 pm
Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED Picture
8.5
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.4
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.5
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.5
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.7
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.4
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.6
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.6
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
This TV was replaced by the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung Q90R is an excellent 4k TV with impressive picture quality. It has a high native contrast ratio, great local dimming support, and excellent black uniformity that allow it to deliver deep blacks in a dark room. The TV can get very bright in SDR and HDR, and it has a wide color gamut that allows it to deliver HDR content full of vivid colors and highlights that pop. Although it has a VA panel, the viewing angles are decent thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology. Motion handling is excellent and it has a low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. Furthermore, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and it supports FreeSync to reduce screen tearing.

Our Verdict

8.5 Mixed Usage

The Samsung Q90R is an excellent TV for most uses. It delivers a great HDR experience with vibrant colors and bright highlights, and lower resolution content like cable TV or sports are upscaled without any issues. It has an exceptionally low input lag for gaming, and it supports FreeSync for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. It's also a good TV to use as a monitor, as it can display chroma 4:4:4 properly.

Pros
  • Excellent peak brightness in SDR and HDR.
  • Outstanding low input lag and FreeSync support.
  • Remarkable motion handling.
Cons
  • Some gray uniformity issues at the edges.
8.4 Movies

The Samsung Q90R is a great TV for watching movies. It can display deep uniform blacks in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio and good local dimming. Motion is crisp and the TV can remove 24p judder no matter the signal source.

8.5 TV Shows

The Samsung Q90R is an excellent TV for watching TV shows. It can get very bright and can handle the reflections of a bright room very well. The 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology allows the image to remain accurate when viewed from the side, so you can move around the room while watching your favorite TV show without losing image accuracy.

8.5 Sports

The Samsung Q90R is an excellent TV for watching sports. It's suitable for any room as it can get very bright and can handle reflections well. The TV displays fast-moving content with just minimal blur trail, and the image remains accurate when viewed from the side so you can watch your favorite game in a wide room with a group of friends. Finally, the game field is displayed free from annoying dark shades, thanks to the decent gray uniformity.

8.7 Video Games

The Samsung Q90R is an amaing TV for playing video games. It has a remarkably low input lag, which makes it very responsive, and it has a fast response time, delivering a clear picture with minimal motion blur. It supports FreeSync for a nearly tear-free gaming experience and it can even interpolate lower frame rate games without adding significant input lag.

8.4 HDR Movies

The Samsung Q90R is a great TV for watching HDR movies. It can display a wide color gamut, delivering rich and vibrant colors, and it can get extremely bright to bring out small highlights. With its full-array local dimming, this TV has an outstanding contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, making it a great choice for dark room viewing.

8.6 HDR Gaming

The Samsung Q90R is an excellent TV for playing HDR games. It's very responsive with a low input lag in HDR mode, and at the same time, it can display HDR content remarkably well. HDR content is full of rich colors and highlights that pop, thanks to the wide color gamut and the excellent HDR peak brightness.

8.6 PC Monitor

The Samsung Q90R is an excellent TV for use as a monitor. It has a very low input lag to make your desktop experience feel responsive and snappy, and it can display proper chroma 4:4:4, which is great for text clarity. It supports most common resolutions and there's no risk of permanent burn-in with its VA panel.

  • 8.5 Mixed Usage
  • 8.4 Movies
  • 8.5 TV Shows
  • 8.5 Sports
  • 8.7 Video Games
  • 8.4 HDR Movies
  • 8.6 HDR Gaming
  • 8.6 PC Monitor
  1. Updated May 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Updated Feb 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  3. Updated Aug 02, 2019: We retested the Q90R with the latest firmware. The SDR Peak Brightness, HDR Peak Brightness, and Input Lag measurements and scores have been updated, and 4k @ 120Hz is no longer skipping frames.
  4. Updated Apr 18, 2019: Review published.
  5. Updated Apr 16, 2019: Early access published.

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung Q90R is a high-end QLED TV. It's Samsung's 4k flagship, just under the 8k Samsung Q900R. It's the replacement of last year's Samsung Q9FN. The Q90R is comparable to most other high-end 4k models like the LG C9, the Sony A9G, or the LED Vizio P Series Quantum 2019.

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The Samsung Q90R has an outstanding design. It has very thin bezels on all sides and the stand is a simple solid piece of metal that supports the TV well. The TV's inputs are housed in a separate unit called the One Connect box and they're connected through a single cable.

