The Samsung QN85B QLED is a high-end TV, and it's the successor to the Samsung QN85A QLED. Part of Samsung's Neo QLED series of TVs, it features a Mini LED backlight, allowing for higher brightness levels and finer control of the local dimming zones. It sits between the Samsung Q80B QLED and the Samsung QN90B QLED. Like other Samsung TVs, it uses Samsung's proprietary Tizen OS smart interface, which offers a large selection of streaming apps and games. Extra features are a big focus for Samsung this year, and the QN85B is no exception. It's designed to interact with all of your other smart devices; to help you do that, it now supports Bixby, Google Assistant, and Alexa. It's also compatible with Google Duo, which supports video calls with up to 32 people directly on your TV by connecting a supported webcam to the TV.
The Samsung QN85B is a great TV for most uses. Thanks to its high peak brightness and good viewing angle, it's an impressive TV for watching TV shows or sports in a bright room. It also has decent contrast and a great local dimming feature, so it's a very good choice for watching movies in either SDR or HDR in a dark room. It also has a quick response time, low input lag, and a great selection of gaming features that help it deliver a great gaming experience overall.
The Samsung QN85B is an impressive TV for watching TV shows in a bright room. It's incredibly bright, so even though it has just decent reflection handling, glare isn't an issue in a bright room. It has a very good viewing angle, which is great if you like to move around with the TV on or have a wide seating arrangement, as the image remains accurate from the sides. Finally, the Tizen OS smart interface has a huge selection of streaming apps, so you're sure to find your favorite content.
The Samsung QN85B is an impressive TV for watching sports in a bright room. It has a wide viewing angle, so the image remains accurate from the sides if you have a wide seating arrangement. It has a quick response time, so fast-moving objects (like the players) look clear, and it's easy to make out the action. It's also incredibly bright, so even though it has just decent reflection handling, glare isn't an issue in a bright room. Finally, it has good gray uniformity, with very little distracting dirty screen effect.
The Samsung QN85B is a great TV for gaming. It has a great response time, so fast-moving objects are clear, with a short blur trail, and it has fantastic low input lag, ensuring a responsive gaming experience. It has a great selection of additional gaming features, including support for both G-SYNC Compatible and FreeSync variable refresh rates, which helps reduce tearing in games. Finally, it looks good in a dark room, with decent contrast, but the local dimming feature performs a bit worse overall in 'Game' Mode.
The Samsung QN85B is a very good TV for watching HDR movies in a dark room. It has a decent contrast ratio and a great local dimming feature, so blacks look black in a dark room, and bright highlights stand out with just a bit of blooming. It's remarkably bright in HDR, so bright highlights stand out the way they should, and it tracks the PQ EOTF well, which is great if you care about an accurate image. It has a very good color gamut, so the latest HDR content looks vivid and life-like.
The Samsung QN85B is a great TV for gaming in HDR. It delivers a great gaming experience with low input lag, a fast response time, and a great selection of gaming features. It's remarkably bright in HDR, so bright highlights really stand out, and it can display a wide color gamut, so games that can take advantage of that look amazing. It has decent contrast, so blacks look black in a dark room, but sadly, the local dimming feature is a bit worse overall in 'Game' Mode, but it's still decent.
The Samsung QN85B is an excellent TV for use as a PC monitor. It has a wide viewing angle, so the sides of the screen remain accurate if you're sitting close to it. It has a fast response time, so fast motion looks clear, which is especially important if you're scrolling quickly through documents or websites. Chroma 4:4:4 signals are displayed properly, which is important for clear text from a PC, and it has low input lag, so it feels responsive when you're moving the mouse.
We tested the 65-inch QN85B (QN65QN85BAFXZA), which is also available in 55-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch sizes. The 85-inch model uses a VA panel, so it has better native contrast but a worse viewing angle. Note that with Samsung TVs, the six letters after the short model code (AAFXZA in this case) vary between specific retailers and regions and even between different retailers.
