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Samsung QN90A vs LG C1 (QN55QN90A vs OLED55C1PUB, QN65QN90A vs OLED65C1PUB)

by on August 21, 2021
 

Samsung QN90A is the flagship of Samsung’s 2021 4K HDR LED TV lineup while the LG C1 (OLED C1) is the mid-range of LG’s 2021 OLED TV lineup. Both of them offer excellent Samsung QN90A is the flagship of Samsung’s 2021 4K HDR LED TV lineup while the LG C1 (OLED C1) is the mid-range of LG’s 2021 OLED TV lineup. Both of them offer excellent picture quality. The main difference between them is on the panel that used where the LG C1 use OLED panel while QN90A uses LED panel, especially VA panel technology.  As we have known, the OLED TV is very strong in a dark room due its infinite contrast ratio, pixel dimming, and nearly perfect black uniformity. On the other hand, although not as great as LG OLED C1, performance of the QN90A in a dark room is also great. On the contrary, it offers much better performance in a bright room than OLED TV including the LG C1. Nevertheless, both of these TVs are great TVs for mixed usage. Whether you use them for watching movies, TV Show, Sports, HDR content, or playing games, picture quality and performance offered by them is comparable with the money you will spend. Meanwhile, with the same screen size, they are sold with almost the same price? So, which is a better choice between them?

Samsung QN90A vs LG C1 Short Review

Samsung QN90A

Samsung QN90A Review

Samsung Q90A is the flagship of the Samsung’s 2021 4K HDR Neo QLED TV lineup. You need to know, some high-ends model of Samsung’s QLED TV that released in 2021 including QN90A have used neo QLED technology. It is a technology that use mini LED as the light source of their backlight instead of standard LED. In addition make the QN90A is slimmer, this also makes the X90J has extremely peak brightness. Unlike conventional VA TV that has narrow viewing angle, the QN90A has good viewing angle thanks to an anti glare optical layer called “Ultra Viewing Angle”. But on the other hand, the use of this optical layer technology reduces its native contrast ratio. Fortunately, it has outstanding local dimming feature that significantly improve its contrast ratio, making its contrast ratio is including the best for LED TV. In addition peak brightness and contrast ratio, the Samsung QN90A is also very strong in almost all aspects of picture quality. It has wide color gamut and good color volume, good color gradient, and good motion handling. Additionally, the QN90A also has excellent input lags and also supports HDMI 2.1, VRR technology, etc that makes it a great TV for playing games. Overall, the Samsung QN90A is great TV for mixed usage.  

PROS

Great Motion handling
Great Contrast Ratio
Peak brightness is extremely bright
Low Input Lags

CONS

There may be some blooming around bright object

Check Price of Samsung QN90A on Amazon

LG C1

LG OLED C1 Review

LG OLED C1 is a part of the LG’s 2021 OLED TV lineup. It is a successor of the OLED CX and in this lineup, it sits between the LG G1 and LG B1. As we have known, OLED TV including the LG OLED C1 has outstanding performance in a dark room thanks to infinite contrast ratio, nearly perfect black, and pixel dimming level. Although its peak brightness is as right as QN90A, but as long as you don’t use it in sunny window or very bright room, its SDR peak brightness is bright enough to combat the glare in moderate-lit to dark room. It also has good SDR peak brightness, allowing them can show HDR images as bright as they should be. Additionally, it also has nearly perfect color coverage in DCI P3 and goo color coverage in Rec.2020, making HDR images look colorfully on its screen. The LG C1 also has nearly instantaneous response time and combined to its BFI (Black Frame Insertion) feature, this makes its performance in handling motion is also great. Just like the QN90A, it also has low input lags and supports VRR technology that compatible with some gaming feature like FreeSync, GSync, and HDMI Forum VRR. Although LG C1 has great performance in almost all aspects picture quality, this doesn’t mean it is a perfect TV. It still has some major shortcomings like vulnerable to permanent burn in and limited SDR peak brightness. However, overall, the LG OLED C1 is great TVs for mixed usage.  