Design
Stand

The stand is metallic and very sturdy. It supports the TV well and doesn't allow much wobbling.

The footprint of the stand (65" model): 11.2" x13.4"

Note: The reflection depicted on the above picture is the result of the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, explained here.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x400

The back of the TV is plain. It's made of plastic and has a brushed texture.

Since most of the electronics are housed in the One Connect box, there's only a single cable connecting the box to the TV. There are grooves along the stand and the back of the TV that serves as cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.43" (1.1 cm)

The borders of the Q90 are very thin and look good.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.54" (3.9 cm)

The Samsung Q90 is very thin and won't protrude much if you wall-mount it.

9.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is exceptional. The TV feels sturdy and the metal stand is very heavy. There are no obvious gaps in the construction and you shouldn't have any issues with it.

Picture Quality
8.4
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
3,249 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
11,200 : 1

The Q90R has a great contrast ratio. It's lower than most TVs with VA panels, mainly due to the TV's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which improves viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio. However, it's significantly better when local dimming is enabled. Note that the contrast ratio can vary between units.

The TV's local dimming can't be completely disabled using the normal settings menu. In order to measure the native contrast ratio, we had to disable PC Mode Dimming in the TV's service menu, and then activate PC Mode and Game Mode at the same time.

8.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The Q90 has a great local dimming feature. There's very little blooming, but it tends to dim the edges of bright objects, causing a vignetting effect, and small highlights like stars are crushed. In Game Mode, the local dimming doesn't react as quickly to changes in a scene, leading to more visible blooming.

The local dimming can't be completely disabled. Even when set to 'Low' it can be distracting. This can be an issue if you often watch with subtitles.

We performed our testing with Local Dimming set to 'High'.

Note: There's a 55" variant of the Q90R available only in Europe that's advertised as having a weaker local dimming feature, but we haven't tested it and can't give further details.

9.0
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
831 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
1,297 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
1,363 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
1,237 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
774 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
505 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
1,213 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
1,284 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
1,163 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
773 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
502 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.052

Update 08/08/2019:We retested the real scene peak brightness, and it didn't change considerably.

Update 08/02/2019: We've retested the Q90R with the latest firmware, and the SDR peak brightness has increased a bit. We've updated our measurements and scores.

Outstanding SDR peak brightness. Small highlights in dark scenes are very bright and the TV's overall brightness can easily fight glare in a bright rooms.

We performed our measurements after calibration with picture mode set to ‘Movie,’ Local Dimming set to ‘High,’ Auto Motion Plus set to 'off,' and Backlight set to 'Max.' Different settings may produce a brighter picture. The setting that controls the backlight brightness is called Backlight.

9.0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
1,287 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
1,145 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
1,487 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
1,275 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
816 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
536 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
1,082 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
1,410 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
1,235 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
814 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
532 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.050

Update 08/08/2019:We retested the real scene peak brightness, and it didn't change considerably.

Update 08/02/2019: We've retested the Q90R with the latest firmware, and the HDR peak brightness has increased a bit. We've updated our measurements and scores.

The Samsung Q90R has outstanding HDR peak brightness. This TV can deliver very bright highlights when displaying HDR content.

We performed our measurements without any calibration, picture mode set to ‘Movie,’ Local Dimming set to ‘High,’ and Auto Motion Plus set to 'off,' which are also our recommended settings. Some settings may produce a brighter image. For example, the 'Dynamic' picture mode can get brighter but has much worse picture accuracy.

7.3
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.127%
50% DSE
0.187%
5% Std. Dev.
0.545%
5% DSE
0.103%

The Samsung Q90R has decent gray uniformity. There's some vignetting around the corners and at the edges of the screen, but the center is very uniform, with no noticeable dirty screen effect. The uniformity is significantly better in dark scenes. There's a slight blue tint when displaying gray content, such as black and white movies. Note that gray uniformity can vary between units.

6.9
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
32°
Color Shift
37°
Brightness Loss
42°
Black Level Raise
70°
Gamma Shift
23°

The Samsung Q90R has okay viewing angles. As you move off center, the image remains accurate for wider angles. The contrast stays relatively constant and this prevents the image from looking washed out.

VA panels normally have poor viewing angles, but the Q90 has an optical layer that Samsung calls 'Ultra Viewing Angle', which greatly improves the viewing angles at the expense of a lower native contrast ratio.

