We finally got our hands on one of Samsung’s 2016 flagship 4K Ultra HDTVs in the KS9800 series and what we found was as impressive as we expected. In fact, so far, it stands as the best of the 2016 4K Ultra HDTVs we’ve reviewed to date.
We recently tested Samsung’s 65-inch top-of-the-line edge-lit LED 4K Ultra HDTV in the KS9500 series (a $3,597.99 street retail model), and found that to be one of the best performing TVs for high dynamic range (HDR) we had yet seen. Now, it’s been pushed down a spot.
The equivalently sized UN65KS9800 ($4,497.99 street retail) takes all of that performance and goes one step better by placing LEDs in a series of zones all across the back plane of the LCD. This provides a localized source of lighting control that allows almost entirely shutting off light to groups of LEDs in a zone to create nearly perfect blacks in specific areas of the picture. This is better than using edge-lit LED lighting, which although less expensive to produce, must project lighting from the edge of the screen inward across the back of the LCD, offering less precise lighting control to specific areas of the image.
When used with HDR, FALD displays, like the KS9800, also enable a boost in peak luminance that well exceeded 1,000 nits to produce some of the most engaging spectral and specular highlights we’ve seen yet, while still keeping black levels deep and dark without losing shadow detail.
The UN65KS9800 is part of Samsung’s SUHD class of 4K Ultra HDTVs that incorporate quantum-dot technology to deliver a benchmark standard for wide color gamut performance, in addition to helping boost luminance to achieve the aforementioned brightness levels of HDR. The UN65KS9800 conforms to the Ultra HD Alliance’s Ultra HD Premium certification standards and carries the organization’s premium logo.
The use of FALD back lighting helps the TV compete favorably with LG’s top-performing 4K OLED TVs that have even richer, deeper black levels (albeit with some dark detail crushing), although somewhat dimmer peak luminance levels, and significantly higher per-inch prices than comparable Samsung SUHD TVs.
Read more of our review of the Samsung UN65KS9800 after the jump:
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