The Samsung Q90R is the top model of the Korean manufacturer’s QLED TVs with 4K (UHD) resolution. It is available in 55, 65 and 75 inches and in slightly different versions. The Q90R is one of the best TVs on the market and is suitable for rooms with a lot of light – but there are also a few disadvantages.
Design of the Samsung Q90R
In contrast to cheaper Samsung QLED models, the Q90R is not completely made of plastic. The sturdy stand is made entirely out of metal and offers space for a soundbar. The footprint is very narrow. Wall mounting is very easy and safe thanks to the VESA 400 x 400 mount. The Q90R is available in 65 and 75 inches and depending on in which country you are it might also be available in 55 or 82 inches.
Cable management is just as simple. The included One Connect Box makes connecting cables and external devices extremely convenient. The One Connect Box is connected to the TV with a special cable and the cable fits into special grooves in the housing so that it is not noticeable at all. The actual connections are inside the box itself: HDMI, USB, digital optical, Ethernet and DVB-T. Even the mains connection is located in the One Connect Box.
Picture quality and Motion Handling
The image quality on the Q90R is fantastic. The 10 bit VA panel has local dimming with 240 or 480 dimming zones, depending on the screen diagonal. The small 55 inch QLED manages with 240 zones. Thanks to these features, the Q90R has an extremely deep black and an incredible contrast ratio of 11000:1.
The average brightness is 1000 Nits, which still makes the image look impressive in very bright rooms. This is due to the Quantum Dot layer that gives the QLED TVs their name. The viewing angle is wider than other QLEDs because the image is still good due to the Ultra Viewing Angle layer.
The Q90R also delivers top performance in motion handling. The 120 Hz panel has a response time of less than 4ms. This is one of the best results ever. Details always remain sharp and do not blur, even during fast events.
Gaming on the Q90R
With VRR through FreeSync, the TV is excellent for gaming. Thanks to the Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) of the Q90R, the QLED TV automatically detects if a game console is connected and automatically switches to gaming mode. The extremely low input lag ensures that even fast action games can be played without delay.
These features make the Q90R the perfect gaming TV. If it weren’t for the fact that HDMI 2.1 isn’t fully supported, which will play a big role in the future of gaming with PS5 and Xbox Scarlett. Only with this connection will gaming at 4K at 120 Hz be possible, which will certainly be delivered by both consoles.
UPDATE: Further tests have shown that the ”Game Mode” of the 2019 Samsung QLEDs leads to a loss of picture quality (except in the Samsung Q60R, as it has no local dimming). In Game Mode, local dimming is virtually deactivated, resulting in a slightly blurred picture and a reduction in contrast. If you want to switch off Game Mode while playing, you have to accept an input lag of 50 to 80ms. This is clearly too much for fast-paced games, like shooters.
Decent sound that could be improved
The sound quality of the Samsung is better than many other current TVs, but still far behind the picture quality. Four built-in loudspeakers and two built-in subwoofers generate a total rated output of 60 W. The Samsung’s sound quality is better than that of many other current TVs, but still far behind the picture quality. Neither DTS:X nor Dolby Atmos are supported.
If you want to bring the cinema sound home, you have to resort to other solutions. This is only possible by using an atmos or DTX:S compatible Blu-ray player. Then you can also use a soundbar with Dolby Atmos or a HiFi system.
Like all Samsung Smart TVs, the Samsung Q90R has its own Tizen operating system. It is controlled via the supplied remote control or via the Bixby language assistant. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are alternatives for controlling the TV via voice.
The most important apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video are pre-installed. Great feature: Streaming and screen synchronisation via Apple AirPlay 2 are possible! It’s a shame that Tizen displays ads by default, which can’t be changed. The apps all work fine and the selection is immense, but they don’t always run smoothly.
Variants of the Samsung Q90R
The two little brothers of the Samsung Q90R are the Q80R and the Q85R. They choose both optically and technically. Immediately the centrally mounted stand is noticeable, which makes placing a sound bar more difficult. In addition, there is no One Connect Box.
In terms of picture technology, the Q80R is inferior to its big brother, which places the Samsung Q80R more as a device in the upper midfield. The contrast is only 5500:1 with the same VA panel with Full Array Local Dimming (FALD). There are 50 dimming zones in total. It is equally suitable for gaming because of its extremely low response time and 120 Hz panel. It is available in 55, 65 and 75 inch sizes.
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