The Samsung QN90A QLED is an excellent TV. It's Samsung's flagship 4k TV in their new Neo QLED lineup, which is an upgrade from their traditional QLED lineup because it uses Mini LED as its backlighting. This allows the TV to get extremely bright, enough to combat glare or bring out highlights in HDR content, and it provides more control over its full-array local dimming feature. The local dimming does a great job at improving the picture quality, but you may notice there's some blooming around bright objects. It's packed with gaming features like FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR), but there's no G-SYNC compatibility. It also has HDMI 2.1 support, but some people may be disappointed that it's limited to one input. Despite having a VA panel, it has fairly wide viewing angles thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, so it should be a good choice for fairly wide seating arrangements.
The Samsung QN90A is an excellent TV for any use. Its VA panel provides an excellent native contrast ratio and great local dimming to display deep blacks. It gets bright enough to combat glare and has fantastic reflection handling if you want to use it in a well-lit room. Also, gamers should enjoy its VRR support, low input lag, and quick response time for a responsive gaming experience.
The Samsung QN90A is excellent for watching movies. It has a VA panel with excellent native contrast and great local dimming to display deep blacks. It also upscales lower-resolution content well, like from Blu-rays, and automatically removes 24p judder from any source.
The Samsung QN90A is excellent for watching TV shows. It easily gets bright enough to combat glare in well-lit rooms and has fantastic reflection handling, so visibility shouldn't be an issue. It has fairly wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate when viewing from the side. Lastly, it upscales lower-resolution content like cable TV without any issues.
The Samsung QN90A is excellent for watching sports. Fast-moving content looks smooth thanks to its very quick response time, and it has a Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. It's great for viewing in bright rooms thanks to its fantastic reflection handling and very high peak brightness. It also has fairly wide viewing angles if you want to watch the big game with a few friends.
The Samsung QN90A is amazing for gaming. It's packed with gaming features like HDMI 2.1 and VRR support, but it doesn't support G-SYNC. Its 120Hz panel has a very quick response time, resulting in smooth motion, and input lag is very low. It's great for dark room gaming thanks to its excellent native contrast ratio, even though local dimming is only decent in 'Game Mode'.
The Samsung QN90A is excellent for watching HDR movies. It displays a wide color gamut, and supports HDR10+, but not Dolby Vision. It gets bright enough to make highlights pop, has an excellent native contrast ratio, and its full-array local dimming feature helps it display deep blacks. It also has fantastic black uniformity, but there's still some blooming around bright objects.
The Samsung QN90A is amazing for HDR gaming. It's excellent for gaming thanks to its very quick response time and low input lag. It has native FreeSync support, but not G-SYNC. In terms of HDR, it displays a wide color gamut, and has incredible HDR brightness in 'Game Mode'. It also has an excellent native contrast ratio to provide a great dark room gaming experience, but its local dimming isn't as good in 'Game Mode'.
The Samsung QN90A is an excellent choice to use as a PC monitor. It has a very low input lag and quick response time to provide a responsive gaming experience. Thanks to its wide viewing angles, the image should remain mostly accurate at the edges if you sit too close. You also shouldn't have any issues in a well-lit room as it gets bright enough to combat glare and has fantastic reflection handling.
The Samsung QN90A is the flagship 4k LED model in Samsung's 2021 North American lineup, and it replaces the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED. It sits above the Samsung QN85A QLED and below the 8k Samsung QN800A. However, in Europe, there's the Samsung QN95A above it, which features the One Connect box. We expect its main competitors to be the Sony X95J, LG QNED90, and the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020.
The Samsung QN90A has a premium design that looks very similar to the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED, except it's much thinner. It has a clean look with thin bezels that would look good in any setup. The center-mounted stand also elevates the TV enough off the table so that you can place a soundbar in front and not worry about blocking the screen. Overall, it's a very well-built high-end TV.
The screen is a bit wobbly on the metal stand, but it's not too noticeable.
