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Samsung QN90A vs QN85A Review (QN55QN90A vs QN55QN85Q, QN65QN90A vs QN55QN85A, QN55QN90A vs QN55QN85A, QN75QN90A vs QN75QN85A, QN85QN90A vs QN85QN85A)

by on April 8, 2021
 



Samsung QN90A vs QN85A

Samsung QN90A and QN85A are parts of Samsung’s 2021 Neo QLED Series. The Neo QLED Series is an upgrade from traditional QLED Series that released in previously years. The main difference to the traditional QLED is that they already use mini LED as their backlight. The use of mini LED backlight makes them have extremely brightness, making them easily combat the glare or bring out highlight in HDR content. Special for the QN85, not as usual, it use ADS panel, not VA panel like most model of Samsung TVs.  And the character of ADS panel is similar to IPS panel which have good side viewing angle but its native contrast ratio is low. Meanwhile, just like most models of Samsung TVS, the QN90A uses VA panel which have good native contrast ratio but its side viewing angle coverage is poor. But just like high-end models of Samsung’s 2020 lineup, the QN90A comes with “Ultra Viewing Angle” optical layer that significantly improve its side viewing angle coverage.

In the market, both of the Samsung Q85A and Q90A are available on some screen sizes options. For the QN85A, there are 55 inches (QN55QN85AAFXZA), 65 inches (QN65QN85AAFXZA), 75 inches (QN75QN85AAFXZA), and 85 inches (QN85QN85AAFXZA). Meanwhile, in addition that found on QN85A (QN55QN90AAFXZA, QN65QN90AAFXZA, QN75QN90AAFXZA, QN85QN90AAFXZA), the Samsung QN90A also comes in 50 inches variant (QN50QN90AAFXZA). Meanwhile, with the same screen size (QN55QN90A vs QN55QN85Q, QN65QN90A vs QN55QN85A, QN55QN90A vs QN55QN85A, QN75QN90A vs QN75QN85A, QN85QN90A vs QN85QN85A), as a higher model the QN90A is sold hundreds dollar more expensive then QN85A. So, what are their differences and which one is a better choice?

Check the Latest Price
Samsung QN90A Samsung QN85A
50 inches QN50AN90A on Amazon
55 inches QN55QN90A on Amazon QN55QN85A on Amazon
65 inches QN65QN90A on Amazon QN65QN85A on Amazon
75 inches QN75QN90A on Amazon QN75QN85A on Amazon
85 inches QN85QN90A on Amazon QN85QN85A on Amazon

Samsung QN90A vs QN85A Side by Side Comparison

Samsung Q90A vs QN85A Specifications

Technology and Features Samsung QN90A Samsung QN85A
Screen Size Available 50” (QN50QN90AAFXZA), 55” (QN55QN90AAFXZA), 65” (QN65QN90AAFXZA),75” (QN75QN90AAFXZA), 85” (QN85QN90AAFXZA) 55” (QN55QN85AAFXZA), 65” (QN65QN85AAFXZA),75” (QN75QN85AAFXZA), 85” (QN85QN85AAFXZA)
Resolution 4K (3840 x 2160) 4K (3840 x 2160)
Panel Technology VA Panel (50” model :ADS panel) ADS Panel (85 Inch model : VA Panel)
Backlight Technology Direct LED Direct LED
Local Dimming Technology Full Array Local Dimming (Quantum Matrix Technology) Full Array Local Dimming (Quantum Matrix Technology)
Micro Dimming Technology Ultimate UHD Dimming Supreme UHD Dimming
Ultra Viewing Angle Yes Yes
Processor Neo Quantum Processor 4K Neo Quantum Processor 4K
HDR Supports HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ (Certified) HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ (Certified)
Color Technology Quantum Dot Quantum Dot
Up-Scaling Engine 4K AI Up-Scaling 4K AI Up-Scaling
Motion Technology Motion Xcelerator Turbo+ Motion Xcelerator Turbo+
HDR Numerical Index Quantum HDR 32X Quantum HDR 24x
Native Refresh Rate Panel 120 Hz 120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate Yes (FreeSync Premium Pro, GSync, HDMI Forum), Yes (FreeSync, GSync, HDMI Forum),
Smart TV Platform Tizen 2021 Tizen 2021
Processor Quad Core Quad Core
Samsung’s Bixby Yes Yes
Support Google Assistant Yes Yes
Support Amazon Alexa Yes Yes
Remote TM2180E TM2180E
Speaker Channel 4.2.2 2.2.2
Total Sound Output 60 Watts 60 Watts
HDMI Ports 4 4
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
USB 2.0 2 2
USB 3.0 No No
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 5 Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth BT 4.2 BT 4.2
Cloud Service Office 365 Office 365

