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When it comes to home entertainment systems, the first thing that comes to mind is the TV. Over the past few decades, it is the primary source of multimedia consumption as family and friends gather to have a good time. While the advancement of modern smartphone and tablet technologies has led to a decline in the demand for a TV at home, however, that will never truly replace the immersive experience of a big display.

In my case, my old 50-inch Samsung TU8000 4K TV (2020) has been serving my family well over the past 3 years. Ever since moving into a new home, I’ve been looking for a replacement as a 50-inch is no longer suitable for the wider living room. Hence that is what exactly happened last month, I got my hands on the new all-new 75-inch Samsung QN85C Neo QLED 4K TV and the HW-Q800C soundbar.

If you are currently in the market surveying for a new TV and just so happens the QN85C is within your shopping cart, read on to find out what do I think of this TV.

Setup

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While most TV owners shouldn’t be worrying about the set-up of the TV as the shop usually would offer this service for free, I thought it is still worth mentioning for users who prefer to DIY.

In all honestly, I think Samsung has done an excellent job at the packaging that also assists the user in the assembly of the TV. It is advisable to have at least two people during the set-up process to prevent accidentally damaging the TV or causing injuries.

Design

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After completing the set-up, I can’t help to be in awe with the ultra-thin bezels surrounding the TV panel. Well, obviously this is not the “thinnest” bezels as Samsung had a crazier setup with the 8K QN900 series but this is clearly better than a majority of choices in the market.

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It is very difficult to convey how thin the bezels are especially if you’re upgrading from older TVs.

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Even the branding is kept at the minimum with a small Samsung badge at the bottom right of the bezel. There are two key takeaway points from this design – one, they don’t need an additional bezel at the bottom to house the panel controllers; two, Samsung has taken the minimalist path and emphasised on delivering the best TV experience.

Rear IO

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There are four HDMI inputs at the back, all supporting 4K 120Hz sources. This is a huge advantage over the competitors that usually limit the support of 4K 120Hz to just one or two HDMI ports. The HDMI 3 port also supports HDMI eARC, perfect to connect your favourite audio receiver/broadcast devices.

Judging from the trend where the TV is also part of the couch gaming experience, the QN85C also supports AMD Freesync Premium Pro and NVIDIA G-Sync compatible. 

Other connectivities include optical digital output (SPDIF), Ethernet and two USB-A ports. The satellite connection port varies according to region.

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Not my best effort at hiding the cables, but at least the included cable management route is easy to use.

Solar-Powered Remote

Often overlooked but this is one of my favourite decision made by Samsung – a solar-powered remote. Let’s be real, a remote control sips power and even with a triple-A battery, it will last for months, if not years, depending on the battery quality. However, I would never need to deal with keeping spares at home with this remote.

Quantum Matrix Technology with Neural Quantum Processor 4K

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Now, let’s talk about the picture quality.

I have tested the TV on both Intelligent mode as well as Filmmaker mode. For those who are unaware, Intelligent Mode is like a “smart” mode that automatically adjusts the picture settings according to a set of algorithms. The result is absolutely stunning with vivid colours and images that pop.

However, I have to admit that I’m more of a movie-purist guy who prefers to keep things simple and neutral. That’s why I am more inclined towards the Filmmaker mode as it is designed to reduce the amount of postprocessing on the content. In short, it allows us to watch the movie in the way the filmmakers originally intended.

The Neo QLED screen uses a Mini LED backlight that is way more effective than a traditional backlight array. There are two main benefits of the Mini LED backlighting. One, it delivers higher HDR peak brightness; Two, it offers excellent black-level precision due to the smart control on the tiny LED clusters.

While OLED has top-of-the-line performance when it comes to the black level, this Neo QLED manages to close the gap without having the potential issue of image retention as suffered by some OLED panels. Combined with the use of Samsung’s proprietary Neural Quantum Processor, the video quality is exceptional on the 4K panel even if the original content is SDR or non-HD movie.

If you really want me to nitpick on the weakness of this TV, I would say there are negligible vignetting effects on the corners and halo lighting effects when there’s a moving bright spot on the dark background. Honestly, it is not something that you would actively notice when watching movies with plenty of action.

Q-Symphony with Dolby Atmos

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By default, the QN85C has a 2.2.2 channel speaker setup, maxed out at 60W (RMS). Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of built-in speakers on a TV due to the limited room for a set of decent speakers. Surprisingly, this six-speaker array is capable of providing a reasonable listening experience out of the box. Just don’t expect the bass to be punchy.

My best recommendation is to get a compatible Samsung soundbar to enable the Q-Symphony feature. This is their best audio technology to date that combines both soundbar and TV speakers to deliver an unprecedented listening experience. The TV speakers help to fill the room with mid and high-range sound, on the other hand, the soundbar focuses on the vocals & surround sound while and subwoofer delivers room-thumping bass.

Smart Hub & Smart Things

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Depending on your region, the Smart Hub has a different range of services. The Samsung’s Tizen smart platform has a well-managed application market with plenty of developers supporting the ecosystem. Unless explicitly stated by the developers, chances are you will find your favourite streaming services on the marketplace.

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The Samsung Smart Things mobile app allows you to control the TV without having the need to reach out to the remote control. Basic features include the remote control function and going as complex as the TV settings.

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There’s one interesting feature is the Smart Calibration function built into the Smart Things app. This function uses your smartphone’s camera as the calibrator to determine the colour accuracy of the screen.

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One thing to take note of is only a number of selected phones can use this feature.

The end result is quite impressive. As seen above, before the calibration the brightness is overblown in some regions. The calibrated image looked more natural even though the peak brightness is reduced. Unless you have a professional colour calibrator service near you, I think this is the easiest way to get your screen calibrated.

Conclusion

The Samsung QN85C comes in 4 different models:

  • 55-inch – RM7,299
  • 65-inch – RM9,599
  • 75-inch – RM13,599
  • 85-inch – RM18,599

For some, this is a rather steep price especially when Samsung has positioned the QN85C as the “entry-level” Mini LED screen. The higher-end model would be the QN95C as well as the 8K models which will cost significantly higher than this.

The QN85C is an excellent choice for movie lovers and gamers. The panel is beautiful and combined with a complete HDMI 2.1 input enables the ultimate entertainment room setup.

Where to buy: (affiliate links)

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3NVb2V4

Lazada: https://invol.co/clj976z

Shopee: https://invl.io/clj9778


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