Footprint of the 55 inch TV: 11.8" x 9.2".
The Samsung QN90A is an extremely thin TV, even with the inputs built-in. It should look great and sit flush against a wall when mounted.
The Samsung QN90A's build quality is fantastic. Although the entire TV, except for the stand, is made out of plastic, it feels very solid and well-put-together. The textured plastic feels premium. There aren't any obvious issues or loose parts, which is what you'd expect from a high-end model. It's a bit wobbly, but that's because the panel is so thin and easy to move, and it shouldn't be an issue during regular use.
The Samsung QN90A has an excellent contrast ratio. Although its native contrast is lower than most VA panel TVs due to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, its local dimming feature helps it display very deep blacks. Keep in mind that contrast may vary a bit between units. If you want a TV with a near-infinite contrast ratio, consider the Sony A90J OLED.
The Samsung QN90A has outstanding SDR brightness and it gets much brighter than the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED. It easily gets bright enough to combat glare, but it has an aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL) that causes large areas of bright colors, like in a hockey or basketball broadcast, to be more dim.
We tested SDR brightness after calibration in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with Color Tone set to 'Warm2', Brightness to its max, and Local Dimming on 'High'.
If you want the brightest image possible and don't mind losing some image accuracy, set the Picture Mode to 'Dynamic' with Color Tone on 'Standard'. We reached 1,789 cd/m² in the 10% window using these settings.
The Mini LED full-array local dimming feature is great. It greatly improves the contrast ratio, making blacks appear deep when viewed in the dark. There's a bit of blooming around bright objects that you may notice if you're sensitive to blooming, but overall, it's not that distracting. It also doesn't cause the rest of the screen to light up as everything else remains black. However, the blooming becomes more obvious when viewing off-angle. The screen is uniform and for the most part, there aren't any issues with black bars, but you may notice some light from subtitles and sources may bloom into them. There's a bit of black crush, but it's only really noticeable with background highlights, like the far-away stars in a night sky; large, bright objects are recognized by the TV well and it makes them pop. Subtitles look alright, but once again, you may notice just a bit of blooming around letters. Fast-moving objects transition between zones fairly well in real content, but it's more noticeable in our test pattern. They also move quickly between the zones, and even though it's not distracting, you may notice how the zones are just a tad slow to turn on and off. We tested it with Local Dimming on 'High', and overall, the full-array local dimming feature provides a nice viewing experience.
The local dimming feature in Game Mode is decent. It looks similar to outside of Game Mode, except the dimming zones look bigger and cause the entire screen to look more gray than black. Blooming is a bit more aggressive than outside of Game Mode, and it could be more noticeable, but it's still good overall. There's less black crush, but that's because the whole screen is just a bit over-brightened. Fast objects move between zones just a bit slower than outside of Game Mode, which could be more distracting. We experienced a strange issue where text in the center of the screen causes the entire top half of the screen to turn on all of the dimming zones. If you notice the same thing, let us know.
The Samsung QN90A has remarkable HDR brightness. Small highlights stand out the way they should, but like in SDR, large areas are less bright due to the aggressive ABL. Surprisingly, real content gets even brighter than our test slides.
We tested it in the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode with Local Dimming on 'High', and Brightness and Contrast at their max, with all other image processing disabled.
The EOTF follows the target PQ curve fairly well, but the overall image looks brighter than it should be. If you still find it too dim, then set Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and ST.2084 to its max. This results in a noticeably brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF.
The HDR brightness in Game Mode is incredible. It gets slightly brighter overall than outside of Game Mode, except small highlights are more dim, and once again, large areas are also dim. However, because of the worse local dimming in Game Mode, HDR content doesn't look as good and blooming is more aggressive.
