Samsung Has been enthusiastic about OLED screens for its phones for years, but it’s pointedly shied away in the tech in favor of its own QLED lines of LCD TVs. As we’ve been always impressed by OLED TVs because we started analyzing them, and less so with QLED, we have been skeptical of that decision. Together with the Q90R, Samsung’s 2019 flagship TV, the company finally proves us wrong. Even the Q90R is a very costly 4K LCD version ($3,499.99 for its 65-inch QN65Q90RAFXZA we tested) that shows some of the greatest color and contrast performance we have seen. Usually good LCDs can display terrific color but falter at contrast, and OLED TVs show superlative contrast but have weaker shade. The Q90 excels in the two disciplines, earning it our Editors’ Choice.
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The Q90R looks easy and stylish, with a Thin, matte silver bezel around the screen and operating along the TV’s sides. It rests on a easy, gunmetal stand having a single rectangular foot in the center. The back of the TV is made of dark gray plastic and bends outward slightly, and very notably has only a single wired connection.
Instead of plugging all of your devices and A power cable into the TV itself, which is handled with the separate One Connect box that plugs into the back of this Q90R via a single, slim wire. The One Connect box is a gunmetal plastic slab about the size of a cable or satellite box, even with all of the Q90’s ports and the majority of its electronic equipment. Because it is designed to be tucked into a cabinet, front is flat and nondescript. The back holds four HDMI interfaces, an Ethernet jack, an antenna/cable connector, a 3.5mm EX-Link portplus a connector for the power cable, and a connector for the One Connect cable that plugs into the back of the TV. Three USB ports sit to the right side of the box. Even the Q90R has no analog video connections, so in case you want to utilize a component or composite video source, you’ll have to receive an HDMI converter.
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The Q90R’s remote is identical to the one Included together with all the lower-end Samsung RU8000, a slim, simple black plastic wand built around a circular way pad. Its scant controls include volume and channel rockers; House, Back, Pause/Play, Voice, and Power buttons; a number/color button that delivers an onscreen amount pad and additional controllers; and three dedicated service buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix. A pinhole microphone at the top allows you to speak into the distant to utilize voice search and Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant.
Samsung Smart TV
In typical Samsung fashion, the Q90R’s smart TV interface is more sophisticated and incredibly Samsung-centric. This platform is also exactly like the RU8000’s, with a powerful Universal Guide that aggregates live TV and streaming information into a single space; a functional but modest app ecosystem that covers many major streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Google Play Movies & TV, Hulu, Netflix, SiriusXM, Sling TV, Spotify, and Tidal; and service for Apple’s AirPlay 2 for local streaming from iOS and OS X devices.
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The Q90R also features Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant that remains a largely unwanted runner-up to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It functions perfectly for controlling the TV itself, and can also control smart house devices if they’re compatible with all the Samsung-owned SmartThings platform, but it simply is not as easy, powerful, or broadly compatible as Amazon’s or Google’s voice assistants.
Fortunately, you can simply discount Bixby by Not pressing the Voice button on the remote, and should you have Alexa or Google Assistant smart speakers you Can use them to control the TV instead. Unless you are a very dedicated Samsung Fan with a home full of all the company’s devices, Bixby just isn’t very useful.
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