Samsung Q90T vs Q80T Review (QN55Q90T vs QN55Q80T, QN65Q90T vs QN65Q80T, QN75Q90T vs QN75Q80T, QN85Q90T vs QN85Q80T)
The Samsung Q90T and Q80T are the high-end models of the Samsung’s 2020 QLED TV lineup. Both of them are great TVs for any usage, whether in SDR and HDR quality. If we see their number of series, the Samsung Q80T is actually the successor of the Q80R while the Q90T is the successor of the Q90R. But in this year, Samsung have downgraded their lineup over last year model. This means, if we see their performance and picture quality, the Q80T tend to be similar to the Q70R while the Q90T tends to be similar to Q80R. But even so, ignoring about this, picture quality and performance of the Q80T and Q90T are great for each of their class.
In the market, the Q90T is available on 4 screen sizes options including 55 inches (QN55Q90T), 65 inches (QN65Q90T), 75 inches (QN75Q90T), and 85 inches (QN85Q90T). On the other hand, the Q80T comes in one more screen sizes options than that found on the Q90T. In addition to 55 inches (QN55Q80T), 65 inches (QN65Q80T), 75 Inches (QN75Q80T), and 85 Inches (QN85Q80T), it is also available on 49 inches model (QN49Q80T). But special for the 49 inches model, it lacks some features and has lower level technology found on bigger sizes such as lack of Ultra Viewing Angle, lower native refresh rate panel, lacks VRR support, and lower sound quality. But even so, this comparison will discuss the performance of their 55 inches model or bigger. So, what are the differences between the Q90T and Q80T and which one has better value/price?
Samsung Q90T and Q80T Key Specification
|Technology and Features||Samsung Q80T||Samsung Q90T|
|Screen Size Available||49 Inches (QN49Q80TAFXZA), 55 Inches (QN55Q80TAFXZA), 65 Inches (QN65Q80TAFXZA), 75 Inches (QN75Q80TAFXZA), and 85 Inches (QN85Q80TAFXZA),||55 inches (QN55Q90TAFXZA), 65 inches (QN65Q90TAFXZA), 75 inches (QN75Q90TAFXZA), and 85 inches (QN85Q90TAFXZA),|
|Resolution||4K (3840 x 2160)||4K (3840 x 2160)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlight Technology||Direct LED||Direct LED|
|Local Dimming Technology||Yes (Direct Full Array 12X), 49 Inches (Direct Full Array 8X)||Yes (Direct Full Array 16X)|
|Ultra Viewing Angle||Yes , QN49Q80T: No||Yes|
|Processor||Quantum Processor 4K||Quantum Processor 4K|
|Numerical HDR Index by Samsung||Quantum HDR 12x, QN49Q80T : Quantum HDR 8x||Quantum HDR 16x|
|HDR Supports||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot||Quantum Dot|
|Up-Scaling Engine||4K AI Up-Scaling||4K AI Up-Scaling|
|Motion Technology||Motion Rate 240, QN49Q80T: Motion Rate 120||Motion Rate 240|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz, 49 inches : 60 Hz||120 Hz|
|Variable Refresh Rate||Yes (FreeSync, HDMI Forum), QN49Q80T: No||Yes (FreeSync, HDMI Forum)|
|Smart TV Platform||Tizen 2020||Tizen 2020|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Support Google Assistant||Yes||Yes|
|Support Amazon Alexa||Yes||Yes|
|Speaker Channel||2.2.2, QN49Q80T: 2.2||4.2.2|
|Total Sound Output||60 watts, QN49Q80T 40 watts||60 watts|
|HDMI Supports||HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, HDMI 2.1, CEC, HDCP 2.2||HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, HDMI 2.1, CEC, HDCP 2.2|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technologies of the Samsung Q90T and Q80T
Both of the Samsung Q80T and Q90T use the same panel technology, which is VA (Vertical Alignment) that is powered by Quantum Dot technology. As is typical VA panel, this makes them has excellent naïve contrast ratio that makes them can produce deep black. But as we have known, basically, the use of VA panel also makes them have poor side viewing angle coverage. To solve this issue, Samsung have added their panel with optical layer called “Ultra Viewing Angle” that can improve their side viewing angle coverage. Meanwhile, like previous model of Samsung QLED TVs, they both have been also powered by quantum dot technology that make them can deliver wide color gamut.
