The Samsung Q70R is a great 4k QLED TV with impressive picture quality. It can deliver deep uniform blacks in a dark room thanks to the high native contrast ratio and decent local dimming support. It can get bright enough in SDR to fight glare in a bright room, and it has a wide color gamut and great HDR peak brightness that allow it to display HDR content with vivid colors and highlights that pop. The TV has poor viewing angles, as expected for a VA panel. It has excellent motion handling, and the image looks crisp thanks to the very fast response time. The Q70R is very responsive thanks to the very low input lag, and it supports FreeSync for nearly tear-free gaming.
The Samsung Q70R is a lower high-end TV, just below last year's popular Q8FN. In Samsung's 2019 lineup, it sits between the Q80R and the Q60R. We expect the Q70R's chief competitors this year to be the Sony X950G, the LG SM9000, and the Vizio P Series Quantum 2019.
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 is 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 Q7FN, the Q70R does not come with the One Connect Box. The build quality is excellent, and you should have no issues with the TV.
The picture quality is great. It has a very high native contrast ratio and decent local dimming support that produce deep and uniform blacks that look good in the dark. The TV can get bright enough in SDR, suitable for a bright room. It has a wide color gamut and great HDR peak brightness that allow it to deliver HDR content with vivid colors and highlights that pop. Unfortunately, it has poor viewing angles, and the image loses accuracy when viewed from the side. The gray uniformity is decent, and the gradient handling is good. In general, the Q70R picture quality resembles a cut-down version of last year's great Q8FN.
The Q70R has an excellent contrast ratio that allows it to display deep blacks in a dark room. The native contrast ratio is among the highest ones that we've measured so far on LED TVs.
Unfortunately, just like the Q90R, the TV's local dimming can't be completely disabled using the normal settings menu. In order to measure the native contrast ratio, we had to disable PC Mode Dimming in the TV's service menu, and then activate PC Mode.
Compared to last year's Q8FN, the Q70R dims small things a little more but has smoother transitions when objects move from one zone to the next. When viewing dark scenes like a space image, both TVs handle details very similarly and small details can be crushed.
When an object moves fast across the screen, the slower dimming transitions of the Q70R can't keep up, and thus the blacks appear more like gray as the zones stay lit. In our video with the circles, you can see that when one circle vanishes and the next one appears, the zones underneath the old circle remain on for a split second.
Just like with all Samsung TVs that have local dimming, when subtitles appear you might notice distracting brightness changes in the scene.
Unfortunately, you can't disable local dimming through the regular TV menus.
We ran our local dimming tests with Local Dimming set to 'High.'
The local dimming of the Q70R 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, too, 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.
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 image is slightly darker at the edges and at the corners of the screen. Also, some dirty screen effect is evident at the center of the screen and this might disappoint some sports fans.
In much darker scenes, the uniformity is much better, but not as good as the Q90R.
The viewing angles of the Q70R are disappointing, as expected for a VA panel TV. The performance is just as poor as last year's 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 are watching from the side, the image you see is very inaccurate. This TV is not 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 Q70R has excellent black uniformity. There is 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 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 last year's Q8FN this performance is not 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 accuracy of the Q70 with our pre-calibration settings is very good. The whites are fairly accurate, and most people won't notice any inaccuracies, but the colors are a little off, and some people might notice the errors in the blues and the reds. Overall, the gamma follows the curve well, but some average brightness scenes might look a little darker. The color temperature is very close to the target of 6500K.
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 is hard to notice.
You can see our recommended settings here.
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 last year's 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 is hard to notice. If banding is bothering you, set Digital Clean View to 'Auto,' and it will 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 excellent motion handling. The response time is very fast, which results in only a small blur trail behind fast-moving content. At the same time, the lack of motion blur creates a little stutter with low frame rate content. The TV uses PWM to dim its backlight at a frequency of 960Hz, so it is unlikely that most people will notice it. It has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to make the image crisper and supports motion interpolation up to 120fps. The Q70R can remove judder from any source and supports the FreeSync variable refresh rate technology for nearly tear-free gaming.
The Q70R has an excellent response time, just slightly slower than the Q90R, and very similar to the Q8FN. There is 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 is unlikely that you will notice it since the flicker frequency is very high at 960 Hz.
