Samsung Q90R / Q90 vs Q9FN Review (QN65Q90R vs QN65Q9F, QN75Q90R vs QN75Q9FN)
Samsung Q90R is the Samsung’s flagship 4K HDR QLED TV for 2019 while Samsung Q9FN is the predecessor, also the flagship for 2018. As the high-end TV, performance and picture quality offered certainly is undoubtedly, but on the other hand, their price certainly is also not cheap. In the market, the Q9FN comes in only 2 screen sizes option including 65 inch (QN65Q9FN) and 75 inches (QN75Q9FN). In addition to 65 inches (QN65Q90R) and 75 inches (QN75Q90R), the Q90R also comes in the huge screen 82 inches (QN82Q90R). And with the same screen size (QN65Q9FN vs QN65Q90R, QN75Q9FN vs QN75Q90R), the Q90R is sold soled more expensive than Q6FN, depending on the screen size. But even so, it is caused Q90R is the new model so it still has a full price while Q9FN is the 2018 model where its price certainly has dropped. Although the presence of the Samsung Q9FN has been replaced by the Q90R but it is still available in the some merchants. So, as a newer model, what new features are offered by the Q90R and is its performance better than the Q9FN predecessor?
Samsung Q90/Q90R vs Q9FN Key Specification
|Technology and Features||Samsung Q90R/Q90||Samsung Q9FN|
|Screen Size Available||65 Inches (QN65Q90R), 75 Inches (QN75Q90R), 82 Inches (QN82Q90R)||65 Inch (QN65Q9FNAFXZA), 75 Inch (QN75Q9FNAFXZA)|
|Resolution||4K (3840 x 2160)||4K (3840 x 2160)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlight Technology||Direct LED||Direct LED|
|Local Dimming Technology||Full Array Local Dimming (Direct Full Array 16x) with Ultimate UHD Dimming||Full Array Local Dimming (Direct Full Array Elite) with Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Ultra Viewing Angle Technology||Yes||No|
|Processor||Quantum Processor 4K||Q Engine|
|HDR Quality||Quantum HDR 16X||Q HDR EliteMax|
|HDR Supports||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot||Quantum Dot|
|Moth Eyes Technology||Ultra Black||Ultra Black Elite|
|Depth Enhancing Technology||N/a||Q Contrast EliteMax|
|Up-Scaling Engine||4K AI Up scaling||UHD Up-Scaling|
|Motion Technology||Motion Rate 240||Motion Rate 240|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Smart TV Platform||Tizen 2019 with Bixby 2.0 Voice Assistant||Tizen 2018 with Bixby 1.0 Voice Assistant|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Support Google Assistant||Yes||-|
|Support Amazon Alexa||Yes||-|
|Total Sound Output||60 watts||60 watts|
|HDMI Supports||HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.2,||HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.2|
|All Inputs are located on One Connect Box||Yes||Yes|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
The Differences between Samsung Q90R and Q9FN
Ultra Viewing Angle Technology
The one of the major differences between Samsung Q90R / Q90 and Q9FN is about the Ultra Viewing Angle Technology. It is the anti reflection layer technology that designed for improving side viewing angle technology. This technology actually is similar to “X-Wide Angle” we found on the Sony TVs like Z9F or Sony X950G. This means with this technology, the picture displayed on the screen of Q90R will looks remains accurate for wider viewing angles. But even so, the use of this technology will slightly sacrifice black level produced. With other words, with Ultra Viewing Angle Technology, Samsung Q90R has better viewing angle coverage than Q9FN or most VA TVs, but on the other hand, its native contrast ratio is not as high as Q9FN or most VA TVs.
As we see on comparison table above, as their picture engine, Samsung Q9FN is powered by an image processor named Q Engine, while the Q90R is powered by a picture processor called Quantum Processor 4K. There are some improvements offered by the Quantum Processor 4K over Q Engine. One of the major improvements offered by the Quantum Processor 4K, it is now already supported by Samsung’s AI (Artificially Intelligent) technology for better 4K up-scaling quality. Additionally, the Quantum Processor 4K also makes the Q90R has lower input lags than the Samsung Q9FN.
