LG OLED C8 vs Samsung Q9FN Review (OLED65C8PUA vs QN65Q9FN)
Samsung Q9FN is the top model of Samsung’s 2018 4K HDR QLED TV lineup, while LG OLED C8 is the mid-class of LG’s 2018 4K HDR OLED TV lineup. As premium TVs which are priced thousands dollar, picture quality offered by them is certainly undoubtedly. Equally coming with HDR technology, both of them will meet what expected. In the market, Q9FN comes in 2 screen sizes those are 65 inch (QN65Q9FN) and 75 inch (QN75Q9FN), while OLED C8 comes in 3 screen sizes including 55 inch (OLED55C8PUA), 65 Inch (OLED65C8PUS), and 77 Inch (OLED77C8PUA). With the same screen sizes (QN65Q9FN vs OLED65C8PUA), Q9FN is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than OLED C8. But of course, their price certainly is not fixed and can still change at any time. So, what features offered by each and how is their performance and picture quality? Which is a better choice between them?
Short Review of Samsung Q9FN
As we have mentioned above, Samsung Q9FN is the top-tier of Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV lineup and also the successor of Q9F. This TV is successful to combine extraordinary peak brightness, excellent color gamut, deep black, and excellent precision light control to produce outstanding picture quality and HDR performance. And of course, what offered by Q9FN cannot be separated from great performance of the technologies behind it.
Like the predecessor Q9F, Samsung Q9FN still bring Samsung’s advanced quantum dot technology that make it can produce excellent wide color gamut, close to 100% of DCI P3 color coverage, makes it is including TVs with the best color gamut. Nevertheless, Samsung has made a major overhaul on its backlight technology. If in last year, Q9F still used Edge-Lit with local dimming, in this year, Q9FN comes with Direct LED backlight with Full Array Local dimming with hundreds dimming zones called “ Q Contrast EliteMax), makes its light control is far more precision, result in far deeper black level and excellent peak brightness. For processing the image, Samsung Q9FN is powered by a picture engine called “Q Engine” that effectively reduce picture distortion, allow it to produce crystal clear picture. Meanwhile, maximized for HDR experience, Samsung Q9FN already supports more than 1 HDR format including HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and HDR10+. Special for HDR10+, it is a new HDR format introduced by Samsung and their alliance. Basically, this format is based on standard HDR10, but it already uses dynamic metadata for more precision color and brightness range re-mapping. The result, color and brightness of picture can be shown more precision in each scene, make HDR picture displayed looks far better. This is just like what offered by Dolby Vision.
Not just excellent picture quality offered by Samsung Q9FN, but Samsung Q9FN is also a good performer in handling motion blur. By combining its excellent pixel response time and Motion Rate 240 technology based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, allows it to produce smooth and clear picture quality when playing fast moving images like sports, games, or fast movies. Additionally, Samsung Q9FN also has excellent input lags in PC and Game mode, makes it is as a great TV for Games. That is not less attractive is about its Smart TV platform where it is featuring Tizen OS that powered by a quad core processor, allow you to enjoy attractive and responsive smart TV experience. Let alone, in this year, Tizen OS has been integrated with Smart Things and Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant, make you feel more comfortable when enjoying Smart TV experience offered by Q9FN. And for allowing you to enjoy excellent HDR experience offered by Q9FN with impressive sound quality, it is equipped with 4.2 channel speaker system with 60 watts of total sound output.
Short Review of LG OLED C8
LG OLED C8 is the mid-tier of LG’s 2018 4K HDR OLED TV lineup, one level above OLED B8 the entry level. It is a bit superior to the series below it “OLED B8” due Alpha 9 Intelligence processor behind it that offers better motion handling and better performance in processing HFR (High Frame Rate) content than Alpha 7 Processor as the main processor of OLED B8. On the other hand, priced hundreds dollar cheaper than the series above it like OLED E8 even OLED W8, the excepting of design and sound performance, it offers similar performance and picture quality. For you who are not too interested with fancy design or more impressive sound quality offered by the series above like OLED E7 or W7, with the same picture quality and performance, OLED C8 offers better value for money and becomes the best alternative for you.
As we know, one of the strongest points offered by OLED TV including LG C8 is perfect black level and infinite contrast. This makes OLED C8 is as the best performer when used in a dark room or in showing darks scene. This due it has pixel dimming level where each of their pixels can switch on/off dim individually without affected by the condition of other pixel surrounding. On the other hand, the use of 4 sub-pixel technology where it insert white sub-pixel to standard RGB sub-pixel makes LG OLED C8 can produce excellent color gamut, close to what delivered by Samsung QLED TV lineup including Q9FN as the TVS with the best color gamut. Meanwhile, for maximizing peak brightness, there is Ultra Luminance Technology behind it. Although not as bright as what produced by Q9FN, this makes peak brightness of OLED C8n is including the brightest for OLED TV.
