Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV QN900B Gaming Review: A Beautiful Screen

Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV QN900B Gaming Review: A Beautiful Screen

Friends, once a year, Samsung releases an absolutely ridiculously fancy TV, and it is a sight to behold. They release a lot of other TVs, too, but only one has every bell and whistle available to them (to a point, they have bells and whistles so fancy no one can afford them, but then no one could afford it).

In 2022, that TV was the QN900B. It’s a $6499+ 8K Neo QLED TV with 1920 dimming zones, one of the brightest (if not the brightest) panels ever made in a beautiful box. But, is it worth the money if you’re a console gamer? And is it actually good? I’ve been using the 75” model as my main TV for about two months and I can wholeheartedly say yes, but let’s go into the details.

Samsung QN900B specs

Price: $8,999.00 (75″)

Screen Technology: QLED

Video: Neo Quantum Processor 8K

Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320

HDR (High Dynamic Range): Quantum HDR 64x (65′ 48x)

HDR 10+: Certified (HDR10+ Adaptive & HDR10+ GAMING)

Contrast: Quantum Matrix Technology Pro

Colour: Quantum Dot

Gaming performance

Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV QN900B

Unsurprisingly, Samsung’s fanciest TV is very good at gaming. You can easily get a buttery smooth 120fps (on compatible games), though you get the best overall picture performance at 4K/60fps.

In Game Mode, you don’t benefit so much from the 8K picture and upscaling as you do when watching Netflix or something because the Neo Quantum Processor is more focused on getting the input lag to 10ms, instead of trying to upscale the picture, which is a more worthy cause.

Game Mode also means that you get the Game Bar, giving quick access to settings and your refresh rate. This is particularly helpful if you enjoy giggling about how high your refresh rate is (or, at least, that’s how I use it). You can also use the Game Bar to switch to the Ultrawide view, where you can pick between 32:9 and 21:9 aspect ratios. This is best if you’re gone for a 75” or 85” TV, though those models are obviously a bit more expensive than the 65”.

Another bonus is that the ‘brightest ever TV’ means great HDR performance. Textures really pop in Horizon: Forbidden West on PS5, making it look more realistic. The TV I had before this one was the 2021 QN900A, and so I didn’t expect to notice much difference, but I absolutely did when it comes to HDR content.

Obviously, being a fancy TV means that the pictures are sharp, and for the most part the dimming is the same as OLED quality, which is huge for a QLED. The only times the difference between QLED and OLED were obvious were mixed. The good difference is that it’s much brighter, but the bad is that dimming wasn’t handled as well when trying to transmit 4K/120fps with minimal input lag, presumably because the processor was otherwise occupied.

That extra brightness boost to HDR is why it’s so unfortunate that Samsung still doesn’t support Dolby Vision. It would be great to have HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision for full compatibility with everything. The TV has Dolby Atmos, so clearly Samsung and Dolby are on speaking terms, but I guess we’ll have to wait a bit longer to have a feature that’s been standard on LG TVs for years.

UI: Welcome to my hell

Last year’s UI was nice and minimal. This year’s UI wants to push you even further away from free-to-air (FTA) TV and towards more apps, treating FTA, built-in apps, Samsung TV Plus and inputs with the same weight. This is annoying to me, because I still watch a lot of news on free-to-air TV, and now having to press so many extra buttons to get to the content that used to take fewer steps is really frustrating. I know most people have moved away from FTA, but I also still write for newspapers (and occasionally produce FTA TV), so this is on brand for me. Plus, old people still exist, they’ll still want to watch their shows. I can live with not having number buttons on the remote, but adding in even more extra steps just so I can obsessively watch ABC24 and then switch to local broadcasts fills me with great irritation.

Aside from FTA, though, I can see how this more equal weighting would benefit people who have a smart TV for the smart things primarily, and maybe only switch to FTA to watch one thing a week, or even no things. I’m sure the networks are thrilled by this change.

Tizen isn’t too bad as a TV OS, there is a good range of apps and it’s easy to navigate if you don’t watch a lot of FTA. It’s also compatible with the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant smart assistants for voice prompts, as well as Bixby, I guess.

Samsung QN900B Physical design

The Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV QN900B is very thin

As you would expect for a TV that costs the same as a decent used car, the TV is beautiful. The extremely thin, almost bezel-less body is absolutely terrifying to set up, but looks incredible on the wall. The stand it comes with is nice and minimalist, but this year I decided to wall mount my TV with the optional Samsung Slim Fit wall mount, and it was absolutely the right choice. There is basically no gap between the TV and the wall, and it looks super clean and nice.

This thin screen and the ability to be cleanly wall mounted is largely thanks to the existence of the One Connect Box, which is a separate box that plugs into the TV using one clear cable. As the name suggests, that’s the box you plug in the power and HDMI cables to, and you can hide it in your TV cabinet. If you’ve been using flagship Samsung TVs for a few years, this won’t be news to you. But if you haven’t had the joy of being able to hide a One Connect box, it really does make a big difference to your living room set up.