Contrast and Local Dimming

As we have discussed above, the Samsung QN90A and QN85A uses different panel technology. If the QN90A uses VA panel, the QN85A uses ADS panel that has similar characteristic to IPS Panel.  The result, the QN90A has higher native contrast ratio than QN85A. But even so, since the QN90A has an anti glare optical layer called “Ultra Viewing Angle”, its native contrast ratio is not as high as other models with traditional VA panel, which is around 3500:1 But fortunately, it has excellent local diming feature that can significantly improve its native contrast ratio to around 26000:1. The result, QN90A can produce very deep black, making it easily to make black look really black in a dark room or show shadow details of HDR images the way they should be. What reached by the QN90A in producing black is even not much different to what produced by OLED TV. Keep in mind, likely the 50 inches model uses ADS panel, which should result in a much lower contrast ratio.

 

On the other hand, since the Samsung QN85A uses ADS panel technology that similar to IPS panel, its native contrast ratio is fairly low, which is around 1400:1. The QN85A nay also have Full Array local dimming like the QN90A, but the improvement is not too significant. With local dimming, its contrast ratio is improved to around 2000:1, still not strong enough to make black look really black in a dark room. This is achieved in Movie Mode. But even so, its contrast ratio actually varies depending picture mode. For instance, in Game Mode, its contrast ratio is around 20000:1 and around 9000:1 in PC and Dynamic.

Winner: QN90A

SDR Brightness

As we have discussed above, the use of mini LED backlight makes them can get extremely bright. With real SDR scene, the Samsung QN90A can get around 1400 nits while the QN85A can get around 1150 nits, which means it is outstanding.  Just other TVs with local dimming, their peak brightness may depend on the scene, but except 100 % white windows, their peak brightness is still above 1000 nits. Meanwhile when showing 100% white window test or throughout the screen is white, peak brightness of the QN85A drop down to around 620 nits while the QN90A drop to around 700 nits because they both have aggressive ABL (Automatic Bright Limiter). However, it is still bright enough to fight he glare in most light conditions.  The QN90A can get brighter SDR peak brightness than the QN85A, but overall, they both have outstanding SDR peak brightness.

Winner: QN90A

HDR Brightness

With HDR Content, they both can get brighter, especially for the QN90A. With real scene, the QN85A can get around 1200 nits, a bit brighter than its SDR peak brightness. Meanwhile, for the QN90A, its HDR peak brightness is much brighter than its SDR peak brightness, which is around 1800 nits. With white window test, except 100 % windows test where their peak brightness is dropped to around 750 nits by their ABL, the QN90A can get brighter than 1200 nits. Even on 2%, 10%, and 25% white window test, it can get brighter than 1500 nits. On the other hand, except 100% white window test where its peak brightness drop to around 675 nits, the QN85A can get brighter than 1100 nits. So, although their HDR peak brightness also depends on the scene, but they both can still show HDR images very bright.  That is not only small highlight, real HDR scene can be also shown the way the content creator intended, which is brighter than 100 nits.

