The Samsung Q70R is an impressive 4k TV from the brand's 2019 QLED lineup. It's a TV with a VA panel that boasts outstanding contrast ratio, excellent black uniformity, and an impressive peak brightness, making this TV perfect for both bright and dark rooms. It also sports full-array local dimming and wide color gamut, which helps to produce saturated, vivid colors, and bring out highlights in HDR content. Its motion handling is superb as well, with a native refresh rate of 120Hz and low response time, not to mention the optional black frame insertion feature to further reduce blur. Additionally, it supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology for a nearly tear-free gaming experience.
The Samsung Q70R is a great TV for mixed usage. It can deliver an excellent picture quality, with saturated colors and exceptional motion handling. The wide color gamut and good peak brightness make highlights in HDR content pop, and the low input lag and FreeSync support are sure to please most gamers. Viewing angles do suffer a bit, but that's to be expected with VA panels. It performs well in both dark and bright rooms, as the TV is capable of displaying deep, uniform blacks, and has very good reflection handling. Overall, it's a great TV for any use.
The TV delivers an excellent movie watching experience. It can display deep uniform blacks thanks to its high contrast ratio and local dimming support. It can remove 24p judder from any source, and although it has a fast response time you won't notice much stutter. It has the ability to apply motion interpolation up to 120Hz that'll please the soap opera effect fans.
This a very good TV to watch TV shows. The Q70R can handle reflections well and can get fairly bright. This makes it suitable for a bright room. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor and you must sit straight in front to enjoy the most accurate image. It upscales cable content well and has great smart features to help you find your favorite streaming channel.
The Samsung Q70 is a good TV if you enjoy watching sports. It has a very fast response time and the image is crisp with only a very small blur trail behind fast-moving objects. It can get fairly bright, good for a bright room. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor and it isn't a good choice if you wish to watch the big game with a group of friends, as those sitting on the side won't have the same accurate image as those sitting straight in front.
The Samsung Q70 is excellent for video games. The low response time and high refresh rate keep the image clear, with as little blur as possible, while gaming-specific features like FreeSync provides a nearly tear-free gaming experience. The TV also has an Auto Game Mode, which can detect a game being launched from a compatible console, and will automatically switch into gaming mode for a lower input latency.
The Q70R is excellent for HDR movies. Due to the TV's ability to display a wide color gamut, and having an impressive peak brightness and contrast ratio, HDR content looks much more dramatic, with vivid, saturated colors and highlights. Sadly, although this TV supports HDR 10, HDR 10+, and HLG, it doesn't have support for Dolby Vision.
The Samsung Q70 is an excellent TV for HDR games. It has a very low input lag in HDR mode and it's very responsive. It has a fast response time that displays fast-moving content with minimal blur trail. The TV is excellent at delivering HDR content thanks to the deep uniform blacks, the wide color gamut, and the great HDR peak brightness that makes highlights pop. Playing HDR games on the Q70R is a remarkable experience.
The Q70R is an excellent choice for use as a PC monitor. The TV has a very low input lag and can display proper chroma 4:4:4. As this TV uses a VA panel, there's also no risk of permanent burn-in with static user interface being always in the same spot. If your computer has an AMD graphics card, you can take advantage of FreeSync when gaming.
The Samsung Q70R has an excellent design, very similar to last year's Q8FN. It has the typical Samsung stand that supports the TV well but does require a larger table, as it's almost as wide as the TV. The back of the TV is made of good quality plastic and has horizontal ridges that run along the entire surface. Similar to older Samsung TVs, it includes guide tracks for cable management, and the back of each leg is hollow to allow for the cable to run down. Unlike last year's Samsung Q7FN, the Q70R doesn't come with a One Connect Box. The build quality is excellent, and you shouldn't have issues with the TV.
The stand supports the TV well and allows only minimal wobble. It's nearly as wide as the TV and you'll need a large table for it.
Footprint of the 55" stand: 38.3" x 9.6".