Additionally, LG OLED C8 is the lowest model of LG OLED TV lineup that is already powered by Alpha 9 Intelligence processor. It offers some improvements and advantages over the predecessor or the lower processor Alpha 7 like better performance in handling motion blur and HFR (High Frame Rate) contents, reducing picture distortion, and others. Additionally, maximized for HDR performance, this engine also supports most of HDR formats including HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, and Advanced HDR. There is only HDR10+ that is leaved by OLED C8. Also act as the main brain of its smart TV platform, the use of Alpha 9 processor also makes its Smart TV performance is faster and more responsive than the lower model “OLED B8” or the predecessor “OLED C7”.
Meanwhile, as its smart TV platform, LG OLED C8 is featuring WebOS 4.0. Like Tizen that has Smart Things and Samsung’s Bixby, WebOS also has a home smart assistant called “LG AI ThinQ”. The benefits, it is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. And for delivering impressive sound quality, LG OLED C8 is equipped with 2.2 channel speaker system with 40 watts of total sound output. The interesting, it also already supports Dolby Atmos, allow you to enjoy Dolby Vision experience with Dolby Atmos Sound experience.
LG OLED C8 vs Samsung Q9FN Key Specs
|Specs and Features||LG OLED C8||Samsung Q9FN|
|Resolution||4K (2160x3840)||4K (2160x3840)|
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (OLED55C8PUS), 65 Inch (OLED65C8PUA), 77 Inch (OLED77C9PUA)||65 Inch (QN65Q9FN), 75 Inch (QN75Q7FN)|
|Panel Technology||OLED Panel||LED (VA Panel)|
|Backlighting Technology||No (Self Lighting Pixel)||Direct LED Backlight|
|Dimming Technology||Pixel Dimming||Full Array Local Dimming (Q Contrast EliteMax)|
|Picture Engine||Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor||Q Engine|
|HDR Format||HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR||HDR 10, HLG, HDR 10+|
|Color Technology||4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW) powered by True Color Accuracy||Quantum Dot with Q Color|
|Other Features and Technology||4K Cinema HDR, Intense color, Ultra Luminance, etc||Supreme UHD Dimming, Ultra Black Elite, Q HDR EliteMax|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||Tru 4K Up-Scaler||UHD Up-scaling Engine|
|Motion Clarity Technology||-||Motion Rate 240|
|Native Refresh Rate||120 Hz||120 Hz|
|Smart TV||WebOS version 4.0||Tizen 2018|
|Processor||Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor||Quad Core|
|Remote||LG Magic Remote||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1890A)|
|Audio Channel||2.2 Channel||4.2|
|Sound Output||40W (Woofer: 20W)||60 watts|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
LG OLED C8 vs Samsung Q9FN Performance
Contrast and Black Level
Essentially, both Samsung Q9FN and LG OLED C8 have outstanding picture quality. Both of them have outstanding contrast ratio and black level. As we have known, one of the strongest aspect picture produced by OLED TV including OLED C8 is infinite contrast ratio and perfect black level. It has pixel dimming level that means each of their pixel can switch on/off or dim individually without affected by the condition of other pixel surrounded. So, when showing totally black, there is no light at all emitted from the screen. The result, black produced will looks perfectly without affected by the light condition of a room where it is used, whether it is used in a bright room or bright room. Additionally, perfect black level produced also makes dark colors can be shown fairly accurate. And of course, with perfect black level produced, it doesn’t have any problem to show details of HDR images like the intended. On the other hand, although not as perfect as LG OLED C8, Samsung Q9FN also can produce outstanding contrast ratio and black level. Its local dimming works excellently in improving contrast produced up to close to 20000:1, make it can produce black level less than 0.001 nits. For LED TV, what reached by Q9FN is outstanding and can be said the best. The result, black produced by Samsung Q9FN is also looks really black, no matter the light condition of a room where it is used, even in a very dark room where the impact of high native contrast ratio is very sensitive. Additionally, black level produced by Q9FN is also dark enough to show shadow details of HDR images excellently like the intended. Overall, with great performance in producing black offered by them, of course, this makes both are as great TVs for watching movies with a lot of dark scene like horror or thriller, particularly in HDR format.
