I spent an afternoon in a hotel room with Chris Evans and the new Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV and I can confirm that both are utterly spectacular.
OK obviously I mean I watched Avengers: Endgame, not that I was actually hanging out with Captain America. But I 100 per cent mean the Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV was spectacular. The display is brilliant – bright, vibrant, glare-free – and the sound was all-consuming. Elevated only by the latest Samsung Soundbar that I will dig into in another review coming soon.
There’s a lot to unpack, including (as the headline suggests) on NFTs, so here’s what I thought of the 75-inch QN95B Neo QLED 4K Smart TV (2022).
Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV
Samsung last month unveiled its 2022 range of kick-ass Neo QLED TVs, both in 4K and 8K. The range boasts upgrades where almost everything is concerned, and the 4K Neo QLED TVs honestly don’t give me much of a reason to tell you to go splurge on an 8K – the 4K is more than good enough.
For this review, I walked into a room at Sydney’s SKY Suites, which meant the 75-inch Samsung Neo QLED TV was already set up for me. Probing Samsung’s rep for a rough estimation of how long it takes, he said he, a pro, can do it in under five minutes. I assume it wouldn’t take you too much longer to do the same. Obviously signing into the streaming services is the punishing part.
Set up requires: connecting to the internet, accepting Ts & Cs, signing into a Samsung account (or creating one if you don’t have one), which can be done on your phone via QR code, and lastly, you choose your voice assistant. Bixby, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are your options. Bixby, of course, is the best one for controlling everything within a Samsung TV.
I have an unnatural obsession with user interfaces on TVs/tablets. The apps must look clean, modern and appropriate for their surrounds; they also must be organised in an appropriate manner. The home screen of the Samsung Neo QLED TV is actually pretty darn perfect. The colour scheme is nice, the shape of the apps is also nice and the personalisation features are ni-great. They’re great.
You can organise the apps in terms of preference (TV is compatible with most streaming services) and everything is treated like an app, even your PS5. The TV will also autoplay as a small tile the most recent thing you were watching on Samsung TV Plus – hopefully in the future this will work for other streaming services, but for now it’s just Samsung TV Plus, which is Samsung’s answer to free-to-air television, with 68 channels that requires no subscription.
Scrolling down, you’ll see some suggestions from your favourite apps (ordered how you’ve ordered them above) and as you use the specific streaming service more and more you’ll see your shows, plus those that service recommends for you, appear in these slots. A recents bar is, I believe, on the way. This will just elevate the seamless experience.
To the left, you’ll see a list. Navigation bar contains the media library – what I’ve been calling the home screen, Ambient Mode – more on this right down the bottom of the review, menu – quick settings with ability to open the central settings and connected devices – the new and improved ‘input’ feature that also includes smart devices.
You can also access the TV settings while in an app (that is, watching something).
My only (and it’s clutching at straws) complaint here is that if you’re on the home screen for too long, it times out and takes you back to what you were watching.
Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV picture
There’s not much doubt that the naming for QLED exists to invite a little confusion in the minds of TV buyers, because it really is very similar to OLED. The Q, in this case, stands for Quantum Dot – so strictly speaking it should be QDLED, but that’s hard to say – and the QLED process involves what is basically a standard LED LCD TV, but with nanoparticles – those quantum dots – used to boost colour and contrast capabilities. Samsung uses quantum dots in a film in front of an LED panel, so it’s still relying on a regular backlight for the first phase of its panel illumination. That backlight can make QLED a better option if you’re placing your TV in a spot where it gets hit with a lot of sunlight because the enhanced illumination can help to deal with glare issues.
The glare was still there, I don’t think we’ll ever fully get rid of this, but I have to say I didn’t even notice it until I looked for it. Perhaps it was the brightness of what I was watching. But in Australia, glare on a TV is a rite of passage. The Samsung Neo QLED TV handles this very well.
You can fiddle with brightness, contrast, sharpness, colour and tint of the picture to hit the sweet spot of what you prefer. You can also fiddle with some HDR settings (optimised or eye comfort). I couldn’t tell too much of a difference between the two.
That was a lot of tech talk – so what is the verdict? Well, I could see every wrinkle on Hulk’s face and details I had missed in outfits and scenery – and boy, was it overwhelming just how much it was like watching Avengers: Endgame for the first time.
How does the Neo QLED TV handle sound?
When you turn the TV on, it actually uses a microphone that’s built in to ping a sound (a sound you can’t hear) around the room. Called ‘intelligent mode’, this sound figures out the space in your room – how big the room is, if it’s wall-mounted or in a cabinet, etc, then it calibrates the sound to the space.
