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A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

by on November 7, 2019
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Stephan Jukic – November 7, 2019

Overview

Samsung’s 2019 4K HDR TV lineup of QLED editions has shown itself to be an across-the-board winner As we demonstrated in our reviews of the brand’s Q90R, Q80R and Q60R TVs, high quality and seriously above-average performance have been their trademark for this year, all of the TVs not only outperform their own 2018 predecessors, they’re also above average for their price ranges among 2019 models. The Q70R, the last of the series that we’ve managed to review turns out to be the same. This TV is an excellent performer and while its overall specs don’t quite match those of its more expensive cousins the Q90 and Q80, it delivers really well on almost everything, while also being fairly reasonably priced.

Now let’s get down to what we liked about the Q70R, what we didn’t like and after that, we’ll cover its key specific performance metrics.

Also Read:
Our Comprehensive review of Samsung’s most affordable 2019 QLED TV, the Q60R
Our detailed hands-on review of Samsung’s incredible new 8K HDR TV, the Q900
Our comprehensive review of Samsung’s excellent premium Q80R QLED 4K HDR TV

Positives

• Really great gaming performance
• Superb motion handling
• Truly great black level and contrast performance
• Robust brightness capability
• Excellent content upscaling for all resolutions

Negatives

• Local dimming not as great as in Q80R
• No HDMI 2.1
• No Dolby Vision support
• Native Audio could be better

Bottom Line

The Samsung Q70R is one really good premium-but-not-too-expensive 4K HDR TV for mixed use. It’s a particularly strong performer when it comes to 4K or HDR gaming (or gaming of any kind for that matter) and as a home theater TV it’s an excellent choice for anyone who hasn’t already been spoiled by something much more expensive, or maybe by OLED technology. The Q70R also competes really well against nearly every rival 4K TV in the same or similar price range, particularly, Sony’s alternatives such as the X950G.

Also Read:
Our in-depth review of Sony’s X950G 4K UHD HDR LCD TV

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

 

Check out Samsung’s more affordable QLED 4K HDR LCD TV, the 2019 Q70R for sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews

 

What We Liked about the Q70R

There is a ton to like about the Samsung Q70R, and this applies especially for buyers who have never before owned a premium 4K ultra HD TV with HDR before. This edition delivers strong performance on nearly every important metric of performance and is also laden with lots of special features such as variable refresh rate for gaming smoothness. In basic terms, while not being priced very heavily, the Q70R has just enough premium performance to be great at what it does. The following key good things illustrate what we mean.

Gaming connectivity
The single best part of the Q70R’s performance is its gaming connectivity. This particular 4K HDR TV delivers superbly low input lag for most combinations of frame rate, resolution, color specs and high dynamic range while also offering AMD FreeSync technology for tear-free variable refresh rate gaming on PCs with AMD GPUs or on Xbox One editions. The VRR tech in the TV works with all major resolutions, including 1080p, 1440p and even 4K, though at 4K resolution it’s limited to just 60Hz due to a lack of HDMI 2.1 connectivity (see below). Overall, the gaming input performance of this TV combined with its really rich display specs makes the Q70R into one ideal gamer’s TV, for PC or console. (Note that the 49 inch edition of the Q70R does NOT support AMD FreeSync variable refresh rate tech).

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

Strong brightness

The Q70R doesn’t manage to get nearly as bright as Samsung’s flagship QLED TV, the Q90R, and it doesn’t even quite match the Q80R on luminosity, but this model still outputs plenty of strong brightness for both HDR and SDR content, and its peak brightness when being used with HDR movies or other video sources is especially strong. It’s an above-average performer as far as brightness goes.

Motion handling

The motion handling of the Q70 QLED TV is nearly as good as that of the Q90R and Q80R QLED editions, which is to say that it comes close to being perfect. In fact, in terms of pixel response time for low motion blur during fast-paced content, the Q70R very slightly outdoes the Q80R according to our measurements. In addition to this it also performs wonderfully at motion interpolation of almost all sources of content played at frame rates below its native 120Hz display (on all models except the 49 inch edition, which only offers a 60Hz display).

Contrast & black rendering

A further feature that the Q70R particularly excels at is delivery of deep, rich black levels and strong black uniformity. It doesn’t have the same quality of local dimming as Samsung’s pricier QLEDs for 2019 but what it does offer is decent. In other words, it’s still an excellent performer and its contrast ratio is in fact quite a bit higher than that of any other 2019 QLED TV except the Q90R flagship edition -That’s right, oddly enough, the Q70R delivers better contrast than the pricier Q80R.

overall HDR delivery

While the color delivery of the Q70R is generally inferior to that offered by the QLED Q90R and Q80R editions, it’s still great and well above average. This TV delivers especially strong HDR wide color gamut and decent 10-bit color gradation. Most importantly, these features blend with the above features such as strong black levels, high brightness and high contrast to deliver an excellent general HDR experience in the Q70R. For 4K HDR Netflix and Blu-ray movies, or for HDR gaming, the Q70R excels.

