Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Apr 14, 2021 at 09:46 am
Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED Picture
7.5
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.1
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.6
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
7.6
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
7.9
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
7.1
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Vizio OLED 2020
7.8
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Hisense H9G
8.2
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Samsung Q80/Q80T QLED
Current deal: The Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED has dropped in price on amazon.com. See all TVs deals
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung Q70/Q70A QLED is a good overall 4k TV. It improves upon its predecessor, the Samsung Q70/Q70T QLED, in a couple of ways, most notably its significantly faster response time, which delivers a smooth gaming experience. It also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) and has an incredibly low input lag. While it lacks local dimming, it has an exceptionally high native contrast ratio, so it produces deep blacks that look great in the dark. It gets bright enough to overcome glare in most lighting conditions, but it's best to avoid placing it in direct sunlight because it doesn't diffuse direct light very well. It's decent for HDR thanks to its wide color gamut, but it can't get bright enough to bring out the brightest highlights. Unfortunately, like most VA panels, it has narrow viewing angles, so the image looks washed out from the side.

Our Verdict

7.5 Mixed Usage

The Samsung Q70 is good for mixed usage. Thanks to its high contrast ratio, it's good for watching movies or gaming in the dark, but it's also suited to well-lit rooms, as it gets bright enough to overcome glare. Its fast response time delivers smooth motion in content like sports and video games, and its low input lag makes it feel response when gaming or connected to a PC. HDR looks decent, but it doesn't get bright enough to bring out the brightest highlights.

Pros
  • Exceptionally high contrast ratio.
  • Bright enough to overcome glare.
  • Impressive response time delivers smooth motion.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Image loses accuracy as you move off-center.
7.1 Movies

The Samsung Q70 is decent for watching movies. While it doesn't have a local dimming feature, its native contrast is high enough to produce deep blacks that are ideal for watching movies in a dark room. It also removes 24p judder automatically and has no issues upscaling DVDs or Blu-rays. That said, its fast response time can cause low frame rate content to stutter.

Pros
  • Exceptionally high contrast ratio.
  • Removes judder from all sources.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • May stutter with low frame rate content.
7.6 TV Shows

The Samsung Q70 is good for TV shows. It gets bright enough to overcome glare in most rooms, despite only having decent reflection handling. Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, so you lose image accuracy from the side. That said, it has no issues upscaling cable TV and Tizen OS gives you access to most popular streaming apps.

Pros
  • Bright enough to overcome glare.
  • Apps and interface run smoothly.
Cons
  • Image loses accuracy as you move off-center.
7.6 Sports

The Samsung Q70 is good for watching sports. It has an impressive response time, so motion looks smooth in fast-moving content. It gets bright enough to overcome glare in most rooms, too. That said, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not ideal if you want to watch the game with a big group. You may also notice some dirty screen effect, which can be distracting during sports.

Pros
  • Bright enough to overcome glare.
  • Impressive response time delivers smooth motion.
Cons
  • Image loses accuracy as you move off-center.
7.9 Video Games

The Samsung Q70 is very good for playing video games. Its impressive response time delivers a clear image with minimal motion blur, and it has an incredibly low input lag. It also supports FreeSync to reduce screen tearing. It can do 4k @ 120Hz without issues, but some people may be disappointed that there's only one HDMI 2.1 port.

Pros
  • Supports FreeSync VRR.
  • Impressive response time delivers smooth motion.
Cons
  • Only one HDMI 2.1 port.
7.1 HDR Movies

The Samsung Q70 is decent for watching movies in HDR. It's helped by its exceptionally high contrast ratio, although it lacks local dimming. It also has a wide color gamut for HDR. However, its HDR brightness is a bit lacking, so the brightest highlights don't quite pop as they should.

Pros
  • Exceptionally high contrast ratio.
  • Removes judder from all sources.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Not quite bright enough to make highlights pop.
7.8 HDR Gaming

The Samsung Q70 is good for HDR gaming, mostly due to its gaming performance. The fast response time, low input lag, and VRR support deliver a smooth and a responsive gaming experience. However, its HDR brightness in 'Game Mode' is only okay, so the brightest highlights may not pop as they should. On the upside, it supports all common resolutions for advanced consoles.

Pros
  • Exceptionally high contrast ratio.
  • Supports FreeSync VRR.
  • Impressive response time delivers smooth motion.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Not quite bright enough to make highlights pop.
8.2 PC Monitor

The Samsung Q70 is great for use as a PC monitor. It can display proper chroma 4:4:4 for all resolutions except 1440p, which is important for text clarity. It also has an incredibly low input lag and fast response time. However, its narrow viewing angles can make the edges of the screen look washed out if you're sitting up close.

