Preferred tv store
Reviewed on Mar 27, 2019 , Ian Cumming, Yannick Khong

Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3

Test Benches:

  • 1.3: Spring 2019
  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
8.5
Mixed Usage
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:
Value for price beaten by
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 C9 OLED
8.1
Movies
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:
8.3
TV Shows
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:
8.4
Sports
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.
9.2
Video Games
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.
8.1
HDR Movies
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.
Score components:
8.8
HDR Gaming
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.
9.0
PC Monitor
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.
Score components:
Type : LED
Sub-Type
What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
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. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 8k

The Samsung Q900R is an excellent 8k LED TV with impressive picture quality. It can very bright both in SDR and in HDR. Although it has a VA panel, it has wide viewing angles due to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer that maintains an accurate image when viewed from the side at the expense of lower contrast. Despite the low native contrast ratio, dark room performance is greatly enhanced by the very good local dimming support. It has great HDR performance and very good reflection handling. The Q900 has excellent motion handling and a very low input lag. Finally, just like all premium Samsungs since 2018, the Q900R has FreeSync variable refresh rate support.

Pros
  • 8k resolution.
  • Wide viewing angles, great for a VA panel.
  • Great local dimming and dark room performance.
Cons
  • A lot of dirty screen effect is evident on the screen.

Test Results
Design 9.5
Picture Quality 8.2
Motion 9.4
Inputs 9.5
Sound Quality 6.7
Smart Features 8.0
Update 4/2/2019: It was discovered that HDMI 4 supports 8k @ 30 Hz @ 4:2:0 and 4k @ 120 Hz @ 4:2:0 via HDMI 2.0, explained here. The review has been updated.

Check Price

Market Context

What it is: This model's position in the TV market; how it compares to other TVs.

The Samsung Q900 is a high-end TV. It is the first 8k TV in the market and is currently just above Samsung's 4k flagship, the Samsung Q90R. The direct 8k competitors of Samsung Q900 are expected to be the Sony Z9G and the LG SM9975. The Q900 marks the opening of a new era of 8k TVs.

9.5

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Design Picture
Curved : No

The Samsung Q900 has an excellent design. It is mostly made of metal and it has a very sturdy stand that supports it well. It is very thin and can be wall mounted using a standard VESA wall mount, or a separately sold wall mount that will bring it flush with the wall. Both the TV and the included One Connect box get fairly warm, but this should not be an issue. The overall build quality is excellent.

Stand
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Stand Picture

The Q900R's stand is very sturdy, supports the TV very well, and does not allow almost any wobble.

The footprint of the stand is: 51.0" x12.0"

Update 04/17/2019: There are two leg positions (the screw mount for the inner location is visible in this photo). This narrower footprint is 18.1" x 12.0".

Back
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Back Picture
Wall Mount : VESA 400x400

The back of the TV is plain. The large gap that looks like an "M" is used for storing the legs if you decide to wall mount it. Samsung separately sells a special no-gap wall mount that holds the TV flush with the wall. The Q900RB uses a One Connect box that sends all necessary signals (including power) to the TV through one single cable. The back of the TV has grooves that serve as cable management and guide the One Connect cable either through the legs or at the center of the TV, as you can see here.

Also, this is a link to Samsung's no-gap wall mount for 75" QLEDs which seems to be compatible with the Q900, although it's not mentioned in the supported models in the specs document.

Borders
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Borders Picture
Borders : 0.49" (1.2 cm)

The borders of the Q900R are made of metal; they're very thin and look good.

Thickness
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Thickness Picture
Max Thickness : 1.25" (3.2 cm)

The Samsung Q900 is very thin and will not stick out much if you wall mount it.

Temperature
What it is: It is the average and maximum operating temperatures we measured on the TV. If there is an external device, like a One Connect box in some Samsungs, we measure the temperature of that as well.
When it matters: If the temperature of your TV is much higher, check that nothing is blocking the vents.
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Temperature picture
Maximum Temperature
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
:
111 °F (44 °C)
Average Temperature
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
:
98 °F (37 °C)

The Q900R can get fairly warm, as you can see in our thermal image; it's much warmer relative to the Q9FN. This may be because the 8k panel blocks more light, thus requiring the backlight to be brighter. It could also be due to the TV's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which projects more light to the sides, so more powerful LEDs may be required.

The max temperature of the One Connect box is also quite warm at 110F, but this shouldn't be an issue.

9.0 Build Quality
What it is: It represents our perception of the quality of the construction of the TV, of the materials used, and how they all blend.
When it matters: Poor build quality might lessen the expected lifetime of the TV, or make it more prone to faults due to mishandling.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Build quality picture

The build quality of the Samsung Q900 is excellent. It's very similar to the Q9FN or the Q9F, but the place where the back panel meets the side bezels has some flex to it and they're not joined one to one. However, you should have no issues with the TV.

8.2

Picture Quality

The picture quality of the Samsung Q900 is impressive. The TV can get very bright to overcome glare, making it suitable for a bright room. It has an 'Ultra Viewing Angle' optical layer that greatly improves viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio, similar to what the 'X-Wide Angle' does to the Sony Z9F. The TV has very good local dimming support that helps improve the appearance of blacks in a dark room, despite the low native contrast ratio. It has a wide color gamut, an excellent HDR peak brightness, and can display HDR content full of rich colors and bright highlights.<p>The gray uniformity is satisfactory, although some sports fans might be bothered by the amount of dirty screen effect found on the Q900. Reflections are great but are also affected by the new 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer that scatters light across the screen, creating more indirect reflections. Finally, the new 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology makes this TV suitable for a room with a wide viewing arrangement, since the image remains accurate at fairly large viewing angles.

7.5 Contrast
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 Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
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
:
1630 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
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
:
6905 : 1

The native contrast ratio of the Q900R is only decent, but the TV's great local dimming helps compensate for this. The native contrast ratio is far lower than most TVs with VA panels. This is because of the TV's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer that improves the viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio. This is very similar to what we observed with the Sony Z9F and the 'X-Wide Angle' technology.

