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Review: Samsung QE65S95B (S95B-serie) QD-OLED TV

Review: Samsung QE65S95B - if you purchase it for movie fun, you can expect a fantastic experience as the QD-OLED technology delivers great results.

In 2013, Samsung launched its first OLED TV, but it was discontinued after a short time. Since then, the Korean manufacturer has sworn by LCD. That will change again this year. The Samsung QE65S95B is Samsung’s first QD-OLED TV. Does the combination of quantum dots and OLED technology take image performance to a new level?

Samsung QE65S95B – Specifications

What Ultra HD QD OLED TV
Screen size 65 in (165 cm), flat
Connections 4x HDMI (4x v2.1 (48 Gbps), eARC, ALLM, VRR, HFR 4K120), 1x optical digital out, 2x USB, 3x antenna, Bluetooth
Extras HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, WiFi (802.11ac) built-in, Tizen 7.0, AirPlay 2, USB/DLNA media player, DVB-T2/C/S2, dual tuner, CI+ slot, Neural Quantum 4K Processor, Smart Calibration
Dimensions 1,444 x 898 x 288 mm (incl. foot)
Weight 25.5 kg (incl. feet)
Consumption SDR 132 (G) / HDR 252 watts (G)
Recommended retail price 3,499 euros

Samsung QE65S95B – Design

When you think of an OLED screen , you immediately think of a super slim design, and this Samsung does not disappoint. The Blade Slim design may not look as impressive as the Infinity One QN95B, but that is mainly because with such a super slim OLED screen there is hardly any space to design a striking design.

The screen itself is barely a few millimeters thick. Samsung topped it off with a sharply delineated silver metallic bezel. This also creates a visible silver line around the image on the front. The back is finished in brushed metal and the black plastic housing for the electronics only takes up part of the lower half of the screen.

Samsung QE65S95B

The whole stands on a central footplate with a wide neck. The construction is sturdy and stable, but because the screen is so thin you can really make it wobble. So be careful when moving it.

Samsung QE65S95B – Connections

No One Connect box on the QE65S95B (S95B series), and we find that surprising. Not only is this a top model (Samsung only puts the QN95B above the S95B), but the slim design invites wall mounting, and then the One Connect box is a real asset.

All connections are therefore on the device, and point downwards or to the side. You will find four HDMI 2.1 connections. They provide 48 Gbps bandwidth and support eARC (on HDMI 3), ALLM and VRR. In addition, you only get two USB connections and an optical digital audio output. A headphone jack is missing, you have to use Bluetooth for that. Ethernet and WiFi are available for connection to your home network.

Ease of use and smart TV

The Tizen Smart Hub has long been a very handy smart TV interface, but since this year Samsung opted for a new layout and we still can’t get it. The Home screen is now full screen, with side tabs for the Media (which you start when you press the Home button) and Ambient TV settings. The fact that the interface fills the entire screen is not so bad in itself, and it is a trend that we see with almost all manufacturers, but the organization of the various parts seems to us to be greatly improved.

For example, you can adjust the row of apps that are central in the image, and you can even include other inputs (such as HDMI). But that’s where your personalization story ends. All other things on the screen must be taken as they are. Yes, you will see a lot of content recommendations, but you can’t adjust anything in them. If you want to select an entrance that is not in the central row, you really have to look for where to select it. Samsung seems to have improved the response time of the interface with the latest software. Shortly after the installation, he can still react a bit sluggishly, but a little later we only had exceptional problems with delays.

If you are looking for the menu with settings, it is best to do so with the button at the top left of the remote. First you get a bar with quick settings, and from there you can go to the full menu if desired. We think it would be a good idea to take a Samsung home this year to spend a few hours studying the interface and the function of all keys. We hope that Samsung can improve the layout, although you should keep in mind that new versions of Tizen never progress to older models.

Remote control

The QE65S95B (S95B series) comes with the remote control with built-in photovoltaic panel on the back. Place the remote upside down on the coffee table and you’ll never have to change a battery again. The black plastic remote fits comfortably in the hand and the keys have a good, clean touch. Only those who still zap between channels a lot will miss the number keys (you can of course call them up on screen).

More and more keyboard shortcuts for streaming is also a trend. In addition to Netflix, Prime Video and Samsung TV Plus, Disney+ now also has one. We still love the simple Samsung remote, but we hope that there aren’t more buttons for streaming. An extra button for the external inputs would be welcome.

Functions

The S95B has a dual TV tuner for digital TV (DVB-T2/C/S2) and one CI+ slot. You can only watch and record another channel at the same time if one of the two channels is unencrypted. You can cast YouTube and Netflix to the TV via Google Cast, and for iOS users there is support for Airplay2. The media player is good, but can’t handle older Divx or Xvid and it doesn’t play DTS soundtracks. Subtitles and HDR were no problem, and the audio player is complete.

