A few weeks ago I had the chance to spend a day with the new Samsung QN95B as well as The Frame, and whilst Samsung seems to have gotten the most out of existing technology, with last year’s models being absolutely superb, they’ve somehow managed to go up another level this year and improve on what was available.
Given we only had half a day with these TVs, please don’t consider them reviews by any stretch. My review of the Samsung QN900a from last year will still mostly hold true for basic functionality and picture quality, and having used the Samsung The Frame in my bedroom, I can also confirm that it is a damn brilliant TV, so I feel confident recommending both of the TVs that I’m about to talk about, without spending significant amounts of time with them. Hopefully reviews will come later.
This is the brand new flagship Samsung 4K Tv that we didn’t get last year. It’s a Harvey Norman exclusive and thankfully it has the One Connect box meaning that we now get four full bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports, which was only on the 8K model last year. The One Connect box is also 20% slimmer. It comes in 55″, 65″ and 75″ and I had the privilege of seeing the 75″ model in the flesh.
The QN95B sports Samsung’s Infinity One design which was reserved for the 8K model. Whilst the bezels aren’t as razer thin as my QN900A, they’re really damn thin especially when compared to OLEDs. The actual panel itself is also thin just coming in at 15mm. This makes it perfect for wall mounting without the hefty bump that other TVs have.
Whilst last year’s 4K models were bright thanks to Mini LED technology, Samsung has made things even brighter this year with Quantum HDR 32x which makes things pop even further. Samsung says that contrast levels are four times that of the flagship 8K model from last year and based off my time with the unit, I’d have to believe them as the TV did seem to be impressive in terms of black levels for an LED panel.
There are two things I absolutely love about Samsung’s QLED above any other OLED display that I’ve used. Not only are the displays bright and vivid beyond what we get with OLED displays, the viewability thanks to anti glare technology is fantastic. Whilst OLEDs reign supreme in the perfect viewing environment, on a sunny Australian day it’s hard to beat the anti glare that is used in these displays, and it still exists in this TV.
A huge feature of the QN95B and also the flagship 8K model is the fact that this TV can now do 4K/144HZ which means that connecting a 3000 series graphics card will allow you to use this TV as the perfect PC companion. previously, TVs were limited at 4K/120Hz but now you’re able to take advantage of the full 144Hz. When you also add in the fact that you’re able to take advantage of ultrawide in both 21:9 and 32:9, it really just rams home that this is a great PC companion.
Add this together with the fact that it can do both Freesync Premium Pro as well as NVIDIA G-Sync (unofficially) as well as features such as four HDMI 2.1 ports for PS5/Xbox Series X and the new Game Bar feature that was introduced last year, TVs are being more catered to gamers than ever before.
There’s a brand new UI on Samsung TVs this year. Whilst the experience feels familiar, all of your streaming platforms and such are right there on your home page, rather than the quick menu. It will also update to serve you the latest and most relevant content from each of the streaming services. I was always a fan of the quick menu, but there’s probably too much content that lives on those TVs for that to still be a thing, so I get that.
Another new feature of the QN95B is that it can now do Dolby Atmos directly from the TV speakers. Again, it’s not something I had a great deal of time to check out, but I was impressed with what I heard. The Dolby Atmos support comes from a upwards firing TV speaker rather than being simulated.
There’s a bunch of other great features that have been pulled over from last year including Multiview which still allows you to view multiple sources such as a YouTube walk through whilst playing a game, and Solar powered remoted has even been improved with now having the ability to pull in radio frequencies from your Wi-Fi router and generate these into power. After 12 months of use, I haven’t had to charge my solar powered remote, so things are only on the up.
All-in-all, the QN95B is probably Samsung’s best 4K TV to date, and I can’t wait to spend more time with the 2021 range to hopefully give you more in-depth opinions.
THE 2022 SAMSUNG THE FRAME
Alongside my Samsung 8K QN900a, I’ve also been lucky enough to be using a 2021 The Frame in my bedroom for the last six or so months. The Frame had always intrigued me, but I hadn’t anticipated how good of a TV it’d be. Not only is it fully functional as a TV, but the way it automatically turns itself fully on and off as soon as I draw the curtains or open them is a game changer. I haven’t had a single person through my house that has looked at The Frame and not been utterly shocked that it is in fact a TV. They haven’t believed it until I turned it on and showed them.
The 2022 The Frame somehow improves this TV tenfold, to the point that unless you needed the most hardcore gaming features (such as 4K/144Hz), I’d pretty much recommend this TV to anyone as it truly does provide the best of both worlds in terms of looking phenomenal but also performing as a high-end TV.
Samsung’s 2022 The Frame now has a matte display, which not only means that the display is no longer reflective (that was the one minor issue I had with previous models), but it also somehow makes paintings look even more realistic. Because the screen is now mate, it somehow manages to make strokes from paintings look more textured and real. Paintings look less flat and manage to pop away from the screen more. The art store that is featured on The Frame is now more integrated into the UI which makes now only browsing for art, but also changing the display to a different piece of art much easier.
Another huge new improvement is the fact that all four HDMI ports are now HDMI 2.1, so there’s absolutely no reason why this couldn’t become your next-gen driver. Whilst you’re not going to get the same insane levels of brightness as the QN95B it’s still a very good panel.
There’s also a rotating mount that you can buy this year (there’s still a slim fit mount included in the box) and this allows The Frame to automatically rotate based on the content being displayed, so if you’re wanting to watch a lot of TikTok content in bed, it’ll flip for you.
All-in-all, I’m so glad that Samsung is investing into The Frame because it’s such exciting technology and I fully expect to see it in more homes over the years to come.
SAMSUNG Q990B HOME THEATRE SYSTEM
I just lastly wanted to touch on the new Q990B flagship home theatre system, just because there’s some improvements there too. This is still one of the best soundbar systems on the market with its 11.1.4 channel setup.
From a design point of view, my one gripe with last year’s model was the fact that it used a cloth material on all of the speakers, which gathered dust. This has now been changed to a metal grille that not only oozes a premium quality, but also is just great for dusting and keeping clean.
The other small gripe was that the display was on top which meant that you couldn’t see it sitting down, This has also been rectified and it’s now on the front of the soundbar, which just makes sense.
You’re now able to use Dolby Atmos wirelessly, which for whatever reason means that if you’re unable to connect your soundbar to your TV using a wire, that it now works just as well wirelessly as it does with a wired connection. Q-Symphony, the feature that allows you to use the Samsung TV speakers as well as the soundbar speakers in conjunction has also been improved due to the up firing speaker of the TV.
All-in-all, this is just another product that Samsung has managed to improve year-on-year and does show that they’re listening to feedback which is great to see.
Samsung’s 2022 TV/soundbar line is in stores now. We’ll hopefully bring dedicated reviews when we have more time with these products in home.