Expert review of the Samsung Q90R
- Every subtle color gradation is visible and bright hues splash off the screen.
- The high brightness and deep black display provide a powerful contrast.
- Thanks to the wide viewing angle, the image quality doesn't deteriorate when you're sitting diagonally in front of the TV.
- With the One Connect Box, you can neatly conceal all cables and devices.
- In Ambient Mode, you can display patterns, artworks, or useful information on the screen.
- Even in Movie mode, the images are sometimes clearer than intended.
The included One Connect Box immediately draws my attention. You should connect all your devices to this. Next, you can connect it to the TV via one transparent "Invisible Cable". Because this cable is 5 meters long, you can neatly conceal all cables and devices. Just make sure not to place the TV on the luxurious metal base, since the 55-inch model weighs 24.6 kilograms. This makes it about 5 kilograms heavier than the average TV.
Impressive upscaling and HDR display
While viewing standard SDR images, I'm impressed by the sharp image display. The image enhancement techniques such as the noise suppression and contrast enhancer do an excellent job. My viewing experience becomes especially impressive when I start watching HDR images. Because the TV produces a higher brightness than other QLED 4K TVs, bright colors splash from the screen even more clearly. In combination with the wide color gamut, every color shade or subtle incidence of light is displayed in a true-to-life fashion. Even the white details in a field of clouds aren't lost.
Deep and accurate black display
Black display of a starry sky
Black display of a polar bear swimming towards an iceberg
The full array backlight only darkens the dark parts and keeps bright parts clear. In total, this TV has more dimming zones than the other QLED TVs, making its black display extra accurate. That this technique works very effectively becomes clear when I look at a scene of a starry sky. The black sky is pitch black, while the stars shine brightly. There is hardly any illuminated glow or a blooming effect around these stars.
Set the image quality
While watching a Netflix movie, I switch on Film mode. This reduces the brightness and brings the color representation as close as possible to the intention of the filmmaker. It's striking that even in this mode, the images are sometimes clearer than intended. If you want to see impressive images of, for example, a nature documentary, Standard is a great mode. I don't recommend Dynamic Mode, because the images in it no longer look very lifelike.
Excellent viewing angle and reflections
Samsung has added the Ultra Wide Viewing Angle technique to its top models of 2019. Simply put, this technique consists of a number of layers on the screen that make the viewing angle larger. This works very effectively. Only from an angle of about 60 degrees, I start noticing that the image quality slightly deteriorates. In combination with the high brightness and an additional technique that minimizes reflections, the TV also provides an optimal viewing experience in illuminated rooms.
The Q90R doesn't have a built-in soundbar or other striking sound systems that you'll see in the products of some competitors. Still, the TV delivers great sound. When I watch a TV program or nature documentary, the vocals and effects really come across. The bass isn't explicitly present, but still clearly audible. The Intelligent mode in the menu is recommended. This allows you to adjust the sound reproduction to the room. In my case, this mainly boosted the vocals.
Edge of the Samsung Q90R
Stand of the Samsung Q90R
Thanks to the thin, metal edge and the sleek stand, the TV looks modern. The stand leans back, making it easy to fit a soundbar underneath the screen. With 4 centimeters, the TV is slightly thicker than average. This is because the full array backlight requires extra space. If you want to mount the TV tightly onto the wall with the optional No Gap wall bracket, it's very handy that the TV doesn't have any protruding parts on its back. I can neatly conceal the Invisible Cable by means of a special groove.
Atmospheric Ambient Fashion
The Ambient Mode is a handy function if you want to create extra atmosphere, for example when you're having a party. In this mode, you conjure up different patterns, photos, artworks, or useful information on the screen. Although I think that the photos of a forest look a bit too much like a screen saver, I am enthusiastic about the artworks. In combination with the realistic frame and the brightness that adapts to the ambient lighting, the art looks real.
Handy and compact remote control
I'm always excited by the Samsung One Remote. This compact remote fits comfortably in my hand and is very easy to use. This allows me to easily browse through all menus, apps, and connected devices. Compared to last year's One Remote, 3 buttons have been added. This gives you quick access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Rakuten. I find this to be a minor drawback, because the extra buttons and logos detract from the original minimalist design.
Well-arranged smart menu
The smart menu of the Q90R, the Smart Hub, looks like a bar at the bottom of the screen. This design is very clear and organized. This way, the images that you're currently viewing aren't blocked. The most important difference compared to last year's Smart Hub is the addition of Apple iTunes Movies and AirPlay 2. With this last function, you can send videos, photos, or music from an Apple device to the TV.
The Samsung Q90R is one of the best LED TVs of the moment and is highly recommended if you often watch TV in illuminated rooms. Thanks to the combination of high brightness and deep black display, the TV provides a powerful contrast with true-to-life colors. Compared to last year's best QLED TVs, its viewing angle is better. This allows you to sit in front of the screen without any problems. This is useful if you often watch TV with several people.