Unfortunately, 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 Local Dimming
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
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
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.
:
Full-Array

The local dimming on the Q900 is very good; slightly better than the Q9FN. The local dimming algorithm allows very little blooming, which is great; however, it has several trade-offs:

  • "Reverse blooming" (we've seen this in the past on Vizio TVs) where the TV, in its effort to reduce blooming in the dark areas, dims the edges of the bright ones. This makes them end up with a vignette around them.
  • The TV greatly dims small bright areas (even more than the Q9FN).
  • The TV crushes stars. This is not done to the extent of the Q9FN, but still worse than the Sony Z9F.

To give you a better sense of the comparisons to other models, we're attaching some pictures:

  • Picture 1 shows stars being crushed
  • Picture 2 and Picture 3 show black bars being dimmed on the Q900R, but not on the Z9F, and finally,
  • Some more blooming into the black bars of the Q900R are shown here.

When you look at the TV from the side, the good black level viewing angle prevents blooming from getting worse. This is significantly better behavior than most TVs with VA panels and explains why the local dimming video (which is shot at an angle) looks better than it actually is.

Unfortunately, just like all the latest Samsung TVs, you can't completely disable the local dimming on the TV. Even when set to 'Low' it can be distracting. If you watch movies with subtitles, this can be a problem.

Game Mode uses a slightly different local dimming algorithm which doesn't react as fast to changes in a scene and lingers longer. This can create visible blooming in some cases. We are not sure why this is the case.

8.7 SDR Peak Brightness
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
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
:
698 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
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
:
1348 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
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
:
1088 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
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
:
575 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
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
:
420 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
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
:
310 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
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
:
1235 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
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
:
1045 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
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
:
574 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
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
:
416 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
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
:
308 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The coefficient of variation 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
:
0.082

The Samsung Q900 has excellent SDR peak brightness, just slightly less than last year's QLEDs. Small highlights in dark scenes are very bright as our 2%, 10%, and 25% windows show. Since the brightness varies depending on the scene, this might become bothersome for some people. The TV will perform very well in bright rooms as it can easily fight glare.

We performed our measurements after calibration with picture mode set to ‘Movie,’ local dimming set to ‘High,’ and Auto Motion Plus set to 'off.'

The setting that controls the brightness of the backlight is called Backlight.

8.9 HDR Peak Brightness
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
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
:
1557 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
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
:
1629 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
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
:
1174 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
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
:
825 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
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
:
536 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
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
:
398 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
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
:
1346 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
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
:
1122 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
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
:
815 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
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
:
532 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
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
:
393 cd/m²
HDR ABL
What it is: The coefficient of variation 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
:
0.069

The HDR peak brightness of the Q900R is excellent. The TV can get very bright and will deliver 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. However, when the TV is in the 'Dynamic' picture mode, it is able to reach a maximum of 1940 cd/m2 but has much worse picture accuracy.

6.9 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
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%
:
3.892 %
50% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. 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%
:
0.234 %
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
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%
:
0.587 %
5% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.071 %

The gray uniformity is decent. In the 50% gray image, there are several spots where the dirty screen effect is evident. This might bother you when you watch anything with large areas of similar color, like a football field. The darker 5% gray image is much more uniform and will not cause any issues in darker scenes.

7.6 Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Chroma Graph
Color Washout
What it is: The angle at which some colors drop to 80% of their original chroma.
When it matters: When viewing colorful content from the side.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
39 °
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Hue Graph
Color Shift
What it is: The angle at which some colors hue shift by 3° (meaning they change color, such as becoming more blue-ish).
When it matters: When viewing colorful content from the side.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
55 °
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Lightness Graph
Brightness Loss
What it is: The angle at which the TV's lightness drops to 75% of its original lightness.
When it matters: When viewing any content from the side.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
48 °
Black Level Raise
What it is: The angle at which the black level doubles its lightness, leading to dark shades looking washed out.
When it matters: When viewing dark content from the side.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
70 °
Gamma Shift
What it is: The angle at which some grayscale shades shift by 3% of their relative position between the black and white levels.
When it matters: When watching any content at an angle.
Good value: > 45°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
29 °

The viewing angles are very good. When you look at the TV from the side, the image remains accurate for a fairly large angle. The black level, especially, never goes too high, which this prevents the image from looking washed out.

This behavior is usually found on IPS panel TVs. The Q900 uses a VA panel, but it also has an optical layer that Samsung calls 'Ultra Viewing Angle.' This optical layer greatly improves the viewing angles at the expense of lower native contrast ratio. This 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology appears to work similarly to the 'X-Wide Angle' technology found on the Sony Z9F.

Unfortunately, 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.'

7.7 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
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.
:
1.257 %
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Black Uniformity Picture with Local Dimming
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
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.
:
0.545 %

The black uniformity of the Q900R is good. In our overexposed image, you can spot some blooming, but this is not really noticeable in normal content unless you watch a very dark scene in a dark room. Local dimming greatly improves the black uniformity in some scenes.

Unfortunately, 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.

8.1 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components:
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Reflections Picture Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Average Room Off Picture Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Bright Room Off Picture
Screen Finish
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.
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
What it is: The amount of light which is reflected off the screen, in all directions.
When it matters: When watching TV in a bright room, with lamps, windows or walls which reflect directly off the screen.
Good value: 4.5 %
Noticeable difference: 0.5 %
:
2.5 %
Indirect Reflections
What it is: The amount of light reflected off the screen, ignoring direct (mirror-like) reflections
When it matters: Watching TV in a bright room, without sunlight or lamps directed at the TV
Good value: 1.0 %
Noticeable difference: 0.5 %
:
1.8 %

The reflection handling of the Q900R is great. The semi-gloss finish of the TV prevents most reflections from distracting you. However, the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer has the downside of scattering light across its surface, producing rainbow reflections across the screen. This is similar behavior to the 'X-Wide Angle' of the Z9F. Compared to the Q9FN, the direct reflections are less, and this is why the bright lights in the photos don't look so bright. The area around the lights, however, is brighter due to the indirect reflections.