Meanwhile, as their backlight technology, they both use Direct-LED backlight with Full Array Local Dimming. But unfortunately, there is no information from their official website which explains how many dimming zones of each of their local dimming.
The Samsung Q90T and Q80T are also powered by the same image processor that named “Quantum Processor 4K”. Just like in last year, Quantum Processor 4K makes them has some AI-Related features and intelligence mode like Adaptive Brightness, Adaptive Volume, and Adaptive Sound. Additionally, this image processor also makes their up-scaling engine is also generated by AI that certainly will produce better up-scaling images than that is not based on AI.
Except the 49 inches model of the Q80T (QN49Q80T), both of the Samsung Q80T and Q90T are powered by the same motion technology. They both have an optional BFI Mode called Motion Rate 240 that can help to make appearance of motion smoother. Additionally, both of them also have the same native 120 Hz refresh rate panel that makes them support content with refresh rate up to 120 Hz. In addition to fixed refresh rate panel, the both also supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR Technology) that compatible with HDMI Forum and FreeSync. With 1080p and 1440p content, their refresh rate ranges between 20 Hz – 120 Hz while with 4K content their refresh rate ranges between 48 Hz and 60 Hz. As have known, VRR can help to improve game experience by reducing screen tearing.
Meanwhile, to dim their backlight, they both use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system with dimming frequency of 960 Hz. This may not make their screen flicker free, but since their flickering frequency is extremely high, their backlight flicker should not be noticeable. Nevertheless, their flickering frequency is not fixed and can still change depending on the picture mode setting. In “Movie mode” their flickering frequency is still 960 Hz. But once the “Picture Clarity” is set to “Auto” or “Custom”, their flicker frequency will drop to 120 Hz. Additionally, change their picture mode to “Game”, “Dynamic” Natural”, and “Standard” also makes their dimming frequency change to 120 Hz, even when “Picture Clarity” is disabled. Furthermore, enabling “LED Clear Motion” in “Picture Clarity” setting menu will further drops their flickering frequency to 60 Hz. This BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode is very helpful to make motion clearer, particularly that caused by persistence. If you play 120 fps content, you just need set to 120 Hz while you play 60 Hz content, you just need to set their frequency flickering to 60 Hz
The Samsung Q90T and Q80T both have 4 HDMI ports where their HDMI ports already support most formats and resolutions. They both already support HDCP 2.2, CEC, HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth, and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). Additionally, one of their HDMI ports (HDMI 4) also already supports HDMI 2.1 full bandwidth while their HDMI 3 supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) and eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel). Meanwhile, at 60 Hz, their HDMI ports support almost all resolution likes 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, while at 120 Hz, they both support 1080p and 1440p. Special for their HDMI 4 that support HDMI 2.1, they both also support 4K @ 120 Hz.
Additionally, they both also have 2 USB ports. But even so, all of them are USB 2.0 and none of them are USB 3.0. They both also have 1 RF In, 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), and 1 Ethernet port. And for connecting to the internet or other devices wirelessly, they both have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Special for the Q90T, their inputs/outputs now are not housed on “One Connect box” found on the predecessor Q90R. As we have known, on the Q90R, most of its connections are housed on a separated box called “One Connect Box”.
Smart TV Platform
As their smart TV platform, both of the Samsung Q80T and Q90T run the same smart TV platform, which is 2020 version of Tizen OS. Their smart TV platform is great and run smoothly on both. It interface is intuitive, simple, and easy to use. Additionally, it also has a lot of preinstalled apps like Web Browser, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Games, Live TV, and more. In addition to Smart Things as its own smart home app, it also already supports Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Air Play 2. And you don’t find an app you want on its pre-installed apps, their smart TV platform has an apps store called “Samsung App Store” that has great selection of downloadable apps. Furthermore, their smart TV platform already supports voice navigation. Supported by Samsung’s Bixby, its voice navigation works excellently.
