There's never been a better time to buy a new TV – the technologies we use have matured to the point that you can buy something with powerful, cinematic imagery for incredibly low prices. With 4K HDR TVs already giving us incredibly lifelike performance, when 8K TVs arrived it was hard to imagine them offering much of a leap forward with no native 8K movies to watch… but Samsung proved that wrong with this truly stunning set.
The Samsung QE75Q950TS wins the T3 Awards 2020 (opens in new tab) gong for Best TV (opens in new tab) by showing us that an 8K screen can actually be the best way to watch 4K, and for pushing the physical design of the TV itself to a new level, along with the picture quality.
Being an 8K panel means that there's a full 33 million pixels of potential detail, which is four times what 4K video offers – but thanks to class-leading AI-powered upscaling, you get visibly more detail and realism when watching 4K movies on this set than you would on a native Ultra HD screen, especially at this bigger size.
The realism doesn't just come from the fine details, though; it also comes from the totally unmatched HDR performance. At peak brightness, it can hit around three times brighter than even the best OLED TVs, which gives its colours a richness that's unlike anything else out there. If you want the sunlight hitting forest leaves in a nature documentary to feel truly real, the light needs to bright enough to feel lifelike, and this TV achieves that.
• Read our full five-star Samsung Q950TS review (opens in new tab)
At the same time, the direct backlight that achieves this brightness is split into an impressive 480 different lighting zones, all of which can be individually dimmed, so not only do its images go extremely bright, they can go extremely dark nearby too, which brings out the full quality of HDR content.
The reason the Samsung Q950TS impresses us isn't just that it takes the kind of 4K movies and TV you can watch on other TVs and maximises its potential – it's that its upscaling takes those videos past their full potential, into something that looks better than you could ever expect.
We also mentioned that its physical design pushing things forward as well, and the comes down to the near-invisible bezels on its top and sides. With just 2mm between the edge of the 8K screen and the edge of the set itself, on a 75-inch TV you effectively can't see that there's anything between the image and the world behind it. It gives the impression that the picture is floating unsupported on the bottom edge, with no unsightly frame – again, bringing more of the feel of the cinema home.
The Q950TS is also impressively thin despite having such a powerful backlight, though that's partly thanks to it using Samsung's One Connect box, which moves all ports to an external unit that's connected to the panel with a single thing cable, so the stunning design isn't spoiled by a tangle of wires. (A cheaper version of this TV, the Q900TS, is also available in some countries, which is the exact same panel and processing, but with the connections on the TV itself.)
There's loads of other clever tech here too – including a series of speakers that surround the edges of the screen for a more 3D audio experience even without a speaker system, and a really good smart TV platform – but it's the sheer scale of the image quality that puts this in a category of one, and makes it the deserving recipient of our Best TV T3 Award.
• Check out more of our T3 Awards 2020 winners! (opens in new tab)