Winner: LG OLED C8
While LG OLED C8 is superior in producing black, in term of peak brightness, Samsung Q9FN is superior. With SDR content, peak brightness produced by Q9FN is brighter than 1500 nits in small window size, makes small highlight in dark scene can shown extremely bright. Meanwhile, when showing bright large windows size, like other TVs, its peak brightness also dims, but is still close to 700 nits. This certainly is fairly bright to overcome the glare, makes the picture displayed on their screen looks consistent in most bright room. With HDR contents, Q9FN can even produce brighter peak brightness, about 900 nits with real scene. Even when showing small bright object in dark scene like highlights of HDR images, its peak brightness is brighter than 1700 nits. Like with SDR content, its peak brightness may dims at larger windows sizes, but still close to 700 nits when showing a scene with all objects are bright. With peak brightness reached, this certainly makes Samsung Q9FN is including few TVs which can shows bright scene of HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range like the intended, even can be said the best that ever, particularly in showing small highlight. On the other hand, although not as bright as Samsung Q9FN, for OLED TV, peak brightness of LG OLED C8 can be said great. With SDR content, except when showing a large bright scene, its peak brightness is around 400 nits. This is actually is bright enough to overcome the glare, makes the picture looks remains good in a bright room. But a bit unfortunate, when showing a large bright scene, its peak brightness dims significantly to below 200 nits. The result, when showing a large bright scene like outdoor scene, the picture displayed looks too dim. With HDR content, peak brightness reached by LG OLED C8 is also brighter, close to 700 nits with real scene that means it is great. Meanwhile, when showing a small bright object, it even can reach close to 900 nits, makes highlight of HDR images can be shown fairly bright and brighter than the rest. However, like with SDR contents, its peak brightness will dim significantly to below 200 nits when showing a large bright scene due to its Automatic Brightness Limiter. But overall, although not as great as what offered by Q9FN and cannot show HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range like the intended, for OLED TV, what offered by OLED C8 is great, even still brighter than most LED TVs which available in the market. The excellence offered by OLED C8, since it has pixel dimming level, when showing small bright object in a dark background, there is no unwanted adjacent light or called “blooming” visible around it. Meanwhile, on the screen of Samsung Q9FN, blooming is still slightly visible, but still less visible than most LED TVs.
Winner: Samsung Q9FN
Although Samsung Q9FN has a bit wider color gamut than LG OLED C8, but essentially, both of them have excellent color gamut and their difference is not too significant. Their color coverage is close to 100% in DCI P3 that means it is great for HDR content, particularly which mastered in DCI P3 color space like HDR10 content. Additionally, their color coverage in Rec.2020 is more than 70% that means it is still fairly good for HDR content that mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision. But even so, like other modern TVs, they are still unable to produce some certain tones of green in Rec.2020 fairly accurate. But overall, most colors of HDR contents can still be shown fairly accurate. Meanwhile, in term of color volume, Samsung Q9FN has better color volume than LG OLED C8. But even so, this is more caused Q9FN has far brighter peak brightness than OLED C8. Q9FN cannot show its wide color gamut in dark colors as good as OLED C8, but on the other hand, OLED C8 cannot show its wide color gamut at nearly their peak brightness. This means when showing dark scene, OLED C8 is better while when showing bright scene, Q9FN is better. But even so, overall, in real scene, color of the images displayed on their screen looks very accurate and vivid. While in color gamut and color volume, Samsung Q9FN is better, in color gradient, LG OLED C8 can produce a bit smoother color gradient. On the screen of OLED C8, there is no significant color banding visible. In larger areas of similar color, some color banding may still be visible, but this can actually be reduced by enabling “Mpeg Noise Reduction” on its picture quality. On the other hand, on the screen of Q9FN, in certain scene, some little imperfection is still visible in darker color. But even so, overall, the color gradient of LG OLED C8 and Samsung Q9FN is equally great and some imperfection that visible should not be a problem.
Winner: Samsung Q9FN
Side Viewing Angle
In addition to perfect black level, the other excellence offered by OLED TV including LG OLED C8 is its viewing angle coverage. Started at 30 degrees off center and front, color may still look shift, but it can maintain black level and brightness produced up to at extremely wide angle. The result, when viewed from the side, the picture degradation is not too significant and the picture produced will not look far different to when viewed from the side. On the other hand, as typical of TVs with VA panel, Samsung Q9FN has poor viewing angle coverage. Color will shift started at around 25 degrees off center and brightness also reduced started at around 30 degrees off center. The ability of Q9FN in maintaining color may not be far different to OLED B8, but its ability in maintain brightness is far worse. And which is severe is its ability in maintaining black level where black will looks degraded started at less than 15 degrees off center and front, makes black look tend to grey when viewed from the side. Its ability certainly is far different to OLED C8 that can maintain its black level from extremely wide angle. The result, when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on the screen of Samsung Q9FN will not look as good as when viewed from the center and front, and from wider angle you watch TV, the picture will look worse.
