Q80T vs Q90T: Which Samsung QLED TV is better?

Going by the fundamental features, Samsung Q80T and Q90T appear to be identical. Still, if you really look into the specifics of these two TVs, you can notice that they do differ in several significant aspects. So we’ve done an in-depth Samsung Q80T vs Q90T comparison to determine which TV offers you a better product for your money. 

Samsung Q80T vs Q90T – Quick Comparison

Samsung Q80T

Samsung Q80T QLED TV
Samsung Q80T QLED TV

An impressive all-around TV, Samsung’s Q80T makes fast action look smooth and stutter-free. Moreover, the Q80T is equally adept in featuring sports, TV shows, movies, and gaming activities due to its well-balanced features.

Pros:

  • Fast and intuitive OS
  • Impressive response times
  • First-rate local dimming features
  • Superb at handling reflections 

Cons:

  • Often can’t reproduce in-depth dark colors
  • Sometimes suffers from the “dirty screen effect”

Samsung Q90T

Samsung Q90T QLED TV
Samsung Q90T QLED TV

A versatile TV that performs equally well in a darkened bedroom and light-filled living room, the Samsung Q90T provides warm natural colors and exceptional black levels. In addition, it’s packed with great features that allow you to customize your viewing experience.

Pros:

  • Fast and intuitive OS
  • Gets very bright, especially in HDR
  • First-rate local dimming features
  • Above-average reflection handling

Cons:

  • Bass tends to be weak occasionally
  • Often struggles to display brighter blue levels

Features Face to Face

Panel Technology

Coming with the prefix “Q”, it’s apparent from the get-go that both the Q80T and the Q90T utilize the same panel technology – Samsung’s QLED (Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diode). In simple terms, QLED TVs employ a quantum dot layer that enhances colors and brightness.

With that in mind, the crucial thing you should remember about QLED panel technology is that it’s still essentially LCD technology. So even though the quantum dot diode makes it sound much more advanced and sophisticated, QLED is just a variation of LED panel technology, not a separate technology on its own.

Image Processor

Like all Samsung TVs that have come up since 2019, the Q80T and Q90T use Samsung’s 4K Quantum Processor. This processor is Samsung’s in-house product meant for 4K and 8K TVs.

The processor comes with some powerful features in the context of the two 4K models we’re comparing on this page. It most notably possesses excellent upscaling capabilities, utilizing machine learning and AI to improve lower definition content. Overall, the two TVs have the same image processing power across all essential criteria. 

Motion Technology

When discussing motion technology in TVs, the key mark to look at is the response time. The Q80T has a response time of just 10.1 ms, while the Q90T measures 10.6 ms. Considering this, the Q80T is marginally ahead of the Q90T in terms of motion technology.

Although neither TV is flicker-free, this isn’t noticeable as both TVs flicker at a very high frequency. The input lag numbers for both models are amazing. Moreover, both TVs come with an optional feature called LED Clear Motion. It helps reduce motion blur and improves motion clarity.

Picture Quality

No matter how experienced or novice, every buyer looking for a new TV pays attention to picture quality and resolution settings. With that in mind, here’s a direct overview of both TV’s supported resolutions:

ResolutionQ80TQ90T
4K/120HzYes (Native Support)Yes (Native Support)
4K/60Hz/4:4:4YesYes
4K/60HzYesYes
1440p/120HzYes (Native Support)Yes (Native Support)
1440p/60HzYes (Native Support)Yes (Native Support)
1080p/120HzYes (Native Support)Yes (Native Support)
1080p/60Hz/4:4:4YesYes

Contrast Ratio/Black level

As we’ve grown to expect from Samsung’s VA panels, the Q80T and the Q90T are fantastic in this category. This is in part due to the nature of VA panels and also Samsung’s innovative QLED technology. You can even improve the contrast levels by enabling local dimming options, which we’ll get to in the next section.

All things considered, both TVs offer excellent native contrast ratios. That said, the Q90T has slightly better contrast ratios. On the other hand, the Q80T outperforms the Q90T in terms of black uniformity. With this in mind, it all comes down to personal preferences and which of the two features you value more in a TV.

Local Dimming

The Q80T has a solid full-array dimming feature. It can be slow in reacting to sudden changes, but this is rarely noticeable. This model is very capable of reducing intense blooming but at the cost of an enhanced grayish appearance. Overall, it’s just good enough to put it in the average performance range.

In comparison, the Q90T has an excellent local dimming feature. However, it still shows blooming once in a while, and the screen can look grayish at times. That said, the Q90T perfectly handles subtitles and excellently utilizes Samsung’s new backlight algorithm. Taking all of this into consideration, the Q90T has the edge in this category.

Peak Brightness

Although the two TVs are pretty similar in most important aspects, peak brightness performance is where the Q90T really shows its superiority over the Q80T. The Q80T provides good HDR and SDR brightness but is no match for the Q90T in this category.

The Q90T can get impressively bright, enough to deliver a fantastic viewing experience in both HDR and SDR. To put it in perspective just how well this TV performs, it offers a peak brightness of up to 630 nits across the entire screen. In comparison, the Q80T’s peak window is around 430 nits.

Looking at SDR peak brightness numbers, the Q90T again has the edge over the Q80T. The two TVs record 530 and 420 nits, respectively. However, we should mention that this can vary depending on the type of content you’re watching and sometimes even the particular scenes. 

Color

Comparing the color volume and color gamut features of the two TVs is an unforgiving task, as the Q80T and the Q90T have matching strengths and weaknesses in all important aspects.