The TV's local dimming can't be completely disabled using the normal settings menu. So in order to measure the lightness viewing angle we had to disable PC Mode Dimming in the TV's service menu, and then activate PC Mode and Game Mode at the same time, which finally allowed us to measure with local dimming 'off'.

8.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.745%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
0.452%

Black uniformity is excellent. The little blooming that you can spot in our overexposed image isn't really noticeable in normal content unless you watch a very dark scene in a dark room. Local dimming makes black uniformity nearly perfect in some very dark scenes. Note that black uniformity can vary between units.

The TV's local dimming can't be completely disabled using the normal settings menu. Just like in other measurements, in order to measure the native black uniformity, we had to disable PC Mode Dimming in the TV's service menu, and then activate PC Mode and Game Mode at the same time, which allowed us to turn local dimming off.

9.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.1%
Indirect Reflections
0.9%
Calculated Direct Reflections
0.2%

Reflection handling is outstanding. The glossy finish diffuses light well, but it has a relatively high 'Indirect Reflections' as a result of the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which scatters light across its surface, producing rainbow reflections across the screen. We'll revisit this scoring in the next test bench update.

7.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.79
Color dE
2.58
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
5,859 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

Before calibration, the color accuracy is decent. The 'Movie' Picture Mode gives the best result, although there are still inaccuracies with several colors and shades of gray. With color temperature set to 'Warm 2', it's a much warmer color temperature than our target of 6500k, resulting in a slightly red-yellowish tint. The gamma follows the target curve fairly well, so most scenes appear at the correct brightness. Note that color accuracy can vary between units.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.30
Color dE
1.09
Gamma
2.22
Color Temperature
6,473 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

Color accuracy is outstanding after calibration. White balance and gamma are nearly perfect, and the remaining inaccuracies shouldn't be noticeable to the naked eye. The TV has an auto-calibration function, but it still requires a colorimeter and specialized software.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Older, 480p digital content looks good, with no obvious upscaling artifacts or oversharpening.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

Upscaling of 720p content such as cable TV or older game consoles looks good.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Upscaling of 1080p content such as Blu-rays or game consoles looks good. The image is sharp and there are no obvious issues.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content looks great and is displayed perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The Samsung Q90R can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Unfortunately the TV's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' optical layer makes the pixels hard to see clearly. We observed the same issue on the Q900R pixel photo.

8.3
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
90.92%
DCI P3 uv
94.14%
Rec 2020 xy
68.66%
Rec 2020 uv
76.76%

The Samsung Q90R has an impressive wide color gamut; however, it's possible that the TV's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer is reducing its coverage. The 'Movie' EOTF is a little brighter than the input stimulus until it starts to roll off near the TV's peak brightness. In Game Mode, the PQ curve remains relatively similar to the 'Movie' mode, but at lower input stimulus, some scenes may appear too dim.

If you find HDR too dim, you can make it brighter by setting Brightness to '5,' and Contrast Enhancer to 'High.' This will produce a much brighter image, as you can see here.

Update: 04/23/2019 In the review of the Q9FN we observed that for lower brightness HDR infoframes (such as 1000 nits), the TV produces scenes which are brighter than intended. You can read more about it here. We haven't measured the 1000 nits infoframe for this TV but we expect it to be similar to the Q9FN.

7.9
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
88.3%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
53.8%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
70.4%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
43.6%

The Samsung Q90 has very good color volume with good coverage of the DCI P3 color space and decent coverage of the wider Rec 2020. Like most LED TVs, it can produce bright and dark colors across most of its gamut, but can't produce very bright blues.

This performance is close but not as good as last year's high-end QLEDs. This is most likely the result of the not so wide color gamut when compared to last year's Q9FN and Q8FN.

8.1
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.112
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.126
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.089
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.096

Great gradient performance. There's very little banding visible in the darker grays and in the medium greens. Setting the Digital Clean View to 'Auto' can effectively remove most of the banding but can lead to a loss of fine detail.

Unfortunately, during testing, the TV's local dimming (that can't be disabled) interfered with our gradient test, tampering with the data and making it score a bit worse than it should. However, while not perfectly accurate, the score is still within the same ballpark as our subjective impression. We had the same issue with the Q900R.

We also compared the Q90R (top) with the Q9FN (bottom) and confirmed this.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00%

There are no risks of temporary image retention; however, this can vary between units.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Motion
8.5
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
3.7 ms
100% Response Time
9.6 ms

The Samsung Q90R has an outstanding response time. There's only a very small blur trail behind fast-moving objects, but there's significant overshoot is the 0-20% transition, causing some artifacts in dark scenes.

