The Samsung Q7CN is a 4k QLED TV with very good picture quality. It can get very bright and has excellent reflection handling that makes it suitable for a bright room. When in HDR, it can display rich colors with saturated highlights due to the very wide color gamut. It has low input lag and variable refresh rate support that make it a good choice for gaming. Although the TV has a high native contrast ratio, dark room performance is hurt by the not so effective local dimming. Unfortunately, the image deteriorates when viewed at an angle and only those sitting directly in-front will enjoy the best picture quality.
The design of the Samsung Q7CN is excellent. It is identical to its flat counterpart the Samsung Q7FN. Literally, the only difference in terms of design is the curved profile of the Q7CN, which is also reflected in the shape of its stand. All other aspects including the thin side look, the metallic tint of the stand and of the borders, and of course, the great build quality, are the same.
The stand's base follows the curve of the screen. In all other aspects, it is identical to the stand of the Q7FN and supports the TV well. Just like all center stands, it cannot completely eliminate wobbling, but this should not be an issue.
Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 31.5" x 11.75"
The back of the Q7CN looks identical to the Q7FN. It is plastic with a matte finish and small horizontal grooves that span from one side to the other. One of the advantages of the One Connect box is that it eliminates the need for sophisticated cable management, as there is only one single cable that connects to the TV and that can be easily routed through the stand. This is especially helpful if you wish to place the TV far from the rest of your electronics (game console, AV Receiver, etc).
The size of the One Connect box is: 15.35'' x 5.12'' x 2.64''
The borders of the Q7CN are very thin. They have a metallic finish and look exactly the same as the Q7FN.
The Q7CN is a thin TV, just slightly thicker than its flat counterpart, and that's due to the curve. You can easily wall mount it and it will not protrude much.
Maximum temperature of the one connect box: 102 °F
Average temperature of the one connect box: 90 °F
The Q7CN has a great build quality exactly like the Q7FN with no obvious gaps or loose ends. It is mostly plastic, with some metal parts, like the stand and the borders, that contribute to its solid feel.
The picture quality of the Samsung Q7FN is very good. It has a high native contrast ratio, but the inefficient local dimming hurts dark room performance. The Q7CN, just like the Q7FN, can get very bright and can handle the reflections of a bright room well, so it is a good choice for brighter environments. The TV has a very wide color gamut and will display rich and bright highlights when showing HDR content. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are bad and the image deteriorates when viewed from the side.
Excellent contrast ratio for the Q7CN. Surprisingly it is slightly lower than its flat version the Q7FN. Unfortunately, local dimming does not seem to add much to the contrast ratio.
The Q7CN has an excellent SDR peak brightness. Just like the Q7FN it does not reach the brightness of the Vizio P Series Quantum or the is Sony Z9F, but still is a great choice for a bright room. The brightness level is good in most window sizes but it is exceptionally high in darker scenes with small bright highlights. This behavior is similar to the Q7FN.
The menu option that controls the luminance on this Samsung Q7FN is called Backlight.
Very good HDR peak brightness. Although we measured just slightly lower brightness than its flat counterpart the Q7FN, when the Q7CN displays HDR content, bright highlights in dark scenes appear remarkably well, and at times within the 1000-4000 cd/m² HDR target level.
Very good gray uniformity for this Q7CN. In line with most other 2018 Samsung models and better than more expensive models like Samsung Q8FN. There is a little clouding in the two sides of the screen and you might notice a few shades here and there when you are watching a sports field but nothing serious.
In the darker scenes the uniformity is even better with no noticeable clouding nor any dirty screen effect.
The viewing angles of the Q7CN are just as bad as the ones found on most of the other VA panel TVs. Colors shift significantly and blacks intensify significantly at around 20 degrees. And at about 33 degrees off center, brightness level has already dropped by 50%. Unfortunately, Just like all curved TVs, when sitting off-axis, the curve of the screen does cause one side to be more accurate as it is angled towards you, while the other side is at a greater angle and the image is less accurate.
