Samsung QN85D review: a solid mini-LED 4K TV, but there are better-value rivals

A mid-range TV with some drawbacks

Samsung Qn85D hero image of butterfly
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Samsung QN85D is a good mid-range mini-LED TV with excellent gaming features and a solid enough picture. Its slightly higher price tag in a very competitive market may put some people off, but if you can look past that and some of its inconsistencies, it's a solid contender.


  • +

    Excellent suite of gaming features

  • +

    Natural textures and detail

  • +

    Good color


  • -

    Pricier than some rival mini-LED sets

  • -

    Some backlight blooming

  • -

    Average sound quality

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Samsung QN85D review: Two minute review

The Samsung QN85D is a solid, mid-range mini-LED TV that offers good performance for both gaming and movies. It isn't perfect and doesn’t provide the same value as other mini-LED sets such as the Hisense U7N, one of the best TVs in the budget range, but there are things to like about the QN85D. 

The NQ4 Gen2 AI processor used by the Samsung QN85D is the same one you’ll find in the Samsung S95D, one of the best OLED TVs, and it provides AI-driven features for picture, sound and gaming, with Real Depth Enhancer serving as the highlight. 

Picture quality is a mixed bag on the QN85D. Textures and details are accurate, crisp and refined from nearly every source and colors are bold and vibrant yet natural and true-to-life. Black levels and contrast are solid for the most part though occasional backlight blooming can make blacks take on a grayer tone. Motion handling is good during movies but less so during sports. Although performance is mixed, the QN85D’s picture still makes it a solid mini-LED contender. 

Audio quality is also a mixed bag on the QN85D. It has solid, hefty bass, clear enough dialogue and Object Tracking Sound (OTS) Lite for excellent sound placement that follows the onscreen action. However, its Dolby Atmos and virtual surround placement is limited by the 2.2-channel, 40W built-in speakers. It may be fine for some, but it's worth considering one of the best soundbars to boost the QN85D’s sound. 

The QN85D’s design is simple and solid. It’s reassuringly weighty with a well-built rear panel and a burnished metal frame that feels sturdy. It has a trim profile with a slim bezel around three sides of the screen that allows the picture to take center stage. The stand, in contrast, is a little cheap, matching what you would find on a much cheaper TV. 

Samsung’s own Tizen smart TV platform is used on the QN85D, and its neatened-up home menu doesn’t bombard with recommendations like it did in the past. It provides access to all the major apps and is easy enough to navigate thanks to its separate hubs for Home, Game, Daily+ and Ambient. Picture settings are on offer for those who like to experiment, though not so much on the sound front.

Gaming is one area where the QN85D thrives. Its four HDMI 2.1 ports support 4K 120Hz and VRR with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, and the Gaming Hub collates everything gaming into one easy-to-find and use place. Graphics and gaming performance are also top-notch, putting the QN85D alongside the best gaming TVs

Value is a tough obstacle for the QN85D as it competes with similarly equipped but cheaper mini-LED TV options. While it may top budget TVs in some areas and offers great features and performance for the money, it ultimately can't compete with budget options such as the Hisense U7N and TCL QM851G on the value front.

Samsung QN85D with mountains on screen

The Samsung QN85D suffers from reflections, but its brightness does a serviceable job of reducing them (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN85D review: Prices & release date

  • Release date: April 2024 
  • 55-inch: $1,399 / £1,599 / AU$2,499 
  • 65-inch: $1,999 / £2,399 / AU$2,999 
  • 75-inch: $2,599 / £3,099 / AU$3,999 
  • 85-inch: $3,699 / £4,099 / AU$5,499 

The Samsung QN85D is the entry-level model in Samsung’s 2024 Neo QLED (mini-LED) range. It is available in 55, 65, 75 and 85-inch sizes and sits below the Samsung QN90D and Samsung QN95D (the latter only available in the UK). 

Since its release in April 2024, prices for the QN85D have fallen across the board in every size and nearly every region. The 65-inch model I tested has already seen its price fall to $1,599 and £1,899 in the US and UK respectively. Prices in Australia have remained the same. 

