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Samsung QN900C review: Taking Mini LED to the 8K max

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £6799
inc VAT

The Samsung QN900C Neo QLED combines 8K and Mini LED technologies to deliver stunning HDR images but is extremely expensive


  • Incredibly detailed pictures
  • Peerless HDR performance
  • Immersive audio delivery


  • No Dolby Vision

The Samsung QN900C is the brand’s latest Neo QLED 8K TV, and while not wildly different from last year’s offering, represents the zenith of modern TV technology.

Aside from the 8K resolution and a Mini LED backlight, this LCD TV includes class-leading local dimming algorithms and state-of-the-art AI-enhanced image processing.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the clever One Connect Box, a comprehensive smart platform, an extensive set of gaming features, some stunning industrial design, and an immersive audio system that supports Dolby Atmos. There’s no Dolby Vision, but that’s not a major issue given the QN900C’s HDR capabilities and doesn’t prevent it from being an impressive high-end tech statement.

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Samsung QN900C review: Key specifications

Screen sizes available:65in QE65QN900C
75in QE75QN900C
85in QE85QN900C
Panel type:LCD (Neo QLED)
Resolution:8K/UHD (7,680 x 4,320)
Refresh rate:144Hz
HDR formats:HDR, HLG, HDR10+
Audio enhancement:Object Tracking Sound Pro, Dolby Atmos
HDMI inputs:4 x HDMI 2.1
Freeview Play compatibility:No
Tuners:Terrestrial, cable, satellite
Gaming features:8K at 60Hz, 4K at 144Hz, ALLM, VRR (FreeSync), Game Bar
Wireless connectivity:802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.2
Smart assistants:Bixby built-in; works with Alexa and Google Assistant
Smart platform:Tizen

Samsung QN900C review: What you need to know

The Samsung QN900C is an HDR smart TV and is the flagship 8K (7,680 x 4,320) model in the company’s Neo QLED lineup for 2023. It uses a VA LCD panel with a quantum dot filter, Mini LED backlight with a massive number of zones, the updated Neo Quantum HDR 8K Pro processor, and Quantum Matrix technology for improved contrast and better energy consumption.

As with other Samsung TVs, the Tizen-powered smart platform includes all the main streaming services, there’s support for HDR10, HLG, and HDR10+, plus a myriad of features aimed at the latest gaming consoles and graphics cards. Finally, the TV incorporates an impressive sound system thanks to Object Tracking Sound Pro and onboard Dolby Atmos decoding.

The QN900C range includes 65in, 75in and 85in screen sizes, and for this review, we’re evaluating the 75in Samsung QE75QN900C.

Samsung QN900C review: Price and competition

The 65in Samsung QN900C costs £5,099, the 75in QN900C reviewed here retails for £6,799, and the 85in QN900C is priced at £9,599.

Samsung dominates the 8K TV market, with the largest number of options within its range and the cheapest prices. Aside from the QN900C, there’s also the QN800C and QN700C, with screen sizes of 65in (£4,299), 75in (£5,599), and 85in (£6,999) in the case of the former, and 55in (£2,899), 65in (£3,799) and 75in (£5,099) for the latter.

If you’re looking for alternatives, your best bet is Sony with its 8K LCD offerings, including the 75in Z9K (£7,499) and 85in Z9K (£9,499). Anyone with their heart set on an 8K OLED TV will need deep pockets, with the 77in LG Z2 currently retailing for £11,999.

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Samsung QN900C review: Design, connections and control

The Samsung QN900C uses an Infinity Screen design, with virtually no bezel and a slab-like chassis where a total of 10 speakers and two woofers are cunningly hidden. All of Samsung’s new 8K TVs come with a One Connect Box, which means there’s a single cable attached to the panel.

This makes wall mounting tidy, although if you’re thinking along these lines you’ll need a good bracket and a solid wall because the QN900C is really heavy. This isn’t just because of the 75in screen size, but also because this is a well-constructed and beautifully finished TV. The stand is equally robust and easy to install on narrow surfaces but the same caveat applies, anything you stand this TV on will need to be solid.

You have the choice of locating the One Connect Box away from the TV or attaching it to the back of the stand. The connections in the box include four HDMI inputs, one of which supports eARC, and all are capable of handling 4K/144Hz, VRR and ALLM. There are also two USB inputs, twin terrestrial and satellite tuners, a CI slot, an optical digital output, and an Ethernet port. In terms of wireless connections, there’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and support for Apple AirPlay 2.