There's also a Canada-exclusive variant released for Black Friday known as the Samsung QN88B QLED. It has a slightly better local dimming feature than the QN85B and better speakers, but that’s about it, the other specs are identical between them.
|Size||US Model||Short Model Code||Black Friday Canada||Panel Type||Ultra Viewing Angle Layer||Dimming Zones|
If you come across a Samsung QN85B with a different panel type, or if it doesn't correspond to our review, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
Our unit was manufactured in March 2022, and you can see the label here.
The Samsung QN85B is a great TV with one of the best local dimming features on the market. Despite the great local dimming feature, its native contrast ratio is much lower than other 4k LED TVs in this range. It's a great choice overall if you're in a bright room, but for dark room viewing, models with a VA panel are better. The Samsung QN85C/QN85CD QLED succeeded it, but both TVs are very similar, so don't worry about upgrading if you already own the QN85B.
The Samsung QN90B QLED is much better than the Samsung QN85B QLED. The QN90B has much better contrast, with deeper blacks and better uniformity in dark scenes. The QN90B also has much better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for a bright room, and it gets significantly brighter during most scenes in HDR.
The Samsung QN85B QLED and Samsung QN85C QLED are extremely similar TVs. The QN85C is the more accurate TV with a wider color volume, so it looks more vibrant than its predecessor. Inversely, the QN85B's local dimming zone transitions are a bit better than its successor except in Game Mode, where its zone transitions are noticeably worse than in other modes.
The Sony X90K and the Samsung QN85B are both great TVs that are good for different scenarios. If you have a bright room with a wide seating area, the Samsung has a wider viewing angle and gets brighter, so visibility won't be an issue even in bright environments. However, if you tend to watch content in a dark room, the Sony delivers deeper blacks with less blooming.
The LG C2 OLED is much better than the Samsung QN85B QLED for most users. The C2 looks much better in a dark room thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, resulting in deep, inky blacks with perfect uniformity and no blooming around bright objects. The C2 also has better motion handling for gaming thanks to its nearly-instantaneous response time. Although the C2 looks great in any room, the QN85B is a slightly better choice for a bright room, as it gets significantly brighter than the C2.
The Samsung QN85B QLED is better overall than the Samsung Q80/Q80B QLED because it uses Mini LED backlighting, which the Q80A doesn't have. This means that the QN85B has a much better local dimming feature for improved dark room performance, and it gets brighter overall. It also has much better reflection handling, making the QN85B a better choice for well-lit rooms. However, the Q80B has better motion handling as there's less motion blur behind fast-moving objects.
The Samsung QN95B QLED is much better than the Samsung QN85B QLED. The QN95B is much better for watching movies or HDR content in a dark room, as it has much better contrast and better black uniformity, so bright highlights stand out better in dark scenes with less blooming. The QN95B also has much better reflection handling and it gets a lot brighter, so it can better overcome glare in a bright room.
The Samsung QN90A QLED is much better than the Samsung QN85B QLED for most users. The QN90A has a much better native contrast, so there's less blooming around bright objects in dark scenes, and it has much better reflection handling, so it's better suited for a bright room. On the other hand, whereas the QN90A only supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on one port, the QN85B supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four HDMI ports, so it's a bit more versatile, especially if you have multiple game consoles or a recent PC.
The Samsung QN85B QLED is much better overall than the Samsung Q60/Q60B QLED, but they're different types of TVs. The QN85B is a high-end TV with Mini LED backlighting that allows it to get very bright, and it has a local dimming feature that delivers deep blacks. It also has more gaming features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and VRR support to reduce screen tearing. The QN85B has a wider viewing angle that makes it a better choice for wide seating areas. However, the Q60B is an entry-level TV with a different panel type with less blooming around bright objects.
The Samsung QN85B QLED is slightly better than the LG QNED85. The Samsung gets significantly brighter, so it can overcome more glare in a bright room. The Samsung also looks a bit better in a dark room, as there's less blooming around bright highlights or subtitles, and the zone transitions with local dimming enabled are less noticeable.
The LG C1 OLED and the Samsung QN85B QLED use different panel types, each with strengths and weaknesses. The Samsung looks best in a bright room, as it has high peak brightness to overcome glare, but low contrast, so blacks look gray in a dark room. On the other hand, the LG's OLED panel has a near-infinite contrast ratio, so blacks look deep and uniform in a black room. The LG also looks good in a bright room, but it's not as bright as the Samsung.
