Samsung QE65QN95B 65in 4K HDR LED TV Review Page 2

Making this lack of blooming even more impressive is how joyfully intense the bright parts of the 65QN95B's pictures are. HDR highlights look stunningly radiant, this set doing full justice to the lighter end of the HDR spectrum in a way precious few screens can. That it's able to do this while remaining free of blooming and with OLED-challenging black levels is really remarkable.

That said, attention should be paid to presets if you're not opting to give this £3,500 display a professional calibration. My preference is for the Standard setting (the one which gave the above scintillating performance), as black levels in the set's most accurate Movie and Filmmaker Mode options track a little light (although you can rectify this in Movie mode by adjusting Samsung's local dimming setting).

The default Picture Clarity settings, meanwhile, generate a surprising amount of unwanted picture processing side effects for a TV that's so clever with other aspects of its processing – but again, the tools are there to fix this.

Trooping The Colour
Colour performance is jaw-dropping. The red and blue lights of Ecto-1, and the colours of the proton pack beams, carry a dazzling richness. There's no sign of the pallidness such extremely bright image elements can suffer on screens that don't have the colour range (provided here by Samsung's metal-clad Quantum Dots) to match. And there's no apparent clipping (detail loss) in even the zingiest parts of the image.


Two banks of four bass/mid drivers are located on the TV's rear bezel

So, the 65QN95B excels at the extreme stuff – bright, colourful content is its bread and butter. Yet (thankfully) it also handles subtler aspects of ...Afterlife, such as low-lit interiors and shadowy skin tones, with superb authority and naturalism. These, together with the blended skies and sunsets of the rural Oklahoma setting of much of the film, are again an improvement on last year's 65QN95A, revealing the joint benefits of the improved lighting system and the move to 14-bit image processing.

It also beats its predecessor when it comes to shadow detail, although in the otherwise very solid Standard preset there can still be the occasional very dark shot – such as the one where zombies are silhouetted against a faint backlight in the sewers in It (4K Blu-ray) – that looks a bit too hollow. Such scenes can also be accompanied by occasionally obvious brightness 'shifts'. Both these moments are far rarer than they were with the predecessor model, however.

Add Samsung's typically acute 4K sharpness and outstanding upscaling of HD sources to this heady picture mix, and you've got pictures that are so consistently spectacular that it's pretty hard to pick fault with them.

One flaw, almost to be expected given the TV's backlit nature, concerns its off-axis performance. Backlight blooming is essentially non-existent when viewing the screen straight on, but becomes much more noticeable if you move to an angle. Furthermore, Samsung's attempts to eradicate any backlight foibles can result in extremely small, bright points of an image – which I know from experience with other displays are there – being subdued (but not completely lost) by the TV's processing.

Overall, however, the 65QN95B's pictures are 100 per cent defined by their strengths, not a few puny niggles.

Welcome Aboard, Atmos
The introduction of Dolby Atmos has improved the sound quality of Samsung's 4K flagship, but not enough to put its audio in the same stratosphere as its visuals.


Inputs are on an external box that connects to the TV via a single cable, and can slot onto the rear of the desktop stand

With Dolby Atmos content, the object-based sound syncs nicely with Samsung's 'speakers on every side of the TV' approach, painting a vivid, detailed, busy soundstage that manages to spread a little way out from the screen and sounds pleasingly clear. The OTS+ speaker system also buffs up non-Atmos tracks, creating accurately positioned, well-defined details.

Yet the performance here doesn't sound as expressive or attacking as the best TVs. Bass isn't particularly deep or dynamic, despite the deployment of eight rear-facing drivers, and it's a little reticent to really project audio toward your seating position.

Audio-wise, the 65QN95B is certainly good enough to keep you going until a soundbar or separate sound system can be added. And, if you ask me, you'd be mad to discount getting your hands on picture quality as next-gen brilliant as this – even with a £3,499 price tag attached – because its sound is only good rather than great.

This is a highly impressive, highly desirable 4K TV. And maybe you'll like the new smart hub more than me...

HCC Verdict

Samsung QE65QN95B

Price: £3,499

We say: It's not cheap and its new smart system isn't great, but when a TV delivers pictures as jaw-droppingly good as the QE65QN95B, everything else pales into insignificance.

Overall: 5/5


4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes. HDR10; HDR10+; HLG TUNER: Yes. Freeview HD; satellite HD CONNECTIONS: 4 x HDMI inputs (all v2.1); 3 x USB; optical digital audio output; Ethernet SOUND (CLAIMED): N/A BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): 2,000 nits CONTRAST (claimed): N/A 4K/120 PLAYBACK: Yes DIMENSIONS (OFF STAND): 1,447(w) x 830(h) x 17.4(d)mm WEIGHT (OFF STAND): 22.3kg

FEATURES: Mini LED lighting; 720-zone local dimming; Wi-Fi; Bluetooth (with headphone support); Shape Adaptive Light Control; 14-bit processing; Neo Quantum Processor 4K; OTS+ sound system; Dolby Atmos; Tizen smart system; voice control; external connections box