The Solar Cell remote is the same simplified version included with all of Samsung’s TVs this year. As a high-end controller, it’s a bit disappointing, but the eco-conscious will appreciate that it’s made from recycled plastic and uses solar power to recharge the batteries.

The zapper is a bit small and fiddly but remains intuitive with most of the necessary controls, plus direct access keys for Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+. It’s comfortable to hold and has all the buttons sensibly laid out, thus making them easy to access with one hand.

Samsung QN900C review: Smart TV platform

The Samsung QN900C has the same Tizen operating system as all the other TVs in the brand’s range, which uses a full-page home screen emphasising recommendations.

There’s a Media section where all the main streaming apps and important inputs are found and a Game section that provides access to connected consoles and streamed gaming services. It’s slightly annoying that you have to go to this section to select a connected console, but otherwise, the idea of curating all the game-related content in one area makes sense.

The emphasis on recommendations makes searching for content more straightforward, while Samsung’s TV Plus offers an expanded channel lineup. The Smart Hub automatically detects and connects smart devices in a single location, and the HDMI ports also detect and set up newly connected devices.

Samsung offers a comprehensive selection of video streaming services, with Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Now TV, Rakuten, YouTube, and all the UK catch-up services. All these apps proved responsive, with 4K, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Atmos where appropriate.

The SmartThings app makes setup simple, as well as providing a degree of control, and there’s also Bixby built-in, along with the ability to work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can even access Siri via Apple’s AirPlay 2 if that’s your preference.

Smart Calibration Pro is a new feature that enables you to calibrate any supporting Samsung TV with a smartphone (iOS or Android). Just run the app, which connects to the TV over Wi-Fi, hold the phone camera over the test patterns, and follow the instructions – the software does the rest.

The Basic option calibrates the greyscale and colour gamut in around 30 seconds, and works surprisingly well, with DeltaEs below the visible threshold of three for SDR and HDR. There’s also an Advanced option that takes longer but is more flexible and delivers even greater accuracy.

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Samsung QN900C review: Image quality

The Samsung QN900C’s big selling point is its 8K resolution, so now is a good time to address the elephant in the room: the lack of actual 8K content. At present, there really isn’t much 8K stuff to watch, although Samsung is doing its best to provide greater choice.

This year Samsung plans to provide the opportunity to own 8K NFT content via the Ambient Hub, plus there will be an 8K YouTube preset within the user interface of the smart platform. Finally, thanks to the latest graphics cards, 8K gaming on a PC is now a possibility.

However, it’s fair to say the majority of content you’ll be watching for the foreseeable future will be 4K or lower, so the processing on the QN900C is vitally important to make the most of its 33 million pixels. Thankfully, the latest Neo Quantum HDR 8K Pro processing is first class.

This AI-enhanced powerhouse brings out all the details in content, regardless of resolution, and flawlessly upscales anything below 8K to deliver finely rendered images free of banding or compression artefacts. The result is pictures that always look incredible, despite the whopping great 75in screen.

The Mini LED backlight is another key factor in the QN900C’s ability to deliver class-leading picture quality for an LCD TV. The VA panel offers good uniformity, despite its size, with deep blacks, and excellent definition just above black, bringing out all the details in the shadows.

Using a moving dot test pattern reveals there are 60 horizontal and 32 vertical zones, giving a total of 1,920 independently dimmable zones. This is the same as last year, but when combined with Samsung’s peerless local dimming algorithms delivers exceptional contrast.

The screen filter is effective at absorbing direct light, as well as rejecting ambient light from the room, thus producing an equally impressive contrast during the day. However, as with previous years, a strong light source at the side can result in some distracting reflections on the screen.

The off-axis performance of this 8K TV is also excellent, and an improvement on last year when there was some blooming. The optimal viewing angles appear to be wider, and while not quite as good as an OLED TV, there is minimal blooming even with HDR at extreme angles.

The QN900C ships in the Eco mode to comply with energy usage requirements, and while the accuracy of the greyscale isn’t bad, the gamma wildly deviates from its target. The Filmmaker mode corrects this, producing a DeltaE error score of below two, and a gamma tracking 2.4 correctly.

The colour accuracy is also excellent, with an average DeltaE below the visible threshold of three. There are extensive calibration controls, and in testing, we could improve the overall accuracy, with an average greyscale error that was down to just 0.5.

The image accuracy, deep blacks, excellent shadow detail, precisely rendered pixels, and purely defined colours result in stunning SDR pictures. The motion handling is equally impressive, with the QN900C delivering fluid movement that’s free of any judder or unwanted artefacts.

