UPDATE! About two weeks ago we were given the chance to review a pre-production sample of Samsung’s QN65Q9F flagship 4K Ultra HD QLED TV, but our test sample had a few bugs that prevented us from giving it a final and accurate rating.
At our request, and in the desire to give a fair review of a set consumers are likely to find available for purchase, another review sample was put in our path, and after another analysis we can only say: Now that’s more like it!
This year, Samsung took another step forward in quantum dot technology through the introduction of its three-series 4K Ultra HD QLED TV tier, adding a new metal alloy in the quantum dot structure that contributes to widening viewing angles and boosts both peak brightness and color volume to new heights.
What we can now say after the second time around is the Samsung QN65Q9F presents an image that is brighter than any other TV we’ve tested, vibrant in colors even in the brightest ranges of the picture and 3D-like without the need for glasses. What’s more, the left-to-right viewing angles have been improved to present images that are rich in contrast and color detail from angles as wide as 30-degrees from dead center, surpassing what we’ve come to expect in the past from Samsung’s edge-lit VA LCD panels.
What you are going to have to get used to with this set is learning to watch television with a light or two on in the room, and sitting at least eight feet from the screen. This is because Samsung engineers designed this year’s QLED TVs using viewership studies that found a majority or consumers watch TV with a modest amount of ambient light on in the room, are seated 8-to-9 feet from the screen and rarely sit more than 30 degrees off center axis.
If you turn the lights completely off, you might be disappointed to see the picture lose some degree of contrast, and light bleeding through into letterbox bars when watching either too close or slightly off center axis to the screen. (We were told Samsung is working on another firmware update to correct the light bleeding issue).
Meanwhile, Samsung’s QLED TVs are now available for order including: the 55-inch QN55Q7F ($2,498.99 UPP), the 65-inch QN65Q7F ($3,498.99); the 75-inch QN75Q7F ($5,997.99), the 55-inch QN55Q8C ($3,497.99), and the 65-inch QN65Q8C ($4,498.99). Coming in a few weeks are the flagship 65-inch QN65Q9F ($5,999.99), reviewed for you here, followed by its larger siblings the 75-inch QN75Q9F ($9,999.99) and the 88-inch QN88Q9F ($19,999.99).
According to Samsung, the Q9F series will have the best picture performance of the three QLED series due in part to the use of an edge-lit LED system positioned at the left and right sides of the screen.
The Q8C and Q7F series use LED edge lighting from the bottom of the screen, enabling a thinner form factor. This is expected to result in slightly lower levels of peak brightness for the step-down models, although color volume coverage is expected to be about the same across all three series, a Samsung representative told us.
Read our first-impressions of the Samsung Q9 4K Ultra HDTV after the jump:
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