8.2 Pre Calibration
What it is: TV's color accuracy before a full calibration. The only settings that are changed are those that don't vary from unit to unit, like picture mode, color temperature and gamma.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Pre White Balance Picture Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Pre Gamma Curve Picture Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Pre Color Picture
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
2.82
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
2.08
Gamma
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
:
2.20
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color temperature use in the TV and film industry as program, film, and photography directors usually work on monitors calibrated on the 6500k color temperature and do their color correction base on what they see on those monitors.
When it matters: To get the most accurate picture when watching TV shows, movies or video games. This is particularly for skin tones.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6266 K
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode used to do the 'Pre Calibration' measurements.
:
Movie
Color Temp Setting
What it is: The best value for the TV's color temperature setting. The setting name differs between brands; for some it's "Color Temperature", for others its "White Point".
When it matters: All content on screen
:
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
What it is: The best value for the TV's gamma setting; the setting name differs between TV brands.
When it matters: Shadows, accurate grayscale performance.
:
2.2

The out of the box color accuracy of the Q900 is great. The Picture Mode that gave us the best results is the 'Movie' picture mode. The White Balance dE and Color dE are quite low and only enthusiasts will notice the inaccuracies. The color temperature is a little warm and the gamma follows the target quite well, thus the image has just the right brightness.

9.6 Post Calibration
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 Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Post White Balance Picture Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Post Gamma Curve Picture Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Post Color Picture
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.55
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.78
Gamma
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
:
2.20
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color temperature use in the TV and film industry as program, film, and photography directors usually work on monitors calibrated on the 6500k color temperature and do their color correction base on what they see on those monitors.
When it matters: To get the most accurate picture when watching TV shows, movies or video games. This is particularly for skin tones.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6446 K
White Balance Calibration
What it is: Whether the TV's white balance can be finely calibrated.
When it matters: When calibrating the TV.
:
20 point
Color Calibration
What it is: Whether the TV's color tone mapping can be finely calibrated.
When it matters: When calibrating the TV.
:
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
What it is: Whether the TV has an auto-calibration function that can be used with a measurement device. Note that this is not used during testing, as we calibrate the TV manually.
When it matters: When calibrating the TV.
:
Yes

The Samsung Q900 has excellent color accuracy after calibration. The White Balance dE and the Color dE are so low that even enthusiasts will need a colorimeter to spot any remaining inaccuracies. The gamma tracks the curve well and the color temperature is brought closer to the target of 6500K.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input
What it is: Quality of a 480p input.
When it matters: Standard definition TV, DVDs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED 480p Picture

Lower resolution 480p content like DVDs is upscaled well, with no obvious artifacts or quality issues.

8.0 720p Input
What it is: Quality of a 720p input.
When it matters: HD channels, some streaming videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED 720p Picture

720p content such as cable TV looks good.

9.0 1080p Input
What it is: Quality of a 1080p input.
When it matters: Blu-rays, streaming video, video files, video games.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED 1080p Picture

1080p content, including Blu-rays and non-4k console games, is displayed well.

9.9 4k Input
What it is: Quality of a 4k UHD input.
When it matters: Streaming video, UHD Blu-rays, PC use.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED 4k Picture

The TV is upscaling 4k to 8k, so there are some fine upscaling artifacts, but this is not noticeable at a normal viewing distance.

We are planning on doing a larger comparison of 8k vs 4k in a separate article soon. Also, on a future test bench update, we plan to add an "8k Input" box to evaluate 8k performance.

8.2 Color Gamut
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
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 Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
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%
:
90.51 %
DCI P3 uv
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%
:
95.21 %
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Color Gamut Rec.2020 Picture
Rec 2020 xy
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%
:
67.82 %
Rec 2020 uv
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%
:
75.55 %
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED EOTF

The Q900 has a wide color gamut. It is a bit less than most of the 2018 QLED TVs, like the Q9FN and Q8FN, and closer to the Q6FN. It is possible that the TV's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' optical layer is reducing its color gamut.

In HDR, the TV overshoots the target PQ curve when shown a small highlight and Local Dimming is set to 'High' (seen in the measurement above), but has an accurate PQ curve when shown full-screen shades. This means that most of an HDR scene will be shown with the proper brightness, but small bright areas will be too bright.

In case you find HDR too dim, you can raise the PQ curve by setting Brightness to '5' and Contrast Enhancer to 'High'. This will produce this PQ curve.

This is the PQ curve for Game Mode. If you find dark shades in Game Mode too dark, you can raise the Brightness to '5.'

Update:4/18/2019: We found out that setting Gamma to '3' doesn't raise the PQ curve, so we removed it from our recommended actions for making HDR brighter. The text has been updated both in this box and in the settings page.

7.3 Color Volume
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 Q900/Q900R 8k QLED P3 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
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%
:
81.4 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
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.
:
55.9 %
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED 2020 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
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 %
:
65.2 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
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.
:
47.1 %

The color volume of the Q900 is decent. It has good coverage of the DCI P3 color space, but coverage of the wider Rec 2020 is just okay.

This performance is not as good as last year's QLEDs, as you can see in the color volume boxes of the Q9FN and the Q8FN. This is mostly the result of a narrower color gamut when compared to last year's QLEDs.

7.8 Gradient
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.
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Gradient Picture
Color Depth
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
Red (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit red shades.
When it matters: Details in skin tones, sunsets, and other reddish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.124 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit green shades.
When it matters: Details in ocean shades and other greenish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.157 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit blue shades.
When it matters: Details in skies, water and other blueish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.091 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit gray shades.
When it matters: Details in dull colors, such as shadows, glow and urban scenes. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.097 dE

The gradient of the Q900R is very good. Some slight banding is visible almost everywhere, and there are some areas where there's moderate banding, like in the dark gray and the dark green.

You can effectively remove most of the banding by setting the Digital Clean View to 'Auto.'

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 compared the Q900R (top) with the Q9FN (bottom) and confirmed this.

10 Temporary Image Retention
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.

Note that this is different to permanent burn-in, learn more about permanent burn-in here.

Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
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%
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
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%
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
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%
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
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%
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
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%
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
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%
:
0.00 %

There is no temporary image retention on the Q900.

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
What it is: The risk of developing a persistent image retention, also known as burn-in, after being exposed to a static image for a prolonged time
When it matters: When watching TV shows, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor where static content is present
Score components:
Permanent Burn-In Risk
What it is: If the TV faces a risk of developing permanent burn-in after being expose, for a long period of time, to static images.
When it matters: When watching TV shows with static logos or banners (news or sports channels), when playing video games with a HUD (head up display), and when using a TV as a PC monitors.
:
No

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

Pixels
What it is: The smallest element a screen can display is called a pixel. In color TVs, this consists of three (or more) subpixels. This is a picture of the TV's pixel structure.
When it matters: It can help explain some display behaviors and can provide an indication of whether two panels are the same or not.
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Pixels Picture

Unfortunately the TV's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' optical layer makes the pixels hard to see clearly.

It is interesting to compare this photo to the photo of the 'X-Wide Angle' layer of the Sony Z9F.

9.4

Motion

The Samsung Q900 has excellent motion handling. The response time is extremely fast and there is very little persistence blur trail. The backlight is better than the 2018 QLEDs, and flickers at the very fast frequency of 960Hz in most modes. It is so fast that it is almost impossible to perceive. It also supports a Black Frame Insertion feature, which can lower the flicker down to 60Hz in Game Mode to help game motion appear crisper. The Q900R can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz, even in Game Mode, and can remove judder from any source. Finally, just like most premium 2018 models, the Q900R supports FreeSync variable refresh rate.

9.9 Response Time
What it is: Amount of blur in fast motion.
When it matters: Sports, video games.
Score components:
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Motion Blur Picture Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
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
:
2.7 ms
100% Response Time
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
:
7.9 ms

The Q900 has an extremely fast response time. Fast-moving objects will only have a small blur trail and the only transition with significant overshoot is the 0-20% transition, which corresponds to very dark shades.

9.9 Flicker-Free
What it is: How noticeable flicker is on the screen, when all optional flicker has been disabled.
When it matters: All usages, but particularly when viewing fast motion (such as in sports and video games) or when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Score components:
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Backlight chart
Flicker-Free
What it is: Whether the screen will be perceived as having no flicker during normal viewing conditions.
When it matters: When flicker is especially bothersome, such as when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: The flicker frequency of the screen, when all optional flicker has been disabled.
When it matters: All usages, but particularly when viewing fast motion (such as in sports and video games) or when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Good value: 0 Hz or very high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
960 Hz

The Q900R uses PWM dimming to dim the backlight. Flicker is always present and becomes more severe at lower brightness. However, the flicker frequency is 960Hz and you most likely won't see it.

The TV was tested in 'Movie' mode with Auto Motion Plus disabled. There are many instances where the flicker rate changes to 120Hz, like in 'Movie' mode with Auto Motion Plus set to 'Custom' or 'Auto,' or in 'Standard' and in 'Game' modes when it is at 120Hz all the time, as shown in these plots.

10 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: How effective the TV's flickering capabilities are in making motion look clearer, when flicker is desired.
When it matters: When flicker is desired by the user. Flicker is especially useful to make motion look clearer when viewing 60 fps content (sports, video games) and when using motion interpolation.
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED BFI Picture Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED BFI Frequency Picture
Optional BFI
What it is: Option to turn the screen black between frames.
When it matters: When flicker is desired by the user. Flicker is especially useful to make motion look clearer when viewing 60 fps content (sports, video games) and when using motion interpolation.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern when playing 60 fps content.
When it matters: When viewing fast motion such as sports and video games.
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
What it is: Whether the screen can flicker at 60 Hz when playing 60 fps content.
When it matters: When playing 60 fps content, such as sports and video games.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
What it is: Whether the screen can flicker at 120 Hz when playing 120 fps content.
When it matters: When playing 120 fps content, such as when using motion interpolation on a 120 Hz TV.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern when playing 60 fps content in Game Mode.
When it matters: When playing video games with fast motion.
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
60 Hz

The Q900R has an excellent black frame insertion feature to 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 motion interpolation you should disable 'Blur/Judder Reduction.' If you enable LED Clear Motion, the flicker changes to 60 Hz.

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

10 Motion Interpolation
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.
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Motion Interpolation (30 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
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 Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Motion Interpolation (60 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
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

The TV is capable of interpolating content up to 120fps. To enable motion interpolation (soap opera effect) you must set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom.' Blur Reduction is the slider that affects high frame rate content (ex. 60 fps). Judder Reduction is the slider that affects low frame rate content (ex. 30 fps). To obtain the best possible result you should adjust those sliders to your liking. For our test, we kept both at max.

In 'Game' mode, there is 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.

6.3 Stutter
What it is: Jarring effect caused by static frame time during motion sequences
When it matters: When watching content with long panning shots and other smooth movement
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
What it is: Time that frame is static during 24Hz videos such as movies
When it matters: When watching movies and other low frame rate content which contain panning shots
Good value: < 24 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
33.8 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
What it is: Time that frame is static during 60 fps content such as TV shows
When it matters: When watching 60 fps content containing slow panning shots (such as field sports)
Good value: < 24 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
8.8 ms

The Q900 has some stutter due to the very fast response time. If you find this stutter bothersome, you can use the motion interpolation and BFI features of the TV.

10 24p Judder
What it is: Whether 24p content can play without any judder.
When it matters: Only 24p content (mostly just movies).
Judder-Free 24p
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
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
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60i signal.
When it matters: Movies from cable/satellite boxes.
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
What it is: Judder-free movies when playing from native apps.
When it matters: Movies from streaming native apps (Netflix, Amazon TV, etc.).
:
Yes

The Samsung Q900 can remove judder from any source. To remove judder set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom,' and Blur / Judder Reduction to '0/0' (if you don't want motion interpolation).

The Film Mode setting does not remove judder from 60i sources. Instead, it appears to do a form of frame blending. We recommend leaving it 'off' unless you like the effect.