Using the TV sound and having the sound mode set as ‘amplify’ (vs standard) and the volume at 100, I popped Avengers: Endgame back on. I could hear the field, I could hear the ball landing, I could hear the swish of the arrow. It was a little loud, it wasn’t distorted, nor was it muffled, rather just uncomfortably loud at full volume. Pulling it back to about 80, I could still feel the storm approaching perfectly.
While not everyone uses a TV to play music, I also played some tunes through YouTube to see how it handled music without dialogue. Honestly, it was clear. The full range of vocals was clear, without distortion, and I could hear the instruments from behind the vocalist. While you wouldn’t use the Neo QLED as a speaker, you will be able to go down a music vide YouTube rabbit hole on your TV without compromising too much in sound.
Back to Avengers: Endgame, it definitely felt like I was immersed in the action, with the sound floating around me. This can be explained through a feature called ‘object tracking sound’, which put simply means that when objects move around the screen, the sound is stronger out that particular side of the TV. I truly felt this when Thanos bombed the Avengers’ headquarters – the shards were flying either side and it honestly sounded exceptional, even without the soundbar attached. Also helping the sound is built-in ‘true Dolby Atmos’.
There are further sound settings than just amplify and standard, such as auto volume (meaning the volume level stays the same regardless of what app you’re in).
Honestly, there’s a lot more to a TV these days than declaring sound = good, picture = better. Here’s what I’m yet to tell you about.
The TV has 4x HDMI 2.1 ports and 4K at 120Hz – you can plug in a PS5, Xbox, PC, you’ll have 4K on all ports.
It’s really focusing on PC gamers here, promising too to not cut off or condense your screen, with a dedicated ultra-wide game mode fitting the screen into the TV. I couldn’t test this as I didn’t bring a gaming PC with me. Next time. But I did play FIFA on PS5 and the Samsung Neo QLED handled this so, so well. I didn’t take a snap of this, however. Again, next time. The TV has its own special Game Mode which optimises pictures and sound for the game you’re playing. There’s a noticeable difference when game mode is activated.
Samsung calls this multi-view. Basically, it allows you to see two pieces of content at the same time.
You are limited with what apps you can view side by side, but you can screen mirror from your phone for example if you can’t import one specific app into multi-view. It’s a little slow to load, but you can choose either a 50/50 view or a small screen embedded within the larger one.
I would use this for watching two sports matches at once, or watching something on Netflix while keeping track of a sports game on the other side. Another example could be a YouTube tutorial for a PS5 game that’s being played on the other side of the screen. You can’t, however, have two consoles on either side. You also have full control of volume on both sides – with the option to mute one or (if you’re so inclined) have both volumes up – Bluetooth headphones can also be used to listen to either side of the screen. If you don’t suffer easily from sensory overload, this is a super cool feature of the Samsung Neo QLED TV.
And the remote is fine. Better than the LG one, at least, giving me nothing to complain about. It charges via solar/light (with a USB port failing light/sun) BUT it also uses RF harvesting (which honestly makes me think of someone taking my kidneys – too much Shudder, Asha). RF harvesting allows the remote to pull energy from energy waves in the room, such as modem, phones, etc.
I warned you this was coming.
If we head back to the home screen section, where I was talking about what you can do from the left of the screen – I mentioned ambient mode. You don’t have to use ambient mode, but it promises the ability to make your TV blend more in with your room – you can take a photo of your wall for example and it copies the pattern, or you can choose your own colours and patterns and take a pic of anything. BUT you can also use your NFTs here. Select Samsung smart TVs will have access to Nifty Gateway’s NFT marketplace, including the QLED and Neo QLED TVs. If you have a Samsung Micro LED TV or the Frame TV, you also have access to the app. I guess Samsung does have to cater for everyone. Did I use this? Of course not.
To import a photo, you can use a USB but Samsung phone owners have access to Ambient Mode – that means, the ability to add a pic straight from your phone. Other Android users and iPhone owners can still use the Samsung Smart Things app to control a tonne of things – such as smart home kit – and casting will work via Chrome and AirPlay on Apple devices.
Not all of us live somewhere with the ability to wall mount a TV. So despite the TV being 15mm in depth from every angle, the stand will push this out a little. I didn’t get a gauge on the stand (something I have taken issue with when reviewing other televisions) but the Samsung rep said it doesn’t protrude too much and it is quite sturdy given it’s wide and solid metal.
The Neo QLED has taken Samsung’s flagship 8K design down to the 4K range. But it’s also taken its previously top-tier features and made them standard. The picture quality is brilliant, showcasing the power of QLED, and the sound is strong enough to live up to the benchmark set by the picture. It has a handful of unnecessary features, such as ambient mode, and the ability to add your NFTs, but TVs have to offer more than just good sound and good picture, so I kind of get it. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV (and Chris Evans).