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Samsung QE65QN95D

Things used to be pretty straightforward in Samsung’s TV department. There were just LCD TVs and… actually, that was it. Now, though, the new Quantum Dot take on OLED technology launched by Samsung two years ago is not only firmly entrenched in the brand’s range but also delivering unprecedented leaps towards the brightness levels that were once the exclusive remit of LCD screens. Which raises a big question: Can premium LCD-based TVs such as the Samsung QE65QN95D still claim a place at the TV top table?

Picture quality

While it’s true that Samsung’s S95D QD OLED series substantially closed the gap on LCD in terms of brightness - where high-end LCD technology has long reigned supreme - the QE65QN95D manages to up Samsung’s LCD game far enough to ensure that the crucial brightness ‘gap’ has been maintained. 

The 65-inch QE65QN95D’s brightness advantage over even the S95D QD OLEDs - which, let’s not forget, are almost 30% brighter than any other OLED TVs - is immediately and consistently visible. It’s at its most noticeable with very bright high dynamic range imagery that fills most of the screen with light. Measurements confirm, in fact, that at 779 nits, Samsung’s flagship 4K LCD TV for 2024 actually achieves almost twice as much brightness as the S95Ds with a full screen HDR test signal, and nearly 20% more brightness (more than 2,100 nits) with bright areas of HDR pictures that occupy 10% or so of the screen area.

These are spectacular numbers that unlock the razzle dazzle factor of HDR pictures like precious few other TVs I’ve seen. And I’ve seen a lot.

While brightness matters massively to a compelling HDR performance, it’s not the only important element of excellent TV picture quality. Just as well, then, that the 65QN95D has plenty of other picture goodies nailed down, too.  

In some ways, the 65QN95D’s handling of dark scenes and the dark areas of high contrast images is even more impressive than its dazzling new brightness. After all, while brightness is a natural strength for LCD screens, combining that brightness with good black levels certainly is not. They simply can’t control their light right down to individual pixel level like OLED TVs. 

The 65QN95D manages, though, to produce black colours so deep, rich and neutral that it’s hard to believe for much of the time that you’re not watching an OLED TV. Except, of course, that the brightest parts of the 65QN95D’s pictures look brighter than on any OLED.

Even better, thanks to the supreme control over the 65QN95D’s high 1,344 dimming zone count afforded by Samsung’s powerful new Neo Quantum 4 AI Gen 2 Processor, the TV’s outstanding black levels remain remarkably free of clouding and blooming inconsistencies (unless you’re viewing the screen from a wide angle).

Some of the 65QN95D’s picture presets can cause a few subtle shadow details to be crushed out of the picture. If you find this a problem with a particular TV show or, more likely, film, the 65QN95D’s Movie and Filmmaker Modes both see pretty much all subtle dark detailing brought back into play. And in the Movie mode, this extra detail and resulting dark scene depth is delivered without compromising the brightness or contrast as much as these modes did on 2023’s QN95Cs.

The sort of brightness the 65QN95D is capable of has could, in lesser hands, cause colours to look washed out. Happily, Samsung’s TV is having none of this, as its Quantum Dot colour system delivers enough saturation and range to feed off all that key brightness and produce a huge colour volume dazzlingly well suited to the wide colour gamuts associated with high dynamic range content.

The 65QN95D’s colours can become a bit too aggressive in the set’s Dynamic picture preset (though I’d suggest you watch a 4K HDR film in this mode for a few minutes, at least, if only to appreciate what the set is capable of). Stick with the other presets, though, and you’ll be struck by how natural, balanced and, especially, refined the colours look.

This colour refinement contributes to an outstanding sense of sharpness, too. The 65QN95D is hardly the first ultra-sharp Samsung 4K TV I’ve seen; it’s long been one of the brand’s biggest attractions, in fact. But there’s a new degree of naturalism to the sharpness thanks to the subtlety of colour and contrast the picture is able to pick out via Samsung’s latest AI-inspired processor. This processing - which draws on the combined learning of 20 neural networks - contributes to fantastic upscaling of sub 4K-resolution images, too.

Motion looks crisp and clean if you switch the default motion processing settings to a Custom mode with the blur and judder reduction components set to around their level three option. 

The perfect TV doesn’t yet exist, of course, so there are a few niggles to report. Starting with a curious tendency, when watching the Standard preset, for the backlight controls not to dim enough during very dark scenes, denying the picture some of the black level prowess it usually expresses so brilliantly. The default Picture Clarity settings cause motion to look too smooth and softened by processing noise too, and the Standard preset can exhibit some quite distracting brightness ‘jumps’ if a scene contains abrupt cuts between very bright and very dark shots. 

Finally, some settings, especially the Standard mode again, can dim bright objects quite aggressively if they appear against dark backdrops. This isn’t often very noticeable, though, and if you do see it a solution is usually just to switch to the Movie or Filmmaker Mode presets.

This adds up to a pretty small negative column, though. Especially as most of the flaws can be fairly well avoided by shifting to the Movie preset rather than the default Standard mode.

Sound quality

Samsung’s drive to make its latest TVs super-slim has led to some sound quality. Perhaps because its casework is a little chunkier than those previous models, though, the 65QN95D produces a bit more pressure behind its sound, enabling it to create a fairly large and involving sound stage. 

Thanks to the intelligent efforts of Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound (OTS) system, the size of the sound stage doesn’t cause the sound to become incoherent, fractured or brittle. On the contrary, specific location effects, ambient sounds and score work are placed accurately and effectively outside the direct on-screen action. 