Winner: LG OLED C8
Motion handling and 24p Playback
As we know, one of the major advantages of OLED TV including OLED C8 than LED TV is it has far lower pixel response time than the fastest possible pixel response time reached by LED TV. This certainly makes OLED C8 can do excellent job in handling motion blur that caused by pixel response time. The result, when playing fast moving images like sports or fast movies, the picture displayed on its screen looks very clear with almost no visible ghosting trail following fast moving object. On the other hand, although not as low as OLED C8, essentially, Samsung Q9FN also has good pixel response time. Its pixel response time may not be the lowest for LED TV, but it is low enough to makes motion trail is almost no visible. The result, although not as excellent as OLED C8, performance of Q9FN in handling motion trail is also excellent for LED TV. Meanwhile, some blur that may be visible on their screen is more caused by persistence than response time. The other excellence offered by OLED C8, since it doesn’t have backlight, this allows there is no backlight flicker. On other hand, to dim the backlight, Samsung Q9FN uses PWM dimming system but the dimming frequency is depending the mode setting. In “Movie” Mode, it dims its backlight at 480 Hz, makes flicker is almost no visible on its screen. But in “Standard” and “Game” mode, it dims its backlight at 120 Hz that certainly makes flicker is more noticeable.
As we have mentioned above, blur that may be still visible is more caused by persistence than response time. For solving this issue, both of them have an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion mode). To enable this feature, on Q9FN, you just need to enable “LED Clear Motion” while on OLED C8, you just need to turn on “Motion Pro”. By enabling this feature, both of them will make backlight flicker at 60 Hz. This is very useful to reduce motion blur that caused by persistence, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. But on the other hand, since they dim their screen at lower frequency, this makes flicker is more noticeable. Which is a better setting, this is certainly is depending on your sense. For you who don’t feel comfortable with flicker, you can disable this mode. On the other hand, for you who don’t feel comfortable with persistence blur, you can enable this mode. Meanwhile, when playing 120 fps content, just like we have mentioned, Samsung Q9FN also has ability to make backlight flicker at 120 Hz. On other hand, OLED C8 doesn’t has this ability, so when it is playing 120 Hz content, it drops every other frame.
Meanwhile, when playing 24p movies, they have similar performance. When the source is native 24p videos like DVD or Blu Ray’s movies, movies from streaming media like Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, or 24p videos via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, both of them are able to show all of these movies type clearly and smoothly with judder-free. On the other hand, when the source is 24p movies via 60i signal, they are not able to remove the judder completely. But since most people don’t sensitive to judder, this should not be a problem for them.
As their major inputs/output, both LG OLED C8 and Samsung Q9FN are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All of their HDMI ports equally support HDCP 2.2, CEC, and HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth. There is also 1 port of their HDMI ports that supports ARC (Audio Return Channel). For this case, On OLED C8 is HDMI 2 while on Q9FN is HDMI 2. But a bit unfortunately, they don’t support HDMI 2.1 that means they cannot play HFR content (120 fps) via their HDMI port. Additionally, both of them are equally equipped with 3 USB ports where all of their USB ports are USB 2.0 and none of them are USB 3.0. In addition to HDMI and USB, they also equally have 1 RF In, 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), and 1 Ethernet port. A bit difference, LG OLED C8 has 1 Composite In while Samsung Q9FN doesn’t have. And as their wireless connectivity, they equally have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The difference between them is where their inputs/outputs are located. On Q9FN, most of their inputs/outputs are located on a separated box called “One Connect Box”, while on OLED C8, like most TVs, its inputs/outputs are located on the rear of its panel.
In term of input lags, in “PC” and “Game” mode, Samsung Q9FN has a bit lower input lags than LG OLED C8, even though their difference is not too significant. But essentially, their input lags are excellent, no matter with 4K resolution or 1080p resolution. With about 20 ms, their input lags are certainly is low enough to play any game responsively without laggy. No matter you are playing fast paced games or casual games, in 4K or 1080p resolution, with HDR or not, you will feel comfortable play them on In term of input lags, in “PC” and “Game” mode, Samsung Q9FN has a bit lower input lags than LG OLED C8, even though their difference is not too significant. But essentially, their input lags are excellent, no matter with 4K resolution or 1080p resolution. With about 20 ms, their input lags are certainly is low enough to play any game responsively without laggy. No matter you are playing fast paced games or casual games, in 4K or 1080p resolution, with HDR or not, you will feel comfortable play them on both OLED C8 and Q9FN.
