Flagship TVs are all effectively and good for exhibiting off the perfect of TV tech, however the actuality is they don’t seem to be what the vast majority of individuals are shopping for. Look a collection or two down from the highest and that is the place you may discover the candy spot of worth and efficiency for lots of people.
The S90C is doing that job for Samsung’s QD-OLED line this 12 months – with Samsung doubling down on its dedication to the know-how by introducing a second mannequin to its vary, in contrast with final 12 months.
As you’d anticipate, it has a barely extra humble spec record and barely cheaper (although nonetheless not reasonably priced by many requirements) price ticket, and picks up the place final 12 months’s S95B left off – with a couple of refined enhancements. How does it fare? Right here’s our full overview.
Samsung’s S90C delivers a brilliant, detailed and nuanced image efficiency that actually packs a punch with HDR materials. Apart from some minor movement niggles and Samsung’s continued lack of Dolby Imaginative and prescient help, it does a lot to offer the LG C3 some tasty competitors – notably should you’re watching in a brilliant room.
- Brilliant, detailed image efficiency
- Implausible color dealing with
- Good design and construct
- Nice spec for players
- Movement processing not essentially the most refined
- No Dolby Imaginative and prescient
Pricing and availability
I examined the 55-inch display of the S90C for this overview, however there’s additionally a 65-inch model and a brand new 77-inch choice, which can be found for $1899.99/£2199, $2599.99/£2999 and $3599.99/£3899 respectively (and already on the receiving finish of a $200/£200 low cost from RRP on the time of writing).
From a pricing perspective, that strains the S90C up fairly carefully with rivals just like the LG C3 and the Sony A80L – and I might anticipate, even with extra worth fluctuations within the coming months, that you’ll find these costs all keep in and across the identical level to stay aggressive.
- Display sizes, 55, 65 and 77 inches
- 4 x HDMI (all 4K/144Hz)
- Dimensions: 1225.4 x 773.5 x 265.9mm (with stand)
From a seems to be perspective, the S90C provides a sizeable nod to final 12 months’s S95B, with a slim silver trim across the fringe of the display, a brilliant slender facet profile and a really neat dealing with of the connections “bump” on the again.
That bump tells us there is not any One Join Field right here – that is reserved for the S95C this 12 months – however the S90C may nonetheless simply be wall mounted at simply shy of 4cm deep.
Nonetheless, should you select to position use the stand, it is this that offers away the S90C’s true id. Rather than the, arguably prettier, central steel plinth from the S95B (and the S95C for that matter), there are two slender black ft. These are narrowly positioned for straightforward becoming on even the smallest of TV stands, and easily clip into the TV, making arrange fast and straightforward.
Connections are nice, with 4 HDMI 2.1 ports supporting 4K/144Hz, two USB 2.0 ports, one digital optical enter, twin tuners for terrestrial and satellite tv for pc alerts, with wi-fi connections dealt with by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay 2.
You get two remotes within the field, as ordinary. First up is the usual useful Samsung distant that has been included with all of its merchandise for the reason that starting of time, in addition to the a lot smaller, easier Photo voltaic Cell distant. This does not want alkaline batteries and can cost utilizing a panel on the again by way of the sunshine in your house, lasting as much as two years on a full cost.
This has shortcut buttons for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Samsung’s TV Plus service, in addition to easy controls for quantity, channel and navigation. Relying on how huge your arms are, some folks may discover it only a contact too compact, but it surely’s a small grumble at greatest.
- 4K Neural Quantum processor
- ALLM and VRR help
- Filmmaker Mode
- Assist for HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG
The S90C makes use of a QD-OLED display, so it really works barely in a different way to conventional OLEDs from the likes of LG. Samsung makes use of an added layer of quantum dots for the pink and inexperienced subpixels, know-how borrowed from its QLED vary, and a blue OLED gentle rather than a white one for a pure RGB consequence.
This all ought to, finally, result in larger color quantity and brighter photos. Pricier OLEDs just like the LG G3 are utilizing newer Micro Lens Array tech to attempt to match it (and doing a very good job too), however that is not discovered within the S90C’s extra direct rival, the LG C3.
Working issues right here is Samsung’s 4K Neural Quantum processor, which helps the image processing and upscaling, in addition to retains the Tizen OS operating comparatively easily – if not the quickest.