Winner: QN90A

Local Dimming

QUantum Matrix Technology

Samsung QN85A and QN90A may both have Full Array Local Dimming. They both also already use mini LED backlight. But even so, the local dimming of the QN90A can work better than the QN85A.  In improving contrast ratio, the QN90A is much better than the QN85A. As we have discussed on “Black Level” section, local dimming of the QN90A can improve its contrast ratio from 3500:1 to around 26000:1, while contrast ratio of the QN85A is improved from around 1400:1 to around 2000:1. IN minimizing blooming, local dimming of the QN90A also can do a better job than QN85A. On the screen of the QN90A, there may be still small blooming around bright object that people who are sensitive to blooming may notice that, but it is not that distracting. But even so, if you watch from the side, blooming may be more obvious. Meanwhile, on the screen of the QN85A, there is some blooming around small bright object and it is more noticeable than on the screen of the QN90A and the blooming get worse the more you move off-center.

Winner: QN90A

Color Gamut and Color Volume

QLED vs LED TV COlor Volume Illustration

The Samsung QN90A may have a bit wider color gamut than the QN85A, but they both can display an impressive wide color gamut of HDR images.  In DCI P3 xy, the QN90A can cover around 95% of color space while the QN85A cover around 91%. Meanwhile, in DCI P3 uv color space, the QN90A cover around 95% and the QN85A cover around 94%. This means, it is great for HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 color space. And coincidence, they both support HDR10 and HDR10+ that mastered in DCI P3. IN addition they have good color gamut, they both also have good color volume. But even so, just like on the color gamut, the QN90A also has a bit better color volume. In addition it has a bit wider color gamut, the QN90A also can do a better job in producing deep dark colors. Since it has outstanding contrast ratio, the QN90A can reproduce dark saturated colors fairly well. On the other hand, since its contrast ratio is relatively low, the QN85 struggles to produce dark saturated colors. But even so, except dark colors, both of them can show their wide color gamut at their entire brightness range, including very bright colors.

Winner: QN90A

Color Gradient

Although not as good as the competitor such as LG TV’s or Sony’s TVs, but both of the Samsung QN90A and QN85A still have good color gradient, especially when they are playing HDR images. As we have known, HDR images especially HDR10 and HDR10+ is mastered in 10 bit depth of color, allowing them can produce 1 million shades of colors.  This certainly makes color gradient produced by them looks very smooth. Some visible banding may be still available, particularly on greens and reds shades but this should not be noticeable for most people. However, if you still feel bothered with banding that may be visible, both of them have a feature called “Noise Reduction” that can help to remove banding. But keep in mind, enabling this feature may be able to help remove the banding, but on the other hand, this causes a loss in details.

Winner: Draw

Side Viewing Angle

As we have discussed above, the Samsung QN85A uses ADS panel that has similar characteristic to IPS panel. So, this may make it has low native contrast ratio. But on the other hand, this makes it has good side viewing angle coverage. When viewed from the side, blacks of images will relatively look consistent up to around 70 degrees off center and front. Additionally, brightness of images also can be maintained from degradation up to around 40 degrees off center and front. That’s is only that, color also just started to shift at around 55 degrees and look washed out at around 40 degrees.

On the other hand, although the Samsung QN90A uses IPS panel that usually has poor side viewing angle, but it comes with an anti glare optical layer called “Ultra Viewing Angle” that can significantly improve its side viewing angle. The result, the depth of black can also be maintained up to around 70 degrees off center and front and brightness at around 45 degrees.  Additionally, although not as good as the QN85A, it can also maintain color from shifting at around 50 degrees. Fortunately, color will look washed out started at around 25 degrees off center. But even so, what performed by the QN90A is much better than other TVS that us traditional VA panel.