The Samsung QN85B QLED is much better than the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED. The QN85B has a much better local dimming feature and a higher contrast ratio, so it looks better in a dark room, with more uniform blacks and less blooming around bright objects in darker scenes. The QN85B is also brighter, so bright highlights in HDR stand out better, and it can better overcome glare in bright rooms.
The Sony X95K is better than the Samsung QN85B QLED, but they're different TVs. The Sony is a bit better if you watch content in dark rooms because it displays deeper blacks with less blooming, and if you watch HDR content, it gets brighter too. However, if you have a wide seating arrangement, the Samsung has a wider viewing angle, so the image remains consistent when viewed from the sides. The Samsung is also the better choice if you're a gamer because it has lower input lag and supports FreeSync.
The Samsung QN85B QLED is better than the Samsung Q80C QLED. It has a much better contrast than the Q80C, helped by having significantly more local dimming zones. In the same vein, its black uniformity is also much improved. Not only is its contrast much better, but it gets significantly brighter in both HDR and SDR, so it's the better TV in any viewing condition, whether bright or dark.
The Samsung QN85B QLED is slightly worse than the Samsung QN85A QLED. The QN85A has much better reflection handling, so it's better suited for a bright room. The QN85A also has a wider HDR color gamut, so HDR content has a bit more "pop" to it. On the other hand, the QN85B has a better local dimming feature, with less blooming around bright highlights in dark scenes. Whereas the QN85A only supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on one port, the QN85B supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four HDMI ports, so it's a bit more versatile, especially if you have multiple game consoles or a recent PC.
The Sony X90J is slightly better than the Samsung QN85B QLED if you're in a dark room. If you're not, the Samsung TV is the better choice. The Sony has a much higher native contrast ratio, resulting in deeper blacks and less blooming around bright objects in dark scenes. On the other hand, the Samsung is a lot brighter, it has a wider viewing angle, and its gaming features are a bit better. The X90J only supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on two ports, whereas the QN85B supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four HDMI ports, so it's a bit more versatile, especially if you have multiple game consoles or a recent PC.
The Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED and the Samsung QN85B QLED use different panel types, each with strengths and weaknesses, so the best one depends on your viewing conditions. The Q80T has much better contrast, so it's a better choice for dark rooms, as blacks are deeper and more uniform. On the other hand, the QN85B is better for a bright room, as it's brighter and can more easily overcome glare. The QN85B also has a slightly better viewing angle, so it's a better choice for a wide seating arrangement.
The LG A1 OLED is better than the Samsung QN85B QLED. The LG delivers much better picture quality, thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, so blacks look deep and uniform in a black room with no blooming around bright objects. The Samsung gets a lot brighter, so it can handle more glare in a bright room. However, it has worse picture quality.
The Sony X95J is better than the Samsung QN85B QLED overall. The X95J has much better native contrast, resulting in better black uniformity with less blooming around bright objects in dark scenes, and it has a slightly better local dimming feature. The Sony also has much better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for a bright room. On the other hand. While the Sony only supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on two ports, the Samsung TV supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four HDMI ports, so it's a bit more versatile, especially if you have multiple game consoles or a recent PC.
The LG G2 OLED is much better than the Samsung QN85B QLED. The LG delivers significantly better picture quality, especially for watching movies in a dark room, as it has a near-infinite contrast ratio, resulting in deep inky blacks with no blooming around bright objects. The Samsung is significantly brighter than the LG, so it's a bit better suited for a bright room.
The Samsung QN85B looks great, with very thin bezels that help it to blend into the décor. The stand has been updated for 2022, and the new hexagonal base is unique and stylish, although it looks a bit more like a gaming monitor than a TV.
The center-mounted stand is small, so it doesn't require a large desk to mount. Sadly, the stand doesn't quite prevent the TV from wobbling, but it's not bad.
