The Samsung S90C OLED is a bit of underwhelming by way of image and sound. Although it may ship excessive ranges of brightness with HDR content material, rivals produce a extra pure and nuanced efficiency than Samsung’s entry-level OLED can.
- Able to a vivid HDR efficiency
- Fuss free set-up
- Glorious gaming efficiency
- Extra responsive sensible interface
- Lacklustre audio
- Rivals able to extra nuance and subtlety with HDR content material
- Purple push to complexions
- Black ranges look gray in vivid rooms
Anti-reflection displayDisplay screen guards in opposition to distracting glare
Movement Xcelerator Turbo ProfessionalHelps refresh charges as much as 144kHz
OLEDOLED display with Quantum Dot color tech
After giving OLED TV expertise the brief shrift for nearly a decade, Samsung can’t cease placing out new OLED fashions, bringing the S95C and S90C to the market in 2023.
The S95C is the premium OLED display, whereas the S90C is available in under because the extra reasonably priced effort, that includes a distinct design, much less superior options, and decrease peak brightness for HDR content material.
That has me questioning whether or not the S90C is the 2022 S95B in disguise. The S95B was a TV I preferred however had just a few imperfections, and with sturdy competitors from the likes of the LG C3, Sony A95K, and Panasonic MZ1500, the S90C has to show its mettle in a tricky market.
- Laser Slim design
- Central ft as a substitute of pedestal
- Blacks can look gray in vivid rooms
The S90C appears and feels just like the 2022 S95B and have been it not for the distinction within the stand design, it’d be precisely the identical set as earlier than.
The change to central ft is useful as they’re simpler to connect – merely slot them in and click on them into place. The simplicity is way appreciated.
The display itself is skinny from edge to edge other than the bulge in direction of the underside of the rear panel. For many who desire to wall-mount, the S90C received’t sit flush in opposition to the wall.
Colors retain their brightness and depth at wider angles with out dropping saturation, and brightness is larger than a ‘normal’ OLED panel whether or not head-on or from an angle.
The S90C could be value contemplating to be used in vivid room due to its inherent brightness (not less than in its Normal image mode) however there’s a caveat. Whereas the display has an Anti-Reflection filter, it lacks the polarizer that different OLED shows have, so in brighter rooms blacks can look gray as a result of. Flip the lights off and it’s not a problem however for some it’ll doubtless distract.
- Sooner than earlier than
- Settings nonetheless hidden away
- Big selection of leisure apps
The consumer expertise throughout Samsung’s 2022 screens was sluggish, with options and settings hidden from view. The 2023 model is an enchancment on the primary level, however much less so on the latter.
It’s sooner by way of velocity, particularly at energy up. The interface is split into hubs for Search, Ambient, Sport and Media, in addition to rows for ‘Linked Units’ and ‘Settings’. Flicking by way of the hubs is swift sufficient. The latter two sections really feel disconnected from the remaining although, hidden away in a shelf in direction of the underside of the display. You wouldn’t discover them until you knew they have been there.
Customers are nicely served by Tizen’s leisure choices. Regardless of the dearth of Freeview Play all the primary UK catch-up and on-demand apps are offered. The principle video and music streaming apps are coated from Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ to Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Apple Music and extra. Apple TV+ helps HDR10+ compatibility to additional optimise the HDR efficiency for the S90C.
The paid apps are complemented by Samsung TV Plus, a free-to-access streaming service with a whole lot (if not 1000’s) of films and TV programmes out there. There are extra free-to-access goodies from the likes of Plex too.
There’s a selection of two remotes. A wise, minimalist one with few buttons that may cost itself by way of ambient mild (or by way of a USB-C port). The usual, extra useful distant has lots extra buttons. Neither is a chore to make use of although most will doubtless desire the sensible distant for its simplicity, though each have fast entry buttons to standard streaming apps.
- Glorious gaming efficiency
- 4 HDMI 2.1 inputs
- Cloud gaming built-in to Sport Hub
The Gaming Hub options cloud gaming apps with the likes of Xbox Sport Move, Amazon Luna, Utomik, and GeForce Now onboard.
