Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Apr 12, 2021 at 09:26 am
Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED Picture
7.2
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
6.9
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.7
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.3
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.2
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
6.9
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.2
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.5
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Sony X800H
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED is a decent TV from Samsung's 2021 QLED lineup, replacing the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED. It has mostly the same features as its predecessor and performs similarly overall. There are some minor improvements when it comes to the color gamut and gradient handling, but its contrast ratio is noticeably worse than the Q60T. That said, it's still capable of displaying deep blacks, making it well-suited for dark room viewing. It has exceptionally low input lag, so gaming feels very responsive, but its refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology, and its response time is only okay. Lastly, it has no local dimming, and it doesn't get bright enough for a true cinematic HDR experience.

Our Verdict

7.2 Mixed Usage

The Samsung Q60A is a decent TV overall. It provides good visibility in bright rooms, which is great for watching TV shows or sports. However, it has pretty narrow viewing angles, so it's not the best for watching with a big group in a wide seating arrangement. It has incredibly low input lag for gaming and for use as a PC monitor, but its 60Hz refresh rate, somewhat slow response time, and lack of VRR support might disappoint some people. Unfortunately, while it has an excellent contrast ratio and a great color gamut, it doesn't have local dimming and doesn't get bright enough to deliver a true HDR experience.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Gets bright enough to combat glare in most lighting conditions.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
  • Some uniformity issues on our unit.
6.9 Movies

The Samsung Q60A is okay for watching movies. It displays native 4k content perfectly and upscales lower resolution movies without any issues. It removes judder from 24p sources and native apps, and it doesn't stutter much in low frame rate content. It has a high contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, making it well-suited for dark room viewing, but it lacks a local dimming feature to further improve the black level.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Doesn't stutter much in low frame rate content.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Some uniformity issues on our unit.
7.7 TV Shows

The Samsung Q60A is good for watching TV shows. It handles reflections decently well and gets pretty bright, making it a great choice for well-lit rooms. However, its narrow viewing angles cause the image to appear washed out when viewed from the side, which isn't ideal if you like walking around while watching. Its VA panel is immune to permanent burn-in, so you can safely leave it on the news all day.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Gets bright enough to combat glare in most lighting conditions.
  • Tons of apps from Samsung store.
Cons
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
  • Doesn't handle direct reflections well.
7.3 Sports

The Samsung Q60A is decent for watching sports. It handles reflections decently well and gets bright enough to combat glare. However, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not the best for watching with a big group of people. Unfortunately, the response time is just okay, so fast motion can look a bit blurry. There's some dirty screen effect that can be distracting, although this can vary between units.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Gets bright enough to combat glare in most lighting conditions.
Cons
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
  • Doesn't handle direct reflections well.
  • Some uniformity issues on our unit.
7.2 Video Games

The Samsung Q60A is decent for gaming. It has exceptionally low input lag, so gaming feels responsive, but it has a 60Hz refresh rate, and its response time is a bit slow, making fast motion appear blurry. Also, it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. On the bright side, its excellent contrast ratio makes it well-suited for gaming in the dark.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • No VRR support.
  • 60Hz refresh rate and no HDMI 2.1 support for new consoles.
  • No local dimming.
6.9 HDR Movies

The Samsung Q60A is okay for watching movies in HDR. It has an excellent contrast ratio and a great color gamut, but it lacks local dimming and doesn't get bright enough to make highlights stand out. On the upside, it can remove judder from 24p sources and native apps, and it doesn't stutter much in lower frame rate content like movies.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Doesn't stutter much in low frame rate content.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Not bright enough for a true cinematic HDR experience.
  • Some uniformity issues on our unit.
7.2 HDR Gaming

The Samsung Q60A is decent for gaming in HDR. It has low input lag, but the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz and the response time is only okay, so fast-moving scenes look a bit blurry. Additionally, it doesn't support VRR to reduce screen tearing. It has a high contrast ratio and great color gamut, but it doesn't have local dimming and only gets bright enough to bright out some highlights.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • No VRR support.
  • 60Hz refresh rate and no HDMI 2.1 support for new consoles.
  • No local dimming.
7.5 PC Monitor

The Samsung Q60A is good for use as a PC monitor. It has low input lag to provide a responsive desktop experience. It supports most common resolutions, except for 1440p, and it displays chroma 4:4:4 properly, which helps with text clarity. Visibility in bright rooms is good thanks to its decent reflection handling and great peak brightness, but the viewing angles are pretty narrow, so the image looks washed out at the sides if you sit up close.