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

9.4 Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: How frequently the TV can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like HDMI Forum's Variable Refresh Rate.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native Refresh Rate
What it is: The out-of-the-box maximum refresh rate; how frequently the TV can refresh and show new frames.
When it matters: When playing content with a frame rate that matches the TV's refresh rate (ex. 60 fps on a 60 Hz TV, 120 fps on a 120 Hz TV), or when using the TV's motion interpolation feature (soap opera effect).
Good value: 60 Hz
:
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the TV to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable when gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
FreeSync
1080p VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the TV when the input signal is 1080p.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled and 1080p is sent.
Good value: Matches maximum refresh rate at 1080p.
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the TV's Variable Refresh Rate feature when the input signal is 1080p.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the TV at lower frame rates when sending a 1080p signal.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
What it is: The inputs which support a variable refresh rate (eg. HDMI, DisplayPort)
When it matters: When gaming with different consoles or graphics cards.
:
HDMI

4k VRR Maximum with 60 Hz input: 60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum with 60 Hz input: 48 Hz

Update 04/08/2019: It was discovered that HDMI port 4 supports 8k @ 30 Hz @ 4:2:0 and 4k @ 120 Hz @ 4:2:0 via HDMI 2.0, as explained in the Supported Resolutions box. FreeSync can be enabled when the TV is receiving 4k @ 120 Hz, but with our current tools we can't confirm if it works properly, or what its range is.

Original text: The Q900 supports FreeSync, which is great for gamers with compatible hardware or an Xbox One. The lack of a DisplayPort on the TV does not allow FreeSync to work with current NVIDIA drivers. We tested the TV on 'Game' mode, and we used FreeSync set to 'Ultimate' to obtain the widest possible range.

9.5

Inputs

Score components:

Update 04/02/2019: It was discovered that HDMI 4 supports 8k @ 30 Hz @ 4:2:0 and 4k @ 120 Hz @ 4:2:0 via HDMI 2.0, explained here.

The Samsung Q900 has an excellent low input lag in most resolutions, similar to the input lag of the best Samsungs we've tested so far. The TV can maintain a low input lag even with motion interpolation, provided you adjust the proper setting correctly. The Q900 is the first TV we've tested that supports 8k. Unfortunately, we were unable to send an 8k signal to the TV to test its performance as there are no HDMI 2.1 sources currently available. You can read more details in the Supported Resolutions box right below. The Q900 does not support DTS.

9.5 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: Video games; when TV is used as PC monitor.
1080p @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1080p @ 60 Hz input signal.
When it matters: Gaming and PC use.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
17.0 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1080p @ 60 Hz input signal when in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For gaming and PC use, while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
93.4 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1440p @ 60Hz input signal.
When it matters: Gaming and PC use.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
17.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k @ 60 Hz input signal.
When it matters: Gaming and PC use.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
17.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k @ 60 Hz + HDR input signal.
When it matters: Gaming and PC use in HDR.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
17.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Lowest input lag possible when displaying 4k @ 60 Hz with proper full 4:4:4 chroma, without subsampling. For this test a 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 signal is usually used, but a 4k @ 60 Hz @ Full RGB signal may be used if it's required for the TV to show proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling.
When it matters: PC use and gaming where fine text display (ClearType) is needed.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
17.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k @ 60 Hz input signal when in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For gaming and PC use, while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
78.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 4k @ 60 Hz input signal, when motion interpolation is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with motion interpolation (Soap Opera Effect) enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
32.7 ms
1080p @ 120 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1080p @ 120 Hz input signal.
When it matters: Console gaming and PC gaming.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
6.5 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1440p @ 120 Hz input signal.
When it matters: Console gaming and PC gaming.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
6.6 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1080p input signal when using Variable Refresh Rate (FreeSync, etc).
When it matters: When gaming with a device that supports Variable Refresh Rate, such as the Xbox One X or a PC.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
6.7 ms
1440p with VRR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible for a 1440p input signal when using Variable Refresh Rate (FreeSync, etc).
When it matters: When gaming with a device that supports Variable Refresh Rate, such as the Xbox One X or a PC.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
7.0 ms
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
What it is: Whether a source (such as a game console) can request the TV switch into a low latency mode (such as game mode).
When it matters: Console gaming; both PS4 and Xbox One S/X support ALLM.
:
Yes

Update 04/02/2019: It was discovered that HDMI port 4 supports 8k @ 30 Hz @ 4:2:0 and 4k @ 120 Hz @ 4:2:0 via HDMI 2.0, as explained in the Supported Resolutions box. Unfortunately with our current tools we can't test the input lag of 4k @ 120 Hz on this TV.

The input lag of 4k with Variable Refresh Rate (FreeSync) will be lower when using 120 Hz, but we can't measure this at present. At 4k @ 60 Hz the VRR input lag is 17.6 ms.

Original text:

Excellent low input lag. The TV is very responsive, which is great for gamers. You must set the TV to 'Game Mode' for the input lag to be low, even when you are in 'PC Mode.' Chroma 4:4:4 is properly shown when in 'PC Mode' (that is when the input's icon is set to 'PC').

Just like the premium 2018 models from the Samsung lineup, the Q900 has low input lag with motion interpolation in game motion plus. When the Judder Reduction slider is increased, the TV interpolates up to 60 fps, and the input lag becomes 32.7 ms which is higher than without game motion plus, but still lower than what it is if you do not enable Game Mode. If the Blur Reduction slider is increased, the TV interpolates up to 120 fps and the input lag increases slightly to 38.8 ms, which is still a good value.