Pros
  • Displays proper chroma 4:4:4 in most resolutions.
  • Supports FreeSync VRR.
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • Image looks washed out at the edges when sitting close.
  • Chroma 4:4:4 doesn't work in 1440p.
  • 7.5 Mixed Usage
  • 7.1 Movies
  • 7.6 TV Shows
  • 7.6 Sports
  • 7.9 Video Games
  • 7.1 HDR Movies
  • 7.8 HDR Gaming
  • 8.2 PC Monitor

Video

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Samsung Q70 is the mid-range model in Samsung’s 2021 4k QLED lineup, sitting above the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED and below the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED, as well as higher-end Neo QLEDs like the Samsung QN85A QLED and the Samsung QN90A QLED. It competes with models like the Sony X85J, the 2021 LG NANO80, and the Vizio P Series Quantum 2020.

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

Samsung’s 2021 QLEDs are all very thin and sleek-looking, and this one is no exception. It’ll look great in any living room. The stand is a new design for Samsung that's different than the Samsung Q60/Q60A QLED and the Samsung Q80/Q80A QLED. It's center-mounted, so it can also fit on smaller tables.

Design
Stand

The stand looks a little cheap, but it supports the TV well for the most part, and it's center-mounted, so you can place it on a smaller table if you like.

Footprint of the stand: 11.9" x 9.8"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

There are tracks along the back of the TV and the stand for cable management. The back is plastic with fine horizontal etchings to give it a brushed aluminum look.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.47" (1.2 cm)
Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.10" (2.8 cm)

The TV is very thin. It should sit flush against the wall when wall-mounted, and the inputs are side-facing for easy access.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

It feels well-built overall, despite some wobble due to the thin profile and narrow stand. There’s a bit of a gap around the border. Our unit arrived with some slight damage, as the bottom-left part of the border pops out a bit in a way it shouldn't, making it feel less solidly put together. This is just a defect with our unit alone, though, so it doesn't affect scoring and shouldn't be present on other units. The stand feels somewhat cheap, but it has a plastic cover that slides in to cover the two feet.

Picture Quality
9.4
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
7398 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The Samsung Q70 has a fantastic contrast ratio, but this can vary a little between units. It’s among the highest native contrast ratios we’ve tested on an LED TV, which is a good thing considering it doesn’t have a local dimming feature.

8.5
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
544 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
557 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
565 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
564 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
564 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
564 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
556 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
564 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
563 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
563 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
562 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.001

It gets very bright overall. It’s not as bright as the brightest LED TVs, like the Samsung QN90A QLED, but it’s better than average, so it’s able to overcome glare in most lighting conditions.

We measured SDR brightness after calibration, using the ‘Movie’ Picture Mode, with Brightness set to max, and Color Tone set to ‘Warm2’.

To get an ever brighter image, you can try setting the Picture Mode to ‘Dynamic’, Contrast Enhancer to ‘High’, Color Tone to ‘Standard’ and have Brightness and Contrast at max. We hit 631 nits using those settings, although you may lose image accuracy.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

This TV doesn't have local dimming. The video above is provided for reference only. If you want a similar TV with a full-array local dimming feature, check out the Sony X90J.

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

The video is provided for reference only.

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
552 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
539 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
551 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
553 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
553 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
553 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
538 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
549 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
552 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
551 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
551 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.019

The Samsung Q70 has decent HDR brightness. It’s quite consistent across various scenes, and the overall brightness of scenes is as it should be, as you can see the EOTF follows the line closely. However, the brightest highlights may be lost.

We measured HDR brightness before calibration, using the ‘Movie HDR’ Picture Mode, with Brightness and Contrast set to max, Color Tone set to ‘Warm2’, and all additional picture processing settings disabled.

If you find HDR too dim, you can make it brighter by setting Contrast Enhancer to ‘High’ and ST.2084 to max. These settings result in this EOTF.

6.9
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
560 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
257 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
587 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
585 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
584 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
584 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
252 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
584 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
582 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
582 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
582 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.053

With Game Mode enabled, HDR peaks slightly brighter than with Game Mode disabled. The overall brightness of scenes is slightly below the target brightness, though. However, we didn’t notice a difference with actual content. Scenes with small highlights are dimmed because of the frame dimming.