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

Check out Samsung’s more affordable QLED 4K HDR LCD TV, the 2019 Q70R for sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
Also Read:
Our comprehensive review of the best IPS TV we’ve ever reviewed, LG’s powerful new SM9000 4K HDR edition
Our In-depth review of TCL’s new 6-Series 4K HDR TV, The Most Affordable Aaesome Premium TV of 2019
Our In-depth review of Samsung’s ultra-bright flagship 2018 Q8FN 4K HDR TV

What We Didn’t Like

While we think there’s plenty to like about Samsung’s Q70R QLED ultra HD TV, this edition does also have its share of minor to slightly moderate flaws. We don’t consider any of them at all to be serious deal-breakers but this particular QLED TV edition is definitely not quite as close to high excellence as the Samsung Q80R manages to be, or a comparably priced OLED 4K HDR TV from LG. Here are the notable defects of the Q70.

Local Dimming weakness

The Q70R has local dimming technology and this alone is an improvement over what Samsung used to offer for many of its lower-tier QLED TVs in previous years. Furthermore, the local dimming in this model doesn’t work nearly as poorly as we’ve seen in other TVs with the technology included. That said though, the technology isn’t nearly as robustly precise and sharp as we saw its delivery in the Q80R or the Q90R, or even a rival edition TV like the Sony X950G. This isn’t a major flaw, but it’s notable when compared to these rival alternatives.

Color Performance details

Overall, the color performance of the Q70 QLED TV is really quite good. We mentioned this above and this television delivers fully robust color gamut coverage and other features such as 10-bit color, as well as vibrant general color rendering for normal content. However, compared to many rival 4K TVs, the Q70R does fall a bit flat. Its 10-bit color in particular shows some visible banding for HDR movie color gradations, and its capacity for rendering of vibrant colors during scenes with high brightness is only modestly decent.

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

No HDMI 2.1 and still no Dolby Vision support

Two things that still annoy us a bit about Samsung’s 4K HDR TVs (and this applies to all of the 2019 editions) is that they continue to lack Dolby Vision HDR support. We know that there really isn’t much Dolby vision 4K HDR content out there anyhow (at least for now) but considering how great the QLED TVs in particular are at delivering HDR specs, having Dolby Vision would be awesome too.

The second annoying thing is a lack of HDMI 2.1 support. Almost no current commercial 4K content offers frame rates above 60Hz so this doesn’t really matter for movies but for gaming, the Q70R would be great if it also had support for 4K video at above 60Hz, given its support for AMD FreeSync technology and its native 120Hz display.

Weak Audio

Finally, we come down to the audio power of the Q70R. Like the Q80R, this TV delivers what could only be called modest native sound power. Bass is weak and audio distortion occurs at high volumes. The Q70R delivers very decent audio for casual TV watching, but if you want a truly deep, bass and volume-rich surround sound experience for your favorite sportscasts or movies, you’ll need an external speak system or sound bar.

Also Read:
The absolute best 4K UHD HDR Gaming TVs of 2019

Value for Price & Bottom Line

Overall, the Q70R offers very good value for its price. Despite a few minor to moderate flaws, this TV offers a fully premium 4K HDR TV experience with plenty of emphasis on high dynamic range and powerful picture quality. Compared to most similarly priced or even slightly pricier alternatives, the Q70R is a great choice if you don’t want to spend just a bit too, too much.

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

 

Check out Samsung’s more affordable QLED 4K HDR LCD TV, the 2019 Q70R for sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
ALSO READ:
Sony’s Stunningly good but reasonably priced A8G OLED 4K HDR TV
Our in-depth review of LG’s C9 4K UHD HDR OLED TV
Our in-depth review of LG’s stunningly good & surprisingly affordable B9 4K OLED HDR TV
Our in-depth review of LG’s Fantastic premium E9 OLED 4K HDR TV

 

Key Samsung Q70R Specs

• Screen sizes: 49 inch QN49Q70R, 55 inch QN55Q70R, 65 inch QN65Q70R, 75 inch QN75Q70R, 82 inch QN82Q70R (TV being reviewed is 55 inches)
• Smart TV: Tizen 2019 Edition
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• VP9 Included. Yes
• HD to UHD to 4K upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• HDR Support: Yes, HDR10, HDR10+, Hybrid Log Gamma
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz native refresh rate (Except 49 inch edition)
• Screen Lighting: LCD Display with full-array backlighting & local dimming
• Resolution: 3840 × 2160 pixels 4K UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• Remotes: Samsung smart OneRemote with voice control
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI ports (all of them 2.0a and with HDCP 2.2, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Digital Audio Out
• Contrast Ratio: 8,060:1 (native, real maximum contrast)
• Absolute Maximum Peak Brightness: 780 nits (cd/m2)
• 3D Technology: N/A
• Processor: Quantum Processor 4K

Display Performance Metrics

In the following sections and subsections, we’re going to cover all of the most essential performance measurements of what really makes the 4K ultra HD TVs we review good or bad. This means that in the descriptions below, you’ll get a no-nonsense breakdown of how well the Samsung Q70R delivers the features and technologies that are absolutely most important for making sure that this or any TV offers up a high level of picture quality, good motion handling, powerful connectivity and other key specs.

