In television land, Excellent black levels have been the name of the game for nearly a decade. By providing better contrast through new backlight technologies like organic LEDs (OLEDs) or mini LEDs, companies have slowly given us a more realistic (and less gray) view of our favorite images.
For years, high-end TVs like the new Samsung QN90B have had an almost perfect demarcation between light and dark. However, many models lacked the powerful brightness you might need to get through a sunny California afternoon in a modern glass living room.
That’s why if I were to buy a new high-end display, I would definitely consider this model specifically. The slim, pedestal-mounted TV has excellent contrast driven by mini LEDs, but at brightness levels that can hurt the eyes in a dark room. To see the interior during the summer, there is probably no better viewing experience.
The whole class
The QN90B is thin but not too thin to be easily held by two people when setting it up and setting it up. Which is why I’m embarrassed to admit that I glued the corner of my first review unit to my coffee table when I mounted it on the included pedestal, thus ruining it. (Ed. note: It had to happen sometime, Parker!) A few weeks, a new unit, and a slightly bruised ego later, and I repeated the process without incident.
Set it up and you’ll be impressed by the looks of the QN90B. The pedestal mount really makes it look like the TV is floating behind my soundbar, with the screen high enough to look over. It’s a design that’s surprisingly rare in modern displays, many of which end up locking slightly at the bottom.
Since I use a Samsung phone, the setup was almost instantaneous. I just signed into my Samsung account on the phone, told the TV what apps I wanted to download, and was off to the races. You still have to sign in to individual apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more, but chances are all the apps you need are here. It even has Paramount+ and Plex apps.
One criticism of Samsung’s Tizen smart TV interface is that it can be a bit difficult for newbies to navigate. You get used to the odd assortment of menus below the single bar of apps you’ll actually want to use, but it’s easy to get lost in Samsung’s free content. Heck, to this day I can’t figure out how to add the aforementioned Paramount+ and Plex apps to the home screen. I’m sure there is a way, but I haven’t been motivated enough to find it yet.
I would encourage Samsung’s UI designers to take a deeper look at what people actually use these interfaces for. I don’t really need endless lists of suggested items to see below the actual apps. One thing I will absolutely not complain about? The remote, which can be recharged via a solar cell on the back. I never have to hunt for pesky AAA batteries again. Eureka!
Once you’ve found something to watch, you’re sure to be impressed with how it looks on the QN90B. The TV features quantum dot technology for brilliant colors in a high dynamic range. The mini-LED array behind the screen keeps even fast-moving objects like soccer balls from getting weird shadows.