Samsung 65-Inch Class QN90B Neo QLED TV Review (2022)

Samsung’s QN90A earned our Editors’ Choice award for high-end LCD TVs in 2021 because of its incredibly bright panel, wide color range, and broad array of features. The company’s follow-up, the QN90B, features a mini LED backlight with even more individual light zones than its predecessor. It's capable of a nearly bloom-free picture and visually perfect, OLED-like black levels. Although the new model isn’t quite as bright as the QN90A and doesn’t reach quite as deep into the greens, it boasts a more accurate white balance and still produces one of the best pictures we’ve seen on an LCD screen. The Samsung QN90B ($2,599.99 for the 65-inch model we tested) earns our Editors’ Choice award for LCD TVs, though the LG C2 OLED TV ($2,499.99 for the 65-inch model) remains our top overall pick because of its nearly perfect colors and easier-to-use interface.

Simple Style, and a Solar Remote

From the front, the QN90B looks almost identical to the S95B OLED TV. A black, quarter-inch border frames the active picture on the panel, and a narrow band of gray metal runs around the edge of the screen. A thin metallic strip sits along the bottom edge, and a small outcropping on the lower-right corner of the TV holds the far-field microphone, an infrared sensor, and a small power-input button. The QN90B rests on a flat, rectangular metal base that's almost identical to the one that the S95B uses; the exact width varies based on the size of the TV.

Samsung 65-Inch Class QN90B Neo QLED TV Review (1)

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From the side, the LED-backlit TV has a much thicker profile than the S95B: it's half-an-inch thick at the edges and widens in a gentle curve to a full inch. On the back, all of the physical connections except for the power cable are on the right side of the TV and face right. The TV includes four HDMI ports (one eARC), two USB ports, an Ethernet port, an optical audio output, a 3.5mm EX-LINK port, and an antenna/cable connector.

Samsung 65-Inch Class QN90B Neo QLED TV Review (2)

(Photo: Will Greenwald)

The clever Samsung Eco Remote is standard for the company’s high-end TVs. It’s a dark gray, rectangular wand with a built-in rechargeable battery. You can charge it via the USB-C port on the bottom or the solar cells on its back. (Simply place it under sunlight.) A large, circular directional pad is near the top with a pinhole microphone as well as microphone, Multi-View, power, and settings buttons above it. Channel and volume rockers, menu and playback buttons, and dedicated video streaming buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix, and Samsung TV Plus reside below the pad.

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Tizen Troubles

Samsung’s Tizen-based smart TV platform continues to frustrate, though it exhibits a few positive qualities. For instance, it unlocks access to most major streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube and YouTube TV (though it's missing Crunchyroll and Twitch). It also supports Apple AirPlay 2 for streaming from iPhones, iPads, and Macs, but not Chromecast for streaming from Android devices. A far-field microphone enables operations with the Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby voice assistants.

Samsung 65-Inch Class QN90B Neo QLED TV Review (17)

(Photo: Will Greenwald)

The problem with Samsung Smart TV is its menu structure. It buries most settings, apart from a few very specific presets, two or three layers down from where other TV interfaces put them. It also seems to constantly nudge users away from any granular controls. Switching among inputs is also more complicated than it should be; the remote has a multiple-source split-screen Multi-View button, but no simple input-switcher button.

Perfect Black Levels on an LCD?

The Samsung QN90B is a 4K LCD TV with a 120Hz refresh rate. It supports high dynamic range (HDR) content in HDR10, HDR10+, and hybrid log gamma (HLG). Curiously, Samsung continues to avoid Dolby Vision support on its TVs. That said, the QN90B notably features an ATSC 3.0 tuner, which means it's capable of picking up 1080p and 4K over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts if they're available in your area.

We test TVs using a Klein K-80 colorimeter(Opens in a new window), a Murideo SIX-G signal generator(Opens in a new window), and Portrait Displays' Calman software(Opens in a new window). The QN90B offers very strong picture quality, though, to our surprise, its numbers fall short of the QN90A’s, with one notable exception. In Movie mode with local dimming set to high and with an SDR signal, the QN90B showed a peak brightness of 343.498cd/m^2 with a full-screen white field and 984.527cd/m^2 with an 18% white field. The 18% peak brightness is more than 100cd/m^2 higher than the QN90A (869.032cd/m^2), though the full-screen peak brightness is a bit lower (407.806cd/m^2 for the QN90A).

