Reviewed on Oct 02, 2019

Samsung Q50/Q50R QLED TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
7.5
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
6.4
Movies
7.6
TV Shows
7.5
Sports
8.6
Video Games
6.6
HDR Movies
8.0
HDR Gaming
8.2
PC Monitor
Type : LED
Sub-Type
:
VA
Resolution : 4k

The Samsung Q50/Q50R QLED is a good 32 inch, 4k TV. It delivers decent overall picture quality, with deep blacks and a very good color gamut, but like most VA TVs, the image degrades when viewed at an angle. It has outstanding low input lag, great for gaming, but unfortunately, it doesn't support any advanced gaming features, like FreeSync.

Unfortunately, although it has a great response time, there are some noticeable motion artifacts with some content, and it can't get very bright in HDR.

Test Results
Design 8.5
Picture Quality 7.3
Motion 6.7
Inputs 9.7
Sound Quality 6.0
Smart Features 8.0
Pros
  • Deep blacks.
  • Impressive low input lag.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • Noticeable motion artifacts.

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Market Context

The Samsung Q50R is a bit of a strange model. Its closest competition is mainly 4k monitors, like the LG 27UK650-W, as there are no other 32" 4k TVs on the market. The closest TV competitors are the TCL 3 Series (S325 and S327) and the Samsung N5300, but these are vastly different models.

8.5

Design

Curved : No

The Q50R has a great design. It looks very similar to the higher-end, larger Samsung QLED TVs, like the Samsung Q60R, but it has a slightly thicker frame. The feet are placed at either end, but due to the small size of this TV it shouldn't be an issue. Like the Q60R, it has decent build quality but is mostly made of plastic. It has only basic cable management. 

Stand

The feet are set at either end of the TV, and don't prevent it from wobbling.

Footprint of the 32" stand: 25.5" x 6.1"

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

The back is plain, and has a slightly different texture than the other 2019 QLEDs we've tested. There is only basic cable management through a clip on the back legs.

Borders
Borders : 0.43" (1.1 cm)

The borders are relatively thick, given the small size of the TV, so they're a bit more noticeable.

Thickness
Max Thickness : 1.22" (3.1 cm)

This TV is very thin, and doesn't stick out much if wall-mounted.

Temperature
Maximum Temperature
:
119 °F (48 °C)
Average Temperature
:
105 °F (40 °C)

The Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA gets a bit warmer than most TVs, but we don't expect this to cause any issues.

6.5 Build Quality

The Samsung QN32Q50R has decent build quality. It looks very similar to the Q60R, and is almost entirely made of plastic. There are no obvious areas of concern in its construction.

7.3

Picture Quality

The Samsung Q50R delivers decent overall picture quality. It has an excellent contrast ratio, so blacks appear black in a dark room, but it has only decent black uniformity, and some clouding can be seen in dark scenes. The Q50R has decent SDR peak brightness and good reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be a significant issue in most rooms, but it can't get very bright with HDR content. It has a very good color gamut, almost as good as the Q60R, and very good gray uniformity. Unfortunately, like most VA TVs, the image degrades at an angle.

8.9 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
5428 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
N/A

Like most VA TVs, the Q50R has an excellent contrast ratio. This results in deep blacks, which is especially noticeable in a dark room.

0 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
Edge

The Q50 doesn't have a local dimming feature. The above video is provided for reference only.

7.3 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
296 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
136 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
314 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
312 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
311 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
310 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
135 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
312 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
311 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
310 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
310 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.057

Decent SDR peak brightness. Unfortunately, like most Samsung TVs that don't have a local dimming feature, dim scenes are dimmed by the TV's frame dimming feature (also known as CE dimming). This can be distracting with some content.

We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration, with the 'Movie' Picture Mode. The 'Dynamic' picture mode is slightly brighter.

5.8 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
290 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
120 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
306 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
305 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
305 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
305 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
119 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
305 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
305 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
305 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
305 cd/m²
HDR ABL
:
0.065

Disappointing HDR peak brightness. Small highlights in some scenes don't pop the way they should. Like with SDR content, the TV's frame (CE) dimming feature artificially dims some scenes, which may be distracting.

We measured the peak brightness with the default settings in the 'Movie' Picture Mode. 'Dynamic' is slightly brighter, but not noticeably.

7.9 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
3.199 %
50% DSE
:
0.155 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
0.939 %
5% DSE
:
0.088 %

The Q50R has very good gray uniformity. The sides of the screen are noticeably darker, but there is little dirty screen effect in the center, which is great for sports fans.

