If we are looking for the best of the best in TVs, probably all or almost all of us will go in search of the most expensive models from Samsung and LG. And the best thing about Samsung is Samsung QN900A, a TV with MiniLED technology, 8K resolution, high brightness and improved viewing angles. All this with a very fine design and with barely perceptible frames on the screen, which give you the impression of being in front of an OLED panel. Without a doubt, a first-rate proposal that is priced accordingly: 4,160 euros for its 65-inch configuration, which is what I have had the opportunity to try. If you are looking for more size, you will have to go up to 5,780 euros in the 75-inch format and 8,755 euros in the 85-inch format.
This has been my experience with the Samsung QN900A, a TV that I have had the opportunity to test for several weeks and that directly attacks the heart of the technologies that previously stood out in OLED televisions. Will you be up to the challenge?
Technical data sheet and characteristics
|Resolution and technology||8K 7680 x 4320 pixels, Active HDR, HDR 10+ and Quantum HDR 3000, 100% Color Volume, Ultimate 8K Dimming Pro, Ultra Viewing Angle|
|Panel type||VA with Neo QLED technology|
|Processor||Neo QLED 4K Processor with Artificial Intelligence|
|Control||Samsung Smart Control|
|Sound||Speakers in 6.2.2CH layout with 80W total power, OTS PRO|
|Connections||4 x HDMI, 3 x USB, Ethernet|
|Wireless connectivity||WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Medium||Central metal base|
|Others||FreeSync Premium Pro
One Connect Box
|Dimensions (with base)||1433.1 x 892.0 x 300.5 mm|
|Weight (with stand)||30.1 kilos|
MiniLED technology to attack the darkest of OLEDs
To this day, it seems difficult to say whether the path that TVs will take in the future will pass through OLED or LCD. And the truth is that the technologies that have been happening in recent years are placing the televisions with LCD technology at the same level as the OLEDs in points where there was a notable difference before. I’m talking, above all, about the ability to show dark scenes with every level of detail.
The problem for LCD TVs is that they use backlighting on the panel and that results in shallower blacks. But, in addition, there are usually small halos of light around the areas that are illuminated on a dark background. This can be seen clearly in the subtitles on black. In the case of OLED this does not happen, since each pixel is turned off individually and does not need a backlight. And this is where MiniLED technology comes in, called by Samsung NEO QLED (it combines with Samsung’s quantum dots of light to create more pure colors). Basically, it consists of using light diodes much smaller than traditional LEDs. Specifically, 40 times smaller. In addition, the company has also introduced an intermediate film to minimize the scattering of light and that these points of light impact only on the pixels that they have to illuminate.
But without going into so much technical detail, the fact is that this new technology improves black reproduction and also reduces blooming effect or halos of light that can be quite annoying on lower-end LCD televisions. It also helps colors to be purer and closer to the original source. Specifically, Samsung ensures that Samsung QN900A is capable of reproducing 100% of the color volume. By the way, if you get this TV you should know that by default the QN900A does not give all the contrast that it could give. To do this, you have to fiddle with the TV settings, in the Image part, Settings for experts and change the local Attenuation level to High (by default it is set to Standard).
This improvement in contrast is also evident thanks to the technology of the panel used by Samsung, which is of the VA type.
Does it reach the level of a high-end OLED TV? I think it is still a small step below, but it is hardly noticeable. By cons, we have a brightness level that is capable of reaching peaks of 4,000 nits, so you will enjoy very vivid colors and it is possible to use the TV without problems even in a very sunny room.
But what about reflections? In the Samsung QN900A a panel with an antiglare coating has been used. Let’s be honest. At least in my experience, It is not a panel that works wonders if you receive the impact of some light source, but it does notice the difference compared to other lower-end LCD televisions. If you’ve ever wondered what artificial intelligence really does, this TV’s viewing angles are a good starting point. And is that one of the main problems of VA-type televisions is in their short viewing angles, compared to IPS-type panels (almost all mobiles that do not have an OLED screen bet on IPS). To solve this, Samsung uses a powerful processor and an advanced algorithm so that you can view the screen from the sides with little image distortion. The result, frankly, is really good. Here you can see the good work of the Korean.
