The Samsung Q900TS 8k QLED is one of three 8k TVs in Samsung's 2020 lineup. While 8k is still something of a novelty with very little native content, this is still a great all-around TV that performs well in both dark and well-lit rooms. It has a decent contrast ratio, lower than typical for a VA panel, but a good local dimming feature helps it produce deeper blacks. The lower contrast is a result of Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which attempts to improve the viewing angles of VA panels. Unfortunately, that's not the case here, as the TV has disappointing viewing angles that make the image look washed out from the side. On the upside, it has an amazing response time and an optional Black Frame Insertion feature, making motion look smooth in fast-moving scenes. There's also FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support, but it doesn't work fully. It includes an HDMI 2.1 port and can support a 4k @ 120Hz or 8k @ 60Hz signal, but neither of these works with 'Game' mode, which is unfortunate if you want to use this TV for next-gen consoles.
The Samsung Q900TS is great for mixed usage. It's great for movies thanks to its good black uniformity and local dimming, which greatly improves its contrast ratio. It also performs well in sunny rooms since it gets bright enough to overcome glare. It also has no problem upscaling cable TV or Blu-ray movies. HDR content pops thanks to its wide color gamut and high peak brightness. Unfortunately, its viewing angles are disappointingly narrow, so it's not as well-suited to wide seating arrangements. That said, gamers should appreciate the fast response time, low input lag, and FreeSync support.
The Samsung Q900TS is great for watching movies. It performs well in dark rooms thanks to its full-array local dimming and black uniformity, but its contrast ratio is lower than expected. It has no problem upscaling 1080p content like Blu-rays, although it doesn't display 4k content perfectly. There's a fair bit of stuttering as a result of its fast response time, but it can remove 24p judder from any source.
The Samsung Q900TS is great for watching TV shows during the day. It can get very bright and has excellent reflection handling, although the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer creates a rainbow-tinted effect when there are bright lights directly facing the screen, which some may find distracting. Despite the addition of the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, the TV has disappointingly narrow viewing angles.
The Samsung Q900TS is great for watching sports. It has excellent reflection handling and high peak brightness, so it's well-suited to bright rooms. It also has an amazing response time, resulting in smooth motion, which is great for fast-moving sports. Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, causing the image to look washed out from the side, so it's not well-suited to watching the game with a large group.
The Samsung Q900TS is an excellent TV for playing video games. Its amazing response time makes motion look clear and it has an incredibly low input lag, so gaming feels responsive. Its contrast ratio is only decent, so it's not as well-suited to dark room gaming. It has native FreeSync support, but it's not compatible with G-SYNC and the VRR doesn't work with 1440p resolution. Unfortunately, 'Game' mode doesn't work with 4k @ 120Hz or 8k @ 60Hz.
The Samsung Q900TS is very good for watching movies in HDR. It gets bright enough to make highlights in HDR content pop and it has a wide color gamut. However, its native contrast ratio is only decent, lower than a typical VA panel. Thankfully, it has good local dimming that greatly improves dark room performance. While it supports HDR10+, it doesn't support Dolby Vision.
The Samsung Q900TS is excellent for HDR gaming. It has an incredibly low input lag in HDR, making for a responsive gaming experience. It also has a fast response time and supports FreeSync VRR, although the VRR doesn't work in 1440p. Also, 'Game' mode doesn't work in 4k @ 120Hz or 8k @ 60Hz. Still, games look as they should in HDR thanks to the TV's wide color gamut and high peak brightness, although the contrast ratio is lower than expected.
The Samsung Q900TS is an impressive TV for use as a PC monitor. It has an incredibly low input lag, creating a responsive desktop experience, and a fast response time. It also supports chroma 4:4:4. which is important for displaying text properly. Unfortunately, it has disappointing viewing angles, despite the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, so the edges of the screen may look washed out when sitting up close.
The Samsung Q900TS is one of three 8k TVs in Samsung's 2020 lineup. It sits above the Samsung Q800T QLED and just below the Samsung Q950TS, which appears to be similar except that it comes with Samsung's One Connect box. There still aren't many 8k TVs on the market, so the Q900TS competes with other high-end 8k TVs like the LG NANO99 8k and the Sony Z8H.
The Samsung Q900TS has a virtually borderless design with extremely thin bezels to make it look as if it's floating in the air. The stand is centered, and the TV is designed to sit at a slight backward angle. Overall, it's a very sleekly-designed TV that should look fantastic in any living room.
The stand supports the TV well but there's some slight wobble front to back. Its made of plastic, which feels a bit cheaper than the metal stand on the Samsung Q800T QLED.
Footprint of the stand: 10.4" x 12.6"
The back of the TV is textured plastic. There are tracks along the back and down the stand for cable management.
The Samsung Q900TS has extremely thin borders. Viewed from a distance, the TV gives the impression of having a completely borderless screen.
The Samsung Q900TS feels remarkably well-built. It's made of solid plastic and feels sturdy, with little flex and no obvious gaps or issues. There's some slight wobble back and forth, but it shouldn't be an issue.
The Samsung Q900TS has a decent contrast ratio. Its native contrast is much lower than expected from a VA panel, as a result of the added 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer meant to improve viewing angles at the expense of contrast. Thankfully, the local dimming feature improves the contrast immensely, so it can still produce deep blacks.
SDR brightness is excellent, although it varies quite a bit with content. It's exceptionally bright with small highlights and gets dimmer with larger areas. It should perform well in bright rooms.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration using the 'Movie' Picture Mode with the Color Tone set to 'Warm2', Brightness set to 'Max', and Local Dimming set to 'High'.
If you want the brightest image possible, we achieved 1323 cd/m² using the 'Dynamic' Picture Mode with default settings and Local Dimming set to 'High'.
