Samsung Q8FN vs Samsung Q9FN Review (QN65Q8FN vs QN65Q9FN, QN75Q8FN vs QN75Q9FN)
Samsung Q9FN is the top model of Samsung’s 2018 4K HDR QLED TV lineup, while Samsung Q8FN is the second top model. As parts of Samsung QLED TV lineup, excellent wide color gamut becomes the one of major flagship offered by them. As we know, in last year, all model of Samsung QLED TV becomes the TVs with the best color gamut. In this year, Samsung QLED TVs including Q8FN and Q9FN bring some significant improvements on some aspects of picture quality that makes its picture quality and HDR performance is better than last year models. In the market, Samsung Q8FN comes in 3 screen sizes including 55 Inch (QN55Q8FN), 65 Inch (QN65Q8FN), and 75 Inch (QN75Q8FN), while Q9FN only comes in 2 screen size option including 65 Inch (QN65Q9F) and 75 Inch (QN75Q9F). With the same screen size (QN65Q8FN vs QN65Q9FN, QN75Q8FN vs QN75Q9FN), QN9FN is priced far more expensive than Q8FN, even more than a thousand dollar for their 75 Inch model. But of course, since they were recently launched, they certainly still have full prices and their prices can still change at any time, usually will drops as time goes by. So, what advantages offered by Samsung Q9FN so it is priced far more expensive than Q8FN?
Samsung Q8FN vs Samsung Q9FN Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Samsung Q8FN||Samsung Q9FN|
|Resolution||4K (2160x3840)||4K (2160x3840)|
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (QN55Q8FN), 65 Inch (QN65Q8FN), 75 Inch (QN65Q8FN)||65 Inch (QN65Q9FN), 75 Inch (QN75Q7FN)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlighting Technology||Direct LED Backlight||Direct LED Backlight|
|Local Dimming||Full Array Local Dimming (Q Contrast Elite)||Full Array Local Dimming (Q Contrast EliteMax)|
|UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Moth’s Eye Technology||Ultra Black Elite||Ultra Black Elite|
|Picture Engine||Q Engine||Q Engine|
|HDR Technology||Q HDR Elite||Q HDR EliteMax|
|HDR Formats||HDR 10, HLG, HDR 10+||HDR 10, HLG, HDR 10+|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot with Q Color||Quantum Dot with Q Color|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||Yes||Yes|
|Motion Rate||240 (native 120 Hz)||240 (native 120 Hz)|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2018||Tizen 2018|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1850A)||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1890A)|
|Sound Output||40 Watts||60 watts|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Features and Technologies of Samsung Q8FN and Q9FN
On their panel, Samsung Q8FN and Q9FN equally use VA panel with direct led backlight and Full Array Local Dimming. This becomes the one of the major improvements brought by them considering in last year, their predecessor use edge lit with local dimming. In last year, the local dimming of Q9F and Q8F the predecessor is not too effective to boost the contrast, but in this year, with full array local dimming, their local dimming can boost their contrast ratio significantly, makes them can produce deeper black level than the predecessor. For reducing glare and handling reflection, both of them use the same moth’s eyes technology called “Ultra Black Elite”.
Still about on their panel, both Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN also equally come with Samsung’s quantum dot technology that allows them can deliver close to 100% of DCI P3 color space. And combined to Q color technology that can excellently process content with 10 bit depth of colors, this makes colors of HDR images displayed on their screen looks very accurate with smooth color gradient. Meanwhile for processing images, both of them are equally powered by Q Engine as their picture engine. One of the highlights in this year, all models of Samsung QLED TV including Q9FN and Q8FN bring the new HDR format called HDR 10+. Essentially, this format is based on HDR 10 standard, but it comes with dynamic metadata like Dolby Vision.
For maximizing their performance when handling motion blur, both Samsung Q8FN and Q9FN are equally powered by Motion Rate 240 technology and equally have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Combination to their low pixel response time, this allow them to deliver smooth and clear picture quality when used for watching fast moving images like sports or fast movies. Meanwhile, for connecting to other devices, the excepting of the number of USB ports, both of them are equipped with the same inputs/outputs like HDMI ports, RF IN, and others. In term of smart TV, they are also equally featuring Tizen 2018 as their smart TV platform and also equally powered by a quad core processor. Now, their smart TV platform is integrated with Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant and Smart Thing Home Assistant.