9.9
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
960 Hz

This TV uses PWM dimming to dim the backlight. Flicker is always present but becomes more severe at lower brightness. However, since the flicker frequency is 960Hz most people won't see it.

We tested the TV in 'Movie' mode with Auto Motion Plus disabled. However, in 'Movie' mode, the flicker rate changes to 120Hz if you set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' or 'Auto.' In 'Standard' and in 'Game' modes the flicker is always at 120Hz.

10
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

The Samsung Q90R has an excellent black frame insertion feature that helps make the image crisper. Just setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' changes the flicker to 120Hz, as explained in the Flicker-Free box. If you do not want to add any soap opera effect you should set Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction to '0.' If you enable LED Clear Motion, the flicker changes to 60Hz.

In 'Game' mode, the flicker frequency is always 120Hz, and enabling LED Clear Motion in Game Motion Plus changes the flicker frequency to 60Hz.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The Samsung Q90R can interpolate content up to 120fps. To enable motion interpolation you must set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom.' The Blur Reduction slider affects only high frame rate content (ex. 60 fps). The Judder Reduction slider affects low frame rate content (ex. 30 fps). To obtain the best possible results you should adjust those sliders to your liking. For our test, we kept both at max. Motion interpolation looks okay although some artifacts can be noticed at times. When the action becomes too intense the TV stops interpolating.

In 'Game' mode, there's a Game Motion Plus option, which, however, doesn't look as good, but adds far less input lag. You can read more about it in the Input Lag box.

Note: When Auto Motion Plus is enabled, the TV's flicker changes to 120Hz, as explained in the Flicker-Free box.

6.7
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
32.1 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
7.1 ms

Due to the very fast response time of the Samsung Q90R, low frame rate content is held on screen for longer periods of time, which can cause the image to appear to stutter. If you find this stutter bothersome, you can reduce it by enabling motion interpolation or the optional black frame insertion feature.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The Samsung Q90R can remove judder from any source. To remove judder set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom,' and Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction to '0' (if you don't want motion interpolation).

Note: When Auto Motion Plus is enabled, the TV's flicker changes to 120Hz, as explained in the Flicker-Free box.

9.4
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
No
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1440p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
HDMI

Update 12/17/2019: A flaw was discovered in the way we were testing for G-SYNC compatibility with TVs. We've corrected the flaw, and have retested the 2019 Samsung and LG TVs, and found that the Samsung Q90R doesn't work properly with NVIDIA's current Adaptive Sync drivers.

Update 08/02/2019:4k @ 120Hz is now working properly in 'Game' mode; the TV is no longer skipping frames. We still can't test the 4k VRR range properly though, as our FreeSync PC doesn't support 4k @ 120Hz.

The Q90 supports FreeSync variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing when gaming on an Xbox One or a PC with an AMD graphics card. Unfortunately, it doesn't work with NVIDIA's Adaptive Sync drivers.

We tested the TV on 'Game' mode, and we used FreeSync set to 'Ultimate' to obtain the widest possible range.

Inputs
8.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
14.7 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
77.2 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
14.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
14.7 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
14.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
14.5 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
57.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
21.2 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
6.0 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
6.1 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
7.1 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
5.9 ms
1440p with VRR
6.1 ms
4k with VRR
14.1 ms
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes

Update 08/02/2019: We've retested the TV with the latest firmware, and the input lag has decreased slightly across the board. We were also able to test the 4k @ 120Hz input lag. 4k @ 120Hz is now working properly in 'Game' mode; the TV is no longer skipping frames. We've updated our numbers and scores.

Outstanding low input lag. To get the lowest input lag you must set the TV to 'Game Mode,' even when you are in 'PC Mode.' Chroma 4:4:4 is properly shown only when in 'PC Mode.'

The Samsung Q90R has low input lag with motion interpolation enabled. In the Game Motion Plus settings menu, when the Blur Reduction slider is increased, the TV interpolates up to 60 fps but also increases the input lag a bit, although it's still very low. If the Blur Reduction slider is increased further, the TV then interpolates up to 120 fps and the input lag increases slightly to 22.7 ms, which is still low enough for casual gaming.

If you want an even lower input lag for gaming, check out the Samsung Q90T.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
4k @ 60 Hz
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
No
8k @ 60 Hz
No

Update 08/02/2019: We've retested the TV with the latest firmware, and it's now able to display 4k @ 120Hz on HDMI 4 without skipping frames.

