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Samsung S90C OLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.11
Reviewed Jun 08, 2023 at 11:23 am
Latest change: Retest Sep 21, 2023 at 04:13 pm
Samsung S90C OLED Picture
8.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
8.6
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: none
8.9
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: none
9.4
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: LG B2 OLED
8.9
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: none
9.2
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: none
9.4
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: none
Current deal: The Samsung S90C OLED has dropped in price on Amazon.com. See all TV deals

The Samsung S90C is a high-end 4k TV in Samsung's 2023 lineup, sitting below the Samsung S95C OLED. It has a QD-OLED panel, promising some of the brightest and most vibrant colors available on a TV. It has Samsung's LaserSlim Design, Neural Quantum Processor 4k AI upscaling with Quantum HDR OLED technology, and Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro for enhanced motion processing. This TV officially supports 4k @ 144Hz, just like the S95C, so it's a gaming powerhouse, especially with its full HDMI 2.1 Bandwidth support on all four HDMI ports. Like other Samsung TVs, it uses Samsung's proprietary Tizen OS smart interface, which offers a large selection of apps and games. It's available in four sizes: 55-inch, 65-inch, 77-inch, and a WOLED-equipped 83-inch size.

Our Verdict

8.9 Mixed Usage

The Samsung S90C is a fantastic TV for every usage. It has good SDR peak brightness, so it's great for watching TV shows or sports in a bright room, especially with its superb reflection handling. It truly shines for HDR movies and games, especially in a dark room where its OLED panel, with its deep inky blacks, truly performs at its best. The very low input lag makes it fantastic for gamers, as your inputs are translated almost instantaneously to the screen. Its superb response time makes it a great choice for fans of fast-moving content, whether sports or games, as action stays clear and crisp throughout. Sadly it doesn't support any DTS audio formats, making it tricky for a home entertainment center, and it only has adequate low-quality content smoothing, which isn't optimal for streaming services with low bitrates.

Pros
  • Near-infinite contrast ratio for perfect blacks.
  • Superb reflection handling.
  • Incredibly bright colors.
Cons
  • Aggressive ABL can get distracting with large areas of brightness.
8.6 TV Shows

The Samsung S90C is excellent for watching TV shows in a bright room. It has good SDR peak brightness and incredible reflection handling, so it can easily overcome glare in a bright room. It has a truly exceptional viewing angle, which is great for a wide seating area or for moving around the TV while watching it, as the image remains consistent. It also upscales lower-resolution content well, and the smart interface has a great selection of streaming apps, so you're sure to find your favorite shows. Unfortunately, its low-quality content smoothing is only adequate, so low-resolution or low-bitrate TV shows will have macro-blocking, even if upscaled well.

Pros
  • Superb reflection handling.
  • Exceptionally wide viewing angle.
  • Good peak brightness in SDR.
Cons
  • Aggressive ABL can get distracting with large areas of brightness.
8.9 Sports

The Samsung S90C is an incredible TV for watching sports. It has exceptional reflection handling, which is great when watching shows in a room with glare, and the TV has good SDR brightness, so it handles bright rooms well. The TV's viewing angle is superb, so the image remains consistent even when viewing the TV from the side, so those sitting off-center will have a pleasant viewing experience. It has an incredible response time, so motion, like fast-moving players, is crisp and sharp, with no blurring. The TV has spectacular color uniformity, so when watching sports with large areas of uniform color, like hockey, you won't be distracted by annoying smudges or color variations in the image. Finally, the very good low-resolution upscaling means that sports are upscaled well without any weird artifacts.

Pros
  • Superb reflection handling.
  • Exceptionally wide viewing angle.
  • Good peak brightness in SDR.
Cons
  • Aggressive ABL can get distracting with large areas of brightness.
9.4 Video Games

The Samsung S90C is a fantastic TV for immersing your evenings in virtual gaming worlds. Enabling Game Mode doesn't noticeably affect image quality, so your games look great and feel super responsive due to the TV's incredibly low input lag. The TV has fantastic reflection handling and good peak brightness in SDR, making it a good choice for bright rooms or rooms with glare. The response time is exceptionally low, so you won't have any blur or ghosting when the action gets hectic. It also officially supports 4k @ 144Hz, making this a standout TV for gamers.