Tizen is again to a full-screen working system as soon as once more this 12 months, with the house display providing up a rail of accessible apps – which incorporates the entire greatest streaming companies you possibly can need – your present supply, some “On Now” picks and rails of suggestions. It is comparatively easy to navigate, and content material surfaced was related and applicable.
Settings are served up in a fast motion bar with simplified choices, and this may be customised to fit your wants. For instance, burying the “all settings” choice proper on the finish of the settings shortcut menu was annoying for me, so I moved it as much as the highest to make it simpler to dive out and in.
Off to the facet is a slim menu, which may take you to the Recreation Hub for viewing related consoles and streamed gaming companies. ALLM and VRR is absolutely supported right here, together with FreeSync Premium and Movement Xcelerator Turbo Professional 144Hz for the PC players amongst you.
The devoted Video games mode will ship a speedy enter lag of simply over 9ms, whereas the Recreation Bar will provide you with at-a-glance stats and extra recreation settings to your TV, and a straightforward solution to tweak them. As ever, Samsung has catered splendidly to anybody shopping for this TV to recreation on.
HDR help stays essentially the most controversial side of Samsung TVs, with a continued blindspot for Dolby Imaginative and prescient and a doubled down dedication to its lesser-used rival, HDR10+. It stays a disgrace to not see it included and is a consideration you may should make if you are going to purchase the S90C, or any Samsung TV.
To get the TV up and operating and searching its greatest, Samsung this 12 months is providing a brand new function referred to as Sensible Calibration Professional. This makes use of the Samsung SmartThings app and a appropriate iOS or Android telephone to calibrate the TV’s settings utilizing quite a lot of take a look at patterns on the display. As soon as full it masks these settings to your Film profile with “(Calibrated)” after it so you recognize it has been adjusted.
In my expertise, it made the Film profile look similar to the also-included Filmmaker Mode – a common commonplace centered on delivering an correct image efficiency with no added processing.
Having not lengthy taken the LG C3 off the testing bench, one of many issues I discover first in regards to the S90C is that it does not mirror as a lot ambient gentle in my brilliant testing room. Samsung has included a brand new display filter on the S90C this 12 months to assist in opposition to this, and it appears to be doing its job. It is one thing I discover most in darker scenes, and helps to maintain black ranges trying deeper.
The S90C ships with Eco mode because the default setting out of the field – however for the perfect efficiency, you may need to change that instantly. My suggestion is normally the Film or Filmmaker Mode for essentially the most correct image, however you probably have a brilliant room like me, you may profit from tweaking the brighter Commonplace mode to your tastes (altering the color tone to Warm2 and turning off the image processing is an efficient begin) and utilizing that as a substitute.
It will not be as correct, however I believe all however essentially the most ardent image purists could choose it in brilliant rooms – you possibly can all the time use one of many extra correct modes at night time when the room is darker should you like. My go-to for these conditions is the Filmmaker Mode.
Alternatively, with HDR content material you do have the choice to vary the HDR Tone Mapping from static to energetic, although this actually does throw accuracy to the wind and goes for a really brightened image, lifting every thing throughout the board. It is higher than going for the Dynamic setting, although – that is tremendous brilliant however pushes colors in direction of the cartoon-ish.
I kick off testing with a 4K HDR stream of Queen Charlotte from Netflix and the S90C performs admirably. Panorama pictures of the sweeping royal estates look suitably dramatic and full of sufficient element to offer an awesome sense of depth and texture.
Pocket-lint/Netflix, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
That is continued up shut within the intricate detailing in outfits – the sides of frills and ruffles are expertly etched, velvet jackets carry an virtually touchable sheen and the detailing in silk robes is completely picked out.
Colors are additionally very well dealt with too. In a scene on the orangery when Queen Charlotte is shipped a letter from George, the pink and yellow jackets of the palace employees pack loads of punch in opposition to the backdrop of lush greenery, whereas the pastel attire of the women in ready present the S90C can do refined colors simply as effectively, with out ever trying wishy washy.
The color palette the S90C makes use of is broad and assorted, pores and skin tones supremely effectively judged and the additional brightness right here in contrast with the LG C3 provides some added color luminance for ample “pop” when it is wanted.
