T3 Awards 2019: Samsung Q90R QLED TV grabs the glory and thrashes OLED

It's a TV dream come true

T3 Awards 2019: Samsung Q90R

Whether it's due to panel shortages or extended fine tuning, there are several key TVs that have yet to hit retail in time for the in the 2019 T3 Awards. Even so, we've seen them all prior to release, and we doubt any television will be better than the Samsung Q90R, which most certainly is on sale. This QLED champion narrowly beats out LG's '9' series of OLED TVs to emerge as the winner of our award for Best TV.

Samsung has been improving its QLED televisions every year, and 2018's Q9FN was a massive leap forward for QLED-kind. The Q90R, however, even blows that away, with sumptuous colours, ultra vivid HDR, brightness that means it can be watched even in the glow of the summer sun, but a truly cinematic presentation of the greatest blockbusters and box sets.

It's also got fantastically fast response for gaming, and a full gamut of smart TV skills, which will soon be augmented with the addition of Apple AirPlay and direct access to iTunes Store movies and Apple TV.

Despite the default brightness of the screen, Samsung's 2019 QLED panels can reach black levels easily comparable to OLED. Add full-array local dimming (FALD) and the result is a TV with nearly all OLED's strengths but none of its slight weaknesses around peak brightness. Watching native HDR 4K, or even upscaled 1080p on the Q90R is a truly stunning experience.

Even wiring the Q90R up is a (comparatively) fun experience, thanks to its One Connect box. You plug all your set-top boxes, soundbars and consoles into this, then it connects to the TV by a single, 'invisible' (or discreet, at least) cable. Simple.

Available in 55-, 65 and hulking great 75-inch incarnations, the Samsung Q90R isn't a cheap television but it justifies every penny of its cost. It's a stunning visual showcase for QLED screen tech, and the best TV of 2019.

Duncan has been writing about tech for almost 15 years, during which time he has attended every event going, apart from Apple ones, as he mysteriously doesn't get invited to them. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. 

Duncan's current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. Duncan also edits T3's golf section because fuck it, someone has to. Dave Usher does all the real work on that bit, though. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."