Samsung Q90T 4K QLED Hands-On - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Samsung Q90T 4K QLED Hands-On

The Samsung Q90T is Samsung's top 4K QLED model for 2020. It is available in 55", 65" and 75" screen sizes while delivering superb picture quality. This TV is great for use in the living room TV, bedroom, den... it thrives in bright as well as dark spaces.


The Q90T excels at gaming, streaming, watching movies and more. It interfaces with your phone and makes streaming content easy. If you seek a TV that can "do it all" the Q90T 4K QLED is a Top Choice 2020 selection.

Samsung Q90T 4K QLED TVs

Q90T 55” at Samsung.com

Q90T 65” at Samsung.com
Q90T 75” at Samsung.com

4K QLED Picture Quality

I recently had a chance to spend a day checking out the 65" 65Q90T, including seeing how it handles upscaling as well as native 4K content. During the evaluation I was able to directly compare the Q90T to its immediate predecessor, the Q90R.

Since this is a Samsung QLED, it comes packed with features that together make it one of the best-performing TVs you can buy. The Direct Full Array 16X FALD backlight ensures a bright, crisp image with plenty of contrast. With this TV, you get Samsung's excellent Ultra Viewing Angle feature, along a superlative anti-reflective coating that sets this TV apart from the competition.

Overall, FALD performance is very good thanks to a better backlight algorithm. Artifacts are kept at bay, resulting in a deep, rich image on screen. It allows the Q90T to maintain deep blacks (including letterbox bars) and produce brighter highlights.

Comparing the Q90T and Q90R side-by-side revealed numerous subtle improvements in performance. With the two TVs showing the same content while using same picture modes, I could see improvements in peak brightness. Samsung states that the Q90T can achieve 700 nits sustained full screen, versus 600 nits for the Q90R and 1800 nits sustained in a 10% window, versus 1600 nits for the Q90R.

Samsung equipped the Q90T with its Quantum Processor 4K. This enables superior upscaling and picture processing (noise reduction, detail retrieval) regardless of the input source. The differences between the picture of the Q90R and Q90T were mostly subtle, but tangible, with the Q90T coming out ahead thanks to its excellent FALD performance. Notably, the Q90T can survive the "torture test" of having a bright light (like a torch, or a lamp) right at the edge of the image and not have it noticeably affect the letterbox bars.

The Q90T manages to pull off a richer, more intense red than its predecessor and its sharpening algorithms are a bit more effective at bringing out texture and detail. The "long story short" here is that Samsung has refined its top 4K QLED model to offer the best performance yet.

Adaptive Picture

This is a remarkably useful feature. The Q90T uses a built-in light sensor to dynamically adapt to room lighting. When a dramatic shift in ambience occurs (for example, turning light on or off at night, or the transition from a daytime window-lit living room to evening indoor lighting, this TV adjusts not just the brightness, it also tweaks color balance.

The result is an optimized picture in more applications. And let's face it, most TV viewers do not constantly tune their TVs to account for the daily changes in lighting conditions. This is a task best left to a sensor and an algorithm. Of course, it is defeatable. But for many viewers Adaptive Picture is a feature worth using. 

Gamer Friendly Features

Samsung embraces gamers with its QLED lineup, offering features like AMD Freesync VRR (variable refresh rate) and an Auto Game Mode function that incorporates ALLM (auto low latency mode) with an input lag of under 10 seconds. It recognizes a connected Xbox or PS4 and when you are playing a game, it adjusts accordingly. Just as important, the Q90T will return to your preferred TV or movie-watching picture when you are not gaming.

An adjustable-strength Dynamic Black Equalizer helps reveal details in shadow areas (like an enemy hiding that you otherwise miss) without resorting to unnaturally brightening the rest of what's on screen.

The Q90T is equipped with four HDMI ports. Notably, HDMI port 4 offers a high-bandwidth connection that supports 4K/120 Hz with 10-bit color. While it takes a powerful gaming PC to push that many pixels, this capability makes the Q90T QLED an amazing high-end gaming TV.

OTS Sound

Now for 2020 is OTS sound from Samsung. It stands for Object Tracking Sound and it uses multiple speakers to match the sound effects and dialog with what you see on screen. It also improves the sound of music by elevating and expanding the soundfield.