Footprint of the stand on the 65" model: 15.4" x 11.3". The stand lifts the TV about 2.5" above the surface of your table, so most soundbars fit in front of it without blocking the screen.
The back is plastic with a textured brushed metal finish. There are channels along the back and a space in the stand for basic cable management. Unfortunately, the inputs are inset into the back of the TV, so they're difficult to access if you wall-mount the TV with a fixed bracket.
The Samsung QN85B has fantastic build quality. It's well put together, with premium materials that feel well-built. There's some flex on the back panel, but this isn't unusual and doesn't cause any issues. The gap between the bezel and the screen isn't quite uniform, which indicates a less precise final assembly process, but this isn't really noticeable. Sadly, the TV tends to wobble a bit.
The Samsung QN85B has a decent contrast ratio. The contrast with local dimming on 'High' is much higher than the native contrast, and blacks don't look gray at all in a dark room. Note that the 85 inch model uses a different panel type, and it has much better native contrast. The Samsung QN90C/QN90CD QLED has a similar panel, with nearly identical contrast.
Unlike most other brands, the local dimming feature can't be disabled from the picture settings menu. The native contrast is measured on Samsung TVs by disabling local dimming in PC mode through the service menu and then changing the input label to 'PC' for this measurement only.
Unfortunately, as with most recent Samsung TVs, the local dimming feature is a bit worse in 'Game' Mode. In 'Game' Mode, there's more noticeable blooming around bright highlights or subtitles, and they seem to be spread out over a greater number of dimming zones. The processing also seems to be a bit slower, and zone transitions are more noticeable.
The Samsung QN85B is remarkably bright in HDR. Small specular highlights stand out extremely well, but large bright scenes are considerably dimmer, but still good. Bright highlights stay bright even if they're on-screen for a while. It tracks the PQ EOTF well, as almost all scenes display at the correct brightness level. There's a smooth roll-off near the TV's peak brightness, so fine details are preserved in really bright scenes.
These measurements are in the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode with Brightness and Contrast at max, Local Dimming set to 'High', and Color Tone set to 'Warm2'.
If you want to make HDR even brighter, as seen in this EOTF, then set Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and ST.2084 to 'Max'. These settings result in considerably brighter scenes, but the overall peak brightness of the TV is the same. The 'Dynamic' Picture Mode is even brighter, reaching a momentary peak brightness of 1673 cd/m² with a 10% window, but it can't maintain those brightness levels, and it dims significantly after a few seconds.
|HDR10+ Setting||Game HDR Setting||PQ EOTF||DCI-P3 Color Gamut||Rec. 2020 Color Gamut|
|Basic||On||EOTF||Color Gamut||Color Gamut|
|Basic||Off||EOTF||Color Gamut||Color Gamut|
|Advanced||On||EOTF||Color Gamut||Color Gamut|
|Advanced||Off||EOTF||Color Gamut||Color Gamut|
There's no noticeable difference in HDR peak brightness in 'Game' mode with the default settings. Adjusting the HDR10+ Gaming and the Game HDR settings has a small impact on the color gamut and PQ EOTF tracking, though. There's no noticeable difference in peak brightness between the different settings, but the brightness tracks the PQ EOTF better with Game HDR on, and the 'Advanced' mode delivers slightly better tone mapping, but it's not really noticeable.
These measurements are with the same settings as the HDR Brightness box, but with Dynamic Black Equalizer set to 'Max'.
The Samsung QN85B has incredible peak brightness in SDR. It's definitely bright enough to overcome glare, even if you have a lot of natural light. Unfortunately, large bright scenes are dimmed considerably by the TV's Automatic Brightness limiter (ABL).
These measurements are after calibration, in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with Backlight set to max, Local Dimming on 'High', and the Color Tone set to 'Warm2'. The 'Dynamic' Picture Mode with the 'Cool' Color Temperature is a bit brighter, but less accurate, reaching a peak of 1205 cd/m².
The Samsung QN85B has a very good color gamut. It has excellent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space used by most current HDR content. Colors don't quite pop the way they should in some content, but it's not really noticeable unless you're comparing this TV to another one with a wider color gamut. It has limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space, and the tone mapping isn't very good when displaying Rec. 2020 content, so there's some loss of fine details in some scenes.
