Samsung QN90B Neo QLED TV review

In the battle between OLED TVs and mini-LED LCD TVs, the two technologies used in today’s best smart TVs, people who need a brighter picture tend to go with an LCD screen. For those who want an intensely bright TV, Samsung has upped the ante with its QN90B Neo QLED 4K Smart TV. It uses its brightness well, creating a sharp image with excellent contrast that rivals OLED screens.

The QN90B is more than just brilliance. It includes the technology that gamers want to get the most out of the latest game consoles. It also integrates cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Amazon Luna so you don’t even need a console to play the best games. While it’s not perfect, it will be a great option for many people.

A bright and smart TV

Samsung QN90B Neo QLED 4K Smart TV

The Samsung QN90B is one of the brightest TVs you’ll find, making it ideal for sunny rooms. The brightness, along with the mini-LED and local dimming technology, also helps it produce excellent contrast in dark scenes. It also features the latest gaming technology, including cloud gaming.


Michael Gowan/CNN

Did I mention the shine? Because this TV is very bright. The first thing I had to do was tone down the brightness to prevent it from burning my eyes. The room I used the TV in receives average sunlight, and the brightness of the QN90B can exceed much more. If you’ve had problems not being able to see what’s on your TV during the day, this TV should be able to overcome them.

The QN90B uses mini-LED backlighting and local dimming, which allow for a more nuanced picture. Thanks to these mini LEDs, the images of the QN90B are very sharp and detailed. I especially appreciated the sharp visuals while watching college football in 4K, where blades of grass had excellent definition and the ball flew without blurring.

Related: The Frame 2022 from Samsung makes a gorgeous and unique TV even better

The set also has excellent contrast, which is important for seeing details in dark scenes, as is common in shows like The Dragon House, The Sandman, and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Although it doesn’t support Dolby Vision, it uses HDR10+ to adjust the brightness of each frame so you don’t miss the exquisite details of Khazad-dΓ»m when Elrond visits Durin in The Rings of Power.

The TV can deliver accurate colors, but I needed to adjust the settings to get a picture that worked for me (more on that below). Overall, I thought the LG C2 produced a nicer image, but others may prefer what the QN90B offers.


Michael Gowan/CNN

This sharp picture combined with the QN90B’s 120Hz refresh rate and support for variable refresh rate, auto low latency mode and Nvidia FreeSync Premium Pro results in a great gaming TV. Each of the four HDMI ports supports HDMI 2.1 to get the most out of your PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S or high-end gaming PC, meaning it can deliver ultra-smooth 4K gaming.

Playing Forza Horizon 5 on an Xbox Series X, the screen delivered excellent detail without blurring even when the car ran at its fastest speed. In Fortnite, characters and backgrounds were sharp, though colors looked a bit off compared to the LG C2.

The QN90B also includes the Samsung Gaming Hub, which lets you stream games from Xbox, Stadia, Geforce Now and other services without a console. Gameplay while streaming isn’t too bad: playing Forza 5 and Fortnite via Xbox Game Pass was similar to the quality you’d get from an Xbox One.

samsung-qn90b-oled-tv soccer image

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The QN90B’s speakers produce surprisingly good sound for a TV. With its 4.2.2-channel audio (55-inch models and larger) and support for Dolby Atmos, vocals were easy to hear, and with Smart Mode on, it created impressively wide and fine sound and everything produced a bit of bass.

So technically you don’t need to add a sound bar. But do yourself a favor and get one for your home entertainment system anyway – it will add more depth to the sound and enhance the bass for a better viewing experience.

Samsung makes the QN90B in sizes ranging from 43 inches ($1,099.99) to 85 inches ($3,299.99), with plenty of models available in between. This means you can find one that suits the room you want to put it in. I tested the 55-inch unit ($1,499.99). Expect similar performance in other models, except for the sound of the 43- and 50-inch units: they have fewer channels than 55-inch and larger TVs.

samsung-qn90b-oled tv brightness

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While the end result can be impressive, you may have to work to get a nice picture on the QN90B’s screen. Out of the box, I found the picture too bright and the colors just weren’t right for my room. I really didn’t like the image produced with the Smart Mode setting, which is supposed to automatically adjust to room conditions; the LG C2’s AI mode produced a much better image.

But the QN90B offers a lot of adjustments you can make, so you can find the right setting for you if you take your time. I liked the picture better when I turned off Smart Mode; switched to movie picture mode; made some adjustments to brightness and sharpness; disabled image clarity; and increase the local attenuation to Standard. You see what I mean about working on it.

The QN90B runs on Samsung’s Tizen, which is one of the most robust smart TV operating systems. It has apps for the most popular streaming services, such as Netflix and HBO Max. Integrates with Samsung’s SmartThings app to allow control of other smart devices. It offers voice control via Alexa, Google Assistant or Samsung’s Bixby.

But on the QN90B, everything seems to take a while forever to launch and load. It actually takes a few seconds, but it’s slower compared to a Roku or the relatively fast WebOS on LG’s evo C2. Those extra seconds while you wait for a show to start are enough to make your life choices your question. Of course, you can avoid this by adding a streaming device and avoiding Tizen altogether.

The stand gets in the way

Samsung-qn90b-oled tv stand setup

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Similar to the complaints I had about the LG evo C2, the stand that Samsung includes with the QN90B, while stylish and attractive, just doesn’t work for the way I want to set up my TV. It sticks out about three inches beyond the screen, which meant I had to place my soundbar in front of the TV. It also only raises the TV 2.75 inches above the surface, which is better than the C2, but this can cause a soundbar or center speaker to block the bottom of the picture.

Samsung QN90B Neo QLED 4K Smart TV
New project (85).jpg

43, 50, 55, 65, 75 and 85 inches

83, 77, 65, 55, 47 and 43 inches

Panel type




4 HDMI (all support HDMI 2.1, one eARC), 2 USB, Wifi, Ethernet, coaxial antenna

4 HDMI 2.1 (one with eARC), 3 USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, coaxial antenna


Optical digital audio, Bluetooth

Optical digital audio, Bluetooth



Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG


4.2.2 channels, support for Dolby Atmos

2.2 channels, support for Dolby Atmos


Starting at $1,099

From $1,149

Fans of LCD TVs will love what the Samsung QN90B has to offer. It’s so bright and full of the latest technology. This allows it to deliver a sharp, detailed image with excellent contrast.

My color issues were overcome by tweaking the settings, though the QN90B couldn’t match the LG C2’s vibrant colors. In the battle of OLED vs LCD, I still prefer OLEDs, but the differences continue to narrow and no OLED can come close to the brightness of the QN90B. The LG C2 is the better TV overall, but the QN90B would be the right choice if you have a sunny room and need its extreme brightness.

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