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LG OLED C8 vs Samsung Q9FN Review (OLED65C8PUA vs QN65Q9FN)

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The Samsung Q9FN is the top model of Samsung’s 2018 4K HDR QLED TV lineup, while the LG OLED C8 is the mid-class level of LG’s 2018 4K HDR OLED TV lineup. As premium TVs, picture quality offered by each is certainly great. With HDR technology, both meet expectations. On the market, the Samsun g Q9FN comes in 2 screen sizes being a 65 inch (QN65Q9FN) and a 75 inch (QN75Q9FN), while the LG OLED C8 comes in 3 screen sizes including a 55 inch (OLED55C8PUA), a 65 Inch (OLED65C8PUS), and a 77 Inch (OLED77C8PUA). When comparing the same screen sizes (QN65Q9FN vs OLED65C8PUA), the Samsung Q9FN is more expensive than the LG OLED C8. Of course, their price is not fixed and can change at any time. So what are the features offered by each and how is their performance along with picture quality? Which is a better choice for you?

 

The Short Review of the Samsung Q9FN

As mentioned above, the Samsung Q9FN is on the top-tier of Samsung’s 2018 QLED TV lineup and it’s the successor of the Samsung Q9F. This TV successfully combines extraordinary peak brightness, excellent color gamut, deep black, and excellent precision light control to produce outstanding picture quality and HDR performance. Of course what’s offered by the Q9FN can not be separated from the great performance of the technology behind it.

Like it’s predecessor the Q9F, the Samsung Q9FN incorporates Samsung’s advanced quantum dot technology to make it produce an excellent wide color gamut, close to 100% of DCI P3 color coverage, making it among the best TVs with the best color gamut. Nevertheless Samsung has made a major overhaul on its backlight technology. For last year, the Q9F used an Edge-Lit with local dimming. This year, the Q9FN comes with a Direct LED backlight with Full Array Local dimming with hundreds of dimming zones called “Q Contrast EliteMax”, where its light control is far more precise, resulting in a far deeper black level and excellent peak brightness. For processing images, the Samsung Q9FN is powered by a picture engine called “Q Engine” that effectively reduces picture distortion, allowing it to produce a crystal clear picture. Meanwhile for maximum HDR experience, the Samsung Q9FN supports more than 1 HDR format including HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and HDR10+.  Special for the HDR10+, it is a new HDR format introduced by the Samsung alliance. Basically this format is standard HDR10, but it also uses dynamic metadata for more precise color and brightness range re-mapping. The result is the color and brightness of a picture can be shown with more precision in each scene, making the HDR picture displayed look far better. This is just like what’s offered by Dolby Vision.

Not just excellent picture quality is offered by the Samsung Q9FN, but the Samsung Q9FN is also a good performer for handling motion blur. By combining its excellent pixel response time and Motion Rate 240 technology based on a native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, it can produce a smooth and clear picture quality when playing fast moving images such as sports, games and fast movies. Additionally the Samsung Q9FN also has excellent input lag in PC and Game mode, making it a great gaming TV. For its Smart TV platform featuring the Tizen OS powered by a quad core processor, you can enjoy an attractive and responsive smart TV experience. This year the Tizen OS has been integrated with Smart Things and Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant, making it an enjoyable Smart TV experience offered by the Q9FN. And to enjoy the excellent HDR experience offered by the Q9FN for impressive sound quality, it’s equipped with a 4.2 channel speaker system with 60 watts of total sound output.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Samsung Q9FN <<

Short Review of the LG OLED C8

The LG OLED C8 is the mid-tier level of LG’s 2018 4K HDR OLED TV lineup, one level above the entry level OLED B8. It is superior to the  OLED B8 due to the Alpha 9 Intelligence processor used by the OLED C8 that offers better motion handling and better performance for processing HFR (High Frame Rate) content compared to the Alpha 7 Processor of the OLED B8.  Priced hundreds less than the higher level LG OLED E8 and LG OLED W8, with the exception of the design and sound performance, the OLED C8 offers similar performance and picture quality. So if you are not concerned with fancy design or more impressive sound that’s quality seen on the higher level OLED E8 or OLED W8, you get the same picture quality and performance with the OLED C8 which becomes a better value for the money and may be a great alternative for you.