Samsung QN900C review: HDR performance

As excellent as the SDR images are, when it comes to HDR the Samsung QN900C is particularly stunning. All the picture quality strengths already mentioned still apply, but the peak brightness hits 2,200cd/m2 on a 10% window and 532cd/m2 on a full-field pattern.

This is especially impressive given the sheer size of the screen and means the QN900C can accurately display 1,000 nits HDR content without needing to resort to much tone mapping, but if necessary it precisely tracks the PQ target with grades using 1,000, 4,000 or 10,000 nits.

The HDR greyscale measurements are very accurate, tracking red, green, and blue almost exactly, while the HDR colour performance was also excellent. The DCI-P3 coverage measures 95%, with the colour tracking of DCI-P3 within BT.2020 hitting all its saturation targets.

There’s 14-bit HDR Mapping (which adds even more detail to dark and bright scenes), along with Quantum Matrix Technology that controls the Mini LEDs, redirecting energy from darker parts of the picture to the brighter ones, which not only improves the dynamic range but is more efficient.

The QN900C also includes Neo Quantum HDR+ and Auto HDR Remastering to get the best out of all HDR content, with support for HDR10, HLG and HDR10+. While there’s still no Dolby Vision, its benefits are limited on a TV that can deliver peak highlights this bright.

Whether SDR or HDR, the inherent accuracy results in natural colours and clean whites, while the superior processing and increased resolution deliver exceptional levels of clarity. Put on an IMAX-shot Christopher Nolan flick like Tenet, and you’ll be rewarded with remarkable images.

While Tenet enjoys a relatively subdued visual style, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is the opposite, with its deliberately exaggerated colours and wild photography. Those colours really pop on the QN900C, while stage spotlights are blinding, and rhinestone jumpsuits dazzle with specular highlights.

To test the Samsung QN900C we used Portrait Displays Calman colour calibration software.

Samsung QN900C review: Gaming

As with all of Samsung’s TVs, the QN900C is a superb though very expensive, choice for gamers. The huge screen ensures a suitably immersive gaming experience, while the 8K panel can reveal every detail in today’s console games. One can only imagine how good an 8K game would look.

Every gaming feature imaginable is supported, and if you’re a PC gamer there’s not only support for 8K/60Hz but also Freesync Premium and Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro 144Hz. Next-gen console gamers can also enjoy features like 4K/120Hz, VRR, and ALLM.

The input lag in Game Mode is a lightning-fast 9ms, producing gameplay that’s super smooth and incredibly responsive. The motion handling is also impressive, with no signs of tearing or other artefacts, even at the highest frame rates.

The Game Bar remains an excellent feature, allowing you to quickly see all the main settings and technical data, as well as gain access to a number of gaming-related settings that users can adjust to personalise their gaming experience.

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Samsung QN900C review: Sound quality

The QN900C is a rarity among TVs, one that actually sounds good and questions the need for an outboard audio solution. The 6.2.4-channel speaker configuration produces a large soundstage that fills the wall behind the TV, creating a sonic presence that matches the size of the screen.

The addition of extra height really makes a difference, and the inclusion of Object Tracking Sound Pro results in a more involving audio experience. Sounds are clearly moving to match specific objects on the screen, while the 90W of amplification adds real power.

The sheer size of the screen ensures excellent stereo separation, the mid-range and treble are also impressive, and there’s some enjoyably deep bass. The musical numbers in Elvis sound fantastic, and the concert scenes have a greater sense of scale and immersion.

The inclusion of onboard Dolby Atmos decoding, along with the ability to send Atmos back via ARC, is also effective. There is clearly more height, width and depth to the soundstage with Atmos content. Overall, this is a superb sonic performer that delivers awesome sound quality.

Samsung QN900C review: Verdict

The Samsung QN900C represents a technological statement from the brand, incorporating all the state-of-the-art technology it has to offer. There might not be much 8K content at the moment, but if you want to futureproof yourself, this TV has you covered with every feature imaginable.

The really good news is that the increased resolution is only a small part of this TV’s strengths, with Mini LED backlighting that uses nearly 2,000 zones, peerless local dimming and cutting-edge image processing to produce exceptional images with SDR and especially HDR content.

The QN900C is also gorgeous to look at, includes Samsung’s One Connect Box, and sounds fantastic. Once you add the responsive smart platform, comprehensive choice of apps, and extensive gaming features, you’ve got an 8K TV that’s ready for whatever the future holds.

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