Samsung - Samsung QE65Q90R


Samsung QE65Q90R: Samsung's highest-end Ultra HD LCD TV

Aprox. 2799€

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The QE65Q90R is Samsung's highest-end Ultra HD TV in 2019. It differs from the Q85R model that we tested by a backlight system made up of 480 zones against 96. Is that enough to make the difference?

Positive points

Very high brightness peak perfect for HDR.

Image quality in SDR mode.

Anti-reflective filter.

Remote control with hands-free microphone.

Remote box ideal for wall installation.

Blooming almost absent.

Bad points

HDR calibration always perfectible.

Impressive external housing.

Always unpleasant pumping effect with subtitles.

Our review


The Samsung QE65Q90R TV has a 65-inch 10/1 100/120 Hz VA panel (≈165 cm) with an Ultra HD definition of 3,840 x 2,160 px, but it stands out - like the Q80R, Q85R and Q950R - by l use of a new filter reducing reflections and blooming while improving viewing angles. It also has the Samsung AI Quantum Processor 4K processor, derived from the Q900R 8K model, which improves image clarity. In terms of backlighting, the television opts for a Full Led system composed of 480 zones called "Full Led Local Dimming Premium", against only 96 zones on the Q85R and 48 zones on the Q70R. The Samsung Q90R is compatible with HDR10, HDR10 + (competing standard for Dolby Vision carried by Samsung) and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). Regarding the audio part, the TV has a 4.2 system delivering 60 W. Finally, the Tizen in-house graphic interface is always on the move, as is the One Connect box which allows you to deport all of the connectors or even the mode Ambience that dresses the TV.

This Samsung QE65Q85R retails for around € 3,000. It is also available in a 55-inch version (≈140 cm / QE55Q90R) for € 2,500 and in a 75-inch version (≈190 cm / QE75Q90R) at a price of around € 5,000.

All the brightness and colorimetric measurements mentioned in this article were carried out with a SpectraCal C6-HDR probe and the CalMAN Ultimate software.

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Image quality

The presence of the new anti-reflection filter makes it very difficult to take pictures of the sub-pixels. They are just distinguished to confirm that it is indeed a VA panel.

It is however possible to take a picture of the upper layer of the filter which is made up of a kind of prism allowing to improve the viewing angles. If usually black tends to lighten on the sides, this is not the case here since it is even more black. Measured at 0.05 cd / m² on the front, it drops to 0.01 cd / m² on the side at 45 °. Samsung explains that it uses a filter placed between the backlight system and the LCD panel in order to concentrate the light and thus avoid light leaks which participate in blooming. The loss of brightness is also lower than that of other VA panels since we measured a loss of 48% of brightness against 70 to 75% for VA panels without filter and 25 to 30% for an Oled television set. Samsung has indeed improved its viewing angles and this is very visible. In practice, the variations are now very small and it is a real feat for an LCD TV of this type.

In Cinema mode, the Samsung QE65Q90R television displays colors that can be considered to be true to those sent by the source. We measured the average delta E at 1.5, a value below the threshold of 3 below which the human eye no longer perceives a difference between the colors displayed and the colors expected. Only brown and red exceed a delta E of 3.

The average gamma measured at 2.3 is fairly close to the reference value (2.4), and the curve displays good stability over the entire spectrum. On the other hand, there is an irregularity on the very light grays, consequence of the use of a dynamic backlighting system - impossible to disengage - which must manage the variations in gray levels while adjusting the brightness.

The average color temperature is 6,620 K, a value very close to the 6,500 K reference (video standard) and the curve is stable across the spectrum, so it's a flawless point.

We measured a contrast ratio of 5,190: 1 versus only 2,710: 1 on the Q85R. This difference can be explained by the greater number of zones which makes it possible to target more precisely the illuminated zones, and therefore to overlap less in the dark zones. This contrast value is obtained with a white at 150 cd / m² on the target at 35% and at 53 cd / m² on the target at 1% white, which results in an average of 102 cd / m² on the white and 0.03 cd / m² on black. This contrast is enhanced by the dynamic backlight system and, overall, the blacks displayed by this television are deep. The new filter significantly reduces blooming (halo effect around light objects on a black background). On the other hand, the pumping effect is always present and very visible with the use of subtitles. It is always impossible to completely disengage the dynamic backlight.

The new Samsung Quantum Processor 4K processor, derived from the Quantum Processor 8K of the Samsung QE75Q900R (8K), allows the Korean manufacturer to pass a course in terms of scaling and finally come to tease the best processors on the market (Sony and Philips) . In cinema mode, the engine for scaling HD content to Ultra HD is always just as smooth. It just smoothes out some details with some blurring effects. Fortunately, it does not distort the original source and does not produce artifacts. In standard mode, the engine is much more aggressive, like those of Philips and Sony, and allows you to artificially create details to make the image sharper - but this does not necessarily correspond to reality. The AutoMotion Plus motion compensation system is still as efficient and helps to produce - thanks to the 120 Hz panel - a sharp image in motion. The rendering with setting AutoMotion Plus to "Automatic" is good, but it is preferable to use the custom settings in order to limit the camcorder effect. The most sensitive can also deactivate AutoMotion Plus to avoid untimely jerks. The television also offers a scanning of the Clear Motion Led backlight which unfortunately causes a flickering of the clearly visible image.


