Samsung Q950TS QLED 8K, review: the best TV Samsung has made so far aims to wipe out the high-end

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Samsung Q950TS QLED 8K, review: the best TV Samsung has made so far aims to wipe out the high-end

This is the most advanced TV that Samsung has placed in stores so far. Its cover letter clearly reflects that this model does not aspire to sneak onto the list of the best-selling devices of this brand because its price puts it out of reach of most users. Even so, it is very interesting to analyze it thoroughly, as we are about to do, because it can help us accurately calibrate how far this brand can go. when global quality prevails about the price of the product.

If we synthesize what this television offers us, indicating only that it is the most ambitious 8K panel model from Samsung, we will hardly be scratching the surface. There is no doubt that the panel is one of the most relevant components of this device, but we cannot ignore that it is backed by the technologies of dimming of the backlight and processing of that of this brand that we have analyzed, this television incorporates a VA type LCD panel with 10-bit color depth. VA panels have significantly higher native contrast than IPS panels, but on their own they reproduce color less accurately and have significantly reduced viewing angles. During the last years, both Samsung and its main competitors have managed to develop technologies that enhance the strengths and compensate for the shortcomings of the LCD panels, and this QLED television exemplifies this degree of development.

The LED backlight scheme implemented by Samsung engineers on this TV is FALD type and manages 488 independent zones

The LED backlight scheme implemented by Samsung engineers on this TV is FALD type (Full Array Local Dimming) and manages 488 independent zones. Such a high number predisposes us to think that, on paper, it should be able to restore deep blacks and minimize the halos that usually appear on LCD televisions around light objects (an effect known in English as Blooming), but we should not overlook something important: the performance of the backlight does not depend only on the number of zones; It is also crucial how well tuned the algorithm is, which is responsible for controlling the backlight dimming and the speed with which it acts on each zone. Later in the section where we will talk about the quality of
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Another very striking feature of this television is its maximum brightness delivery capacity. The version of the Q950TS that we have analyzed is the 65-inch one, and, according to Samsung, it is capable of delivering 3,000 nits maximum peaks. The funny thing is that the 75 and 85-inch versions of this model show an even higher figure: 4,000 nits peak. This ability to deliver brightness puts this TV one step ahead of most of its competitors with an LCD panel and models that use an OLED panel.

As I mentioned a few lines above, the precision with which the VA panels reproduce the color is usually less than that offered by the IPS devices, but this difference is no longer relevant in televisions that use nanocrystals. These tiny particles are capable of modifying the wavelength of light emitted by LED diodes and are part of the DNA of QLED televisions. This particular model is allowed to reproduce 100% of DCI-P3 color space, which on paper should help you to restore images with a very high color richness.

From the processing of the HDR content.

SAMSUNG Q950TS QLED 8K 65 " characteristics
PANEL 65-inch 8K QLED with 10-bit VA LCD panel and 16: 9 aspect ratio
RESOLUTION 7,680 x 4,320 dots
BACKLIGHTING FALD (Full Array Local Dimming)
HDR HDR10 +, HDR10 and HLG

It is impeccably finished and its design is… different

As much as I have tried to ensure that the photographs that illustrate the article have the best possible quality, I am afraid that they cannot do justice to the constructive quality of this television. Its finish is on par with that of the best-built high-end televisions I've reviewed, such as Sony's MASTER Series ZG9 or Panasonic's GZ2000. The critical elements of the box they are metal They are impeccably machined, and the plastic on the back panel of the TV is not very thick, but it has good quality and a brushed finish that gives it a very nice touch.

If I was forced to highlight a single identity mark of this television, I would definitely stay with its frames. Well i would actually choose the almost total absence of frames. I have tried many televisions that have very thin frames, especially OLED devices, but none of them were as stylish as this Q950TS. And it is that the upper and lateral frames measure only 2 mm, so when you stand at a distance of two or three meters from the TV they go completely unnoticed. In addition, as you can see in the following photograph, the frame is made of aluminum and is very well machined.


I am in favor of television sets of 55 inches or more with side feet and not a central base, but I recognize that the one on this television is robust enough to guarantee its stability even if we accidentally give it an involuntary push of a certain intensity. The base manages to carry out its function correctly thanks to its more than 5.5 kg of weight and its generous size. In addition, it is completely metallic, it is installed quite simply and it is as well machined as the frames, so I cannot fault it either.


A curious feature of this television that is not present in other Samsung QLED devices is that once we have installed the base the panel is slightly tilted, so that the upper half is slightly behind the lower half. If we watch the television at a distance of three meters or more, this inclination goes practically unnoticed, but if we stand very close, we will clearly appreciate it.

