Samsung Q7FN/Q7/Q7F QLED 2018 TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
8.3
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
7.7
Movies
8.5
TV Shows
8.4
Sports
8.8
Video Games
7.9
HDR Movies
8.6
HDR Gaming
8.5
PC Monitor
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.

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

Test Results
Design 9.5
Picture Quality 8.1
Motion 8.5
Inputs 9.3
Sound Quality 7.0
Smart Features 7.8
  1. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.
  2. Update 6/11/2018: 1440p @ 120 Hz input lag has decreased as of firmware 1103. The review has been updated.
  3. Update 6/8/2018: FreeSync has been tested and the scores have been updated.
  4. Update 5/23/2018: Firmware version 1103 has added Freesync support. We are currently testing it and will update the review shortly.

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9.5

Design

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.

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"

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.

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.

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

Temperature
Maximum Temperature
:
99 °F (37 °C)
Average Temperature
:
91 °F (33 °C)

The Samsung Q7F gets warm, but not excessively warm. The heat picture reveals that the TV is warmer towards the bottom of the screen where the LEDs are located. The yellow spot on the lower right side of the image is the OneConnect box that reaches a maximum temperature of 100° F. These temperatures are well within the norm and should not cause any problems.

8.0 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.

8.1

Picture Quality

The Samsung Q7F 2018 produces great picture quality. It has an excellent native contrast ratio and black uniformity, so it produces deep dark blacks great for dark room viewing. It is edge-lit and has a very limited local dimming feature. It is extremely bright with excellent reflection handling, making it a great choice for bright rooms too. Like all VA panels, it has a narrow viewing angle. It has the widest color gamut ever measured, and exceptional color volume, so HDR movies look very close to what the creator intended. It has limited gradient reproduction, and large areas of similar colors could suffer a bit (this is especially noticeable in shots of the sky).

9.0 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 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 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.

8.5 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 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 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 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 Reflections
Screen Finish
:
Glossy
Total Reflections
:
1.5 %
Indirect Reflections
:
0.4 %

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 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.

9.4 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 480p Input

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

8.0 720p Input

720p content is displayed without any issues.

9.0 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 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.

9.0 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 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 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 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 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.

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).

8.5

Motion

The 2018 Q7F has great motion handling. There is very little motion trail, and only a little persistence blur, most people won't notice it. It has an excellent response time, very similar to the higher end Q8FN although not as good as last year's model. The TV is not flicker-free, and the backlight changes depending on interpolation settings. Like other Samsung TVs we have reviewed recently, it is inconsistent at removing judder when watching 24p content played from a 60i source.

9.0 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 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 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.

10 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 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 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 Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
:
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
:
FreeSync
4k VRR Maximum
:
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
:
48 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
:
120 Hz
1080p 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.

9.3

Inputs

The Samsung Q7 2018 has excellent low input lag. Like the other 2018 QLEDs, it can interpolate low frame rate games up to either 60Hz or 120Hz. Unlike other TVs, it is able to interpolate without adding significant input lag. It supports 1440p @ 120 Hz, great for Xbox One S / X gaming. It supports chroma 4:4:4 for use as a PC monitor, but colors are washed out in 4:4:4 with a 1440p @ 120Hz resolution, like all Samsung TVs we have tested. PC Mode doesn't work with a 24Hz input signal but this is an uncommon setup and shouldn't be an issue for most people.

9.4 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 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
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
:
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
:
No
8k @ 60 Hz
:
No

The 2018 Q7F QLED TV supports most common resolutions without issue.

For use as a PC monitor, 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. This is required for the TV to support chroma 4:4:4.

In 1440p @ 120 Hz, chroma 4:4:4 is displayed but the colors are not displayed properly, same as the Q8FN.

Input Photos

All of the inputs for the Samsung Q7FN are on the separate One Connect box. On the side of the box are 3 USB 2.0 ports.

Total Inputs
HDMI : 4
USB : 3
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 0
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0
Composite In : 0
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
HDR10+
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
:
No
HLG
:
Yes
3D
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
:
No
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

For the audio return channel to work correctly, Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) must be enabled.

Like other Samsung TVs we have tested this year, DTS passthrough is not supported on the Audio Return Channel or through optical.

Audio Passthrough
ARC
:
Yes (HDMI 4)
eARC support
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
:
No
7.0

Sound Quality

The sound of the Samsung Q7FN is decent. This TV gets moderately loud and produces clear and intelligible dialogs. However, it may not be loud enough for large and noisy environments and it doesn't have a deep and thumpy bass. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or soundbars are recommended.

6.8 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
71.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
3.45 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
3.66 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
5.49 dB
Max
:
85.0 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
:
3.96 dB

The frequency response is decent. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 70Hz, which is above-average. This means this TV won't produce any low rumbling sounds or thumps, but will have a decent punch to its bass. The response above the TV's LFE is quite well-balanced, suggesting clear and intelligible dialogs. However, since the TV doesn't have a room correction system, it wasn't able to remove the modes of our test room around 200Hz. Additionally, this TV gets moderately loud, but may not be loud enough for large and noisy environments.

7.6 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
:
0.407
Weighted THD @ Max
:
0.519
IMD @ 80
:
0.45 %
IMD @ Max
:
1.25 %

The distortion performance is good. The overall amount of harmonic distortion produce throughout the range is within good limits. There is not a noticeable change in THD under maximum volume either, however, this TV doesn't get very loud.

7.8

Smart Features

Smart OS : Tizen
Version : 2018

The Samsung 2018 Q7F QLED TV runs the latest version of Samsung's Smart Hub. It has an easy to use, intuitive layout, and there were some minor performance issues during our testing. There is a good assortment of built-in apps, and many more are available in the app store, but not as many as the Sony or LG content s