Meanwhile, as their major controller, both of the Samsung Q80T and Q90T are equipped with Samsung Smart Controller TC 2020C. At a glance, their remote is not different to last year model found on the Q90R or Q80R. Its form and button layout is not different. But there is a bit change brought by the 2020 model over the 2019 model where a shortcut of Hulu on the 2019 model now has been changed with Samsung TV plus. Meanwhile, although its remote is small and only has few buttons but it has built-in microphone for voice command that has many features. Additionally, their remote also has a feature called “OneRemote”. This feature makes it can act as universal remote to control other devices. The excellently, not only CEC devices that can be controlled, but non CEC devices also can be controlled over IR connection.
The Number of Dimming Zones
There are not many differences between the Samsung Q80T and Q90T. The major difference between them is the number of dimming zones of their local dimming. On their official website, just mentioned that the Q80T is powered by Direct LED 12x while the Q90T is powered by Direct LED 16x. But, officially, they don’t explain how many dimming zones of local dimming of each. But that is for sure, the Samsung Q90T has more number of dimming zones that of course makes its local dimming can perform better than the local dimming of the Q80T.
The Numerical Index of HDR
It is the parameter that determined by Samsung to measure HDR output of their lineup. The higher HDR numerical Index of Samsung TVs, the better their HDR performance. For this case, excepts its 49 inches model, the Samsung Q80T has HDR numerical Index of Quantum HDR 12X while the Q90T is Quantum HDR 16x. Can be ascertained, HDR performance of the Q90T is better than the Q80T. There are a lot of factors that influence such as black level, peak brightness, etc.
Samsung Q90T vs Q80T Performance
Black Level and Contrast
In general, they both have excellent native contrast ratio that allow them can produce deep black. But compare among them, the Samsung Q90T has higher native contrast ratio that certainly makes it can produce deeper black than the Q80T. If native contrast ratio of the Samsung Q80T is around 3000:1, the Q90T has native contrast ratio of 4000:1. Additionally, local dimming performance of the Q90T is also better than Q80T. If local dimming of the Q90T can boost its contrast ratio up to 10000:1, the local dimming of the Q80T boost its contrast ratio to around 4000:1 only. Additionally, since it has more zones, local dimming of the Q90T also works better in reducing blooming than the Q80T. The result, an addition to deeper black, dark room performance of the Q90T is also better than the Q80T. Nevertheless, although not as deep as the Q90T, black level of the Q80T is also deep enough to show shadow details of HDR images excellently. Additionally, its local dimming is also good enough to reduce blooming, make highlight like subtitle in movies looks clearly without a lot of blooming surrounding.
SDR Peak Brightness
In addition it has deeper black, the Samsung Q90T also has brighter peak brightness. But even so, since they have local dimming feature, peak brightness reached by them is depending on the content. With real SDR content, the Q90T is able hit around 600 nits, bright enough to fight the glare in bright room. Additionally, on 2% and 10% window, it can even hit brighter than 1000 nits. The larger bright area, its peak brightness may drops. But the dimmest peak brightness of the Q90T is still above 500 nits, which is on 100% window (throughout of the screen is white). This certainly makes the Q90T is great TVs when used in a bright room.
On the other hand, although not as bright as the Q90T, with real content, the Samsung Q80T is still able to hit around 400 nits. On 2% and 10% where brightest peak brightness is reached, it even is able to hit around 700 nits. Meanwhile, on 100% window here the dimmest peak brightness is reached, it is still able to hit around 400 nits. This means, although not as bright as the Q90T, it is still able to fight the glare in most bright room without any serious issues. In general, SDR peak brightness of the Q90T is better, but SDR peak brightness of the Q80T is also good.
