We've reviewed over 50 Samsung TVs in the last few years. Samsung TVs, generally speaking, are very versatile and can provide good to very good picture quality. As we're still waiting for the 2020 models to be released, the models mentioned are from 2019. Overall, they have been very similar to their predecessors 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 Samsung's flagship TV that comes packed with features and provides an outstanding picture quality. As with most of Samsung's high-end products, the build quality is excellent. It has a clean design that features the 'One Connect Box', which houses ports to connect your various devices, with only one single cable leading up to the TV. This allows for easy access to the ports, as well as allowing the TV to be wall-mounted with Samsung's no-gap mount.
As mentioned, the picture quality is simply superb, blacks are deep and uniform, and the full array local dimming performs remarkably well. Although it lacks support for Dolby Vision, content in HDR10 or HDR10+ looks amazing due to the high peak brightness and wide color gamut support. Viewing angles have also improved significantly, thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer; however, it sacrifices a bit on contrast ratio. If you plan on gaming, this TV has exceptional motion handling and low input lag, and even supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. When connected to a compatible gaming console, it can detect a game being launched and will automatically switch to low latency mode for the best gaming experience.
This TV runs on Samsung's Tizen OS, which is easy to use and responsive, but it does have ads and suggested content on the home screen. Overall, if you want a TV with all of Samsung's best features crammed into it, this is the one to get.
If you need a TV that has great gaming chops without the high price tag of the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED, then get the Samsung Q70/Q70R. Although it can't get as bright and its local dimming feature isn't as good, it has a significantly higher native contrast ratio and a much better black uniformity, which is great for those who like to game in a dark room. Motion handling is exceptional and input lag is outstandingly low, and it supports variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing. It also features Auto Low Latency mode, which will activate automatically when it detects a game being launched from a compatible gaming console. Unfortunately, its viewing angles aren't as good, as it doesn't have the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, which may be disappointing if you like co-op gaming with a large group of friends.
Overall, if you want the best features Samsung has to offer, the Q90R is still a better TV, but if you want to save some money and don't mind compromising on viewing angles and peak brightness, the Q70R is more than capable.
If you're looking for something more in the budget category, go with the Samsung RU7100. You won't get some of the high-end features such as local dimming or the wide viewing angles of the Samsung Q90/Q90R QLED, but this TV can still perform admirably for most uses. It has excellent contrast ratio and impressive black uniformity, making it a great choice for dark room viewing, but unfortunately, its peak brightness may not be high enough to overcome glare in a bright room. If you want to game on this TV, it has low response time and input lag, which will provide you a smooth and responsive gaming experience; however, it doesn't support advanced gaming features such as variable refresh rate. This TV also has an optional black frame insertion feature to further reduce the appearance of motion blur, and just like other Samsung TVs, it runs on Tizen OS, which is easy to use and has tons of apps available through the app store.
If you don't need the high-end features of the Q90R or you're on a strict budget, the RU7100 is a very decent choice.
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 2020, 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. If you're interested in Samsung products, check also our recommendations for the best Samsung headphones and the best Samsung soundbars.