The Samsung Q9FN is one of the best 4K TVs in 2018! It is one of the all time brightest TVs available and has one of the best Full Array Local Dimming Features. Depending on the type of usage it can even be better than an OLED TV.
Sleek Screen with a big external box
Due to the addition of Full Array Local Dimming and a therefor needed direct LED backlight Samsung had to make some changes in the design of the Q9FN compared to its predecessor the 2017 Q9F. The display itself is a little thicker than average but this shouldn’t bother much. There is only one cable running from the One Connect Box to the screen. This cable also provides the TVs power supply. As a result the One Connect Box is quite large as it includes the power brick.
The build quality is exceptional and the TV is made from proper materials. With the external connect box there is no problem wall mounting the Q9FN as all inputs are located in the box not the display. With the Samsung No Gap Wall Mount the TV can sit very flush to the wall.
Samsung Q9FN: QLED spectacle
Compared to other high end TVs the Samsung Q9FN offers a different approach in picture quality. It’s less about getting the most accurate picture but more about exciting, vibrant colors – creating a spectacular show.
The 10 Bit QLED VA Panel offers among the best blacks on LED TVs and a staggering contrast ratio of ~19000:1 with the Full Array Local Dimming turned on. Its great reflection handling paired with a maximum brightness of ~1800 Nits makes it one of the best sets for a bright room.
The QLED Panel really shines in producing bright saturated colors exceeding all of its competition in that regard.
Sadly there are some minor uniformity issues and some local dimming problems if compared to an OLED. The viewing angle isn’t that great either.
HDR content looks great on the Q9FN. It only struggles with details in very dark scenes. It supports all major HDR formats apart from Dolby Vision since Samsung is sticking to its own free rival dynamic format HDR10+.
Jack of all motion handling
Instead of going totally into one direction like with its picture quality, the Samsung has great balanced motion handling. With a quick response time of below 4ms and the backlight flickering at 480Hz fast moving objects look very clear yet their motion stays smooth. There is no visible stutter at all. The 120Hz panel is able to interpolate low frame rate content quite well and can insert black frames at 60 or 120Hz.
High-End Gaming with FreeSync
If you own an Xbox One X and you’re looking for the perfect gaming TV the choice is very easy; it’s the Samsung Q9FN. With Samsung being the only brand supporting FreeSync for a variable refresh rate and the Q9FN being Samsungs flagship TV it offers great performance. Brilliant colors, awesome motion handling and a staggering low input lag from ~6ms to ~20ms depending on the signal make it suitable even for competitive gaming. Due to the excellent picture quality HDR games look even better.
Disappointing sound from the Q9FN
The sound quality of the Samsung high end TV can be described as average for a flatscreen TV. But with the Q9FN not being an average TV this is quite disappointing. There is no real bass and no high end audio features like room correction or an included soundbar.
To have audio which is able to keep up with the vivid picture a dedicated soundbar or HiFi system is required. Sadly there is no DTS support in Samsungs 2018 line up and the set also does not support Dolby Atmos (as over similarly priced TVs do).
Samsungs Smart Things
Samsung offers one of the easiest to use operating systems in the television market. The Tizen 4.0 OS is very fast and mostly works without a flaw. There is a vast selection of apps to choose from with the most common ones like Netflix, amazon prime and youtube being preinstalled. There are some ads for Samsung content you need to pay for in the menus though. For most users this isn’t a big deal.
The Smart TV is one component of Samsungs new Smart Things solution. Many other devices can be connected and controlled with the TVs remote or the Bixby voice assistant in general. You’ll also see information about connected devices on the TV screen (like when your Samsung dishwasher is ready). This is among the best Smart Home solutions available today.
Update October 2018: By accessing the service menu you can get rid of the ads. This is not advised though as you will loose all warranty claims by doing so.
Later in 2018 Samsung introduced the first 8K QLED the Samsung Q900. Of course it isn’t really a variant of the Q9FN but more of a glimpse in the QLED future.
Being the first of its kind there are still some teething problems. For example there is no HDMI 2.1 port which would be required to transport 8K content via just one HDMI cable and native 8K content is extremely rare anyway. But the upscaling does bring some benefits.
To be honest the higher resolution doesn’t make much sense in 65 inches and can maybe be argued about in 75 inches. Yet in 85 inches it can have a noticeable benefit for a brilliant home cinema experience!
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