The Samsung Q900R is a great 8k LED TV with impressive picture quality. It can very bright both in SDR and in HDR. Although it has a VA panel, it has wide viewing angles due to the ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ layer that maintains an accurate image when viewed from the side at the expense of lower contrast. Despite the low native contrast ratio, dark room performance is greatly enhanced by the very good local dimming support. It has great HDR performance and very good reflection handling. The Q900 has excellent motion handling and a very low input lag. Finally, just like all premium Samsungs since 2021, the Q900R has FreeSync variable refresh rate support.
It’s easy to be cynical about Samsung’s 8K TV. With precious little native 8K content currently available or due any time soon (outside of Japan, anyway), surely an 8K TV can’t be worth buying now, right? Wrong, actually. For while the 85Q900R is indeed at its barnstorming best with native 8K images, it also sets new standards with the lower resolution images we’re already watching now…
- 8K pictures look immense
- Incredible brightness and color
- Ground breaking upscaling
- Cheaper than expected
- 85-inch screen limits market
- Some occasional backlight issues
- Some occasional color issues
- No Dolby Vision support
The Samsung Q900 is a high-end TV. It is the first 8k TV in the market and is currently just above Samsung’s 4k flagship, the Samsung Q90R. The direct 8k competitors of Samsung Q900 are expected to be the Sony Z9G and the LG SM9975. The Q900 marks the opening of a new era of 8k TVs.
The Samsung Q900 has an excellent design. It is mostly made of metal and it has a very sturdy stand that supports it well. It is very thin and can be wall mounted using a standard VESA wall mount, or a separately sold wall mount that will bring it flush with the wall. Both the TV and the included One Connect box get fairly warm, but this should not be an issue. The overall build quality is excellent.
The Samsung Q900’s stand is very sturdy, supports the TV very well, and does not allow almost any wobble.
The footprint of the stand is: 51.0″ x12.0″
Update 04/17/2019: There are two leg positions (the screw mount for the inner location is visible in this photo). This narrower footprint is 18.1″ x 12.0″.
The back of the TV is plain. The large gap that looks like an “M” is used for storing the legs if you decide to wall mount it. Samsung separately sells a special no-gap wall mount that holds the TV flush with the wall. The Q900RB uses a One Connect box that sends all necessary signals (including power) to the TV through one single cable. The back of the TV has grooves that serve as cable management and guide the One Connect cable either through the legs or at the center of the TV, as you can see here.
Also, this is a link to Samsung’s no-gap wall mount for 75″ QLEDs which seems to be compatible with the Q900, although it’s not mentioned in the supported models in the specs document.
The borders of the Q900R are made of metal; they’re very thin and look good.
The Samsung Q900 is very thin and will not stick out much if you wall mount it.
9.0 Build Quality
The build quality of the Samsung Q900 is excellent. It’s very similar to the Q9FN or the Q9F, but the place where the back panel meets the side bezels has some flex to it and they’re not joined one to one. However, you should have no issues with the TV.
1,630 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
6,905 : 1
The native contrast ratio of the Samsung Q900 is only decent, but the TV’s great local dimming helps compensate for this. The native contrast ratio is far lower than most TVs with VA panels. This is because of the TV’s ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ layer that improves the viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio. This is very similar to what we observed with the Sony Z9F and the ‘X-Wide Angle’ technology. Note that the contrast ratio can vary between units.
Unfortunately, the TV’s local dimming can’t be completely disabled using the normal settings menu. In order to measure the native contrast ratio, we had to disable PC Mode Dimming in the TV’s service menu, and then activate PC Mode and Game Mode at the same time.
8.0 Local Dimming
The local dimming on the Samsung Q900 is very good; slightly better than the Q9FN. The local dimming algorithm allows very little blooming, which is great; however, it has several trade-offs:
- “Reverse blooming” (we’ve seen this in the past on Vizio TVs) where the TV, in its effort to reduce blooming in the dark areas, dims the edges of the bright ones. This makes them end up with a vignette around them.
- The TV greatly dims small bright areas (even more than the Q9FN).
- The TV crushes stars. This is not done to the extent of the Q9FN, but still worse than the Sony Z9F.
To give you a better sense of the comparisons to other models, we’re attaching some pictures:
- Picture 1 shows stars being crushed
- Picture 2 and Picture 3 show black bars being dimmed on the Q900R, but not on the Z9F, and finally,
- Some more blooming into the black bars of the Q900R are shown here.
When you look at the TV from the side, the good black level viewing angle prevents blooming from getting worse. This is significantly better behavior than most TVs with VA panels and explains why the local dimming video (which is shot at an angle) looks better than it actually is.
Unfortunately, just like all the latest Samsung TVs, you can’t completely disable the local dimming on the TV. Even when set to ‘Low’ it can be distracting. If you watch movies with subtitles, this can be a problem.
Game Mode uses a slightly different local dimming algorithm which doesn’t react as fast to changes in a scene and lingers longer. This can create visible blooming in some cases. We are not sure why this is the case.