Pros
  • Superb reflection handling.
  • HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four ports.
  • Good peak brightness in SDR.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
8.9 HDR Movies

The Samsung S90C is an excellent TV for watching the latest hit movies. Like all OLEDs, it has incredible contrast, with deep inky blacks and no blooming around bright highlights. And that's good, as its highlights get quite bright due to its very good HDR peak brightness. It also has excellent low-resolution upscaling, so your legacy DVD movies will look great. This TV has an incredible color gamut, truly excellent accuracy, and barely any HDR gradient banding, so HDR looks vibrant without any real calibration. Unfortunately, the TV has low-quality content smoothing; it's alright and preserves details well, but content like low-bitrate streaming services have macro blocking in dark scenes. It also doesn't support any DTS audio formats, so Blu-rays and DVDs don't sound their best as they tend to use DTS for their audio tracks.

Pros
  • Near-infinite contrast ratio for perfect blacks.
  • Removes 24p judder from any source.
  • Incredibly bright colors.
  • Amazing color gamut in HDR.
Cons
  • Doesn't support DTS passthrough or Dolby Vision.
  • Fast response time results in noticeable stutter.
  • Aggressive ABL can get distracting with large areas of brightness.
9.2 HDR Gaming

The Samsung S90C is an outstanding TV for playing HDR titles. Enabling Game Mode slightly increases overall HDR brightness, making the TV less accurate but making games look bright and punchy. The TV has remarkably low input lag with Game Mode on, so games feel super responsive. The TV can handle all commonly used resolutions and officially supports 4k @ 144Hz. It has fantastic reflection handling and great HDR brightness in Game Mode, so you'll enjoy gaming on this TV even on a bright, sunny day, although, like most OLEDs, it truly shines in a dark room. The response time is exceptionally low, so you won't have any blur or ghosting even when playing through the most intense scenes.

Pros
  • Near-infinite contrast ratio for perfect blacks.
  • HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four ports.
  • Incredibly bright colors.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
  • Amazing color gamut in HDR.
Cons
  • Over brightened in HDR Game Mode.
  • Doesn't support DTS passthrough or Dolby Vision.
  • Aggressive ABL can get distracting with large areas of brightness.
9.4 PC Monitor

The Samsung S90C is a fantastic TV for PC gaming. It has a nearly-instantaneous response time and incredibly low input lag, so inputs are fluid and responsive, with almost no distracting motion blur behind fast-moving objects. Its viewing angle is amazing, so even if you sit in front of the TV, you won't notice any discoloration or dimming at the edges. It has good peak brightness in SDR and amazing reflection handling, so it'll look great even if your office setup is in a bright room or in front of some windows. Unfortunately, this TV doesn't use a standard RGB subpixel layout, so text isn't very clear when used as a monitor, and there is color fringing at the edges of bright windows or images due to the subpixel structure of QD-OLED panels. Finally, as with all OLEDs, there's a risk of permanent burn-in when exposed to static elements, like the UI elements of a computer desktop.

