The Samsung QN95B Neo QLED is the flagship 4K TV model from the South Korean brand. Its design is sleek and attractive, while the picture quality is great — for a mini-LED TV. Despite improving significantly on older Samsung QLED TVs, the QN95B fares worse in some departments, e.g. halos around brightly-lit onscreen objects, compared to OLED TVs. Unless you have serious concerns about OLED burn-in, you're probably better off with a good OLED TV, which, going by current prices, is likely cheaper than the QN95B.
- 4K resolution with HDR10+ Adaptive, HDR10, and HLG
- 4x HDMI 2.1 ports (4K@120Hz)
- Comes in 55″ (tested), 65″, and 75″ sizes
- Supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro
The QN95B is a “Neo QLED” TV, a marketing term used by Samsung to describe its mini-LED backlit televisions. Introduced last year, these mini-LED TVs are definitely a class above older Samsung QLED models. The QN95B, for example, exhibited almost no blooming around bright objects on the screen. In the worst cases, there's a slight haziness around brightly-lit logos or objects. But this lack of blooming is only if you're seated front and centre. I still saw heavy blooming, when viewing HDR content from the sides. Viewing angles are very good, though. However, the QN95B's screen isn't completely black in dark scenes. It has a greyish hue. The display also looks slightly “dirty” and less than uniform, especially when it's showing a single solid colour. In short, despite significant improvements over older Samsung TVs, OLED TVs and their self-lit pixels remain better to my eyes in these aspects.
What the QN95B does better than OLED TVs is its higher peak brightness. There were moments when I flinched from the glare. If you're mostly watching brightly-lit colourful nature documentaries like Planet Earth II, this TV looks fantastic. But I prefer OLED TVs when it comes to movies. In darker scenes especially, the QN95B's image can look slightly washed out. This was in Filmmaker mode, which turns off the extraneous smoothing and processing that make movies look unnatural. On the plus side, you may get more shadow detail on the QN95B than some OLEDs that crush the blacks. Another grouse: Samsung still doesn't support Dolby Vision. Gaming-wise, the QN95B's refresh rate tops out at 144Hz, but only with a PC. Consoles like the Xbox Series S are limited to 120Hz. However, I found Samsung's Game mode to be overly bright and saturated.
I'm a fan of the TV's elegant design. The screen has a solid, slab-like look with minimal bezels. I also liked how the One Connect box with all the ports can either be hidden somewhere in the TV cabinet or attached to the back of the tabletop stand. The TV interface, though, has been revamped. Gone is the bottom launcher bar used in previous Samsung TVs, replaced by a full-screen interface. Coming from an older Samsung TV, this new interface can be bewildering initially. You'll mostly be using the Media Hub, which has your installed TV apps. Also new: Recommendations from video streaming apps like YouTube and Netflix. However, the interface lags occasionally, as if it's waiting to load all the extra content. The minimalist TV remote control doesn't help.
The Samsung QN95B Neo QLED is a very good 4K TV — for one that's using mini-LED technology, that is. But despite the improvements, it's an uphill task for a mini-LED TV with its hundreds of dimming zones to match the 8 million self-lit pixels on an OLED TV in terms of contrast and picture quality. Moreover, OLED TVs are more affordable than before, with some rivals undercutting the QN95's price by a fair bit. However, if you still have doubts about the longevity of OLED TVs, the QN95B is a great option. The 55-inch model I tested is selling at around S$3,300 on Samsung's official store on Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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