We've reviewed over 50 Samsung TVs in the last few years. Samsung TVs, overall, are very versatile TVs that can provide good to very good picture quality. The 2019 models overall have been very similar to previous TVs with very incremental changes. The biggest difference is the high-end models' ability to produce a very wide range of colors.
The best Samsung TV is the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED. This is an excellent 4k LED TV that delivers impressive picture quality. Blacks are deep and uniform when in a dark room due to the TV's high native contrast ratio, great local dimming support, and excellent black uniformity. This TV can get very bright and can easily fight the glare of any room. Thanks to the high HDR peak brightness and wide color gamut, it delivers HDR content full of saturated colors and highlights that pop. A new feature they've added is the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology that improves viewing angles at the expense of contrast ratio. This TV also has excellent motion handling and delivers crisp motion thanks to the very fast response time.
This TV, just like most high-end Samsung models, is outstanding for gamers. It has a very low input lag, supports FreeSync for tear-free gaming, has low input lag with motion interpolation, and supports an auto low latency mode so you don't have to manually switch to 'Game' mode each time you want to play a game.
Overall, this is an excellent but expensive TV that will cover all of your needs.
If you like the Samsung gaming goodies and want a TV that also performs well in a dark room but won't break the bank, then get the Samsung Q70/Q70R 2019, the best Samsung smart TV for gaming. It's a TV with impressive picture quality that can deliver deep blacks in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio and good local dimming support. It can get very bright both in SDR and in HDR, and thanks to the wide color gamut, it delivers HDR content with vivid colors. It has all the latest Samsung gaming goodies to attract gamers, like low input lag, FreeSync support, low input lag with motion interpolation, and auto low latency.
Overall, this is an impressive TV that, along with the excellent gaming performance, will also deliver great performance in most other uses, making it one of the best Samsung TVs.
The best budget Samsung TV is the Samsung RU7100. It has a very low input lag that makes it popular among gamers, but lacks the advanced gaming features of Samsung's higher-end models. The overall picture quality is decent and blacks look deep in a dark room despite the lack of a local dimming feature. It can't get very bright and doesn't have a wide color gamut, so it can't deliver HDR content as it should. The overall motion handling is mediocre. Some blur is visible when watching sports and the TV can't remove judder in movies, no matter the source. Finally, just like most VA panel TVs, the image degrades at an angle.
This is a good TV overall; it's very responsive which makes it attractive to gamers, but it also delivers a decent performance in most other uses.
Samsung TVs will usually have better input lag than Sony TVs, and will generally have a much more expressive and original design. Sony TVs, in comparison, will usually be built a bit better, with a mostly metal construction. They'll also have a lot more motion settings and no judder issues.
Samsung TVs will generally have a lot better picture quality than the average LG TV, with LG's expensive OLED TVs being an exception. They'll usually get a fair bit brighter. LG TVs will generally have a much wider viewing angle and also have much better smart features.
At every price range, Samsung TVs provide a performance suitable for most buyers. They generally perform very well. In 2019, competition is tightening up a bit more, so Samsung LED TVs don't seem to provide as much value as they previously did. Their performance remains comparable, though. If you'd like to compare specific TVs, take a look at our side by side comparison tool.
Samsung's lineup covers everything from budget to high-end models. As a rule of thumb, the higher the number, the better it is, although sometimes the improvements aren't worth it. The letter in their model number corresponds to the year:
Samsung also uses the prefix Q* to denote their high-end QLED models.
In the infancy of smart TVs, Samsung was the leader when it came to functionality and their smart features. This isn't to say that they were very good, as it took quite a few years for Smart TV platforms to mature into something comparable to external set-top boxes. Samsung's lead was quickly usurped by LG WebOS, which was launched in 2014 and remains one of the best today.
Samsung first responded in 2015 by updating their platform to Smart Hub, based on their Tizen operating system. This was a significant upgrade, but it still didn't match LG's consistently updated offering. They gave the platform a face-lift in 2017 as well, switching the color palette and updating their voice control capabilities.
In 2018, Samsung added their Bixby virtual assistant to Samsung's entire line of Q* and most N* models except the NU7100. The same was the case for the 2019 lineup as the RU7100 still lacked the feature. Bixby can integrate into Samsung's SmartThings smart home platform, allowing you to control compatible devices ranging from lights, outlets, door locks, and even your fridge.
The interface is very simple and easy to navigate. Everything is located along a toolbar that appears at the bottom of your screen. Downloaded apps are found here as well, and you can quickly access the different inputs and settings. The interface works well, and there are a lot of animations, but on lower-end TVs, these animations can be slow.
Unfortunately, Samsung's Smart Hub also shows ads on the home screen. It shows up in the same row as the installed Samsung Smart TV apps, and they cannot be disabled.
You can opt-out of personalized advertising in the settings, but that unfortunately just means that you'll see very repetitive ads instead of different ones.
The app selection is pretty extensive nowadays. All the popular video and music services are available and more. Fortunately, the search function is quite good and results come up very quickly. Like LG's WebOS and Android TV on Sony and Hisense TVs, Samsung TVs have an excellent selection of apps, and the vast majority of streaming services are available.
Voice Command was overhauled in 2017, and they are pretty good now. Other smart interfaces were updated in 2018 to search for content or apps, and also change settings, something Samsung has been able to do for two years. Even more in-depth stuff such as calibration settings are only a button press away, which is quite nice.
It's also possible to search within apps, but only a few apps are supported at this moment. It isn't possible to search within Netflix, for example, but it is possible to search YouTube.
The Samsung smart remote included with the high-end QLED series is excellent. It's very comfortable to hold and features craftsmanship unlike anything else currently on the market. The controls are simple and intuitive, and it's easy to pair with the TV and other devices.
You may notice that current Samsung TVs have done away with expansive controls such as advanced playback buttons and number keys (although the budget models like the RU7100, RU7300, and RU6900 are still packaged with a more 'ordinary' remote with many buttons and a full number pad). This is in line with their initiative from a few years ago, and other remotes such as the ones found with Roku TVs. This isn't a big deal nowadays, but people using the TV tuner might prefer ordering a cheap universal remote to easily access TV channels.
The Samsung Remote App is very limited. It has recently been updated to a universal app for all Samsung smart home products, called SmartThings. The app functions mainly as a replacement remote control. It can't stream files from your device to your TV, but some apps can stream video to your device. It can also be used for voice commands.
This is less common now than it was in previous years, but Samsung TVs often have issues with Wi-Fi connections. They will randomly stop functioning after leaving the TV off for a while and will require the connection to be set up again, which is quite annoying.
Samsung, in general, makes very good TVs. Their range has somewhat crept up in price over time, but most people should still find a TV that suits their needs within it. Their smart features aren't the best out there, but they are still quite good, too. They are usually quite versatile and fit most uses. As long as you don't plan to watch them from an angle, which is a common shortcoming they have, it's hard to find major issues with them.