As you might know, one of the strongest points offered by an OLED TV including the LG C8 is a perfect black level and infinite contrast. This makes the OLED C8 a great performer when used in a dark room or in showing dark scenes. This is because it has pixel dimming where each of pixel can switch to on/off/dim individually without affecting the other surrounding pixels. And the use of 4 sub-pixel technology where it inserts a white sub-pixel to the standard RGB sub-pixel means the LG OLED C8 can produce an excellent color gamut, which is close to what’s delivered by the Samsung QLED TV lineup (including the Samsung Q9FN) as TVs with the best color gamut.  For maximizing peak brightness, there is an Ultra Luminance Technology included with the OLED C8. Although not as bright as what’s produced by the Samsung Q9FN, it makes the peak brightness of the OLED C8 to be among the brightest for an OLED TV.

Additionally the LG OLED C8 is the lowest priced model of the LG OLED TV lineup powered by an Alpha 9 Intelligence processor. It offers improvements and advantages over the predecessor processor Alpha 7 such as better performance in handling motion blur and HFR (High Frame Rate) content, reducing picture distortion, and more. For maximized for HDR performance, the Alpha 9 also supports most HDR formats including HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, and Advanced HDR. Only HDR10+ is not available to the LG OLED C8.  As the main brain of its smart TV platform, the Alpha 9 processor makes Smart TV performance faster and more responsive than the lower priced model “OLED B8” and the predecessor “OLED C7”.

For its smart TV platform the LG OLED C8 features WebOS 4.0. Similar to the Tizen operating system that has Smart Things and Samsung’s Bixby, the WebOS has a smart home assistant called “LG AI ThinQ”. The benefit is that it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. And for delivering impressive sound quality, the LG OLED C8 is equipped with a 2.2 channel speaker system with 40 watts of total sound output. Interestingly the LG OLED C8 supports Dolby Atmos, allowing you to enjoy the Dolby Vision experience with the Dolby Atmos Sound experience.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG OLED C8 <<

LG OLED C8 vs Samsung Q9FN Key Specs

Specs and Features LG OLED C8 Samsung Q9FN
Resolution 4K (2160×3840) 4K (2160×3840)
Sizes Available 55 Inch (OLED55C8PUS), 65 Inch (OLED65C8PUA), 77 Inch (OLED77C9PUA) 65 Inch (QN65Q9FN), 75 Inch (QN75Q7FN)
Panel Technology OLED Panel LED (VA Panel)
Screen Type Flat Flat
Backlighting Technology No (Self Lighting Pixel) Direct LED Backlight
Dimming Technology Pixel Dimming Full Array Local Dimming (Q Contrast EliteMax)
Picture Engine Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor Q Engine
HDR Format HDR 10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR HDR 10, HLG, HDR 10+
Color Technology 4 Sub pixels technology (RGBW) powered by True Color Accuracy Quantum Dot with Q Color
Other Features and Technology 4K Cinema HDR, Intense color, Ultra Luminance, etc Supreme UHD Dimming, Ultra Black Elite, Q HDR EliteMax
UHD Up-scaling Engine Tru 4K Up-Scaler UHD Up-scaling Engine
Motion Clarity Technology Motion Rate 240
Native Refresh Rate 120 Hz 120 Hz
Smart TV WebOS version 4.0 Tizen 2018
Processor Alpha 9 Intelligent Processor Quad Core
Remote LG Magic Remote Samsung Smart Remote (TM1890A)
HDMI 4 4
USB 3 3
Audio Channel 2.2 Channel 4.2
Sound Output 40W (Woofer: 20W) 60 watts
Price See today’s price See today’s price