Pros
  • Displays deep blacks.
  • Low input lag.
  • Gets bright enough to combat glare in most lighting conditions.
Cons
  • Doesn't support 1440p.
  • Sub-par viewing angles.
  • Doesn't handle direct reflections well.
  • 7.2 Mixed Usage
  • 6.9 Movies
  • 7.7 TV Shows
  • 7.3 Sports
  • 7.2 Video Games
  • 6.9 HDR Movies
  • 7.2 HDR Gaming
  • 7.5 PC Monitor

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED is the successor to the 2020 Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED. It's an entry-level TV that sits at the bottom of the 2021 QLED lineup, below the Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED. We expect its main competitors to be the Sony X80J and the LG NANO80 2021.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The Samsung Q60A has a simple and minimalist design that's similar to its predecessor, the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED. The most notable change is that it's much thinner, which means it doesn't stick out as much when wall-mounted. The feet are now height-adjustable so that you can raise the TV higher if you need room to fit in a soundbar.

Design
Stand

The feet are much flatter than those on the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED, so the TV sits lower. However, you can now adjust the height of the feet. It raises enough to fit in most soundbars or a flat gaming console like the Xbox Series S. You don't need to screw them in; they are just inserted into the TV.

Footprint of the 55 inch stand: 35.1" x 9.1".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

The back is plastic with a brushed horizontal texture. All the inputs are side-facing, except for HDMI 3 and the Digital Optical Audio Out port. For cable management, there are tracks to guide the cables towards the feet, where you can secure them with the included clips.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.57" (4.0 cm)

It's much thinner than the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED, which is great for wall-mounting.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is decent. Its all-plastic construction doesn't feel premium, but it's relatively sturdy overall and doesn't wobble much. There's a small gap between the border and the screen at the bottom left corner, but this could just be our unit, and it isn't bad enough to be a dealbreaker.

Picture Quality
8.6
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
4653 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

As is expected of most VA panels, the Samsung Q60A has an excellent contrast ratio, which means it can display deep blacks. However, it isn't as good as its predecessor, the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED, and it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve black level further. Note that contrast can vary between individual units.

8.1
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
436 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
448 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
455 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
455 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
455 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
454 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
446 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
453 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
453 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
453 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
453 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.001

Great SDR peak brightness. It's almost identical to the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED, but without any frame dimming in the 2% windows. It's very consistent across different content and bright enough to combat glare in well-lit environments.

We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with the Color Tone set to 'Warm 2', Gamma set to '2.2', Brightness set to max, and all other processing disabled.

If you want a brighter image and don't mind losing a bit of image accuracy, set the Picture Mode to 'Movie', Color Tone to 'Standard, and Contrast Enhancer to 'High'.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

There's no local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

There's no local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.

6.5
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
461 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
470 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
474 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
473 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
473 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
473 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
468 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
472 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
472 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
471 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
471 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.001

The HDR peak brightness is okay. Like in SDR, it maintains the brightness consistently across different content without any frame dimming in the 2% windows, like on the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED, but it isn't bright enough to deliver a true cinematic HDR experience. The EOTF follows the PQ curve almost perfectly until the roll-off. If you find HDR content too dim, set Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and ST.2084 to max. These settings result in a noticeably brighter image, as you can see in this EOTF plot.

We measured the HDR peak brightness in the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode with Contrast set to max, Brightness set to max, and all other processing disabled.

We managed to reach 511 cd/m² in the 10% windows using the 'Standard' Picture Mode with Contrast Enhancer set to 'High', but these settings result in a less accurate image.

6.4
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
468 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
214 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
489 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
488 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
487 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
487 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
211 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
488 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
487 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
487 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
486 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.054

The HDR peak brightness in Game Mode is almost the same as when it's out of Game Mode, except that there's frame dimming in the 2% windows, similar to the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED. This means small highlights in dark scenes don't pop as much. The EOTF doesn't follow the target curve very well; most scenes appear darker than they should. If you want a brighter image when gaming in HDR, set Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and ST.2084 to max.

We measured the HDR peak brightness in Game Mode, with Color Gamut set to 'Auto', Color Tone set to 'Warm 2', Backlight set to max, Contrast set to max, and all other processing disabled.

7.4
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.655 %
50% DSE
0.173 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.244 %
5% DSE
0.114 %

Gray uniformity is decent, although this can vary between individual units. The edges of the screen are noticeably darker on ours, and there's also some dirty screen effect in the center, which can be distracting when watching sports or wide panning shots. Uniformity is better in near-dark scenes, but it still looks blotchy, as most of the screen is a lighter shade of gray than at the center.