PROS

Excellent SIde Viewing Angle
Infinite Contrast Ratio
Nearly Perfect black uniformity
Outsatnding Color Gamu

CONS

Vulnerable to permanent burn-in
Limited SDR Peak brightness

Check Price of LG C1 on Amazon

Sony X85 J vs X80J Side by Side Comparison

Dark Room Performance

Score: 93/100

Panel Type: LED VA
Backlight: Direct LED
Contrast Ratio: 97/100
Local Dimming:80/100
Black Uniformity: 90/100

Samsung QN90A and LG C1 are great TV for a dark room, but the OLED C1 is still better

The LG C1 is an outstanding TV for a dark room. Since each of pixels can emit its own light, OLED TV including the OLED C1 doesn’t use backlight.   The result, when it is showing black, there is no light emitted from black area of its screen at all. The result is black produced nearly perfect. Additionally, this also makes its black uniformity is also nearly perfect. That The LG C1 is an outstanding TV for a dark room. Since each of pixels can emit its own light, OLED TV including the OLED C1 doesn’t use backlight.   The result, when it is showing black, there is no light emitted from black area of its screen at all. The result is black produced nearly perfect. Additionally, this also makes its black uniformity is also nearly perfect. That is not only that, its pixel dimming also makes it can show small bright object in a dark room without blooming.  Although not as great as the LG C1, performance of the Samsung QN90A is also excellent. The use of “Ultra Viewing Angle” optical layer may make its contrast ratio is relatively lower than standard VA TV, but it has great local dimming feature that can significantly boost its contrast ratio higher than 25000:1. The result is black produced by the Q90A is extremely deep. And combined to its excellent black uniformity makes its performance in a dark room is great. Its local dimming is also very effective to reduce blooming around small bright object, but it cannot completely remove blooming like on the LG C1.  

Score: 100/100

Panel Type: OLED
Backlight: N/a
Contrast Ratio: Inf:1
Local Dimming: 100/100
Black Uniformity:100/100

Bright Room Performance

Score: 93/100

SDR Peak Brightness: 94/100
Reflection Handling: 91/100
Screen Finish : Glossy

Samsung QN90A is great TV for most brigth room while LG C1 is not a recommended Tvs for bright room.

The Samsung QN90A is one of the brightest TV in 2021. Its SDR peak brightness is outstanding. In real scene, it is able to hits around 1400 nits. This certainly makes it is able to combat the glare easily. With white window test, it can hits around 1200 nits on 2% white window and brighter than 1400 nits on  10% and 25 white windows, which means it is great. The larger bright screen, their peak brightness may be drops due to its ABL. On 100% white window, its peak brightness drop to around 600 nits, but on 50% white window, it can still get around 1200 nits. On the other hand, the LG C1 has limited SDR peak brightness. With real content, it hits around 300 nits only. It is only The Samsung QN90A is one of the brightest TV in 2021. Its SDR peak brightness is outstanding. In real scene, it is able to hits around 1400 nits. This certainly makes it is able to combat the glare easily. With white window test, it can hits around 1200 nits on 2% white window and brighter than 1400 nits on  10% and 25 white windows, which means it is great. The larger bright screen, their peak brightness may be drops due to its ABL. On 100% white window, its peak brightness drop to around 600 nits, but on 50% white window, it can still get around 1200 nits. On the other hand, the LG C1 has limited SDR peak brightness. With real content, it hits around 300 nits only. It is only bright enough to fight the glare in moderate-lit to dark room. With white window test, it may be able to get around 400 nits on 2% and 10 % white window, but its ABL it has aggressive ABL on larger bright area. On 25%, 50% and 100% white window, its peak brightness drop to around 360 nits, 300 nits, and 160 nits. Fortunately, it has excellent reflection handling, so there will be an issue with reflection.