6.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.372 %
50% DSE
0.195 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.163 %
5% DSE
0.133 %

Gray uniformity is okay, although this can vary between units. The edges and corners of the screen are noticeably darker, although it should be less noticeable with actual content. The uniformity is a bit better in near-dark scenes, but you may still notice some slight clouding or unevenness, depending on the content.

8.5
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.771 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The Samsung Q70 has excellent black uniformity, but this may vary. There’s very little noticeable clouding throughout, and blooming around bright objects is fairly minimal. While it's quite uniform, the entire screen has more of a blue-ish hue in the photo.

5.5
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
28 °
Color Shift
34 °
Brightness Loss
33 °
Black Level Raise
17 °
Gamma Shift
17 °

The Samsung Q70 has narrow viewing angles, despite being advertised by Samsung as having a wide viewing angle. The image quickly starts to look washed out as you move off-center.

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

The Samsung Q70 has decent reflection handling. It does well with ambient light, but we don't recommend setting it directly opposite a window or light source because it's not as good at diffusing direct light.

8.6
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
1.89
Color dE
1.92
Gamma
2.01
Color Temperature
6438 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

The Samsung Q70 has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy. Most colors and white balance are quite accurate, but gamma doesn't really follow the target. Most scenes, and very bright scenes especially, are over brightened. The color temperature, however, is very close to the target.

9.4
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.53
Color dE
1.07
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6508 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes

After calibration, the accuracy is incredible. Remaining inaccuracies shouldn't be noticeable to the naked eye. Gamma and color temperature are almost perfect.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

DVDs and other 480p content are upscaled without issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content looks fine with no upscaling issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content looks good.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

The Samsung Q70 displays native 4k content perfectly.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The Samsung Q70 can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels

The Samsung Q70 uses a BGR subpixel layout. It doesn't affect image quality, but it can affect text clarity when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can read more about that here.

7.9
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
86.46 %
DCI P3 uv
92.87 %
Rec 2020 xy
63.34 %
Rec 2020 uv
71.50 %

The Samsung Q70 has a very good color gamut. It's wide enough for HDR content, with excellent coverage of the common DCI P3 color space and fair coverage of the wider Rec. 2020.

6.9
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
78.5 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
38.3 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
59.2 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
28.9 %

Color volume is okay. It handles dark, saturated colors pretty well thanks to its high contrast ratio, but it struggles with bright blues like most LED TVs.

7.1
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.113 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.135 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.105 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.235 dE

The Samsung Q70 has decent gradient performance, although it's worse than the Samsung Q70/Q70T QLED. There's visible banding in the grays and greens, although it should be a little less noticeable in real content. If you notice banding, you can enable Noise Reduction to help smooth out gradients, though you may lose 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 %

The Samsung Q70 shows no signs of temporary image retention, but this can vary between 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 immune.

Motion
8.4
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.5 ms
100% Response Time
9.5 ms

The TV has an impressive response time, though there's a bit of overshoot in the 0-20% transition, meaning there may be some smearing in dark scenes.

9.9
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
960 Hz

The Samsung Q70 uses Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) to dim its backlight, which some people may be sensitive to. That said, in 'Movie' mode, it flickers at such a high frequency that it shouldn't be noticeable. In the 'Dynamic', 'Standard', 'Natural', and 'Filmmaker' Picture Modes, or with Picture Clarity or Game Mode enabled, the flicker drops down to 120Hz.

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
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

This TV has an optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature, also known as backlight strobing, that can help reduce motion blur. To enable it to flicker the backlight at 60Hz, turn on LED Clear Motion in the Picture Clarity settings menu, or in the Game Motion Plus menu when Game Mode is enabled. For 120Hz, enable Picture Clarity settings but leave the Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction sliders at '0'. In Game Mode it always flickers at 120Hz, so no additional settings are needed. Note that the BFI score is based on how many frequencies the feature can flicker at, and not how well it performs.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

The Samsung Q70 can interpolate motion up to 120 fps. This is also called the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It doesn't look particularly good on this TV, resulting in a lot of duplications and artifacts, especially during busy scenes. To enable it, set Picture Clarity to 'Custom' and set Blur Reduction to '10' for 60 fps content and higher or Judder Reduction to '10' for 30 fps content.

6.7
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
32.2 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
7.1 ms

Due to the TV's quick response time, low frame rate content may appear to stutter because each frame is held on longer. If you notice stuttering, you can try enabling motion interpolation.

10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The TV removes 24p judder from any source without having to enable additional settings.

9.4
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Unknown