Remote: Mildly hates me, but I love it anyway

I have had a love/hate relationship with Samsung’s minimalist remotes ever since the company decided numbers were for suckers. As stated before, if you watch a lot of FTA TV, then you’re going to want those numbers, and every other way of changing the channel takes forever. However, if you don’t watch a lot of FTA, then this remote is great. Super easy to use, and there are dedicated buttons for Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video.

The other problem is that I’ve had some sync issues with the remote. Because I live in an inner-city apartment building filled with competing wireless signals, the Bluetooth sometimes drops out on the remote and it can sometimes be a bit finnicky on re-pairing. Normally re-pairing is fine by just holding down the play and back buttons at the same time, but sometimes it decides to just not re-pair for a while. My theory, and I have nothing to base this on, but my theory is that a nearby neighbour also has a 2022 Samsung TV and we keep accidentally pairing our remotes to the wrong TV. That, or the remote is haunted. But the same model TV thing seems more likely for a variety of reasons. When this happens, I just switch to using the Smart Things app on my phone to control the TV, which is actually my preferred remote because it has numbers and more input options.

One good thing is that the remote has a solar panel on the back, so you supposedly never have to charge it. I found that held true on last year’s model, but I have had to plug this year’s remote in to charge a couple of times because it went flat despite being next to a large window. However, if my theory is correct about the neighbour TV, then it could just be getting tuckered out by trying to pair to the wrong TV. Or it could be faulty. Either way, other people I know with the same model TV haven’t had these problems, so I think this is more of a me issue than a systemic one.

Generally watching things performance on the Samsung QN900B

Close up of a tv show playing on the Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV QN900B wall mounted

This is where I would like to write a love letter to this TV. Everything looks incredible. Colours are vibrant (but not too vibrant), HDR textures pop, and the definition is so good I’m starting to recognise the signatures of different Hollywood plastic surgeons.

I did find that I had to mess around a bit with the different pre-sets, because they looked a bit off to me, but that’s the same with almost any TV. How you perceive colour is different to how other people perceive colour, and that’s beautiful, but also means you need to put in a little extra work when you first get a new TV.

What’s worth watching in 8K these days?

Nothing! There are some very beautiful, but ultimately pointless YouTube videos in 8K that will look great when you show them to your friends. But you don’t really want an 8K TV for the 8K, because unless the screen is the size of your wall and you’re sitting less than 2m from it, you’re not going to get the benefit of 8K. You want an 8K TV for the processor and its ability to upscale things, and because maybe one day there will be 8K content. An 8K TV is for making SD, HD and 4K content look better than it did before. Also, Samsung’s 8K flagship has more bells and whistles than the 4K flagship, even if you’re not buying it to get four times the pixels.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you get in the 75” QN900B instead of the 4K QN95B: OTS Pro vs OTS+, 90W RMS vs 70W (it sounds better), Quantum HDR 64x vs 32x. Is that worth $3500? Depends on you, your eyesight, hearing and budget, really. But that HDR boost to me is worth the jump to 8K for those who have the budget.

Sound and other sundries

Samsung Neo 8K TV 2022 with sound bar

Q-Symphony is really great this year. I found it was a bit patchy last year, but this year it sounds really good with the Samsung HW-Q990B Q-Series Soundbar. This is thanks to the build-in decoding of Dolby Atmos and Object Tracking Sound (OTS) Pro system that’s featured in the 2022 8K QN900B model. What Q-Symphony does is use the speakers in the TV as well as the speakers in the sound bar to create a fuller sound stage and a better Dolby Atmos effect. Using only the speakers built-into a TV is almost never good (unless it’s a Bang and Olufsen TV, but then you have different problems), but this is better than usual.

Is the Samsung QN900B good and would I recommend it?

TV show playing on the Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV QN900B

Yes and mostly yes. The QN900B is a fantastic TV. The picture is incredible and it makes movies and games much more of an immersive experience. Having to go through the UI that makes whatever you’re currently watching small to pick your next input or go to FTA annoys me personally, but is more of a preference thing.

As for whether I’d recommend it, that a more difficult question. There are so many wonderful TVs out there for under $5000, and this 8K TV is quite distinctly over $5000. So, if budget is a factor, the 4K QN95B has most of the bells and whistles of the QN900B, but in 4K. However, if you really want 8K and have the budget to stretch there, this is one of the most affordable 8K TVs out there while also probably being the best at a consumer-level price. If you have the money and the desire, and what I said above doesn’t hit any important negatives for you, then I say go for it. It’s the best TV I’ve seen released this year and I’ve spent dozens of hours watching it, and still without fail comment out loud once a week how good it looks. It’s a great TV.


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