Samsung offers a whole range of special features. Ambient mode is now also accessible from the Home Screen (via the bar on the left). It gives your TV a decorative or informational function when you are not watching TV.

Samsung QE65S95B

Via MultiView you can view two sources at the same time. With a USB camera you can video chat via Google Duo. And via Workspace you can connect to a PC or smartphone for work. Navigating Excel sheets is simply more convenient on a large screen.

Samsung QE65S95B – Image processing

The S95B uses the same Samsung Neural Quantum Processor 4K that you find on the QN95B. The performance is excellent. If you would like some more detail on this, please refer to our review of the QN95B . However, we would like to clarify two things specifically.

Samsung QE65S95B

Samsung’s noise reduction works well, but cannot eliminate all color bands from soft color transitions. That depends a lot on the content. In some cases the result is fine, in others something remains visible, but especially in our dark Game Of Thrones scene it seems to us that this is extra noticeable. The OLED nature of the panel probably has something to do with this. There is no annoying flickering at the edge of the color bands, which is reassuring. But it should be clear that Samsung can still improve there.

OLED devices provide excellent motion sharpness and the S95B can benefit from that. The performance is perfectly comparable to the better OLED models. Only the finest detail disappears in fast-moving images, due to the ‘sample and hold’ method that all OLED panels use. There is also no trace of disturbing double edges or wiped effects at the end of a moving object. ‘Led Clear Motion’ worked with Black Frame Insertion (what is BFI ) at 60Hz. This provides extra detail, but costs clarity and causes an annoying flicker in the image. You better leave this off. Samsung’s motion interpolation works quickly and removes almost all stutter in images without hesitation. It can still cause slight image errors, but we didn’t find them too disturbing.

Main Settings

 

General Expert Settings Sharpness Settings
Picture Mode: Filmmaker Mode
Picture Size Settings: 16:9 Standard
Fit to Screen: On
Brightness: 40
Contrast: 45
Sharpness: 5
Color: 25
Tint(G/R): 0
Contrast Enhancement: Off
Film Mode: Auto Color
Tone: Warm 2
Gamma: BT.1886 / 0
Shadow Detail: 0
Color Space: Auto
Maximum Brightness: High
Auto or Customized: 

blur power : 10
Vibration Reduction: 6-8
Led Clear Motion: Off

Noise Reduction: Auto or Off

 

Samsung QE65S95B – Image quality

Samsung calls the S95B an OLED TV, but this OLED TV is fundamentally different from the other OLED TVs that we know. The latter use a WRGB panel from LG Display, with a white OLED layer and a color filter that creates the colored sub-pixels. The Samsung S95B uses an RGB panel from Samsung Display. That uses a blue OLED layer and quantum dots at the sub-pixel level convert the blue light to red and green, hence the name QD-OLED. For more detail on how QD-OLED works exactly , we refer you to our background article.

In addition, the sub pixels are also completely different from what we are used to on a TV. No vertical bars, but square subpixels organized in a triangle pattern with green on top. That immediately creates a first concern. When displaying white objects on a black background, this pixel structure creates colored borders around the white, with green at the top and magenta at the bottom. Our photo was taken about 10 cm from the screen. But unless you plan to use this TV as a monitor, where sharp contrasts are quite common and you want to sit particularly close to the screen, you will almost certainly never notice this. During all our tests, where we are often barely two meters from this 65” TV, we never noticed.

OLED panels have an almost infinite contrast. After all, each pixel is its own light source and can be switched off completely. The S95B also delivers the same deep contrast that we are used to from OLED TVs. That gives the image a wonderful dynamic and since you also see a lot of black detail, dark scenes retain all their impact. At least, as long as you dim the ambient light as much as possible. Because of the unique structure of the panel, with the quantum dots at the very front of the screen, ambient light can also activate the quantum dots. This has the immediate consequence that black tends to dark gray again and the screen then gets a slightly pink tint. Fortunately, these effects are mainly visible with a lot of direct ambient light such as direct sunlight, and very dark images. With colorful,

We cannot make any real statements about burn-in at the moment. In any case, it behaves like any other OLED. Test images with a white area that is on the screen for a long time provide a soft after-image, which disappears fairly quickly. The Samsung also has the same security measures as other OLEDs. It continuously shifts the image, dims logos and activates a screensaver.

We measure the device in Filmmaker mode, and it delivers top results. The grayscale mean error is small enough to be invisible. The screen shows a lot of black detail, even a little more than what we are used to from an OLED, but the difference is very small. The colors also look excellent. Because we attribute some reference qualities to the S95B, we note that there is still some room for improvement. The skin tones are a bit too dark, and tend to orange. But rest assured, the images are without a doubt fantastic. SDR images are no longer a challenge for most top models, so look forward to seeing how it fares with HDR .