10 Supported Resolutions
What it is: Different resolutions supported by TV.
When it matters: PC monitor usage.
Score components:
  • 17% 1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 8% 1080p @ 120 Hz
  • 8% 1440p @ 60 Hz
  • 4% 1440p @ 120 Hz
  • 34% 4k @ 60 Hz
  • 25% 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 4% 8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: ClearType text display for PC productivity and gaming with fine text.
:
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 1080p @ 120 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: Console gaming and PC gaming.
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 1440p @ 60 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: Gaming and PC use.
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 120 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 1440p @ 120 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: Console gaming and PC gaming.
:
Yes (native support)
4k @ 60 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 4k @ 60 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: 4k Blu-rays, gaming, PC use, etc.
:
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: ClearType text display for PC productivity and gaming with fine text.
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display a 4k @ 120 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: PC gaming.
:
Yes (native support)
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
What it is: Whether the TV can properly display an 8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz signal sent from a physical input (HDMI, etc).
When it matters: PC use.
:
Yes

Update 04/08/2019: It was discovered that HDMI port 4 supports 8k @ 30 Hz @ 4:2:0 and 4k @ 120 Hz @ 4:2:0 via HDMI 2.0, see below. The overscan we noticed isn't present in PC mode (when the input's icon is set to 'PC').

Update 04/02/2019: It was discovered that HDMI port 4 supports 8k @ 30 Hz @ 4:2:0 and 4k @ 120 Hz @ 4:2:0 via HDMI 2.0 when using our NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB. There's unfortunately a small amount of overscan when using these resolutions, so a bit of the screen edges are cut off; we don't know if this is caused by the TV or our graphics card. We were initially informed that HDMI port 1 supports HDMI 2.1, but these initial reports were wrong, it is actually port 4.

Original text:

1440p @ 120 Hz has improper chroma subsampling 4:4:4, even in PC mode.

This the first TV we've tested that supports 8k. However, we couldn't send an 8k signal to the TV from any of our sources (NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB, Radeon RX 580, Blu-ray player); 8k didn't even appear in the list of supported resolutions. We created custom resolutions using Custom Resolution Utility for 8k @ 30 Hz @ 4:2:0 and 8k @ 24 Hz @ 4:2:0 but the TV didn't accept them. It displayed 'Mode Not Supported,' which is what Samsungs often display for custom resolutions. According to Samsung, HDMI port 1 supports up to 8k @ 60 Hz, but none of our sources detected this. 8k @ 60 Hz requires an HDMI 2.1 source (which we don't have), but it may be possible for 8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz to be supported via HDMI 2.0. We will update the review when we have a source that can send 8k.

Our testing with playing 8k files on the TV via USB was inconclusive:

  • We were able to play 8k images, but there's no way to confirm that they're being displayed as true 8k, or if they're being shown as 4k. We played the same images on the 4k Q9FN and they played just as well (though they looked worse from up close because of the lower pixel density of the panel).
  • We created an 8k image with a small 1px grid in the center, but the QN65Q900RBF showed the 1px grid as a solid gray.
  • We were able to play an 8k videos on the Q900 that couldn't play on the Q9FN, but this may be due to the better codec support in the 2019 Samsung firmware.
  • Unfortunately, Samsung's YouTube app can't play 8k YouTube videos yet.

Input Photos
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
What it is: Standard HDR format.
When it matters: Most common format. All UHD Blu-ray discs are required to have it.
:
Yes
HDR10+
What it is: Enhanced version of HDR10, adds dynamic metadata like that found in Dolby Vision.
When it matters: When playing HDR10+ content, such as from Amazon Video and some Blu-ray disks.
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
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
HLG
What it is: HLG or Hybrid Log Gamma is a broadcast HDR format.
When it matters: HLG capable sources such as Youtube or OTA broadcasts in specific regions. Backwards compatible with SDR TVs.
:
Yes
3D
What it is: Optional 3D video capability on TV.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
What it is: HDMI 2.0 is the main used HDMI standard and supports a range of video resolutions and refresh rates up to 4k@60Hz, with a total maximum bandwidth up to 18Gbps.
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
What it is: Whether the manufacturer advertises HDMI 2.1 support.
When it matters: When using an HDMI 2.1 source that takes advantage of its new features.
:
Yes (HDMI 4)
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
What it is: USB 3.0 is the latest USB standard which can transfer data up to 5 Gbit/s, and is easily recognizable due to its blue color-coding of the connector.
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

Update 04/02/2019: It was discovered that HDMI port #4 is the HDMI 2.1 port, not port #1 as previously advertised. The review has been updated.

Audio Passthrough
What it is: Whether the specific audio format (ex. Dolby Digital) can be sent by the source, pass through the TV, and be re-sent to an audio sink (such as a receiver) with all its functionality intact.
When it matters: When playing surround sound using a receiver or soundbar, from a source that is connected to the TV.
ARC
What it is: Audio Return Channel (ARC) enables a TV to transmit, via an HDMI cable, audio data to an A/V receiver, without the need for any extra audio cables.
When it matters: When connecting your audio/video receiver directly to your TV via an HDMI cable.
:
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
What it is: Whether the TV supports Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC).
When it matters: Passthrough of Dolby Atmos/TrueHD and DTS-HD MA / DTS:X .
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a Dolby Atmos signal to a receiver via HDMI eARC, when Dolby TrueHD is used as the carrier signal.
When it matters: Blu-rays and video games with Dolby Atmos audio.
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a DTS:X signal to a receiver via HDMI eARC, when DTS-HD MA is used as the carrier signal.
When it matters: Blu-rays and video games with DTS:X audio.
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to a receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs, Blu-rays and video games.
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a DTS 5.1 signal to a receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs, Blu-rays and video games.
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to a receiver via digital optical (Toslink).
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs, Blu-rays and video games.
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
What it is: Whether the TV can receive and pass a DTS 5.1 signal to a receiver via digital optical (Toslink).
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs, Blu-rays and video games.
:
No

The TV does not support DTS. Also there is no support for eARC, so Dolby Atmos via Dolby TrueHD isn't supported.

There is a Dolby Atmos Input setting, so it's likely the QN65Q900RBF supports lossy Atmos passthrough via Dolby Digital Plus sources, such as Netflix.

6.7

Sound Quality

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 sound quality of the Samsung Q900 is decent. It can get fairly loud, which is good for most use cases and will deliver well-balanced dialogs. However, the TV lacks bass, so it won't be able to produce any thump or punch. For a better sound, a dedicated sound system is recommended.

