Samsung QN85Q900R 85" 8K QLED TV Review
The Samsung QLED 8K TV. Hey, you only live once.
An 8K TV? An actual, bonafide, 85-inch, 8K TV? Well butter our butts and call us a biscuit – yes it is, compliments of Samsung. And let’s get two things straight right at the top: 1) The Q900 is not a gimmick, it’s an insanely awesome television, a $15K Samsung no less, and 2) believe it or not, 8K resolution is not the big story here. Not yet, anyway.
To wit: though 8K content is in development, it’s still a few years away – so there are no 8K shows or movies to watch just yet. Naturally, this begs the question, “if you can afford a $15K, 8K TV, why would you want one now?” Two reasons. At the moment, the Samsung Q900 is the most future-proofed TV on the planet – so if you plan on keeping your new TV for a few years, this one will handle 8K when 8K content eventually comes. Two, and this is the biggie: what Samsung’s 8K processor and upscaling technology (explained below) does for existing HD and 4K content is remarkable– and it’s how the Q900 earned its place among World Wide Stereo’s “Best TVs of 2020.”
Want to see if for yourself? The Samsung QN85Q900R is now on display in our showrooms and available for pre-order in-store and online with the first shipments arriving in February. Though other sizes are available overseas, the 85-inch model is the only one currently available in the United States with three more sizes expected to arrive from Samsung in 2019.
On to a closer look...
Go big or go home: size + tech highlights.
Remember way back, like 12-18 months ago, when 55 and
65-inch TVs were considered gigantic? And then 4K came along, and suddenly TVs
had four times more pixels than HiDef TV? Well now we’re talking 85-inches – a
little over seven feet corner to corner, plus four times more pixels than 4K
TV, which was already amazing. So pardon the hyperbole, but for those of us in
the business, an 85-inch 8K TV is head-exploding territory.
- Real 8K resolution. Can’t emphasize this enough. Samsung’s new AI Quantum 8K Processor handles over 33 million pixels @ 30 times per second. (For comparison’s sake, HD = a little over 2 million pixels, 4K = a little over 8 million pixels.) Just remember: though the Q900 is a true 8K TV, there’s no 8K content… yet. But there’s this: Samsung’s 8K AI Upscaling2.
- The best part: Samsung’s 8K AI Upscaling2. Upscaling is about converting a lower resolution picture to a higher resolution picture by adding pixels. (From regular HD to 4K, or in this case, from 4K to 8K.) Every TV manufacturer has their own way of accomplishing this, and though some are pretty good at it, many are not. Samsung, LG and Sony are far and away the best, though Samsung is the only one with an 8K Quantum processor. Samsung’s 8K Quantum processor uses artificial intelligence to literally remaster, in real time, current HD and 4K content. A database then evaluates millions of HD and 4K content sets via an AI that develops upscaling algorithms written to smooth edges and improve texture, while reducing noise and blurring. What does that mean? It means the new pixels added are extremely accurate, high-quality pixels that look like they belong – like they’re part of the original picture. Technically speaking, the result is true 8K, but as for in-person reality – think 4K-on-steroids, or the best 4K picture we’ve seen yet. Low-tech translation: the Q900 will make any HD or 4K show or movie look a little better / brighter / crisper.
- 10X Maximum brightness. Samsung’s HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology now offers a maximum brightness 10X higher than even Samsung’s own conventional 4K TVs. This boost, along with brilliant color by way of quantum dots and true blacks via local dimming, lends an immersive, lifelike depth to any scene – particularly dramatically-lit scenes. The Q900 also automatically adjusts for the room’s natural brightness.
- Color volume. Though color fades in bright scenes, QLEDs like the Q900 come with Color Volume to reinvigorate washed-out color where needed. According to Samsung: QLED TVs produce 100% color volume in the DCI-P3 color space – the format for most cinema screens.
- Intelligent sound. The Q900’s QLED 8K processor analyzes every audio channel in real time as a way to optimize sound and punch up pin-drop-like subtleties – even in sonic chaos.
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi • 4 HDMI • 3 USB • Ethernet • 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical) • Audio Return • Channel Support
A work of art when off, too.
- Ambient Mode: With the Samsung SmartThings app on your phone, you can set your Q900 to “Ambient Mode” which allows the Q900 screen to mimic the wall behind it to better blend in. You can also overlay real art, photos, or in an office setting, helpful information.
