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Home / Reviews / TVs / Samsung QN95D review: looks and sounds stunning

Samsung QN95D review: looks and sounds stunning

Flagship NeoQLED 4K TV adds class-leading processing to get the most out of its bright images and immersive audio

Samsung QN95D review Right View 1

Stuff Verdict

This exceptional Neo QLED TV rivals the best OLEDs in terms of contrast, and exceeds them with HDR, while class-leading AI processing gets the best out of any content regardless of resolution.

Pros

  • State-of-the-art AI processing
  • Peerless local dimming
  • Extensive gaming features

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision support

Introduction

Samsung’s QN95D Neo QLED 4K TV may seem identical to last year, with the same stylish design, Mini LED backlight, peerless local dimming, immersive sound system, comprehensive gaming features and intuitive smart platform. But appearances can be deceiving.

Look under the hood and you’ll find a new NQ4 AI Gen2 processor, with 20 neural networks that are four times quicker than the previous generation. These deep learning algorithms are designed to produce a superior picture and sound compared to earlier models.

It’s the Mini LED yin to the Samsung S95D‘s OLED yang, majoring on brightness but quickly catching up on black levels and colour. If you’re more about daytime viewing, is this the flagship model to go for?

How we test TVs

Every TV reviewed on Stuff is put through its paces with a mix of film, TV and game content, using a combination of streaming services, Blu-ray and console games. We use our years of testing experience to judge picture and sound quality, ease of use, and value for money. Manufacturers have no visibility on reviews before they appear online, and we never accept payment to feature products.
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Design & build: Elegant minimalism

The Samsung QN95D remains a gorgeous piece of industrial design, with its near bezel-less screen, great build quality and svelte panel that only measures 21mm deep. The robust stand provides solid support and has a smaller footprint this generation, which makes it better suited to narrower surfaces. The TV can also be wall-mounted using either a standard VESA or Samsung’s Slim Fit bracket.

The connections are all located down the right hand side as you face the screen. Here you’ll find four HDMI 2.1 inputs that support 4K at frame rates up to 144Hz, plus eARC in the case of HDMI 3. There are also two USB 2.0 ports, twin tuners, CI slot, an optical digital output, and Ethernet port. In terms of wireless connectivity there’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay 2.

The QN95D ships with two remotes – a standard black version and the Solar Cell controller, which offers a stripped-down choice of buttons that cover all the main functionality and control, plus there are direct access keys for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and Samsung’s TV Plus. Other options include the excellent SmartThings app, or limited voice control via the smart assistants.

Features: powerful AI-enhanced processing

The Samsung QN95D is the brand’s flagship 4K TV, and retains all the features from last year, such as a VA panel for deeper blacks, quantum dot filters for purer colours, and a Mini LED backlight with 1,344 independent zones. When combined with Samsung’s class-leading local dimming algorithm the results are images with deep blacks and well-defined shadows.

The Quantum Matrix technology boosts the backlight performance with a presentation that’s more accurate and energy efficient, while Real Depth Enhancer Pro adds more dimensionality to images by detecting the areas of focus and enhancing their depth through active control of the backlight. As a result, pictures enjoy wider contrast and a greater sense of perceived detail.

The Quantum Matrix also enhances the HDR performance by adjusting the dimmable zones to redirect power from darker parts of the image to brighter ones, thus improving the dynamic range and the energy efficiency. As for HDR, the QN95D can handle HDR10, hybrid log-gamma (HLG) and HDR10+ (Adaptive and Gaming), but sadly Samsung still doesn’t support Dolby Vision

As mentioned in the introduction, the big addition this year is the groundbreaking NQ4 AI Gen2 processor. Beyond subtler, more effective processing, it also adds a custom picture mode that optimises the picture settings based on genre options and individual preferences.

The home user interface remains well-designed and intuitive to navigate, with a comprehensive choice of streaming apps with 4K, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Atmos where applicable. Samsung has added adds three tabs at the top called For You, Live and Apps. These are intended to make it easier to customise the interface and access recommended content and curated apps.

Performance: looks like a super-bright OLED

The Samsung QN95D retains all the strengths that made last year’s model so impressive, with 1,344 independent zones and Samsung’s class-leading local dimming algorithms combining to produce a fantastic contrast performance to rival the best OLED TVs in terms of black levels.

At the other end of the scale this Neo QLED TV outperforms all OLEDs, with a peak brightness of over 2,250 nits on a 10% window, and 757 nits on a full-field pattern. This ensures HDR with remarkable impact thanks to inky blacks juxtaposed against super-bright specular highlights

Crucially these punchy highlights are rendered without clipping detail, and with no apparent blooming caused by the Mini LED backlight – unless viewed at an extreme angle. This contrast prowess is enhanced by tone mapping that brings out the details in shadows just above black.