Winner: QN85A

Motion Handling

Both of the Samsung QN85A and QN90A can also do a great job in handling motion. They both have excellent pixel response time, around 11 ms for the QN85A and around 9 ms for the QN90A. This may be not as low as OLED TVs, but their pixel response time is low enough to make fast motion looks clear and smooth with almost no visible blur. Following fast moving object, there is only a sho0rt faint trail that should not be noticeable for most people.

And to dim their backlight, just like most LED TVs with local dimming, they both uses PWM (Pulse Width Dimming System) with highest dimming frequency is 960 Hz where when their picture mode is set to “Movies” mode.  On this mode, since its backlight flicker at such a high frequency, this should not be noticeable for most people. But even so, once their “Picture Clarity” is enabled or they are set in “Dynamic”, “Natural”, “Standard”, or “Game” mode, their dimming frequency will drop to 120 Hz. Meanwhile, to improve motion appearance by matching the frame rate of content and dimming frequency, they both also have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion Mode). To use it for 120 fps content, you just need to enable “Picture Clarity” and set both ‘Judder’ and ‘Blur’ Slider to ‘0’. This will makes it flickers at 120 Hz, even if it is set in “Movies Mode”. Additionally, setting their picture mode in “Game” mode also makes 0their backlight flicker at 120 Hz. Furthermore, for 60 fps content, you just need to enable “LED Clear Motion” in the “Picture Clarity” setting page.  But as the note, enabling their BFI mode may be able to help motion looks smoother, but since they flicker at lower frequency, this can cause flicker is noticeable for some people, particularly for you who sensitive to flicker.

Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, they both also can do a great job in handling judder. Regardless the source of movies, they both can remove judder without having to enable additional settings. Additionally, they both also have motion interpolation feature, allowing you to interpolate lower frame rate content like 30 fps or 60 fps content to 120 Hz. As we have known, they have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel.

In addition to have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, they both also already supports Variable Refresh Rate that has a wide range of frequency. Regardless the resolution, their refresh rate is able to range between 20 Hz to 120 Hz. Additionally, their VRR technology is also compatible FreeSync VRR. When you set them in “Game Mode”, FreeSync will be enabled automatically and woks well. As we have known, it can improve its gaming experience by reducing screen tearing. But unfortunately, GSync and HDMI Forum cannot work properly and they are not officially listed as being compatible.

Winner: QN90A

Inputs

Both of the Samsung QN90A and QN85A are equipped with 4 HDMI ports where all of them are supports HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.3, and ALLM. However, there is only one port that supports HDMI 2.1m which is on their HDMI 4. Meanwhile, their HDMI ports also support most of resolution at both 60 Hz and 120 Hz. But even so, they are not support 8K resolution, even at 30 Hz. Additionally, they both also have 1 HDMI ARC with eARC support, allowing them to pass uncompressed high-quality audio over an HDMI connection like Dolby Audio Formats such as Dolby Atmos via TrueHD, etc.

Samsung QN85A and QN90A have similar input lags in “Game” and “PC” mode and in general, their input lags are excellent.  Regardless the resolution is 1080p, 1440p, or 4K, at 60 Hz, their input lags is around 10 ms, which means it is great. Meanwhile, their input lags at 120 Hz even is much lower, which is around 5 ms regardless the resolution. IN VRR mode where its refresh rate can change automatically depending on the refresh rate of content, they both also have excellent input lags. With their input lags, this makes them are equally very responsive for any games, even for fast paced games that requires fast response.

Still about gaming features, their HDMI port also already supports ALLM (auto Low Latency Mode), allowing them automatically change to Game mode when there is a signal form a compatible games consoles. It also supports most resolution that supported by newest game console like PS5 or XBOX Series X.

Winner: Draw

Features

Neo QLED / Mini LED Backlight

Samsung mini LED

In 2021, Samsung has introduced their new backlight technology for their QLED TV lineup called Neo QLED.  It is the backlight technology that uses mini LED instead of conventional OLED. Samsung design the Quantum mini LED with around 1/40 of height of conventional LED. The mini LED is precisely controlled by Samsung Quantum Matrix Technology. The result, the TV that uses this technology is able to produce deeper black and brighter brightness with minimal blooming. This certainly will improve your experience in enjoying HDR content.

