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Samsung Q7FN/Q7/Q7F QLED 2018 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Updated May 15, 2018 at 09:10 am
Samsung Q7FN/Q7/Q7F QLED 2018 Picture
7.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
7.4
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
8.3
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
8.2
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
8.2
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
7.6
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
8.1
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
7.9
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
This TV was replaced by the Samsung Q70/Q70R QLED
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung Q7F is a 2018 4k QLED TV with great picture quality. It can produce saturated highlights in HDR content due to the very wide color gamut. It also has great bright room performance as the whole screen can get very bright and it has excellent reflection handling. Unfortunately, when viewed in a dark room, the local dimming isn't very effective at producing deep blacks and for those with wide seating, the best picture is reserved for directly in-front of the TV.

Note that this is a different TV to the 2017 QLED Q7F. The 2018 Q7FN is also called Q7F or Q7.

Our Verdict

7.9 Mixed Usage

Great TV for mixed usage. Picture quality is great, but less than ideal viewing experience in a perfectly dark room due to the ineffective local dimming feature. It has an excellent color reproduction and it is very bright, great for HDR content. The TV has an excellent low input lag, which is perfect for use as a PC monitor or for gaming.

Pros
  • Exceptionally wide color gamut
  • Can get very bright to overcome glare
  • Excellent low input lag
Cons
  • Picture quality degrades at an angle
7.4 Movies

Good for watching movies. The Samsung Q7F has an excellent native contrast ratio, but the ineffective local dimming feature isn't able to boost black levels. It is able to effectively remove judder from most sources and the TV has great motion handling, perfect for fast action movies.

8.3 TV Shows

Great for watching TV shows in a bright room. It has excellent reflection handling, and is bright enough to overcome most glare. It doesn't have a very wide viewing angle, typical of VA panels. The smart interface works well and has a good selection of streaming apps available.

8.2 Sports

Great for watching sports in a bright room. It has excellent reflection handling and an excellent response time. The viewing angle isn't very wide, which could be problematic for some people for game day parties. It has great gray uniformity, with little dirty screen effect.

8.2 Video Games

Excellent TV for playing console or PC games. It has excellent low input lag across all supported resolutions and can interpolate low frame rate games without adding much lag. Motion handling is great, and fast-moving objects look clear, but the viewing angle is limited so split-screen couch co-op isn't the best.

7.6 HDR Movies

Good TV for watching movies in HDR in a dark room. It has an excellent native contrast ratio, but the local dimming feature is limited and can't boost the black levels. It has the widest color gamut we have measured, and excellent color volume, so movies look closest to what the content creator intended. Bright highlights in some scenes are able to get very bright.

8.1 HDR Gaming

Great TV for gaming in HDR on a PS4 or Xbox One S or X. It has excepetionally low input lag, and a fast response time, so games respond quickly to every button press and motion looks smooth. Games look amazing thanks to the wide color gamut. It doesn't have a very effective local dimming feature so late night gaming isn't as great as it could be.

7.9 PC Monitor

Great TV for use as a PC Monitor. The Samsung Q7 supports chroma 4:4:4 so text looks as sharp as it can. It has a limited viewing angle, so it is best when seating directly in front, but if too close, the edges can appear non-uniform. Motion handling and response time are great, so there isn't much mouse lag.

  • 7.9 Mixed Usage
  • 7.4 Movies
  • 8.3 TV Shows
  • 8.2 Sports
  • 8.2 Video Games
  • 7.6 HDR Movies
  • 8.1 HDR Gaming
  • 7.9 PC Monitor
  1. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Update 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  3. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  4. Update 6/11/2018: 1440p @ 120 Hz input lag has decreased as of firmware 1103. The review has been updated.
  5. Update 6/8/2018: FreeSync has been tested and the scores have been updated.
  6. Update 5/23/2018: Firmware version 1103 has added Freesync support. We are currently testing it and will update the review shortly.

Video

Test Results

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the Samsung Q7FN is excellent and up to par with last year's Q7F. It comes along with the OneConnect box incorporating some improvements over last year's design. The cable that connects the box to the TV is very long (195") and it also provides power thus eliminating the need for an extra power cord.

Design
Stand

The stand is quite stylish and sturdy and resembles last years Q7F. Although the TV wobbles a little bit as with most center stands, it is well balanced and should please most people.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 33.5" x 11.4"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

The back is plastic with small grooves and a matte finish. It looks very much like last years' Q7F. There is practically no need for cable management channels due to the OneConnect box, here.
This also facilitates wall mounting, but at the same time requires planning for the placement of the OneConnect box.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The borders of the Samsung QN55Q7FN are very thin with a metal finish. They look nice and are very similar to the 2017 Q7F.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.05" (5.2 cm)

The TV is remarkably thin. The OneConnect Box removes the need for an inputs cabinet, thus enabling the TV design to be thinner

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the TV is great. There are no obvious gaps in the unit. It is mostly plastic, with some metal parts, including the stand and the borders, which contribute to its solid feel.

