Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV review

The QLED TV to beat in 2023

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV has all the hallmarks of a premium TV: best-in-class HDR brightness, ample viewing options and strong picture performance. Despite minor qualms, this is the QLED to beat this year.

Pros

  • +

    4 HDMI 2.1 ports

  • +

    Excellent off-angle viewing

  • +

    Spectacularly bright

  • +

    Less blooming than previous model

  • +

    Rechargeable remote

Cons

  • -

    No Dolby Vision support

  • -

    Included stand isn’t very sturdy

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Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV specs:

Price: $2,799
Model number: QN65QN90CAFXZA
Screen size: 65 inches
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
HDR: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Refresh rate: 120 Hz
Ports: 4 HDMI 2.1, 2 USB
Audio: 60W, 4.2.2 channel sound
ATSC 3.0 tuner: Yes
Smart TV software: Tizen
Size: 56.9 x 32.6 x 1.1 inches (w/o stand)
Weight: 53.4 pounds (w/o stand)

The Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV has almost everything you’d expect from a premium 4K Mini LED TV — outstanding HDR brightness, a good selection of sizes, consistent upscaling, ample support for a variety of content, and more.

Powered by Samsung’s high octane Mini-LED panel, the QN90C promises excellent performance across the top genres. For those who aren’t familiar, Mini-LED backlighting delivers high levels of brightness while maintaining realistic color and gradations of luminance. And though the QN90C Neo QLED isn’t the most premium of all the 4K Samsung 2023 TVs, it’s the one that you’ll probably be most tempted to buy. 

It might not be as inherently exciting as the company’s QD-OLED innovations — the Samsung S95C still holds the top spot as the best TV we’ve tested this year — this Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV review reminds us why Samsung is still the king of Quantum Dot technology. 

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV: News and updates

Samsung has announced its 2024 TV lineup that includes a newer version of the Samsung QN90C. It's called the Samsung QN90D, and we got to see it for ourselves at CES in January. The new QN90D will include a number of AI-powered upgrades including Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro and Real Depth Enhancer that can analyze the foreground and background objects in a video. The QN90D will be available in the same sizes as the QN90C, including 98", 85", 75", 65", 55", 50", 43" models.

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV price and sizes

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

The QN90C Neo QLED TV is a bit more affordable than Samsung's 2023 QLED flagship, the Samsung QN95C Neo QLED TV, coming in at $500-$1,000 less, depending on the size. The 65-inch configuration we tested costs $2,799, though the sizes start at 43 inches and go up to 85-inches. 

  • 43-inch QN43QN90CAFXZA: $1,199.99
  • 50-inch QN55QN90CAFXZA: $1,599.99
  • 55-inch QN55QN90CAFXZA: $1,999.99
  • 65-inch QN65QN90CAFXZA: $2,799.99
  • 75-inch QN75QN90CAFXZA: $3,299.99
  • 85-inch QN85QN90CAFXZA: $4,799.99

Take a look at our ‘What size TV should you buy?’ guide for insights that can help you decide which Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV configuration is right for you. You should see similar performance compared to our 65-inch test model across the size options. Be sure to check out the best TV deals now for Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV discounts, too. 

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV review: Design

The Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV is rather standard-looking — it more or less continues the slim, minimalistic design you’ll find on all the best Samsung TVs. Setting up the 65-inch TV was a two-person job, but with just a few parts to get it set up on the stand, this unit is easier to manage than some others.

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

That said, the central stand doesn’t offer as much stability as we typically expect. Samsung transitioned to a hexagonal base design that uses less space, but that seems to have come at a cost. Luckily, you can mount the TV to a wall with any of the best VESA mounts.

Though it doesn’t have Samsung’s One Connect Box (it’s reserved for the Samsung S95C OLED TV and Samsung QN900C 8K TV), the QN90C has four HDMI 2.1 ports located on the back. These ports support peripheral features like eARC, Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate. Some of these settings are leveraged by the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles, which is a plus if you plan to make this set your next gaming TV.

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV review: Performance and benchmarks

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Samsung QN90C QLEDLG C3 OLEDHisense U8K
SDR Brightness (10%, in nits)794.8119518.90151536.5366
Delta-E (lower is better)2.21.39084.4614
Rec. 709 Gamut Coverage99.77133.5999.8301
HDR Brightness (10%, in nits)1987.34819.911788.31
UHDA-P3 Gamut Coverage95.8198.9897.12
Rec. 2020 Gamut Coverage77.1573.7780.41

On our TV testing bench, the Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV went up against an X-Rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a SpectraCal VideoForge Pro pattern generator and Portrait Displays’ Calman calibration software. It scored high marks in most regards.

