Samsung Q9F vs Sony A1E Review (QN65Q9F vs XBR65A1E, QN75Q9F vs XBR77A1E)
Samsung Q9F is the flagship of Samsung’s 2017 4K LED TV lineup while Sony A1E is also the flagship of Sony’s 2017 4K TV Lineup. But unlike Q9F that uses LED technology, A1E uses OLED technology and also the first model of Sony OLED TV with big screen size. In the market, QN9F comes with 2 screen sizes available including 65 Inch (QN65Q9F) and 75 Inch (QN75Q9F) while A1E comes with a bit more screen size available including 55 Inch (XBR55A1E), 65 Inch (QBR65A1E), and 77 Inch (XBR77A1E). Overall, as the flagship of each of their manufacturer, both of them equally have absolutely amazing picture quality and great performance of some features that offered, but of course, their price certainly is also not cheap. In the market, with the same screen size, for this case is 65 inch (QN65Q9F vs XBR65A1E), A1E is sold hundreds dollar more expensive than QN65Q9F. Meanwhile, for their biggest screen (QN75Q9F vs XBR77A1E), although XBR77A1E has 2 inches larger than QN75Q9F, A1E is sold more than double of the price of Q9F. But of course, their prices are not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what are the advantages of each than the other and which is a better choice between them?
Short review of Sony A1E (XBR55A1E, XBR65A1E, XBR77A1E)
As we have mentioned, Sony A1E is the first model of Sony’s OLED TV that comes with big screen size. Its panel is still bought from LG, so we don’t expect more something new that offered by A1E over LG OLED TV about its picture quality. Nevertheless, to offer something new, it comes with unique design named “One Slate” where if the TV is viewed from the front, it looks very minimalistic. One of the unique technology that offered by Sony A1E is about “Acoustic Surface Technology” where for producing sound, it doesn’t use speaker system, but it utilizes its screen for generating the sound. This means, this TV doesn’t have speakers like most of TVs which available in the market.
As we know, one of the advantages of OLED panel is about its infinite contrast ratio and perfect black level due it has self-lighting pixel. Since native contrast ratio is one of the most important components of picture quality, this certainly makes the picture displayed on the screen of A1E looks very amazing, particularly when displaying dark scene. Additionally, OLED panel also makes it has extremely wide viewing angle coverage and excellent motion handling. Meanwhile, for maximizing picture produced, it is powered by new Sony’s picture engine called “4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme” where this engine is first used on Z9D series, the flagship of Sony 2016 TV lineup. There are a lot Sony’s most advanced technology embedded in its processor like Dynamic Contrast Enhancer for maximizing its contrast, Precision Color Mapping and Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR for maximizing its color performance, and Object-Based HDR Remaster technology and Dual Date Base Processing for maximizing its picture clarity. Additionally, come with HDR technology, Sony A1E already support HDR 10 format and Dolby Vision, and might be also HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) via an upcoming software update. This allows you to enjoy more HDR format than most of TVs that labeled with HDR. And for completing your home entertainment, Sony A1E offer attractive and responsive smart TV experience with Google Android TV Nougat Version as its smart TV platform.
Short Review of Samsung Q9F (QN65Q9F, QN75Q9F)
Samsung Q9F is also the flagship of Samsung’s 2017 QLED TV lineup. As we know, the advanced quantum dot technology is the main advantage that offered by Samsung QLED TV including Q9F. And driven by 4K Q Color Drive Elite technology, this makes Q9F has excellent renditions of colors, even including TVs with the best rendition of color in 2017. Nevertheless, like other TVs with VA panel technology, limited side viewing angle becomes the major drawback of Q9F. This mean when viewed from an angle, the picture doesn’t look as good as when viewed from center and in front of the screen.