The Number Zones of Local Dimming Technology
Both of them might equally use direct LED backlight with Full Array local dimming, but Samsung use different term for each of their local dimming technology. For this case, on Q8FN, Samsung use term “Q Contrast Elite”, while on Q9FN, Samsung use “Q Contrast EliteMAx. This is actually just to distinguish the number of dimming zones of their local dimming. But unfortunately, Samsung doesn’t clearly reveal, how many dimming zones for each. But that’s for sure, with Q Contrast EliteMax, Samsung Q9FN has more dimming local dimming zones than Q8FN with Q Contrast Elite that certainly will impact on the contrast ratio, depth of black and peak luminance produced by them. This becomes the one of the major aspects why Q8FN is sold far more expensive than Q8FN.
On its official website, Samsung has listed different term for their HDR technology on their specification. For this case, Samsung Q8FN is powered by Q HDR Elite while Q9FN is powered by Q HDR EliteMax. Unfortunately, we don’t clearly know the differences between these technologies, whether indeed this is a difference in technology or just to illustrate the difference in the quality of HDR images produced by them. But that’s for sure, the level of Q HDR ELiteMax is higher than Q HDR Elite and Samsung Q9FN can produce greater HDR performance than Q8FN.
The Number of USB ports
In last year, there is no difference in the number of USB ports between their predecessor Q8F and Q9F, even for lower models where most of them have 3 USB ports. But in this year 2018, there is only the top model Q9FN that has 3 USB ports while the lower model including Q8FN only has 2 USB ports.
As we see on comparison table above, Samsung Q9FN comes with 4.2 channels speaker system with 60 watts of sound output while Samsung Q8FN comes with 4.1 channel speaker system with 40 watts total sound output. With higher sound output power, of course, Samsung Q9FN can deliver more powerful and impressive sound quality than Q8FN.
Samsung Q9FN vs Q8FN Performance
Contrast and Black Level
Since Samsung Q8FN and Q9FN use VA panel, this certainly makes both of them have strong native contrast ratio. But unlike the predecessor where their local dimming doesn’t work effectively in boosting contrast, on Q8FN and Q9FN, ,their local dimming does a great job in boosting the native contrast ratio. With local diming enabled (all Samsung TV in 2018 don’t have a menu to disable local dimming), Samsung Q8FN can reach up to 8000:1 of contrast ratio, while performance of Q9FN is even much more excellent, it can reach close to 20000:1 of contrast ratio. Although not as perfect as OLED TV, what reached by Samsung Q9FN is superb for LED TV, make it as a LED TV with strongest native contrast ratio. The result, black level reached by Q9FN is far deeper than what reached by Q8FN. Nevertheless, what reached by Q8FN is also already great. Ignoring the excellence of Q9FN to Q8FN, essentially, black level reached by them is quite dark and combined to their excellent black uniformity, this makes dark scene looks excellent when they are set in a dark room. Additionally, their black level is also quite dark to reveal details of images in dark scene of HDR images, result in excellent shadow details of HDR images like the intended. But even so, since Q9F has far stronger contrast ratio, this certainly also makes dark scene produced looks more excellent than Q8FN, especially when displaying HDR images.
Both Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN also equally have excellent peak brightness. Peak brightness reached by them are equally bright enough to fight the glare of ambient light and combined to their excellent reflection handling, this also makes the excellent picture produced by them will look remain good when they are set in a bright room, even in a very bright room where there is much light or sunlight come in through window. Additionally, their local dimming also equally does a good job to brighten small window size brighter, makes a highlight in a dark background of HDR images looks very bright, brighter than 1000 nits like the intended. When show a scene with most objects are bright, their peak brightness might drops, but the decline is not as significant as on OLED TV and still above 500 nits that means it is great.
