Samsung Q90T 4K UHD TV review: Samsung tweaks an already great smart TV

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Samsung Q90T 4K UHD TV review: Samsung tweaks an already great smart TV

Samsung’s Q90R was arguably the best 4K UHD LED-backlit LCD TV of 2019. This year’s Q90T is in line for equal status, with picture tweaks that eliminate—or ameliorate—some of my complaints from last year. My gripes about the Q90R were few and far between, so consider the Q90T the best getting better. 

There is, however, one major change: this will please some and disappoint others, but the One Connect breakout box is now history—all the Q90T’s ports reside on the TV itself. If you want One Connect, your only option is the reportedly wonderful, but expensive ($13,000) 8K UHD Q950TS.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart TVs, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

Design and features

The 55-inch class (54.5-inches diagonally) Q90T I tested measures 48.3 x 27.8 x 1.4 inches (HxWxD) and weighs just over 44 pounds naked (55 pounds with its pedestal stand). It utilizes a 3840 x 2160, 120Hz, 10-bit panel driven by the same Quantum 4X processor used last year. (The processor’s name is not to be confused with the concept of quantum computing. The TV uses a layer of quantum dots for color, so this is just a marketing tie-in.)

If you’re going to set the Q90T on a surface, as opposed to hanging it on the wall using its VESA mount point, I’m pretty sure you’ll like the iMac-like pedestal stand. It has just a 13.5 x 9.5-inch footprint, and that leaves a lot of room on larger surfaces for other stuff. There’s also enough vertical clearance (around 10 inches) from the bottom of the screen for a soundbar or what have you. Yes, I’m a fan of the pedastel.

While the ports on the Q90 series are no longer housed in a breakout box, there’s a capable selection including four HDMI ports (with eARC support on one), coax for cable or an over-the-air antenna, Toslink digital audio out, and a 3.5mm analog audio out. There are also two USB ports on the back. If I have any gripe at all, it’s the lack of an easily accessible side-mounted USB port. I suggest adding a hub if you regularly connect USB media for video, music, or image playback. Connectivity options include 10/100 ethernet, Wi-Fi 5, and Bluetooth 4.2. 

Software features include ambient mode, which allows you to display a digital photo that matches the wall behind the TV, so the TV practically disappears when you’re not watching it. You can also employ the TV as a digital picture frame. The Q90T supports Samsung’s own Bixby digital assistant, plus the two you might actually use: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Siri isn’t supported, but there is the Apple TV app, plus support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 multi-room audio tech.

FreeSync support reduces lag and eliminates screen tearing by matching the Q90T’s refresh rate to your video game console’s, and a universal program guide tracks your content choices and recommends programs that it predicts you’ll like.

Now for the reality check—the Q90T is a rather pricey item in a field where the quality of mid-range TVs has improved dramatically. The 55-inch model I tested has a suggested retail price of $1,800. MSRP for the 65-inch model is $2,500, the 75-inch goes for $3,800, and the 85-inch costs $5,300. They all have one-year warranties.

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