Samsung QN85D review: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Screen type:QLED with mini-LED
Refresh rate:120Hz
HDR support:HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
Audio support:Dolby Atmos
Smart TV:Tizen
HDMI ports:4x HDMI 2.1

Samsung QN85D review: Benchmark results

Samsung QN85D with Daily+ hub screen

The Samsung QN85D's Daily+ hub screen (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN85D review: Features

  • NQ4 AI Gen2 Processor 
  • HDR10+ HDR support 
  • Four HDMI 2.1 ports and Samsung Gaming hub 

The Samsung QN85D’s mini-LED backlight provides superior local dimming and contrast over standard LED sets. Its NQ4 AI Gen2 Processor is the same one in more premium models such as the Samsung QN90D and even Samsung's flagship OLED, the S95D. This processor enables AI features such as Real Depth Enhancer Pro, Object Tracking Sound (OTS) Lite, AI Sound and more. 

Like all Samsung TVs, the Samsung QN85D supports the HDR10+ HDR format but not Dolby Vision. 

The QN85D is well-stocked with gaming features. Its four HDMI 2.1 ports support 4K 120Hz, VRR including AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, HGiG and ALLM. It also features Samsung’s Gaming Hub with cloud gaming apps such as Xbox, Luna, and Nvidia GeForce Now. 

The QN85D’s audio is provided by a 2.2-channel, 40W speaker array that supports Dolby Atmos. It also features ‘360 Audio’ and OTS Lite for surround sound, as well AI sound features such as Active Voice Amplifier Pro and Adaptive Sound Pro, both of which are designed to enhance and adapt dialogue and sound based on the viewing environment. 

Samsung’s own Tizen smart TV platform provides separate hubs for categories including the previously mentioned Gaming Hub, Ambient Hub for displaying artworks and Samsung Daily+ for lifestyle apps such as Samsung Health and office-based apps. Tizen provides access to Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video and more. For UK viewers it’s worth noting that live TV management is not provided by Freeview Play or Freely but rather Samsung’s own TV Plus, though there is still access to major UK apps such as BBC iPlayer and ITVX. 

  • Features score: 4.5 / 5 

Samsung QN85D with green butterfly on screen

The Samsung QN85D's natural colors are one of its biggest strengths (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN85D review: Picture quality

  • Natural and detailed textures 
  • Bold, vibrant colors 
  • Some backlight blooming  

Measurements taken on a 10% white HDR window yielded 878 and 1,026 nits in Standard and Filmmaker Mode respectively. While those are decent brightness results, they're similar to the Samsung Q80D, a QLED TV that uses a standard LED backlight. For context, a premium mini-LED such as the Sony Bravia 9 yielded results of 2,280 and 1,871 nits in Standard and Filmmaker Mode respectively when we measured it.

The QN85D demonstrated good full-screen HDR brightness, clocking in at 696 and 635 nits in Standard and Filmmaker modes respectively. That brightness level is useful for daytime viewing and is almost double what you would get on OLED models such as the LG C4.

When measuring the QN85D’s UHDA-P3 and BT.2020 HDR color gamut coverage, it yielded results of 93 and 69.1%. While those aren't the best results we’ve seen, they are still solid enough numbers. 

It's time to move from numbers to real-world viewing. Starting with broadcast TV, the QN85D did an effective job upscaling pictures to 4K, although textures looked a little soft in some TV shows.  

Moving onto 4K, I started by viewing The Batman to test black levels and local dimming. While blacks had a slightly gray tone overall, they were still suitably dark for an entry-level mini-LED TV. The QN85D also demonstrated impressive backlight control when viewed front-on, showing a good contrast range between the darker tones of the hallway and the brightness of the lamps in the opening crime scene. The QN85D’s excellent detail was also on show in this scene, with clothing and other objects taking on a natural look. 

Viewing the same scene in dark conditions, the QN85D’s backlight struggled a bit more, showing some minor blooming and a gray wash in the blacks. Its performance here was still noticeably better than what you’ll see on standard LED sets, however. 

Colors on the QN85D were bold, vibrant and lifelike. Watching the throne room fight scene in Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Disney Plus, the reds of the lightsabers were punchy and vivid but still maintained a natural and not overblown appearance. In the opening scene of La La Land,  bright green, yellow, red and blue outfits worn by the dancers displayed dynamic yet natural hues. When measuring the QN85D’s color accuracy, it gave a result of 1.75 (we typically look for a margin of error below 3) which is a great result and shows why the QN85D’s colors appeared true-to-life. 