Pocket-lint/Netflix, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
This all solely steps up a gear while you feed it a 4K Blu-ray, notably within the element division. Large panorama pictures in Oblivion, for instance, have an added sense of depth and pack all of the extra cinematic affect – however every thing on display advantages from the additional perception and high quality element that 4K Blu-ray can convey.
Panning pictures of decimated Earth landmarks are comparatively secure, however movement processing (discovered underneath Image Readability settings) does should be switched from the auto setting or you will note some pretty apparent artefacts seem round transferring objects.
To enhance this, you possibly can select to change it off solely, or go for Customized and choose between 1 and three on each blur and judder settings for some refined smoothing and stabilisation. It isn’t as refined, nor as foolproof, as another movement processing you may discover on opponents – notably from the likes of Sony – but it surely does the job effectively sufficient to not be overly distracting.
We swap again to Netflix and Seven Kings Should Die offers loads of moody scenes to check out the black stage and distinction efficiency.
Within the darkness of Bamburgh Citadel, the fireplace torches and candles that gentle the partitions and tables pack only a bit extra punch than we observed on the LG C3, whereas not dropping any of the subtlety and nuance both.
On the different finish of the dimensions, we would argue that the deepest shadow element is not fairly as explicitly portrayed as we observed on its LG rival, however black ranges do attain as deep as you’d anticipate from OLED know-how. Add that to the brighter spotlight efficiency, and it does give the S90C the sting relating to producing an impactful HDR efficiency.
Upscaling right here is brilliantly dealt with by the 4K Neural Quantum processor. Whereas I discussed above that you’ll find the perfect efficiency with the perfect content material, HD streams from Netflix and Disney+ nonetheless look improbable. HD broadcasts aren’t fairly as convincing however they’re nonetheless crisp and secure, with noise stored at bay and hues remaining correct too.
Commonplace definition broadcasts, as ordinary, are undeniably on the delicate facet, with fuzzy edges and muted element. In the event you can take care of that although, they’re nonetheless a lot watchable.
- 2.1ch, 40W
- Samsung’s Object Monitoring Lite
- Dolby Atmos help
The sound system constructed into the Samsung S90C is a 2.1ch array, with help for Dolby Atmos utilizing Samsung’s Object Monitoring Lite know-how. This locations sound nearly relatively than utilizing any upfiring audio system – and in reality, the drivers right here face downwards, and are positioned on the backside of the TV.
That makes their efficiency all of the extra spectacular. Dialogue in The Elephant Whisperers is all the time clear and direct, however take issues up a notch with some motion and it will probably deal with that too.
Pocket-lint/Netflix, The Elephant Whisperers
Watching F9: The Quick Saga, a taking pictures scene is delivered with relative solidity and may take a good quantity of quantity too. It isn’t as dynamic a efficiency as you may hear from a soundbar – so you do not really feel the punch and affect of every gunshot – however there is not any fragility or hollowness right here, even at quantity.
Sound is sort of localised to the TV although, and does not give a way of scale a lot outdoors the size of the TV itself. Dolby Atmos soundtracks do have a contact extra space to their organisation, however you are not going to be floored by sound results being positioned round and above you. You will nonetheless want a soundbar for that.
The Samsung S90C is a improbable selection within the OLED market, providing a brilliant, detailed and nuanced image efficiency that actually packs a punch with HDR materials.
Brilliant rooms will profit from the brand new display filter, making certain darkish scenes can retain their sense of black stage when confronted with ambient gentle, whereas colors are superbly and broadly dealt with throughout the board.
Add to that an awesome spec for players, a well-specified good TV system and a design that’ll work for each TV stands and wall mounting, and you have a really enticing TV certainly. Movement may arguably be a contact higher, and we’re nonetheless peeved by the dearth of Dolby Imaginative and prescient too – however grumbles are fairly minimal right here.
Nonetheless, it is honest to say that the enhancements discovered listed here are iterative at most in comparison with final 12 months’s S95B – and now that TV is massively discounted, it takes a little bit little bit of the shine away from this 12 months’s newcomer.
Nonetheless, if you’d like the improved ambient gentle efficiency and the perfect brightness ranges at this worth – to not point out the choice of a 77-inch display measurement in some markets – the S90C is an excellent set that ticks a complete lot of packing containers.