The Q90R supports most common resolutions and refresh rates. Most high bandwidth signals require Input Signal Plus to be enabled for the port in use. Input Signal Plus is the new name for HDMI UHD Color.

The TV can display chroma 4:4:4 or RGB content properly in all supported resolutions except in 1440p @ 120Hz. To properly display chroma 4:4:4 you must set the input label to 'PC.'

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
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
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
Yes
Dolby Vision
No
HLG
Yes
3D
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
Unknown
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
No
Variable Analog Audio Out No
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

Unfortunately, we can't test for HDMI 2.1 support as we no longer have this TV.

Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
No

Sadly, this TV doesn't support DTS or eARC. It likely does support lossy Atmos passthrough from Dolby Digital Plus sources, including the native Netflix app.

Sound Quality
6.7
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
75.51 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
2.59 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
4.15 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
6.46 dB
Max
87.5 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.95 dB

The frequency response of the Samsung Q90R is decent. There's a good amount of body and punch to the bass but not enough to produce a rumbling sound. The response above the TV's LFE is well-balanced and can deliver clear dialogues. Also, it can get reasonably loud, but may not be loud enough for large or noisy environments.

We tested the TV with Samsung's room correction feature called 'Adaptive Sound' enabled. However, we left the 'Adaptive Volume' and 'Auto Volume' features disabled, as 'Auto Volume' drastically limits the max volume. This feature can be useful if you find that commercials play at a higher volume than the content you're watching.

7.4
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.290
Weighted THD @ Max
1.104
IMD @ 80
0.53%
IMD @ Max
1.39%

Decent distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion produced is within decent limits. Also, there isn't a big jump in THD under heavier loads either, which is good.

Smart Features
8.0
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Tizen
Version 2019
Ease of Use
Easy
Smoothness
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
7 s
Advanced Options
Many

Samsung's Tizen OS is a great platform that's intuitive and user-friendly.

We noticed that sometimes when you change the input from 'PC' to something else the edges of the screen are cut off due to overscan. Just navigating into the Picture Size setting fixes the issue, even if you don't change anything.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

Unfortunately, there are ads and suggested content on the home page as well as in the app store, and there's no option to opt out.

8.5
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Average
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

Samsung's app store has an abundance of apps to choose from. The apps run well, although they're not always very smooth.

8.5
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Small
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
Yes
Remote App Samsung SmartThings

The remote control is simple and very similar to the remote that's included with other premium Samsung QLEDs. There are shortcuts to streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu, but you can access many more through the TV's main menu. There's also an integrated microphone for voice control through Bixby, Samsung's digital assistant. This allows you to control the TV, ask for info like the time or weather, and search for content. However, it isn't clear as to which apps support voice search. It didn't work when we tried to search for content on Netflix, but it did on YouTube. Lastly, Samsung's OneRemote feature allows the remote to control other devices, even if they don't support HDMI CEC.

Smart Features
TV Controls

The TV controls are located on the underside. The keypad allows you to change channel, volume, and input. You can also access the settings menu and the home menu, that means that you can do everything without the remote.

If you need to launch the Home menu while you are in an app, press and hold the center button. Performing the same action also closes the Home menu.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Manual
  • Batteries
  • Remote
  • Wall-mount spacers
  • Cable guide (the blue arch) to help the One Connect cable to go around corners
  • Screw to attach the One Connect connector to the TV so that it can't be removed

Not shown:

  • One Connect box
  • Power cable for One Connect box
  • One Connect cable

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 78 W
Power Consumption (Max) 262 W
Firmware 1060

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 65" (QN65Q90RA) version AA01/QRQ90. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 75" version (QN75Q90RA) and the 82" version (QN82Q90RA). There's also a 55" model available only in Europe that we expect to perform similarly, except for local dimming.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung Q90R doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size Model Model Short US Canada UK Europe
55" QN55Q90RA QN55Q90 N/A N/A QE55Q90RATXXU QE55Q90RATXXC
65" QN65Q90RA QN65Q90 QN65Q90RAFXZA QN65Q90RAFXZC QE65Q90RATXXU QE65Q90RATXXC
75" QN75Q90RA QN75Q90 QN75Q90RAFXZA QN75Q90RAFXZC QE75Q90RATXXU QE75Q90RATXXC
82" QN82Q90RA QN82Q90 QN82Q90RAFXZA QN82Q90RAFXZC N/A N/A

 

The 65" Q90R we tested was manufactured in Feb. 2019.