Samsung QN85D with city at night on screen

The Samsung QN85D's picture is a mixed bag, but it demonstrates decent contrast (Image credit: Future)

I next watched Oppenheimer to test the QN85D’s contrast and its handling of black and white images. Overall, it demonstrated strong contrast with a good balance between whites, blacks and gray tones although black crush in some shots resulted in a loss of detail. Once again, facial features, objects and textures were realistic thanks to the TV’s Real Depth Enhancer AI feature.

To test motion, I watched Top Gun: Maverick, focusing on the opening Darkstar testing and first training missions. In Filmmaker Mode (which has no motion smoothing), the QN85D did a solid job handling the sweeping camera angles, with only minor judder to be seen on the jets careering in the air.

Watching an HD stream of a Man U v Chelsea soccer match on Prime Video, also in Filmmaker Mode, I found the motion to be a little inconsistent. The lack of motion smoothing resulted in some stuttering long side-to-side aerial shots, though adding some motion smoothing made the action look unnatural. Eventually, I set judder and blur reduction to around 2-3 and got good results.

Finally, I used the demo footage on the Spears & Munsil UHD Benchmark 4K Blu-ray to test all elements of the QN85D’s picture. Colors on parrots and butterflies looked punchy and the textures and details were crisp. Black levels, though solid, took on a gray-ish hue, however, which was particularly noticeable in shots with large areas of shadows there was some backlight blooming, particularly when viewing off-center.

Analyzing the QN85D’s AI Picture mode (in the Intelligence Mode settings), I found that colors, while brighter, lost their natural look and brightness seemed overblown. Textures also appeared sharper but enough so that it created a ‘fake’ look.

  •  Picture quality score: 4/5 

Samsung QN85D with La La Land title on screen

The Samsung QN85D's built-in speakers suffer from limited soundstage, reducing the impact of movies such as La La Land (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN85D review: Sound quality

  • 2.2-channel speaker array  
  • Punchy bass 
  • Limited soundstage 

The QN85D features a 2.2-channel speaker array with 40W of power. Dolby Atmos is supported and there are AI features including Adaptive Sound Pro and Active Voice Amplifier. Two preset sound modes are available: Standard and Amplify, the latter of which I used for testing. 

Bass on Samsung’s TV is hefty enough and has a solid weight. In both The Batman and Top Gun: Maverick, the rumble of the engines from the Batmobile and jets carried enough power to satisfy most bass fans, and provided an immersive feel. OTS Lite was effective at connecting the action to the screen, with the crunching cars, shattering glass and screeching car tires within the Batmobile chase scene all accurately placed. 

Dialogue overall was clear, though I did struggle during the Batmobile chase scene to hear voices over the chaotic and bassy audio. Watching La La Land, vocals during many of the big dance numbers were crisp and easy to hear, despite the brass-heavy score throughout. The QN85D showed a good balance between instruments as well, especially with the vocals and delicate piano during the ‘Somewhere In The Crowd’ scene.

It wasn't all good news with the QN85D’s sound. Although it supports Dolby Atmos, spatial effects were rarely audible. The soundstage was also somewhat limited, with the big, theatrical soundtrack of La La Land struggling to extend beyond the confines of the screen itself. 

Applying AI Sound (again found in the TV’s Intelligence Mode settings), Adaptive Sound Pro did a good job of improving balance by making the soundstage a bit wider and immersive, though this came at a great cost to bass levels.  

While the QN85D’s sound is perfectly acceptable, I'd still recommend using this TV with one of the best soundbars, particularly Samsung ones with Q Symphony, a feature that combines the soundbar’s speakers with the ones built into the TV.

  •  Sound quality score: 3.5/5 

Samsung Qn85D stand

The Samsung QN85D's stand (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN85D review: Design

  • Trim profile 
  • Solid but safe design 
  • Samsung SolarCell remote    

The QN85D has a safe, but reassuringly solid design. It feels weighty and well-constructed, with a plastic and metal rear panel. It also has a nearly bezel-less screen, a trim profile and a burnished metal frame that makes it feel more premium than budget mini-LED sets from the likes of Hisense and TCL

The stand on the 65-inch model I tested in the UK is a gray plastic and aluminum pedestal that’s different from stands you’ll find on other sets. I found it subject to wobbling, but its smaller size means that the QN85D will fit on most TV furniture. 