The OTS also tracks noisy objects as they move around the screen, further enhancing the sound’s immersive effects, while details are underpinned by deeper and more forceful bass than I’ve heard from Samsung’s other, slimmer 2024 TVs.

Bass can sound a little condensed and congested, though, and extended low-frequency rumbles can cause occasional ‘phutting’ effects. 

Also, again in common with most recent Samsung TVs, the 65QN95D’s sound can’t get quite as loud or push forward towards you as much as the best sound systems do.

Living with

Despite not being as super-slim as other Samsung 2024 premium TVs, the 65QN95D is still an attractive addition to even the most stylish rooms. Its ‘Infinity One’ design means it’s almost as flat across its rear panel as it is at the front, making it a strong wall mounting option. It features some excellent cable channeling (though, unlike some other Samsung high-end TVs, this one doesn’t ship with an external One Connect box).

The screen’s sides are wrapped in a grey glossy finish that continues the premium feel, and if you choose not to wall hang it you’ll be pleased to find it sits on a heavy metal flat plate foot, meaning you can sit it on even quite narrow bits of furniture. Build quality throughout is high.

While initial set up of the 65QN95D is straightforward, there are a few tweaks I’d recommend to get the best from Samsung’s flagship 4K LCD TV. Namely switching between the Standard and Movie presets quite regularly, depending on the sort of content you’re watching, and turning off the clumsy Auto Picture Clarity setting in favour of a Custom mode with noise reduction turned off and the judder and blur processing elements reduced to ‘three’ or ‘four’ on the power level scale.

The 65QN95D’s smart features are provided by Samsung’s own Tizen system. This provides a vast amount of content, including all the key video streaming services, benefits from one of the most well-integrated voice control systems around; and has a more intelligent go at recommending content based on your viewing habits than most rival smart TV systems. 

The Tizen layout is a little complicated and ‘busy’, though, and one or two of its navigation choices aren’t very intuitive. That voice control system is always there as a short cut, though, if you start to feel lost.

Samsung doesn’t support the Freeview Play app, which brings together many of the UK’s terrestrial broadcaster catch up services into one umbrella app. All the key apps are there on an individual basis, though - or they will be when the BBC iPlayer goes live, as Samsung expects to happen soon.

Gamers are superbly catered for by the 65QN95D. A Game Hub brings together all your connected and streamed gaming sources in one menu, and you can access a dedicated Game Bar menu that provides dedicated game signal information and options. The time the screen takes to render game graphics drops to under 10ms with 60Hz and barely half that time with 120Hz games in the TV’s Game mode - an outstanding result for a TV (rather than a dedicated gaming monitor).

The 65QN95D’s Bluetooth and wireless connectivity allows the streaming of Dolby Atmos to recent Samsung soundbars, and the ability of the 65QN95D to add its own speakers to those in Samsung soundbars to deliver a larger, more detailed soundstage.


If you’re drawn to the bright side of HDR viewing and/or you’re looking for a high performance TV to go into a room that’s typically quite bright, the 65QN95D’s ‘QLED’ charms are simply the best we’ve tested in the 4K LCD TV world. 

Test samples

Avatar: The Way Of Water 4K Blu-ray

The vibrant colours and extreme contrast delivered by the beautiful 4K Blu-ray release of James Cameron’s return to the planet of Pandora is a perfect vehicle for bringing out the 65QN95D’s jaw-dropping brightness and colour volume.

Poor Things Blu-ray

While this only carries an HD, standard dynamic range picture, its highly stylised, ‘colour-coded’ visuals provide excellent fodder for appreciating how good Samsung’s latest processor is at both upgrading SDR to HDR, and upscaling HD to 4K, since the film’s tricky use of grain makes it through the upscaling system without becoming either exaggerated or ‘smoothed away’.

La La Land 4K Blu-ray

Damian Chazelle’s fantastic musical take on the trials and tribulations of trying to both ‘make it’ and fall in love in Tinseltown features lots of bold, deliberately stylised colour, as well as some extreme contrast moments during Sebastian’s stage performances. All of which the 65QN95D handles brilliantly - even shots of spotlights against darkness that usually catch LCD TVs out.

What the press say

Why you should buy it

With the latest MLA and Quantum Dot OLED-based TV technologies injecting so much extra brightness these days, the premium LCD TV market is starting to feel a bit squeezed. Samsung’s QE65QN95D, though, emphatically makes a case for high-performance LCD models by retaining a brightness advantage capable of unlocking more of the HDR light scale and holding up against bright room conditions. It does this while using advanced AI and local dimming to produce the best contrast in the LCD TV world.

Video review

Pair it with

The most obvious partner for the Samsung 65QN95D is one of the brand’s new soundbars. As well as sounding great - especially the flagship 16-channel HW-Q990D - Samsung’s soundbars are able to join forces with Samsung TVs to offer features not available with other soundbar brands. So, the TV’s speakers can actually join forces with those in the soundbar to create a more detailed sound stage, rather than the TV speakers simply being replaced by those in the soundbar. The 65QN95D can also send Dolby Atmos audio wirelessly to premium new Samsung soundbars. 

If you’re even slightly into gaming we’d recommend adding a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X or high-end PC to take full advantage of the 65QN95D’s extensive gaming features. The new consoles also carry built-in 4K Blu-ray players, which again help to unlock the TV’s full capabilities. 

Alternatives to consider

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