HDR Peak Brightness
With HDR content, both of the Samsung Q90T and Q90T can hit brighter peak brightness than when playing SDR content. And just like their SDR peak brightness, the Q90T also has brighter peak brightness than the Q80T. With real content, the Q90T can hit around 1150 nits, bright enough to show HDR images as bright as the target of content creator, which is around 1000-4000 nits. On 10% window, it can even reach around 1350 nits, makes HDR images can be shown with highlight that pops. Just like with SDR content, on 100% window where the dimmest peak brightness is reached, the Q90T is still able to reach around 600 nits. Peak brightness of the Q90T may be not the best, but it is great. This allows you to watch HDR content with the quality that expected.
Although not as great as the Q90T, the Samsung Q80T also has good HDR peak brightness. With real content, it is able to hit around 700 nits, bright enough to show HDR images they should be. On 10% window where it can reach its brightest peak brightness, the Q80T can hit brighter than 700 nits. Meanwhile, on 100% window where the dimmest peak brightness is reached, it is still able to reach brighter than 400 nits. Even though not as bright as the Q90T and it is still not able to show HDR images like intended by content creator, but at least HDR images can shown fairly well in most bright rooms and small highlight can be shown as bright as the way they should in HDR.
Both of the Samsung Q90T and Q80T have excellent color gamut and their color gamut is almost similar. In the test, the Q90T may be better, but this is more due to panel variance. Their color gamut can cover around 89% of DCI P3 xy and around 93 of DCI P3 uv color space. It is great, but still underperforms than OLED TVs or some model of QLED TVs in previous years. The use of “Ultra Viewing Angle” optical layer may drop their color gamut a bit. But ignoring their, their color gamut is still wide enough to show HDR images colorfully. Additionally, the Samsung Q80T and Q90T also have similar color volume and their color volume is almost similar. Since they both have good contrast ratio, they both can produce deep dark colors fairly well. Additionally, except very bright blues, bright colors also can be shown fairly well. And combine to their wide color gamut, color of HDR images displayed on their screen can be shown fairly accurate they way they should in HDR.
While their color gamut and color volume is almost similar, color gradient of the Q90T is a bit better than the Q80T. But ignoring the superiority of the Q90T, in general, their color gradient is very good. Although there may some fine banding in some certain colors, but this should not be noticeable in most content and overall, color gradient of HDR images displayed on their screen look smoothly. But even so, if you are still bothered with banding that may visible, you can enable “Noise Reduction” to reduce banding. But keep in mind, this can cause the picture lose find details in some scene.
Side Viewing Angle
Unlike most of VA TVs which have poor side viewing angle, both of them Samsung Q90T and Q80T have much better side viewing angle. This is caused their panel have used “Ultra Viewing Angle” optical layer. If on standard VA TV, black level usually rise started at around 15 degrees, on their screen, black level can be maintained at up to 70 degrees off center and front. Additionally, color accuracy and brightness can be also maintained at wider angle, which are around 45 degrees for brightness and around 40 degrees for color. The result, although not as good as on the screen of the IPS TV or OLED TVs, when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on their screen look fairly well, much better than on the screen of the standard VA TV.
Both of the Samsung Q80T and Q90T have excellent pixel response time and their pixel response time is almost similar, which is around 10 ms. This certainly is low enough to make fast scene looks very clear with almost no motion blur visible. Following fast moving object, there may be still some short ghosting, trail, but this should not be noticeable for most people. Meanwhile, blur that may visible is more caused by persistence or duplications due to their backlight flicker. And as we have discussed above, both of them have an optional BFI mode that can help to make appearance of motion smoother. And the excellently, their BFI mode can works at both 60 Hz and 120 Hz content.
Additionally, both of them also can well perform when handling judder when playing 24p movies. Regardless the source, they both can show them with judder free. This means, no matter they are playing native 2p movies like DVD or Blu Ray movies, 24p moves via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, 24p movies via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, or 24p movies from native apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, and others, all of them can be shown with judder-free on their screen. Meanwhile, to remove judder, you just need to enable “Picture Clarity” on their picture setting.
