The Samsung Q950R is a high quality 8K QLED that delivers impressive picture quality. Thanks to its intelligent design, it is a capable all-rounder that is just as suitable for watching movies as it is for gaming. Its local dimming function ensures that it delivers better picture quality in dark rooms than most other Vertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panels. However, it’s questionable whether the 8K resolution of the Q950R has any real benefit at the moment.
Design of the Samsung Q950R QLED
The Samsung Q950R is characterized by an elegant and high-quality design. In contrast to the QLED TVs from the lower price categories, the Q950R is made almost entirely of metal. Its base stabilizes the TV perfectly and does not allow any wobbling. The Q950R does not require a large surface area and can also be mounted on the wall using a The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) defines standards for the TVs wall mounting measurements. mount if required.
Annoying cable clutter is a thing of the past. The Q950R comes with a One Connect Box, where all necessary cables and external devices can be connected. The One Connect Box supports all common connections: HDMI, USB, Digital Optical, Ethernet and DVB-T are included. It also has a network connection. The One Connect Box is connected to the Q950R via a single, ultra-thin cable, which can be hidden in a special gap on the back of the TV.
Top picture quality thanks to Local Dimming and Ultra Viewing Angle
The Q950R is characterised by its excellent image quality. The built-in VA panel has 10 bit The color depth is measured in Bit. 8 Bit stands for 28 different values for each color channel, for TVs those are red, green and blue. By combining the 3 rgb channels 28*28*28=16.777.216 colors are possible. HDR10 or the dynamic HDR formats work with 10 or even 12 Bit. and offers an 8K resolution of up to 7680 x 4320p.
The Q950’s built-in Ultra Viewing Angle layer ensures that the image remains clear and the black levels solid even at wide viewing angles. The Ultra Viewing layer also helps to reduce reflections. Unfortunately, it also creates a small disadvantage. The contrast values are minimally reduced by its use.
On the Q950R the low contrast ratio is increased to 6900:1, thanks to excellent full array local dimming (480 dimming zones). This makes the Q950R ideal for dark rooms. Despite good functionality, the local dimming cannot be turned off if necessary. Even on the ”Low” setting this can lead to slight inaccuracies in Adding a brighter area around bright objects on a dark background reduction. If you watch movies with subtitles, the text may also be slightly overlit.
The 120hz panel of the Q950 has Freesync and a response time of less than 3ms. In terms of motion handling and input lag, the Q950R is one of the best TVs on the market. A true all-rounder, which is just as well suited for normal TV entertainment as for gaming. The only disadvantage is that the Q950R does not have an HDMI 2.1 connection, which could play a major role for the new console generation.
UPDATE: Further tests have shown that the ”Game Mode” of the 2019 Samsung QLEDs leads to a loss of picture quality (except for 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 games, you’ll have to put up with an input lag of 80 to 90ms on the Q950R. This is clearly too much for responsive games, such as shooters.
8K -Too early!
The Samsung Q950R is one of the first QLEDs with an 8K resolution (7680 x 4320p). Sounds impressive, but does it really offer an improved picture? The double-blind study gives a rather disappointing result. According to the study, most people cannot tell the difference between 4K and 8K images. 1/4 of all test persons even claimed that the 4K footage would look better.
In addition, neither in Germany nor in most other countries there are television stations that broadcast in 8K. Also streaming services like Netflix do not stream in 8K. All current consoles on the market do not support 8K either. So what is the advantage? Because of the current state of the art, almost none!
However, the Q950R stands out with excellent upscaling. 480p, 720p and 1080p are played back without any loss of image quality. However, dithering can occur with 4K footage. The Q950R is therefore worse than a pure 4K TV, such as the Samsung Q90R, when playing 4K. Our comparison also shows that apart from the 8K feature, the Q90R has identical and even better scores in almost all areas and is significantly cheaper at the same size.
The 8K resolution does not make sense for the regular consumer at the moment. You pay extra for a feature that can’t really be used. The regular consumer is currently better off if he buys a good 4K TV, like the Q90R. Our detailed report on the Q90R is also available on our website. For those looking for a TV from 80 inches upwards, there’s no getting around the 8K resolution, as all premium models are now equipped with 8K as standard.
The Q950R has four built-in speakers and two built-in subwoofers, each with 10 watts of power. As with most other QLEDs and LCDs, the sound is not particularly deep and rich. The low-frequency extension (LFE) is 113Hz. Which is also not very good and leads to weak bass without real pop.
The sound image at high frequencies is decent. The Q950R produces a clear, noise-free sound when the volume is up. You won’t find Multi-channel-sound-system (Surround Sound) competing with Dolby Digital compatibility. However, the Q95R has Multi-channel-sound-system for up to 5.1 channel Surround Sound Plus, which enables it to play a compressed form of Object-based surround sound format with 3D-Sound from any direction.
The Q950R does not deliver a great but solid sound. If you want real cinema sound in your own four walls, you’ll unfortunately have to dig deeper into your pocket and invest in a hi-fi system or a soundbar with Dolby Atmos.
The Samsung Q950R uses the in-house operating system Tizen. You can use the remote control or the pre-installed language wizard Bixby for control; Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and a multitude of other useful apps are pre-installed. For special requests you can also access the Samsung App Store. There you will find a huge selection of different apps that you can use to customize your TV. A disadvantage is that some apps can be a bit jerky. Another annoying thing is that Samsung uses Tizen to display ads by default.
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