Meanwhile, compare between them, peak brightness reached by Q9FN is far better than Q8FN. On Samsung Q9FN, it can reach more than 1700 nits of peak brightness at small window size, makes it is including the one of the TVs with brightest peak brightness. Even when showing a scene with all objects are bright, its peak brightness is still close to 700 nits. On the other hand, when showing a dramatic highlight in a dark scene, its local dimming does a good job in reducing “blooming” although on the other hand, details in very dark scene may will loss. But even so, its performance in reducing blooming can be said the one of the best for LED TV. On the other hand, although not as great as Q9FN, peak brightness of Samsung Q8FN is also already excellent, better than predecessor Q8F. Samsung Q8FN might not be able to show a small object in a dark background brighter than 1500 nits, but at least its peak brightness is still above 1000 nits that means it can show highlight of HDR images like the intended at 1000 – 4000 nits of brightness range where HDR images are usually mastered. When showing a scene with all objects are bright, its peak brightness is also not as bright as Q9FN, but it is still above 500 nits and brighter than most TVs which available in the market. Blooming also cannot be reduced as good as Q9FN, but still better than most TVs.
One of the excellences offered by Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN is about their color performance. Like all models of Samsung QLED TVs in last year, both of them also equally have excellent wide color gamut, even can be said the best. With Samsung’s quantum dot technology behind them, they can deliver color gamut close to 100% of DCI P3 color space. This means, almost all colors of HDR images mastered in DCI P3 like HDR 10 or HDR 10+ can be shown fairly saturated, even for deep greens where most TVs struggle to produce these colors fairly saturated, both Samsung Q8FN and Q9FN can do this job fairly well. On the other hand, Color volume of Q8FN and Q9FN is also excellent. The excepting of extremely dark colors, they can show their wide color gamut at entirely their peak brightness. The result, color of HDR images displayed on their screen looks fairly accurate, no matter the brightness level of image. Additionally, powered by Q Color technology, both Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN can process images with 10 bit depth of colors fairly good. The result, color gradient of HDR images displayed on their screen looks fairly smooth. Although some little imperfections might still be visible in darker colors, but they are not alone since almost all TVs also has some little issue when showing gradient of darker colors.
Side Viewing Angle
But unfortunately, since they have poor side viewing angle coverage, both of them cannot maintain their excellent picture quality produced when viewed from the side. Color will look shift started at 20 degrees off center and front. Even their black level will look degraded started at narrower angle. When viewed from the angle, blacks of images will look tend to grey and colors will look tend to grey that certainly makes the picture doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the center and front. And when viewed from the wider angle, the picture will look worse. But even so, as long as you rarely watch TV from the side, this should not be a problem for you. After all, this is not their own problem considering all other premium TVs with VA panel also have the same problem on side viewing angle.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
Although not as low as OLED TV, essentially, both Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN have extremely low pixel response time, lower than 5 ms that means it is great for LED TV and lower than most TVs. As we know, pixel response time of a TVs becomes the major aspect in handling motion blur. The lower pixel response time of a TV, motion blur can be more minimized. The result, when playing fast moving images, there is only very short ghosting motion trail where most people might not notice that. The blur that might be visible is more due to persistence caused by flicker. As we know, flicker is required to clear up the motion, so to dim the backlight, both Samsung Q8FN and Q9FN uses PWM Dimming System where by default, they use 480 Hz f PWM Dimming Frequency. With this frequency, flickers should not be noticeable and also doesn’t cause duplications. But even so, when playing 60 fps contents like games or sports, to clear up the motion, this requires a dimming frequency that similar to frame rate of contents, for this case is 60 Hz. To adjust backlight flicker to 60 Hz, both Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN has an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode that can be enabled/disabled by enable/disable “LED Clear Motion” on their picture setting. The result, this can help motion looks clearer, but on the other hand, this will cause persistence blur. Overall, when playing fast moving images like sports or fast movies, motion blur can be handling fairly well by Q8FN and Q9FN and the picture displayed on their screen looks very smooth and clear with almost no motion blur visible.
When playing 24p videos, their performance is also similar. The excepting of 24p movies via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, both of them can show any frame rate video source with judder-free. This means, whether it is native 24p videos like Blu-Ray or DVD movies, 24p videos via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices like Apple TV, Fire TV, and others, all of them will be shown clearly and smoothly with judder-free on their screen. Meanwhile, their judder issue when showing 24p via 60p signal 60i signal is actually unusual for them as premium TV. But even so, usually, there is a firmware update for them that will fix this issue. After all, since most of people might not sensitive to judder, this should not be a major problem for them.