Both of the Samsung Q90T and Q80T also have outstanding input lags in PC and Game mode and their input lags are also almost similar. With 60 fps content on 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolution, their input lags are around 10 ms. But even so, at 4K with HDR or 4K @ 4:4:4 chroma, input lags of the Q80T is a bit higher, which are around 14 ms while the Q90T are still around 10 ms. With 120 fps content, their input lags are even faster, which are around 6 ms on both 1080p and 1440p. Additionally, their input lags in VRR mode are also great, which are around 6 ms at both 1080p and 1440p resolution and around 15 ms at 4K resolution. With these results, of course this makes them are very responsive when used for playing any games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes.
For Watching Movies
Both of them are great TVs for watching movies in a dark room. They both have deep black that make black of images still look really black in a dark room. Combine to their good black uniformity, dark scene looks excellent on their screen. Shadow details of HDR images also can be shown as detail as they should in HDR. Not only that, they both also have local dimming feature that can further improve their performance in a dark room. In addition to improve their contrast ratio, their local dimming also is also able to effectively reduce blooming around s highlight. Furthermore, they both also have good 24p judder that certainly allows them to show any movies excellent with judder-free. But even so, compare between them the Samsung Q90T is better. This is due to it has deeper black level and better local dimming performance than the Q80T.
For Watching Sports
When used for watching sports in a bright room, performance of the Samsung Q80T and Q90T is also very good. Combination of SDR peak brightness and reflection handling allows you to watch sports in most bright rooms without any serious issue. Additionally, their fast pixel response time and BFI mode also ensure you to watch fast sport smoothly and clearly with almost no visible blur. And lastly, their wide viewing angle ensures all of you to get the best viewing when watching a big game with a group of your family and or friend. Overall, their performance when used for watching sports is equally very good.
Except for HDR games, performance of the Samsung Q90T and Q80T when used for playing is equally very good. They both have good picture quality that allows you to play game with good picture quality. Additionally, combination of the fast pixel response time and extremely low allows you to play fast paced games responsively with smooth picture quality. And their wide viewing angle allow all of you to get the best viewing when playing multiplayer game with a group of your friend and family. Not only that, except the 49 inches model of the Q80T, they both also some gaming features that can improve their game performance such as VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) FreeSync and HDMI Forum. Since their HDMI ports ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), this will automatically change their picture mode to Game once the signal from game console is detected, allow you to play games without changing picture mode manually.
The Samsung Q90T has better HDR performance than the Q80T. Their performance in reproducing colors may be almost similar, but as we have discussed above, the Q90T has deeper black level than the Q80T. Additionally, the Q90T also has better local dimming performance that makes shadow details of HDR images can be shown better on its screen than on the screen of the Q80T. The other advantage of the Q90T than the Q80T is on their HDR peak brightness. As we have discussed above, the Q90T has outstanding HDR peak brightness that allows it can show HDR images brighter than 1000 nits, as bright as the target intended by content creator. On the other hand, even though not as great as the Q90T, HDR performance of the Q80T is actually also very good. It is still able to show good HDR images with highlight that pops.
As we have mentioned above, overall, the Samsung Q90T is better than the Q80T. It has deeper black and better local dimming that makes its dark room performance is better. Additionally, the 90T also has brighter peak brightness in both SDR and HDR. This certainly makes the Q90T can produce brighter images, makes its performance is better when used in a bright room. And finally, its deeper black and brighter peak brightness also makes its HDR performance is better than the Q80T. Nevertheless, the advantage of the Q90T than the Q80T is more influenced by its better local dimming performance. On the other hand, what influenced by their processor and panel are relatively similar such as input lags, pixel response time, color gamut, and side viewing angle.
So, which is a better choice between them? Considering their performance, the Q90T certainly is better than the Q80T. But keep in mind, with the same screen size, the Q90T is also sold more expensive than the Q80T. On other hand, performance of the Q80T is also great for its class. Now, the decision comes back to your according to your budget and own preferences.