The Q90T is the top model in Samsung’s famous QLED range. This makes it the Korean manufacturer’s most advanced 4K TV from 2020. Even outside the Samsung universe, it is an ultra high-end model that has the potential to dominate the market. But is everything really as good as it seems at first glance with this extravagant model – or are there some serious deficits that spoil the cinema experience?
Samsung’s Q90T has a first-class design and makes a good impression with its excellent processing quality. The display with the glossy finish is framed by a very thin frame, which does not distract from the picture at all. Even though the stand, which is made entirely of metal, makes an extremely high-quality impression, the TV wobbles a bit. However, this is quite normal with a centrally placed stand and normally is not disturbing. Moreover, the stand takes up very little space, so the QLED can also stand very well even on small tables. Due to the shallow depth and the impressively narrow frame, it also looks very good when attached to the wall. The interfaces are aligned towards the right edge of the picture, so that they are easy to access on the wall as well as when using the stand. For clean cable management, grooves are made in the back of the TV and the stand, through which the cables can be routed cleanly.
It’s a shame that the Q90T does not have the One Connect Box, which was still included in the Q90R released in 2019.
First class design
Wobbly due to narrow base
Clean cable management
No One Connect Box
VESA mount 100x100 swiveling
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Impressive picture quality - especially in bright rooms
The Q90T’s 10-bit VA panel has a deep, even black and an excellent contrast ratio of 10500:1, which is often considered one of the most important aspects of picture quality. Devices with such good contrast ratios like the Q90T can display dark scenes with greater detail, without essential details becoming unrecognisable in a black cloud. The maximum brightness of 1150 Nits is outstanding, so that in combination with the wide color gamut and excellent Full Array Local Dimming HDR content can be displayed impressively. Thereby the Q90T can compete with some OLEDs like the CX!
Normally VA panels have the disadvantage that the viewing angle is very limited. However, this QLED has Samsung’s Ultra Viewing Angle layer, which greatly extends the viewing angle. OLEDs have an even better viewing angle, but the result of the Q90T is quite convincing. In addition, the display’s reflection handling is one of the best, in combination with the excellent maximum brightness ist displays an excellent picture even in bright rooms.
Unfortunately, it is noticeable that the color is not quite as even as it should be in large scenes with the same color – especially the corners appear darker. This so-called dirty screen effect is particularly noticeable during sports broadcasts, but it’s not really disturbing in normal use.
Even the high-end product of the 2020 QLED series does not support Dolby Vision – which is a shame because the Q90T would really be a candidate where the dynamic HDR format would make such a difference.
10 (8+2) Bit VA-Panel
Deep, even black
Contrast ratio 10500:1
Full Array Local Dimming
Peak brightness 1400 Nits
Dirty Screen Effect
No Dolby Vision
Convincing Motion Handling
Its display has a native refresh rate of 120Hz, which is ideal for gaming and sports. The response time is extremely short at less than 4ms, so that almost no motion blur is visible during fast movements. With the Black Frame Insertion feature, this blur can be minimized even further so that movements appear razor sharp. Even at low frame rates, the image appears extremely fluid due to motion interpolation, so Judder is not an issue. Artifacts are not really visible.
The backlight flickers with a frequency of 960Hz. Therefore it is perceived by the human eye as continuous illumination and is not disturbing.
Response time <4 ms
Reduction of motion blur
960 Hz backlight frequency
Gaming at its best!
Gaming is a very great experience on the Q90T. Due to the excellent motion handling and good picture quality, even fast games are impressively displayed. The input lag of about 10ms at 60Hz and a resolution of 4K is incredibly low. This and the Auto Low Latency Mode make the TV feel incredibly responsive during gaming, so that you can be one step ahead of your opponent, especially when playing shooters. Apart from that all necessary functions are available. To avoid screen tearing the QLED has a variable refresh rate via FreeSync and HDMI Forum VRR. Through the HDMI 2.1 interface the TV is ready for the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series X to display games or other content with a refresh rate of 120Hz and a resolution of 4K.
Input Lag ~10ms
Auto Low Latency Mode
FreeSync / HDMI Forum's VRR
Weak sound system
The built-in 4.2.2 channel 60W speakers have a passable sound in the treble and mid ranges, but the bass is not really convincing. Dialogues can therefore be decently played, but the bass is simply not strong enough to create the desired atmosphere, which is a real pity – especially when you consider that Samsung’s cheaper QLEDS, Q70T and Q80T, have a more appealing sound system built in. With a TV in this price range, the setup should therefore be extended with a sound system or a good soundbar, so that you can really have an outstanding home cinema experience. But you should keep in mind that only Dolby formats are supported. Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos via Dolby True HD through the HDMI eARC are available, but no DTS – as always with Samsung.
