Samsung QN95A Neo smart TV: We’re gonna need a bigger living room

Review: This vivid 65-inch monster uses Neo QLED technology to bring fine detail

Product name: Samsung QN95A Neo QLED 4K HDR Smart TV

Price: €3599.0

Where to buy: www.harveynorman.ie

Website: www.samsung.com

Thu, Jul 1, 2021, 05:23

   

When it comes to TVs, the debate over size can be somewhat of a contentious one. There was a time when a 40-inch TV was considered on the large side; now you can buy TVs 80 inches and more for your living room without having to remortgage your home.

The question is why you would want to. Plenty of reasons, really. We’re all staying at home more, so having a better home entertainment set-up is important. And lets face it, all those next-gen games and the current round of football matches just look better on a big screen, preferably one that supports 4K and HDR.

So there is a case for the large screen. But how big is too big? My own TV is a 55-inch relatively new purchase that, until recently, I felt took over the room a bit. All that changed when the Samsung QN95A Neo arrived.

The new arrival was a bit of a monster. A 65-inch, bright, vivid monster that not only plays in 4K and HDR, but also connects to the internet and all your streaming apps too.

But the main selling point of this TV is the Neo QLED technology. For those who haven’t been keeping up to date with every minute detail of TV technology (that would be most of us) it means Samsung’s latest TVs utilise mini-LEDs to bring you incredibly fine detail. Colour is more vivid, contrast is better and, when combined with the TV’s AI-powered processor, most high-definition content is given a bump in quality, so it will look better even if it’s not 4K. It supports HDR10+ too, so you can be confident of getting a great picture.

Minimal bezels

The TV itself looks as slick as you would expect. It’s impossibly thin, with minimal bezels around the edge of the screen. It comes with the One Connect box too, so all your inputs – games consoles, set-top box, Apple TV, Chromecast – go into the box rather than the TV. If you want to wall mount the TV, this is a very handy feature. However, it’s not the smallest box, and it has certainly grown in size from previous iterations.

With the QN95A, your traditional set-top box is effectively redundant; the TV will connect to everything from Netflix and Disney+, to Apple TV, Prime and Samsung’s own TV Plus service. It won’t cover everything, although a Chromcast and some research will probably cover the bulk of what you need.

Setting up the TV was simple. You can do it through the onscreen keyboard or via mobile. The latter is much easier and far less tedious, getting everything set up quickly.

Samsung has skipped Google’s TV system in favour of Tizen, its own operating system. There isn’t much of a loss here, though; all the essentials are covered for now in terms of streaming apps. In addition to those streaming apps, you also get an ambient mode, which can turn your TV into a work of art – far more effective when it is wall-mounted, but it gives you something better to look at than a blank screen, regardless of where your TV is.

Anti-glare screen

Samsung also touts its anti-glare screen as a positive, which during this test definitely lived up to the hype. The current positioning of our regular TV means that one rarely-used seat has a poorer viewing angle than the rest thanks to screen glare; that wasn’t an issue with the QN95A, partly due to its sheer size, but mostly down to the lack of glare.

The only real problem I encountered with the TV was that my livingroom needed to be at least three feet wider to do that screen justice.

The two younger members of the family immediately laid claim to the livingroom. The four-year-old was obsessed with watching Hey Duggee in what felt like life size, while the six-year-old put Barbie on repeat on Netflix. Only for a decent bedtime, we wouldn’t have got a look-in.

The built-in audio works fine, with technologies such as Object Tracking Sound+, which is 3-D audio that uses eight TV speakers arranged throughout the screen to move the sound with the action. For the duration of the review we also had the use of the Samsung Sound Bar Q800A, which supports Dolby Atmos. That covers one downside of the Samsung system; but the support for the Soundbar isn’t universal, with only some of the built-in streaming apps recognising its Atmos capabilities.

Good The QN95A delivers on its promises: an excellent picture, with plenty of detail and that all-important anti-glare screen. The picture quality is excellent and, when paired with a high-quality input such as Sky’s UHD programming (I highly recommend the David Attenborough content), you can really see the TV’s strengths.

Not so good You’ll need a big livingroom to comfortably accommodate this TV. It also doesn’t support Dolby Atmos unless you add in a soundbar.

The rest There is a multiview option that allows you to watch one programme while keeping an eye on another input (muted, of course). That meant you could keep an eye on the match while watching something on Netflix, or play a video game while the kids staged a TV takeover. For gamers, there is a dedicated set-up with an ultrawide game view, and a game bar that gives you quick access to settings such as aspect ratio that you may need mid-game.

Verdict The Samsung QN95A isn’t a cheap option, but the size and quality of the screen make it a good investment – provided you have the space.

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