Picture Quality
9.0
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5607 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
5611 : 1

The contrast on the Samsung Q7FN is superb. It's about 20% higher that the 2017 Q7F. When set in a dark room, the Q7FN can produce deep black scenes.

When measured with local dimming activated, there is almost no change due to poor performance of local dimming.

1.8
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

The local dimming feature on the TV is bad. Performance is very similar to the NU8000. It focuses on the moving highlights, but the rest of the screen is hardly dimmed. It was a bit noticeable when the highlights were at one edge of the screen.

8.9
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
682 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
1117 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
2240 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
802 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
747 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
768 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
1104 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
744 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
799 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
746 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
767 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.021

The TV has excellent SDR brightness and outperforms both the Q9FN and the Q8FN, but still falls behind last year's Sonys X930E and Z9D. Edge lighting is more efficient than full array used in both the Q9FN and the Q8FN. We assume that this extra power budget is what makes the Q7FN brighter.

The high brightness values on the 2% and 10% windows will make small highlights stand out in dark scenes.

The great performance in this category makes it a great candidate for anyone looking for a TV for a bright room.

8.1
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
717 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
941 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
2270 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
834 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
799 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
778 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
931 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
744 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
827 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
795 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
773 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.011

Just like in the SDR brightness, the performance of Samsung Q7FN in HDR is remarkable and certainly better than last year's Q7F. Bright highlights in HDR content will be shown quite bright, and at times within the 1000-4000 cd/m² level they're intended to be.

7.7
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.217 %
50% DSE
0.165 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.868 %
5% DSE
0.103 %

The gray uniformity of the Samsung Q7F is good. The borders are darker than the rest of the screen, but the center remains relatively clear. This avoids any disturbing dirty screen effects and sport viewing and game playing should not have any issues.

Dark scene uniformity is very good. It is hard to notice any cloudiness.

5.4
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
23 °
Color Shift
20 °
Brightness Loss
32 °
Black Level Raise
26 °
Gamma Shift
19 °

The viewing angle is disappointing but typical for a VA panel. It is worse than the 2017 Q7F, but it doesn't differ a lot from the 2018 Samsung family, even though it presents a slight improvement in the black levels

8.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.567 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
0.955 %

The black uniformity of the Q7FN is remarkable and certainly a major improvement over last year's Q7F. There is very little clouding around the test cross that is hardly noticeable.

The standard deviation is higher when local dimming is set to high and clouding is a little more obvious. This happens because of the way local dimming works. We must set the backlight to higher levels to reach a luminance of 100 at the center of the test cross. This causes more blooming in general, and explains the higher measurement than the native black uniformity.

9.2
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.5 %
Indirect Reflections
0.4 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.1 %

The Samsung Q7 handles reflections in the same excellent way the Q7F does. The glossy screen finish along with the anti-reflection coating work well in diffusing most of reflections. The TV is a good choice for a bright room.

7.7
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
2.80
Color dE
2.80
Gamma
2.24
Color Temperature
6106 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
BT.1886 +2, Brightness +2

Out of the box, colors are good with the 'Movie' picture mode and most people won't notice the difference. White balance is high, gamma is very high and doesn't track our target.

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.

9.3
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.27
Color dE
1.66
Gamma
2.20
Color Temperature
6573 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
Yes

The color management system wasn't very effective at correcting color accuracy. Most of the corrections were done on the white balance, which in turn corrected some of the color accuracy. After calibration, the gamma follows our target 2.2 almost perfectly, and white balance is almost perfect.

Calibration had to be done with a 100% window, as the local dimming feature was interfering with our calibration.

For most people, setting the gamma to +2 with the 'warm 2' color temperature will be good enough.

See our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Lower resolution 480p content like DVDs is upscaled well, with no obvious artifacts or quality issues.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content is displayed without any issues.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content including Blu-rays and non-4k console games is displayed well, and looks almost as good as native 4k content.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content is displayed perfectly without any issues. The artifacts seen in the 2017 Q7F are no longer present thanks to the new sub-pixel structure.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input
Picture Quality
Pixels

The pixel structure is quite different between the 2017 Q7F and this year's model. This is good as last year's model had some artifacts due to the strange blue sub-pixel structure. This is also a different pixel structure to the other 2018 QLEDs we've tested (Q8FN and Q9FN).

9.0
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
99.67 %
DCI P3 uv
99.57 %
Rec 2020 xy
76.66 %
Rec 2020 uv
83.43 %

The 2018 Q7F has an impressive color gamut. It covers practically the entire P3 color space, and has the best Rec 2020 coverage of any TV we have reviewed. HDR content will look very close to what the creator intended.

The color gamut is even wider than the Q8FN. This is not due to panel variance as the two are definitely not the same panel, as shown by the difference in the Q7FN and Q8FN pixel photos.