The back of the Q70 is made of high quality plastic with a brushed finish. It has a built-in cable management system that guides cables through the legs, keeping the setup clean. The inputs are faced sideways and are well-labeled, but they can be difficult to reach if the TV is wall-mounted.
The TV is fairly thin and shouldn't stick out when wall-mounted; however, it doesn't support no-gap wall mounts, such as the one for the Q90R.
The Q70R's build quality is excellent. It's mostly made of plastic but feels sturdy and solid. There's some flex where the back joins the edges, but this is very slight and you shouldn't have any issues with the TV.
The Samsung Q70 has one of the highest native contrast ratios that we've measured among LED TVs, which allows it to display deep blacks in a dark room setting.
Our contrast ratio tests were done with local dimming disabled, which can be done by disabling PC Mode Dimming first through the TV's service menu, and then activating PC Mode. Note that we did this only for our measurements, and don't normally recommend disabling local dimming on this TV.
The Q70R has a full-array local dimming, and the performance is decent. While the transitions from one zone to another are smoothly executed, the TV has a tendency to crush some smaller details and has difficulty keeping up when there are fast-moving objects. Subtitles also tend to trigger a change in brightness, which is somewhat distracting.
Unfortunately, the local dimming can't be completely disabled through the normal settings menu. To turn it off, we first disabled PC Mode Dimming within the TV's service menu, and then activated PC Mode.
All our local dimming tests were done with Local Dimming set to 'High'.
Update 08/02/2019: We've retested the Q70 with the latest firmware, and the SDR peak brightness has increased a bit. We've updated our measurements and scores.
The Q70R's local dimming behaves differently than last year's Samsung QLEDs, as explained in the Local Dimming box. This might be what causes the 25% window to be the brightest which is unusual. Also, in our real scene testing, the entire scene was dimmed except for the bright parts that were boosted. This might be due to the different local dimming behavior.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode and 'Warm 2' Color Tone, with Local Dimming set to 'High.' Different picture modes and color temperatures may be brighter.
Update 08/02/2019: We've retested the Q70R with the latest firmware, and the HDR peak brightness has increased a bit. We've updated our measurements and scores.
We measured the peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode and 'Warm 2' Color Tone, with Local Dimming set to 'High.' Different picture modes and color temperatures may be brighter.
The gray uniformity is decent. The corners are slightly darker, causing a 'vignetting' effect, and there's some dirty screen effect at the center of the screen, which might disappoint some sports fans. In darker scenes, the uniformity is much better, but not as good as the Q90R.
If you watch a lot of sports and you're worried about dirty screen effect, the Samsung Q70T, which is the successor of this TV, has much better gray uniformity.
The Q70R's viewing angles are disappointing, as expected for a VA panel TV. The performance is just as poor as last year's Samsung Q8FN. The image loses accuracy as soon as you move off-center, as gamma shifts and black levels rise. At slightly wider angles, the colors shift and start to wash out. If you're watching from the side, the image you see is very inaccurate. This TV isn't a good choice for rooms with a wide seating arrangement.
If you want a TV with wider viewing angles, check out an IPS TV like the LG SK9500.
We took our color measurements after calibration, using the 'Movie' Picture Mode and Local Dimming set to 'Low.' In order to take our lightness measurements, we disabled PC Mode Dimming in the TV's service menu, and then activated PC Mode.
The Samsung Q70 has excellent black uniformity. There's no visible backlight bleed in the native black uniformity picture, and almost no blooming around the test cross in the black uniformity picture with local dimming. This performance is a significant improvement over last year's Q8FN.
Unfortunately, just like the Samsung Q90R, the TV's local dimming can't be completely disabled using the normal settings menu. In order to measure the native black uniformity, we had to disable PC Mode Dimming in the TV's service menu, and then activate PC Mode.
The Q70R has very good reflection handling. It has a semi-gloss screen finish that can diminish reflections. Unfortunately, when compared to the Q8FN, this performance isn't as good. In most rooms, there shouldn't be any issues, but if you have a room with lots of windows, the reflections on the screen might become bothersome.
