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 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 stand supports the TV well and allows only minimal wobble. It is nearly as wide as the TV and you will need a large table for it.
Footprint of the 55" stand: 38.3" x 9.6".
The build quality of the Q70R is excellent. It is mostly made of plastic but feels sturdy and solid. There is some flex where the back joins the edges, but this is very slight and you should not have any 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 Samsung Q70 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.'
Update 08/02/2019: We have retested the Q70 with the latest firmware, and the SDR peak brightness has increased a bit. We've updated our measurements and scores.
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.
Update 08/02/2019: We have 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 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 Samsung Q70 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.
10/31/2019: Unfortunately, it would appear that the Q70R is not 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 is hard to notice.
You can see our recommended settings here.
720p, like content from a cable box, is upscaled well on the Samsung Q70R. There is no obvious over-softening or upscaling artifacts.
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 Samsung Q70 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 Q70 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.
Update 08/02/2019: We've retested the TV with the latest firmware, and the input lag has decreased slightly across the board. The TV is no longer skipping frames when sent a 1080p or 1440p @ 120Hz signal. We've updated our numbers and scores.
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.'
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.
Update 08/02/2019: We've retested the TV with the latest firmware, and it is now able to display 1080p and 1440p @ 120Hz without skipping frames in PC mode.
The TV supports most common resolutions. To display proper chroma 4:4:4, you must set the TV to 'PC Mode.'
Update 05/10/2019: 1440p @ 120Hz does not show proper 4:4:4, even in PC mode.