4.8 Viewing Angle
Color Washout
:
21 °
Color Shift
:
20 °
Brightness Loss
:
28 °
Black Level Raise
:
14 °
Gamma Shift
:
13 °

Like most VA TVs, the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Due to the small size of the TV, this effect is more noticeable, but it's better than the Hisense H8F.

6.7 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
1.531 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
N/A

The Q50R has decent black uniformity, slightly worse than the Q60R. This results in cloudy blacks in dark scenes, which can be distracting.

7.7 Reflections
Screen Finish
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
:
5.6 %
Indirect Reflections
:
0.6 %

Overall, the Samsung QN32Q50R has good reflection handling. Bright reflections aren't diffused much across the screen, so they might still be distracting in a bright room.

6.7 Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
:
4.36
Color dE
:
2.92
Gamma
:
2.09
Color Temperature
:
5971 K
Picture Mode
:
Movie
Color Temp Setting
:
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
:
2.2

Out of the box, the Samsung Q50R QLED has decent accuracy. Gamma doesn't follow the target, so most scenes are displayed a bit brighter than they should. There are some noticeable inaccuracies in shades of gray, but most people won't notice any issues with most colors.

9.5 Post Calibration
White Balance dE
:
0.31
Color dE
:
1.28
Gamma
:
2.20
Color Temperature
:
6553 K
White Balance Calibration
:
20 point
Color Calibration
:
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
:
Yes

After calibration, the Q50 has outstanding accuracy. There are no noticeable errors in colors or shades of gray, and gamma is nearly perfect.

See our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input

480p content looks great, and looks similar to the Q60R.

8.0 720p Input

720p content, including cable TV, is upscaled well, and looks great.

9.0 1080p Input

1080p content looks almost as good as native 4k content.

10 4k Input

4k content is displayed perfectly, with no noticeable pixel issues.

7.9 Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
Yes
DCI P3 xy
:
87.17 %
DCI P3 uv
:
93.74 %
Rec 2020 xy
:
64.58 %
Rec 2020 uv
:
72.50 %

The Q50R has a very good color gamut, similar to the Q60R, and it can display a wide color gamut, important for the latest HDR content.

Unfortunately, the TV doesn't track the target EOTF PQ curve, and all scenes in HDR are displayed darker than they should be. Unfortunately, 'Game' mode is even worse, as shown here.

If you find HDR content too dim, setting Contrast Enhancer to 'High' improves EOTF tracking significantly, as shown here.

6.1 Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
69.8 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
19.4 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
51.4 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
14.2 %

Decent color volume. Although it has a very good color gamut, colors aren't as bright as pure white, especially blues, which is common for LED TVs.

7.7 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
:
0.121 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
:
0.124 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
:
0.105 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
:
0.123 dE

The Q50R QLED has good overall gradient handling, very similar to the Q60R. Some significant banding can be seen in dark shades, though, which can be distracting. Setting Digital Clean View to 'Auto' improves gradient handling, but can cause a loss of fine details in some scenes.

10 Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
:
0.00 %

There are no signs of temporary image retention, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast, static test image for 10 minutes.

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
:
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Pixels
6.7

Motion

The Samsung Q50R has decent overall motion handling. It has a great response time, so there is only a short blur trail behind fast-moving objects. This TV has a few options to help improve the appearance of motion, including an optional motion interpolation feature and a black frame insertion feature. Unfortunately, like all 2019 Samsung TVs, the backlight flickers at a relatively low frequency, which causes some noticeable motion artifacts, and like the Samsung RU7100, it can't remove judder from any source. This TV has a limited 60Hz refresh rate, and it doesn't support any of the advanced gaming features found on high-end Samsung TVs, like FreeSync.

8.4 Response Time
80% Response Time
:
5.5 ms
100% Response Time
:
15.2 ms

The Q50R has a great response time overall, and there is very little blur behind fast-moving objects. There is noticeable overshoot in some scenes, though, which causes inverse ghosting in some scenes. This can be seen in the above photo as a white shape to the left of the logo.

6.0 Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
:
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
240 Hz

Like most Samsung TVs, the backlight of the Q50R flickers at all backlight settings below max. In movie mode, the backlight flickers at 240Hz, which most people won't notice. In game mode, or if Auto Motion Plus is enabled, the flicker frequency changes to 120Hz, which is more noticeable, and can cause noticeable duplications in motion.

9.1 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
:
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
:
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
:
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
:
120 Hz

The Q50R has an optional black frame insertion feature that can improve the appear of motion. Unfortunately, like the Q60R, the pulse timing isn't very good, causing some strange motion artifacts, including the strange duplications seen in the above photo.

See here for the setting that controls this TV's BFI feature.

7.0 Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
:
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
:
No

This TV can interpolate low frame rate content up to 60Hz.