The Samsung TV is compatible with Active HDR, HDR 10+ and Quantum HDR 3000. That is, the latest technologies and certifications to enjoy HDR content on the TV. Another point that I found very powerful is the scaling of this television. The ability to improve low resolution content in real time and bring it up to 8K is surprising. I also have to say that I would like to test this same technology in a larger inch format, since in 65 inches you do not get to appreciate the difference between 4K and 8K so much.
By the way, another of the technologies that Samsung has incorporated and that depend on artificial intelligence is the intelligent adaptive image mode. This mode automatically analyzes the content you are watching in real time and adapts both the brightness level and the color mode. In fact, it is capable of also analyze the environment (the amount of ambient light) to make the best decisions. Most of the time they seem like the right decisions, although I have to comment that on occasion this mode has danced a bit and has shown unreal colors in some content. In case you detect an error, you can always deactivate it at any time.
If you want to have more control over the way you reproduces the colors the Samsung QN900A, you can do it through the menus of the equipment. Within the image mode you have the Standard, which is the one used by default. But you can also go for the Dynamic, which is like a light version of the intelligent adaptive mode. The Natural shows you the colors a little more saturated than normal, which helps you enjoy a more attractive but somewhat more unreal experience, while the Movie mode shows you some less saturated colors, with an image closer to the real life. Finally, the mode FILMMAKER MODE is a technology that has been promoted by several renowned film directors, including James Cameron or Christopher Nolan. The idea is that the colors and the viewing experience are as close as possible to the way in which the directors conceived and recorded their films.
Beautiful design with oversized One Connect box
The Samsung QN900A it is, in short, a TV that exudes quality from all sides. The company has managed to make a very fine design that is quite close to that of an OLED TV (they are three centimeters thick), although it is clear that they do not reach that much. We also see this minimalism on the front, with frames that are barely existing. And they are both on the sides and top as well as on the bottom. This frame is somewhat thicker (it does not exceed a centimeter), but it is still so thin that the Samsung logo itself has been pulled out in a bar-shaped tab in which you can also see something hidden by the power light of the TV. The sides and back of the TV are dark gray, with a horizontal stripe pattern on the back. Speakers are located on both sides of this area, with four on each side. Later I will talk more in detail about the sound system of this TV.
The base of the television is metallic and is located in the central part. It has a significant weight, to be able to hold the TV well without the danger of it overturning (about eight kilos). It is very elegant and stylish. Now, we reached the most controversial point or that generates more doubts about the design of the Samsung QN900A. I’m talking about its One Connect box. The idea of this box was to remove the equipment connectors from the TV itself, in principle with a double objective: to allow the design of the television to be thinner and cleaner, and to bring the connectors outside so that it is more convenient to connect peripherals such as laptops or game consoles via HDMI.
This year’s solution, however, is halfway there. It is true that the TV is slim and very stylish, but the One Connect box is the size of a DVD or Blu-ray player, and it is heavy as the solo. Very different from the box of other years that, although heavy, had a more compact size. Samsung has fixed this issue designing its base so that you can lay down the connector box. The problem is that, in addition to not feeling like a solution typical of such a stylish TV, the connectors are again hidden in the back and it is not easy to connect the devices. And if you leave it at the front, you have to live with a new peripheral that takes up space in your living room furniture.
As for the connectors themselves, this box includes four HDMI ports, three USB 3.0 ports and an Ethernet network input to connect your TV to the Internet. And regarding wireless connections, it is compatible with WiFi 6, the latest version of WiFi that allows you to have a more stable connection and higher speeds. It also incorporates Bluetooth version 5.2, which among other things allows you to connect to two devices at the same time.