The supplied remote is Samsung’s eco-friendly SolarCell remote, which draws power from either a solar panel on the rear or a USB-C port on the bottom. It’s small and has a limited button count, but is sleek and modern enough that most will enjoy using it.

  •  Design score: 4/5 

Samsung QN85D with Tizen home menu

The Samsung QN85D's Tizen smart TV platform offers recommendations across its home menu (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN85D review: Smart TV & menus

  • Tizen smart TV platform
  • Game, Ambient, and Daily+ hubs
  • Plenty of settings to tweak

Like all Samsung TVs, the QN85D uses Samsung’s own Tizen smart TV platform. There haven’t been any upgrades made to the platform since last year aside from small improvements to make navigation and customization easier.

The Tizen home screen locates apps near the top and is divided into three sections: For You, Live and Apps. There are other hubs to choose from, including Daily+, which focuses on lifestyle apps such as health and office; Game for all things gaming including cloud-based apps; and Ambient, where you can display both static and dynamic background artworks and images. 

Along with Standard, Movie, Filmmaker, and other preset picture modes, there are plenty of picture settings in the QN85D's menus for those who like to experiment. Sound settings are somewhat limited compared to other TVs, with only two preset sound modes and a limited number of settings to adjust. Tizen may be a little on the safe side, but it is a solid and serviceable smart TV platform. 

  • Smart TV & menus score: 4/5 

Samsung QN85D with Battlefield V on screen

The Samsung QN85D is a great gaming performer, even with intense games such as Battlefield V  (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN85D review: Gaming

  • Four HDMI 2.1 ports 
  • Gaming hub
  • Ultra-low 10.1ms input lag 

The QN85D comes with a full suite of gaming features across its four HDMI 2.1 ports, including 4K 120Hz support, ALLM, VRR including AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, and HGiG. It also offers cloud-based gaming from services such as Xbox, Luna, and Nvidia GeForce Now as well as live Twitch streaming in the Gaming Hub and has a Game Bar menu that lets you customize settings such as black level and virtual aiming. 

The QN85D handles higher frame rate gaming at 120fps with ease, resulting in fluid gameplay. Playing Battlefield V, switching from target to target felt easy and controlled even during chaotic battle sequences, and sprinting motions never felt too fast or overwhelming. When I measured the QN85D’s input lag using a Leo Bodnar 4K tester, it yielded a result of 10.1ms – well below the 15ms threshold that we look for in the best 120Hz TVs

When gaming, the QN85D displayed the same picture quality level as it did for movies. During a desert mission, the vast surrounding sands had true-to-life color and textures. Details within the various weapons were intricate and vehicles and environments had a 3D-like quality. 

  • Gaming score: 4.5/5 

Samsung SolarCell Remote

The eco-friendly Samsung SolarCell remote (Image credit: Future)

Samsung QN85D review: Value

  • Competitive mini-LED market 
  • Decent price for performance and features 
  • Cheaper options from Hisense and TCL 

As mini-LED tech continues to grow in popularity, the market has become more crowded. Samsung’s mini-LED sets generally feel more premium than TVs from rival brands, but those rival brands are gaining. 

Hisense’s ULED range is Samsung’s closest rival, with the Hisense U7N providing the main competition to the Samsung QN85D. In the US, the U7N costs nearly half as much as the QN85D, with a 65-inch model averaging $799 and a 75-inch one averaging $1,699. Although the QN85D tops the U7N in some areas, that’s a tough price gap to ignore.

Still, the QN85D’s gaming features and movie performance aren’t to be forgotten, and it’s a solid option for those who can stretch their budget a bit further. 

  •  Value score: 3.5/5 

Samsung QN85D with La La Land on screen

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Samsung QN85D?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Samsung QN85D
FeaturesPlenty of picture, gaming and smart features but no Dolby Vision4.5/5
Picture qualityNatural textures and bold colors but some backlight inconsistencies4/5
Sound qualitySolid bass levels but limited soundstage and spatial sound3.5/5
DesignSimple, but solid design with trim profile4/5
Smart TV and menusTizen smart TV with separate hubs and recommendations on home page4/5
GamingAn excellent set of gaming features across 4 HDMI 2.1 ports4.5/5
ValueGood performer but budget mini-LED competition demonstrates better value.3.5/5

Buy it if...