On its panel, Samsung Q9F comes with VA panel and Edge Lit Backlight with local dimming. But as we know, the performance of local dimming technology on edge lit backlight in improving contrast ratio is not as good as Full Array Local dimming. Fortunately, its native contrast ratio is already strong, and combine to other technology like Supreme UHD Dimming, Q 4K Elite Black+ with Infinite array and others, this makes Q9F has deep black level, result in excellent dark scene, even when set in a dark room. Otherwise, for improving its peak brightness, there is Peak Illuminator Pro technology behind it, result in extremely bright peak luminance that makes its HDR performance is great. Additionally, combined to Ultra Clear Panel technology that designed for reducing reflection, this makes its bright room performance is also great. Meanwhile, comes with HDR technology, Samsung Q9F is powered by Q 4K HDR Elite technology+ with Infinite array. But even so, unlike A1E that already support Dolby Vision, Q9F doesn’t support Dolby Vision and only support HDR 10 and HLG. Nevertheless, although it doesn’t yet support Dolby Vision, it is already certified by Ultra HD Premium Certification that ensures you can enjoy HDR 10 videos fully like what intended.
Samsung Q9F is also a great TV when used for watching fast moving images like sports program or fast movies. Combination between Motion Rate 240 technology based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel behind it and its low pixel response time makes the picture displayed looks smoothly and clearly with almost no motion blur visible. Additionally, it is also a great TV when used for 24p movies due its ability to remove the judder from any source. The input lag of Q9F is also quite low under games, makes it is very comfortable when used for playing any kind of games. And as its smart TV platform, it features Tizen 2017 OS that powered by a quad core processor, make it offers simple, responsive, and attractive smart TV experience.
Samsung Q9F vs Sony A1E Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Sony A1E||Samsung Q9F|
|Resolution||4K (2160x3840)||4K (2160x3840)|
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (XBR55A1E), 65 Inch (XBR65A1E), 77 Inch (XBR77A1E)||65 Inch (QN65Q9F), 75 Inch (QN75Q7F)|
|Panel Technology||OLED||LED (VA Panel)|
|Backlighting Technology||No backlight (Self Lighting pixel)||Edge Lit LED|
|Dimming Technology||Pixel Dimming||Local Dimming (Precision Black Ultimate)|
|UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1 Engine||Q Engine|
|HDR Engine||Q 4K HDR Elite+ with Infinitive Array|
|HDR Format||Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HLG||`HDR 10, HLG|
|Color Technology||TriLuminos Display||Quantum Dot with Q 4K Color Drive Elite|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced Technology||Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Dual Data Base Processing, Object-Based HDR Remaster Technology||Q 4K Elite Black+ with infinite Array, Ultra Clear Panel, Peak Illuminator Ultimate, Contrast Enhancer, Ultra Black|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||4K X-Reality Pro||Samsung UHD Up-scaling Engine|
|Motion Clarity||-||Motion Rate 240 (native 120 Hz)|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2017||Tizen 2017|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Remote||Sony Voice Remote||Samsung Smart Remote|
|Speaker Type||Acoustic Surface (Actuator + Subwoofer)||Front Firing|
|Sound Output||10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W||60 watts|
|Price||See the Price on Amazon||See the Price on Amazon|
Samsung Q9F vs Sony A1E Performance
Essentially, both of Samsung Q9F and Sony A1E have excellent picture quality. Nevertheless, since Sony A1E has infinite native contrast ratio and perfect black, this certainly makes its dark room performance is superb. When it show black color, the pixels are totally turned off and don’t emit any light and combined to its perfect black uniformity, this makes black color of images looks absolutely black. On the other hand, although not as perfect as A1E, for a LED TV, Samsung Q9F also has strong native contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity, make it also has excellent dark room performance. But unfortunately, since it uses edge lit backlight, its local dimming doesn’t work as effectively as TV with Full Array Local Dimming when improving the contrast ratio. Meanwhile, when displaying dark scene of HDR image, Sony A1E doesn’t have any problem to show shadow details of HDR images like what intended. On the other hand, although not as perfect as A1E, the native contrast ratio of Q9F is also quite strong and able to reach black level darker than 0,05 nits. It is quite dark to reveal detail of images in dark scene, makes shadow details of HDR images are shown excellently like what intended. Technically, Sony A1E offers far better dark room performance than Samsung Q9F, but because our eyes sight have the limitation, this makes dark scene displayed on each of their scene looks equally excellent.