With an HDR signal, the QN90B shows a peak brightness of 612.132cd/m^2 for a full-screen white field and 1,700.159cd/m^2 for an 18% white field. That’s about 200cd/m^2 lower than the QN90A in both cases (886.217cd/m^2 and 1,910.161cd/m^2, respectively).

Black level, and thus total contrast, is where the QN90B pulls ahead. That's impressive because the QN90A already shows very low black levels of 0.007cd/m^2 with an SDR signal and 0.005cd/m^2 with an HDR signal. However, the QN90B’s mini LED backlight array features significantly more light zones than the QN90A’s LED backlight array and can much more precisely dim and even completely turn off zones. The result is—and I’m surprised to say this—a perfect black level with no discernible light bloom to cloud the picture, produce halos around bright objects, or otherwise require me to qualify that it's not as good as an OLED. You might be able to see a small bit of light bleed around objects on the TV if you get physically close to it but, otherwise, it offers more or less perfect black levels.

To my eyes, the QN90B even managed to produce darker blacks than Samsung’s S95B OLED TV. OLED panels can control how much light each pixel produces, but the S95B’s panel has a quantum dot layer that reflects the slightest amount of ambient light. As a result, it appears a bit brighter when showing black levels than it technically emits. Although a black level of zero means that you can't calculate effective contrast, the QN90B’s contrast is visually higher than the S95B, too.

Samsung 65-Inch Class QN90B Neo QLED TV Review (18)

Unfortunately, the QN90B’s color performance doesn’t hit the same ranges as the S95B and QN90A. The above chart shows color levels with an SDR signal compared against the Rec.709 broadcast standard color space and color levels with an HDR signal compared against the DCI-P3 digital cinema color space, out of the box in the Movie picture mode. SDR performance is very close to spot-on, with a bit of color drift across the board. HDR performance is a bit undersaturated in the greens, an issue the QN90A didn’t have. The S95B, for comparison, showed nearly perfect colors with both signals. To its credit, though, the QN90B reaches deeper into the reds and shows ideal white balance; the other two TVs’ whites run a little bit more green or magenta than they should.

A Vibrant Viewing Experience

Despite its slightly undersaturated greens in testing with an HDR signal, BBC’s Planet Earth II looks fantastic on the QN90B. Plant hues are vibrant and varied without appearing oversaturated, while the blues of the water and the sky are similarly vivid. The picture shows well-balanced contrast, too; fine detail like bark and fur appear clearly in the shade and avoid looking too bright or washed-out.

The red of Deadpool’s costume looks balanced and well-saturated in the mostly overcast opening scene of Deadpool. The picture is bright and brings out the limited sun in the car sequence without throwing off the relatively cool grading. The flames in the burning lab fight have a nice amount of texture, and I noted a strong amount of variation in the flickering oranges and yellows of the fire. Shadow details come through clearly in bright flames and still appear fairly dark.

The high-contrast party scenes in The Great Gatsby show off just how bright the QN90B can get, along with its strong black levels. With local dimming set to high, the stark whites of lights and balloons stand out, while the cuts and contours of black suits are visible (though still very dark). However, those shadows get slightly muddy when you set local dimming to a standard level. Skin tones all appear natural, and the bits of color in the otherwise nearly monochrome shots really pop.

Samsung 65-Inch Class QN90B Neo QLED TV Review (19)

(Photo: Will Greenwald)

Plenty of Gaming Features

Gamers should like the QN90B because of its generous gaming features and low input lag. Besides its 120Hz refresh rate, it supports variable refresh rate (VRR) via AMD FreeSync Premium, plus offers an auto low-latency mode (ALLM). And, despite our frustrations with Samsung’s Smart TV platform, its pop-up Game Bar is very helpful; it shows which gaming features are on and the current refresh rate of the TV.

