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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
The borders of the Q900R are made of metal; they're very thin and look good.
The Samsung Q900 is very thin and will not stick out much if you wall mount it.
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.
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:
To give you a better sense of the comparisons to other models, we're attaching some pictures:
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.
Update 08/08/2019: We retested the SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness, and it increased a bit. Our measurements and scores have been updated.
Update 08/02/2019: We have retested the Q900RB with the latest firmware, and the SDR peak brightness has increased a bit. We've updated our measurements and scores, with the exception of the real scene peak brightness, which hasn't been updated yet.
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.
Update 08/08/2019: We retested the HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness, and it decreased considerably. Our measurements and scores have been updated.
Update 08/02/2019: We have retested the Q900RB with the latest firmware, and the HDR peak brightness has increased a bit. We've updated our measurements and scores.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lower resolution 480p content like DVDs is upscaled well, with no obvious artifacts or quality issues.
1080p content, including Blu-rays and non-4k console games, is displayed well.
Update 01/24/2020: After comparing the Q900R to the LG SM9970, it's clear that the LG does a better job upscaling 4k content to 8k, so we've adjusted the score slightly.
The TV is upscaling 4k to 8k, and the TV is dithering, causing some crosshatching and other artifacts similar to the ones we noticed on the TCL S517. These aren't noticeable at a normal viewing distance, but close up they can be seen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If gradient performance is important to you, the LG 75SM9970PUA performs better in this regard, and it's also an 8k TV.
There is no temporary image retention on the Q900.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update 07/27/2020: We retested the VRR range. At 1440p, the screen starts to tear at 115Hz, but only becomes a real issue at 120Hz.
Update 12/17/2019: A flaw was discovered in the way we were testing for G-SYNC compatibility with TVs. We've corrected the flaw, and have retested the 2019 Samsung and LG TVs, and found that the Samsung Q900R doesn't work properly with NVIDIA's current Adaptive Sync drivers.
Update 08/14/2019: Just to clarify as we get asked about this. The overall score in this box is positively affected by fact that the 4k VRR range is not scored. We intentionally left this untested as the TV is advertised to support HDMI 2.1, but currently, no device allows us to measure VRR range for a 4k @ 120Hz input. As you can see at the top of this text the 4k VRR range is measured for a 60Hz input, but this TV is supposed to do better with HDMI 2.1. This is why we decided to leave this untested. Once we get a device that can test this, we will update the box and the text.
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.