The black uniformity of the Q7CN is very good. When local dimming is disabled through the service menu, some backlight bleed is visible all over the screen. However, with local dimming on high, the black uniformity worsens. This happens because on edge-lit TVs like the Q7CN, the local dimming zones are vertical. Those vertical zones darken the edges, but the center remains grayish, so the overall image is less uniform.
The Samsung Q7CN has excellent reflection handling. Just like the Q7F, the glossy screen finish and the anti-reflection coating diffuse most of the reflections making the TV a good choice for a room with many light sources.
Out of the box, the Q7CN has a decent overall accuracy when set to the 'Movie' picture mode. The white balance dE is high and most enthusiasts will notice the inaccuracies. The Color dE is quite low, better than the Q7FN and one of the best in this year's lineup. Looking at the gamma, we see that for the entire brightness range of stimulus the Q7CN is darker than our target and this results in darker scenes. The manufacturing calibration was not targeting a gamma of 2.2. Finally, the color temperature is pretty good, close to 6500K
Update 04/12/2019: This TV was incorrectly measured with Brightness +2, instead of at 0. This only has a small impact on the results (slightly dimmer dark scenes below about 30 IRE) and so we don't plan to retest it.
Excellent post calibration color accuracy for the Q7CN. Calibration was done in the 'Movie' Picture mode, and we used 100% window instead of the usual 18% so that local dimming would not interfere with our white balance measurements. Unfortunately, the color space management is not very responsive and as you can see most of the correction was due to the white balance correction which was also the most erroneous one. The white balance dE after calibration was too small to spot any inaccuracies. The color dE was not diminished much but it was already low so not many will be able to spot any color errors. Gamma was brought to the 2.2 target and followed our input stimulus well. The color temperature, however, became a little colder with an almost unnoticeable bluish tint.
See our recommended settings here.
Excellent wide color gamut. The TV lies at the top of the list along with the Q7FN. The Q7CN fully covers the DCI P3 color space and has the best coverage of the Rec.2020 color space we have measured so far. You can expect excellent HDR performance from this TV.
The EOTF follows the PQ curve perfectly until the TV's peak brightness where it rolls off without flattening. This results in less clipping of the bright scene highlights. The PC and Game EOTFs are not following the input stimulus as accurately. You might notice some scenes being brighter, whereas others being darker.
If you find HDR content too dim, then you can set Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and this will raise the EOTF and brighten most HDR scenes.
The Q7CN has decent gradient performance. Some color banding is visible in almost all colors, but it is more apparent in the blue and the green shades.
There are no signs of temporary image retention on the 2018 Q7CN.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long term test appears immune.
The pixel structure is identical to the Q7FN.
The Samsung Q7CN has excellent motion handling. It has a very fast response time that leaves only small blur trailing fast content, but also might make movies a little stuttery. It has a very good black frame insertion feature, can remove judder from any source and supports variable refresh rate making it a great choice for gaming enthusiasts. Unfortunately, it is not flicker-free, and furthermore, its flicker behavior changes depending on the TV settings and this might bother some flicker sensitive people.
The Samsung Q7CN has an excellent response time. It has some overshooting in the 0-80%, 0-20%, and 20-80% transitions, which is very similar to the overshooting observed in the Q7FN. However, these are hardly noticeable in normal use. The fast response time leaves on a small blur trail in fast-moving content.
The Q7CN, just like its flat counterpart, the Q7FN, use PWM flicker to dim the backlight. Unfortunately, the frequency at which the backlight flickers is only 240Hz and this might bother some people.
The backlight does not always flicker at 240hz as explained here.
The left side of the screen has a slightly different strobe pulse timing than the right side; the left side flickers ~2 ms earlier than the right side. This was confirmed at 240 Hz, 120 Hz, and 60 Hz flicker frequencies. This results in motion looking slightly different on the left and right sides of the screen, with the difference being most noticeable with 120 Hz flicker, however, it will be very difficult to notice with normal content.
The Q7CN has an optional BFI feature that can help clear blur. To enable it you must first set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom', and then enable LED Clear Motion. This makes the backlight flicker at 60Hz and that makes motion look crisper. However 60Hz flicker is noticeable and some people might be bothered.