PC players get options resembling AMD FreeSync Premium VRR, and whereas the S90C can deal with Nvidia G-Sync, it’s not licensed for it, so points could also be encountered. Tremendous Extremely Large Sport View helps display ratios of 21:9 and 32:9 to view extra of the sport setting. HDR10+ Gaming is supported with appropriate shows/GPUs.
Auto low latency mode minimizes lag, and in sport mode I measured latency at 9.2ms, which is class-leading. With HDMI VRR that may be lowered with video games that function refresh charges as much as 144Hz (which the S90C helps).
The S90C doesn’t get the One Join field, however you continue to get 4 HDMI inputs – all of that are rated to the HDMI 2.1 normal – although HDMI 1 and 4 are specified because the ‘sport’ inputs. Two USB ports, Ethernet, digital optical out, CI Slot, and antennae for terrestrial and satellite tv for pc suppliers cowl your bodily ports. Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2 are the wi-fi choices.
Two options I don’t recall being on Samsung’s 2022 OLEDs are the EyeComfort mode and the Pantone validation. EyeComfort mode reduces the quantity of blue mild emitted from the display to scale back any irritation. Pantone assist claims to supply correct, true-to-life colors, particularly the copy of pores and skin tones.
Image High quality
- Able to vivid, vibrant HDR efficiency
- Seems fairly boring and flat in darkish HDR scenes
- Not essentially the most nuanced or refined image
One of many fundamental criticisms I had concerning the S95B was a color efficiency that was in want of extra finessing throughout its numerous modes. Plenty of tweaking was wanted to get a consultant image, however allied with its excessive brightness HDR, Samsung’s first OLED introduced a stable basis.
The S90C seems to be the identical display because the S95B although brightness in numerous modes has been tweaked. In Normal mode, the S90C hits a excessive of 1038 nits on a 5% window (1033 on the S95B) however Filmmaker drops from 1017 to 720 nits, and Film mode is up from 500 to 886 nits.
The S90C packs a punch with its vivid, vibrant, photographs, but it surely’s not fairly job performed. There are nonetheless quite a lot of niggles concerning the S90C’s image.
One is that out-of-the-box brightness is surprisingly darkish with HDR content material. Watching Jordan Peele’s Nope I discovered it more durable to see element within the scenes set at evening.
Enjoying with the Distinction Enhancer brings brightness to anticipated ranges, but it surely’s not the answer for each movie. With Interstellar (4K Blu-ray, HDR10) leaving Distinction Enhancer to ‘Excessive’ resulted in overly vivid whites, which means some extra tweaks have been wanted within the settings.
There’s additionally Lively and Normal HDR settings in image modes apart from Filmmaker (the place this setting is locked). Watching Marvel’s Secret Invasion on the S90C and Sony A80L and although the S90C is the brighter of the 2, the A80L picks out extra element within the brighter components of daytime-set scenes. Switching from Normal to Lively (or twiddling with the Distinction Enhancer) and the Samsung suffers from clipping (lack of element) within the brightest areas.
However it’s with darkish HDR scenes which the S90C struggles to articulate. Colors seem colder and a bit of duller, and black ranges lack depth in each The English (iPlayer, HLG) and Secret Invasion (Disney+, HDR10). There’s simply an general lack of punch to colors and a coldness to complexions in darkish HDR scenes.
Pitted in opposition to both the Sony A95K or A80L the QD-OLED’s purple push is extra noticeable on the S90C than the A95K. Each Sony TVs exhibit a extra pure depiction of colors and complexions, with the S90C not as refined in the way it shades characters’ faces, particularly in these darker HDR scenes, which come throughout as a tad heavy.
Movement processing is an space for enchancment. There’s judder with fingers and ft in World Warfare I drama 1917, with distracting noise across the our bodies of characters and the gear they carry. With the gradual digital camera pans the S90C performs advantageous, however with sooner motion there’s stutter and noise, and that is in each Customized and Auto modes.
In The English there’s a scene the place a bunch of horses gallop throughout the display, and there’s a distracting quantity noise and pixelation across the horses’ legs. File beneath ‘okay’ however must be higher.