The Dimming Zones of Local Dimming Technology
The Local dimming of the Samsung Q90R is called the ‘Direct Full Array X16’ while the local dimming of the Samsung Q9FN is called the ‘Direct Full Array Elite’. Nevertheless, both of these technologies are based on the Full Array Local Dimming Technology. But unfortunately, Samsung doesn’t clearly reveal how many dimming zones of each. But that surely, the performance of their local dimming is great and very helpful to improves contrast ratio and brightness level produced.
The Level of UHD Dimming Technology
This is not about real local dimming, but the dimming technology that based on the software or can be said virtual local dimming. But basically, this technology is designed for improving black and brightness level produced. For this case, the Samsung Q9FN is powered by the ‘Supreme UHD Dimming’ while the Q90R is powered by the ‘Ultimate UHD Dimming’. The Supreme UHD Dimming was introduced several years ago for the high class Samsung TV lineup, while the ‘Ultimate UHD Dimming is just introduced in this year for the high-class Samsung’s 2019 QLED TV lineup. But surely, there is an improvement offered by the “Ultimate’ version than the ‘Supreme’ version.
The level of HDR Performance
We can see on the comparison above, the Samsung Q90R comes with Quantum HDR 16X while the Q9FN comes with Q HDR Elite Max. We guess, this is just the marketing name for the output level of HDR images produced.
Depth Enhancing Technology
Samsung Q90R is powered by Q Contrast EliteMax as its depth enhancing technology while the Q90R doesn’t has the depth enhancing technology. This technology actually is also design to produce deeper black. We don’t know for sure, whether the Q90R really doesn’t have this feature or Samsung just doesn’t include it as the features of the Samsung’s 2019 QLED TV lineup including the Q90R on their official site.
Smart TV Version
Both Samsung Q9FN and Q90R may be featuring the same smart TV platform that is Tizen OS, but their version is different. The Q90R comes with 2019 version while the Q9FN comes with 2018 version. There may not many changes on their interface, but in performance, the 2019 version is smoother and more responsive. Additionally, the 2019 version also already works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, even though with a software update, the 2018 version also already works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The other improvement offered by the 2019 version, it comes with Samsung’s Bixby 2.0 version while the 2018 version comes with Samsung’s Bixby 1.0 version. As a newer version, of course, there are some improvements offered.
As their controller, Samsung Q90R comes with TM1950C model while the Q9FN comes with TMQ890A. The remote of Samsung Q9FN has a metal finished and is a bit bigger than the remote of the Q90R that has plastic finish. Physically, the remote of Q90R is similar to we found on the series under Q9FN like Q8FN, Q7FN or others. But even so, there are some additional dedicated buttons for Amazon, Netflix and Hulu on the remote of Q90R. Overall, except the functions of the dedicated buttons, functionally, the remote of the Q90R is similar to the remote of the Q9FN.
Coming with HDR technology, both Samsung Q90R and Q9FN doesn’t only support one HDR format, but they support more than HDR formats. The HDR formats which are supported by them is HDR10 (static HDR), HLG, and HDR10+ (dynamic HDR). But a bit unfortunate, unlike the middle-up TV from other manufacturers, they both don’t support the other popular HDR format that is Dolby Vision.
The other similarity between the Samsung Q9FN and Q90R is their motion handling technology. For maximizing their performance in handling motion, they both are powered by the Motion Rate 240 Technology. Additionally, they both also have the same native refresh rate that is 120 Hz.
They both are also equipped with the same connectivity. As their major connectivity, there are 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports behind them. Additionally, they both also have 1 Tuner In, 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). For connecting on the internet, they both are also equipped with 1 Ethernet ports and built-in Wi-Fi. That makes different to their competitors, all of their inputs/outputs are located on the separated box called “One Connect Box”.
