Samsung 65QN90B 65-inch TV review: No barrier to entry for high quality

Buying a television these days is like decoding a hidden message. You have to pour over the specs, check the landscape for what is available, and think about the price.

To save you a little time, here’s a quick tip: Buying the best television around is not a great goal. Usually that means you have to spring for all of the latest tech, the biggest size, and accept features you might not even use. I recommend the Samsung 65QN90B 65-inch instead, because it has a fair price on Amazon right now and delivers the goods.

By “the goods” I mean two things. When you buy a television, you need a quality viewing experience and you need speed. Everything else involves bells and whistles, such as extra ports you might not even use, 8K resolution when that doesn’t even matter right now, and enormous size when it’s possible your room isn’t big enough for that anyway.

At 65-inches, the Samsung 65QN90B 65-inch is about perfect for a suburban home, someone who does not live in a mansion. In my case, the room has a sectional, a fireplace, and a side chair and bookshelf. That’s about it. Placed against a wall near a row of windows, the  Samsung 65QN90B 65-inch was perfect for viewing from about 10-12 feet away.

The QLED tech is ideal for those who do not need the absolute best quality (you will pay quite a bit more for a Samsung OLED display). As you may know, QLED does not turn each LED on and off, but it does manage the quantum dots and adjusts brightness and color quality. Did I mention this television costs $1,698 right now? OLEd models from Samsung cost at least $300 or $400 more than that on Amazon, and an 8K model at this size costs $5,500.

I made sure the quality was up to my standards at this price. I watched the movie Emily the Criminal and the color quality looked smooth and clear. The display is bright enough that you won’t notice a deadness and flatness like you will on sub-standard televisions.

Speed is the other critical factor. All of the apps I tested, from Netflix to the DirecTV app, were snappy and didn’t have the typical lag of the lesser brands. I used to test a lot more televisions and the one giveaway for a $900 model was that they were always slow. You sit and wait for the app to appear, then you wait for the slow processor in the TV to keep up with every click. 

The Samsung 65QN90B 65-inch was even fast for apps like Tidal that tend to be memory hogs trying to keep up with your clicks at every turn, usually loading up suggested albums.

I wasn’t a big fan of the TV interface, though. I will say, Samsung is trying to present fresh content on the main page when you turn on the TV, but it’s in the second row of the interface and I found myself constantly clicking up to select an app instead. 

Not the end of the world, since (as I mentioned) you want quality and speed. 

I’m sure Samsung has the right idea in mind, but we’ve all moved on to apps these days. Give me the fastest route to Disney+ and I’ll be happy.

Every movie and show I watched looked beautiful, the apps ran smoothly, and my overall impression is that this is a solid buy at $1698 for a 65-inch model. It provides a nice balance of quality, speed, and yet an affordable and reasonable price.