Input lag appears very low but, due to testing conditions, we had to use different equipment from what we ordinarily use to measure latency. Rather than our HDFury Diva HDMI matrix(Opens in a new window), we used a Leo Bodnar 1080p Video Signal Tester(Opens in a new window) to evaluate the QN90B. In Game mode, it showed an input lag of 9.8 milliseconds, just under our 10ms threshold to consider a TV one of the best for gaming. The Leo Bodnar tester tends to show higher input lag than the Diva due to how the aging device works, so we are confident that the TV has a latency low enough to satisfy gamers.

An Excellent High-End TV, With Quirks

The Samsung QN90B is a worthy successor to the QN90A with a mini LED backlight system that enables incredible contrast. We’re surprised to see a slightly worse color range compared with its predecessor, but it still produces a fantastic picture that holds up against any manufacturer’s flagship model, including OLEDs like the LG C2 and Samsung’s S95B. The QN90B’s contrast is even superior to the S95B to the naked eye because it appears to reflect much less ambient light. Thus, this excellent, very bright TV earns our Editors’ Choice award for high-end LED models.

We still recommend the LG C2 a bit more highly because of its fantastic colors and more intuitive smart TV platform, though the QN90B might be a better pick if your viewing environment gets a lot of natural light. Finally, the vastly more affordable Hisense U8G and TCL 6-Series 4K Google TV (both 65-inch versions at $1,299.99) are also strong choices, even if they don't offer contrast levels quite as impressive.

(Opens in a new window)

See It$2,599.99 at Samsung(Opens in a new window)

MSRP $2,599.99

Pros

  • Fantastic contrast with visually perfect blacks and little to no light bloom

  • Ideal white balance

  • Hands-free voice assistants and Apple AirPlay 2

  • Solar-powered, rechargeable remote

View More

Cons

  • Color and peak brightness aren't quite as strong as predecessor's

  • Samsung's smart TV interface is still frustrating to navigate

  • No Dolby Vision support

The Bottom Line

The Samsung QN90B’s mini LED backlight results in a bright picture with effectively perfect black levels, though brightness and color could be slightly better.

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(Video) Samsung 65" QN90B 4K 120Hz Review: The New Standard for TVs

FAQs

Is Samsung Neo Qled as good as OLED? ›

Neo QLED is a newer technology with better specs and performance in areas such as bright picture quality but OLED still holds its ground with an “infinite” contrast ratio and more.

What is the difference between Samsung QN95B and QN90B? ›

Our Verdict

The Samsung QN90B QLED and the Samsung QN95B QLED deliver nearly identical performance; the biggest difference between them is their design. The QN95B's inputs are all housed in an external One Connect box instead of on the back of the TV.

Is QLED neo better than QLED? ›

In a nutshell, LED TVs give you good contrast and energy efficiency, QLED TVs have higher resolutions, brighter and vibrant colours, while Neo QLED is the latest landmark precision TV technology by Samsung.

Is Samsung Neo Qled better than LG OLED? ›

Is Neo QLED Better than OLED? The short answer to this question is No. The long answer is that it depends on what you expect from your TV. Yes, the new Neo QLED TVs deliver much better black levels than the previous QLED models, but it's still not as good as the true blacks you get on an OLED display.

Is Samsung Neo QLED worth it? ›

If you can afford it, there are few reasons not to consider getting a Neo QLED TV – its performance is truly spellbinding for an LCD TV – but it comes at quite the cost, so if you're interested in getting a Samsung TV at lower prices then consider the traditional QLED line of even the Korean company's Crystal UHD range ...

Does neo QLED burn in? ›

According to Samsung, the QLED TVs received certification for “no burn-in”, as well as “no after glow”—which makes Samsung's QLED TVs one of the most durable displays around. If you're keen, Samsung's 2021 Neo QLED models are now available in Malaysia.

Does QN90B have one connect box? ›

Unlike the Samsung QN95B QLED, which uses an external input box known as the One Connect box, the inputs are inset into the back of the TV. Unfortunately, they're difficult to access if you wall-mount the TV with a fixed bracket. The Samsung QN90B has fantastic build quality.

What is the difference between QN85B and QN90B? ›

The Samsung QN90B QLED is much better than the Samsung QN85B QLED. The QN90B has much better contrast, with deeper blacks and better uniformity in dark scenes. The QN90B also has much better reflection handling, so it's a better choice for a bright room, and it gets significantly brighter during most scenes in HDR.