The LG OLED C8 vs the Samsung Q9FN Performance

Picture Quality

Contrast and Black Level

Essentially both the Samsung Q9FN and the LG OLED C8 have outstanding picture quality. Both have outstanding contrast ratio and black level. One of the best features of the picture produced by OLED TVs (including the LG OLED C8) is infinite contrast ratio and a perfect black level. The LG OLED C8 has pixel level dimming where each pixel can switch on/off/dim individually without affecting the other surrounding pixels. When showing total black, there is no light emitted at all from the screen. The result is the black produced looks perfect without being affected by the light condition of the room where viewed, whether it is used in a bright room or a dark room. Additionally the perfect black level produced makes dark colors shown to be fairly accurate. Of course with a perfect black level produced, it doesn’t have any problem showing details of HDR images as they should be. Although not as perfect as the LG OLED C8, the Samsung Q9FN can produce an outstanding contrast ratio and black level. Its local dimming works excellently in improving contrast producing close to 20000:1, meaning it can produce a black level less than 0.001 nits. For LED TV, what is achieved by the Samsung Q9FN is truly outstanding and among the best. The result is the black produced by the Samsung Q9FN is looks really black, no matter the light condition of the room where it is viewed, even in a very dark room where the impact of a high native contrast ratio can be very sensitive. Additionally the black level produced by the Samsung Q9FN is dark enough to show shadow detail of HDR images excellently as they should be. Overall with great performance in producing black offered by each them, this means both are great TVs for watching movies with a lot of dark scenes such as horror and thriller movies, particularly in the HDR format.

Winner: LG OLED C8

Peak Brightness

While the LG OLED C8 is superior in producing black, in terms of peak brightness the Samsung Q9FN is superior. With SDR content, the peak brightness produced by the Samsung Q9FN is brighter than 1500 nits for asmall window size, making small highlights in dark scenes shown extremely bright. Meanwhile, when showing a bright large window size, like many other TVs its peak brightness also dims, but it’s still close to 700 nits. This means it is fairly bright to overcome glare, making the picture displayed on screen look consistent in most bright rooms. With HDR content, the Samsung Q9FN can even produce a brighter peak brightness, about 900 nits with real scenes. Even when showing a small bright object in a dark scenes like highlights of HDR images, its peak brightness is brighter than 1700 nits. Like with SDR content, the peak brightness may dim at larger window sizes, but it’s still close to 700 nits when showing a scene where all objects are bright. With the peak brightness achieved, this makes the Samsung Q9FN among few TVs that can show bright scenes of HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range just as intended, and might even be the best ever, particularly in showing a small highlight.  On the other hand, although not as bright as the Samsung Q9FN, OLED TV peak brightness of the LG OLED C8 can be said to also be great. For SDR content (except when showing a large bright scene) the peak brightness of the LG OLED C8 is around 400 nits. This is bright enough to overcome glare, making the picture looks good in a bright room. Unfortunately when showing a large bright scene, its peak brightness dims significantly to below 200 nits. The result when showing a large bright scene like an outdoor scene, is the picture displayed looks too dim on the LG OLED C8. With HDR content, peak brightness reached by the LG OLED C8 is also brighter, close to 700 nits with real scenes meaning it is great. When showing a small bright object, it even can reach close to 900 nits, making highlights of HDR images fairly bright and even brighter than the rest. However like with SDR content, its peak brightness will dim significantly to below 200 nits when showing a large bright scene due to the LG OLED C8 Automatic Brightness Limiter. Although not as great as what’s offered by the Samsung Q9FN where it can not show HDR images at 1000-4000 nits of brightness range like intended, for an OLED TV what’s offered by the LG OLED C8 is great where it’s even brighter than most LED TVs available on the market. The excellence offered by the LG OLED C8, since it has pixel level dimming for showing a small bright object in a dark background, there is no unwanted adjacent light or “blooming” visible around it. Surprisingly on the screen of the Samsung Q9FN, blooming is slightly visible but much less visible than most other LED TVs.