8.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.669 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Black uniformity is excellent. There's some clouding here and there, particularly on the right side of the screen, but thankfully, there's no backlight bleed. Note that black uniformity varies between individual units due to manufacturing tolerances.

5.7
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
25 °
Color Shift
27 °
Brightness Loss
33 °
Black Level Raise
24 °
Gamma Shift
24 °

The viewing angles are sub-par, which is expected of most VA panels. Images look washed out when viewed from the side, so it isn't ideal for wide seating areas. If you want something with wider viewing angles, then check out the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED.

7.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.2 %
Indirect Reflections
0.4 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
4.8 %

The reflection handling is decent. It should be fine for most lighting conditions, but it's best to avoid placing the TV opposite bright lights because it doesn't handle direct reflections all that well.

8.4
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
2.06
Color dE
1.67
Gamma
2.12
Color Temperature
7012 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The Samsung Q60A has impressive accuracy out of the box. Most color and white balance inaccuracies are hard to spot. The color temperature is much cooler than our 6500K target, resulting in a blueish tint. Gamma doesn't follow the sRGB curve well; most scenes appear darker than they should. Note that accuracy can vary between units.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.33
Color dE
0.75
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6732 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes

Accuracy is exceptional after calibration. White balance and gamma are nearly perfect, and the remaining color inaccuracies shouldn't be visible to the naked eye. The color temperature is closer to our target but still on the cooler side.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

There are no issues with the upscaling of 480p content such as DVDs.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

This TV upscales 720p content like cable TV well.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

This TV displays 1080p content well without any issues, nearly as good as native 4k.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

This TV displays native 4k content perfectly, with no visible artifacts.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The TV can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

This TV uses a BGR subpixel layout. It doesn't affect image quality, but it can cause blurry text in some applications when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can read more about it here.

8.1
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
90.42 %
DCI P3 uv
94.07 %
Rec 2020 xy
66.92 %
Rec 2020 uv
74.31 %

Great color gamut, an improvement over the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED. It has exceptional DCI P3 coverage, the color space used in most HDR content, but its coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 is just okay.

7.5
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
85.3 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
39.9 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
63.9 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
29.8 %

Good color volume. It mostly has difficulty displaying bright colors due to its limited HDR brightness.

7.8
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.121 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.125 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.106 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.111 dE

Gradient handling is good. There's a bit of banding in all colors, but it's most noticeable in the reds and greens. Setting Noise Reduction to 'Auto' helps a bit, though not by much.

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 image retention after displaying a high-contrast image for ten minutes. However, this can vary between individual units.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

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

Motion
6.5
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
7.2 ms
100% Response Time
17.3 ms

The response time is okay. It's on the slow side, so fast-moving scenes can look a bit blurry, and there's also a lot of overshoot in the 0-20% transition, resulting in some motion artifacts in dark scenes. That said, it's still better than the Samsung Q60/Q60T QLED. If you want a similar TV with better response times, check out the Samsung The Frame 2021.

7.9
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
480 Hz

This TV uses Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) to dim the backlight. It flickers at 480Hz in the 'Movie' Picture Mode, but it drops to 120Hz in the 'Dynamic', 'Standard', and 'Natural' modes. Enabling Picture Clarity also makes it flicker at 120Hz, and LED Clear Motion (BFI) drops the frequency further to 60Hz.

10
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker For 60 fps
60 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
Yes
120Hz For 120 fps
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

There's an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to improve motion clarity. It's backlight strobing, to be more precise, and it flickers at 60Hz when enabled. To use it, set LED Clear Motion to 'On'. Unfortunately, the timing is quite bad, which results in visible image duplication. Note that the BFI score is based on the flicker frequency, not the BFI's performance.

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

This TV can interpolate lower frame rate content to make motion appear smoother, otherwise known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. To use it, set Picture Clarity to 'Custom' and Judder Reduction to '10'. It looks okay in quiet scenes, but there are noticeable artifacts when there's a lot of movement, and it stops interpolating altogether if it gets too intense.

8.1
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
24.4 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
0.0 ms

Due to the slower response times, the Samsung Q60A doesn't stutter much in low frame rate content. If you notice stuttering and it bothers you, enabling motion interpolation can help.

7.8
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

This TV can remove judder from 24p content and native apps, but not from 60p/i sources. To remove judder, leave Picture Clarity off.

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