Score: 74/100

SDR Peak Brightness: 67/100
Reflection Handling: 93/100
Screen Finish : Glossy

Picture Quality

Score: 78/100

Side Viewing Angle: 70/100
Gray Uniformity:
8K Inputs: 0/100
4K Inputs: 100/100
1080p Inputs: 90/100
720p Inputs: 80/100
480p Inputs: /80/100
Screen Resolution: 4K

Both have excellent picture quality

Both of the LG OLED C1 and Samsung QN90A have great picture quality. They have good 4K-upscaling engine. So, even you play low resolution like DVD movies with 480p or Blu Ray movies with 720p resolution, you will enjoy them in 4K quality with small details are still preserved well. Meanwhile, the higher resolution of the source, small details can be preserved better. Both of them also can show native 4K content perfectly without an issue. Meanwhile, the advantage of the LG C1 is that it has better side viewing angle. The Samsung QN90A is actually already has good side viewing angle coverage. So, from the center or narrow angle, quality of the picture displayed on their screen looks consistent. But when viewed from extremely side angle, we can see that the picture displayed on the screen of the LG C1 will look more consistent than QN90A. The other advantage of the OLED C1 is that it has better gray uniformity than the QN90A. So, when they are showing large area with the same color like football or hockey field, the LG C1 can show them more uniformly with less dirty screen effect than the QN90A.

Score: 83/100

Side Viewing Angle: 89/100
Gray Uniformity:
8K Inputs: 0/100
4K Inputs: 100/100
1080p Inputs: 90/100
720p Inputs: 80/100
480p Inputs: /80/100
Screen Resolution: 4K

HDR Performance

Score: 88/100

Contrast Ratio
Local DImming: 80/100
Black Uniformity: 90/100
Color Gamut: 81/100
Color Volume: 80/100
Color Gradient: 81/100
HDR Peak Brightness: 94/100
HDR Support: HLG, HDR10, HDR10+

LG C1 is perfect in on shadow details, QN90A has exceptional HDR peak brightness

The Samsung QN90A and LG OELD C1 have great HDR performance. In showing shadow details of HDR images, the LG C1 may be able to do better job than the QN90A. This is due it has better contrast ratio, better black uniformity and pixel dimming level. But even so, performance of the QN90A is also great. Their strong contrast ratio and great black uniformity make shadow details of HDR images can be shown excellent without a lot of crushed black.  In color performance, they both can also perform well. They can deliver wide color gamut. In DCI P3 xy and uv color space, the QN90A can cover around 95% and 96% of color space while the OLED C1 cover around 97% and 99% of color space. This is great for HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10. Additionally, in Rec.2020 Xy and uv, color coverage of the X90A is around 70% and 76% while LG C1 is around 71% and 77%. The LG C1 may have better color gradient, but the Samsung QN90A precisely has color volume. This is caused the use of white sub-pixel in OLED’s pixel structure makes it cannot produce saturated bright colors. But even so, except bright colors, the LG C1 can well show its wide color gamut at its entire brightness range, as good as the QN90A. Additionally, both of the Samsung QN90A and LG C1 also have good color banding, overall. There may be still some little banding in most shades of colors, but this should noticeable. They also have feature that can help to reduce banding that may be visible. Both of them also have good HDR peak brightness, especially for the QN90A.  With real HDR scene, the QN90A can hits around 18000 nits, which it is outstanding. This allows you to enjoy cinematic HDR experience like the content creator. On the other hand, with real scene, HDR peak brightness of the LG C1 is around 600 nits.  It actually also can get around 770 nits on 2% and 10% white window, making small highlight of HDR images pop, especially when it is set in a moderate=lit to dark room.