As was the case with Samsung QN95B Neo QLED TV, brightness is perhaps the QN90C’s biggest strength. In Filmmaker mode with HDR content, the QN90C reached 1987.34 nits in a 10% window. This makes it even brighter than the 1905.8 nits achieved by the previous-gen model. For comparison, the LG C3 OLED TV hit 819.91 nits in the same window. In terms of TVs we’ve tested this year, only the Hisense U8K comes close to the QN90C with max 1788.31 nits. 

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

The QN90C scored as expected in terms of color accuracy and color reproduction. It tested a Delta-E of 2.2 (with closer to 0 being best) while covering 99.77% of the Rec 709 color space. The LG C3 OLED earned a 1.7 and covered 133.59% in the same tests, though it’s important to note that the best OLED TVs — including Samsung’s S95C OLED TV (141.46%) — typically blow away the basic color standard.

Samsung’s Neural Quantum Processor 4K powers the Samsung QN95C Neo QLED TV’s HD and SD upscaling. Watching “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” the picture’s sophistication seriously impressed us. As Miles Morales and Peter Parker swung through the autumn trees escaping Dr. Olivia Octavious, the subtle contrasts between orange and red and yellow maintained realism despite the film’s comic-book feel. The scene looked crisp, catching even the most minor moments in Miles’s progression of learning how to swing. 

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

The only anecdotal shortcoming I noticed when testing the QN95B is a bit of noticeable blooming and struggles with off-angle viewing. The QN90C made some apparent improvements to both, with much better light control and wider viewing angles that are so good that OLED TVs should be worried. Still, no Dolby Vision support is a setback for fans of the popular format.

For gamers, it’s good to know that the Samsung QN90C measured an excellent lag time of 9.7 milliseconds. That’s the slightest bit better than the QN95B’s 9.8 milliseconds, though the S95C OLED TV measures just 9.2 milliseconds, making it the TV to beat in this specific benchmark.

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV review: Audio 

The Samsung QN95B Neo QLED TV is more capable than you’d expect for native sound. As other Samsung TVs we have tested, this one can recreate sound based on what’s happening on-screen through a feature called Object Tracking Sound. In a car chase scene, for example, you can hear engines racing from one side of the screen to the other.

But if you’re going to get this TV, we recommend getting one of the best soundbars to take advantage of Samsung’s Q-Symphony feature that combines the TV’s native speakers with the soundbar for a fuller soundscape. Be sure to check out the best Dolby Atmos soundbars we’ve tested, which would all leverage the QN90C’s Dolby Atmos support.

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV review: Interface

Interacting with Samsung’s Tizen smart TV interface is integral to the user experience. Having tested several Samsung TVs over recent years, we’re familiar with the mostly unchanged platform. It’s not our personal favorite of all the smart TV OSes, but it has ample apps and search tools to find what you need.

The home screen features customizable tiles for content and channels to suit your watching preferences and preferred apps. You’ll find popular apps like Netflix, Disney Plus, Max, Hulu, Prime Video and Peacock plus some free streaming services including Samsung TV Plus. In our experience, Samsung TV Plus surprised us with some compelling content across a variety of subjects.

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

Like other Samsung TVs, the Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV has the screensaver-style display known as Ambient Mode. Though the Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV doesn’t have the museum-like bezels of Samsung’s The Frame TV, it looks more interesting in Ambient Mode than as a blank black screen mounted to your wall. 

What’s more, this TV is also a convenient SmartThings hub. It can act as a control center for your SmartThings-connected smart home devices, as well as third-party devices via the Matter smart home standard. It also has voice control with Google Assistant and Alexa, so you can use your voice to manage the TV and peripherals.

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV review: Remote

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV

(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung S95C OLED TV remote is rather minimalistic. It’s easy to use, but with the spare button array, you’ll end up navigating additional menus to change settings and inputs. That said, the dedicated launchers for Samsung TV Plus, Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video are helpful if you use these services often.

Our favorite thing about this remote, though, is that it’s rechargeable in not one but two ways. The solar panel on the back uses ambient lighting to reserve power, while a USB-C port offers a quick charge rather than replacing batteries. 

Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV review: Verdict

Despite Samsung’s growing push into OLED technology, the Samsung QN90C Neo QLED TV is one of the top sets we’ve seen this year. It’s the best QLED TV, hands-down. Fantastic brightness and great off-angle viewing are performance highlights, while the endearing rechargeable remote and versatile interface are things we think you’ll appreciate.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef. 


  • Duhastein28
    I definitely see a notable improvement in the viewing angles and the contrast at times resembles the intensity of an OLED👀🖤, apart from the good work of Samsung with its Neo Qled I am interested in knowing what type of panel this TV has and if you plan to review the QN95C📺(y)
    Reply
  • Jeff149b
    The QN90b used a VA panel last year in the 43 and 50 inch sizes, but not in the larger sizes. I have heard that Samsung was now using an AD?? panel, apparently a downgrade. What kind of panel are they using in the 50 inch size? How many degrees off-angle does the picture degrade noticeably?
    Reply