While Sony A1E has better dark scene due its infinitive contrast, otherwise, Samsung Q9F has brighter peak brightness that makes highlights of images shown on the screen of Q9F is brighter than A1E. With about 400 nits of peak brightness when inputted by SDR signals and about 700 nits of peak brightness when inputted by HDR images, this certainly is quite bright to fight the glare, so although this is not as great as Q9F, this makes its bright room performance is also fairly good. Additionally, peak brightness reached by Sony A1E us also quite bright to make highlight of HDR images shown excellently. This even is brighter than 550 nits, the minimum standardization for displaying HDR 10 videos fully set by UHD alliance. On other hand, Samsung Q9F has great peak brightness, no matter it is inputted by SDR or HDR signal. Its local diming works effectively to brighten its peak luminance in small area so brighter than 1000 nits. This certainly makes Q9F doesn’t have significant constraint when fighting the glare or shown the small highlight of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what intended.
Meanwhile, talking about their color performance, essentially, both of Samsung Q9F and Sony A1E equally have excellent coverage of DCI P3 Color space and fairly good Rec.2020 color space coverage. This certainly makes both of them have excellent renditions of color, even when displaying HDR videos which require wide color gamut. Nevertheless, compare between them, Q9F has wider color gamut and better color volume than A1E. Almost all colors in DCI P3 Color space can be shown properly on the screen of Q9F, even for deep green where most of TVs has an issue. Additionally, Q9F also can properly show almost all colors in its color gamut coverage throughout its entire peak brightness. But even so, since it doesn’t has black level as perfect as OLED TV, its color gamut narrows slightly for extremely dark colors. On the other hand, although not as wide as Q9F, Sony A1E also can cover most of colors in DCI P3 and Rec.2020 fairly good. However, since it peak brightness is not very bright, it struggles to show bright colors excellently. Meanwhile, talking about their color gradient, overall, both of them equally have excellent color gradient when inputted by 10 bit signal of HDR image. But compare between them, Sony A1E has a bit better color gradient than Q9F, particularly when displaying HDR image. On the screen of A1E, color gradient of images looks smoothly and clearly without any color banding, while on the screen of Q9F, some little imperfections might still be visible in the darker shades of colors. But even so, overall, color gradient of Q9F is better and better than most of TVs which available in the market.
The major advantage of Sony A1E than Samsung Q9F is about their side viewing angle coverage. As we know, one of the major advantages of OLED TV is about its perfect wide viewing angle coverage. This certainly makes the picture displayed on the screen of A1E looks consistently amazing, no matter the angle you are watching from. This means, when you are watching TV from side viewing angle, the picture will looks as good as when viewed from center and in front of the screen. Since it uses VA panel, Q9F cannot maintain the quality of the picture displayed on their screen if viewed from an angle. Started at 20 degrees off center and front, black color will tend to look grey and color will shift, make the picture doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the front and center. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be a major problem for you.
As we have discussed a lot above, technically, Sony A1E has stronger native contrast ratio and deeper black level, while Samsung A1E has better rendition of color and brighter peak brightness. But overall, picture displayed on their screen equally looks absolutely amazing. But even so, this is just as true to when viewed from the front and center of the screen. While when viewed from an angle, due Samsung Q9F has limited side viewing angle, this certainly makes the picture displayed on the screen of Sony A1E looks far better than Q9F.
Winner: A1E win on black level and contrast while Q9F win on peak luminance and rendition of color
Motion handling and 24p Videos Playback
Essentially, both of Samsung Q9F and Sony A1E are great TV when used for watching fast paced videos like fast movies or sport programs. The picture displayed on their screen looks smooth and clear with virtually no motion blur. However, compare between them, Sony A1E offer better performance than Samsung Q9F. The pixel response time of A1E is extremely low, result in only a very short trail following fast moving object. On the other hand, although not as low as A1E, the pixel response time of Q9F is also fairly low, even including the lowest for a LED TV. The result, a trail following fast moving objects might a bit longer than A1E, but for LED TV, it is fairly excellent. People with untrained eyes even cannot distinguish the difference between them. Meanwhile, when playing 24p videos, Q9F has a better performance than A1E, particularly when playing 24p movies via 60p/60i signals. When playing 24p videos like Blu Ray movies, both of them might equally offer smooth and clear picture quality with judder-free. But when playing 24p videos via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV or via 60p signals like movies from streaming devices, the picture displayed on the screen of Q9F might still look clear and smooth with judder-free, but on the screen of A1E, the judder is still slightly visible. Fortunately, most of people don’t sensitive to judder, so this should not be a problem for A1E.