Pros
  • Superb reflection handling.
  • Exceptionally wide viewing angle.
  • HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on all four ports.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
  • Noticeable color fringing.
  • Aggressive ABL can get distracting with large areas of brightness.
  • 8.9 Mixed Usage
  • 8.6 TV Shows
  • 8.9 Sports
  • 9.4 Video Games
  • 8.9 HDR Movies
  • 9.2 HDR Gaming
  • 9.4 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Sep 21, 2023: Measured the TV's input lag when running at a 4:3 aspect ratio and posted the results in the Input Lag text box. We've also updated the input lag measurement with Game Motion Plus enabled and when running at 1440p @ 60Hz.
  2. Updated Sep 06, 2023: Added the warehouse variant Samsung S90CD to the Differences Between Sizes And Variants section.
  3. Updated Aug 23, 2023: Updated the HDR Brightness and HDR Brightness in Game Mode results following Samsung's 1212.7 firmware update.
  4. Updated Jul 18, 2023: Added mention of the new 83" model size to Differences Between Sizes and Variants, as well as to the Settings page.
  5. Updated Jun 08, 2023: Review published.
  6. Updated May 24, 2023: Early access published.
  7. Updated May 09, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  8. Updated May 03, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  9. Updated Apr 18, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We bought and tested the 65-inch Samsung S90C, and these results are also valid for the 55-inch and 77-inch models. The 83-inch model uses a WOLED panel instead of the QD-OLED panel found in the smaller sizes, so our results don't apply to it. Note that the last five letters in the model number (AFXZA in this case) vary between retailers and individual regions, but there's no difference in performance. There are also regional models, like the Samsung S92C and the Samsung S93C, but they're identical to the Samsung S90C.

It's also sold as the Samsung S90CD at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam's Club. The S90CD offers the same features, picture quality, and processing capabilities but has more powerful speakers (60W vs. 40W on the S90C) and a longer warranty.

Size US Model Warehouse Model Short Model Code Display Technology
55" QN55S90CAFXZA QN55S90CDFXZA QN55S90C QD-OLED
65" QN65S90CAFXZA QN65S90CDFXZA QN65S90C QD-OLED
77" QN77S90CAFXZA QN77S90CDFXZA QN77S90C QD-OLED
83" QN83S90CAFXZA - QN83S90C WOLED

Our unit was manufactured in March 2023; you can see the label here.

Compared To Other TVs

The Samsung S90C is an incredible OLED TV. It feels and looks like a repackaged Samsung S95B OLED but with official 4k @ 144Hz support. It doesn't get as bright as the Samsung S95C OLED or the LG G3 OLED, but it's still incredibly bright and vibrant, more so than the LG C3 OLED. Overall, it's a very impressive TV and is a better buy for most people than the more expensive S95C.

See our recommendations for the best OLED TVs, the best 4k TVs, and the best TVs for watching movies.

LG C3 OLED
42" 48" 55" 65" 77" 83"

The LG C3 OLED and Samsung S90C OLED are similar TVs occupying the same market position. Of the two, the Samsung is the better gaming TV and slightly better overall TV, while the LG is the better TV for movie fans. The Samsung gets brighter than the LG, especially in HDR; not only that, but it also maintains its HDR brightness better in Game Mode. It also supports 4k @ 144Hz, while the LG is limited to 4k @ 120Hz. It has a much wider color gamut and more accurate colors. However, the LG supports DTS audio formats and Dolby Vision, making it great for Blu-ray fans. It also has better low-quality content smoothing than the Samsung TV, making it better for watching streaming content, especially in low-bitrate situations.

Samsung S95C OLED
55" 65" 77"

The Samsung S95C OLED is a bit better than the Samsung S90C OLED for basically only two reasons. First, the S95C has a sleeker, more uniform design, helped by moving all of its inputs to the external One Connect box. This makes the S95C a better bet for someone who knows they want to wall mount their TV and want it to look the best on their wall. Second, the S95C gets much brighter than the S90C, although this won't be that noticeable in practice except in a few super bright scenes.

Samsung S95B OLED
55" 65"

The Samsung S95B OLED and the Samsung S90C OLED are almost identical. Indeed, the S90C looks like a repackaged S95B but with official 4k @ 144Hz support, the 2023 version of their proprietary Tizen OS, and new 77" and 83" (with a WOLED panel) models alongside the existing 55" and 65" ones. Everything else is identical.

