Samsung Q80R vs Q90R Review (QN65Q80R vs QN65Q90R, QN75Q80R vs QN75Q90R)
Samsung Q80R and Q90R are the second top and top model of Samsung’s 2019 4K QLED TV lineup. They sit between Q900R that comes with 8K resolution and Q70R. Samsung Q90R is launched to remove the Samsung’s 2018 flagship Q9FN while Q80R replace the Q8FN. In the market, they both come in 3 screen sizes options, but their biggest and the smallest models are different. If the Q90R comes in 65 inches (QN65Q90R), 75 inches (QN75Q90R), and 82 inches (QN82Q90R), the Q80R comes in 55 inches (QN55Q80R), 65 Inches (QN65Q80R) and 75 inches (QN75Q90R). With the same screen, (QN65Q80R vs QN65Q80R, QN75Q80R vs QN75Q90R), the Q90R is priced more expensive than the Q80R, even close to a thousand dollar. As a higher model and price more expensive, the Q90R should have better picture quality and performance than the Q80R. But the question, what are their differences and is the superiority of Q90R to Q80R comparable with their difference in price?
Samsung Q80R vs Q90R Key Specs
|Technology and Features||Samsung Q80R||Samsung Q90/Q90R|
|Screen Size Available||55 Inches (QN55Q80RAFXZA), 65 Inches (QN65Q80RAFXZA), 75 Inches (QN75Q80RAFXZA)||65 Inches (QN65Q90RAFXZA), 75 Inches (QN75Q90RAFXZA), 82 Inches (QN82Q90RAFXZA)|
|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 8x) with Ultimate UHD Dimming||Full Array Local Dimming (Direct Full Array 16x) with Ultimate UHD Dimming|
|Ultra Viewing Angle Technology||Yes||Yes|
|Processor||Quantum Processor 4K||Quantum Processor 4K|
|HDR Numerical Index||Quantum HDR 12x||Quantum HDR 16X|
|HDR Supports||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot||Quantum Dot|
|Moth Eyes Technology||Ultra Black||Ultra Black|
|Up-Scaling Engine||4K AI Up scaling||4K AI 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 2019 with Bixby 2.0 Voice Assistant|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Support Google Assistant||Yes||Yes|
|Support Amazon Alexa||Yes||Yes|
|Total Sound Output||40 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||No||Yes|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technologies of Samsung Q90R and Q80R
As the top and second top model of Samsung’s 2019 4K QLED TVs, they both come with the number of Samsung’s most advanced technologies. On their panel, they both come with VA panel technology that supported by Direct LED backlight and Full Array Local dimming. Can be ascertained, the use of VA panel make them have excellent native contrast ratio, but on the other hand, this makes them has poor side viewing angle. But even so, Samsung has anticipated this issue by adding their new optical layer technology called “Ultra Viewing Angle” on their panel. This makes them have better side viewing angle than most of LED TVs with VA Panel. But cannot be denied, the use of “Ultra Viewing Angle” layer technology slightly reduces their native contrast ratio and color gamut.
In addition to “Ultra Viewing Angle” that can increase their viewing angle coverage, both Samsung Q80R and Q90R also another optical layer called “Ultra Black” that has a job in handling reflection. This feature actually is not new considering it is also used by the last year model like Q9FN, Q8FN, Q7FN, or others. Nevertheless, since they both also have “Ultra Viewing Angle”, the layer is designed in such away so the reflections can be more diffuse on Q80R and Q90R. This makes the screen of the Samsung Q90R and Q80R is slightly darker than the predecessor Q9FN, Q8FN, or others. Nevertheless, in general, their Ultra Black optical layer can do a great job in handling reflections by absorbing and redirecting most of external light that hits the screen.