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

All measurements and descriptions below are based on a review of a single unit but they will be so close to what you’d get from most other units of this TV that they can be considered very accurate. If a particular Q70R 4K TV seriously deviates from what’s noted below, there’s a good chance it’s mis-calibrated or simply defective. TV editions with different display sizes might also have slight variations.

Also Read:
Our detailed review of Samsung’s best 2019 mid-range TV, the RU8000

Black Level, uniformity, Local Dimming and Contrast:

The following specs are crucial for high perceived color vibrancy, accurate picture realism and strong contrast delivery during HDR content playback, among other things:

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

The black levels offered by the Samsung Q70R are excellent. With local dimming activated, this TV’s contrast is actually the second best among the 2019 QLED TVs at 8060:1 and one of the best we’ve seen this year from any LCD TV. Even without local dimming, contrast is still high at 7260:1 and black level is very high too. Almost as importantly, black uniformity is excellent (with local dimming in particular).

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

That said, the Q70R does not offer excellent local dimming precision (local dimming selectively deactivates LEDs in the TV’s backlight panel). The number of dimming zones in the TV’s screen is small and lacks precision, leading to persistent (but still very light) halo effects around brightly lit content. The Q80R and Q90R both offer much better local dimming.

Brightness:

Brightness is crucial to a 4K UHD TV of any kind because a brighter image that still renders colors and black levels richly is an image that’s much better looking for content viewing. It also looks more realistic. This applies especially to HDR content, which depends on high display brightness to truly impress.

The Q70R offers up superb display brightness that’s nearly as good in regular (SDR) content mode as it is for this TV’s HDR mode. Under either setting, the Q70R doesn’t get as luminous as its more expensive 2019 QLED cousins but it’s still a very bright 4K UHD TV by any average measure. We were really happy with the overall result and it really plays into the Q70’s content display performance for movies/programming and for games.

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

The following are the Q70R’s brightness settings for different section sizes of the screen, simulating how bright the display would get during playback of content with both bright highlights and content that saturates the screen with light.

Samsung Q70R SDR Brightness

  • Overall SDR peak brightness for normal content: 451 nits
  • Peak 2% display area display SDR brightness: 685 nits
  • Peak 10% display area SDR brightness: 748 nits
  • Peak 100% display area SDR brightness: 436 nits
  • Sustained 10% SDR brightness: 725 nits
  • Sustained 100% SDR brightness: 429 nits

Samsung Q70 QLED TV HDR Brightness

  • Overall HDR peak brightness for normal content: 751 nits
  • Peak 2% display area display HDR brightness: 630 nits
  • Peak 10% display area HDR brightness: 778 nits
  • Peak 100% display area HDR brightness: 441 nits
  • Sustained 10% HDR brightness: 760 nits
  • Sustained 100% HDR brightness: 453 nits

Color Delivery:

The Q70R QLED TV delivers very good color rendering even if it doesn’t quite match its Q80R cousin. Samsung’s QLED TVs have always been great at color quality and the Q70R is of course no exception.

Specifically, this 4K HDR TV delivers very decent (but not fantastic) wide color gamut for HDR video sources; it offers strong 10-bit color performance for smooth gradation of 1.07 billion tones or RGB core colors and these two HDR color rendering specs result in very accurate, rich reproduction. Even for non-HDR content, the Q70R is an excellent performer and you can expect a rich, realistic level of color accuracy, vibrancy and saturation from any game or content played back on this edition. This especially applies after a bit of light calibration, as our measurements below show:

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

  • Pre-calibration White Balance delta-E: 2.41
  • Pre-calibration Color delta-E: 3.18
  • Pre-calibration Gamma: 2.22
  • Post-calibration White Balance delta-E: 0.51
  • Post-calibration Color delta-E: 1.4
  • Post-calibration Gamma: 2.12
  • Wide Color Gamut: 93.8%

Motion Handling & Upscaling:

NOTE: THE 49 Inch edition of the Q70R only offers a native 60Hz display, all other sizes offer 120Hz.