Just like we see on comparison table above, both Samsung Q9FN and Q90R are equipped with 4.2 channel speaker system with 60 watts of total sound output. They both are equipped with built-in woofer for improving its sound quality particularly in low frequency or bass. Nevertheless, a bit difference among them is about AI sound feature. With Quantum Processor 4K behind it, this allows the Q90R already support a feature what Samsung calls ‘AI Sound’. It is a feature that designed to dynamically adjust the audio out based on the content scene and the space where the TV is placed. As the example, when the TV is playing movies, this feature will focus on surround effects. For news, the AI sound will focus on voice clarity, or when it is used for watching sports, this feature will focus on the background and the sound from the crowd to increase realism, and others. This feature will work more optimally if the TV has additional sound bar. Meanwhile, on the other hand, the Samsung Q9FN doesn’t have this feature.
The Superiority of Samsung Q9FN
Contrast and Black Level
The Samsung Q9FN actually already has excellent native contrast ratio. But even so, it has excellent Full array local dimming that makes it even has far stronger contrast ratio and produce much deeper black. Its local dimming is able to improve its contrast ratio up to close 20000:1, makes the deepest black produced is very deep that is around 0.005 nits. Although not as perfect as what offered by OLED TV, but black produced by the Q9FN is including the deepest what reached by an LED TV and very close to what produced by OLED TV. The result, black looks really black on its screen, even when it is set in a pitch dark room. Additionally, its black level is also dark enough to show shadow details of HDR images excellently like the intended. Additionally, indirectly, the deep black produced by the Q9FN is also makes darker colors can be shown accurately.
On the other hand, the use of Ultra Viewing angle may make the Samsung Q90R has wider viewing angle coverage, but on the other hand, this slightly sacrifices its native contrast ratio. The result, native contrast ratio of the Q90R is lower than most TVs with VA panel technology. Fortunately, it has excellent full array local dimming that able to improve their contrast ratio up to higher than 10000:1. The result, although not as deep as what produced by the Q9FN, black level produced by the Q90R is very deep, deeper than most LED TVs or even including the best among LED TVs. This certainly makes its performance in a dark room is also excellent and its ability to show shadow details of HDR images is also great. Overall, in producing blacks, the Samsung Q9FN is better than the Q90R, but black produced by the Samsung Q90R is also including the deepest among LED TVs.
In addition to native contrast ratio, the use of Ultra Viewing Angle optical layer also makes color gamut produced by the Samsung Q90R is not as wide as the Q9FN. The color gamut produced by the Samsung Q9FN can cover more than 97% of DCI P3 color space, while q90R is a bit worse, that is only around 94%. Color gamut delivered by the Q90R is similar to what delivered by the Q900R or the Q6FN. The result, in certain colors, the Q9FN can show better than the Q90R. Nevertheless, although not as wide as the Q9FN, but color gamut produced by the Samsung Q90R is wide enough to show color of HDR images fairly accurate like the intended, even though some certain color cannot be shown as accurate as the Q9FN.
A bit wider color gamut delivered also makes the Samsung Q9FN has a bit better color volume than the Q90R. This means, the inferiority of Q90R in color volume is caused more its color gamut is not as wide as the Q9FN. But even so, overall, the color volume of the Q90R can be still called very well. Both Samsung Q90R and Q9FN can produce both darker colors and bright colors across their entire color gamut fairly well. But even so, since the Q9FN has wider color gamut and better color volume, some certain colors like very bright blues can be shown better than the Q90R.
In term of color gradient, the color gradient of the Samsung Q90R is also not as good as the Q9FN. But even so, in general, color gradient of Q90R is still great and smooth. Despite of their difference, color gradient of HDR images displayed on their screen looks very smooth without any major imperfections. Some little color banding may still be visible in certain colors like medium greens or darker grays, but overall, this should not be a problem for most people.
