Samsung QN85A Neo QLED

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NEO QLED QN85A - Samsung's entry level model into the world of Mini LEDs

With the QN85A Neo QLED, we take a look at Samsung’s most affordable TV, which uses the highly touted Mini LED backlighting technology. We were really surprised about some changes compared to the 2020 predecessor Q80T, such as the fact that the Korean manufacturer uses an ADS panel instead of a VA panel for this model – at least in the 55 and 65 inch sizes. However, it is very likely that at least the 85-inch variant will come with a VA panel, since Samsung has indicated to use an Ultra Viewing Angle layer, which an ADS panel does not need. Of course, this raises the question whether the QN85A can benefit from this in conjunction with the small LEDs, or whether the entry-level Neo QLED is more of a sales pitch to sell a mediocre product for a respectable price after all. Find out for yourself in the following article!

Except for the 85-inch variant, all other sizes come with ADS panels. Therefore, we will refer to this panel type in this article.


Samsung QN85A Neo QLED Prices

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Stunning, minimalist design

You have to admit one thing about the QN85A, it really does look outstanding! Samsung’s new NeoSlim looks really great on the TV, which has an extremely narrow frame that is virtually unnoticeable when the display is turned on. In combination with the shallow depth, the Neo QLED is very well suited for wall mounting, as the slim design cuts a really fine figure here.

But the center stand also makes a high-quality impression and really looks similar to last year’s Q80T model. Just like the Q80T, the stand is a bit small compared to the size of the TV, so the TV stands a bit wobbly when you bump it. On the other hand, the QN85A can be placed on smaller TV furniture, or there is still plenty of room to place a soundbar in front of the TV.

There are cutouts on the back that allow for neat cable routing and the interfaces are aligned to the right side of the screen, so you can also reach them easily when mounted on the wall. Unfortunately, though, the QN85A only has one HDMI 2.1 interface, which could definitely become problematic if you have multiple HDMI 2.1 devices. Fortunately, the HDMI eARC is on a different HDMI port, so you can easily connect your sound system even if you already have a next-gen console connected.

verarbeitung Samsung QN85A Neo QLED
  • Minimalist design
  • High-quality construction
  • Good cable management
  • Narrow stand
  • Slightly wobbly stand
  • Only one HDMI 2.1 port

Does the ADS panel with the mini LED backlighting a good job?

We were initially a bit surprised that Samsung deviated from their standard VA panel in QLEDs and switched to an ADS panel. ADS panels usually have a lower contrast ratio, which is caused by a less deep black – VA panels have a considerable advantage here.

The low contrast ratio is further improved by the Full Array Local Dimming feature with more than 576 zones (at 55″), so the QN85A comes to a contrast ratio of ~2000:1. For an ADS panel, that’s a really good value! The 2020 NanoCell flagship Nano90 only comes to about 1650:1. The contrast ratio of a TV is a major factor when talking about picture quality, so most TVs with ADS panels perform worse in this category than TVs with VA or OLED panels. On the other hand, ADS panels have a fairly wide viewing angle, so that the picture still looks good when you look at the TV at an angle.

The Full Array Local Dimming feature benefits immensely from the small mini LEDs, since more LEDs are used in the backlight, which can then be divided into a larger number of dimming zones more easily.

But this is not the only advantage of the small LEDs. Overall, TVs with this technology are usually brighter than ordinary LED-LCD TVs. This allows the QLED to present a really great picture quality, especially in bright surroundings, since the lower contrast is not really visible here. It also has an anti-reflective coating, which effectively minimizes reflections.

The QN85A Neo QLED achieves a peak brightness of ~1250Nits, which really makes the difference especially for HDR content. These can be displayed very well and even bright highlights are reproduced in great detail.

Unfortunately, Samsung still does not have Dolby Vision to dynamically optimize HDR content in 2021. Instead, Samsung relies on HDR10+, which is increasingly losing importance. The widely advertised HDR10+ Adaptive is unfortunately not available. This has been saved for the 8K models.

bildqualitaet Samsung QN85A Neo QLED
Picture Quality
  • ADS panel
  • Black levels
  • Contrast ratio ~2000:1
  • Full Array Local Dimming
  • 576 dimming zones (55")
  • 792 Dimming Zones (65")
  • Viewing Angle
  • Reflectivity
  • Peak brightness ~1250Nits
  • No Dolby Vision

Convincing motion handling

In the field of motion handling, i.e. how well movements can be displayed, the entry-level Neo QLED is quite impressive. The display has a refresh rate of 120 Hz and its response time is ~5 ms. This results in very little motion blur when displaying fast movements. Although its predecessor, the Q80T, performed a bit better in this regard, as it has a response time of less than 4ms. Nevertheless, motion is displayed really nicely by the QN85A.

Unfortunately, stutter can’t be completely avoided during slow camera pans, so the picture is not as smooth under such conditions. This can be minimized by the Motion Interpolation Feature, but many users do not really like the Soap Opera Effect that often accompanies it.

The backlight flickers with a frequency of 960Hz and is therefore perceived as continuous illumination by the human eye. The motion blur can be minimized even further with the Black Frame Insertion feature, so that it should hardly be visible. This is even available for 120 Hz content; however, the brightness suffers a bit, which shouldn’t really matter much at around 1250 nits.