LG G3 OLED
55" 65" 77" 83"

The LG G3 OLED and Samsung S90C OLED are comparable OLEDs, each with its strengths. The LG has a flat back and is meant to be wall mounted; it doesn't have a stand to emphasize this. The Samsung TV instead has a more typical side profile with a stand. The LG gets brighter than the Samsung in HDR, but the latter outputs more vibrant colors. The Samsung also supports 4k @ 144Hz, while the LG is limited to 4k @ 120Hz. The Samsung also has a much wider color gamut and more accurate colors, so it's great for HDR gaming. However, the LG supports DTS audio formats and Dolby Vision making it great for Blu-ray movie fans, and it also has better low-quality content smoothing, making it better for watching streaming content, especially in low-bitrate situations.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The TV looks and feels like a premium TV. It's heavy and sturdy and held in place well by its small metallic stand. The panel is thin and feels modern and classy.

Design
Accelerated Longevity Test
Uniformity Pictures N/A
Design
Stand

The stand is small but is solidly built from metal. It holds the TV very well, and lifts the screen about 3.36" above the table, so almost any soundbar fits in front of it without blocking the screen.

Footprint of the 65-inch stand: 14.45" x 10.47"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 300x200

The back of the Samsung S90C is very similar to the Samsung S95B OLED. The central panel housing the inputs is made of smooth plastic, with included covers used to help with aesthetics and cable management. Like the S95B, the inputs are hard to reach if you wall-mount the panel with a fixed mount, so a mounting arm is recommended if you don't want to use the included stand.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.28" (0.7 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.61" (4.1 cm)

From the side, the TV looks very much like the Samsung S95B OLED, with a similar, very slight tilt back. It isn't noticeable at all in actual usage.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The TV has excellent build quality. The materials used feel premium, and while there's some flex on the component housing on the back, the panel itself is made of metal and is resistant to flexing. There's some wobble on the stand when the TV is pushed forward or backward, but it quickly settles. The two bottom corners of the screen are very slightly bowed back; it's extremely subtle, and you won't notice it unless you're looking for it. It was also a problem on the Samsung S95B OLED, which can worsen if you lift the TV repeatedly. Unfortunately, the display shows fingerprints easily; they can be difficult to remove.

Picture Quality
10
Picture Quality
Contrast
Contrast
Inf : 1
Native Contrast
Inf : 1

As OLED displays use self-emissive pixels instead of a backlight, pixels can independently brighten themselves up to their peak brightness, or inversely they can fully turn themselves off for perfect blacks. This ability to fully turn its pixels off gives OLEDs a nearly infinite contrast ratio, with bright highlights right next to perfect blacks with no blooming or haloing.

10
Picture Quality
Blooming

Since this TV uses self-emissive OLED technology, there's absolutely no blooming around bright highlights or subtitles in otherwise dark scenes.

10
Picture Quality
Lighting Zone Transitions
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight
Dimming Zones Count Of Tested TV
8,294,400

The panel doesn't have a backlight, but thanks to its nearly infinite contrast ratio, it has the equivalent of a perfect local dimming feature with no zone transitions. We still film the zone transition video on the TV so you can see how the screen performs and compare it with a TV that has local dimming.

9.5
Picture Quality
Contrast And Dark Details In Game Mode

The TV's contrast and dark details in Game Mode are nearly identical to Movie Mode, but just a tad brighter and with a colder color temperature.

8.4
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Hallway Lights (~1950 cd/m²)
918 cd/m²
Yellow Skyscraper (~700 cd/m²)
631 cd/m²
Landscape Pool (~300 cd/m²)
235 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
1,013 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1,012 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
578 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
328 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
208 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
994 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
984 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
560 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
312 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
204 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.099

The Samsung S90C has great HDR peak brightness. Bright highlights are vibrant on this TV, although, like all OLEDs, the S90C has an aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL), which significantly dims bright highlights when they take up a large portion of the screen. So scenes with a lot of bright areas, like a bright sunny day at the beach, are significantly dimmer on this TV than they are on a non-OLED panel.

You can set Peak Brightness to 'Off' in HDR if the brightness fluctuations bother you, but this just makes every scene much dimmer, so now highlights never stand out.