4.2.2 channel with 60W RMS
Well balanced treble and mid ranges
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD
For surround sound :
Sonos Beam Smart TV Sound Bar
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Smart television thanks to Tizen 5.5
As with all other QLEDs, Samsung relies on the Tizen 5.5 smart OS. It is equipped with some great features to integrate the TV into a smart environment. As a language assistant, Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant are supported in addition to the somewhat outdated Samsung Bixby.
It Airplay 2 compatible for data exchange with Apple devices, so videos and photos can be displayed on the Q90T in no time at all.
The choice of apps is huge and all major streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ are pre-installed.
With Samsung Smart Things, the TV can be integrated into a smart home environment and all applications can then be conveniently controlled by remote control.
The Q90T also has a twin tuner, which enables functions such as time shift or recording to USB devices.
Intuitive Tizen 5.5 OS
Apple AirPlay 2
All current streaming services
Samsung Smart Things
PVR & Time Shift
On top of the QLED series
The flagship of the QLED series knows how to convince and is an excellent TV for almost any content. Thanks to the VA panel with its huge contrast and full array local dimming, almost every content looks great – whether 4K HDR or lower resolutions. It is also highly flexible in use, as it has impressive picture quality in both dark and very bright environments. It is therefore hardly surprising that HDR content is displayed impressively; it features razor-sharp highlights and vibrant colors and can certainly keep up with OLEDs from other brands. Since the Q90T can display HDR content so well, it’s a shame that it does not have Dolby Vision to enhance it further – the dynamic HDR format would have a great effect here.
Unfortunately, the color uniformity is not really satisfying, so that the screen shows the dirty screen effect in large scenes of the same color. Sports fans in particular might be a bit disappointed by the Q90T’s shortcoming, as the effect is most obvious here. Moreover, the sound system is not really convincing for a TV in this price range, so that you should include an additional sound system in your purchase so that nothing stands in the way of the well-rounded home cinema feeling. The TV is perfectly suited for gaming, it has everything you need for a perfect gaming experience besides the low response time and the low input lag.
The Q80T is the next cheaper TV from Samsung’s QLED range. The two TVs are very similar, which is already reflected in their design. However, the Q90T has a better contrast ratio and a higher peak brightness, which means it clearly produces a better picture in both bright and dark rooms. Especially when it comes to displaying HDR content in an impressively, it is superior to the Q80T. However, when it comes to gaming or sports, the cheaper Q80T is definitely able to compete. Due to its better color uniformity, watching football on the cheaper model is much more fun. In many areas the difference is not as big as it seems to be. So even with the cheaper model you will get your money’s worth – but if you want a better HDR experience you should consider the more expensive Q90T.
The Q90T has a brilliant overall performance, but in most categories LG’s CX is a bit better. Due to the OLED design, the CX has perfect blacks, an incredible contrast ratio, and a near-instantaneous response time, making its motion handling a little better. The fact that the CX supports Dolby Vision is also a big advantage, as it allows HDR content to be displayed even more beautifully.
However, the Q90T also has its advantages. OLEDs are not so well suited for very bright rooms, as their picture quality is not quite as convincing in this environment. The QLED from Samsung has almost no problems in this environment. Due to the high peak brightness and the similarly good reflection handling it produces a decent picture quality. In addition, the QLED does not require a potentially annoying Automatic Brightness Limiter, which is used in OLEDs as a protective mechanism for the organic LEDs to avoid burn-in. When it comes to gaming both TVs are performing extraordinary and there’s only marginal differences as they’re both equipped with everything you need for the upcoming next gen gaming consoles.
This means that we are dealing with two devices at eye level, where the intended use is decisive. But both TVs will probably be more than convincing to most people.
Sony’s X950H also has a VA panel and can compete with the Q90T in many aspects – but in the overall comparison it is obvious that Samsung’s QLED is ahead.
The X950H is also excellent for use in bright rooms, and also has a display layer to extend the viewing angle. However, this layer is not quite as good asthe layer on the Q90T. That’s why the picture quality suffers even at slightly oblique viewing angles. The low contrast ratio of the X950H is in a different league with 3200:1, but it is nevertheless able to display HDR content, especially Dolby Vision content, brilliantly.
For gamers, the X950H is not suitable. It has neither a variable refresh rate nor HDMI 2.1 and the input lag is also not quite at the level of Samsung’s Q90T QLED with about 19ms.