6.4 Frequency Response
What it is: How accurately the sound level of each frequency is being produced.
When it matters: For a balanced and neutral sound.
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
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
:
113.14 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
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
:
3.65 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
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
:
3.86 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
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
:
5.67 dB
Max
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
:
87.8 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
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
:
3.91 dB

The frequency response of the Samsung Q900 is mediocre. Low-frequency extension (LFE) is at 113Hz, which is poor. This results in a bass without a lot of punch/kick, and lack of thump or rumble. However, the response above the TV's LFE is well-balanced, delivering clear speech. Also, this TV can get loud enough for most use cases.

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, which, on the other hand, reduces the compression artifacts under heavier loads.

7.5 Distortion
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 Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
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
:
0.287
Weighted THD @ Max
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
:
0.914
IMD @ 80
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
:
0.61 %
IMD @ Max
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
:
1.01 %

The Q900 has good distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is not too elevated at 80dB SPL and the sound is fairly pure. Also, there is not a big rise in THD at maximum volume compared to 80dB SPL, which is good.

8.0

Smart Features

Score components:
  • 42% Interface
  • 2% Ad-Free
  • 37% Apps and Features
  • 16% Remote
  • 3% Remote App
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Smart TV Picture
Smart OS : Tizen
Version : 2019

The smart features of the Q900R are great. The TV runs Samsung's Tizen smart interface that is very easy to use. It gives you access to tons of apps through the Samsung app store, sure to cover your viewing needs. The remote control is similar to the ones found on 2018 QLEDs and incorporates well with Bixby, Samsung's smart assistant. Unfortunately, the remote app that pairs with the TV does not incorporate any improvements for this TV model.

8.0 Interface
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
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
What it is: How smooth the interface is to navigate, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
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.
:
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
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
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

The Samsung Q900 runs the latest version of Samsung Tizen smart interface, which is very easy and intuitive to use.

We noticed a small bug: sometimes when you change the input icon, 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 Ad-Free
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
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
What it is: Whether or not you can opt out of all ads. A TV only passes this test if it allows you to remove them completely, not just disable the personalized advertising.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
No
Suggested Content in Home
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
What it is: Whether the suggested content feed in the home menu can be removed or hidden
:
No

Although we didn't see any ads during testing, we are aware that the appearance of ads is often inconsistent. Samsung TVs have always had ads as seen on the Q9FN here.

8.5 Apps and Features
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 Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Apps Picture
App Selection
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
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
What it is: Whether apps on a phone or tablet can cast content to the TV.
:
Yes
USB Drive Playback
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
What it is: Whether HDR files played from a USB drive can be displayed properly.
:
Yes
HDR in Netflix
What it is: Whether HDR content on Netflix can be played back in HDR using the native Netflix app.
:
Yes
HDR in YouTube
What it is: Whether HDR content on YouTube can be played in HDR using the native YouTube app.
:
Yes

The smart interface has several preinstalled apps and the Samsung app store has many more sure to match your needs. The apps run well on the QN65Q900RBF, although they are not always very smooth.

8.5 Remote
What it is: The usability and features of the TV's physical remote.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Remote Picture
Size
What it is: How big the remote is
:
Small
Voice Control
What it is: The capabilities of the TV's voice control feature
:
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
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
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 control that comes along the Q900 is very similar to the remote that is included with the other premium Samsung QLEDs. The remote integrates well with Bixby and allows you to control with your voice some TV settings like changing the backlight. You can also ask the TV to answer basic questions like what the weather is like, and you can even launch apps with your voice. Unfortunately, you can't search within apps using your voice, so commands like 'Search Netflix for Marco Polo' will not work. Samsung's OneRemote feature allows the remote to control other devices, even if they don't support HDMI CEC.

6.0 Remote App
What it is: The features of the official phone and tablet app for the TV.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Remote App Picture
Acts as the Remote
What it is: Whether the remote app can emulate all the buttons of the physical remote.
:
Yes
Directly Launches Apps and Inputs
What it is: Whether the remote app can directly launch the TV's apps and change between its inputs, without requiring any interaction with menus on the TV.
:
No
Inputs Text in YouTube
What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for YouTube searches.
:
No
Inputs Text in Netflix
What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for Netflix searches.
:
No
Streams Device Files
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.
:
No
Controls TV Settings
What it is: Whether the app can change all or some of the settings on the TV, such as the backlight.
:
No
Voice Control
What it is: Whether the remote can send voice commands to the TV.
:
Yes

The remote app is mediocre. The Samsung Smart Things app can connect to a lot of Samsung smart devices, but unfortunately, it does not have many features when using it with a TV.

TV Controls
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Controls Picture

The TV controls are located on the underside, close to the right leg. It allows you to change channels and volume and you can open the input list, the settings, or even the home menu. The controls serve as a D-Pad to navigate the interface without a remote and since you can open the home menu, you can do just about anything.

If you need to launch the Home menu while you are in an app, press and hold the center button. To close the Home menu, do the same; press and hold the center button.

In The Box
Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED In The Box Picture

  • 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

Misc
Power Consumption : 139 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 307 W
Firmware : 1060

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 65" (QN65Q900RBF) version FA01/QRQ900B. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 75" version (QN75Q900RBF) and the 82" version (QN82Q900RBF). 

There are three Q900 models: The Q900RA, Q900RB, and Q950. Q900RA is the 2018 model and doesn't include an HDMI 2.1 port, comes with a silver remote (just like the Q9FN), and was only available in 85" in the U.S. Since the beginning of 2019, it's been replaced by the Q900RB in the U.S. and by the Q950 in Europe. These models have a black remote, one HDMI 2.1 port, and a new panel supporting the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung Q900R doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.                                                                                          

Size Model Model Short US Canada UK
65" QN65Q900RAF QN65Q900 N/A N/A QE65Q900RATXXU
65" QN65Q900RBF QN65Q900 QN65Q900RBFXZA QN65Q900RBFXZC QE65Q950RBTXXU
75" QN75Q900RAF QN75Q900 N/A N/A QE75Q900RATXXU
75" QN75Q900RBF QN75Q900 QN75Q900RBFXZA QN75Q900RBFXZC QE75Q950RBTXXU
82" QN82Q900RBF QN82Q900 QN82Q900RBFXZA QN82Q900RBFXZC QE82Q950RBTXXU
85" QN85Q900RAF QN85Q900 QN85Q900RAFXZA QN85Q900RAFXZC QE85Q900RATXXU
 

The 65" Q900R we tested was manufactured in Feb. 2019.