The center stand of this TV weighs just over 5.5 kg, giving it adequate stability. Interestingly, once installed it leaves the panel slightly tilted, although it does not allow adjusting this inclination

I don't think this is a problem because the tilt is light enough so that its impact in our experience is beneficial when watching the TV within the range of distances that a 65-inch or larger device fits into, but it would have been a good idea that the base allow us to adjust it. Or simply that it gives the user the opportunity to decide if they want to have their television slightly tilted or not.


Calibration and software: this TV is very enjoyable right out of the box

The hours that I have invested in testing this television have confirmed something that I have been able to intuit during the analyzes of the latest TVs that have fallen into my hands: South Korean brands are hot on the heels of Japanese companies in a terrain where the latter until recently were clearly superior; factory calibration. And it is that the latest televisions that I have analyzed both from Samsung and LG come almost as well tuned as the more careful proposals of Sony and Panasonic, which in this area have traditionally performed very well. No need to do a thorough calibration of this TV at all to fully enjoy it right out of the box.

With the help of a colorimeter and appropriate software, such as CalMAN, you can further refine your color, but you don't have to go through this process to take advantage of the potential of this TV. Furthermore, their blacks are so deep that they set a frame of reference capable of helping other colors to shine without resorting to excessive saturation. This defect, in my opinion, has been present in the factory calibration implanted by Samsung in other televisions previously, but has been corrected both in this model and in the QLED Q95T that I analyzed a few weeks ago.

Q950t calibration

Regarding the operating system that acts as an intermediary between the user and the television hardware, there are no surprises: ride Tizen, like the other Samsung QLED devices. This operating system has a stylized and little intrusive interface, but in my opinion its most remarkable quality is the agility with which it allows us to move through the menus and start applications.

Some TVs with Android TV have improved a lot in this area, but they are still one step behind the more advanced Tizen models. Of course, as soon as you turn on the television we have to have a little patience because during the first 30 s approximately the interface is a little slower than usual because booting operating system not fully completed.


The remote control that accompanies this television is the same that we can find in previous high-end Samsung models. As you can see in the following photograph, it is made of aluminum and incorporates only the strictly necessary buttons. And it seems good to me that it is so because in practice you do not miss more because the integration between the command and the Tizen interface is very successful. The only downside that I put, although I admit that it is something strictly personal, is that it incorporates only three shortcut buttons Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Rakuten TV. I would have appreciated that it had a second row of buttons that allowed us to access three other relevant applications, among which could be, for example, YouTube, HBO or Disney +.


Connectivity and consumption measurement

As in previous high-end models from this manufacturer, much of the control logic and all connections for this TV reside in a separate module that Samsung calls One Connect. The HDMI, USB, Common Interface ports and the antenna socket, among other connectors, are housed in this external box, so that communication between this device and the TV is made through a single thin, semi-transparent cable designed to go unnoticed if we decide to install the TV using a wall mount. This architecture brings an important advantage if we choose to hang the TV: the connectors remain easily accessible in the One Connect module, something that would not happen if they resided at the back of the TV.


In the detailed photograph that we publish below these lines you can see the connectors housed in the One Connect module. All are easily recognizable except one: the one that resides on the far right of the box as seen in the on all ports in this format.

Q950tsoneconnect rear

In the specifications of this TV Samsung announces that its maximum consumption amounts to an absolutely negligible 410 watts, while its typical consumption is located in the orbit of 344 watts. Both figures are consistent with the typical consumption of an LCD TV with the brightness delivery capacity of this model (OLED devices of the same size consume significantly less). During our tests we have measured a habitual consumption of about 365 watts, a figure that is not far from the 344 watts that announces the typical consumption evaluated by Samsung.

Q950ts consumption

Quality of, 'The arrival', 'The reborn' or 'Blade Runner 2049'. I also used Netflix and YouTube content that I know well and various DVD movies with one or 'Save Private Ryan'. As a player I used a great 4K Blu-ray reader made by OPPO, the UDP-205 model, a device that unfortunately is already discontinued but, even so, it has a transport mechanics and an A / V processing logic of absolute reference.

This TV incorporates the best anti-glare coverage we've seen in action so far

Before we go any further and see how this QLED TV has fared in our tests, it's worth pausing for a moment to examine its panel with our digital microscope. The left portion of the one we analyzed several months ago.

As you can see the subpixels of the Samsung TV are a little more blurred than those of the LG panel due to the presence of the filter that is responsible for scattering the light emitted by the LED backlight. This trick is very valuable because it achieves that the color hardly degrades when we look at the television from a very heightened angle, which allows it to offer us much better viewing angles than the usual ones on a VA panel.