The Samsung QN85B has just decent color volume. It's mainly limited by its incomplete color gamut, as most colors are displayed well at various brightness levels, and colors are just as bright as pure white. Dark saturated colors are displayed well, which is impressive for an ADS panel.
The Samsung QN85B has great accuracy out of the box. The white balance is a bit off, especially in brighter shades of gray, but most colors look great. The white balance is a touch warm, but it's not really noticeable, and gamma is very close to the 2.2 target for a dark room, but bright scenes are over-brightened a bit.
After calibration, the Samsung QN85B has fantastic accuracy. Any remaining issues with the color accuracy, white balance, or gamma aren't noticeable. The color temperature is extremely close to the 6500K target.
This TV has a new "Smart Calibration" feature that lets you partially calibrate your TV using your smartphone. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to improve picture quality compared to the out-of-the-box results. After running this calibration, you can't reset the picture settings; the TV has to be reset to change the picture settings or calibrate it normally.
You can see our recommended settings here.
The Samsung QN85B has good gray uniformity. The sides of the screen are noticeably darker than the center. There's just a bit of dirty screen effect, which is mainly noticeable when watching sports.
Unfortunately, the Samsung QN85B has just okay black uniformity. The screen appears cloudy throughout due to the low native contrast when local dimming is disabled. Enabling local dimming reduces the cloudiness significantly, but despite the high number of dimming zones, there's a bit of blooming around the test cross. The 85 inch model uses a different panel type, and it has much better black uniformity.
The Samsung QN85B has a very good viewing angle. The image fades a bit at moderate viewing angles, causing it to appear washed out, but there's very little color shift. It's a very good choice for a wide seating arrangement, as the image remains accurate at an angle, or if you're using it as a PC monitor, as the sides of the screen remain accurate if you're sitting close to it. Note that the 85 inch model uses a different screen type with a worse viewing angle.
The Samsung QN85B has decent reflection handling. The semi-gloss coating diffuses reflections across the screen a bit, making them appear larger but less bright overall. Thankfully, this TV can get incredibly bright, so despite the limited reflection handling, you can increase the brightness to overcome glare.
480p content, like DVDs, is upscaled well, with no issues at all.
Like the 2021 Samsung QN85A QLED, the Samsung QN85B QLED uses an ADS panel, which performs similar to IPS technology. The red-green-blue subpixel structure is great for use as a PC monitor, as text is rendered properly. Note that the 85 inch model uses a VA panel and has a blue-green-red subpixel structure, so text isn't as sharp.
The Samsung QN85B has a great response time. Most transitions are very fast, with minimal overshoot, so motion looks relatively clear with little blur behind fast-moving objects. There's significant overshoot in dark transitions, though, causing inverse ghosting behind dark areas.
The Samsung QN85B uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight, and the flicker frequency varies between picture modes and with certain settings. In 'Movie' mode with the backlight set to at least 40, the backlight flickers at 120Hz, but it increases to 960Hz with a backlight setting below '40'. The flicker frequency drops to 120Hz in the 'Dynamic', 'Natural', 'Standard', and 'Filmmaker' Picture Modes, or if you enable the Picture Clarity settings. In 'Game' Mode, it flickers at 960Hz with the backlight set to 30 or below, and at 120Hz above 30. This low flicker frequency can cause headaches if you're sensitive to flicker, and it also causes image duplications with 60Hz content.
The Samsung QN85B has an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion. This feature helps reduce blur caused by the TV's fast response time, otherwise known as persistence blur. It works at both 60Hz and 120Hz, but the timing is a bit off, causing a duplicated image. Note that our scoring only reflects the range of flicker frequency and not how well the BFI performs.
The Samsung QN85B has a feature to increase the frame rate of low frame rate content up to 120Hz. It's okay overall on this TV, but it looks best in slow-paced scenes. In busy scenes with a lot of action, there are a lot of artifacts. Unlike some TVs, which stop interpolating when they can't keep up, this one keeps going, so there are more and more artifacts in busy scenes.