Score: 84/100

Contrast Ratio
Local DImming: 100/100
Black Uniformity: 100/100
Color Gamut: 86/100
Color Volume: 71/100
Color Gradient: 84/100
HDR Peak Brightness: 68/100
HDR Support: HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision

Motion Handling

Score 95/100

Native Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
Response Time: 87/100
Flicker Free: 99/100
60 Hz BFI: Yes
120 Hz BFI: Yes
24p Judder: 100/100
VRR: 94/100

Equally great in handling fast moving images

Both of the Samsung QN90A and LG OLED C1 have great motion handling. They have excellent pixel response time, around 2 ms for the OLED C1 and around 9 ms for the QN90A. With their response time, fast motion images looks very clear on their screen with almost no blur. Behind fast moving object, there is only a faint short trail that should not be noticeable. Additionally, they both also have an optional 60 Hz and 120 Hz BFI mode that can help to improve their motion appearance. And for improving your gaming experience, they both also support Variable Refresh Rate technology that compatible with some gaming feature like FreeSync, GSync, and HDMI Forum VRR. Although they have native 120 HZ refresh rate panel, their refresh rate can range between 20 Hz to 120 Hz, regardless the resolution. That is not only that, they both can also do a great job in handling judder of 24p movies. No matter the source of movies, they both can remove completely.

Score 99/100

Native Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
Response Time: 98/100
Flicker Free: 100/100
60 Hz BFI: Yes
120 Hz BFI: Yes
24p Judder: 100/100
VRR: 94/100

Inputs

Score 95/100

Input Lags @ 60 Hz: 10 ms
Input Lags @ 120 Hz: 6 ms
Input Lags @ VRR: 6 ms
Supported Resolution @60 Hz: 1080p, 1440p , 4K, 4K @ 4:4:4
Supported Resolution @120 Hz: 1080p, 1440p, 4K
HDMI Port: 4
HDMI 2.1: 1 (HDMI 4)
HDMI eARC: Yes
ALLM: Yes
USB 2.0: 2
USB 3.0: 0

They both actually have great input lags, but the X80J lacks some features like HDMI 2.1 and ALLM

The LG C1 and Samsung QN90A have excellent inputs lag in Game mode and their inputs lag is almost similar. With 60 fps games, regardless the resolution, their inputs lag is around 10 ms, low enough to make them are very responsive for any 60 fps games. Their inputs lag at 120 Hz is even lower, which is around 5 ms for the LG C1 and around 6 ms for the QN90A. Additionally, they both also have HDMI 2.1. For the LG C1, all of HDMI ports even already support HDMI 2.1 while on the QN90A, there is only 1 port that support HDMI 2.1. But keep in mind, although they already support HDMI 1, but the support is not full bandwidth. They only have 40 Gbps of bandwidth instead of 48 Gbps of bandwidth required by HDMI 2.1 full bandwidth. Nevertheless, its bandwidth is actually wide enough to cover most of contents, even for 4K @ 120 Hz content. Combination of their low input lags, ALLM, HDMI 2.1, and VRR technology makes them as a great TV for gaming, allowing you to play High Quality games responsively.

Score 98/100

Input Lags @60 Hz: 10 ms
Input Lags @120 Hz: 11 ms
Input Lags @ VRR: 6 ms
Supported Resolution @60 Hz: 1080p, 1440p (forced resolution required), 4K, 4K @ 4:4:4
Supported Resolution @120 Hz: 1080p, 1440p, 4K
HDMI Port: 4
HDMI 2.1: 4 (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI eARC: Yes
ALLM: Yes
USB 2.0: 3
USB 3.0: 0

Sound Performance

Score 86/100

Speaker Channel : 2.0
Total Power Output: 60 watts
Built-in Woofer: No
Max Volume: 93 dB SPL
Sound Quality: 69/100

Their sound performance is above average

The LG C1 is equipped with 2.2 setup built-in speaker with total of power output is 40 watts. On the other hand, the Samsung QN90A is equipped with 4.2.2 setup built-in speaker with total of sound output is 60 watts. This means, without built-in sound bar, the QN90A is able to present height sound. But even so, ignoring the advantage of the QN90A in setup, their sound quality is not much different. The LG C1 may have a bit better frequency response, but overall, they both actually have well-balanced sound profile, allowing them can produce clear dialogue. On the other hand, harmonic distortion of the QN90A is better than the LG C1, particularly at max volume. Meanwhile, at max volume, the QN90A can get a bit louder than the LG C1. But overall, their sound is loud enough to fill large room or crowded party.