Starting with the color volume, both TVs offer good to above-average color volume. That said, the Q90T does produce better dark and saturated colors, as it outperforms the Q80T in contrast ratio numbers. The Q80T simply can’t reproduce the same in-depth dark colors due to having a lower contrast ratio. Conversely, the Q90T can struggle with displaying brighter blue levels.

Comparing the color gamut of the two TVs, both the Q80T and the Q90T have a great color gamut. This is especially important to note if you mostly plan on watching HDR content, as DCI P3 coverage is excellent on both models.

Viewing Angle

As both TVs are VA panels, they offer similar performance characteristics in terms of viewing angles. They also come with Samsung’s “Ultra Viewing Angle” technology, which improves viewing angles at the expense of the contrast ratio. 

You can enjoy slightly better viewing angles if you disable local dimming. That said, neither TV allows you to disable local dimming through the standard settings menu. You can only do it in PC Mode. Considering these features, both TVs are equally adequate in this bracket.

Sound Quality

The Q80T and Q90T have a decent frequency response and distortion performance. The two TVs produce relatively clean sounds at moderate listening levels but suffer from noticeable distortion at high levels. The bass in both TVs is okay, though Q90T’s bass performance can be lackluster and flat at times.  

Both TVs also possess the Adaptive Sound+ setting, which allows you to tune the sound based on your room’s acoustics. Overall, the Q80T outperforms the Q90T in terms of sound quality, although neither TV’s sound features are not the room-shaking kind some buyers are looking for. 

Smart TV Platform (Operating System)

Like all newer Samsung TVs, the Q80T and the Q90 come with the Tizen operating system. The TVs employ the Samsung SmartThings remote app that delivers reliable and steadfast OS implementation. In the table below, you see how these performance characteristics translate into numbers:

OS FeaturesQ80TQ90T
OS VersionTizen OS (2020 Version)Tizen OS (2020 Version)
Time to Change Backlight6 seconds6 seconds
Time to Load YouTube2 seconds2 seconds
HDR Netflix/YoutubeYesYes
App Selection/Variety8/108/10
App Smoothness9/109/10
Ease of Use8/108/10

The smart remotes for these two TVs are identical to any other QLED TV. There are helpful shortcuts to Netflix, Prime Videos, and Samsung TV Plus. Moreover, the TV remotes have a convenient and creative Ambient mode button. It pulls up and displays artwork on the TV when not in use.

Going by the numbers in the table and smart features we’ve addressed, neither TV has the edge in the context of OS capability. They are both easy to use, fast, and offer above-average OS performance across the board.

Connectivity

The Q80T and the Q90T don’t only share the same OS and smart remote. They also mirror each other in terms of every key connectivity feature. From inputs and voice assistants to wireless technology, you can count on the same traits. To get a clearer perspective of what all of this includes, let’s take a closer look at each of these categories.

Inputs

The Q80T and the Q90T come with an identical set of input support features; thus, they are equally great performers in this category. It’s also important to mention that both TVs offer exceptional input lag performance across all supported resolutions. With this in mind, here’s a detailed rundown of all of the input specifications for both models:

Input PortsQ80TQ90T
HDMI Ports4 HDMI 2.0 Ports4 HDMI 2.0 Ports
USB Ports2 USB 2.0 Ports2 USB 2.0 Ports
Digital Optical Audio Out1 Port1 Port
Ethernet PortYesYes

Additionally, it’s worth noting that one of the four HDMI ports on each TV supports HDMI 2.1. More precisely, this feature is available on the fourth HDMI port. This input specification puts these two TVs ahead of similar Samsung models like the Q70 QLED.

Voice Assistants

As we’ve previously discussed, both TVs come with the same type of smart remote. With this in mind, they also share the same voice assistant – Samsung’s Bixby virtual assistant. You can activate Bixby through a built-in microphone in the remotes. 

Bixby performs above-average in terms of TV voice assistants, as it can carry out various voice commands. For example, you can use it to change multiple settings, search for content or ask for general information like the current time and weather conditions. That said, the assistant’s in-app performance can vary from application to application.

Wireless Technologies

The Q80T and Q90T both support the same Wi-Fi technology (2.4GHz and 5GHz). In the same breath, neither TV offers Bluetooth support. However, this is nothing out of the ordinary for TVs in this price range.

Standout Features

As the Q80T and the Q90T are almost indistinguishable in all elementary features, neither TV has any standout features over the other. However, both TVs come with two excellent features that help them stand out from the rest of the competition.

The first standout feature these two TVs possess are their picture modes. With Standard, Dynamic, Natural, and Movie settings, you can tailor your viewing experience the way you like it the most. Additionally, both TVs support the FreeSync variable refresh rate. This is a significant factor for gamers looking for a high-performing gaming TV for their PC or Xbox One. 

Conclusion

So, with all of the differences and similarities in mind, which of the two TVs we’ve discussed is the better choice for you? Well, only you can answer this question. That said, to help you make sure you’ve made the right choice, we’ll conclude this Samsung Q80T vs Q90T comparison by recommending the best uses for each TV.

Overall, the Q80T is a superb TV for all-around use. It offers above-average performance for watching shows, movies, sports, and even gaming. This is mainly thanks to its well-balanced set of audiovisual features that make it great for mixed usage.

In comparison, the Q90T is equally as versatile but offers slightly better performance across the board. This is particularly evident when watching movies in HDR and gaming. The Q90T can get very bright, offers better native contrast ratios, and has finer dark and saturated colors.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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