Judder can be removed from all sources.

motionhandling Samsung QN85A Neo QLED
Motion Handling
  • 120Hz Panel
  • Response Time ~5 ms
  • Stutter
  • Motion blur reduction
  • 960 Hz backlight frequency
  • Judder can be removed

Almost everything the gaming heart desires

With this really respectable motion handling, it’s hardly surprising that you can really game well on the QN85A. The input lag at [email protected] is around 10ms, which is a really good value, and at [email protected] it is a terrific 5ms. The Neo QLED has HDMI 2.1 and therefore all the specifications that go with it. Of course, there is an Auto Low Latency Mode, which automatically detects a switched-on console and the TV switches to gaming mode by itself. In this mode, the input lag is kept as low as possible to ensure a smooth gaming experience.

Both FreeSync Premium Pro and HDMI Forum VRR are available as Variable Refresh Rate, so you can expect screen tearing-free gaming with all compatible graphics cards. So you are perfectly prepared for the Playstation 5 or the Xbox Series X!

Due to the ADS panel, the viewing angle is also very wide, so you can easily play co-op multiplayer with two or even more people and no one has a disadvantage of fading colors.

Samsung has also implemented some other interesting features. For example, the Neo QLED has a “Game Bar” that allows you to keep an eye on important gaming parameters like input lag or refresh rate. There is also a panorama mode in a 32:9 resolution for PC gamers.

Good news: Full Array Local Dimming was largely disabled in Game Mode on the 2020 QLEDs. This is apparently no longer the case with the QN85A, so you can expect good picture quality even when gaming.

gaming Samsung QN85A Neo QLED

Good picture, but mediocre sound

Sound is all too often neglected when buying a TV. Admittedly, this can be optimized quite easily with an external sound system – but that has its price, of course. The Korean manufacturer’s engineers probably didn’t put the main focus on the sound of the QN85A.

The 2.2.2 channel 60W speakers are quite well tuned to each other, so that you can understand dialogs well. These can also be amplified by the Active Voice Amplifier to make them even more understandable. In addition, the QN85A has a Room Correction feature, which adjusts the sound to the environment.

However, the TV should not be turned up too loud, as distortions quickly occur, which can spoil the listening pleasure immensely.

Furthermore, the bass of the TV is quite weak, which could be due to the extremely slim design of the TV. Since TVs are becoming increasingly flat, the woofers have less and less volume to produce really good bass. With a TV in this price range, you’ll probably want to get an additional sound system, like a soundbar or AVR receiver.

The HDMI eARC supports uncompressed Dolby Atmos, so you can create a really impressive soundscape from all directions – but of course only with a suitable sound system. Unfortunately, DTS is not available.

sound Samsung QN85A Neo QLED
  • 2.2.2 channels with 60W (RMS)
  • Clear dialog reproduction
  • Room Correction Feature
  • Dolby Atmos via TrueHD
  • Distortions
  • Weak bass
  • No DTS

Smarter TV thanks to Tizen 6.0

With the Tizen 6.0 Smart operating system, the Neo QLED has been equipped with some great features. The intuitive user interface allows navigating quickly and smoothly via the Smart Remote. Unfortunately, it includes ads and video suggestions that cannot be disabled. The selection of apps is really large and you do not miss any common streaming services.

The remote control of the Neo QLED models is even equipped with a small solar panel, which eliminates the need to replace batteries. Those who prefer to use a voice assistant instead can either fall back on Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. However, a third-party device is required for Google Assistant, whereas Amazon’s Alexa is integrated into the operating system.

Airplay 2 is available for wireless data exchange with Apple devices, and other smartphones can also display content on the TV very easily. With Samsung Smart Things, other smart home applications can be conveniently controlled with the Smart Remote, turning the TV into a kind of control center of a smart home.

The twin tuner enables functions like TimeShift and the USB recording function.

smarttv Samsung QN85A Neo QLED
Smart TV
  • Tizen 6.0 Smart OS
  • Voice control
  • Apple AirPlay 2
  • All current streaming services
  • Samsung Smart Things
  • Twin Tuner
  • PVR & Time Shift
  • Not Ad-Free

Good mid-range mini LED TV with slight weaknesses

Overall, the Samsung QN85A Neo QLED is a solid upper mid-range TV. Since it uses an IPS panel, its picture quality in dark environments is not quite as good as similar models with VA panels, but it performs better than other TVs with IPS panels, which is due to the well-implemented Full Array Local Dimming. However, it can really convince in bright rooms and has a wide viewing angle with an amazing reflection handling.

Although the TV only has one HDMI 2.1 interface, it has everything you could want for gamers. VRR, ALLM, [email protected] and an HDMI eARC are available, so you don’t have to miss anything. The low input lag ensures a responsive gaming experience.

The integrated speakers are not really convincing, but you can easily compensate for that with external sound systems.

Go to offer
Mini LED TV with IPS panel for bright rooms with wide viewing angle and HDMI 2.1
  • Picture quality in dark environment
  • ALLM, VRR & [email protected]
  • Full Array Local Dimming
  • Viewing Angle
  • Contrast ratio
  • No Dolby Vision

Samsung QN85A Neo QLED Prices

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* All prices are in USD incl. VAT, if necessary plus shipping. Interim changes of prices, ranking, delivery time and costs are possible. Last update 2021-06-17 22:45:04
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