Surround sound with OTS technology
In the field of sound, this TV gives you an audio experience typical of a movie theater, with an emphasis on giving you a first-rate immersive sensation. We are talking about a 6.2.2-channel array, with built-in woofer. For a total power of 80W. The truth is that the result lives up to what is expected of a first-rate television, with a sound that has a lot of punch and clarity. It is worth enjoying on this TV movies and series with large doses of action.
But what Samsung has wanted to influence the most in the field of audio has been SpaceFit Sound technology. This technology uses the sensors that the TV itself incorporates to analyze the environment in which the TV is and offer an audio experience adapted to your living room. These sensors are capable of detecting the distances of the room both through the side walls and the floor and ceiling.
Another worthwhile technology in this audio system is OTS or Object Tracking Sound. It is a technology that is capable of analyzing the objects in the scenes you are watching on the television in real time and monitoring them so that you have the feeling that they are actually moving.
This Samsung QN900A brings you the best of Samsung in interface and advanced features. Special mention its processor. The TV turns on in a matter of tenths of a second and the time it takes for applications to open seems spectacular. All of that gives you a truly engaging experience, which has little rival on the market.
Samsung’s interface is based on Tizen. It is a highly developed system that has a large number of applications available. Of course, all the important ones are, with names like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, YouTube or Disney +. You will also find the main ones in terms of content from Spanish platforms, such as Movistar + or Orange if you are a soccer fan. The performance of these applications is generally good, although I have noticed that Orange’s hangs from time to time. All these applications are accessed from the Home button on the remote. On the right you will immediately see a selection of recommended apps. At first I thought that only applications that Samsung considers can appear in this place (something that was quite annoying), but then I discovered that with several requests you can access the configuration of each particular application and there is an option to put its icon in this main screen.
In any case, if you want to go to the rest of the applications you have to go to the Apps tab. There you will see several recent applications that you have installed and then a series of recommended apps. To access the rest you have to click on Apps and download them from the Samsung store. Something that I really like is that When you hover over one of the recommended apps, such as Netflix, you can see a series of larger boxes that show you quick access options. In this example, you have a box to continue seeing the last series you have open or the current trends in Spain. In another app like Prime Video you have to continue watching, the Amazon exclusives, the movies and the recommended series.
For me, the biggest problem that I have come across with this interface is that it is not Google. I explain. One of the attractive functions that the Android operating system has on TV is that it allows you to bring the content of an app from your mobile phone directly to the TV. And also that on many occasions the process of identifying yourself in a certain app can be accelerated by visiting the web on your mobile and then entering a code to synchronize yourself directly. This ease of interconnection between mobile and TV does not exist in Samsung TVs, unless you have a smartphone of the brand, although it is not something brutal in this case either. And the truth is that I miss it, used to the Chromecast that I have put in another roomn.
The other but that I put to this interface is its configuration. It seems to me that the options are not entirely clear, especially in some options related to image management. And is that some of them are accessible through the image menu and others you have to activate them from the general menu, which is quite confusing. For the rest, an interface with many options, very complete and generally quite clear and useful.
One of the sections that Samsung has wanted to highlight on this TV is that of MultiView. I sincerely believe that it is very focused on wanting to hook the younger audience, which usually works by consuming several content simultaneously and changes quickly from one task to another. The Korean firm wanted to satisfy this audience with an advanced multi-window mode. If you have it activated, this mode opens automatically every time you open a YouTube video or start the content from another source alternative to TV, for example from a game console. The grace is that you can easily manage the sizes of each content and you can even include a third source, which in this case will be a Samsung mobile or tablet (at the moment, there is no compatibility with other brands). What I liked the most in this way is that you can also change the percentage of sound that will come from each source, something that I find quite useful so as not to miss anything from the two windows but with the possibility of focusing on the one that is more interesting to you.