Score 76/100

Speaker Channel: 2.0
Total Power Output: 40 watts
Built-in Woofer: Yes
Max Volume: 91 dB SPL
Sound Quality: 67/100

Features

Score 85/100

Smart TV Platform : Google TV 10
Apps and Features: 85/100
Cast Capable: Yes
HDR in Streaming Apps: Yes
Voice Control: Samsung’s Bixby, Google Home, Amazon Alexa
Apple App: AirPlay, HomeKit
Remote App: SmartThing

Easy to use and smooth Smart TV platform with good selection of apps

Both of these TVs have great smart TV platform. The QN90A runs Tizen OS while the LG C1 runs WebOS 6.0. They both have attractive user interface and easy to use. Additionally, they both also provide tons of apps you can download from their app store, LG apps store for the LG C1 and Samsung Apps Store for the QN90A. Almost all streaming apps are provided like Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, etc. Both of them also already support voice navigation, working with their own platform or third party platform like Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

Score 85/100

Smart TV Platform : WebOS 6.0
Apps and Features: 90/100
Cast Capable: Yes
HDR in Streaming Apps: Yes
Voice Control: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Apple App: AirPlay, HomeKit
Remote App: LG TV Plus

Samsung QN90A vs LG C1 Performance

Movies

Score 89/100

Great TV for Watching Movies

Samsung QN90A is a great TVs for watching movies in a dark room. Almost all aspects of picture quality required for movies is great.  It has outstanding contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity, making dark scene of images looks excellent on its screen without a lot of “crushed black”. Additionally, it also has good local dimming features that can further improve its performance in a dark room. Blooming near subtitle may be still available, but this is not a lot and don’t distract its subtitle. Fast action movies also look very clear on its screen thanks to its great motion handling. The Samsung QN90A also can well handle 24p judder, allowing you to watch movies from any source with judder-free. That is not only that, it also has great HDR performance, allowing you to watch HDR movies excellently with excellent shadow details, accurate color, and standout highlight.

Dark Room Performance: 30%
Bright Room Performance: 15%
HDR Performance: 20%
Picture Quality: 20%
Motion Handling: 10%
Inputs: 5%
Sound Performance: 5%

Score 88/100

Unbeatable in dark room

Just like the Samsung QN90A, the LG C1 is also a great TVs for watching movies in a dark room. Since it has infinite contrast ratio and nearly perfect black, its performance in a dark room is unbeatable.  Additionally, its pixel dimming level also makes subtitle in movies looks excellent without blooming. The LG OLED C1 also has great motion handling. So, when you are watching fast action movies, the picture displayed looks very smooth with almost no blur. That is not only that, its great performance in handling 24p judder also lets you to watch movies with judder-free, no matter the source. And finally, its great HDR performance lets you to watch HDR movies with cinematic HDR experience. In showing highlights, its performance may be not as good as the QN90A, but in showing shadow details of HDR images, it is better.

TV Shows

Score 88/100

Great TVs for TV Shows with clear dialogue

The Samsung QN90A is also great TVs for watching TV shows. Its great SDR peak brightness and reflection handling let you to watch TV shows in bright rooms without visibility issue. Additionally, its good side viewing angle coverage also makes the image looks remain accurate from the side, good for you who often watch TV shows together with your family. And its great up-scaling engine performance allows you to watch TV shows from TV cable with excellent picture quality, as close possible as native 4K. Meanwhile, it also has well balanced sound profile and very loud sound. This makes voice of TV presenter is heard clearly and obviously, even if you in a large room.

Dark Room Performance: 20%
Bright Room Performance: 30%
Picture Quality: 30%
Motion Handling: 5%
Sound Performance: 15%

Score 84/100

As long as not in aa very bright room, its performance is also great.