These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point with the following settings:

  • Picture Mode: Filmmaker
  • Brightness: 50 (Max)
  • Contrast: 50 (Max)
  • Contrast Enhancer: Off
  • HDR Tone Mapping: Static
  • Color Tone: Warm2
  • Color Space Settings: Native
  • Peak Brightness: High

If you prefer a brighter but less accurate image, you can set HDR Tone Mapping to 'Active':

  • Hallway Lights: 900.6 cd/m²
  • Yellow Skyscraper: 663.8 cd/m²
  • Landscape Pool: 303.1 cd/m²
  • EOTF

8.2
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Hallway Lights (~1950 cd/m²)
727 cd/m²
Yellow Skyscraper (~700 cd/m²)
657 cd/m²
Landscape Pool (~300 cd/m²)
275 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
1,020 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
1,012 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
578 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
307 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
184 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
983 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
964 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
531 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
292 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
180 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.106

Like the Samsung S95B OLED and Samsung S95C OLED, the Samsung S90C is slightly over brightened in HDR Game Mode. As a result, it looks bright and vibrant but not accurate. When Game HDR is set to 'Advanced', it's even more over brightened.

These measurements are after calibrating the HDR white point with the following settings:

  • HDR Picture Mode: Game Mode
  • Game HDR: Basic
  • Brightness: 50 (Max)
  • Contrast: 50 (Max)
  • Contrast Enhancer: Off
  • HDR Tone Mapping: Static
  • Color Tone: Warm2
  • Color Space Settings: Native
  • Peak Brightness: High

If you prefer a brighter but less accurate image, you can set HDR Tone Mapping to 'Active':

  • Hallway Lights: 900.6 cd/m²
  • Yellow Skyscraper: 674.2 cd/m²
  • Landscape Pool: 294 cd/m²
  • EOTF

9.5
Picture Quality
PQ EOTF Tracking
600 Nit Tracking Delta
0.0031
1000 Nit Tracking Delta
0.0036
4000 Nit Tracking Delta
0.0024

The TV has superb PQ EOTF tracking, so content is displayed at the correct brightness level. It's a bit over-brightened at very low luminance levels, so dark shadows are a tad too bright, but then the TV follows the curve near perfectly up until the panel's max brightness. At that point, the panel clips anything above its peak brightness for content mastered at 600, 1000, and 4000 nits, so there's a loss of fine detail.

7.6
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
381 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
497 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
494 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
499 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
318 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
207 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
487 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
481 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
477 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
306 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
203 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.057

The TV has good SDR peak brightness. It's bright enough to overcome glare in a bright room. The panel's brightness is dimmed considerably by its Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL), so large bright scenes are significantly dimmed. It's distracting when watching bright content, like hockey, for extended periods. Setting Peak Brightness to 'Off' effectively disables the ABL feature and reduces the peak brightness in all scenes.

These measurements are after calibration with the following settings:

  • Picture Mode: Movie
  • Brightness: 50 (Max)
  • Peak Brightness: High
  • Color Tone: Warm2
  • Color Space: Auto

9.4
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
100.00%
DCI P3 uv
99.99%
Rec 2020 xy
86.12%
Rec 2020 uv
91.25%

As is typical of TVs with QD-OLED panels, the Samsung S90C has an incredibly wide color gamut. It can display the full range of colors in the DCI-P3 color space used by most HDR content, with slightly oversaturated reds and greens. Coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space isn't as good, albeit still excellent. The tone mapping is a bit off, so highly saturated colors aren't displayed accurately.

Unfortunately, the TV retains Samsung's Color Space bug; it doesn't switch to the correct color space automatically, so you need to manually change it to 'Native' when you start watching HDR content. This setting results in the widest color gamut the TV can display, but it also clips in some places, and many colors appear oversaturated, so it's not very accurate. The 'Auto' setting is more accurate but can't display as many colors. The graphs and numbers posted here are with it set to 'Native'.