Winner: Samsung Q9FN

Color Performance

Although the Samsung Q9FN has a bit wider color gamut than the LG OLED C8, essentially both have excellent color gamut and the difference is not significant. Color coverage is close to 100% in DCI P3 which means it is great for HDR content, particularly when mastered in DCI P3 color space like HDR10 content. Additionally their color coverage in Rec.2020 is more than 70% which means it is still good for HDR content mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision. But even so and like other modern TVs, they’re still unable to accurately produce some certain tones of green in Rec.2020. Overall most colors of HDR content can be shown fairly accurately.  In terms of color volume, the Samsung Q9FN has better color volume than the LG OLED C8. Even so, this is more because the Samsung Q9FN has far brighter peak brightness than the LG OLED C8. The Samsung Q9FN can not show its wide color gamut in dark color as well as the LG OLED C8, but the LG OLED C8 can not show its wide color gamut at nearly peak brightness. This means that when showing a dark scene, the LG OLED C8 better while when showing a bright scene, the Samsun g Q9FN is better.  In real scenes the color of the images displayed on screen look very accurate and vivid. For color gamut and color volume, the Samsung Q9FN is better — in color gradient, the LG OLED C8 can produce a bit smoother color gradient. On the screen of the LG OLED C8, there is no significant color banding visible. In larger areas of similar color, some color banding may still be visible, but this can actually be reduced by enabling “Mpeg Noise Reduction” on its picture quality. On the other hand, on the screen of the SamsungQ9FN, in certain scenes some little imperfection is still visible in darker color. Overall the color gradient of the LG OLED C8 and the Samsung Q9FN is equally great and what little imperfection that may be visible should not be a problem.

Winner: Samsung Q9FN

Side Viewing Angle

In addition to a perfect black level, the other excellent performance parameter offered by OLED TV (including the LG OLED C8) is the wide viewing angle coverage.  Starting at 30 degrees off center and front, the color may shift a little but it can maintain a black level and brightness up to an extremely wide angle. The result when viewed from the side is the picture degradation is not very significant and the picture produced will not look much different when viewed from the side. On the other hand, as is typical of TVs with a VA panel, the Samsung Q9FN has poor viewing angle coverage. Color will shift starting at around 25 degrees off center and brightness is also reduced starting at around 30 degrees off center. The ability of the Samsung Q9FN to maintain color may not be much different than the LG OLED B8, but its ability to maintain brightness is much worse. And which is more pronounced is its ability in maintaining black level where black will looks degraded starting at less than 15 degrees off center and front, making black look grey when viewed from the side of the Samsung Q9FN. This ability is far different than the LG OLED C8 that can maintain its black level from an extremely wide angle. The result when viewed from the side is the picture displayed on the screen of Samsung Q9FN will not look as good as when viewed from the center and front, and the wider angle you view the Samsung TV, the picture will degrade quickly.

Winner: LG OLED C8

Motion handling and 24p Playback

As you might know, one of the major advantages of an OLED TV over an LED TV is it has a far lower pixel response time than the fastest possible pixel response time achieved by an LED TV. This certainly means the LG OLED C8 can do an excellent job in handling motion blur caused by pixel response time. The result when playing fast moving images like sports and fast movies, is the picture displayed on screen looks very clear with almost no visible ghosting trail following fast moving objects. On the other hand, although not as quick as the LG OLED C8, essentially the Samsung Q9FN has a good pixel response time. Its pixel response time may not be the lowest for an LED TV, but it is low enough to make motion trails almost invisible. Athough not as excellent as the LG OLED C8, the performance of the Samsung Q9FN in handling motion trail is excellent for an LED TV. Some blur may be visible on screen although this is more caused by persistence than response time. Another excellent performance parameter offered by the LG OLED C8, since it doesn’t have a backlight is this allows for no backlight flicker. To dim the backlight, the Samsung Q9FN uses a PWM dimming system but the dimming frequency is dependent on the mode setting. In “Movie” Mode it dims the backlight at 480 Hz, where flicker is almost invisible on the screen. In “Standard” and “Game” mode, it dims the backlight at 120 Hz which certainly makes flicker more noticeable.

