Samsung Q6FN / Q6F / Q6 2018 4K HDR LCD TV Review (QN49Q6FN, QN55Q6FN, QN65Q6FN, QN75Q6FN, QN82Q6FN)
Stephan Jukic – Sept 12, 2018
Much like its very similarly designed cousin the Q7FN from the 2018 Samsung lineup, the Q6FN is a great 4K HDR TV with some truly excellent general performance and many premium features like full HDR color support, very high peak brightness and deep black levels. It’s the lowest priced of the premium 2018 QLED TVs from this brand but in many ways it delivers the same main specs and performance as its pricier cousins. On the other hand, the Q6FN does lack some of the truly spectacular peak brightness of its pricier cousins, doesn’t quite offer as much color richness (though the difference is relatively small) and comes with a local dimming system that is weak at best because unlike the Q9FN and Q8FN TVs, this model lacks full-array LED backlighting.
In other words, the Q6FN is very similar to the Q7FN but without quite the same level of color performance and the same spectacular capacity for peak brightness that even the Q7FN can deliver (though the Q6FN is still one very bright 4K TV by any average standard).
• Strong peak and sustained display brightness
• Great color rendering for normal and HDR content
• Excellent motion handling, especially for gaming
• Does come with some basic local dimming
• Very good contrast ratios and black levels
• Not nearly as bright as other 2018 QLED TVs
• Local dimming is at least present but yes, it’s crappy
• Typical narrow viewing angles due to VA display technology
• No Dolby Vision HDR
The Q6FN may be the lowest-tiered model among the 2018 QLED TVs from Samsung but it’s still a generally excellent 4K TV with lots to offer even for pickier consumers. We like most of its specs and performance and considering the TVs price compared to the value it offers, consider this model to be a fairly good deal. On the other hand if you want excellent local dimming and spectacular peak brightness, go for the Q8FN or Q9FN models. If you at least want fantastic peak display brightness for highlights and slightly better color delivery then the Q7FN is a better alternative.
Also Read: Our in-depth review of Samsung’s Q7FN 4K HDR LCD TV, superb brightness at a reasonable price
What We Liked
In most ways, the Samsung Q6FN is a very good 4K HDR TV and most of its features and specs work well enough for us to really like this model, especially because it’s cheaper than any of the other QLEDs while delivering a premium display experience. Unlike the other 2018 Samsung QLED TVs, This TV doesn’t have any characteristics that we thought were actually exceptional (Even the Q7FN delivers exceptional brightness and color performance) but the Q6FN is at least very good in almost everything that counts the most. Here are the main things we did like.
First of all, there is the design of the Q6FN. It’s very good and very sturdy. The stand and edges of the TV are silvery metallic and very minimalist, with only an extremely thin bezel along the edges of the screen, meaning that the Q6’s display surface itself feels extremely roomy and stands out very nicely in a darkened room when this bezel becomes pretty much invisible if the TV is running. The back of the TV is made up of grooved dark matte plastic that also looks pretty clean and stylish. Unlike the Q7FN, the Q6 2018 model doesn’t come with external connectivity via a One Connect box. Instead, like the Q8FN, it has all of its ports in a recessed space along the back left of the television.
The stand itself, unlike those of the other 2018 QLEDs, consists in most retail cases (there might be Q6FN exceptions to this with different stands) of two detachable short double legs at each end of the TV bottom. On the one hand, this design means that the Q6FN sits much sturdier than its QLED cousins (with none of the slightly wobble that single leg stands tend to create) while on the other hand, it also means that the Q6FN needs a wider surface for placement. We thing the minor tradeoff is worth it.
We mentioned above that one of the key features that distinguishes the Q6FN from the Q9FN, Q7FN and the Q8FN is that this model doesn’t deliver quite as much overall brightness as its two cousins. Well, yes, this is true but the Q6FN still gets insanely bright by the standards of the absolute majority of 4K HDR TVs on the market today. Its peak brightness and overall levels of sustained brightness are exceptionally high, just not quite as generally incredible as those of the Q8FN or the Q9FN –which is today’s absolute brightest TV in terms of average sustained and peak display luminosity measurements.
In other words in terms of overall display brightness across the entire screen and in terms of sustained luminosity, both of the Q6FN’s cousins are superior performers but the Q6FN is a stellar performer at delivering some very strong, realistic levels of luminance for brightly lit objects in onscreen content, and as we mentioned above in what we said about its color performance, this television does this while delivering excellent color integrity at the same time.