Smart TV

Samsung Tizen OS

Samsung QN85A and QN90A runs same smart TV platform, which is Tizen 2021 that runs very smooth. With intuitive and elegant user interface, it is also easy to use.  There are also large selections of apps provide, whether they are pre-installed apps or what provided by its apps store called Samsung’s App Store. There are a lot of streaming platform like YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. you can even stream HDR content in Netflix and YouTube. Meanwhile, for allowing voice command, in addition their company’s voice navigation platform called Bixby, they both also have built-in some navigation platforms such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.  Additionally, their smart TV platform also already supports Cast, allowing you to cast any content to your Samsung TVS. And if you have collections of movies or photo, you can play them via their USB ports because their USB supports Playback in both SDR and HDR.

Game Bar

Samsung Game BAr

Game Bar is a new feature you can access on Samsung’s 2021 TV lineup, particularly for middle to high model including the QN85A and QN90A. To open this feature, you just need to hold Play/Pause button on their remote. This feature can show whether VRR is working or not. It can also shows useful additional games info. One of the focuses of the Game Bar is Super Ultra Wide Game View. That’s not only in 16:9 of screen ratio, this also allows you to play games in 21:9 or 32:9 of screen ratio. With all these features offered and HDMI 2.1 support, this makes them are suited for Next generation HDR gaming on a newest games console like PS5 or Xbox Series X.

Remote

Samsung TM2108E

Physically, their remote is similar to the remote of the high-end model of Samsung’s 2020 TV lineup. Features that offered are also similar. Just like previous model, it has only has few buttons but still has some quick access buttons for Amazon, Netflix, and Samsung TV Plus. Additionally, it also has built-in microphone for voice navigation and it also supports many features of voice control. This remote also can act as universal remote, allowing you to control other devices connected on your Samsung TV, even if they don’t support HDMI CEC.  In general, their functions are almost same to previous remote. That makes it is different is that it comes with darker colors. Additionally, it uses rechargeable battery instead of disposable batteries. There are two way to charge its battery, via USB Type-C cable or utilize solar panel on the back.

Check the Latest Price
Samsung QN90A Samsung QN85A
50 inches QN50AN90A on Amazon
55 inches QN55QN90A on Amazon QN55QN85A on Amazon
65 inches QN65QN90A on Amazon QN65QN85A on Amazon
75 inches QN75QN90A on Amazon QN75QN85A on Amazon
85 inches QN85QN90A on Amazon QN85QN85A on Amazon

Samsung QN85A vs QN90A Performance

For Watching Movies

When used for watching movies in a dark room, performance of the QN90A is much better than the QN85A. As we have discussed above, although the QN85A has high native contrast ratio outside movies mode, but in movies mode, its contrast ratio is very low, which is around 2000:1. This certainly makes them cannot produce deep black, making dark image doesn’t look accurate in a dark room. On the other hand, with contrast ratio above 25000:1, it can produce deep black, closing the gap with Premium OLED TV. So, even though it is set in a pitch dark room, dark images still looks accurate with a lot of small details revealed well.  Meanwhile, except about black aspects, their performance is almost similar. They both have good motion handling, resulting smooth and clear fast action movies. They both also can do a great job in handling judder, allowing you to watch movies with judder-free, regardless the source. In a dark room, performance of the QN85A when used for watching movies may be not so good and not as good as the QN90A. But in a brighter room, the picture displayed on its screen will looks much better, albeit it doesn’t still match what produced by the QN90A.