The Q7CN's flicker frequency changes depending on the TV's settings, as we've seen with the other QLEDs like the Q7FN. When sent a 60 Hz signal the TV has the following flicker frequencies:
The Q7CN is capable of interpolating content all the way up to 120fps.
The TVs menu that controls motion interpolation is called Auto motion Plus. When enabled the TV flickers at 120 Hz as explained here.
The Q7CN has some stutter when it displays 24p content. This is due to the fast response time and in line with its flat counterpart the Q7FN. If you wish to remove stutter, you can enable motion interpolation.
The Q7CN supports FreeSync. We successfully tested it on our Xbox One S and our Radeon RX 580 GPU, in 1080p, 1440p and 4k resolutions. In accordance with the rest of the 2018 Samsung TVs, the 4k VRR range is narrower than the 1080p one.
To activate it, enable the TV's Game mode and in the FreeSync settings choose the 'Ultimate' mode that has the widest range. If you experience problems with 'Ultimate', then go to the 'Basic' mode.
The Samsung 2018 Q7CN QLED TV has an excellent low input lag which remains low even when motion interpolation is activated, and while the FreeSync variable refresh rate setting is engaged. These are great news for those gaming enthusiasts which will see the Q7CN as a great gaming TV. Most common resolutions are supported and you will have no problem with this TV.
1440p @ 120 Hz: 9.2 ms
Excellent low input lag across all resolutions and refresh rates within Game Mode. The input lag outside of Game Mode is high, so if input lag is of essence make sure you are in Game Mode.
Just like the Q7FN and NU8000, the Q7CN's input lag is low even when interpolating lower frame rate games to 60 Hz or 120Hz using the game motion interpolation feature called Game Motion Plus. When interpolating up to 60Hz (With the Judder slider set to '10' and the Blur slider at '0', input lag is 21.6 ms.
The Q7CN supports the new Auto Low Latency Mode which switches the TV automatically to Game Mode when connected to a supported device (like the Xbox One or PS4) and a game is detected.
The Q7CN supports most common resolutions with the exception of 1440p @ 60hz. However, it does support 1440p @120Hz just like the rest of 2018 Samsung QLEDs.
Chroma 4:4:4 for PC use is supported. However, it is necessary to enable HDMI UHD Color from the External Device Manager for the port used and the input label must be set to 'PC'. The Q7CN should automatically detect when a PC is connected and change the label accordingly.
Just like the Q7FN all of the inputs for the Samsung Q7CN are on the separate One Connect box. On the side of the box are 3 USB 2.0 ports.
For the audio return channel to work correctly, Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) must be turned on.
Just like the rest of the Samsung TVs we have tested this year, DTS passthrough is not supported on the Audio Return Channel(ARC) or through optical.
The Samsung Q7CN has a decent sound quality. This TV has a decent amount of body and punch to its bass and produces clear and intelligible dialog. However, it lacks sub-bass (low thump and rumble) and doesn't get very loud. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or soundbars are recommended.
The frequency response of the Q7CN is decent. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 71Hz, which is above-average. This means the bass of this TV will have a decent about of body and punch to it, but won't be able to produce any low-end thump and rumble. The response above the LFE points is well-balanced, which is important for a clear and intelligible reproduction of dialog. However, this TV doesn't get very loud, so may not be loud enough for large and crowded places.
The distortion performance of the Q7CN is above-average. The overall amount of harmonic distortion produced throughout the range is within decent limits, even at maximum volume. However, this TV doesn't get very loud.
The Samsung Q7CN runs the latest version of Samsung's Smart Hub. The layout is intuitive and easy to use just like the rest of the 2018 QLEDs. During our testing, we encountered the same minor performance issues that we had on the Q7FN. There is an abundance of built-in apps, and you can find many more in the app store. The TV has Samsung's Bixby voice assistant which can help you navigate the menus faster and can answer some basic questions.
The interface of the Q7CN is easy to use and almost identical to the interface of the Q7FN. Unfortunately, it is not very smooth and drops a lot of frames.
Just like the Q7FN and other Samsung TVs of this year's lineup, the Q7CN has ads and suggested content from which you can not opt-out.