Like most other premium TVs, Samsung Q8FN and Q9FN are also equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports as their major connectivity. All of their HDMI ports already support HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 Full bandwidth while that support ARC (Audio Return Channel) is only 1 port that is HDMI 4. Additionally, they are also equally equipped with 1 RF IN (Antenna In), Ethernet, and Digital Audio Out (Optical). Both of them are also equally not equipped with Composite In and Component In. But even so, like we have mentioned above, the number of their ports is different where Q9FN is equipped with 3 USB ports while Q8FN is equipped with 2 USB ports only. All of their HDMI ports are USB 2.0 and they don’t have USB 3.0. The difference to last year model, now, they no longer use One connect Box. This means, all of their inputs/outputs are located on the rear panel.
Although overall, the input lag of Samsung Q8FN is a bit lower than Q9FN, but essentially, in PC and Game Mode, their input lags are excellent across all inputs resolution. With about 20 ms of input lags at any all input resolution, this allow you to play any games responsively without laggy, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. And combined to their excellent motion handling, excellent picture quality, free from risk of permanent burn-in, this certainly makes them as great TVs for games.
Smart TV Platform
As their smart TV platform, both Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN are equally featuring Tizen OS 2018. In term of user interface, there are not many changes compared to last year version. All shortcuts of apps are well-organized on a “strip bar” at the bottom across the screen, allow you to find and launch them easily. Once you highlight an item, a pop-up window will appears above contains recommendations or advanced menu of highlighted app. Meanwhile, apps provided by Tizen OS are also a lot and complete. There are premium VoD streaming service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, Live TV, Web Browser, Cloud Games, Screen Mirroring apps, and many more. Additionally, although not many and complete as Google Play Store as the apps store of Sony TV, it also has an app store named Samsung’s apps store that also provides tons of apps, games, contents, and many more. Additionally, Tizen 2018 now is integrated with Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant that makes its voice navigation can do more and Smart Thing as its home assistant apps.
As their controller, Samsung Q9FN comes with smart remote TM1890A or similar the remote of Samsung’s QLED TVs in last year, while Samsung Q8FN comes with TM1850A or similar to the remote of Samsung Premium UHD TV like MU8000 or MU9000 in last year. The remote of Q9FN has metal finish and comfortable to hold, while the remote of Q8FN is made from plastic. But even so, although their remote has difference in design and finishing, but they have similar ability and functions. There are not many buttons on their remote and their buttons only can be used to access to the most common functions, while for accessing advanced menus, you must use menu navigation or voice navigation. But now, its voice navigation has been integrated with Samsung Bixby voice assistant that allows you to do more with your voice commands. Additionally, their remotes also have a universal ability, allow you to control other devices connected via HDMI CEC with their remote. Not even just that, with OneRemote Features, you can also control some function of other devices which don’t support HDMI CEC with these Samsung Remotes.
|Performance||Samsung Q9FN||Samsung Q8FN|
As we have mentioned above, overall, both Samsung Q8FN and Q9FN have excellent picture performance and great performance on most of their features. Meanwhile, priced hundreds dollar even more than a thousand dollar more expensive, depending on the screen size, Samsung Q9FN offers far stronger contrast ratio that makes it can produce deeper black level than Q8FN. Additionally, its peak brightness is also far brighter than Q8FN. This certainly makes HDR images displayed on the screen of Q9FN will look more excellent than Q8FN. But even so, picture quality and performance of Q8FN is actually already excellent and better than most TVs which available in the market. In addition to Contrast and peak brightness, performance of Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN like motion handling, input lags, 24p playback and other tend to be similar. Both of them also have the same major drawback that is about their side viewing angle that is poor.
Which is a better choice between them? If you come for HDR performance and picture quality, Samsung Q9FN certainly is better choice since it has far deeper black level and brighter peak brightness, even its peak brightness and black level is including the best in 2018. But to get it, you must spend much hundreds dollar more of your money. But even so, if your budget is limited, Q8FN is also not a bad choice. Although not as excellent as Q9FN, picture quality and HDR performance is also fairly excellent, even it can also show HDR image fully like the intended. The excellence, you can save hundreds to more than a thousand dollar of your money. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your preference and budget.