The Samsung Q900TS uses a full-array local dimming feature. The local dimming is good but has some issues. Most notably, there's quite a bit of black crush, as small details like stars are almost completely crushed and then gradually pop back in. That said, there's not too much blooming around bright objects and subtitles look okay for the most part. However, there's a noticeable ripple as the dimming zones turn on around subtitles. As with the Samsung Q800T QLED, transitions between zones are very visible, creating a 'golf ball effect' that's noticeable with the small circle spinning in our test pattern. That said, these issues are much less noticeable with real content.
We tested local dimming on High.
HDR brightness is amazing. It gets bright enough for highlights in HDR content to pop. As with SDR, there's some variation in brightness across content.
We measured the HDR peak brightness before calibration using the 'Movie' Picture Mode with Local Dimming set to ‘High’, Brightness at ‘Max’, Contrast at ‘Max’, and Picture Clarity set to ‘Off’.
If you want the brightest image possible, use 'Dynamic' Picture Mode with default settings and Local Dimming set to 'High'. We were able to get 2740 cd/m² in the 10% window using these settings.
The Samsung Q900TS has good gray uniformity, but this can vary between units. The screen is noticeably darker around the corners, and there's some slight dirty screen effect, which may be noticeable during sports games with large bright areas taking up the screen. Uniformity is much better with darker images.
We experienced a bug while testing, where the backlight bled through noticeably if left on a static screen, most notably on a 5% gray slide but sometimes with actual content as well. You can see that here.
Note: We also experienced an issue with the backlight in the same area we noticed the backlight bleed, where a section of the backlight turned off and left black spots on the screen. This went away on its own, though, and we weren't able to recreate the issue after it happened the first time.
Additionally, note that the backlight on this TV is always visible, similar to the Samsung Q800T QLED, which causes uniformity issues that aren't reflected in our scoring. In particular, the dirty screen effect in real usage looks worse than it appears in our test photo. You can see a photo here that has been edited to replicate the effect as it appears in real life.
Black uniformity is good, although this can vary between units. There's some visible clouding throughout the screen with Local Dimming disabled. When enabled, the black uniformity is significantly improved, though there's still some noticeable blooming around bright objects.
The viewing angles are disappointing, especially considering it has the added 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer. The color quickly begins to wash out as you move off-center, so it's not suggested for wide seating arrangements. We tested the viewing angle twice, once with Local Dimming set to 'Low' to test for color, and again with Local Dimming disabled to test for lightness, black level, and gamma.
The Samsung Q900TS has excellent reflection handling. The glossy coating does a good job of diffusing direct light reflections, although the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer causes intense lighting to scatter and create a rainbow-colored ripple effect.
Before calibration, the accuracy is impressive. There are very few noticeable inaccuracies with colors and shades of gray, but the gamma doesn't really follow the curve, so scenes appear brighter than they should. The color temperature is slightly warmer than the 6,500K target, but it's still very close. Note that out-of-the-box accuracy may vary between units.
After calibration, accuracy is fantastic. The color temperature is slightly warmer, so there may be a bit of red/yellow tint, but colors and shades of gray have improved. Gamma follows the target much more closely. Any remaining accuracies shouldn't be noticeable without a colorimeter.
You can see our recommended settings here.
The Samsung Q900TS upscales 480p content, like DVDs, without any issues.
The Samsung Q900TS displays 1080p content, like Blu-rays, without issues.
There's some cross-hatching with 4k content, meaning you can see the mesh-like pattern of the pixels, but it's hard to notice.
The Samsung Q900TS shows a bit of dithering with 8k content, most visible in shadows, but it shouldn't be noticeable unless you're sitting really close.
The Samsung Q900TS uses a BGR subpixel layout, which can affect the way text is rendered when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can read more about it here. The pixels look blurry due to the extra 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer.
The Samsung Q900TS has a great color gamut that's wide enough for HDR content. It has nearly full coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content and decent coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space.
The EOTF is a bit higher than the target, causing scenes to appear brighter than they should, until it rolls off near the TV's max brightness. In 'Game' mode, the EOTF is slightly farther off the target and rolls off quicker. If you find HDR too dim, set Contrast Enhancer to 'High', ST.2084 to ‘Max’, and Shadow Details to 'Max', which results in a noticeably brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF.
The color volume on the Samsung Q900TS is good. It can display dark colors well, but like many LED TVs, it struggles with bright blues.
The TV has good gradient handling. There's some banding in reds and greens and a little in grays as well, but it's not especially noticeable. Setting Noise Reduction to 'Auto' seems to help smooth out the gradients.
There are no signs of temporary image retention on the TV we tested, although this can vary between individual units.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Samsung Q900TS has an excellent response time, though there's some overshoot in the 0-20% transition, causing some motion smearing in dark scenes. Overall, there isn't much blur trail behind moving objects, and motion looks smooth.
This TV uses Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight. In 'Movie' mode, it flickers at 960Hz, which shouldn't be noticeable. In all other picture modes, or if you enable Picture Clarity settings, it flickers at 120Hz.
The Samsung Q900TS has a Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. To reduce the flicker to 60Hz, set LED Clear Motion to 'On', and for 120Hz, set Picture Clarity to 'On'. In 'Game' mode, enabling LED Clear Motion with Game Motion Plus reduces the flicker from 120Hz to 60Hz. Note that the BFI score is based on what flicker it's capable of, and not how well it actually performs.
The Samsung Q900TS can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps. To enable motion interpolation (also known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'), you can adjust the Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction settings.
Due to the TV's fast response time, there's some noticeable stuttering with 24fps content, but less so with 60fps content.
The Samsung Q900TS can remove 24p judder from any source, as long as Picture Clarity is set to 'Custom' with sliders set to '0'.