Compared To Other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: Vizio P Series Quantum (PQ65-F1). Bottom left: Samsung Q70R (QN55Q70R). Middle: Samsung Q90R (QN65Q90R). Top right: Samsung Q9FN (QN65Q9FN). Bottom right: LG B8 (OLED55B8).

The Samsung Q90R is an excellent TV that delivers an excellent performance in any usage. See our recommendations for the best TVs, the best HDR gaming TVs, and the best smart TVs.

Samsung Q80/Q80R QLED
55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung Q90R and the Samsung Q80R have very similar performance. The Samsung Q90R has a slightly faster response time, which some enthusiasts might notice when watching sports. Also, the Q90R has more effective local dimming thanks to the greater number of local dimming zones than the Q80R. Although our Q90R test unit was a larger variant, we expect this to be true for the same size variants of the Q80R. All of the other differences are mainly in the design. The Q90R has a One Connect box, supports a no-gap wall mount, and its stand has a smaller footprint.

Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung Q90T QLED and the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED have similar performance overall. The Q90T is the Q90R's replacement in name only, as it doesn't have the One Connect Box and its feature set is closer to the Q80R. The Q90T has better viewing angles due to the new implementation of the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, and it has a lower input lag. The Q90T gains eARC support, but its black uniformity is noticeably worse compared to the Q90R.

Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
49" 50" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED and the Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED perform very similarly overall. The Q90R has a slightly better contrast ratio, better local dimming, and better black uniformity, so it outperforms the Q80T when it comes to dark room viewing. The Q90R also uses Samsung's One Connect box for your inputs, which can be more convenient if you're wall-mounting your TV. On the other hand, the Q80T has slightly better viewing angles, a faster response time, and much more accurate colors out-of-the-box, though this can vary between units.

LG CX OLED
48" 55" 65" 77"

The LG CX OLED is better than the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED, but their differences come down to their panel differences. The LG is an OLED TV, so it's able to produce perfect blacks and it has a near-instantaneous response time. It also has wider viewing angles and better out-of-the-box color accuracy. The Samsung gets significantly brighter, it supports FreeSync VRR to reduce screen tearing, and it has slightly better reflection handling.

Samsung Q9FN/Q9/Q9F QLED 2018
65" 75"

The Samsung Q90R performs very similarly to the Samsung Q9FN. The Samsung Q90R has wider viewing angles thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology and has a faster response time that delivers fast-moving content with less blur trail. The Samsung Q9FN, on the other hand, has a higher contrast ratio that can deliver deeper blacks.

Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED
49" 55" 65" 75" 82" 85"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED is better than the Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED. The Q90R has better local dimming support, but a slightly lower contrast ratio, so dark room performance is almost even. The Q90R can get brighter and handles reflections better, so it's more suitable if you have a very bright room. The Q90R delivers crisper motion thanks to its fast response time, which is good news for gamers and sports fans. Finally, the Q90R includes Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology that improves viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio.

Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED
55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung Q90R is a bit better than the Samsung Q900R. The Q90R can handle reflections better in a bright room and has a higher native contrast ratio that allows it to deliver deeper blacks in a dark room. The Samsung Q900R, on the other hand, has slightly wider viewing angles and supports 8k resolutions.

Sony X950G
55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED is better than the Sony X950G. The Samsung Q90R has better dark room performance with a better local dimming implementation and slightly better reflection handling, which is great if you have a room with many windows. The Q90R has lower input lag and is equipped with many gaming goodies to please demanding gamers. The Sony X950G has better pre-calibration accuracy, which is excellent if you don't plan on calibrating it. Both TVs offer technology to improve viewing angles, but the Sony only offers this in the larger model sizes.

Sony X900F
49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED is better than the Sony X900F. The Samsung Q90R has slightly better dark room performance thanks to its more efficient local dimming support and better black uniformity. The Samsung Q90R also has the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, which maintains an accurate image for wider viewing angles. Finally, the Samsung Q90R is packed with gaming features like FreeSync variable refresh rate support to please gamers.

Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED
43" 49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED is much better than the Q60/Q60R QLED. The Q90 looks much more premium, has a Full-Array local dimming feature, can get much brighter, especially for HDR content, has wider viewing angles, a wider color gamut, better motion handling, and is much better at minimizing reflections. On the other hand, the Q60 has much more accurate colors out-of-the-box.