The EOTF curve follows our input stimulus nearly perfectly, and it has a slightly smoother roll off at the TV's peak brightness, so there will be less clipping in bright scenes. The PC and Game EOTFs approximately follow our input stimulus, which is good.

8.5
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
94.0 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
55.0 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
76.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
44.8 %

The Samsung Q7 has excellent color volume. It can create outstanding bright colors but can't produce deep, dark colors. The color volume is very similar to the Q8FN and is a noticeable improvement over the 2017 Q7F/C.

7.2
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.138 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.149 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.131 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.116 dE

Decent gradient quality. There is some faint banding visible almost everywhere. Dark green and blue gradients have major banding. These results aren't horrible, most people won't notice this much.

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 %

There was no temporary image retention on the 2018 Q7FN.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Motion
8.1
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
4.2 ms
100% Response Time
12.6 ms

The 2018 Q7 has an excellent response time. There is a bit of overshoot in the 0-20%,0-80% and 20-80% transitions, but this shouldn't cause any issues. It is a bit worse than last year's Q7F but nearly identical to the Q8FN. There is very little blur due to response time, most of the blur in the photo is due to persistence.

6.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
240 Hz

The Samsung Q7FN uses PWM to dim the backlight. There is visible flicker at all backlight settings. At low backlight settings the flicker becomes more apparent.

The 2018 model has a 240Hz flicker, which is a marked improvement over the 120Hz backlight on the 2017 version. People sensitive to flicker could consider the Q8FN instead which has a much less noticeable 480Hz flicker.

The backlight changes depending on the motion processing options enabled, as shown here.

10
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
60 Hz

The Q7FN has an optional black BFI mode. This is enabled by setting Auto Motion Plus to Custom, and enabling LED Clear Motion. This changes the backlight to a 60 Hz flicker, even in game mode. Changing the flicker frequency will help reduce stutter but people sensitive to flicker might notice it more.

The backlight changes depending on the motion processing options enabled, as shown here.

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

The QN55Q7FN is able to interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz. The Samsung Q7F does a good job interpolating with few artifacts, but the accuracy does decrease with medium amounts of motion, and the TV stops interpolating in scenes with heavy motion.

The backlight changes depending on the motion processing options enabled, as shown here.

7.3
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
29.1 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
4.1 ms

There is some stutter on the Q7FN, due to the fast response time. This is especially noticeable with 24p Blu-ray movies. If this bothers you, motion interpolation or BFI can help reduce the perceived stutter.

8.9
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The Samsung Q7FN is able to remove 24p judder from most sources. It is inconsistent with 24p content played at 60i from a cable box.

To enable the judder removal on the Q7FN for 24p content played from a Blu-ray, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to Custom with both sliders set to '0'.

The backlight changes depending on the motion processing options enabled, as shown here.

8.2
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
48 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
120 Hz
1440p VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
HDMI

The TV does not yet support any of the Variable Refresh Rate technologies like AMD's Freesync 2. This was tested with an Xbox One S and on a PC with a Radeon RX 580.

Update 05/23/2018: Firmware version 1103 has added Freesync support. We are currently testing it and will update the review shortly.

Update 06/08/2018: FreeSync has been tested and the score has been updated. FreeSync was supported from our Xbox One S and our Radeon RX 580 GPU, in 1080p, 1440p and 4k resolutions. FreeSync is activated by enabling the TV's Game mode and FreeSync settings; PC mode is not required. We tested in Ultimate mode because it has the widest range, and we only recommend Basic mode when you experience problems with Ultimate.

Inputs
8.3
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
19.6 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
71.4 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz
16.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
19.4 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
16.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
71.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
21.7 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
10.9 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
10.0 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
6.2 ms
1440p with VRR
6.4 ms
4k with VRR
15.5 ms
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Yes

1440p @ 120 Hz: 10.0 ms

Excellent low input lag across all resolutions and refresh rates, as long as Game Mode is activated. Outside of Game Mode, input lag is high, but not terrible.

High-end 2018 Samsung TVs like the Q7FN and NU8000 can interpolate lower frame rate games up to 60 Hz or 120Hz without adding much input lag. When interpolating up to 60Hz (With the 'Judder' slider set to 10 and the 'Blur' slider at 0, input lag is 21.7 ms, which is still very low. When interpolating up to 120 Hz (with both sliders at 10), input lag is 27.5 ms.

The Q7FN supports the new Auto Low Latency Mode. When connected to a supported device (like the Xbox One or PS4), the TV will automatically switch to game mode when a game is detected.

Update 06/08/2018: The input lag with VRR has been tested and added to the review.

Update 06/11/2018: 1440p @ 120 Hz performance has improved as of firmware version 1103. The 1440p @ 120 Hz input lag is now 10.0 ms, down from 24.8 ms.

8.8
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
No
1440p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
4k @ 60 Hz
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4