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Samsung 65-inch QN90B QLED TV review: The best TV for brightly lit spaces

The Samsung QN90B QLED 4K smart TV brings a bright, crisp, clear picture straight to your living room, no matter how sunlit the space is.
rebecca-isaacs
Written by Rebecca Isaacs, Staff Writer on
Pros
  • Vivid detailed picture
  • Smart calibration feature
  • Bright screen for bright spaces
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Confusing homepage
  • No Dolby Vision

When my old 55-inch Samsung LED TV died, I couldn't live without seeing my favorite shows in my living room. I wanted an even larger 4K TV to capture the fine detailing on Bridgerton costuming. That's where Samsung's latest model, the 65-inch QN90B QLED TV, comes in. It gave me the bright, gorgeous picture that I wanted in a TV, and proved to be especially suitable for my sunlit apartment.

Specs

Screen Size

64.5 inches

Resolution

3,840 x 2,160

Color

100% Color Volume with Quantum Dot

High Dynamic Range

Quantum HDR 32x

Picture Processor

Neo Quantum Processor 4K

Viewing Angle

Ultra Viewing Angle

Adaptive Picture

Optimized, EyeComfort

Auto Motion Plus

Yes

Refresh Rate

120Hz

Nits

1700.16

Audio

Dolby MS12 5.1ch

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Wi-Fi 5

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 5.2

HDMI Ports

4

USB 2.0 Ports

2

Samsung QN90B QLED TV
Rebecca Isaacs

Set Up

I don't recommend setting up the QN90B solo; I enlisted my partner to help me screw in the mount and shift the TV on our TV stand. You wouldn't think a razor-thin TV measuring only one inch in width would weigh that much, but the TV weighs over 50 pounds. That said, from unboxing to placement, it took only 20 minutes.

Setting up the software proved easy as well. The TV allows setup on a smartphone through the SmartThings app. I had to download this app on my phone, but once I did, it also acted as a remote in addition to the solar-powered remote Samsung provided with the TV. Setup also checked if I had an Amazon or Google smart home system (spoiler alert: I do), and connected the TV to it, allowing me to rename it for future voice commands. 

Samsung's UI/UX

One of the first features I noticed about the display was that motion smoothing was on, giving every movement on-screen a soap opera-like effect, but it also provided the 3-dimensional depth Samsung mentioned. I loved the 3D feel but couldn't get past feeling like I watched a soap opera, and fiddled with the settings to turn this off. You'll find this setting under Picture Clarity, specifically under the Expert Settings. In the main settings area, you can find a host of presets, including features like Intelligent Mode, EyeComfort Mode, Film Mode, and others.

Samsung QN90B QLED TV

Adjust the picture manually under expert settings; otherwise, you can also use the smart calibration feature straight from your smartphone.

Rebecca Isaacs

It took me some time to play around with the settings, even googling at times what the perfect calibration for a QN90B TV was because I couldn't quite get to a place where I felt satisfied. I still felt motion smoothing was on, or the screen was too dark when I got the smoothing figured out, as examples. For those that don't want to fiddle with the settings like I did, the SmartThings app provides smart automatic calibration in seconds. I recommend using this feature to save you time and energy.

The biggest complaint I have about the QN90B came from the Samsung home screen. Based on my hours of surfing Reddit, I knew going into testing that I would be dealing with an interface that was less than user-friendly. What I didn't realize was how unfriendly it would be. 

Samsung QN90B QLED TV

The homescreen came muddled, with my preferred apps like Hulu and HBO Max featured in small icons at the top, and other content jammed below.

Rebecca Isaacs

The homepage brings your streaming services plus live TV straight to your living room, complete with live TV recommendations and movies and TV shows that are free on-demand. However, Samsung emphasizes their programming over your apps, and the widgets to enter your apps are smaller than the live TV and on-demand recommendations. It's a miniature-sized gripe in the grand scheme of this gargantuan-sized television though.

Connectivity

For those who like to game or those who prefer to use soundbars, the connection options can be found behind the TV display. In addition to the cable connection, you'll also find an ethernet (LAN) input, two USB 2.0 ports, and 4 HDMI 2.1 ports, including a 4K connection. Since it's tucked away and connects via a small side insert, you can mount this TV flush to the wall. Additionally, you can connect your home system to the TV's Wi-Fi connection for ease of use when pulling up shows and other voice commands.

Performance and image quality

Once the TV was set up to my liking, I started viewing older content to test the automatic 4K AI upscaling, tossing on 1995's Sense and Sensibility as I'm having a regency obsession. When Kate Hudson's Marianne came into view, I could see the character's every ringlet in clear detail, and see the stitching on each gown. 

In contrast, I swapped over to Bridgerton to experience the detailing and costuming and felt blown away. Every jewel shined and I could see the stitching on the Queen's gown during the episode I watched. The QN90B boasts over a billion colors with its quantum dot technology, and after seeing the vibrant hues in the ton's parties coupled with Barton Cottage's bright green countryside, I believe it. I also attribute it to the mini-LEDs -- 8 million of them, coupled with specialized dimming zones and the 120Hz refresh rate this TV boasts. And, of course, the 1700 nits of brightness this TV packs.

Samsung QN90B QLED TV

The Queen's costuming stood out in life-like imagery on the 65-inch screen.

Rebecca Isaacs

Those dimming zones and the mini-LEDs work to bring enhanced picture to your viewing experience – and it works in any space. I couldn't watch darker shows in my living room with my previous TV because I couldn't see the actors in the afternoon sun. With the QN90B, I can, and can see each actor vividly.

As I previously mentioned, 3-dimensional layering is packed into this TV, and even on older classics like Seinfeld, the effect makes you feel like you're in the middle of the café with Jerry and George. This 3D doesn't reflect across all programming -- just those upscaled in the Ultra 4K, or those primarily using 4K, as I discovered while viewing Peaking Blinders and Umbrella Academy

I didn't notice a difference on some picture settings, such as the Intelligent Mode versus the EyeComfort Mode -- a mode that works to reduce eye strain while you're watching your shows or gaming into the late night hours by reducing blue light while keeping the picture's integrity. The same was true for Film Mode.

On the Samsung Homepage, I could also place ambient modes on-screen for when I needed to focus on my work or read Persuasion ahead of the film's release. Ranging from gentle forest views to rainy days and fireplaces, there was always something to mimic exactly the mood I felt while enjoying a light background noise.

Samsung QN90B QLED TV

Jesse and Terry of "Solar Opposites" are an extra vibrant green hue on the QLED screen.

Rebecca Isacs

There were reports of light blooms on the TV, but I didn't see anything that indicated these light bloom quality issues. Additionally, the TV lacks Dolby Vision but makes up for it by using its own integrated HDR+ and HDR10 technology. I didn't experience major issues with this, but noticed during some viewing that some colors appear brighter than others, such as making Jesse and Terry of Solar Opposites greener than on my former TV.

Bottom line

My experience with the Samsung QN90B over the last few weeks has been a simply magical. Some users might be put off by the confuddling home screen, but if you need a bright picture for your bright living room or want high-quality 4K imagery, then this TV could be perfect for your needs. Those that just want a large, lifelike clear picture without wanting to deeply dive into the specs will also greatly enjoy this TV. 

Alternatives to consider

If you're on the fence about the Samsung QN90B as the TV for you, we've picked out some alternatives below, so be sure to check those out.

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