The Superiority of the Samsung Q90R
The Samsung Q90R and Q9FN both have excellent peak brightness. With real SDR content, peak brightness reached by the Samsung Q9FN is around 650 nits while the Q90R is around 100 nits brighter. This means with SDR real scene, the Q90R can deliver brighter picture than the Q9FN. But even so, although with real scene, Q90R can get brighter than Q90R, but with windows test, the brightest peak brightness reached by the Q90R is not as bright as the Q9FN. The brightest peak brightness reached by the Q9FN is reached when it is showing a white square covering 10% screen, that is around 1600 nits while with the same bright object size, the peak brightness reached by the Q90R is a bit brighter than 1000 nits. The dimmest peak brightness is reached when they are showing thorough screen is white where peak brightness reached by the Q9FN is around 650 nits while the Q90R is a bit less than 500 nits. This means, although overall, in normal content, the Q90Q is brighter than the Q9FN, but when showing a small highlight, the Q9FN can show it brighter than the Q90R. Regardless of their difference, their peak brightness is equally great and can easily fight the glare, even when in very bright room.
With HDR, their peak brightness is even brighter. With real HDR content, the Samsung Q9FN can reach around 900 nits while the Q90R is even much brighter, that is around 1300 nits. Meanwhile, with test windows, just like with SDR, the peak brightest peak brightness is reached when they are showing a white square covering 10% screen where peak brightness reached by the Q9FN is around 1700 nits while the Q90R is around 1300 nits. Meanwhile, the dimmest peak brightness is also reached when they are showing thorough screen is bright where the Q9FN can reach around 650 nits while the Q90R is around 500 nits. Just like with SDR, with real content, the Samsung Q90R can show HDR images brighter than Q9FN. But when showing small highlight, the Q9FN can show it brighter than the Q90R. Regardless their difference, their peak brightness is great for HDR. Even in certain scene, they can show HDR images at 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range intended by the content creator.
Side Viewing Angle
One of the major advantages offered by the Samsung Q90R over the Q9FN is the side viewing angle coverage. This is due the Q90R is equipped with a layer technology called ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’. Although still not as good as what offered by IPS TV or OLED TV, but at least, this is still better than most TVs with VA panel including the Q9FN. If on the screen of the Q9FN, black level will raise started at around 15 degrees off center and front and color also looks washed out started at around 25 degrees, on the screen of the Q90R, black level and color will be maintained at wider angle. On the screen of Q90R, black level can be maintained even at extremely wide angle while color will starts to look washed out at around 35 degrees. What offered by the Q90R certainly is much better than Q9FN. The result, when viewed from an angle, the picture displayed on the screen of Samsung Q90R will looks remains well. Otherwise, on the screen of Q9FN, the picture look degraded and the wider angle you watch from, the picture will look worse.
Samsung Q9FN might already have excellent pixel response time, make it is able to do an excellent job when handling motion. But for this case, the Samsung Q90R even has lower pixel response time that certainly allows it can do a better job than Q9FN when handling motion. The result, separated from the superiority of the Q90R, motion looks very clear and smooth without a lot blur visible on their screen, Following fast moving object, there is only a very short ghosting trail where most people might not notice this much. The blur that might be visible is more caused by persistence because they both have very high dimming frequency.
But even so, actually, they both have an optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI mode) called” LED Clear Motion” that can help to reduce the persistence blur. Once you enable this feature, their dimming frequency will change to 60 Hz and this can help motion looks more fluid. But otherwise, since its dimming frequency drops a lot, this certainly makes backlight flicker is more visible on their screen. If you don’t feel comfortable with flicker, you can disable this feature, but on the other hand, if you don’t feel comfortable with blur, you can enable this feature.
For dimming their backlight, Samsung Q90R and Q9FN both use PWM Dimming system while their diming frequency is depending on the setting. But even so, in most modes, the highest dimming frequency of Q90R is far higher than the Q9FN that is 960 Hz, while the highest dimming frequency of the Samsung Q9FN is 480 Hz. By default, with higher dimming frequency, backlight flicker will be less visible on the screen of Q90R than Q9FN. But even so, for the Q9FN, its dimming frequency actually is already high enough to make backlight flicker is almost invisible for most people. Meanwhile, when the mode is set in ‘Game’, or ‘Standard’ or ‘Movie’ with the ‘Auto Motion Plus’ is set to ‘Custom’ or ‘Auto’, their dimming frequency will change to 120 Hz.