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 are in 'Game' mode, the flicker frequency is always 120Hz. If you wish 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 must 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.
The TV has a native refresh rate of 120Hz. Just like all premium Samsung TVs since 2018, it supports the FreeSync variable refresh rate technology and can offer you a tear-free gaming experience provided you have a compatible AMD card or an Xbox One. The VRR range is the same at 1080p and 1440p, and it is excellent. At 4k however, the range is narrower, as the TV only supports up to 4k @ 60Hz.
Unfortunately, the Q70R's FreeSync implementation is not currently compatible with NVIDIA's current Adaptive Sync drivers, as they only work over DisplayPort at the moment, and the TV lacks such a port.
We tested the TV on 'Game' mode, and we used FreeSync set to 'Ultimate' to obtain the widest possible range.
Note: The 49" model does not support FreeSync and has a 60Hz panel.
The Samsung Q70R has a remarkably low input lag in most modes. It supports the majority of the most common resolutions and refresh rates, and can display proper chroma 4:4:4. It has a good selection of inputs but doesn't support eARC or DTS passthrough.
Excellent low input lag. The input lag is very similar to the input lag of both the Q90R and the Q60R. The TV reacts almost immediately to your actions, which is great if you're a gamer. To get the lowest input lag, you need to set the TV to 'Game Mode.' However, when in 'PC Mode,' input lag is low without the need to set the TV to 'Game' mode. To display proper chroma 4:4:4 you must set the TV to 'PC mode.'
Note: When the TV was set to 'PC mode' or 'Game Mode' and we sent a 120Hz signal, the TV skipped every second frame. So in order to measure the input lag of a proper 120Hz video, we set the TV to 'Movie' mode. However, when a true VRR 120Hz signal was sent in fullscreen exclusive mode, there was no frame skipping and the video displayed properly, so we measured the VRR input lag using 'Game Mode' as normal.
In 'Game Mode,' you can enable motion interpolation through the Game Motion Plus menu. The input lag is 39.3ms when you interpolate to 60fps and 45.7ms for 120fps.
To find out more about what settings to use to obtain those numbers, and about the Auto Low Latency Mode, see our recommended settings for Gaming.
The TV supports most common resolutions. To display proper chroma 4:4:4, you must set the TV to 'PC Mode.' Unfortunately, the TV skips frames when sent 120Hz in 'PC Mode' or 'Game Mode', so you cannot simultaneously have proper 120Hz and proper 4:4:4.
Update 05/10/2019: 1440p @ 120Hz does not show proper 4:4:4, even in PC mode.
Just like the Q90R and 2018 Samsung TVs, the Q70R does not support DTS passthrough, nor does it support eARC. It likely does support lossy Atmos passthrough from Dolby Digital Plus sources, like the native Netflix app, because there is an Atmos option in its settings.
The Samsung Q70R has decent sound quality. It can get reasonably loud but not loud enough for noisy environments. Its bass provides a decent amount of punch, but it can't produce any rumble or thump. The TV can deliver clear dialog. For a better sound, it is recommended to add dedicated speakers or a soundbar.
The frequency response is decent. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at about 71Hz, which is okay. This means that the TV will have a decent punch to its bass, but won't produce any rumble or thump. The response above the TV's LFE is well-balanced, resulting in clear and intelligible dialog. Finally, this TV gets reasonably loud, but may not be loud enough for large and noisy environments.
We tested the Q70R with the Adaptive Sound feature enabled, but left Adaptive Volume disabled, as it drastically limited the max volume. This feature could be useful if you find that commercials play at a higher volume than the content you are watching.
Mediocre distortion performance. The TV produces fairly low amounts of distortion. Like most TVs, THD rises with volume, but it doesn't reach a point where very distracting artifacts are audible, and this is good.
The Samsung Q70R has a great set of smart features. It runs Samsung's Smart Hub which is based on the Tizen OS. It is very smooth and very easy to navigate. Unfortunately, just like all other Samsung TVs we've tested, there are ads and suggested content which you can't opt out of. The Samsung app store offers you an abundance of apps that will certainly meet your needs. The included remote control is excellent and has a built-in microphone which gives you access to Bixby (Samsung's smart voice assistant). It can also be used as a universal remote for other devices, even if they do not support HDMI CEC, using Samsung's One Remote feature. Finally, the Samsung SmartThings remote app doesn't have any improvements since the last version.