OTS sound has the direct benefit of placing dialog where it belongs, in the center of the screen. But it can also place sounds above and below that, and to the left and right.

What's more, OTS Sound transforms into Q Cinema when you add a compatible Samsung soundbar. The result, which I heard at CES 2020, sounds quite remarkable. A key element is the TV itself can act as the height/elevation speaker, a feat of coordination helped along by the impressive research facility and staff Samsung employs at its Valencia, CA research facility. It's an impressive lab that's able to perform scientific blind listening tests with entire TV/soundbar systems, thanks to an enormous turntable/Lazy Susan type mechanism that can switch between multiple systems rapidly.

What's key is that even without a soundbar, the Q90T sounds a lot better than many other TVs.

Conclusion

Samsung's Q90T ups the ante for 4K QLED, as the company says it their "finest 4K TV." You'll have to step up to the 8K Q800T to beat it, quality-wise. But if you are shopping for a more affordable premium TV and can live without 8K, the Q90T offers a lot for the money.

Based on viewing real content in a controlled-light environment, it's clear the Q90T 4K QLED TV has the picture quality and features to make it a Top Choice for 2020.

Samsung’s 65" Q90T 4K QLEDs, as well as 55" and 75" sizes, are available now from Samsung.com.

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post #2 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 11:23 AM
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Thanks... Were you able to compare the contrast and local dimming / blooming performance due to the Q90T having significantly less local dimming zones than last years Q90R? I believe the Q90R had ~480 last year; whereas I believe the Q90T only has ~100.

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post #3 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jmbgator View Post
Thanks... Were you able to compare the contrast and local dimming / blooming performance due to the Q90T having significantly less local dimming zones than last years Q90R? I believe the Q90R had ~480 last year; whereas I believe the Q90T only has ~100.
Yes, I compared it with multiple movies (Thor, ) and the differences were minimal at best, with the Q90T actually having the darker and more stable letterbox bars. The 2020 model must feature a much better algorithm and I presume finer control over the dimming of each zone.

There's no other way to explain what I saw. It certainly seems counterintuitive that fewer zones can still deliver a great picture.

The comparison also features a Sony X905G which had a much harder time with its FALD array. It also featured an LG SM9000 that looked absolutely awful (unsurprisingly) with the lights out. At this point, with the Samsung Q90T it appears the Wide Viewing Angle feature plus decent native contrast in the VA panel are doing more of the heavy lifting. That's IMO, FWIW.
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post #4 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 12:02 PM
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Yes, I compared it with multiple movies (Thor, ) and the differences were minimal at best, with the Q90T actually having the darker and more stable letterbox bars. The 2020 model must feature a much better algorithm and I presume finer control over the dimming of each zone.

There's no other way to explain what I saw. It certainly seems counterintuitive that fewer zones can still deliver a great picture.

The comparison also features a Sony X905G which had a much harder time with its FALD array. It also featured an LG SM9000 that looked absolutely awful (unsurprisingly) with the lights out. At this point, with the Samsung Q90T it appears the Wide Viewing Angle feature plus decent native contrast in the VA panel are doing more of the heavy lifting. That's IMO, FWIW.
Would it at all make sense to upgrade from the 2018 Q9FN? I am slightly itching for an increase in size, despite protests from the lady. 65" just leaves a little too much to be desired.
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post #5 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 12:31 PM
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One thing Vincent Teoh pointed out in his OLED vs QLED Game Mode analysis (jump to 2:53) was how the FALD algorithm changes on the QLEDs when in Game Mode - does "Game Motion Plus" in the 2020 models improve on this?

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post #6 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 04:03 PM
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What about the Q95T...?

And no HDMI 2.1...

And, of course, no Dolby Vision.

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post #7 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 04:10 PM
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The Q90T is equipped with four HDMI ports. Notably, HDMI port 4 offers a high-bandwidth connection that supports 4K/120 Hz with 10-bit color.
wait what ??


do you mean port 4 can do 4K-120 10-bit 4:2:0 ? or that its actually HDMI 2.1 48 gbps ??
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post #8 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 06:22 PM
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What about the Q95T...?
that's the European version.
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post #9 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 06:29 PM
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that's the European version.


The Q95T has a one connect box - the Q90T does not...

The Q95T is also thinner.

