33 million pixels.
Call it a gimmick or an innovation, but Samsung’s 8K TVs impressed us from the moment we turned it on. When Samsung’s 8K TVs were first introduced, I was a bit skeptical about it – primarily because there’s no 8K content available right now. Even 4K at the moment has just started gaining traction thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Starz Play and the physical media in the form of 4K Blu-ray discs.
But as Samsung explained it to me when I reviewed one of the 8K TVs last week, 8K is available now as an option for you when content becomes available. That could be in the next couple of months or the next couple of years. The idea is that the technology is already here, and Samsung wants you to enjoy it.
Which brings us to their 2019 line of QLED 8K TVs. Coming in at four screen sizes: 65-inch (tested here), 75-inch, 82-inch, and a massive 98-inch, these TVs don’t just give you an 8K viewing experience, but also a plethora of other ‘smart’ services.
Of course, it’s a smart TV since every appliance that I know of already has some sort of smart feature built-in. The 65Q900R’s abundance of features is too long to list, but we’ll highlight some of our favorites.
Samsung’s Eden 2.0 OS runs on this TV – it’s smooth and easily customizable and even includes all the latest apps, including the Apple TV. Both Netflix, Apple TV, and YouTube managed to play 4K HDR content – but not 8K which could be due to app limitations.
This TV can also act as a hub for all your smart devices, or even use it as a Remote Access client to access a Windows computer anywhere in the world. It’s an interesting feature, though I’m thinking only a few will use it. The TV also supports mirroring for both Android and Apple devices, which is probably one of my favorites on the feature set.
Eden 2.0’s smooth interface is impressive, considering the millions of pixels showing on the screen. You can thank Samsung’s Quantum Processor 8K for that – it also handles the upscaling capabilities of the 65Q900R, which was undeniably impressive (more on that later).
Design-wise, the 65Q900R is pretty basic. There’s a thin almost bezel-less frame that blends well with the minimalist design. This goes all through the back, which at first might confuse you because the usual ports that are located behind are now gone. Instead, Samsung has packed all connections into a ‘One Connect’ box – this is where all the connections are located: four HDMI 2.0 ports, three USBs, an Ethernet port along with support for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Samsung did emphasize that a new One Connect box is being planned in the future, which should support HDMI 2.1, the only cable fast enough to handle the bandwidth needed by 8K 60 fps content.
The 65Q900R supports the common HDR10 standard along with the newer HDR10+ profile. It unfortunately doesn’t support Dolby Vision, which Samsung says it still isn’t widely adopted and the licensing costs might add more the price. Considering how other TVs managed to add Dolby Vision through a firmware update, fingers crossed that they should add it in the future.
For testing, the 65Q900R is already hooked up to an Xbox One X, probably one of the most versatile players available since it can stream 4K content and play 4K Blu-ray discs, not to mention that it’s also a powerful gaming console. The 65Q900R supports AMD Freesync, which allows you to enjoy your games without any lag. It’s evident when we played FIFA on it, as all the players are all crystal clear and every button I hit on the controller immediately registered on screen.
But watching movies on the 65Q900R is where the fun starts. I brought along my 4K Blu-ray copy of Avengers:: Endgame and Aquaman, two of the best movies that can showcase HDR. I also wanted to see how the 65Q900R manages to upscale 4K content to fill the millions of extra pixels on the screen.
Turns out, the 65Q900R is more than capable of doing so. We watched the final battle scene in Endgame that took place mostly in the dark and it didn’t disappoint. Black levels are impressive, and the sun’s rays peeking through the sky just gave enough luminance to make it bright in some areas without overpowering the dark areas. When the action happens, there were details in the movie that I was surprised to see just now since I didn’t notice them when I was watching them with my 4K TV.
For Aquaman, Jason Momoa’s face was clear enough that you will now see some scars on his face. The same goes for Mera’s red hair, where each strand is easily visible on the screen. It’s those details that made me smile the entire time I was testing the 65Q900R.
You’d almost forget that this was an 8K TV, where I expected to see some blurriness thanks to the missing pixels. It’s nearly non-existent and it goes to show how awesome Samsung’s upscaling technology is. Dark scenes are completely dark, with no sign of light bleed and bright scenes are bright enough for you to squint your eyes.
The 65Q900R retails for 16,999 – not exactly cheap when you’re on a budget. Then again, if that’s too much for you then this isn’t the TV for you. All the technologies packed inside this TV are impressive, from the external hardware down to the software running on it. 8K may not be fully adopted by everyone just yet, but if you’re looking to jump on the 8K bandwagon, Samsung’s 65Q900R is a good choice.
+ Superfast interface
+ Incredible performance
+ Impressive upscaled image quality
– No Dolby Vision support
Final Rating: 4/5