Samsung 65Q9 Ultra HD 4K TV Preview
Q stands for Quantum Dot
What is the Samsung Q9?The Q9 is the flagship model in Samsung's new QLED range of Ultra HD 4K TVs, that includes the Q8 and Q7 and will come in a number of screen sizes including the 65-inch 65Q9. However QLED is not a new technology, these are essentially LCD TVs that use an LED backlight and Quantum Dot technology, hence the 'Q', to deliver increased peak brightness and a wider colour gamut. These TVs will support High Dynamic Range, specifically HDR 10 and HLG, and will be certified as Ultra HD Premium by the UHD Alliance. The Q9 uses Samsung's 360 degree design ethos, along with a One Connect box, One Controller and the company's latest Q Smart TV platform. In break with tradition, Samsung will use Q9 for the same model in different territories, thus stopping any consumer confusion.
DesignThe design of Q9 is not dissimilar from last year and again uses Samsung's 360 degree ethos, which means the TV looks good from all angles. This year the company refers to it as Q Style and the TV offers a bezel-less screen, a brushed metal finish and a choice of stands – the 'Studio' and the 'Gravity'. In a reversal of recent flagship TVs, the Q9 will use a flat rather than curved screen. As with previous years there's the One Connect box, which includes four HDMI inputs, but this is now connected to the panel via an almost invisible 5m fibre optic cable (a 15m one will also be available) making wall mounting even easier and tidier. The included bracket will also mean that the Q9 can be mounted flush with the wall as well, taking advantage of its slim chassis.
FeaturesThe Q9 uses edge LED lighting for its flat Ultra HD 4K LCD panel, which is different from Samsung's previous flagship TVs. The Q9 will also include local dimming and, thanks to the latest quantum dot technology, it can deliver a peak brightness of over 1,500 nits (possibly as high as 2,000 nits) and more than 100% of DCI-P3. This means that the Q9 isn't just Ultra HD Premium certified but can deliver the full colour volume required for HDR content created at 1,000 nits/DCI-P3. The Q9 also supports two forms of High Dynamic Range – HDR 10 and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) and Samsung have redesigned the pixel structure, which they say results in a better colour performance off-axis.
Samsung's new Q Smart platform is similar to last year's Smart Hub but adds a number of new features. First of all Samsung have added an IR blaster, which means you can put the One Connect box away in a cupboard if you like. As mentioned the One Connect box itself now connects to the TV using a 5m fibre optical cable that is almost invisible when you wall mount the TV. The One Controller has also been redesigned but can still be used as a universal remote controller. There is now full voice control, even for calibration, and you can use voice to control connected third party devices.
As with last year, any connected device will be automatically detected and setup, allowing control via the One Controller. You can also control, either via the remote or using your voice, the channels on different service providers and the most viewed channels can be quickly selected from a list down the left hand side. There is also the option to personalise the platform more, allowing you to group similar content into a single place under headings such as Music, Sports or 4K HDR. Since Samsung dropped 3D from their line-up last year, the Q9 obviously doesn't support the format.
PictureAlthough the show floor at CES is an awful place to evaluate a TV's picture quality, we were able to take a look at the Q9 in a back room demo where the conditions were more controlled. We were impressed by what we saw, especially in terms of the Q9's capability to deliver the full colour volume required for HDR 10. However we will objectively test the accurate peak brightness and the size of the colour gamut when we review the Q9. Although the TV did look impressive at CES, Samsung were using specially chosen content, so we will have to wait until our actual review to see how the Q9 performs in reality. During our review we will measure the greyscale and colour accuracy with both standard and high dynamic range content, as well as the black levels, the backlight uniformity, the off-axis performance, the peak brightness, the contrast ratios, the motion handling and the video processing.
ConclusionAlthough we were slightly disappointed to discover that Samsung's new range of QLED TVs still use LCD panels and LED edge lighting, the capabilities of the new TVs were impressive. The Q Style is attractive, the Q Smart platform appears well designed and the One Connect box and One Controller have been improved from last year. The features and specifications are certainly excellent and although we don't know any pricing yet, we are definitely looking forward to testing the Q9 when it arrives in the spring.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £4,899.00
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