You want a good picture
Natural textures and accurate colors mean the QN85D suits many different pictures, especially 4K HDR ones.

You want a great gaming TV
The QN85D is stacked with gaming features including 4K 120Hz, VRR and a useful Gaming hub, and it performs well when gaming.

You want a solid smart TV platform
Tizen may not be the perfect smart TV platform, but it does provide plenty of customization options for users.

Don't buy it if...

You want the best value mini-LED TV
Mini-LED rivals such as the Hisense U7N and TCL QM815G provide a similar list of features as the QN85D for less money.

You need good viewing angles
While the QN85D's viewing angles aren't bad, they are limited compared to more premium sets, revealing fading contrast and backlight blooming.

You need great built-in sound
The QN85D's has decent bass, but unfortunately suffers from a limited soundstage and lacking virtual surround sound placement.

Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Samsung QN85DHisense U7NTCL QM815GSamsung Q80D
Price (65-inch) $1,999 / £2,399 / AU$2,999 $999 / £1,599 / AU$2,299$1,999.99$1,599 / £1,799 (around AU$2,400)
Screen typeQLED with mini-LEDQLED with mini-LEDQLED with mini-LEDQLED
Refresh rate120Hz120Hz (up to 144Hz)120Hz (up to 144Hz)120Hz
HDR supportHDR10+/HDR10/HLGDolby Vision/HDR10+/HDR10/HLGDolby Vision/HDR10+/HDR10/HLGHDR10+/HDR10/HLG
Smart TVTizenGoogle TV (US) / VIDAA (UK)Google TVTizen
HDMI ports4x HDMI 2.14 (2x HDMI 2.1)4 (2x HDMI 2.1)4x HDMI 2.1

Hisense U7N
The Hisense U7N carries many similar features for gaming and performance to the QN85D for cheaper (especially in the US). It may also not be perfect, but it performs well for the money as we found in our Hisense U7N review.


Offering a significant brightness upgrade and a mostly similar list of gaming features, the TCL QM851G rivals the Samsung QN85D at larger screen sizes. Overall, when performance and features are weighed up, the QM851G demonstrates better value.  Here's our full TCL QM851G review.


Samsung Q80D
Although it is a step down in screen tech with only a QLED panel, the Q80D is a very good TV offering excellent gaming features and top-notch performance and picture quality. The QN85D has mini-LED tech for better local dimming, but the Q80D is one to consider if you want to save money. Here's our full Samsung Q80D review.

Samsung QN85D with Calman and testing equipment connected

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Samsung QN85D

  • Measurements taken using Portrait Displays' Calman software
  • Tested using variety of SDR ad HDR sources
  • Tested in varying lighting conditions

My testing of the Samsung QN85D was split into two parts: subjective, using reference scenes to analyze picture and sound quality, and objective, using specialized equipment to take measurements. 

After some casual viewing to establish the most accurate picture modes, in this case Filmmaker Mode, I then viewed broadcast TV in both SD and HD quality, and 4K Blu-rays and streaming services, analyzing the QN85D's picture for contrast, color, brightness, black levels, textures and details, and upscaling. 

I used a Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Blu-ray player for 4K Blu-ray playback, Disney Plus and Prime Video for streaming, and an Xbox Series X to test gaming performance and features.

After completing subjective viewing, I then moved on to objective testing, which involved taking measurements using specialized equipment including a test pattern generator, and colorimeter, and recording those measurements with  Portrait Displays' Calman calibration software. 

The measurements taken were for both SDR and HDR brightness measured in nits on white window patterns covering from 1-100% of the screen, UHDA-P3 and BT.2020 color gamut coverage, and SDR color and grayscale accuracy.

Input lag was measured at 4K/60Hz using a Leo Bodnar 4K HDMI Input Lag tester.  

James Davidson
TV Hardware Staff Writer, Home Entertainment

 James is the TV Hardware Staff Writer at TechRadar. Before joining the team, he worked at a major UK based AV retailer selling TV and audio equipment, where he was either telling customers the difference between OLED and QLED or being wowed by watching a PS5 run on the LG 65G2. When not writing about the latest TV tech, James can be found gaming, reading, watching rugby or coming up with another idea for a novel.