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post #10 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 07:37 PM
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Looks like Q90T is LG OLED killer, imagine what's gonna be next year and after with 8k stuff?
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post #11 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 07:52 PM
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LG OLED killer
i heard that one before ..




Im curious about the usual Samsung stuff too :
- dimming lights up the screen during subtitles - fixed ?
- reverse ghosting in ~120hz content in game mode (overdrive too aggressive)
- sub-pixel dithering --> reduced true resolution due to wide angle tech
- shadow detail crush to keep black bars
- Game mode PQ is notably worse than movie mode due
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post #12 of 72 Old 03-11-2020, 09:11 PM
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The Q95T has a one connect box - the Q90T does not...
yeah, in Europe. it's not going to be available in US (just like the other QX5 models in the past).

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The Q95T is also thinner.
well, because it has One Connect.
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post #13 of 72 Old 03-12-2020, 08:43 AM
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Looks like Q90T is LG OLED killer, imagine what's gonna be next year and after with 8k stuff?

Ummm, no....

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Seems to me more like a hidden advertisement, it's a tear down model no way a 96 local dimming zones are gonna out perform an 480 zone screen .
And 100 nits more brightness on a 10% window yeah right mind blowing show me the numbers and measurements all the rest is pure speculation !
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Originally Posted by Sir Oled View Post
Seems to me more like a hidden advertisement, it's a tear down model no way a 96 local dimming zones are gonna out perform an 480 zone screen .
And 100 nits more brightness on a 10% window yeah right mind blowing show me the numbers and measurements all the rest is pure speculation !
Agree. Seems like it could have been summarized as “same TV, fewer dimming zones, better algorithms.”

So pushing out the better algorithms to the Q90R probably would make that TV close the “marginal” performance gaps.

Nothing new on the table here.
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post #16 of 72 Old 03-12-2020, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Sir Oled View Post
Seems to me more like a hidden advertisement, it's a tear down model no way a 96 local dimming zones are gonna out perform an 480 zone screen .
And 100 nits more brightness on a 10% window yeah right mind
blowing[IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/IMG] show me the numbers and measurements all the rest is pure speculation !
You're right, no amount of optimizing of the algorithm can make for that amount of local dimming zone neutering.

They stripped down last year's 70, 80, 90R and are selling them as equals. Last year's specs went to their 8k TVs.
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post #17 of 72 Old 03-12-2020, 10:15 AM
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This "overview" of the 90T, as Sir Oled correctly points out, totally ignores
the fact that Samsung has degraded its 2020 models!

Come on, 480 zones for the 90R vs. 96 zones for the 90T - no contest.

I have an 80R sporting 96 zones - the 80T has only 48!

Samsung is pushing customers who demand quality to 8K.

Bought my 80R on clearance a few weeks ago, and boy am I happy!
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post #18 of 72 Old 03-12-2020, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sir Oled View Post
Seems to me more like a hidden advertisement, it's a tear down model no way a 96 local dimming zones are gonna out perform an 480 zone screen .
And 100 nits more brightness on a 10% window yeah right mind blowing show me the numbers and measurements all the rest is pure speculation !
Actually, if you do a quick survey of last year's QLED reviews where the reviewer had both the Q90R and Q80R, it appears that the Q80R consistently matched or exceeded the Q90R in all objective/subjective picture quality comparisons. The only real advantage of the Q90R last year was wider viewing angles and more gaming resolutions. So it would make sense that Samsung just threw up its hands and said "Well, we put our best tech into the Q90R and you all couldn't see the benefits so we'll give you what you want and elevate the Q80R to being "best in class".
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This "overview" of the 90T, as Sir Oled correctly points out, totally ignores
the fact that Samsung has degraded its 2020 models!

Come on, 480 zones for the 90R vs. 96 zones for the 90T - no contest.

I have an 80R sporting 96 zones - the 80T has only 48!

Samsung is pushing customers who demand quality to 8K.

Bought my 80R on clearance a few weeks ago, and boy am I happy!
So it's actually YOU'RE FAULT that Samsung got rid of the flagship 4K Q90R. In choosing the Q80R you and many many others have made the decision that 480 dimming zones was not better than 96 dimming zones (and you're not wrong by the way). So this year, Samsung is only giving 4K buyers what they wanted: 96 dimming zones.
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So it's actually YOU'RE FAULT that Samsung got rid of the flagship 4K Q90R. In choosing the Q80R you and many many others have made the decision that 480 dimming zones was not better than 96 dimming zones (and you're not wrong by the way). So this year, Samsung is only giving 4K buyers what they wanted: 96 dimming zones.
I would have jumped at buying a 90R!