Winner: QN95A

For Watching Sports

When used for watching sports in normal bright room, their performance is almost similar. And overall, their performance is great. They both have great picture quality in bright room due its excellent SDR brightness and good reflection handling. Meanwhile, although the QN90A has a bit lower pixel response time than the QN85A, but in general, they can both do a great job in handling motion. That is only that, they both also have an optional BFI mode that work well in improving motion appearance, particularly for 60 fps and 120 Fps and coincidence, most sports has 60 fps of frame rate.  And you don’t need to worry when you want to watch sports with a group of your friend or family. Although the QN85A has better side viewing angle than the QN90A, but in general they both have good side viewing angle. This ensures all of you will get the best viewing, even for you who sit on the site. Overall, the QN90A is a bit better in handling fast sports while the QN85A is a bit better in side viewing angle.

Winner: Draw

Video Games

When used for playing video games, the Samsung QN90A is also better than the QN85A. Just like when used for watching sports, the QN90A is better in handling fast game, making fast games looks smoother on their screen. On the other hand, the QN85A is better in side viewing angle, allowing you to get the best viewing when you are playing a game with your friend or family. Meanwhile, their input lags are equally excellent, allowing you to play any games responsively. They both also supports VRR mode that compatible with FreeSync, allowing you to play any games with screen tearing free, particularly when use a compatible console. That is not only that, they both also have a new feature called “Game Bar” and also support HDMI 2.1. This allows you to play game in max resolution and improve your experience in playing gaming with newest game consoles. Meanwhile, the other advantages of the QN90A is that it has better local dimming features and contrast ratio. This will makes dark games looks better on the screen of the Q90S than the QN85A. ON the other hand, with low contrast ratio, dark games will have a lot of small details being crushed, particularly when you are playing games in a dark room.

Winner: QN90A

HDR Performance

As we have discussed a lot above, both of the Samsung QN90A and QN85A use mini LED backlight, allowing them to get extremely bright. This is good for HDR content, particularly in showing bright scene or highlight in HDR. Meanwhile, although the QN90A can get brighter than the QN85A, but in general, they both can show HDR images and bring up small highlight in HDR like the content creator intended, which is brighter than 1000 nits. And in term of color reproduction, color gamut produced by them also has good coverage in DCI P3 color space. This means it is great for HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10 and HDR10+. And combined to their good color volume, this makes HDR content can be shown colorfully with very accurate color. That’s not only that, they both also can deliver smooth color gradient, making color gradient of HDR images looks very smooth without visible banding. Meanwhile, the major advantage of QN90A is that it has much higher contrast ratio than the QN85A. On the screen of the QN90A, shadow details of HDR images can be shown well with details being preserved well. On the other hand, on the screen of the QN85A, dark scene of HDR images looks less accurate with a lot of small details being crushed.  And this will be worse in darker room.

Winner: QN90A

Conclusion

As we have discussed a lot above, overall, both of the Samsung QN85A and QN90A can perform well in any usage. No matter they are used for watching movies, sports, TV shows, video games, or HDR content, the picture displayed on their screen looks excellent. But even so, special for the QN85A, since it has low contrast ratio, its performance is not so good in dark room, so use it in a dark room should be avoided. And compare among them, in term of performance and picture quality, Samsung QN90A is better. This is certainly reasonable because it is a higher model and sold hundreds dollar more expensive than the Samsung QN85A. So, which is a better choice? Of course, the decision comes back to your budgets. IF you have extra budgets, the QN90A is better choice. On the other hand, if you have limited budget, the QN85A is also not a bad choice.  It even has better side viewing angle, making it is suitable for you who often watch TV together with your family.

Check the Latest Price
Samsung QN90A Samsung QN85A
50 inches QN50AN90A on Amazon
55 inches QN55QN90A on Amazon QN55QN85A on Amazon
65 inches QN65QN90A on Amazon QN65QN85A on Amazon
75 inches QN75QN90A on Amazon QN75QN85A on Amazon
85 inches QN85QN90A on Amazon QN85QN85A on Amazon

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