Samsung QE65S95B – HDR

The hour of truth then. And there’s a lot of good news there. From the very first images, the very vivid colors catch the eye, where the use of the quantum dots comes into the picture very clearly. To put that straight into numbers, the S95B has a color gamut of 99.4% P3 and 73% Rec.2020.

Compared to the 96-97% that many OLEDs achieve, that may not seem like much, but it is noticeable. The reason lies partly in the higher brightness that the S95B achieves. On a 10% window in Filmmaker mode, it hits 1023 nits and on a 100% window it hits 214 nits. This makes it about 10 to 25% brighter than current top OLEDs (depending on the size of the test window).

But another important reason is that the S95B uses an RGB sub-pixel structure, and does not need to use an extra white sub-pixel like all other OLEDs. That means it can make its primary colors much brighter, concretely about 40-45% brighter, without sacrificing saturation. As a result, it has a much larger color volume and that is what catches the eye the most. Clear skies look just a bit more blue, fiery red accents are a bit more intense, and so on.

The Samsung takes metadata into account and shows white detail to just above 4,000 nits. On some test patterns and in some scenes, it seems to clip just a little bit of white detail, so there may be room to get a little more out of it with better calibration. But otherwise the Filmmaker mode is excellently calibrated, even slightly better than the SDR version. The device follows the PQ curve closely. Shade nuances remain beautifully visible, and thanks to the deep contrast, the colors have extra impact. The color rendering is excellent and delivers beautiful results even in the very difficult HDR color checker. The S95B really takes the level of HDR images a step higher. We have to give up one hope, Samsung still says no to Dolby Vision, support is limited to HDR10, HDR10 + and HLG.

Gaming, Reflections and Viewing Angles

Another asset for the Samsung QE65S95B (S95B series): its extreme viewing angle. Because the luminous elements are in the front of the screen, and there are hardly any layers in front of it, the viewing angle is almost perfect. The OLED screens that we have known for some time are also particularly good, but they can still give a slight change in tint to the image at extreme angles. That effect has virtually disappeared with QD-OLED. The S95B repels reflections very well, there is much less mirror effect than with other OLEDs. Still, you want to keep out incident light as much as possible because of the effect on the black display as indicated earlier.

Gamers can also look forward to an impressive experience. The S95B supports 4K120, ALLM and VRR (48 to 120 Hz, HDMI VRR and AMD Freesync Premium Pro). The input lag in game mode is 5.4 ms in 2K120 and 10.1 ms in 4K60. Top results in other words. The Game Bar gives you an overview of the game features, but you can also adjust the image mode, input delay and aspect ratio.

Samsung QE65S95B – Sound quality

The QE65S95B (S95B series) is equipped with a 60 Watt 2.2.2 channel configuration. This ensures a solid sound experience. The sound is powerful and quite well balanced, and has more than adequate volume. At high volumes, you can hear the TV intervene to prevent distortion, but the effect is not so disturbing. And you have to turn the volume up quite high to get the TV that far. There is a reasonable portion of bass in the sound, which emphasizes your film soundtracks well. Samsung has also supported Dolby Atmos since 2022, but the surround experience is rather limited. That should not come as a surprise, the speakers are all quite deep behind the screen. Personally, we liked the standard setting the best, but you can of course experiment with the ‘intelligent’ settings.

Samsung QE65S95B – Conclusion

It’s been a long time since we had a new display technology on the test bench and the Samsung QD-OLED does not disappoint us. The new OLED technology raises the bar for excellent HDR images again. A point of attention is that incident light has an effect on the black level. As long as you keep the ambient light modest, that’s no problem. But you should absolutely avoid direct sunlight, although of course no TV can show dark scenes in such circumstances. As the only other downside, we are only moderate fans of the new Tizen Smart Hub, and we continue to hope that Samsung will one day give in to Dolby Vision.

If you get the QE65S95B for movie fun, you can expect a fantastic experience. The QD-OLED technology delivers higher brightness and richer colors than the last generation OLEDs, coupled with the same near-perfect contrast and excellent motion sharpness. The viewing angle also has hardly any influence on the image quality. With four HDMI 2.1 connections, low input lag and a whole host of gamer features, it’s also a great choice for games. The Tizen Smart Hub delivers plenty of features, and despite its slim design, the audio performance makes for a fun experience. The price tag is not tender, but for a new technology we certainly think the S95B is priced correctly.

Pros

  • Brighter than today’s top OLEDs
  • Very intense colors
  • Deep black and excellent contrast thanks to OLED
  • Excellent image processing
  • Nearly perfect viewing angle
  • Very good motion sharpness
  • Beautiful HDR display
  • HDMI 2.1 connection and gaming features
Negatives

  • Strong incident light has an impact on the black level
  • No Dolby Vision
  • Poor organization of the new interface

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