9.0
Picture Quality
Color Volume
1,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
99.5%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
51.2%
White Luminance
1,047 cd/m²
Red Luminance
188 cd/m²
Green Luminance
754 cd/m²
Blue Luminance
55 cd/m²
Cyan Luminance
632 cd/m²
Magenta Luminance
279 cd/m²
Yellow Luminance
618 cd/m²

This TV has exceptional color volume. The panel shows very bright colors well and gets very close to the same brightness as pure white. It can also display dark, saturated colors very well and highlights how good QD-OLED panels are at showing vibrant colors.

9.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.31
Color dE
1.10
Gamma
2.17
Color Temperature
6,603 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The TV has superb pre-calibration SDR accuracy. It's a bit bright for a moderately-lit room, but the white balance and color accuracy are fantastic, with no noticeable issues. The color temperature is also nearly perfect, so this TV barely requires any calibration to look great overall.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.31
Color dE
0.72
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6,503 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes

After calibration, the Samsung S90C has fantastic accuracy, with no noticeable issues. Plus, it's relatively easy to calibrate.

You can see our full calibration settings here.

9.0
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.179%
50% DSE
0.099%
5% Std. Dev.
0.396%
5% DSE
0.095%

The panel has fantastic gray uniformity. There's very little variation in brightness across the screen, which is great for any content. If you look closely, you see vignetting in the corners and very faint vertical lines along the panel, but you have to be very close to see them.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Std. Dev.
N/A
Native Std. Dev.
0.280%

Since OLEDs can turn off individual pixels, the Samsung S90C has perfect black uniformity, with no distracting blooming or halo effect around bright areas of the screen in dark scenes.

10
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
70°
Color Shift
70°
Brightness Loss
70°
Black Level Raise
70°
Gamma Shift
70°

The screen has an exceptionally wide viewing angle. Although nearly perfect, the image fades slightly at extremely wide angles. The colors also shift very slightly when viewed from those same extreme angles. In practice, however, you can move around the TV and see a consistent image at almost any angle.

9.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.2%
Indirect Reflections
0.7%
Calculated Direct Reflections
0.5%

The Samsung S90C handles direct reflections incredibly well. Like the Samsung S95B OLED and the Samsung S95C OLED, the glossy anti-reflective coating significantly reduces the intensity of direct reflections. Still, due to the lack of a polarizer, the TV has a pink tint in a bright room even when turned off.

9.3
Picture Quality
HDR Native Gradient
100% Black to 50% Gray
10
50% Gray to 100% White
10
100% Black to 50% Red
10
50% Red to 100% Red
8.0
100% Black to 50% Green
10
50% Green to 100% Green
8.0
100% Black to 50% Blue
10
50% Blue to 100% Blue
8.0

The Samsung S90C has superb gradient handling in HDR. There's some barely noticeable banding in saturated reds, greens, and blues, but you have to look hard to see them.

6.8
Picture Quality
Low-Quality Content Smoothing
Smoothing
6.0
Detail Preservation
8.5

This TV's low-quality content smoothing is alright. It can't smooth out macro blocking very well, so it's very noticeable in dark scenes. Fine details are preserved very well.

8.0
Picture Quality
Upscaling: Sharpness Processing

The Samsung S90C upscales DVDs and other 480p content well, with no noticeable issues.

Picture Quality
Pixels
Subpixel Layout
Triangular RGB
Type OLED
Sub-Type
QD-OLED

The Samsung S90C uses a unique subpixel structure. Instead of having all three subpixels in a row, each pixel forms a triangle, with the larger green subpixel at the top. This leads to color fringing, which is noticeable when displaying any content with horizontal lines, and it's especially bad when the TV is used as a PC monitor. For example, on a bright window on a Windows PC, you might notice a green fringe at the top since that is where the green subpixel is.

Similarly, you can instead notice a purple fringe at the bottom of bright windows, as that is where the red and blue subpixels are. Furthermore, with this subpixel arrangement, text has just okay clarity on a PC, as Windows ClearType settings aren't designed for this subpixel structure and can't correct it.