The new thing that offered by both Samsung Q80R and Q90R is their picture engine. They now are powered by an image processor called “Quantum Processor 4L”. The difference to the processor of last year models like Q9FN, Q8FN, or others, this processor has been based on the AI (Artificial Intelligence). This means, some features offered by this image processer has been based on the AI. One of the features generated by AI is Up-scaling Engine. This engine up-scales the non 4K content based the correlation of low resolution/quality samples with their corresponding high resolution/quality version (of the same content). The result, the noise reduction, detail correction, and edge enhancements of up-scaled image produced will be more optimized. Not only that, it also has a machine learning that has an ability to collect and analyze the data that has been processed. And as more data is collected and analyzed, their picture engine has the potential to fine-tune the different up-scaling components further over time.
Additionally, the AI also makes them have intelligent mode with some features like Adaptive Sound that optimize the sound based on the type of content and acoustic room correction, Adaptive Volume that automatically adjust the volume based on noise level of the room, and Adaptive Brightness that automatically adjust the brightness based on the ambient light.
Smart TV and Remote
Just like the last year models, both Samsung Q90R and Q80R also run Tizen OS as its smart TV platform and also powered y a quad core processor. The difference to last year models, they run 2019 version that offer improvement in performance and some additional smart features. At a glance, the layout of the 2019 version is not much different to the last year version. But in this version, it performs faster and more responsive than the previous version. If in previous version, the interface freezes occasionally for a few seconds and there are dropped frames and lags in animation, in this version, these issues can be minimized. Additionally, the Tizen 2019 now already works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Now, their Universal Guide Algorithm is generated by AI that based on your viewing habits for both streaming content and TV broadcasts. This allows their Universal Guide can provide more accurate recommendation according to your habits. And just like the previous version, there are a lot of preinstalled apps. There are VoD Service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, and more, Web Browser, Games, Live TVs, and many more. It also has an apps store called Samsung Apps Store that provided tons of downloadable contents, apps, and games you can directly download them from your Samsung TV. Additionally, the 2019 version now also already work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
As their controller, both Samsung Q80R and Q90R comes with Samsung’s Smart Controller with the number model is TM1950C. At a glance, this remote is similar to we found on last year model like Q80R or Q7FN. But the difference, it now has 3 additional dedicated buttons for Amazon Videos, Netflix, and Hulu. So, if you want launch these apps, you don’t need navigate through the menu. Furthermore, unlike the last year model where when you use Bixby to make a voice command, you need to press and hold the microphone buttons, with a far-field capability, you don’t need to do this to make a voice command, albeit it still keeps the microphone button. And just like the previous model, with Samsung’s One Remote feature, this remote can act as universal remote that allows you to control other devices connected on your Samsung TVs. Its ability is not limited for devices which support HDMI CEC only, but also for devices that don’t support HDMI CEC.
The Number of Dimming Zones
Although they both have direct LED backlight with Full Array Local Dimming, but the number of their local dimming zones is not the same. Samsung Q80R has around 96 zones while Q90R has many more, which is around 480 Zones. The different screen sizes might have different number of dimming zones. As we know, the more number of dimming zones of a TV, the light precision will be more accurate particularly for small area. And this will have an impact on its ability in producing black, minimizing blooming, and extending color gamut. And of course, with more number of dimming zones, Samsung Q90R can do a better job in dimming the small area and minimizing blooming that certainly makes the picture produced is also better. This is a major factor that makes the Q90R is priced much more expensive than Q80R.
Direct Full Array Numerical Index
This actually just a parameter used by Samsung to measure the panel ability of its lineup based on the backlighting, contrast enhancement, and anti reflections technologies. The higher the numerical index of its Direct Full Array the better its performance. On of course, this also has an impact on picture quality produced that also is better. And for this case, the numerical index of Samsung Q90R is higher than Q80R. And can be ascertained, the panel performance of Q90R is also better than Q80R.
Quantum HDR Numerical Index
This is also just a parameter than used by Samsung to measure the HDR output of their lineup based on internal testing standards. Just like the Direct Full Array, the higher numerical of the Quantum HDR, the better HDR output produced. For this case, Samsung Q80R has Quantum HDR 12X while Q90R has Quantum HDR 16X. And since the Q90R has higher Quantum HDR numerical index, can be ascertained, its HDR output is also better than the Q80R.