With a maximum HDR signal of 10,000 cd / m², Samsung's Display Tone Mapping is doing quite well. There is no clipping (the maximum brightness level is reached at 100% of the signal), but Samsung has chosen to significantly increase the brightness in HDR in order to produce a brighter image without necessarily following the recommendations of the standard. For example, at 60%, the curve imposes a brightness of 240 cd / m², but the Samsung TV goes up to 450 cd / m².

With its 480 backlight zones, the Samsung Q90R television reaches a brightness peak of 1,715 cd / m². It's more than the 1,599 cd / m² of the Samsung QE65Q9F 2018, but a little less than the 1,940 cd / m² of the Sony 65ZF9 or even the 2,280 cd / m² of the Samsung 75Q900R (8K), but this peak is always higher than that of 800 cd / m² recorded on Oled televisions (LG 65C9 and even the impressive Panasonic 55GZ2000 which exceeds 900 cd / m²). On the other hand, with an HDR signal at 1000 cd / m², the Samsung television set does not respect it at all and stretches the curve to its maximum capacity, ie still 1,700 cd / m² to exploit the capacities of the television set - which does not seem normal to us.

HDR Cinema mode provides the best color rendering. We have measured an average delta E of 5.8, higher than the threshold of 3. This is a bit of the weak point of Samsung TVs which systematically lack precision in color management in HDR.

Probably a consequence of the use of the new filter improving viewing angles and the treatment of reflections, the Samsung QE65Q90R displays a lower colorimetric coverage compared to its predecessors. It is thus content with 68% of the Rec. 2020 space against 74% for the Samsung 65Q9F 2018.

Same observation with the DCI-P3 color space of which it covers only 89% of the colors, when its predecessor reached 95%. It's a bit of a shame knowing that all Oled TVs on the market currently cover more than 90% of the DCI-P3 which is the standard used by the cinema.

Video games

The Samsung QE65Q90R has an afterglow of only 10 ms. This is one of the best times recorded on an LCD TV since it matches that of the Sony 85ZG9. In addition, this television has one of the best display delays on the market. The 16 ms measured represent only one image of delay per second compared to the source (at 60 Hz). Samsung does not beat LG whose delay of 13 ms on the LG 65C9 has still not been equaled, but the action performed with the joystick is instantly reflected on the screen. All of this makes it a great companion for gaming. Samsung still offers the Motion Plus Games option which allows the motion compensation engine to be used in games at the cost of a slight increase in display delay. Finally, new for 2019, the Dynamic Black Equalizer function allows you to unblock dark areas. We then lose loyalty, but this is not the most important thing for competition. Finally, remember that the high brightness of the screen allows you to obtain very saturated colors and to play in comfortable conditions even in broad daylight in a very bright room.

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We are now evaluating the color fidelity in Game mode. By default, the TV's rendering is not good at all (a delta E greater than 10). To find a faithful display, you have to go to the expert parameters in order to deactivate the improvement of the contrasts, set the shade of colors to "Warm2" then choose the automatic color space. Once these adjustments have been made, we obtain a delta E at 6.3, closer to the recommended threshold of 3.


The Samsung QE65Q90R has a Full Led backlight system made up of 480 zones. The risk of clouding is less than on an Edge Led model, because the filter - which can be damaged during transport - plays a less important role in the distribution of light. Finally, we did not notice any light leaks on our test model. Blooming is also much less present than on last year's models. The new filter combined with a new processing algorithm allows Samsung to significantly reduce the presence of a halo around luminous objects on a dark background. The blooming visible on the subtitles is for example less annoying than on the previous Qleds, and we can also see a vignetting phenomenon in certain areas. This is the consequence of the sometimes aggressive management of the Samsung algorithm which reduces the brightness around light objects on a dark background.

The average difference in white homogeneity over the entire slab is measured at 11% - the eye detects nothing below 20%; a good figure for a 65 inch LCD panel.


The Samsung QE65Q90R television has a 60 W audio system consisting of four speakers and two subwoofers. Even if it exaggerates a little on the bass, it produces a very good sound for a television by perfectly covering the whole spectrum between 60 and 20,000 Hz. Note that the foot of the Q90R allows to install a sound bar and Samsung notably sold this television with the sound bar Samsung HW-Q70 which comes to place rather well under the television.


We measured consumption at 111 W on our target with a white set at 150 cd / m². The relative consumption is therefore at 95 W / m², which is slightly lower than the average of the televisions tested (around 100 W / m²). This television consumes more than televisions equipped with an Edge Led backlight system, including the Sony KD-65XD9305 (which is limited to 69 W / m²), but above all it is higher than that of the Samsung 65Q9F 2018 including the 480 zones do not consumes more than 87 W, ie 75 W / m². Ultimately, the Samsung QE65Q90R consumes as much as an Oled TV. Standby consumption is always less than 1 W.


The Samsung QE65Q90R is a very good Ultra HD TV, but the 480-zone backlight system doesn't make much of a difference from the Q85R's 96-zone limited system. If the luminous peak is more impressive and still allows to accentuate the speculars, the blooming remains present. More handicapping, Samsung still does not manage to erase the small defects in HDR while, on this point, the manufacturer's 8K models are beyond reproach. For the rest, the Samsung Q90R retains the undeniable qualities of high-end televisions from the Korean manufacturer such as the anti-reflective filter unrivaled on the market, the aluminum remote control and the complete and always very responsive Tizen system. This model is a very good alternative to Oled TVs thanks to its very high brightness peak and its reflection treatment.