Winner: A1E offer better motion blur handling, Q9F has better 24p movies playback
As their major connectivity, both of Sony A1E and Samsung Q9F are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB Ports. Additionally, both of them are also equally equipped with 1 RF In (Terrestrial), 1 Ethernet, and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). Both of them are also equally no equipped with Component In. The difference between the is about Composite IN (AV In) and analog Audio Out(Mini Jack) where Sony A1E is equipped with this input/output while Samsung Q9F is not equipped with this input/output. The other difference between them is about where all of these inputs/outputs ports are located. On Sony A1E, all of its inputs/outputs are located on the rear or side panel, while on Q9F, most of their inputs/outputs are located on separated box called “One Connect Box”. Meanwhile, talking about their input lag, essentially the input lag of Samsung Q9F is lower than Sony A1E at any source. For Q9F, its input lags under “Game Mode” is under 25 ms, makes it is very comfortable when used for playing any kind of games, even for fast paced games, no matter it is 1080p games, 4K games, or 4K HDR even. On the other hand, the input lag of A1E is low only at 4K source, while at 1080p source, the input lag of A1E is still a bit high. This means for playing 4K games, even for fast paced games, although it is not as comfort as Q9F, Sony A1E is still very comfortable. But for 1080p games, it is only comfortable for playing causal game, while for playing fast paced games, this might be a bit disappointing.
Winner: Samsung Q9F
As their smart TV platform, Samsung Q9F features Tizen OS 2017 while Sony A1E features Google Android TV Nougat Version. Both of these smart TV platforms equally have attractive layout design. Nevertheless, in term of navigation, Tizen OS is easier to use than Google android TV. On the home screen of Tizen Os, there is a ribbon across the bottom of the screen contains quick access of many popular apps and features. This allows you to launch an app without leaving the home screen. Meanwhile, navigating on Google Android TV is a bit more difficult. Fortunately, there is an “Action menu button” that provides a quick list of common settings, so this slightly helps to relieve its navigation problem. Talking about apps, both of them provide a lot of apps as their preinstalled apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web Browser, Live TV, and many more. Both of them also already have apps store where Tizen OS comes with Samsung Apps Store while Android TV comes with Goggle Play Store. For this case, Google Play Store provides more complete apps, contents and games due it is supported by a lot of more developer than Samsung Apps Store.
As their controller, Samsung comes with Samsung Apps Store while Sony A1E comes with Sony Voice Remote. Samsung remote is simple and has few buttons only while Sony remote is bigger and has a lot of buttons. Both of them equally have voice command functionality, allow you to control some TV and smart TV functionality or setting with your voice. Additionally, both of them also can be functioned as universal remote where it can be used for controlling other devices connected to your TV via HDMI ports. But for this case, Samsung remote is stand alone, while Sony remote need an IR Blaster where it is included in A1E buying package.
Winner: Samsung Q9F
|Performance||Sony A1E||Samsung Q9F|
As we have discussed a lot above, essentially, both of Samsung Q9F and Sony A1E have excellent picture quality. This is understandable considering both of them are the top model of each their manufacturer. Nevertheless, compare between them, each of them has advantages and disadvantages to the others. For this case, Samsung Q9F is superior on rendition of colors, peak luminance, 24p playback, and input lag, while Sony A1E is superior on contrast ratio, black level and uniformity, motion blur, and side viewing angle coverage. Meanwhile, the major drawback of Q9F is about is limited side viewing angle coverage while the major drawback of A1E is about its input lags at 1080p source where it is too high for playing fast paced games. On other hand, both of them equally offer attractive and responsive smart TV experience, but Q9F with Tizen OS offers easier to navigate than A1E with Google TV. Additionally, something that makes A1E is different to the competitors is about its speaker system where for producing a sound, it doesn’t use speakers but utilize its own screen.
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have mentioned, with the same screen sizes, especially for 65 Inch (XBR65A1E vs QN65Q9F), Sony A1E is sold about hundreds dollar more expensive than Samsung Q9F, while for their biggest screen, XBR77A1E is sold thousands dollar more expensive than QN75Q9F). With performance and picture quality offered, of course the decision comes back to your according to your preferences because which sold by A1E and Q9F is not just picture quality, but also design and other features. But essentially, both of them have excellent picture quality that will make you more comfort when enjoying home entertainment in your home.