Does Samsung One Connect box come with the TV? ›

The One Connect Box is included with Samsung Frame TVs to provide a single connection hub for all cables in one place so the signals can be brought to the TV via a One Connect Cord.

How long does neo Qled last? ›

Samsung QLED TVs are expected to last an average of 8 to 10 years with heavy use or between 70,000 and 100,000 hours of use. Most people don't use their TV all day, every day, so you can expect it to last even longer.

Is Samsung QN90A worth the money? ›

Our Verdict. The Samsung QN90A is an excellent TV for any use. It's excellent for movies in dark rooms as its VA panel provides an excellent native contrast ratio and has a great local dimming to display deep blacks.

Is QLED worth the extra money? ›

Generally, a QLED TV will have better color display capability than a regular LCD, boosting brights and blacks while still relying on an LED backlight, bringing out over a billion hues and shades of colors with deep darks and scintillating lights.

What TV has the best picture? ›

Best TV. The best TV we've tested is the LG C1 OLED. It's a high-end TV with lots of features and has remarkable picture quality in dark rooms. OLEDs are unique because their individual pixels turn on and off on their own, resulting in a near-infinite contrast ratio.

Is LG TV better than Samsung? ›

If you're budget-minded, favor OLED screen technology, and want a slightly more capable Smart platform overall, LG TVs are the right option. In contrast, if you're looking to buy a TV with a stronger brand behind it, want features like HDR 10+, and prefer QLED displays, Samsung is the better choice for you.

Is OLED better than QLED? ›

Unlike QLED TVs, OLED displays don't typically use quantum dots. That said, Sony and Samsung are both set to introduce their first "QD-OLED" TVs in 2022. These TVs still rely on OLED technology, but they also incorporate quantum dots to offer better color performance.

What is better crystal UHD or neo Qled? ›

Crystal UHD TVs are superior to standard 4k displays, but they cannot compete with the picture quality of QLED displays. QLED TVs will provide a more authentic and vivid experience of color.

Why is neo Qled better? ›

Neo QLED changes things up a little. The direct array is replaced by a Mini LED backlight, using tens of thousands of tiny LEDs for vastly more precise brightness control. It's not quite on the level of OLED, with its individual pixel control, but it's certainly a step up for LCD screens.

How does Neo QLED compare to OLED? ›

LG OLED vs Samsung Neo QLED Mini LED TV Comparison - YouTube

Is QLED harmful? ›

Unfortunately, the heavy metal cadmium used in the production of many quantum dots is a health and environmental hazard. Under the European Restrictions on Hazardous Substances directive, its use is restricted in electronic equipment.

What does Neo mean in TVs? ›

What does Neo QLED mean? Neo QLED technology is an advancement of Samsung's QLED technology, which stands for 'Quantum dot LED'.

Are QLED TVs the best? ›

QLED comes out on top on paper, delivering a higher brightness, longer lifespan, larger screen sizes, lower price tags, and no risk of burn-in. OLED, on the other hand, has a better viewing angle, deeper black levels, uses less power, is killer for gaming, and might be better for your health.

Which is best QLED or OLED? ›

In terms of brightness, the performance of the QLED TV is superior to the OLED TV as QLED TV relies on an LED backlight to emit light. QLED is brighter than any other OLED model which can serve to be a great advantage if you want to see HDR content in a bright room or even a dark room.

Is Samsung QN90A worth the money? ›

Tom's Guide Verdict. It's over a year old now, but the Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV's mini-LED backlighting makes for unmatched picture brightness, while a bounty of smart features and a new eco-friendly remote complete the premium experience.

Is QLED or OLED better for bright rooms? ›

QLED TVs are the best type of TV for bright rooms because they have the highest peak brightness up to 2000 nits and more while OLED TVs can reach 500-600 nits. So QLED is the best type of TV for Bright Rooms.

Is the QN85A worth buying? ›

The Samsung QN85A is great for mixed usage. It performs very well in bright settings, thanks to its high brightness and superb reflection handling. It delivers a good viewing experience in dark rooms, but it has a low native contrast ratio, and there's some blooming around bright objects with local dimming enabled.

Videos

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2. Samsung QN90B Full Review | Could This Be The Perfect QLED 4K TV?
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3. 2022 Samsung QN90B Neo QLED TV Unboxing
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