Compared to other TVs

Samsung Q900/Q900R 8k QLED Group Shot Picture
Top left: Vizio P Series Quantum (PQ65-F1). Bottom left: Samsung Q8FN (QN65Q8FN). Middle: Samsung Q900R (QN65Q900). Top right: Sony Z9F (XBR65Z9F). Bottom right: Samsung Q9FN (QN65Q9FN). Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Samsung Q900 is a great TV. It is the first 8k TV we tested and has great local dimming and wide viewing angles. See our recommendations for the best TVs, the best HDR gaming TVs, and the best smart TVs.

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

The Samsung Q9FN has similar overall performance to the Samsung Q900R. The Q9FN has better reflection handling, which is great if you use the TV in a room with many light sources. It also has a higher native contrast ratio that allows it to display deeper blacks in a dark room, which is great for movies and HDR. The Samsung Q900R, on the other hand, has an 8k display and the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer which gives it wider viewing angles. Also, the Q900R has a crisper image due to the faster response time and can remove judder from any source.

Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED
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.

LG B8 OLED
55" 65"

These two TVs are different types and are better for different things. The LG B8 is better in a dark room due to the perfect blacks in all cases. The B8 also has wider viewing angles and is more suitable for a room with a wide seating arrangement. The Samsung Q900R has an 8k resolution and can get significantly brighter to fight glare, which is great for a bright room. It doesn't have the risk of permanent burn-in and supports FreeSync for tear-free gaming, making it a better choice for use as a PC monitor.

Sony Z9F
65" 75"

The Sony Z9F and the Samsung Q900R both have very similar performance and both support a viewing angle enhancing technology. The Sony Z9F has better reflection handling and better gray uniformity, which is great for watching sports in a room with many light sources. The Samsung Q900R has a higher 8k resolution and wider viewing angles. Also, the Q900R has a much better black frame insertion feature and supports FreeSync to ensure tear-free gaming with the use of compatible hardware.

Vizio P Series Quantum
65"

The Vizio P Series Quantum has similar overall performance to the Samsung Q900R. The Vizio PQ65-F1 has better reflection handling for a room with multiple light sources, and also better dark room performance, which is great for watching movies. The Samsung Q900R, on the other hand, has an 8k resolution and wider viewing angles thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer. The Q900R supports FreeSync and is a better choice for use as a PC monitor.

+ Show more

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

8.5Mixed Usage
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:
The Samsung Q900 is an excellent TV for mixed usage. It has an impressive picture quality with good dark room performance that also remains accurate when viewed from the side. It has remarkable motion handling with very little motion blur and fast-moving content, like sports, is crisp. The input lag is very low and the TV responds immediately to your actions, which is great for gamers and those who will use it as a PC monitor.
8.1Movies
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 Q900 is a great TV for watching movies. Although it can't display the deep blacks that most VA panel TVs can, it has a great local dimming implementation that allows it to greatly improve dark room performance. It upscales most common resolutions to 8k very well and has remarkable motion handling that delivers a crisp image. It can remove judder from any source and can interpolate older content to 120fps.
8.3TV Shows
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:
This an impressive TV for watching TV shows. It has great reflection handling, although the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer creates a little more indirect reflections, while at the same time greatly improving the TVs viewing angles. It can get very bright and it is suitable for a bright room where it will not have any issues with glare. Upscaling from 720p or 1080p to 8k is done just as good as on the previous 4k premium Samsung models.
8.4Sports
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.
The Samsung Q900 is a great TV for watching sports. It can handle reflections well and has a fast response time that allows it to display fast-moving content with minimal blur. It can get very bright, so you can comfortably place it a room with lots of ambient light and the good viewing angles, thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, making it suitable for a room with a wide seating arrangement. Unfortunately, some sports fans might be disappointed at the amount of dirty screen effect the Q900R has. The darker areas of the screen will be visible when displaying a hockey arena or a soccer field.
9.2Video Games
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.
This is an excellent TV for playing video games. It has a remarkably low input lag in most resolutions. It is packed with gaming goodies like FreeSync support, auto low latency mode, and low input lag with motion interpolation (although not as low as without). The Q900 has a very fast response time, thus displaying a crisp image with little blur, which you can make even crisper by introducing flicker through the use of the optional Black Frame Insertion feature.
8.1HDR Movies
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.
Score components:
The Q900 is a great TV for watching HDR movies. It has a good dark room performance mainly due to the good local dimming implementation and good black uniformity. The TV has a wide color gamut and can get very bright in HDR, thus HDR content is full of vivid colors and bright highlights. Although it is an 8k TV, it has no problem displaying 4k content very accurately.
8.8HDR Gaming
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.
The Samsung Q900 has excellent HDR Gaming performance. The input lag is remarkably low when in HDR mode and this makes the TV very responsive. This, in conjunction with the fast response time, the good dark room performance, the wide color gamut, and the excellent HDR peak brightness allow the TV to deliver a great HDR gaming experience.
9.0PC Monitor
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.
Score components:
The Samsung Q900 is an excellent TV to use as a PC monitor. It has a multitude of inputs, a low input lag, and an excellent response time that make it very responsive. The great viewing angles, thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle,' ensure that you will not experience uniformity issues at the sides of the screen when sitting up close. Since it is an LED TV, you should not worry about permanent burn and our unit showed no signs of temporary image retention.

LOG IN

JOIN RTINGS.com

Be part of the most informed community and take advantage of our advanced tools to find the best product for your needs.
Join our mailing list:

Create Discussion