Motion
9.8
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
0.8 ms
100% Response Time
1.4 ms

The Samsung S90C has a nearly-instantaneous response time, resulting in incredibly clear motion with almost no blur behind fast-moving objects. Due to the sample-and-hold nature of OLED technology, there's still some noticeable persistence blur when gaming at 60Hz, but it's hardly noticeable at higher refresh rates.

10
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

This TV isn't technically flicker-free, as a small decrease in brightness corresponds with the display's refresh cycle. This is very different from pulse width modulation flicker (PWM) on TVs with LED backlights, and it's not noticeable.

Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker For 60 fps
60 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
Yes
120Hz For 120 fps
No
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

The TV has an optional black frame insertion feature (BFI) that reduces the appearance of persistence blur caused by the TV's nearly instantaneous response time. It can only insert black frames at a 60Hz refresh rate.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

This TV has an optional motion interpolation feature to improve motion clarity. It doesn't work well on the Samsung S90C; there's lots of artifacting around small fast moving objects, even in slower scenes. In fast scenes, where motion interpolation tends to struggle, there's a higher-than-usual amount of artifacting and haloing.

4.7
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
40.3 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
15.3 ms

Unfortunately, due to the nearly instantaneous pixel response time of the Samsung S90C, there's noticeable stutter with low frame rate content. It's especially noticeable in panning shots. The black frame insertion feature and the motion interpolation feature can help reduce the appearance of stutter, but they both have their drawbacks.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The TV is judder-free when watching 24p movies or TV shows, even from sources that can only send a 60Hz signal, as long as you set Picture Clarity to 'Custom'. If you would rather enable Black Frame Insertion (BFI) with the Clear Motion option, you can set Judder Reduction to 10 to greatly reduce judder, but it doesn't eliminate it completely.

9.5
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
144 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
Yes
4k VRR Maximum
144 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1440p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR + Local Dimming No Local Dimming

The Samsung S90C supports variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing. It works well across a wide refresh rate range and supports sources with Low-Frame-Compensation (LFC), ensuring your games remain nearly tear-free even when your framerate drops very low. It's also compatible with all three types of VRR, ensuring it's fully compatible with all sources that support that feature.

Inputs
9.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
10.1 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
76.1 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
5.3 ms
1080p @ 144Hz
N/A
1440p @ 60Hz
10.6 ms
1440p @ 120Hz
5.5 ms
1440p @ 144Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
10.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
10.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
10.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
67.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
20.4 ms
4k @ 120Hz
5.4 ms
4k @ 144Hz
4.7 ms
8k @ 60Hz
N/A

This TV has incredibly low input lag, ensuring a very responsive gaming experience with very little delay between your actions with your controller or mouse and the action on-screen.

For retro gamers wanting to play in a 4:3 aspect ratio, only two resolutions work well: 640x480 @ 60Hz with an input lag of 27.8ms, and 1080p @ 60Hz, with an input lag of 27.4ms. Other 4:3 resolutions don't scale well or give improper resolution behavior.

9.6
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
Resolution 4k
480p @ 59.94Hz (Widescreen)
Yes
720p @ 59.94Hz
Yes
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 144Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes
1440p @ 120Hz
Yes
1440p @ 144Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes
4k @ 120Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 144Hz
Yes
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

The Samsung S90C supports most common resolutions up to 4k @ 144Hz. Chroma 4:4:4 signals are displayed properly with all supported resolutions, which is important for text clarity. Unfortunately, even though it can display chroma 4:4:4 properly, text from a PC isn't clear due to the unusual subpixel structure (see the Pixels section of the review for more on this issue). Note that the TV can only currently output 144Hz at 4k; 1080p @ 144Hz and 1440p @ 144Hz are currently unavailable. The TV can do 120Hz without issue at all resolutions, however.

Inputs
PS5 Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes
1440p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
HDR
Yes
VRR
Yes

This TV is fully compatible with everything the PS5 offers, like 1440p @ 120Hz and 4K @ 120Hz, as well as HDMI Forum VRR. It also has four ports supporting HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, which is great if you have multiple HDMI 2.1 consoles or want to connect a PC.

