Skip to main content

Hands on: Samsung Neo QN900 8K QLED TV review

Samsung's top-of-the-line 8K TV for 2021

What is a hands on review?
Samsung Neo QN900 QLED 8K TV
(Image: © Samsung)

Early Verdict

The Neo QN900 QLED TV is an instant stunner and poised to be Samsung's best new television in 2021. It's significantly brighter and shrinks down the bezel to almost nothing. While 8K content is limited, Samsung's Multi-Intelligence AI upscaling offers a better picture while we all wait for this resolution to replace 4K. Of course, you're going to be paying big for Samsung's best.

For

  • Bright, beautiful 8K display
  • Infinity Screen slims bezels

Against

  • It's going to be expensive
  • Limited 8K content out there

The new Samsung Neo QN900 QLED is going to be the first 8K TV for a lot of people who want to absolutely splurge on their next television purchase and blissfully buy into Samsung's vision for top-end TVs in 2021.

Big, bright, beautiful and before our own eyes, the 85-inch Neo QN900 stood in front of us ahead of CES 2021 running a looped 8K video that showed off exactly where this display makes its biggest improvements. The answer: pretty much everywhere except the so-far-unannounced price.

Samsung's first trick for 2021 involves shrinking its LEDs to 1/40th of their traditional size to increase both brightness and black levels. This allows for more precision and less blooming, so you won't see bright areas of the screen unnaturally bleed over into darker spots, like on some TVs that use local dimming.

Exclusive to the QN900 is matrixing technology that reduces the space between the edges of the screen where pixels end and the incredibly thin bezels begin. It's a small change by definition, but a big enough deal to use Samsung's edge-to-edge 'Infinity Screen' moniker from the Galaxy phone series. Of course, at screen sizes of 65, 75, and 85 inches, it's at a whole different scale here than the forthcoming Galaxy S21.

Samsung Neo QN900 QLED 8K TV

(Image credit: Future)

Measuring just 0.9.mm, the slimmed-down border around this 8K TV is a tad sleeker than the similar Samsung Neo QN800 8K QLED, which was also announced ahead of CES 2021.

Samsung Neo QN900 QLED 8K TV

(Image credit: Future)

This QN900 TV has better HDR (Quantum HDR 64x on the 900 series vs 32x on the 800 series), too. So while you may otherwise have a tough time telling the two Samsung Neo TVs apart, if you're going to spend big, the QN900 makes a bold impression.

How important is an 8K TV like the QN900? Samsung makes the point that 57% of consumers streamed more TV shows and movies in 2020 than in the past. None of that streaming content is in 8K, though. You're future-proofing your television experience for the day this 8K-optimized TV gets true 8K content to match its specs. 

Right now, you can take advantage of Samsung's Multi-Intelligence AI upscaling to get better-than-4K quality. We didn't see this 8K upscaling in action – that'll have to wait for a final Samsung Neo QN900 8K QLED TV review – but Samsung promises that the Neo QLED's level of upscaling is powerful enough to call it an industry first.

Samsung Neo QN800 QLED 8K TV

(Image credit: Future)

The speakers have been integrated into the Neo QLED TV sides, perforating the left and right sides with speaker grille. You won't find audio shouting out of the back of this television. Samsung's Object Tracking Sound feature brings a new level of clarity to intense action movies in which sound sources move across the screen.

Samsung Neo QN900 QLED 8K TV

(Image credit: Future)

The QN900 is a beast of a television, but a lot of the brainpower is offloaded into a separate breakout box that connects to the display panel with a single cable. It has a new design in 2021 by way of attaching to the stand or the back of the TV, so Samsung is calling it this box its 'Attachable Slim One Connect'.

Samsung Neo QN900 QLED 8K TV

(Image credit: Future)

Early verdict

The Neo QN900 is Samsung's flagship QLED TV in 2021 with over-the-top specs that, like its bezel-less 'Infinity Screen', knows no bounds. It's incredibly bright thanks to its use of smaller LEDs, which offer better peak brightness than Samsung's previous QLEDs. And yet its has more OLED-like precision when it comes to deep black levels.

Shrinking the bezels to almost nothing, beyond what we saw on the new QN800, is a technical marvel. Plus, the fact that it's promising twice the HDR performance as the 800 series Neo QLED means this is Samsung's best for 2021 if you want the king of 8K QLEDs.

We don't have a price for the QN900, or any of Samsung's new televisions ahead of CES 2021 for that matter, but considering the Samsung Q950TS 85-inch 8K TV price begins at $12,999 / £11,999, you're going to be paying big for Samsung's best.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.