The excellence of middle-up model of Samsung 4K TV lineup including the Q90R and Q9FN, they already support FreeSync Variable Refresh Rate. As we see on comparison table above, they both actually has native 120 Hz native refresh rate panel, but with this feature, their refresh rate panel can synchronize with the input devices’ output. Once this feature is enabled, with 4K signal, they both can synchronize their refresh rate at 48 Hz to 60 Hz of refresh rate. Meanwhile with 1080p signal, the frequency that covered is between 20 Hz up to 120 Hz. This feature is very helpful to reduce stuttering and screen tearing, particularly when you are playing game with a console like X Box One or other compatible devices.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, the Samsung Q90R can do a bit better job than the Samsung Q9FN, particularly when they are playing 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite or cable box. With this source type, the Q9FN is not able to remove the judder while Q90R can show them with judder-free. But even so, for other sources, whether it is native 24p movie like movies from DVD or Blu-Ray player, 24p via 60p signal like movie from streaming devices, or movie from streaming apps like Netflix or others, they both can show them clearly and smoothly with judder-free. For removing the judder, the ‘Auto Motion Plus’ must be set to ‘Custom’ and both ‘Blur and Judder Reduction’ must be set to ‘0’.
Samsung Q9FN might already have excellent input lags in PC and Game Mode, but the Q90R even has lower. At 60 Hz, the input lags of Q9FN in 1080p and 4K resolution are around 20 ms. Meanwhile, at 120 Hz, its input lags are at both 1080p and 1440p resolution are around 11 ms. For this case, thQ9FN doesn’t supports 4K at 120 Hz and 1440p at 60 Hz. The input lags offered by the Samsung Q9FN actually are excellent, makes it is very responsive for any games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes.
The input lags of the Samsung Q90R are even better. At 60 Hz, its input lags are around 15 ms in almost all resolution. The Q90R even already supports 1440p at 60 Hz. And at 120 Hz, its input lags is similar to Q9FN that is around 11 ms. The Q90R also already support 4K at 120 Hz where its input lag is around 20 ms. The Samsung Q9FN might be already very responsive for games, but the Samsung Q90R is even more responsive than Q9FN.
Smart TV Experience
As we have discussed above, the Samsung Q90R runs Tizen 2019 version while the Q9FN runs Tizen 2018 version. In term of user interface, there are not many changes where their interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. Additionally, they both also have the one of the widest collection of smart apps available. In addition to there are a lot of preinstalled apps like Netflix, Amazon Videos, YouTube, Hulu, Live TV, Games, Web Browser, and many more. They both also have an app store called Samsung Apps Store that provided tons of downloadable apps, content, games, and more. What provided by their apps store might be not as complete as Google Play Store, but still more complete than most Apps Store. A bit advantage of the 2019 version, it works with Alexa and Google Assistant while the 2018 version doesn’t. But even so, special for the 2018 version, in order to support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, it must be updated.
In term of user interface and apps provided, there are not many improvements offered by the 2019 version over the 2018 version. But in term of performance, there is an improvement offered by the 2019 version over the 2018 version. If in the 2018 version, there are some bugs like the interface freeze occasionally, animations drop frame intermittently, and others, in the 2019, these issues can be minimized. This makes the navigation in 2019 version is much smoother and more responsive than on the 2018 version.
As we have discussed above, functionally, except the 3 additional dedicated buttons for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu, their remote have the similar ability. They both are equipped with built-in microphone for voice navigation where voice commands work well in these remotes. With your voice, you can change inputs, change the volume, power on/off the TV, ask some basic questions, and other commands. But unfortunately, their voice command cannot search within apps.
Samsung Q90R vs Q9FN Performance
For Watching Movies
Both Samsung Q9FN and Q90R are great TVs for watching movies, even in pitch dark room. This is due they both have deep black, excellent local dimming, and good black uniformity. Black displayed on their screen looks really black in dark room, makes dark scenes are shown excellently. But even so, since the Q9FN has deeper black, this makes dark scene produced is better that the Q90R successor. In addition to improve the contrast ratio, their local dimming also works well in reducing blooming. So when they are showing a highlight in dark scene, there is not much blooming visible around it. Additionally, they both also have great performance in handling 24 movies, makes 24p movies can be shown smoothly with judder-free. Special for 24p movies via 60i signal, the Samsung Q90R can do a better job than the Q9FN where the Q9FN cannot remove the judder completely. But even so, overall, their performance when used for watching movies is equally great.