As we see on the comparison table above, both Samsung Q90R and Q80R are equipped with 4 HDMI ports. But even so, the number of their HDMI ports is different where Samsung Q80R is only equipped with 2 USB ports while Q90R is equipped with 3 USB ports. The excepting of the number of USB ports, they are equipped with the same connectivity. In addition to HDMI and USB, they both are also equipped with 1 Tuner In, 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), and 1 Ethernet port. The major difference is where their inputs are located. For the Q80R, all of their connections are located at the back of the TV, while for Q90R, all of their connections are housed on a separated box called “One Connect Box”.
Additionally, their HDMI’s support is also different. They both may already support CEC, HDCP 2.2, and HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth, but for HDMI 2.1, their ability is different. One of HDMI ports (HDMI 4) of Q90R already supports HDMI 2.1 Full bandwidth, while none of HDMI ports of Q80R that support HDMI 2.1. This allows Q90R can accept 4K HFR (High Frame Rate) content via HDMI. Additionally, one of their HDMI ports (HDMI4) also already supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) but they don’t support eARC. Meanwhile, the excepting of 4K HFR (4K @ 120Hz), the types of inputs supported by their HDMI ports are the same. At 60 Hz, the both support 1080p, 1080p @4:4:4, 1440p, 4K, and 4K @ 4:4:4, while at 120 Hz, they both support 1080p and 1440p. As we have mentioned the Q90R already supports 4K @ 120 Hz thanks to HDMI 2.1 support. Meanwhile, since none of HDMI ports of Q80R that support HDMI 2.1, this makes it doesn’t support 4K @ 120 Hz input.
Th other difference between the Samsung Q90R and Q80R is about their audio system. As we see on comparison table above, the Q90R is equipped with 4.2 channel speaker system with 60 watts sound output. This means, it has 2 channel built-in woofer. On the other hand, the Samsung Q80R is equipped with 4.1 channel with 40 watts of total sound output. With more channel and power output, the sound delivered by the Q90R should be more impressive than the Q80R.
Samsung Q80R vs Q90R Performance
Contrast and Black Level
As we have mentioned above, the use of “Ultra Viewing Angle” makes they both have better viewing angle, but on the other hand, this reduce their native contrast ratio. And the reality, the native contrast ratio of both Q80R and Q90R is relatively low in comparison with most of LED TVS with VA panel. But even so, the native contras ratio of both is still great and far better than IPS TV. Meanwhile, compare among them, the Q80R has a bit stronger native contrast ratio than Q90R, albeit their difference is not so significant.
As we have mentioned above, both Samsung Q80R and Q90R have FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) that well performs in boosting their contrast ratio. From around 3500:1, the contrast ratio of Q80R is boosted to around 6000:1. Meanwhile, the local dimming performance of the Q90R is even far better. From around 3000:1, its contrast ratio is boosted to around 11000:1. The result, black produced by them is very deep, around 0.017 nits for Q80R and 0.009 nits for Q90R. So, even though they are set in a pitch dark room where the impact of contrast ratio is very sensitive, blacks of images displayed on their screen looks really black that certainly makes dark scene look excellent on their screen. Additionally, black produced by them is also more than enough to make shadow details of HDR images looks excellently.
In addition boosting their contrast ratio significantly, their local dimming is also able to minimize the blooming. And since Q90R has more number of dimming zones, it can do better job in reducing blooming than Q80R. And this will be more noticeable when they are showing a small bright object or highlight in the dark scene. On the screen of Q90R, unwanted adjacent light around bright object or blooming is less visible than on the screen of Q80R. Combination of deeper black and better performance in handling blooming makes dark scene displayed on the screen of Q90R looks better than Q80R. However, this doesn’t mean performance of the Samsung Q80R in showing dark scene is poor. Its performance is also great but not as great as Q90R.