As long as you don’t watch TV shows in bright room a lot of lights or sunny window, its performance is also great. In addition have excellent picture quality, it also has great side viewing angle coverage. Its –up-scaling engine performance is also not much different to the QN90A. And finally, the LG C1 also has well balance sound profile and can get very loud, so there will not an issue when you place it in a large room.

Sports

Score 90/100

Good TV for Sports, but not for wide room

Combination of excellent picture quality and excellent motion handling makes performance of the Samsung QN90A when used for watching sports is great. The picture looks very good with smooth in motion. Additionally, its outstanding SDR peak brightness and excellent reflection handling also makes the picture still looks obvious in a very bright room without an issue in visibility. And its good side viewing angle ensure all of you to get the best viewing when you watch a big game with a group of your family or friend.

Dark Room Performance: 20%
Bright Room Performancee: 30%
Picture Quality: 20%
Motion Handling: 30%
Sound Performance: 5%

Score 87/100

Great for sports but not in a very bright room

The LG OLED C1 is also a great TV for watching sports. It has outstanding pixel response time and combined to its BFI mode, this makes fast sports looks very smooth on its screen.  It also has outstanding side viewing angle, so if you watch a big game with your family or friend, all of you will get the best viewing. But unfortunately, it has limited SDR peak brightness only, so it is not suitable when used in  a bright room with a lot of lights.

Games

Score 90/100

Amazing TV for gaming with a lot of gaming feature

The Sony QN90A is also an amazing TV for gaming. In addition it has good picture quality and great motion handling that offer you to play games with excellent picture quality and smooth motion, it also has great HDR performance, allowing you to play HDR games excellently. It also has excellent input lags in Game mode that will please most gamers. That is not only that, it also already supports VRR technology that compatible with some gaming feature like FreeSync, GSync, etc, allowing you to play game with screen-tearing free. It also already supports HDMI 2.1, allowing you to play high quality games supported by modern game console.  There are also some other gaming features that will improve its  gaming performance like Game Bar, etc.

Dark Room Performance: 5%
Bright Room Performance: 15%
HDR Performance: 15%
Picture Quality: 20%
Motion Handling: 20%
Inputs: 20%
Sound Performance:5%

Score 89/100

Great TV for gaming, but play the same game over long time should be avoided

Performance of the LG C1 when used for playing game is also not inferior to the QN90A. In addition excellent picture quality and excellent motion handling due its nearly instantaneous response time and BFI mode, the LG C1 also has excellent input lags, allowing you to play any games responsively. Just like the QN90A, it also already supports VRR technology that compatible with FreeSync, GSync, and HDMI Forum VRR. It also has HDMI 2.1 that allows you to play high frame rate games supported by modern console. Its HDMI also support ALLM, allowing it automatically change to low latency mode when there is a signal from a game console detected. But even so, since it is vulnerable to permanent burn in when displaying static images for long time, play the same game over long time should be avoided.

Our Conclusion

Score 89/100

Check Price of Samsung QN90A on Amazon

LG C1 is unbeatable in a dark room, the QN90A is exceptional TV in bright room

Both of the LG G1 and Samsung QN90A are great TVs for mixed usage overall. So, whether you use them for watching movies, sports TV shows, HDR contents, or playing games, their performance is really great. But even so, the LG C1 is superior to the QN90A when used in a dark room due its infinite contrast ratio, nearly perfect black uniformity, and pixel dimming level. Although not as great as the LG C1, performance of the QN90A actually is also already great in a dark room. It has exceptional contrast ratio, good local dimming feature, and excellent black uniformity. On the contrary, in a bright room, the QN90A is superior. Combination of its exceptional SDR brightness and good reflection handling make it has no issue in visibility when used in a bright room. On the other hand, since the LG C1 has limited SDR brightness, it may not suitable when used in bright room with sunny window or a lot of lights. Not just in SDR, the LG C1 is also superior in showing shadow details of HDR images while the Samsung QN90A is superior in showing highlights of HDR. So, which is a better choice? The decision certainly comes back to you according to your needs.

Score 63/100

Check Price of LG C1 on Amazon

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