Unfortunately, the largest set my cabinet would accommodate is 55"!


There is no 55" 90R.
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post #21 of 72 Old 03-12-2020, 11:16 AM
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There is a point with local dimming where to see a noticeable difference there has to be a HUGE leap , I know on paper 100 vs 500 sounds drastic but in practice it’s not. Just look at OLED that’s MILLIONS of zones haha.
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I have a 2018 model QN65Q9FNA in the living room. This room has two large windows and two clearstory windows, it has a lot of light during the day. Was considering OLED at the time but the amount of light would be a problem with screen brightness. I couldn't be more pleased with this series of QLEDs. Now that being said when the 2013 Sony craps out in the bedroom that does not have anywhere near the amount of light that the living room does I will chose an OLED. Your room environment is important in your choice.
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I have a 2018 model QN65Q9FNA in the living room. This room has two large windows and two clearstory windows, it has a lot of light during the day. Was considering OLED at the time but the amount of light would be a problem with screen brightness. I couldn't be more pleased with this series of QLEDs. Now that being said when the 2013 Sony craps out in the bedroom that does not have anywhere near the amount of light that the living room does I will chose an OLED. Your room environment is important in your choice.
Moved my old Panasonic plasma to the bed room. Super ideal.
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Which 4K TV would you all recommend in the 82" or 85" range?
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So it's actually YOU'RE FAULT that Samsung got rid of the flagship 4K Q90R. In choosing the Q80R you and many many others have made the decision that 480 dimming zones was not better than 96 dimming zones (and you're not wrong by the way). So this year, Samsung is only giving 4K buyers what they wanted: 96 dimming zones.

I also wonder if that number - 96 dimming zones - is specific to the 65" model, and maybe the bigger sizes will have more zones.
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post #26 of 72 Old 03-12-2020, 01:54 PM
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I also wonder if that number - 96 dimming zones - is specific to the 65" model, and maybe the bigger sizes will have more zones.
It is,doesn't make sense if not.
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post #27 of 72 Old 03-12-2020, 01:55 PM
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Actually, if you do a quick survey of last year's QLED reviews where the reviewer had both the Q90R and Q80R, it appears that the Q80R consistently matched or exceeded the Q90R in all objective/subjective picture quality comparisons. The only real advantage of the Q90R last year was wider viewing angles and more gaming resolutions. So it would make sense that Samsung just threw up its hands and said "Well, we put our best tech into the Q90R and you all couldn't see the benefits so we'll give you what you want and elevate the Q80R to being "best in class".

What are you talking about...

The Q90R (vs. the Q80R):

Higher contrast ratio
Higher SDR peak brightness
Higher HDR peak brightness
Better black uniformity
Larger color gamut
Larger color volume
Etc., etc., etc.
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There is a point with local dimming where to see a noticeable difference there has to be a HUGE leap , I know on paper 100 vs 500 sounds drastic but in practice it’s not. Just look at OLED that’s MILLIONS of zones haha.
The difference is HUGE. 55" Q90R has 240 zones and the blooming and black level on it are far inferior compared to 65" 480 zone version. Same goes for the Q80/Q85, it's much, much, much worse than Q90.
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post #29 of 72 Old 03-12-2020, 04:02 PM
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What are you talking about...

The Q90R (vs. the Q80R):

Higher contrast ratio
Higher SDR peak brightness
Higher HDR peak brightness
Better black uniformity
Larger color gamut
Larger color volume
Etc., etc., etc.

I had last year's Q80R and I thought the dimming algorithm was terrible so what you point out makes a lot of sense.
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post #30 of 72 Old 03-12-2020, 06:06 PM
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What a lot of people seem to miss = at least for you guys in the USA the Q90T has the same MSRP as the Q80R in 2019. If it is better than a Q80R then i think thats fair enough. It was clear that Samsung is moving the flagship specs into 8K. (also a 8K Q800T is the same MSRP as a Q90R)


Yes i know - of course a Q90R is now cheaper due to being longer on the market but that goes for every TV from last year.
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