Technology

Samsung QE65Q90R is the best 4k QLED TV for bright room watching

Stunning QLED flagship is a spectacular premium 4k UHD telly choice...

The Q90R is Samsung’s finest QLED TV to date. It boasts superb visual dynamics, a host of smart features and a Game mode to die (and respawn) for.

Positioned to take the OLED screen elite head on, this QLED flagship perfectly balances bright living room use with convincing cinema blacks. 

We rate this a superb screen for daytime viewing, and for watching in rooms with relatively high levels of ambient light. 

The key to this talent is a direct LED backlight which improves HDR (High Dynamic Range) handling and contrast. 

Image definition is superb, and colour fidelity generally sumptuous. Reds are deep and rich, while even tricky blues appear naturalistic.  A newly developed Quantum 4k image processor, which uses AI (Artificial Intelligence), does a fine job upscaling HD sources and lifting regular HD TV content to near HDR levels.

A superb screen for daytime viewing, and for watching in rooms with relatively high levels of ambient light… 

Build and finish is of a high standard

Samsung uses every trick in the book to maximise contrast. A highly effective filter soaks up ambient light reflections. 

The set comes with Samsung’s separate One Connect Box, which provides system connectivity, and attaches to the screen via a single transparent ‘invisible’ (it’s not really) cable. 

Two remote controls are supplied, one is a traditional infra-red zapper, the other is a minimal metallic Bluetooth remote control.

Streaming apps and smart functionality spring from Samsung’s Tizen platform. The set lacks Freeview Play, but offers a full set of catch-up TV regardless, as well as the most popular binge-watching services, like Netflix, Amazon Prime Now and Disney+.

One of the things that’s admirable about the Q90R is that for all its delicious sophistication, it keeps a lot of the complexity out of sight. From a user point of view, this can only be a good thing.

Connections are via the separate One Connect Box

A key attraction of QLED over rival OLED technology is its ability to deliver superior bright highlights with HDR, and that’s brilliantly showcased here. But while the set supports HDR10+, in addition to HLG, the lack of Dolby Vision compatibility puts it on the back foot compared to fresher rivals. 

The Q in QLED refers to Quantum Dot (QD), and refers to a QD filter which covers the set’s LED backlight. This improves colour performance, extending the range of the panel.  

Samsung says its latest QLED models can cover the complete cinematic colour spectrum, as seen in Hollywood movies. Rival LED TVs manage around 90 per cent, give or take.

Perhaps the simplest difference between OLED and rival LCD models is the higher level of brightness they manage when it comes to HDR (High Dynamic Range) content.

The screen is a good choice for sports fans. However Auto Motion Plus should be turned off for movie night, as it makes films look uncinematic.

Samsung Q90R looks great whichever way you look at it

Without doubt, this is Samsung’s most desirable QLED TV to date. If you’re after a 4k UHD TV that’s brighter than competing OLED models when it comes to peak HDR, and has an input lag so low it’ll give console gamers the edge, then this could be your dream flatscreen.

Specification
Typical price: £2,299
Display technology: 4k UHD QLED
Screen size: 65-inches (also available in 55- and 75-inches)
HDR support:  HDR: HDR10, HDR10+
HDMI: 4
USB: 3
Dimensions: 1450.1 x 831.2 x 39.9mm  (w/h/d)

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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