Is this mode really useful? It depends on what you like to do with your TV. For me, since I am focused on a single task while I watch TV or have it in the background while I’m fiddling with my laptop or mobile, it has not been very practical (in fact, after trying it several times I looked for a way to turn it off). But I understand that there will be other users who do want to take advantage of this multitasking and then find the function attractive.
Finishing the extensive review of the Samsung interface (we could spend hours and hours talking about all the functions that a television of this level includes), we find one of the great extras that the company has wanted to bring to its top televisions. We talk about Samsung TV Plus. Basically, we are facing an offer of channels that the firm offers for free over the Internet. Several of them are offered in collaboration with Rakuten, which are, in my opinion, the most interesting channels on offer. Specifically, we have Rakuten TV Action, Rakuten TV Drama and Rakuten TV Family. I also like the offer on the Run channel: Time Cine y Series, with some movies that were not particularly recent but were blockbusters. And there is another channel called Detectives if you are lovers of police series. We also have several channels dedicated exclusively to drawings for the little ones
All in all, it is a quite extensive offer that already has more than 40 channels but which probably has a lot of them left over. It is likely that it will not convince you, but this extra incentive to get a top Samsung TV is to be appreciated. And you ask me, are there any ads? That is the downside, yes there are, quite limited but they exist, and all (at least for now) related to Samsung products. If you become a regular at this service, you may end up a bit fed up of seeing the same firm’s advertisements over and over again.
One Remote with solar battery
The Samsung remote is the renewed version of its One Remote. The main novelty of this year’s version is that it has wanted to create a more environmentally friendly control with the environment. For this purpose, they have removed the batteries and have been replaced by a battery that is charged through sunlight or the artificial light that you turn on at home. According to Samsung data, it can last you years if you have a house that regularly gets daylight. In any case, if you need to charge the controller you just have to use its USB type C charging slot. This is the same connector used by the vast majority of smartphones today.
This remote control has simplicity as its flag, since the number of available buttons has been reduced to the maximum. These are: the on / off button, a number button to enter numbers in a contextual menu, the button to activate the voice assistant, the button focused on MultiView, the crosshairs to move between menus and give ok, back buttons , home and play / stop, buttons to change volume and channel, and three shortcuts: Netflix, Prime Video and Samsung TV Plus.
In short, its operation is simple and quite intuitive, although I recognize that from time to time I am missing some more button, for example to quickly change the source (this can only be done through the home menu) or to mute the TV with one click. But, in general, it does its job well and is very agile when moving between menus.
Game mode for your games
Samsung’s game mode is activated automatically when the TV detects that we have connected a game console. You can also activate it when you are playing through a PC. This mode allows you to configure various parameters. First, a 3D surround sound mode to maximize the spectacularity of your game. Then you can activate and vary between different levels an equalizer for the dark areas of the game, so that you can detect enemies and rewards earlier.
You also have the part of Motion Plus, which is designed so that your adventure or car games have images with more fluid movements. Finally, you can activate the HDR mode for games from here.
Price and reviews
The Samsung Q900A is priced at 4,160 euros on offer on Samsung’s own website, with a price starting at 5,000 euros a few months ago. It is a truly complete TV, with the best of Samsung in terms of technology, design and performance. Among the points that I liked the most about this TV is, of course, its image quality, beyond doubt. Samsung continues to bet heavily on LCD TVs and is minimizing the cons of its panel. Special mention has the algorithm that allows to significantly improve the viewing angles (and more considering that it is a VA-type panel). Its audio system is also not far behind, with good power and an enveloping sensation with a lot of packaging. And above all I would stay with the speed with which the apps open on this TV, almost as if they were all open a priori and you just had to go back to it. With this processor and the interface, you do have the feeling all the time of living a premium experience.
As cons and points to improve, I’m not convinced by the design of your One Connect box (It is too big and if you want to have it behind the TV, it makes no sense to easily access the connectors) and sometimes I miss a greater interconnection with the mobile compared to the TVs with Android. All in all, we are looking at a very complete TV and it will give you a top performance if you have enough money to invest in it.