LG C9 OLED
55" 65" 77"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R and the LG C9 use different panel types, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The C9 looks much better in a dark room, as the OLED panel delivers a nearly infinite contrast ratio and near-perfect black uniformity. The Q90R is significantly brighter, and the brightness doesn't change as much with different content (ABL). The C9 has better gray uniformity and better viewing angles. The C9 has a risk of permanent burn-in when exposed to static content, but the Q90 doesn't.

Sony A9G OLED
55" 65" 77"

The two TVs have different panels, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The Sony A9G is an OLED TV that displays perfect blacks in a dark room, has excellent wide viewing angles, and is recommended if you love watching movies in a dark room. On the other hand, the Samsung Q90R can get brighter, which is great for a bright room, is packed with gaming features to please gamers, and performs well in a dark room. The Samsung doesn't have the burn-in risk that the OLED Sony has.

LG E9 OLED
55" 65"

The LG E9 OLED and the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED use different panel types, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The E9 is much better in a dark room, thanks to its OLED panel that delivers perfect blacks. The Q90R is significantly brighter and is more suitable for a very bright room. The E9 has better gray uniformity and better viewing angles but it also has a risk of permanent burn-in when exposed to static content, something that doesn't happen with the Q90R.

Sony Z9F
65" 75"

The Samsung Q90R is a bit better than the Sony Z9F. The Q90R can deliver a slightly better dark room performance thanks to the higher contrast ratio and better black uniformity. Also, the Samsung Q90R has lower input lag and supports FreeSync, which are great if you enjoy video games.

LG B8 OLED
55" 65"

These are two different types of TVs. The LG B8 OLED is more suitable if you want perfect blacks in a dark room and you're not concerned about the risk of burn-in, whereas the QLED Samsung Q90R is a better choice to fight glare in a bright room. The image remains accurate for wider viewing angles on the LG. On the other hand, the Samsung supports FreeSync and has low input lag with motion interpolation, which is great for gamers and is more suitable for use as PC monitor since it has no burn-in risk.

Samsung Q8FN/Q8/Q8F QLED 2018
55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED is somewhat better than the Samsung Q8FN. The Samsung Q90R has a better local dimming implementation and delivers an overall better dark room performance. Also, the Samsung Q90R encompasses the new 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology that maintains the image accurate for wider angles. The Samsung Q90R can display judder-free movies from any source and has a little lower input lag, which is great for video games.

LG C8 OLED
55" 65" 77"

These two TVs are different types, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The LG C8 is an excellent OLED TV with outstanding dark room performance thanks to its perfect blacks and excellent viewing angles. On the other hand, the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED is a remarkable TV with excellent dark room performance that doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in and is packed with gaming goodies.

LG B9 OLED
55" 65" 77"

The LG B9 OLED and the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED use different panel types, each with their advantages and disadvantages. The B9 has perfect blacks thanks to its OLED panel and delivers a better dark room performance. The Q90R can get significantly brighter and is more suitable for a very bright room. The B9 has better gray uniformity and better viewing angles, but also has a risk of permanent burn-in when exposed to static content, something that doesn't happen with the Q90R.

Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019
65" 75"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R is a bit better than the Vizio P Series Quantum X. The Q90R has much better viewing angles, and better gradient handling, but slightly worse contrast. The Q90R also has some better gaming features, including support for AMD's FreeSync technology. The Quantum X is a bit brighter in some scenes, and it has a much wider color gamut, although these differences aren't very noticeable. The Q90 has much better smart features as well, including access to a massive selection of apps through the content store.

LG SM9970 8k
75"

The Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED is much better than the LG SM9970. Samsung's VA panel has a significantly better contrast ratio and black uniformity, and it can get much brighter than the LG in both SDR and HDR content. Samsung's local dimming performs much better, and it has better reflection handling and gray uniformity as well. Viewing angles are about the same on both, despite having different types of panels.

Vizio P Series Quantum 2018
65"

The Samsung Q90R is slightly better than the Vizio P Series Quantum. The Samsung Q90R has wider viewing angles thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, whereas the Vizio P Series Quantum has a higher contrast ratio and can deliver deeper blacks in a dark room. The Q90R supports FreeSync, which is great if you enjoy playing video games and have compatible hardware, like an Xbox One.

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