Of course, this dispersion filter "blurs" less subpixels than previous Samsung filters, reflecting that the engineers of this brand continue to strive to improve the performance of their filters. And it shows, in addition to the wide viewing angles of this TV, for its excellent anti-reflective coverage. In fact, Samsung's QLED models incorporate the best coverage of its kind I've seen in action so far.


I suggest that we start with colorimetry. The combination of nanocrystals and the competent calibration that this TV incorporates from the factory offers us a very rich color range that manages to shine when we send a high quality video signal to the TV. In these conditions its tonal precision is high. In addition, it solves the white balance in an outstanding way, a quality that undoubtedly has a lot of weight in the way it generates color.

<img set = ", which is also an LCD with 8K panel, surpasses it in this particular parameter.

The high brightness delivery capacity of this TV and its fine-tuned backlight dimming technology ensure that HDR content is spectacularly finished

The performance of this TV in reproducing the brightest areas of each frame is impressive, but its blacks are also outstanding. Its depth makes some frames appear to be playing on an OLED TV, but this behavior has been witnessed before on other QLED devices before. What allows this TV to stand out clearly from most of the LCD TVs that I have analyzed so far, including those of Samsung itself, is the almost total absence of halos (Blooming) around areas of the screen where the backlight is forced to emit more light. Correctly solving these frames is not easy for a LED backlit TV, but this model makes a difference with its 488 independent dimming zones and its backlight management algorithm.

<img set = " and several relatively recent titles, including 'Mortal Kombat 11', 'Forza Horizon 4', 'Ori and the Will of the Wisps' and 'Halo 5: Guardians'. We have chosen these games because they are very sensitive to latency and they are useful for identifying the impact it has on the gaming experience. Everything I have described in the previous section regarding the quality of Samsung that we have analyzed, implements the VRR (variable refresh rate) and ALLM (low latency automatic mode) technologies, two characteristics that are undoubtedly very important for gamers. But these are not its only strengths in this usage scenario: it also supports adaptive sync technology AMD FreeSync. And, like any other LCD panel TV, it is largely immune to static image retention, which, putting its price aside, makes it an interesting option to play with.


It is enough to spend a few minutes on ‘Mortal Kombat 11’ or ‘Halo 5: Guardians’ to realize that its latency when activating the game mode is really low. In fact, in AVForums they have measured 9.7 ms in these conditions, which positions it as one of the televisions with the lowest latency of what we can find in stores today. Of course, as I mentioned a few paragraphs above, only one of the HDMI connectors, number 4, implements the full 2.1 standard.

The latency of this Q950TS when activating the game mode is only 9.7 ms, which makes it one of the fastest TVs on the market

It is a pity that the other three do not also meet this specification because whoever needs to simultaneously connect two video sources capable of generate 2160p images With a cadence close to 120 FPS, like the impending PS5 and Xbox Series X, it will have to be done with an A / V receiver or a switch capable of handling these signals. Or you will be forced to connect and disconnect one or the other console to the HDMI 4 port each time you use it.


Sound quality: OTS + technology convinces

The provision of speakers that Samsung has integrated into this television to solve the sound section is generous. Eight speakers reside on the rear panel, four on each side of the center stand, responsible for reproducing the mid-range and low end. Being positioned at the rear is not a problem since this frequency range has little directionality. However, these speakers work in tandem with several transducers placed on the edges of the panel that are responsible for reproducing the highest frequencies. The topology used by this speaker fabric is 4.2.2, and the Class D amplifiers that drive them have a combined wattage of 70 watts, enough for these measured-size transducers to perform as they should.


OTS + technology (Object Tracking Sound +) is a key component in the sound performance offered by this television. This innovation uses an algorithm that evaluates the position on the screen of the object that is emitting a particular sound to determine why speakers must be reproduced so that the user has the feeling that it really comes from that place. Of this technology I like three-dimensionality It gives sound because, although it does not always allow you to locate the position of all sound sources clearly, it makes the user perceive how they move in a wide sound field.

OTS + technology is a key component in the sound performance of this television because it manages to recreate a wide and three-dimensional sound scene

The sound pressure level that this television is capable of reaching is sufficient for the soundtrack of the films to be impressive, and for the distortion to start to bother it, it is necessary to raise it above 80% of the maximum value. Nothing to object to here. In addition, the virtualization of surround sound is convincing, although, and here comes a catch that users who give importance to sound are interested in taking into account, this television does not process Dolby Atmos audio. And neither does DTS. Anyone who wants to have even better sound, and, above all, capable of plunging us into a wider sound scene, can opt for a sound bar (Samsung proposes the HW-Q800T model to work in tandem with this television). Or, better yet, by a dedicated multi-channel team.


Samsung Q950TS QLED 8K: Xataka's opinion and note

This TV brings together the most advanced technologies that Samsung has right now in both.