As mentioned above, blur that may be visible is more caused by persistence than by response time. For solving this, both have an optional 60 Hz BFI (Black Frame Insertion mode). To enable this feature on the Q9FN, you just need to enable “LED Clear Motion” — while on the OLED C8, you just need to turn on “Motion Pro”. By enabling this feature both will make backlight flicker at 60 Hz. This is very useful to reduce motion blur caused by persistence, particularly when playing 60 fps content like sports and video games. Since they dim their screen at a lower frequency, this makes flicker more noticeable. So which is a better setting, this is dependent on your choice. If you who don’t feel comfortable with flicker, you can disable this mode. On the other hand if you don’t feel comfortable with persistence blur, you can enable this mode. When playing 120 fps content, the Samsung Q9FN has the ability to make the backlight flicker at 120 Hz. Since the LG OLED C8 doesn’t have this ability, when it is playing 120 Hz content it drops every other frame.

When playing 24p movies, both have similar performance. When the source is native 24p video like DVD or Blu Ray’s movies, movies from streaming media like Netflix, Amazon Videos, and others, or 24p video via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices, both are able to show all of these movies clearly and smoothly judder-free. When the source is 24p movies via 60i signal, they are not able to remove the judder completely. But since most people aren’t sensitive to judder, this should not be much of a problem.

Winner: Q9FN

Input/Output

For their major input/output, both the LG OLED C8 and the Samsung Q9FN are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports. All their HDMI ports equally support HDCP 2.2, CEC, and HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth. There is also 1 HDMI port that supports ARC (Audio Return Channel). In this case, on the OLED C8 it is HDMI 2 while on the Q9FN it is HDMI 2. Unfortunately they don’t support HDMI 2.1 which means they can not play HFR content (120 fps) via their HDMI port. Both are equally equipped with 3 USB ports where all of their USB ports are USB 2.0 and none are USB 3.0.  In addition to HDMI and USB, they also have 1 RF In, 1 Digital Audio Out (optical), and 1 Ethernet port. Uniquely the LG OLED C8 has 1 Composite In while the Samsung Q9FN doesn’t. As to their wireless connectivity, they both have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The difference between them is where the inputs/outputs are located. On the Samsung Q9FN, most of their inputs/outputs are located on a separate box called the “One Connect Box”, while on the LG OLED C8, typical of most TVs its inputs/outputs are located on the rear of the display panel.

In terms of input lag, for “PC” and “Game” mode, the Samsung Q9FN has a bit lower input lag than the LG OLED C8, even though the difference is not significant. Essentially the input lag is excellent, no matter with 4K resolution or 1080p resolution. Being about 20 ms, the input lag is low enough to play any game responsively without lag. No matter whether you are playing fast paced games or casual games, in 4K or 1080p resolution, with HDR or not, you will feel comfortable playing each of them.

