If you‘re looking to upgrade to a new 4K TV, Samsung‘s QN85A and QN90A models should definitely be on your radar. As a fellow tech enthusiast, I know how tough it can be to decide between two great options.
That‘s why I wanted to share this comprehensive comparison to help you determine which of these TVs is the better fit. I‘ll be getting into all the nitty gritty details – from picture quality and sound to smart features and gaming. My goal is to provide you with all the info you need to feel 100% confident in your purchase.
Ready to dive in? Here we go!
An Overview of Samsung‘s Neo QLED Display Technology
First, let‘s quickly touch on what makes these two TVs so special. They both use Samsung‘s proprietary Neo QLED technology in their displays. This marries the precision of quantum dot color with advanced LED backlighting.
The "QLED" part refers to the quantum dots – super tiny semiconductor particles only a few nanometers wide. When hit with light, these dots emit extremely pure colors. This allows the TVs to produce 100% color volume for vivid, true-to-life images.
Now, here‘s where the "Neo" comes in. Normal QLED TVs use standard LED backlights. But Neo QLED upgrades this to mini LEDs. At 1/40 the size of regular LEDs, these mini LEDs enable ultra-precise control of dimming zones. More dimming zones mean higher contrast ratios and deep, inky blacks.
By combining quantum dots and mini LED backlighting, Neo QLED delivers stellar picture quality with bright, accurate colors and infinite contrasts. Impressive stuff!
Okay, now let‘s examine each TV model in more detail…
QN85A vs QN90A: At a Glance Specs
|Samsung QN85A||Samsung QN90A|
|Screen Sizes||55", 65", 75", 85"||43", 50", 55", 65", 75", 85", 98"|
|Display Type||Neo QLED (mini LED backlight)|
|Resolution||4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160)|
|HDR Formats||HDR10, HDR10+, HLG|
|Refresh Rate||120Hz native|
|AI Processor||Neo Quantum Processor 4K|
|HDR Brightness||2,400 nits peak||3,200 nits peak|
|Voice Assistants||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant|
|HDMI Ports||4 ports (HDMI 2.1)|
|USB Ports||2 ports|
|Wi-Fi/Bluetooth||802.11ac, BT 5.2|
|Speakers||2.2.2 channel, 60W OTS||4.2.2 channel, 60W OTS+|
As you can see from this high-level overview, the QN85A and QN90A share quite a few similarities. But the QN90A pulls ahead in a couple of key areas like brightness and audio.
Now let‘s dig into the details on how these TVs differ across some of the most important categories.
Picture Quality Comparison
Since we‘re talking TVs here, picture quality should be priority number one. Let‘s analyze how the images on the QN85A and QN90A models stack up.
- QN85A: 2,400 nits peak brightness
- QN90A: 3,200 nits peak brightness
The QN90A‘s higher peak brightness gives it an edge for HDR performance. In Consumer Reports testing, the QN90A produced highlights up to 30% brighter than the QN85A. This makes a noticeable impact on vivid, colorful HDR content from sources like 4K Blu-ray discs.
Black Level & Contrast
- Both TVs feature full array local dimming with dimming zones controlled by mini LED backlight
With their advanced mini LED systems, the QN85A and QN90A are evenly matched when it comes to black level and contrast performance. Inky blacks and crisp definition in shadow details are excellent on both models.
- Both TVs use new anti-glare screen coating to preserve color and contrast at wider angles
Thanks to their optical layer advancements, both QN85A and QN90A maintain colors and avoid washing out when viewing from the side – an advantage over QLED TVs of the past.
- Both equipped with Neo Quantum Processor 4K featuring AI upscaling
Samsung‘s potent upscaling engine does an amazing job at enhancing HD/FHD content close to 4K resolution on both sets. You‘ll get crisp definition when streaming from older sources.
- QN85A and QN90A both have 4K/120Hz, VRR, ALLM, HGiG mode
These premium Samsung TVs are optimized for gaming with ultra smooth frame rates, low input lag, and features tailored to PS5, Xbox Series X, and high-end PCs. Serious gamers will be thrilled by their performance.
Verdict: While the numbers give the QN90A a slight lead in brightness, both TVs still deliver truly stellar 4K images. Their Neo QLED tech produces vibrant HDR colors and deep blacks for an immersive viewing experience. For picture quality, it‘s pretty much a toss up!
Audio Comparison: OTS vs OTS+
Now let‘s look at the audio side of the equation. Samsung outfitted both models with their Object Tracking Sound (OTS) system. But the QN90A enjoys an enhanced version with OTS+.
With OTS, speakers are positioned throughout the TV chassis to project sound precisely from the location of actions on screen. The QN85A has top speakers that fire upwards for overhead effects, and side speakers pointed forward for a wider soundstage.
OTS+ takes things further by adding two additional speakers – these are side-firing woofers pointed left and right. This better surrounds you in sound with audio that matches the position of objects more accurately.