Due to the relatively quick response time of the Samsung QN85B QLED, low frame rate content, like movies, appears to stutter. It's mainly noticeable in slow panning shots. If this bothers you, the optional motion interpolation or backlight strobing features can both help with this, but they have other issues, too, so there's no perfect solution.
The Samsung QN85B automatically removes judder from all sources; no additional settings are needed. It's great for watching movies, as motion appears smooth.
The Samsung QN85B supports variable refresh rates, and it works across a very wide refresh rate range. Low-frame rate compensation (LFC) automatically engages at low refresh rates, multiplying frames to ensure a tear-free gaming experience even at very low frame rates. It's compatible with all three major types of VRR.
The Samsung QN85B has fantastic low input lag in 'Game' Mode, resulting in a very responsive gaming experience. Gaming at 120Hz offers even better input lag, very close to high-end gaming monitors. If you're a fan of motion interpolation, Samsung's 'Game Motion Plus' feature allows you to interpolate low frame rate games, improving motion clarity without adding much input lag. With the 'Game Motion Plus' settings at max, there's 23.6ms of input lag, which is definitely higher than with the setting disabled, but it's still good for casual gamers.
The Samsung QN85B supports all common resolutions up to 4k @ 120Hz. Except for 1440p @ 120Hz, all supported formats can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, which is important for clear text from a PC. 4k @ 120Hz signals are displayed properly, with no resolution-halving or other issues.
The Samsung QN85B is fully compatible with the PS5 and Xbox Series X; there are no issues at all. It also works with Sony's recently added variable refresh rate feature on the PS5.
Unlike the 2021 Samsung TVs, the Samsung QN85B supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four HDMI ports. It's great, as it gives you the flexibility to connect multiple high-bandwidth devices, like if you have both the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Unfortunately, Samsung still doesn't support Dolby Vision. However, it's compatible with HDR10+, which is very similar.
The Samsung QN85B supports eARC, allowing it to pass uncompressed high-quality audio from a connected source through to your soundbar or home theater system. Sadly, it doesn't support any DTS formats, which is disappointing, as many UHD Blu-rays use DTS for their lossless audio tracks.
The Samsung QN85B has a decent frequency response. Like most TVs, the low-frequency extension (LFE) is high, so there's very little deep rumble or thump. The frequency response above the LFE is well-balanced at moderate listening levels, so dialogue is clear and easy to understand. However, there's noticeable compression at max volume, and there's a significant decrease in the frequency response in the low-treble range, making dialogue harder to understand. The Samsung QN85B has an optional room correction feature, which was enabled for these measurements.
The Samsung QN85B has decent distortion performance. There's very little harmonic distortion in the treble range, where it's most noticeable, even at max volume.
The updated 2022 version of Tizen OS is fast and easy to use. The interface now fills the entire screen instead of the bar that appeared on the previous version. This makes it easier to find your favorite content.
Unfortunately, like most TVs on the market, there are ads throughout the interface, and there's no option to disable them completely.
The included apps cover most of the common streaming services, and there's a great selection of additional apps available in Samsung's app store. It's also compatible with Google Duo, which supports video calls with up to 32 people by connecting a webcam to the TV.
The remote is slim and easy to use but has a very limited selection of buttons, so you have to change most things through menus on the TV. There are four quick-access buttons for the most popular streaming services; unfortunately, there's no way to remap these to your favorites. You can recharge the remote via a solar panel on the back or with a USB-C cable (sold separately).
The Samsung QN85B is compatible with multiple voice assistants, including Bixby, Google Assistant, and Alexa, but you have to use the remote as it doesn't have a hands-free mode. Voice controls work well and allow you to launch apps, change inputs, or adjust certain settings. Sadly, you can't use it to search for content within specific apps.
Unfortunately, the remote included with the TV we bought wasn't working properly, so we had to use a different remote for our testing. We believe this to be an isolated issue with our unit, but let us know if you experience the same thing.
The controls are beneath the Samsung branding on the bottom right side of the TV. There's a single button that lets you power the TV on/off and change channels, volume, and inputs.