On top this the Quantum Matrix tech further improves the performance, while the Real Depth Enhancer Pro feature certainly lives up to its name by adding greater dimensionality to images that help bring out more detail while simultaneously expanding the general HDR definition.

The overall screen uniformity is also excellent, with no clouding or banding, and the screen filter remains highly effective, absorbing light from the front, and rejecting any ambient light in the room. The result is an equally impressive performance when watching during the day or at night.

The Filmmaker Mode delivers incredible levels of accuracy with SDR and HDR pictures, retaining the content creator’s original visual intentions. Brightness measurements aside, the QN95D also covers 95% of the DCI-P3 colour space, and hits the targets for different saturation points.

The tone mapping was incredibly precise in all my tests, taking advantage of the massive brightness and cutting-edge processing to produce impactful HDR images with perfectly rendered specular highlights, saturated colours, deep blacks and detailed shadows that aren’t crushed.

The QN95D handled the various different formats, including HDR10+ with the added benefit of dynamic metadata. While it’s a shame that Samsung continues to shun Dolby Vision, the reality is that the format would add little value given the inherent capabilities of this TV.

The motion handling is also excellent, which means films and TV dramas delivered at 24p benefit from movement that is reproduced without any unwanted judder or artefacts. There’s also extra processing for fast-paced sports if necessary, and support for 144Hz higher frame rate gaming.

All these attributes come into play during the opening race in Ready Player One, with all the details and enjoyable Easter eggs in the visuals rendered in precise detail, while the highlights and colours really pop to add to all the fun. The motion is equally impressive as the camera weaves along the course and amongst the vehicles as they evade attack from a T-Rex and King Kong.

Gaming: should satisfy even the most demanding gamer

Samsung QN95D review Game Hub

All four HDMI 2.1 inputs support high frame rates, plus Freesync Premium Pro variable refresh and Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro 144Hz for PC gamers. Next-gen console owners can also enjoy VRR and ALLM at 4K/120.

The Game Hub provides a choice of cloud gaming services, while the Game Bar pops up to provide information and dedicated settings, as well as menus that users can adjust to personalise their gaming experience. The new AI Auto Game Mode allows the TV to select the correct setting for specific game genres, and the standard Game Mode delivers a lightning fast input lag of 9ms.

As a result game play is often amazing, with detailed, smooth and responsive action, plus motion that’s free of tearing or other artefacts, even at the highest frame rates.

Sound: immersive sonic capabilities

Samsung QN95D review Rear Woofers

It may have a slim chassis, but this TV doesn’t compromise on sound quality thanks to a 4.2.2-channel speaker system. This crams six drivers behind the perforated strip around the outer edge, and two subs in the rear, each comprised of three woofers. The resulting soundstage is bigger than the screen, filling the space around the TV, and delivering decent amounts of bass.

The speakers are located along the bottom and top. When combined with Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound Plus processing the QN95D is able to layer in a greater sense of dimensionality, while seamlessly moving the audio around and above the screen as it tracks the action on it. The AI-enhanced processing also ensures focused and intelligible dialogue in the most hectic of mixes.

The woofers built into the rear of the panel help generate a surprisingly solid foundation of bass, giving movie soundtracks greater presence. The audio doesn’t just benefit from the AI-enhanced processing, but also Dolby Atmos decoding that adds height, width and depth from supporting soundtracks. There’s also Q Symphony to sync the TV with compatible Samsung soundbars.

In terms of other audio features there’s Space Fit Sound for room correction, plus Active Voice Amplifier Pro, which uses AI processing to boost dialogue, ensuring every word is heard. In addition, Adaptive Sound Pro also uses the advanced AI-enhanced smarts to analyse and remaster the audio to ensure every aspect of the sound design is heard as the artist intended.

Samsung QE65QN95D verdict

Samsung QN95D review Front View 1

The Samsung QN95D takes the already fantastic picture quality of previous generations and adds groundbreaking AI-enhanced processing to not only get the best out of any content regardless of resolution, but also deliver images that not only rival the best OLEDs but often outperform them, especially when it comes to HDR.

Once you add an excellent sound system, extensive gaming features and intuitive smart system, you’ve got an impressive 4K TV worthy of your attention.

Stuff Says…

Score: 5/5

This exceptional Neo QLED TV rivals the best OLEDs in terms of contrast, and exceeds them with HDR, while class-leading AI processing gets the best out of any content regardless of resolution.

Pros

State-of-the-art AI processing

Peerless local dimming

Extensive gaming features

Cons

No Dolby Vision support

Samsung QN95D technical specifications

Screen size(s)55in, 65in (version tested), 75in, 85in
Resolution3840×2160
HDR formatsHDR10, HLG, HDR10+ (Game and Adaptive)
Inputs4 x HDMI 2.1, 2x USB, CI, digital optical out, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Smart TV OSSamsung Tizen
Dimensions1444x829x21mm, 23.8kg (panel only)
 1444x890x271mm, 27.9kg (with stand)
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