In their lab testing, reviewers found that the QN90A‘s OTS+ system did produce more convincing surround effects than the QN85A‘s OTS. The extra side-firing speakers help expand the sound field for a more immersive listening experience.
But both systems still elevate the audio above your average flatscreen TV. For truly cinematic sound, I‘d recommend pairing either model with a dedicated sound bar. The superior audio hardware of the QN90A gives it the win here, but only by a slim margin over the impressive QN85A.
Gaming Features and Performance
Gaming these days requires a television just as capable as the latest consoles and PCs. Both the QN85A and QN90A deliver an awesome gaming experience, but let‘s examine why.
- 4K resolution at 120Hz refresh rate for ultra fluid motion
- Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support
- Motion Xcelerator Turbo+ for reduced blur
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) detects gaming input and minimizes lag
- 10ms input lag verified by reviewers
Optimized for Consoles
- Xbox Series X and PS5 optimized with 4K/120fps and VRR
- One Connect box with HDMI 2.1 inputs
- OTS and OTS+ sync game audio with on-screen locations
Enhanced Gaming Features
- Game Bar provides quick access to aspect ratio, input lag, and HDR settings
- FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync reduce tearing
Both models also support cloud gaming services like Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now for streaming games in up to 4K HDR.
When it comes to gaming, the QN85A and QN90A are evenly matched and deliver an exceptional experience. Gamers will be thrilled with their speed, visuals, and features.
Smart TV & Apps
Samsung packs Tizen – their fast, intuitive smart TV platform – into both Neo QLEDs. Let‘s look at some of the key capabilities it unlocks in these TVs.
Built-in Voice Assistants
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control
- Comprehensive selection of streaming apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, and more
- Cast or mirror content from your smartphone or tablet
Smart Home Control
- Monitor and control compatible smart home devices like lights, locks, thermostats
- Quickly launch and switch between apps thanks to smooth interface
- Built-in support for Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now
Samsung TV Plus
- Enjoy over 200 free streaming channels
- Watch two content sources simultaneously on the same screen
- Quickly cast content with a tap from your mobile device
- Sync workout routines and wellness data from Samsung Health app
Both TVs deliver an excellent smart TV experience thanks to Tizen. But the QN90A does gain a slight advantage by including the Smart Hub V2.0 which organizes content better and enables quicker searches.
Sizes: QN85A vs QN90A
One of the more obvious differences between these two TV lines is the range of available screen sizes:
The QN90A caters to both smaller and larger living spaces with its 43" and 98" options. The 43" model is ideal as a monitor replacement for office or bedroom setups. And the massive 98-incher lets you create an imposing home theater.
So if you have specific needs for an especially compact or gigantic screen, the QN90A has you covered better. But for common sizes like 65" or 75", both models hit the sweet spot.
Price: Which Model is More Affordable?
As Samsung‘s flagship 4K TV for 2021, the QN90A demands a higher price than the QN85A. Let‘s take a look at current prices for various sizes of each model:
|Screen Size||QN85A Price||QN90A Price|
Across equivalent screen sizes, the QN90A costs $100-500 more. Of course, pricing fluctuates – you can sometimes find solid discounts bringing the QN90A closer to the QN85A‘s range.
But all else being equal, the QN85A gives you superb performance for at least a little less money. Keep in mind though that the QN90A does come in those extra small and large sizes that the QN85A lacks.
So, Which Should You Buy: QN85A or QN90A?
After comparing every aspect of these two fantastic 4K Neo QLED TVs, which one gets my recommendation?
Honestly, you can‘t go wrong with either model. The QN85A and QN90A both deliver jaw-dropping colors, contrasts, clarity, and brightness thanks to quantum dot and mini LED tech. I don‘t think you‘d be disappointed by the picture of either set.
The QN90A does objectively perform better in brightness and sound. But those advantages are slight – the QN85A is still outstanding in these areas. If you want every last bit of HDR pop and audio expansion, the QN90A pulls ahead.
The more affordable QN85A provides near top-tier quality while saving you at least a few hundred dollars. For the price-conscious buyer, it brings tremendous value without sacrificing much.
Screen Size Needs
The QN90A is your only option if you need a smaller 43-50 inch or giant 98 inch display. The QN85A sticks to the most popular sizes.
Still Available at Retail
Samsung has now discontinued the QN85A series. The QN90A remains available as a current model you can buy directly from Samsung and major retailers.
Considering all factors, I give the QN90A the slight overall edge. Yes, it costs more. But you do get the brightest image yet from Samsung, better audio, and full retail availability in all sizes you could need. And its smart platform is slightly more advanced.
That said, if you find a good deal on the QN85A, don‘t hesitate to scoop it up. It delivers nearly the same viewing experience as the QN90A for less. You‘ll be wowed by the colors and contrast either way.
I hope this detailed side-by-side comparison helped explain the differences between Samsung‘s QN85A and QN90A 4K Neo QLED smart TVs. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to chat TV tech and help a fellow enthusiast pick the perfect model. Enjoy whichever you end up choosing!