The motion handling that the Samsung Q70R is capable of is nothing short of superb. Its 3.6 millisecond pixel response time for smooth, blur-free playback of fast-paced content is really, really good by LCD TV standards and this TV does a fantastic job of interpolating content played back from all sources at slower frame rates than those of its native 120Hz display. Thus, 24p movie content from disc, streaming or cable TV plays back wonderfully, while most streaming media at 60Hz or less does as well. The Q70R comes with highly effective black frame insertion and flicker-free technologies that work well in this edition.

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

 

As for the content upscaling capabilities of the Samsung Q70R, well, they’re excellent. Unless you use the Q70R to play back some truly crappy, blurry old movies you downloaded from a torrent site or streamed from YouTube, it will absolutely deliver very sharp picture quality for well-mastered 480p, 1080p, 1440p and of course 4K UHD video or game graphics.

Also Read:
Our In-depth guide to todays absolute best streaming media devices and platforms
 Our In-depth review of Samsung’s ultra-bright flagship 2019 Q90R 4K HDR TV
Also Read:
Our Comprehensive review of Samsung’s most affordable 2019 QLED TV, the Q60R

Input Performance for Gaming and PC:

Samsung’s 4K UHD TVs have a long history of being fantastic performers at gaming connectivity and excellent, low input lag. The Q70R is no exception to this and in fact outshines many rival or older 4K UHD TV models. This TV is one of our favorite 2019 choices as a relatively inexpensive 4K gaming TV and its handling of game inputs from consoles or via PC connectivity is great for both its versatility and low input lag. The Q70R also comes with AMD FreeSync technology, making it ideal for use with Xbox One consoles and PC rigs with AMD GPUs for tear-free gaming at variable refresh rates.

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

Here are some of the key specific specs for the QLED Q70’s gaming performance in different console setups:

  • 4k @ 60Hz: 14.8 ms
  • 1080p @ 60Hz: 15.2 ms
  • 1080p @ 120Hz: 6.3 ms
  • 1080p @ 60Hz outside Game Mode: 56 ms
  • 4k @ 60Hz + HDR: 14.8 ms
  • 1440p @ 60Hz: 14.4 ms
  • 4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode : 57.2 ms
  • 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: 13.5 ms
  • 4K @ 120Hz (Except 49 inch model): 15.5 ms
  • 1440p @ 120Hz: 9.9 ms
  • 1080p with FreeSync: 6.2 ms
  • 4K with interpolation activated: 25.7 ms

The Samsung QLED Q70 offers broad and excellent support for different resolutions, frame rates and color settings when connected to a PC rig as well. Its use of AMD FreeSync is handy for PCs with AMD GPUs too. The following specs show its capabilities:

  • 1080p @ 120Hz: Yes
  • 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: Yes
  • 4k @ 60Hz + 4:4:4: Yes
  • 1440p @ 60Hz: Yes
  • 4k @ 120Hz : No
  • 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: Yes
  • 1440p @ 120Hz: Yes

Connectivity

The connectivity features of the Samsung Q70R are perfectly functional and modern for the latest in consumer market content, gaming and general media plugging. One thing we don’t like about Samsung’s 2019 TVs is that they lack HDMI 2.1 but for most users this won’t be important at all. This TV offers up several HDMI 2.0a ports, multiple USB ports and a number of audio pass-through specs for its ports.

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R)

The following are the Samsung QLED QNQ70R’s ports and their specifications:

  • HDMI : 4 (HDCP 2.2 & full HDMI 2.0a capacity)
  • HDMI 2.1 : N/A
  • USB : 3 (USB 2.0 x 3)
  • Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
  • Analog Audio Out 3.5 mm : 1
  • Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
  • Ethernet : 1
  • HDR10 support: Yes
  • HDR10+ support: Yes
  • Dolby Vision HDR support: No
  • Hybrid Log Gamma HDR support: Yes
  • Dolby Vision HDR: Yes

The Samsung QLED Q70R TV models also offer audio connectivity in the following types.

  • 1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
  • 1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
  • 1 Passthrough eARC support

Pricing

Samsung has released the QNQ70R 4K ultra HD HDR LCD Smart TV models in five different sizes. Thus, you have the choice of a really economical 49 inch edition without a couple features (no AMD FreeSync or 120Hz display panel), a full-powered 55, 65 inch or 75 inch model, and a huge 82 inch version that would be just awesome for gamers and home theater fans who want a deeply immersive experience.

The models all sell for the following prices, found in the link below at the time of this writing. Bear in mind that these are subject to sometimes frequent downward change and it’s a good idea to click the following Amazon links for real-time pricing and all available discounts on this model.

A Review of Samsung’s Premium 4K HDR QLED, The Q70R (QN55Q70R (QN65Q70R) (QN75Q70R) (QN82Q70R))

Check out Samsung’s more affordable QLED 4K HDR LCD TV, the 2019 Q70R for sale at Amazon

4.7 – 4 Reviews
Story by 4k.com
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