With Samsung’s Neural Quantum Processor dealing with upscaling duties, a Blu-ray of Indiana Jones and the Final Campaign appears filmic, properly sharp, and clear. Nice element is superb, the S95C brings out the textures of the movie’s costuming, and movie grain is handled organically and never confused as noise. Colors are wide-ranging, blacks have depth and element within the faces of actors is superb. If I’ve a quibble, it’s the complexion of characters errs in direction of purple.
A DVD of Apollo 13 appears a lot better than anticipated on a 65-inch TV. The image will be noisy however not overly so, with edges which might be smooth and lack the readability and element of HD content material. Colors look pure for essentially the most half other than the purple push to complexions. Whereas I wouldn’t need to watch a lot, if any 480p content material on this TV, it’s removed from unwatchable.
Sound High quality
- Lacks influence
- OTS monitoring system is barely noticeable
The S90C’s built-in audio system is just not as highly effective because the S95B, which carried a 60W 2.2.2 channel system. I pegged the S95B’s energy output at 40W throughout assessment, however I should have been mistaken.
The S90C drops to a 40W powered 2.1 system and is downgraded from the S95B’s OTS (Object Monitoring Sound) system that featured ‘bodily’ audio system across the display, to OTS Lite which makes use of a mix of bodily and digital audio system.
It quantities to a efficiency that’s much less impactful than I discovered the S95B to be. Regardless of its Dolby Atmos assist, Prime Gun: Maverick sounds tame and uneventful, with not a lot dynamism evident the place Maverick goes on a take a look at run. Although the movie is described in spacious phrases, it’s not thrilling.
Bass is okay however lacks that oomph and punch because the jets whizz throughout the sky. Disappointingly, there’s nonetheless buzzing with low frequencies (quantity 50) that’s evident going out and in of settings menus, and surprisingly with the Netflix and Apple TV+ logos.
There’s a selection of two audio modes: Normal and Amplify, and the latter grants extra vitality, depth, and boosts dialogue, which is positioned nicely on display, delivered clearly and crisply. Of the 2, it’s the mode that will get essentially the most out of the TV’s sound system.
The sense of the audio system monitoring sounds from one nook to a different largely escapes me. With a movie resembling Tenet, the motion scenes sound a bit of too protected, as if the TV is performing inside itself. Add a soundbar and the thrill, weight, and depth of the motion sequences come flooding by way of. I’d suggest budgeting for a soundbar.
Do you have to purchase it?
In case you’re after high-end gaming: With assist for refresh charges as much as 144Hz, quick enter lag and a number of options for PC players, the S90C comes with glorious gaming credentials.
There are others with higher image and sound: Although the Sony A80L isn’t as vivid, it’s a extra pure and filmic performer with HDR content material than the S90C, particularly with darker scenes.
The Samsung QE65S90C is a puzzle. It’s able to nice brightness for an OLED however that potential is just unleashed with a go to to the settings.
The HDR efficiency out of the field is underwhelming until the Distinction Setting is activated, its efficiency in darkish scenes is just not essentially the most partaking, and the audio efficiency is flat and lacks pleasure.
On the time of assessment it had an RRP of £2799 however it may be discovered for £1999 at some retailers. Nevertheless, if image and audio are urgent priorities, the Sony A80L is the higher performer.
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Examined with actual world use
Within the UK there’s a selection of the S90C and S92C at numerous retailers, and the distinction seems to be beauty with the stand taking over a distinct color. In any other case the TVs are
Trusted Opinions take a look at information
Display screen Dimension
Dimension (Dimensions with out stand)
Sorts of HDR
Refresh Charge TVs
Audio (Energy output)
1444.3 x 264.9 x 896.6 MM
831.7 x 1444.3 x 39.9 MM
3840 x 2160
HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ Adaptive, HDR10+ Gaming
40 – 144 Hz
4 HDMI 2.1, Two USB ports, Ethernet, digital optical out, CI Slot, and antennae for terrestrial and satellite tv for pc
eARC, ALLM, 4K/HFR, VRR
Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.2