The Q70's out-of-box color accuracy is very good. There are some inaccuracies in the reds and blues, but most people won't be able to notice it. White balance is fairly accurate and the color temperature is close to the 6500k target. The gamma does follow the curve for the most part, but some scenes may appear slightly darker.
10/31/2019: Unfortunately, it would appear that the Q70R isn't compatible with the Auto-Calibration Function.
After calibration, the accuracy is excellent. The White Balance dE is greatly diminished, and the color dE is so low that even enthusiasts will need a colorimeter to spot the remaining inaccuracies. The gamma continues to track the curve well, but some average brightness scenes continue to look slightly darker. Finally, the color temperature is a bit warmer than the target of 6500K, but it's hard to notice.
You can see our recommended settings here.
480p content, like DVDs, is handled well, with no obvious upscaling artifacts.
720p, like content from a cable box, is upscaled well on the Samsung Q70R. There's no obvious over-softening or upscaling artifacts.
1080p, like content from a Blu-ray player or a non-4k game console, looks good.
The 'Movie' EOTF follows the input stimulus very closely until it starts to roll off near the TV's peak brightness. In 'Game' mode, HDR scenes are a little darker as we can see here.
In the review of the Q9FN we observed that for lower brightness HDR infoframes (such as 1000 nits) the TV produces scenes which are brighter than intended. You can read more about it here. This is the 1000 nits infoframe for this TV where you can see that the image is slightly brighter.
Decent color volume on the Q70R, but worse than the Q8FN. Like most LED TVs, the Q70R can't produce very bright blues, but otherwise, it can produce bright and dark colors across most of its gamut.
Good overall gradient handling. Some fine banding is noticeable in all dark shades, but in person, it's hard to notice. If banding is bothering you, set Digital Clean View to 'Auto,' and it'll eliminate most of it but can cause a loss of some fine details in some scenes. If you set Digital Clean View to 'Low,' it won't do much.
There are no signs of temporary image retention, which is typical of VA panels.
We don't expect VA panels to experience burn-in, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Samsung Q70 has an excellent response time, just slightly slower than the Q90R, and very similar to the Q8FN. There's only a very small blur trail behind fast-moving objects. The 0-20% transition has some overshoot, which can cause some haloing in really dark scenes, but otherwise shouldn't be very noticeable.
The Q70R uses PWM dimming to dim the backlight. Although flicker is always present, it's unlikely that you'll notice it since the flicker frequency is very high at 960Hz.
When the TV is in 'Movie' mode and Auto Motion Plus is disabled, the TV has a flicker frequency of 960Hz. However, the flicker frequency changes to 120Hz as soon as you set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' or 'Auto,' even if you remain in 'Movie' mode. Also, in 'Standard' and in 'Game' modes the flicker is always at 120Hz, similar to the Q90R and the Q900R.
The TV has an excellent black frame insertion feature that can help make the image crisper by reducing the flicker frequency as low as 60Hz. Enabling Auto Motion Plus automatically changes the flicker to 120Hz, and setting LED Clear Motion to 'On' further reduces the flicker frequency to 60Hz.
When you're in 'Game' mode, the flicker frequency is always 120Hz. If you want to make the image even crisper then enable LED Clear Motion in Game Motion Plus, and this will change the flicker frequency to 60Hz.
The Samsung Q70R can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz. To enable motion interpolation, you have to enable Auto Motion Plus and adjust the available sliders.
See here for more information regarding the settings that control the Q70R's motion interpolation feature.
Note that, like many Samsung TVs, simply setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom' changes the backlight flicker to 120Hz.
The Q70R has a little stutter due to the very fast response time. This can be noticeable with 24p movies. If it bothers you, motion interpolation or BFI can help reduce the perceived stutter.
The Samsung Q70R can display 24p content without judder, regardless of the source.
See our recommended settings on how to remove judder here.