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Samsung Q50/Q50R QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Oct 02, 2019 at 08:42 am
Samsung Q50/Q50R QLED Picture
6.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: none
6.2
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: none
7.2
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung N5300
7.2
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: none
7.8
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: none
6.0
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: none
7.1
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: none
7.4
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: none
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.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

Overall, the Samsung Q50R is a good TV for most uses. It's good for watching sports or TV shows in a bright room, as long as you don't like to move around. It has excellent gaming performance, with low input lag and a fast response time. Unfortunately, it isn't as good for watching movies in SDR or HDR in a dark room, as it has only decent black uniformity and no local dimming feature.

Pros
  • Deep blacks.
  • Impressive low input lag.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • Noticeable motion artifacts.
6.2 Movies

This is an adequate TV for watching movies in a dark room. It has an excellent contrast ratio, so blacks appear black in a dark room, but it has only decent black uniformity and lacks a local dimming feature, so some clouding can be seen in dark scenes. Unfortunately, it can't remove judder from any source.

7.2 TV Shows

The Q50R is a good TV for watching TV shows during the day. It has good reflection handling and decent peak brightness, so glare shouldn't be an issue in most rooms, but the image degrades at an angle, so it isn't great if you like to move around with the TV on. It has a huge selection of streaming apps, and almost all of the most popular streaming services are available.

7.2 Sports

The Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA is a good TV for watching sports during the day. It has good reflection handling and decent peak brightness in SDR, so glare shouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, and since it's only available in a 32" size, it isn't a great TV for watching the big game with a group of friends.

7.8 Video Games

This is an excellent TV for playing video games. It has outstanding low input lag, resulting in a very responsive gaming experience, and it has a great response time. Unfortunately, it doesn't support any advanced gaming features like FreeSync, and some motion artifacts can be seen, due to the backlight flicker.

6.0 HDR Movies

The Q50R is a decent TV for watching movies in HDR in a dark room. It has an excellent contrast ratio, resulting in deep blacks, but it has only decent black uniformity, and lacks a local dimming feature. It can display a wide color gamut, which is important for the latest HDR movies, but it can't get very bright, so small, bright highlights don't stand out.

7.1 HDR Gaming

The Samsung QN32Q50R is a great TV for HDR gaming, mainly due to its excellent gaming performance. It has outstanding low input lag, for a responsive gaming experience, and a great response time, so there is very little blur behind fast-moving objects. It has an excellent contrast ratio and can display a wide color gamut, but it can't get very bright in HDR, and doesn't have a local dimming feature.

7.4 PC Monitor

This is a great TV for use as a PC monitor. It has outstanding low latency and it supports most of the common resolutions, and can display chroma 4:4:4 properly in all of them, which is important for clear text. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle.

  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 6.2 Movies
  • 7.2 TV Shows
  • 7.2 Sports
  • 7.8 Video Games
  • 6.0 HDR Movies
  • 7.1 HDR Gaming
  • 7.4 PC Monitor
  1. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Update 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
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.

Design
8.5
Design
Style
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. 

Design
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"

Design
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.

Design
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.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.22" (3.1 cm)

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

6.5
Design
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.

Picture Quality
8.9
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

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

6.5
Picture Quality
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.

5.1
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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.

4.9
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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.

7.2
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.6 %
Indirect Reflections
0.6 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.1 %

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
Picture Quality
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.

9.4
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
480p Input

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

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

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

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

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

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

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

0
Picture Quality
8k Input
Picture Quality
Pixels
7.9
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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.

Motion
7.5
Motion
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
Motion
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
Motion
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.

Motion
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
Motion
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
Motion
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
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

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.

Inputs
9.1
Inputs
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
Inputs
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.