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Hands-on review: Samsung QN900A TV and Soundbar

By Lama Farhat
Tue 17 Aug 2021

Over the past few years, content consumption has become one of the most important factors in our lives. From news to sports, movies, series, internet videos, video games and much more, we all spend a lot of our time consuming some form of content on some form of screen. As a tech enthusiast, I am a little obsessed with the concept of the “best way” to do something. A month ago, I got my hands on Samsung’s 2021 flagship 8K TV the QN900A, as well as the Q950A soundbar, and I was excited to check if it is indeed the best way to consume content in 2021. 

Picture quality

Samsung’s QN900A is a NEO QLED 8K TV. Coming from a 4K TV, you can definitely see the difference. You can see it precisely four times more with 33 million pixels! Multiple features power the TV, all working together to produce the perfect image. The QN900A has a backlight dimming technology that controls the Mini LED’s to make sure that the blacks are as dark as possible. The TV also has 1.5 times more lighting zones than TVs with similar technology, allowing it to show pure whites with minimum glare.

The QN900A also has Quantum HDR 64x which provides crisp, clear details as well as rich, deep and accurate colours. The HDR10+ tone mapping is so intelligent it can shift colours and contrast for every single scene. I was also really surprised by this, but the TV looks amazing from every angle. Usually, when you are sitting to the side of a screen, it just looks dark and not pleasant. The QN900A provides the same fantastic image from all angles. This is a great feature to have as every seat in a room can now be a good watching seat. 

While this is all great, sadly, not that much 8K content is out there. At least that was my thought when I first started looking at the TV. While that is true, Samsung included a solution. The TV is powered by Samsung’s Neo Quantum Processor 8K. This processor uses 16 neural networks to analyse and enhance the content played on the TV. It also uses 8K AI upscaling that analyses images and upscales each pixel to provide the best picture possible. I was blown away by how much better 4K HDR content looks on the QN900A versus my 4K TV. Even HD content looks so much better. Sadly, I do not think any amount of upscaling can save 720P content, but that is to be expected. 

Sound

The TV on its own is designed to sound amazing. It tracks what is happening on the screen to produce dynamic three directional sounds. It is probably the best sounding TV I have ever experienced. That, however, did not strike me as the “best way”. I was able to get my hands on the Q950A soundbar as well. Q950A is basically is home theatre sound system. 

It comes with a soundbar, two Dolby Atmos rear speakers and a wireless subwoofer. All four of these work together with the TV speakers to produce a surround sound experience. I was very pleasantly surprised by how amazing it sounds. The soundbar even has a Space EQ that allows it to check its surroundings and optimise the sound levels accordingly. 

The smart TV

Samsung has its own smart TV system. This means that they do not use the usual Android interface used on many smart TVs. The interface is clean and easy to use. It has all the apps I need, as well as a web browser. It allowed me to connect different accessories very easily and efficiently switch between them. It also has Apple AirPlay 2, a huge feature for someone like me who lives very deep in the Apple ecosystem. It also has really cool multiview features that allow you to play a video game while watching videos from your phone for example. The possibilities with this feature are endless. 

My favourite features

While the image and the sound of the QN900A are breathtaking, but they are not what is forcing me to save up for this TV. The feature that sealed the deal for me is how good the TV does in terms of gaming. While a lot of TVs can handle console gaming, they can never handle proper PC gaming. I tried connecting my gaming tower to my 4K TV, and it was a horrible experience. The refresh rate just can’t keep up. The QN900A, however, is a different story. The TV is capable of a 200Hz refresh rate. Combine that with the 8K resolution and the theatre-like surround sound, and you suddenly have the optimal gaming setup. I was amazed by how good games like Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Horizon Zero Dawn looked and played. 

My other favourite feature is actually the remote. The remote for the QN900A has a built-in solar cell that can charge from the lights in the house. All you have to do is leave it upside down. Every single divide with a remote needs to adopt this feature. 

Verdict

The QN900A paired with the Q950A Soundbar is hands down the best way to consume content in 2021. It leaves movies theatres useless, and after living with it for a month, the idea of parting with it is so sad. This TV is an exciting advancement in-home content consumption and is defining the future.  The only downside is that it will definitely break the bank. 

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