Winner: Samsung Q9FN
For Watching Sports
Unlike when watching movies where most people prefer in a dark room, when watching sports, they prefer in a bright room, even with a group of friend or family. This means, in addition to excellent picture quality and pixel response time, side viewing angle also becomes the important aspect that should be considered. They both have excellent peak brightness, so when they are set in a bright room, the glare should not be a problem. Additionally, they both also have excellent pixel response time, makes fast moving scenes fluid smoothly with virtually no motion blur. Special for the Q9FN, since its side viewing angle coverage is poor, when you are watching sports like football or baseball with a group of family or friend to support respective team, some of you might not get the best viewing. But in general, their performance when used for watching sports is equally great. Nevertheless, since the Q90R has a bit lower response time and better side viewing angle coverage, this certainly makes its performance is a bit better than the Q9FN.
Winner: Samsung Q90R
Both Samsung Q90R and Q9FN are great TV for gaming. In addition to excellent picture quality, excellent pixel response time, they also have excellent low input lags. Not only that, they both also support FreeSync VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). This allows them to synchronize their refresh rate with the input devices’ output, so the screen stuttering or tearing that may be visible when you are playing game can be reduced. This feature is very useful particularly when you are playing game with a compatible console like X Box One or others. Additionally, they both also don’t have a risk to temporary image retention and permanent burn-in. This allows you to play the same game for a long time without feeling worried. IN general, both Samsung Q9FN and Q90R are great TVs for gaming. But compare among them, the Q90R is a better due it has lower input lags than the Q9FN.
Winner: Samsung Q90R
As we have discussed a lot above, Samsung Q9FN and Q90R both have deep black, wide color gamut, excellent peak brightness, and others. And the excellence, almost all of major aspects of HDR can be performed well by them. The both have very deep black, dark enough to reveal detail images in dark scene of HDR images fully like the intended. Additionally, they both can also deliver wide color gamut and smooth color gradient. This makes HDR images produced looks colorfully. Not only that, with peak brightness brighter than 1000 nits, in certain scene, they both are able show highlight of HDR images at brightness range intended by the content creator. And special for peak brightness, there are not many TVs can perform well. Overall, their HDR performance is equally great. Meanwhile, compare among them, since the Q9FN has deeper black level and wider color gamut, it offers a bit better performance than the Q90R, particularly in dark scene. Otherwise, Q90R can deliver brighter HDR images than the predecessor. But unfortunately, they both don’t support Dolby Vision.
Winner: Q9FN wins in dark scene, the Q90R wins in bright scene
|Performance||Samsung Q90R||Samsung Q9FN|
|Smart TV Experience|
As we discussed a lot above, as the successor of the Samsung Q9FN, the Samsung Q90R offers some improvements that expected its performance is better than the predecessor. One of the major improvements offered by the Q90R is about “Ultra Viewing Angle” technology. This makes its side viewing angle coverage is better than the Q9FN or even most VA TVs. But even so, the use of this technology sacrifices black level and color gamut produced, so this makes black level and color gamut of the Q90R is not as deep and wide as the Q9FN predecessor. The other improvement offered by the Q90R, it comes with a new image processor called Quantum Processor 4K instead of the Q engine as the processor of Q9FN. The use of this processor makes the Samsung Q90R has better response time, lower input lags, and faster and responsive smart TV performance.
So, which is a better choice between them? With all improvements offered, in general, I think Samsung Q90R is better than the Q9FN. But even so, the decision should depend on your own preferences. But the point, the Samsung Q9FN has higher contrast ratio and better color gamut and volume, while the Q90R has better side viewing angle coverage, better response time, and also low input lags. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your own preferences.