Samsung had recently rolled out a series of new QLED TVs, which are not only large in size but also boasting 8K resolution support to provide users an immersive home entertainment experience. This would also beg the question; how is 8K relevant to the world (and in Malaysia) when the format has not been officially introduced in most services just yet? Fret not, the company has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to make their QLED TVs worthwhile. Courtesy of Samsung Malaysia, we were given the chance to take their 82-inch Q900 8K Smart QLED TV for a spin.
Tremendous Screen Estate
Without a doubt, the Q900’s 82-inch screen is staggeringly magnificent for one’s viewing pleasure, with a high screen-to-body ratio thanks to its thin bezels. Its screen size aside, the TV is actually very thin - enough to not jut out much when mounted on a wall, as if it were a large picture frame. Its QLED screen is also designed to be non-reflective, which works really well in any room regardless of lighting conditions. Even in bright daylight with your window blinds open, the Q900 will always display rich, bright, and colourful images with no problems. That accounts for a wider viewing angle as well, without experiencing any loss of quality.
All in the box
The usual hindrances of assembling a new TV set is the abundance of cables that comes along with it - this ranges from HDMI, audio, network, and power cables, just to name a few. Thankfully, that is no longer the case with Samsung QLED TVs, where a majority of cable management is done separately from the main TV unit in a minimalist designed control box which houses the necessary ports. The connection between the control box and TV is run by a single translucent cable that hides well on your wall, thus tidying its setup from any form of cables from view. Samsung has specially designed the Q-series TV to appeal in a minimalist form for modern homes.
8K Not Required
As you should know by now, the Q900 uses Samsung’s Quantum Dot LED (QLED) technology provides 33 million pixels in its display with advanced enhancements to colour, HDR details, and sharpness for high quality image viewing. Thanks to its AI enhanced Quantum Processor, the Q900 could upscale image resolutions as low as 720p to 8K by optimising the image with accurate colours, pixel restoration, and artifact correction. While you may notice apparent upscaling when viewing with 720p, images from 1080p to UHD are remarkably enhanced in 8K with rich details and colours, as well as surprisingly sharp visuals with no noticeable forced anti-aliasing. Samsung's QLED tech not only provides excellent picture quality, it also eliminates any risk of image burn-ins which are commonly found on current LCD, and even OLED displays.
The upscaling and image enhancements worked very well when it came to cinematic enjoyment and gaming. The latter was impressively showcased with Rise of the Tomb Raider running on the Xbox One X, which outputs the game in 4K resolution and then upscaled to 8K on the Q900. The TV will automatically identify if a gaming console is activated, and will switch its display settings to the aptly named Gaming Mode. Aside from the previously mentioned visual enhancements, Gaming Mode also provides ultra-low input lag, a variable refresh rate with Free Sync 2 technology, as well as simulated high FPS count and blurring reduction with Game Motion Plus.
How Awesome Is Awesome?
Perhaps what was greatly impressive was when we tested the Q900 with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild (BotW) running on a docked Nintendo Switch. While the Switch is capable of outputting 1080p when docked, BotW’s resolution is capped at 900p for the sake of maintaining a smooth performance. This proves to be the ultimate test for the Q900 and it managed to ace it gracefully, thanks to its AI enhancement and upscaling. To our surprise, BotW looked like it was right at home being displayed in 8K, with little to no signs of touch-ups. I suggested to turn the enhancements off for the sake of testing, and that’s when the illusion literally wears out. With it turned off, BotW looked like a pixelated mess - not something anyone would enjoy playing on a larger screen. This advanced feature on the Q900 was more than enough to prove that gaming can still be fully enjoyed even when running a low resolution gaming console like the Switch or PS Vita TV (if anyone still uses that).
Sights And Sounds
Samsung initially insisted that we enjoyed our testing session with audio enhancements from its new Q-series soundbar, which retails separately from the TV. But for the sake of reviewing the TV fully, I asked for the audio to be played directly from the Q900 to see if it fared well on its own. Without the soundbar, the TV speakers (situated on its back) surprisingly produced above par audio quality which is very acceptable for cinematic and gaming enjoyment. Of course, if you’re looking for a higher quality output and surround sound, you should opt to include Samsung’s Q-series soundbars with the Q900 TV.
Hidden In Plain Sight
The other cool feature of the Q900 is its ability to blend in to your living room as part of the wall or appearing as an unsuspecting picture frame. On the rear of the TV is a sensor that detects the colour of your wall and will adapt it to its display as a ‘screensaver’ when it is on idle. Alternatively, you can manually set the screensaver with a photograph of your wall (taken by your phone or camera), and the TV will adjust accordingly. If a picture of your own wall is not something you’d fancy, you can always spice it up a bit more by displaying a more personalised image instead. On idle, the Q900 engages in a low energy mode as it displays the screensaver, along with the current time and date - think of it being similar to the Always On Display mode found on smartphones.
What’s a Smart TV without IoT features? The Samsung Q900 is capable of being a central hub for your home devices - allowing you to keep track of your smart fridge’s content and even monitor your home security devices, among other things. Being interconnected in an ecosystem of your choice, the TV can be activated or deactivated remotely through your smartphone via Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit. The Q900 also hosts a variety of built-in services such as YouTube, Netflix, Apple TV, and so on. For voice activated features, the TV’s remote control is equipped with a microphone to pick up on your voice commands. Neat.
After our experience with the Samsung Q900 QLED 8K TV, it has proven to be an outstanding and desirable addition to anyone’s home entertainment system. Aside from providing excellent image quality and enhancements, it also proves that we need not wait for 8K to be a mainstay format in order to enjoy its fullest potential. However, being a premium and massive TV with 8K support, the Q900’s price might not appeal to most consumers. But those who can afford it will surely appreciate the TV’s worth and amazing quality.