Samsung Q90R might have a bit wider color gamut than Q80R, but their difference is not significant and in general, their color gamut is equally great. But even so, their color gamut is not as wider as the predecessor Q9FN or Q8FN. It is highly possible this is caused by the “Ultra Viewing Angle” optical layer. The color gamut of Samsung Q80R and Q90R can cover around 94 % of DCI P3 uv and around 90% of DCI P3 xy. This means, their color gamut is wide enough to show most of colors of HDR images accurately, makes them can produce colorful HDR images like the intended. Meanwhile, in term of color volume, Samsung Q90R also has a bit better color volume than Q80R. The superiority of Q90R is caused it has deeper black, wider color gamut, and brighter peak brightness than Q80R. But even so, ignoring their difference, they both can produce dark and bright colors across most of their color gamut fairly well. But unfortunately, like most of LED TVs, they both are not able to produce very bright blues. In general, color of HDR images displayed on their screen looks very accurate. But since Samsung Q90R has a bit wider color gamut and a bit color volume, in some certain colors, the Q90R can show them more accurate than the Samsung Q80R.
In addition to it has a bit wider color gamut and a bit better color volume, the color gradient of Q90R is also a bit better than Q80R. In some certain shades of colors it can show them smoother than Q80R. But even so, ignoring their differences, although not the best in class, they both have excellent color gradient. Even though there are still some little imperfections in dark grays and dark greens, overall, their color gradient looks smooth and clear. There is an option to remove the imperfections by setting the “Digital Clean View” to “Auto. But on the other hand, in some certain scenes, this will makes the images lose some fine details.
In term of pea brightness, Samsung Q90R is also superior to Q80R. With SDR content, peak brightness of Q90R is around 750 nits, bright enough to fight the glare in most bright rooms. Even when showing small bright object (around 10% of screen), its local dimming is able to boost their peak brightness up to 1100 nits. When showing all areas of screen is bright, it can still reach around 500 nits. On the other hand, although not as bright as Q80R, with SDR content, peak brightness of Q80R is also very bright. With real content, it can reach around 650 nits where it is also bright enough to fight the glare in most bright rooms. Their local dimming can also boost its peak brightness to around 750 nits when it is showing small bright object.
Meanwhile, with HDR content, the peak brightness of Samsung Q80R and Q90R is even brighter. With real content, the Q90R can reach around 1300 nits, makes its peak brightness is including the brightest that ever. When showing throughout area of scene is bright, the Q90R even still shows it at 500 nits that means it is excellent. The result, highlight or bright scene of HDR images looks standout on its screen. In certain scene, it can even show them at brightness range the intended by content creator. On the other hand, with real HDR content, peak brightness reached by Q80R is around 900 nits. When showing small bright area (around 10% of screen), peak brightness reached is even brighter than 1000 nits. SO although not as excellent as Q90R, in some certain scene, highlight of images still looks stand out they should in HDR.
Keep in mind, all of their peak brightness are reached by setting the “Picture Mod” to “Movie”, ”Local Dimming” to High, and “Color Tone” to Warn 2” and “Gamma” to 2.2. Different settings may produce different result.
Side Viewing Angle
As we have mentioned, the use of “Ultra Viewing Angle” optical layer might reduce their native contrast ratio and color gamut, but on the other hand, it can improves their side viewing angle coverage. Although still not as good as IPS TVs, but at least, their viewing angle coverage is better than most VA TVs. If on most VA TVs, color shift started at around 20 degrees off center and front, on their screen, the color will ship started at around 35 degrees off center and front. As well as the black level, if on the screen of most VA TVs, black level will start to look degraded at around 15 degrees, on their screen, the black level just starts to look degraded at around 70 degrees. And this also applies on peak brightness. On their screen, peak brightness just start to reduce at around 40 degrees, on the screen o most VA TVs, peak brightness start to reduce at around 30 degrees. For you who often watch TV with your family, you will get this benefit.
Samsung Q90R may have better pixel response time than the Q80R where its response time is around 10 ms while the response time of Q80R is around 12 ms. But in general, their response time is equally excellent. So, when they are showing fast paced contents like sports, fast movies or others, the picture produced looks very smooth and clear with almost no motion blur visible. Behind fast moving objects, there is only a very short faint trail where most people may be not notice this much. The blur that may be still visible is more due to persistence or backlight flicker.