Smart TV Platform
As their smart TV platform, Samsung Q9FN is featuring Tizen OS 2018 that powered by a quad core processor while LG OLED C8 is featuring WebOS 4.0. The Home Menu of these platforms equally have attractive and intuitive design and also easy to navigate. They also have a lot of animations that makes their appearance is more attractive. At the bottom across their home menu, all quick access buttons of menus, apps, and features are well-organized. Both of them are also equally have a lot of preinstalled apps including VoD service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, web browser, Games, Live TVs, and many more. Both of these platform also equally have an apps store provided tons of downloadable apps, games, contents, smart features, and more where you can download directly from your Samsung or LG TV. For this case, Tizen OS comes with Samsung Apps Store while WebOS 4.0 comes with LG apps Store. Additionally, both of them also equally have home intelligence app and voice assistant. Tizen OS comes with Smart Thing and Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant while WebOS comes with LG AI ThinQ. Essentially, both of these platforms have similar functions. Smart Things allows you to control and monitor your other Smart Thing compatible devices like Air Conditioner, Refrigerator, Laundry Machine, and more, while Samsung’s Bixby makes its voice command more excellent and can do a lot of more. Meanwhile, just like Smart Thing and Bixby Voice, LG AI ThinQ also allows you to monitor and control other ThinQ AI compatible devices and also makes its voice navigation is far better. The advantage of ThinQ, it is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home while Smart Thing doesn’t support them. Additionally, the advantage of OLED C8, its smart TV performance is fast and responsive, while the smart TV performance of Q9FN is fairly inconsistent. When you are launching an apps, times, there is a lag about 2-3 second before it open and animations drop frames intermittently. But overall, their smart TV platform is equally attractive.
As their controller, Samsung Q9FN comes with Samsung smart controller while LG OLED C8 comes with LG’s magic controller. The remote of LG is a bit larger and have more buttons than Samsung’s remote. On the remote of LG, the buttons provided is fairly complete. In addition to standard buttons like “Number buttons, “direction buttons” volume buttons” and others, it also has some commons buttons and two dedicated buttons for Amazon Videos and Netflix. On the other hand, the buttons of Samsung Remote is limited, it even doesn’t have “Number Buttons”. So, to make advanced settings, you must navigate through the menu or use Bixby voice assistant. Meanwhile, both of them are equally equipped with built-in microphone. Just like we have mentioned, Samsung’s Bixby or AI ThinQ makes their voice navigation is far better, allow you can do a lot of more with your voice command. Both of these remote also can act as a universal remote, allow you to control some basic functions of other devices connected on their TV via HDMI ports. The advantage of LG’s magic remote, it can act as the pointer once it is pointed at the TV. Combined to a clickable “Scroll Wheel” and directional pads at the center of the remote, this makes this remote is very powerful for navigation.
Winner: OLED C8
Sold with a difference in price about hundreds dollar, Samsung Q9FN and LG OLED C8 equally offer excellent picture quality and great performance. But even so, since they use different panel technology, amazing picture produced by them also has different characteristic. OLED C8 with OLED panel is superior in black level and contrast while Q9FN is superior in Color reproduction and peak brightness. Meanwhile, the major advantage offered by OLED C8 than Q9FN is about its excellent side viewing angle where it can maintain amazing picture quality produced even when viewed from extremely side angle. On the other hand, Samsung Q9FN has poor side viewing angle coverage that means the picture displayed on its screen will look degraded when viewed from the side. Additionally, OLED C8 is also superior in motion handling. However, performance of Q9FN in handling motion trail is also already excellent. Meanwhile, about input lags, both of them equally have excellent input lags, makes them very responsive for playing games. But special for OLED C8, since it has a permanent burn-in risk, play the same game for a long time is not recommended. On the other hand, Q9FN is free from permanent burn-in risk. Additionally, both of them also equally have attractive smart TV platform with a lot of apps provided. Their smart TV navigation is also equally easy. But for this case, smart TV performance of OLED C8 is faster and more responsive than Q9FN.
So, which is a better choice between them? After we have discussed a lot above about their performance, the decision certainly comes back to you according to your own preference. LG OLED C8 is more powerful in producing dark scene while Q9FN is more powerful in producing bright scene. But overall, their performance is great, no matter the light condition of a room where they used.