The Q70R's interface is very simple and easy to use. It is much smoother than last year's Q8FN and has a polished, modern design.
There were no serious issues during our testing, but we encountered the same bug found on the Q90R and the Q60R. When you switch the input icon from PC to any other, the Fit-to-Screen setting doesn't always work. To fix this, you just have to navigate into picture size settings (without actually changing anything).
Unfortunately, just like all Samsung TVs we've tested so far, the Q70R has ads in a few places. Ads and suggested content appear in both in the app store and on Samsung's Smart Hub. Unfortunately, none of these can be disabled.
The Samsung app store has a very large number of apps and you will surely find what you are looking for. The apps on the Q70R run well, but are not always very smooth.
It has a built-in microphone for voice control. With voice control, you can access most of the TV's functions, including settings and launching apps. Unfortunately, Bixby, Samsung's voice assistant, can't perform functions within apps, like search Netflix for a specific movie. By default, Bixby listens to commands even when the TV is turned off. In order to disable this, you must get into Bixby's settings. However, you can only access Bixby settings by saying "Bixby Settings" to Bixby.
The remote can also act as a universal remote for other devices, even if they don't support HDMI CEC, using Samsung's One Remote feature. We tested the remote's IR capabilities and we were able to turn off our Sony receiver.
The remote app is very basic. The Samsung SmartThings app can connect to a lot of Samsung smart devices, but it has limited features when used with a TV, and unfortunately, there are times when it hangs.
The TV controls are located on the underside, right under the Samsung logo. The keypad has five buttons that serve as a D-pad and gives you access to just about anything. You can change channels and volume, and you can open the input list, the settings, or even the home menu.
Just like the Q90R, if you need to launch the Home menu while you are in an app, press and hold the center button. To close the Home menu, do the same; press and hold the center button.
We tested the 55" (QN55Q70RA) version, FA01/QRQ70. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65" version (QN65Q70RA), the 75" version (QN75Q70RA) and the 82" version (QN82Q70RA). Most of our results should also be valid for the 49" Q70R (QN49Q70R), but it has some differences that are noted in the table below.
Update 05/10/2019: BestBuy carries an exclusive variant of the Q70R, known as the Q7DR. The only difference appears to be the speakers, which increase from 40W to 60W, but we don't know for sure, as there is some conflicting information.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung Q70R doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
|Size||Model||Model Short||US||Canada||UK||Europe||Refresh rate||FreeSync|
The 55" Q70R we tested was manufactured in Feb. 2019.
The Sony X950G and the Samsung Q70R both have very similar performance. The Sony X950G has marginally better reflections, which is great if you have a room with many light sources. The Samsung Q70R, on the other hand, delivers deep and more uniform blacks in a dark room, thanks to the high contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity.
The Samsung Q80R is better than the Samsung Q70R. The Samsung Q80R can handle reflections slightly better and has a wider viewing angle thanks to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer. Its local dimming is better than the Q70R and significantly helps improve dark room performance. The Samsung Q70R, on the other hand, has a higher native contrast ratio and can deliver deeper and more uniform blacks, even though its local dimming is not as effective.
The Samsung Q70R is much better than the Samsung Q60R. The Q70R supports local dimming and has a better black uniformity that allows it to deliver a better dark room performance. The Q70R can get brighter, which is great if you have a bright room. Finally, the Samsung Q70R has slightly better reflections, and it is more suitable if your room has many light sources.
The Samsung Q8FN has very similar performance to the Samsung Q70R. The Samsung Q8FN has an antireflective filter that provides much better reflection handling in rooms with many light sources. The Samsung Q8FN has a marginally better color gamut and can get a little brighter. The Samsung Q70R has a little lower input lag which is important if you play a lot of video games.
The Samsung Q70R and the LG SK9500 have different panel types, each with its advantages and disadvantages. If you have a dark room, the Q70R is a better choice as it can deliver deeper and more uniform blacks that greatly improve dark room performance, thanks to its high contrast ratio. The Samsung Q70R supports FreeSync, which is great for gamers. The LG SK9500, on the other hand, has wider viewing angles and can handle reflections better, so it is more suitable for a room with a wide seating arrangement and many light sources.