Meanwhile, to dim their backlight, they both use PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system. But even so, their dimming frequency is depending on the settings. Their highest diming frequency is 960 Hz and it is reached when they are set in Movie mode with “Auto Motion Plus” disabled. With this setting, its dimming frequency is very high it is impossible for anyone to notice this. But even so, when the Auto Motion Plus is set to Custom or Auto or its picture mode set to “Standard”, “Dynamic”, “Natural”, “Game” or “PC”, their dimming frequency will change to 120 Hz. At this condition, some people who sensitive to backlight flickers might notice them. Furthermore, if you set “On” the “LED Clear Motion”, their backlight flicker will change to 60 Hz. This will help to minimize blur that caused by persistence, particularly when they are playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. But on the other hand, this will make the backlight flicker is more noticeable. If you feel bothered with flicker, you can disable this feature. On the other hand, if you feel uncomfortable with persistence blur, you can enable this feature.
By default, both Samsung Q80R and Q90R have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. But since they supports FreeSync VRR (Variable Refresh rate), this doesn’t rule out the possibility their refresh rate change to synchronize the input device’s output. With 1080p content, their refresh rate can change from 20 Hz to 120 Hz while with 4K content, their refresh rate can change between 48 Hz – 60 Hz. This feature is useful to reduce screen tearing particularly when you play a game with a console that also support FreeSync like Xbox One or a PC with compatible AMD Card.
Furthermore, when playing 24p movies, they both can do a great job. Regardless the frame rate of the source, whether it is naïve 24p videos like DVD or Blu Ray Movies, via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, or 2p movies from streaming devices like Netflix, Amazon Videos, YouTube, all of them will be shown on their screen clearly and smoothly with judder-free. But even so, to remove the judder without motion interpolation, the “Auto Motion Plus “must be set to “Custom” and both “Blur Reduction” and “Judder Reduction” must be set to “0”.
The input lags of Samsung Q90R and Q80R in “Game” and “PC” mode are equally excellent. With 60 Hz inputs, regardless the resolution, whether the resolution is 1080p, 1440p, 4K, 4K @4:44, 4K with HDR, their input lags are around 15 ms. Meanwhile, with 120 Hz content, their input lags are depending on the resolution. For Q90R, with 1080p and 1440p resolution, its input lags are around 10 ms, while with 4K resolution, its input lag is around 18 ms. Meanwhile, for Q80R, with 1080p resolution, its input lag is around 20 ms while with 1440p resolution, its input lag is around 15 ms. Keep in mind, Q80R doesn’t support 4K @ 120 Hz. Furthermore, with VRR, their input lags at 1080p and 1440p resolution is even more excellent, which are around 6 ms. While with 4k resolution, their input lags are around 15 ms. This means, regardless the difference among each input, their input lags is great, make them very responsive for any game, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes.
|Performance||Samsung Q80R||Samsung Q90R|
As we have discussed a lot above, in general, Samsung Q90R is better than the Samsung Q80R. The major superiority of Q90R is on their black level and peak brightness. Meanwhile, on other factor like color reproduction, motion handling, and input lags, albeit the Q90R is still superior to Q80R, its superiority is not too significant and doesn’t has a significant impact on the normal usage. In term of feature that offered, the superiority of Q90R to Q80R is about HDMI 2.1 support where one of its HDMI ports (HDMI 4) already support HDMI 2.1 while the HDMI ports of Q80R doesn’t support. This allows Q90R accept 4K HFR content via HDMI. On the other hand, Q80R may also already support HFR, but it accepts via streaming or USB only and not via HDMI. Overall, they both are great TVs for mixed usage. Regardless they are used for watching movies, sports, games, or TV Shows, in a bright room or dark room, their performance is very satisfied.
So, which is a better choice between them? Overall, the Samsung Q90R might be superior to Q80R. But, as we have mentioned above, with the same screen, the Samsung Q80R is priced far cheaper than Q80R. If you have extra money, Samsung Q90R may be a better choice. But even so, $1000 is also not a little money. So, if you have a limited budget, the Samsung Q80R is also not a bad choice considering its performance is also great for its class. Now the decision comes back to you according to your preferences and budget.