We tested it with Game Mode enabled, Local Dimming on 'High', Brightness and Contrast at their max, Color Tone set to 'Warm2', Sharpness at '0', and Color Gamut on 'Auto'. There's a new Game HDR setting that you can enable in the 'Game Mode Settings' page, and this is meant to optimize the brightness according to the content. It resulted in a less bright image than we originally tested, but feel free to enable it if you find it looks better with your game.
The EOTF follows the target better than outside of Game Mode, but some bright scenes are still over-brightened. You can make it brighter by using the same settings as outside of Game Mode.
The Samsung QN90A has decent gray uniformity, but this may vary between units. The edges of the screen are slightly darker, and there's a bit of dirty screen effect in the center, which could get distracting during sports. Uniformity is much improved in near-dark scenes.
The black uniformity is fantastic. It displays deep blacks, and there's only minimal blooming around the center cross with local dimming enabled. However, without it, the screen looks blue-ish, and there's a bit of clouding.
The Samsung QN90A has decent viewing angles thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology. The image remains accurate when viewing from the side, but you may notice the screen looks darker. Still, it's a good choice for fairly wide seating arrangements.
The Samsung QN90A has fantastic reflection handling. It handles external light sources well, but the way that the light scatters across the screen and creates a rainbow effect can be distracting.
The Samsung QN90A has exceptional out-of-the-box accuracy. It's one of the best we've seen on any TV, but this may vary between units. Any white balance and color inaccuracies can't be spotted by the human eye, and the color temperature is close to the 6500K target. Gamma follows the target curve well overall, but dark scenes are too dark, and bright scenes are over-brightened.
The accuracy post-calibration is remarkable. Gamma now follows the target curve a lot better and the color temperature is even closer to the target.
You can see our recommended settings here.
The Samsung QN90A displays 1080p content almost as good as native 4k.
The Samsung QN90A displays native 4k content perfectly and without any issues. The Mini LED backlighting doesn't improve the picture quality in terms of resolution, and there aren't any visible artifacts.
The Samsung QN90A uses a BGR sub-pixel layout, which can affect how text is rendered when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can read more about that here. The pixels look a bit blurry due to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer.
The Samsung QN90A displays an impressive wide color gamut for HDR content, and it's an improvement over the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED. It has exceptional coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space and decent coverage of the wider Rec. 2020.
The Samsung QN90A has a great color volume. It displays bright and dark colors well, thanks to its high peak brightness and contrast ratio.
The Samsung QN90A has great gradient handling. It looks a bit worse than the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED, but not by a lot. Most of the banding is in the greens and reds; the Noise Reduction setting helps reduce banding in real content but may cause a loss in details.
There are no signs of temporary image retention after displaying a high-contrast static image for 10 minutes.
We don't expect VA panels to experience burn-in, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Samsung QN90A has an excellent response time. For the most part, motion looks smooth and there's minimal blur. However, there's some overshoot in the darker transitions, which could lead to some artifacts in dark scenes.
The backlight flickers at such a high frequency that you shouldn't notice it. However, the flicker frequency drops to 120Hz in the 'Dynamic', 'Natural', 'Standard', and 'Filmmaker' Picture Modes, or if you enable the Game Mode or Picture Clarity settings.
The Samsung QN90A has a Black Frame Insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. It flickers at 120Hz if you enable Picture Clarity or Game Mode. For it to flicker at 60Hz, you need to enable LED Clear Motion in the 'Picture Clarity' settings page. Note that our BFI scoring is based on whether it can flicker at 60Hz and 120Hz, and not the actual performance.
The Samsung QN90A has a motion interpolation feature. It can interpolate 30fps and 60fps content up to 120fps, known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It works properly in slow scenes, but a ton of small artifacts appear when there are fast-moving objects on the screen. It can get distracting during busy scenes.
See here for the settings that control motion interpolation.
Due to the fast response time, lower-frame rate content can appear to stutter as each frame is held on longer. If it bothers you, you can try enabling the motion interpolation feature.
The Samsung QN90A automatically removes judder from all sources, and there aren't any settings you need to enable.