- The One Connect Box: If you hang the Q900 on a wall, you’ll be glad to know there’s just one slim optical cord for all power and video connections via Samsung’s One Connect Box. Samsung’s One Connect Box was developed for the express purpose of hiding away – and making tidy – everything you might connect to your TV, like Blu-ray players and game consoles. You can stream 4K content from a number of Netflix-like sources through the One Connect Box as well, and you can control the box any number of ways – through hand motions, your voice, your phone or the included remote control. (Serious question: why would anyone opt for the hand motions idea? Seems kind of silly to me but I know others that love it.)
- Smart with the SmartThings app: With Samsung’s SmartThings app, you get full control of everything on your phone. (Nifty new trick: Have to walk away in the middle of a show? The Q900 will mirror the picture and/or the audio to your phone – so you don’t miss a thing.) Bottom line: like pretty much every new TV these days, the Q900 is whip smart. And, obviously, an 85-inch TV makes for a very cool hub for all your smart home devices – a la “Minority Report.” Check your webcams, see what’s on the fridge, get alerted when the wash is done, summon your robot vacuum cleaner, all that good stuff.
- Good looking, too: The Q900 is a looker. A very thin black edge surrounds the screen and lends a certain elegance. You can mount it flush to the wall, or put it atop a cabinet using its two handsome, understated feet. On its stand, even at 85-inches, the Q900 is understated and smart looking.And in “Ambient mode” (see above), the TV really does blend in well, in spite of its monstrous size.
- Universal guide and Bixby: Samsung’s smart guide lets you browse and find shows through your remote, or by voice command. And Samsung’s virtual assistant “Bixby” can personalize content just for you once it learns what you like.
4K vs 8K. Let’s get real.
If you’re sitting more than three feet way from your TV, and of course you are, it’s close to impossible to tell the difference between 4K and 8K. Move in a little closer, however, and it’s a different story – you will see minute details in 8K that simply aren’t there in 4K. This isn’t a reflection of today’s TV techology, it’s a reflection of the limits of the human eye, and what the human eye can, and can not, discern at certain distances.
So, given no one watches TV with their nose on the screen, is there really any benefit to 8K? In this case, yes. When we put Samsung’s big 8K TV next to anyone else’s big 4K TV, there was definitely a difference – no matter how close, or far away, we sat. Though not necessarily sharper, Samsung’s 8K picture was, without question: brighter, deeper and richer overall – and Samsung’s 8K AI Upscaling2 technology is why. There is also a lot going between the viewers' ears here that contributes to the viewing experience that defies explanation. It's like the difference between an original Van Gogh and a copy. Though technically exact in every way, the original just looks so much better.
For now, in an industry where things change quickly, the
Samsung Q900 8K TV may just be the best TV on the planet. Just don’t expect 8K
to be twice as good as 4K. Not possible, unless maybe you’re Tony Stark. In the meantime, everything you see on it will be a wonderful improvement.
A few words of
advice, re: how to order a $15,000 TV online.
You wouldn’t buy a 2-carrot diamond engagement ring from a street vendor, the same way you wouldn’t order a custom-tailored suit from Craig’s List. When you’re living large and out to buy the “best of anything,” like say a $15,000 8K TV, you want a trusted, respected dealer with a long history of success + thousands of happy satisfied customers to take care of you. We’ve got just the people:
World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading
audio/video professionals who love what they do, and talking about it. We
opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet die-hard following, won a slew of
national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer
service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of
like-minded TV-watching / music-listening / gear-loving defenders of fun for
the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy.
With us, you get our Happiness Guarantee:
- Free shipping.
- 60-day returns.
- Price Match Guarantee. See it somewhere else for less? Not likely, but if you do, we’ll meet any authorized dealer's price, any time.
- Award-winning support. Not so long ago, we took #2 in the country according to USA Today. (Amazon was #1.) So yeah, you're good.
- Service even years after the sale. Some of our best repeat customers keep coming back to us because they know we’re always here for them. Always. Hence our rule: “no one leaves unhappy.” Ever.
- We’re brutally honest when it come to this stuff. Want to know if something is as good as advertised? Even if you're shopping somewhere else? Call us, we’ll give it to you straight.
- We love what we do, and we love sharing that love.