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55" Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR Neo QLED TV with Bixby, Alexa & Google Assistant

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Detail levels stay high, contrasts stay wide—and while the Samsung’s travails with motion become more readily apparent, it’s still one of the better performers this sort of money can buy. Yes, there’s a softening of the overall image, and some of the nuance and variation previously available from the color palette goes astray, but the QN85A is never less than watchable.

Samsung QN85A review (55QN85A): a QLED 4K TV with elite - T3

About the only area where the QN85A doesn’t excel is motion control. The Manchester City-based content is filled with instances of rapid, complex on-screen movement, and when the going gets especially trying, the Samsung can give away how hard it’s working. Some minor edge-shimmer is the most common tell-tale, with ghosting and image-doubling so rare as to be negligible. To its credit, it’s never hard or coarse – even at volume, and it will go pretty loud by prevailing standards – but the sound it makes is insubstantial, and consequently quite strongly at odds with the pictures it produces. There are some audio modes worth trying, including Adaptive Audio, which adds a little more breadth to the sound, but we prefer it switched off. If you want the Q85R to try to intelligently level out the audio across different scenes and sources, then use Adaptive Volume. VerdictThe Samsung’s IPS panel offers decently wide viewing angles (good) and a little more reflectivity than is absolutely ideal (not quite so good). Take a bit of care with positioning, though—both of the screen and your position relative to it—and picture performance is admirable. Edge definition is stable and assured, while depth of field is never less than persuasive. Sometimes the CGI elements of a film like this can take on a rather artificial cast in the hands of less capable screens, but the QN85A is adaptable enough to make these transitions all-but seamless. The movie’s relentless, rapid motion causes few alarms, either—in fact, on the very rare occasions that the screen can be seen to be working hard to stay in control of on-screen movement, it only serves to emphasise how authoritative the Samsung otherwise is. In many respects, Samsung has done a decent job with the audio of the Q85R. The speakers produce a good sense of space – bullets zip accurately across a wide soundstage, bones crunch roughly where they should and there’s broadly good tonal balance – but this is not a market-leader for sound quality and you’d be wise to budget for a separate sound system.

55” QN85A Neo QLED 4K HDR Smart TV (2021) - Samsung uk

The Samsung QN85A is a solid TV that looks great from wide angles and gets really bright, thanks to Mini LED inside.

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Naturally, when you’re spending proper money (as this is) on a TV, your primary concern is likely to be picture quality – but physical looks are important, too. Happily, the Samsung scores pretty highly here, thanks to a winning combination of a minimal bezel surrounding the screen and a consistent depth of just 27mm. Whether you’re playing native 4K content, or upscaling from HD or SD, the Q85R produces astonishing detail. The AI upscaling is particularly impressive, thanks, presumably, to its Quantum Processor 4K chip. Samsung has fitted the QN85A with its 4K Neo Quantum processor, which is more than capable of dealing with every HDR standard. But this is Samsung, so there’s no Dolby Vision HDR. With every day that passes, this seems a more wilful, more eccentric and more annoying decision – but Samsung is nothing if not bloodyminded.

Samsung uk 55” QN90A Neo QLED 4K HDR Smart TV - Samsung uk

It’s a testament to just how impressive the Tizen smart TV interface is that Samsung only needs to fiddle about with the minutiae of its performance to maintain its position as one of the very best around. Other brands (they know who they are) have had to make giant strides to deliver anything as logical, straightforward and user-friendly as the interface fitted to the Samsung QN85A. It’s a paradigm of good sense. However, we like that you can control it in all kinds of ways. With your voice, an app or one of the TWO remote controls. It also looks fantastic, with a combination of wide viewing angles and a nice slim profile make the Samsung QN85A a prime candidate for wall-hanging. Granted, it might not sound quite as good as it looks—very few TVs do—but you can always supplement it with a good soundbar. Also consider...Elsewhere, the news is almost equally good. The colour palette from which it draws is extraordinarily extensive – there really seems to be no limit to the nuance of shade the QN85A can deliver. And it’s utterly convincing when it comes to skin-tones and textures too – the subtlety of complexions of all types is given full expression here.

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