For anyone that's been following along in my debate between the 82" Q900 vs Q90, I took a trip out to my local Best Buy tonight after work. They have an 82/75" Q900 and two 65" Q90 on display. The 75" Q900 was in the Magnolia center and the 82" Q900 was on "the wall" outside with majority of the other TVs.
I started at the wall where the viewing environment had very high ambient light and the content was the typical Samsung footage with video game footage inter-spliced. The sets were very close in performance. My viewing distance was 4-5ft away. The 82" Q900 appeared to have a slightly clearer picture and had deeper blacks. The 65" Q90 had better shadow detail. An example was the video game footage of Fallout 76 where a guy was putting on a mech glove. On the Q900 the glove was very dark, on the Q90 the glove was lighter but details were now visible on the glove (rivets/fittings etc.) that the Q900 didn't display. Brightness and colors on both displays appeared to be equal. The content/environment was not sufficient to make any comments about local dimming capability.
At this time a Best Buy employee walked over and asked me if I had any content I wanted to view. I was upfront with him and told him that I had no intention of buying from him as I could get a better deal through Samsung and I didn't want to waste his time. He told me it was slow, there was no one else around and that he would rather shoot the **** with me than walk aimlessly. I welcomed the company and continued the evaluation. Unfortunately he wasn't very knowledgeable about TVs in general. I taught him a bit about the two sets and how the Q90 had a dedicated local dimming chip whereas the Q900 didn't. I inquired if he knew if the lack of dedicated dimming chip in the Q900 was because the 8K chip was more powerful than the 4K, he had no answer. For those interested Samsung lists both the 8K and 4K chip set as quad core for what its worth. He was dead set in his view that the Q900 had superior blacks because of the greater number of dimming zones. I tried to break it to him softly that all the TVs ,independent of size, had 480 zones. He responded that only Samsung knew the true count and people only had a rough idea from opening up sets. He then lost any shred of credibility that he had remaining when he told me that I should get an OLED. I explained that I didn't want to deal with burn-in and that I had a bright room so the luminance of LED was necessary. His reply was that OLED are just as bright as LED
I stopped my technical talk with him and he said he would help pull up some content in the Magnolia viewing area. Here the 75" Q900 was set-up on on a stand and the 65" Q90 was on a different wall; there was no way to directly compare them. He turned down all the lights and we watched a clip from Gravity. We started on the 75" Q900. Immediately I could tell the motion interpolation was jacked up on the Q900 and asked him to turn it off. I believe this was the scene from the beginning of the movie where Bullock and Clooney are making a repair prior to debris hitting them. Their spacesuits were very bright and over-saturated, loosing detail. The spaceship had a terrible halo surrounding it, it actually looked like it had a glowing aura. So much so I went back on my computer just now to verify that it wasn't actually supposed to be there, it wasn't. I attached an image with arrows pointing to where the halo extended to on the Q900 (this is not an actual picture of the content displayed on the Q900). The Q900 just couldn't handle the very bright spaceship edge against the blackness of space. There was not much more I could say, I wasn't impressed at all. I don't think this is completely the Q900's fault, it was very poorly calibrated/set-up.
We moved to the 65" Q90 and replayed the same scene. The Q90 was set-up much darker than the Q900, I would say 50% less bright. Despite the lower brightness the halo was still present at the edge of the space shuttle. Although less egregious than the Q900 it was surprisingly large for how low the brightness was set. The Q90 didn't do much for me here either, again likely settings related.
I don't really think I took away much valuable information from the trip (given the state of both TV's calibration) aside from the fact that the Q900 had a marginally clearer picture. Keep in mind these were comparing the larger 8K panels to a 65" 4K. Comparing an 82" 8K to an 82" 4K the difference in clarity may have been more appreciable. Nevertheless the trip still had value! I found out through talking with the Best Buy employee that ISF 4K calibrations were on sale for $200 (normally $600), which I found to be a good value and purchased. At this point I am leaning toward making the 82" Q90 purchase knowing that I will get a 33% refund in 2 years when I can upgrade to an 8K set after Samsung perfects the technology.
Holy hell. After writing this I went over to Samsung to purchase the 82" Q90 and the employee discount significantly increased from the past few weeks, it nearly doubled! If you were on the fence and have access to the student discount (need .edu email) or employee discount program I would take another look ASAP. I figured I would check on the Q900 82" discount status and it also increased, so much so that with the bonus $1000 gift card thrown in on the Q900 purchase the difference in price between the Q90 and Q900 was only $60/month for me. With such a small difference I took a flyer on the Q900, delivery set for 5/28