Winner: Q9FN

Smart TV Platform

For the smart TV platform, the Samsung Q9FN features the Tizen OS 2018 powered by a quad core processor while the LG OLED C8 features WebOS 4.0.  The Home Menu of these platforms is equally  an attractive and intuitive design that’s easy to navigate. They both have a lot of animations to make the appearance more attractive. At the bottom screen across the home menu, all quick access buttons of menus, apps, and features are well-organized. Both equally have a lot of preinstalled apps including VoD service like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, web browser, Games, Live TV, and much more. Both  platforms also have an apps store with several downloadable apps, games, contents, smart features, and more that you can download directly to your Samsung and LG TV. In this case, the Tizen OS comes with the Samsung Apps Store while WebOS 4.0 comes with the LG apps Store. Additionally both of them also have a home intelligence app and voice assistant. The Tizen OS comes with Smart Thing and Samsung’s Bixby Voice Assistant while the WebOS comes with LG AI ThinQ. Essentially both of these platforms have similar functions. Smart Things allows you to control and monitor your other Smart Thing compatible devices like an Air Conditioner, Refrigerator, Laundry Machine, and more, while Samsung’s Bixby is an excellent voice command. Just like Smart Thing and Bixby Voice, the LG AI ThinQ allows you to monitor and control other ThinQ AI compatible devices and its voice navigation is far better. The advantage of ThinQ is that it’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home while Smart Thing doesn’t support either. Additionally the advantage of the LG OLED C8 smart TV performance is fast and responsive, while the smart TV performance of the Samsung Q9FN is fairly inconsistent. For the Samsung Q9FN when you are launching apps, there is a lag of about 2-3 seconds before it opens and animation drops frames intermittently. But overall their smart TV platforms are equally attractive.

For the controller, the Samsung Q9FN comes with a Samsung smart controller while the LG OLED C8 comes with LG’s magic controller. The remote of the LG is a bit larger and has more buttons than Samsung’s remote.  On the remote of the LG, the buttons provided are complete. In addition to the standard buttons like number buttons, direction buttons and volume buttons, it also has some common buttons and two dedicated buttons for Amazon Video and Netflix. On the other hand, the buttons of Samsung Remote are limited, it even doesn’t have number buttons.  So to make advanced settings you must navigate through the menu or use the Bixby voice assistant.  Both of them are equally equipped with a built-in microphone. Just like we’ve mentioned, Samsung’s Bixby and AI ThinQ makes their voice navigation better, allowing you to do a lot of more with your voice command. Both of these remotes also can act as a universal remote, allowing you to control some basic functions of other devices connected to the TV via HDMI ports. The advantage of LG’s magic remote is it can act as a pointer once it is pointed at the TV. Combined with a clickable “Scroll Wheel” and directional pads at the center of the remote, this makes the remote very useful for navigation.

Winner: OLED C8

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG OLED C8 <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Samsung Q9FN <<

Summary

Conclusion

The Samsung Q9FN and the LG OLED C8 equally offer excellent picture quality and great performance. Since they use a different panel technology, the amazing picture produced by each also has different characteristics.  The LG OLED C8 with an OLED panel is superior in black level and contrast while the Samsung Q9FN is superior in Color reproduction and peak brightness. The major advantage offered by the LG OLED C8 over the Samsung Q9FN is its excellent side viewing angle where it maintains an amazing picture quality even when viewed from an extreme angle. On the other hand, the Samsung Q9FN has poor side viewing angle coverage which means the picture displayed on its screen will look degraded when viewed from the side. Additionally, the LG OLED C8 is superior in motion handling. However, the performance of the Samsung Q9FN in handling motion trail is excellent. Regarding input lag, both have excellent input lag, making them very responsive for playing games. Unique for the LG OLED C8, since it may have a permanent burn-in risk, playing the same game for a long time is not recommended. On the other hand, the Samsung Q9FN is free from permanent burn-in risk. Additionally, both of them have an attractive smart TV platform with a lot of apps available. Their smart TV navigation is also easy. Although the smart TV performance of the LG OLED C8 is faster and more responsive than the Samsung Q9FN.

So which is a better choice for you? We’ve discussed a lot above about performance, the decision comes back to you according to your own preference. The LG OLED C8 is more powerful in producing dark scenes while the Samsung Q9FN is more powerful in producing bright scenes. Overall, their performance is great no matter the light condition of the room where they are viewed.

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the LG OLED C8 <<

>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Samsung Q9FN <<


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