See here for the setting that controls this TV's motion interpolation feature.

7.7 Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
:
26.5 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
:
1.5 ms

The slightly slower response time results in good overall stutter performance. Some stutter can still be seen in some content, though, especially slow, panning shots in movies.

0 24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
:
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
:
No

Like all 60Hz Samsung TVs we've tested, the Q50R can't remove judder from any source.

0 Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
:
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
:
No
4k VRR Maximum
:
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
:
N/A
1080p VRR Maximum
:
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
:
N/A
1440p VRR Maximum
:
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
:
N/A

The Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA has a 60Hz refresh rate, and it doesn't support any of the advanced gaming features found on the larger Samsung TVs.

9.7

Inputs

The Samsung Q50R has outstanding low input lag, resulting in a very responsive gaming experience, almost as good as most 60Hz monitors. It supports most of the common resolutions, but only at 60Hz. Like the other Samsung TVs we've tested, it supports HDR and HDR10+, but not Dolby Vision.

9.9 Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
:
10.6 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
75.7 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
10.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
:
10.6 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
:
13.1 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
10.5 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
60.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
:
59.9 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
:
N/A
1440p with VRR
:
N/A
4k with VRR
:
N/A
8k with VRR
:
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
:
Yes

The Samsung Q50R has outstanding low input lag, resulting in an extremely responsive gaming experience. In 'Game' mode, these results are almost as good as most 60Hz monitors.

This TV also supports auto low latency mode, so you don't have to worry about enabling game mode each time you launch a game on a supported device.

8.3 Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
No
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
No
4k @ 60 Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
:
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
:
No
8k @ 60 Hz
:
No

The Q50R supports most common resolutions, including 1440p, but only at 60Hz. It can display chroma 4:4:4 content properly in all modes, which is important for clear text when using the TV as a PC monitor.

Input Photos
Total Inputs
HDMI : 3
USB : 2
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 0
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 1 (shared)
Composite In : 1 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
HDR10+
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
:
No
HLG
:
Yes
3D
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
HDMI 2.1
:
No
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
USB 3.0
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Audio Passthrough
ARC
:
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
:
No

Like all recent Samsung TVs, the Q50 can't passthrough DTS audio over ARC.

6.0

Sound Quality

The Samsung Q50R has mediocre sound quality. The low-frequency extension (LFE) is very high, resulting in bass that lacks thump or rumble, and has very little punch. Dialog is clear for the most part, but lacks airiness. This TV can get loud enough for most environments. For better sound, a dedicated speaker system or soundbar is recommended.

5.8 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
126.99 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
5.34 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
5.18 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
7.11 dB
Max
:
91.4 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
:
5.09 dB

The Q50R has disappointing sound quality. The low-frequency extension (LFE) is high, resulting in bass that lacks thump or rumble and has very little punch. Most dialog is clear, but it lacks airiness due to the sudden drop in the treble range. This TV can get very loud, but produces significant pumping and compression at max volume.

6.6 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
:
0.356
Weighted THD @ Max
:
1.371
IMD @ 80
:
1.68 %
IMD @ Max
:
7.77 %

Decent distortion performance. Total harmonic distortion is decent at 80dB SPL, and it doesn't increase considerably at max volume.

8.0

Smart Features

Smart OS : Tizen
Version : 2019 with reduced features

The Samsung Q50R has great smart features. The interface is almost identical to Samsung's higher-end models, and is easy to use and fast. It has the same great smart remote as the higher-end models, but some buttons have been changed, as it lacks ambient mode. Unfortunately, there are ads in a few spots, and these can't be disabled.

8.0 Interface
Ease of Use
:
Easy
Smoothness
:
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
:
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
:
5 s
Advanced Options
:
Many

The interface is identical to other Samsung TVs we've tested this year. It's easy to use and fast, and the quick settings menu makes it easy to quickly change the most common settings.

0 Ad-Free
Ads
:
Yes
Opt-out
:
No
Suggested Content in Home
:
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
:
No

Unfortunately, there are ads in the app store and on the home menu bar, and they can't be disabled.

8.5 Apps and Features
App Selection
:
Many
App Smoothness
:
Average
Cast Capable
:
Yes
USB Drive Playback
:
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
:
Yes
HDR in Netflix
:
Yes
HDR in YouTube
:
Yes

Samsung's content store has a huge selection of apps, and almost all of the most common streaming services are available. This model doesn't support the Ambient mode found on other Samsung TVs.

8.5 Remote
Size
:
Small
Voice Control
:
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
:
Yes
Other Smart Features
:
Yes

The remote is very similar to the one found with the other 2019 Samsung QLEDs, but a few of the buttons have been changed, due to the removal of ambient mode on this TV.