Inputs
Xbox Series X|S Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
Yes
1440p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
HDR
Yes
VRR
Yes

This TV is fully compatible with everything the Xbox Series X|S offers, including 1440p @ 120Hz, 4k @ 120Hz, HDMI Forum VRR, and FreeSync Premium Pro. All four HDMI ports support the full bandwidth of HDMI 2.1, which is great if you have both consoles or a PC you plan on using with the TV.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
HDR10+
Yes
Dolby Vision
No
HLG
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
ATSC Tuner
3.0 (NEXTGEN TV)
USB 3.0
No
Variable Analog Audio Out No
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

The Samsung S90C supports the full 48Gbps bandwidth of HDMI 2.1 on all four HDMI ports. This allows you to take full advantage of multiple high-bandwidth devices, like if you own both current-gen consoles and a high-end gaming PC. Unfortunately, Samsung still doesn't support Dolby Vision but supports HDR10+ instead, which is very similar overall but not as widely supported.

Inputs
Input Photos

The TV's inputs face down and to the sides, and there's a separate section for the headphone jack.

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 2
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 0
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC/eARC Port
eARC
eARC: Dolby Atmos Over Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
eARC: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Yes
eARC: LPCM 7.1 Over Dolby MAT
Yes
eARC: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Yes
eARC: DTS:X Over DTS-HD MA
No
eARC: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
No
eARC: LPCM Channels (Bitstream)
7.1
ARC: Dolby Digital 5.1
Yes
ARC: DTS 5.1
No
Optical: Dolby Digital 5.1
Yes
Optical: DTS 5.1
No

This Samsung S90C supports many audio formats, including many Dolby Digital options. Unfortunately, it doesn't support DTS formats, which is disappointing, as many UHD Blu-rays use DTS for their lossless audio tracks.

Sound Quality
6.8
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
84.76 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
2.80 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
3.63 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
4.69 dB
Max
86.1 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.78 dB

Overall, the Samsung S90C can't produce much bass but has an overall well-balanced sound profile, so dialogue is clear. It sounds good at or near its maximum volume but doesn't get very loud.

7.4
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.133
Weighted THD @ Max
0.245
IMD @ 80
2.47%
IMD @ Max
4.08%

This TV has decent distortion performance. It performs very well in the treble range, and there isn't much distortion at max volume, but, again, this is helped by the TV's low maximum volume.

Smart Features
8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Tizen
Version 2023
Ease of Use
Easy
Smoothness
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
5 s
Advanced Options
Many

The Samsung S90C runs the 2023 version of Tizen OS, which is easy to use. The Smart Hub interface is smooth and has many advanced options, making it easy to find your favorite content.

0
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
Yes
Opt-out
No
Suggested Content in Home
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
No

Like most TVs on the market, there are ads throughout the interface of the Samsung S90C, and there's no option to disable them completely.

8.5
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
Great
App Smoothness
Average
Cast Capable
Yes
USB Drive Playback
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
Yes
HDR in Netflix
Yes
HDR in YouTube
Yes

The included apps cover most of the common streaming services, and a great selection of additional apps is available in Samsung's app store.

8.5
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Small
Voice Control
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
Yes
Remote App Samsung SmartThings

The remote is identical to the one included with the Samsung S95C OLED. The remote is slim and compact and is easy to use. It has a built-in rechargeable battery with a solar panel on the back of the remote. You can also recharge it via USB-C if it dies unexpectedly.

The TV is compatible with the Bixby and Alexa voice assistants, and its remote has an integrated microphone for voice commands. Voice controls work well and allow you to launch apps, change inputs, or adjust certain settings.

Smart Features
TV Controls

The controls are on the bottom bezel of the TV near the center. A single button lets you power the TV on/off and change channels, volume, and inputs.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Power cable
  • Remote control
  • 3.5mm to RCA adapter
  • User guide

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 117 W
Power Consumption (Max) 284 W
Firmware 1123