Black Levels and Contrast
The contrast ratio and overall black levels of the Q6FN are not quite as fantastic as those of the Q8FN and the Q9FN, but they’re comparable to what Samsung’s Q7FN can deliver. This is the area of display performance in which this television most underperforms its Q9 and Q8 cousins. However, both of these other models have some of the best contrast levels and black depth of any LCD TVs on sale right now, so comparing them with the Q6FN isn’t exactly fair. If on the other hand you rate the Q6FN with the majority of 4K HDR TVs of a similar price to it, what you get is some truly excellent performance, with strong contrast, deep rich black levels and great black uniformity with little clouding. TVs like Sony’s X900F or TCL’s S-Series 2018 TVs deliver better local dimming and slightly better black uniformity but the Q6FN does both well and delivers a generally superb contrast ratio in the bargain. On the other hand, much like the Q7FN, the Q6 model doesn’t come with full-array LED backlighting, so the quality of its black levels is slightly undermined by poor local dimming technology, meaning that halo effects around bright content against dark backgrounds are present. We’ll cover this in more detail further below.
Motion handling and Gaming Excellence
All of Samsung’s 4K TVs, including the cheapest models, deliver at least good motion handling and downright excellent gaming performance. The Q6FN, as a premium QLED TV, offers excellent motion handling and superb performance for use as a PC display. Its motion control specs are mostly very good across the board, with smooth motion blur handling, excellent interpolation of video from all sorts of sources and at assorted native frame rates (the Q6FN’s native display refresh rate is 120Hz in all models except for the 49 inch edition which offers 60Hz only). Judder-free playback of 24fps movies and programming from all internal and external video sources is also possible with this 4K TV. For its motion interpolation, the Q6FN works amazingly well at interpolating movement from all but the most intense action on the screen and uses AMD FreeSync technology for variable refresh rate delivery.
And, as we said above, as a TV for gaming use with consoles or PC rigs, the Q6FN is simply superb. Samsung’s TVs are almost always great in this regard so this was no surprise to us. In basic terms, for use with consoles playing games in 4K or 1080p and with or without HDR and other color/contrast formats, the Q6FN delivers wonderfully low input lag pretty much across all settings.
What We Didn’t Like
The Samsung Q6FN TV also isn’t without some minor to moderate flaws. None of the unlikeable things that we found about this TV are in any way deal-breakers in our opinion, especially with the Q6FN’s fairly reasonable price tag being considered, but they are worth mentioning just in case some consumers hate the following:
Still No Dolby Vision
We mention this particular detail first because we think it’s really annoying that Samsung refuses to integrate Dolby Vision HDR support in any of its 4K TVs. Yes, we know that there isn’t much Dolby Vision content out on the market yet anyhow but it would be nice to have this exceptional high dynamic range content available for the movies and TV shows that do support it. Instead, Samsung is determined to push its own HDR10+ HDR format as a substitute. The Q6FN does support HDR10 (which is what all current HDR content supports by default) but we’d like to see the particularly refined picture processing that Dolby Vision creates reproduced on this exceptionally capable 4K TV’s screen.
Weak Local Dimming
Few of Samsung’s 4K TV models come with full-array LED backlighting, and for at least a couple of years even their priciest televisions lacked this feature that’s increasingly common in many much cheaper televisions from other brands. Granted, the Samsung premium TVs still delivered some of the best display brightness on the market because the LEDs inside them are so good but edge-lit TVs don’t do so well at delivering high quality local dimming, which has been a consistent weakness of almost all of Samsung’s 2015, 2016 and 2017 models. For the 2018 QLED TVs, this wasn’t the case to some extent. Both the Q8FN and the Q9FN come with full-array LED backlighting in which LEDs cover the entire surface behind these TVs’ displays. Consequently, you get some truly excellent or at least very good local dimming for deeper black levels and much less halo effects in shadowy or contrasting scenes respectively. Unfortunately, the Q6FN doesn’t share this particular spec. It’s an edge-lit 4K TV and thus despite its very good display brightness and great black levels, the TV’s local dimming technology is really poor, with only limited dimming zones and because of this, it suffers from noticeable bleed-through and halo effects during sequences in which brightly lit content is contrasting with dark backgrounds.
Viewing angle problems
Vertical Alignment, or VA for short, is the technology used in the organization of pixels on many of today’s TV screens, including all of Samsung’s models. It means that the pixels in the screen are vertically aligned from top to bottom lengthwise in a more narrow formation that on the one hand allows for extremely good blocking of backlight bleed but which on the other hand also reduces color, contrast and overall picture quality at wide off-center viewing angles. The Q6FN suffers from this problem to a certain extent and if you’ve got a big living room in which people might scatter around a bit to watch the TV from far off to either side, it will spoil the entertainment experience a bit. We prefer VA TVs to their IPS rivals (which have much better viewing angles but also weaker contrast and black levels) but they’re not for everyone. Good alternatives to VA TVs are Sony or LG’s OLED 4K TVs, which offer excellent viewing angles and keep their deep perfect blacks.
Weak native audio
The Samsung Q6FN delivers only mediocre native audio power. If you’re used to powerful surround-sound speaker systems, they’ll be particularly unimpressive and while you usually can’t expect much from the small and highly centered speakers of any stand-alone 4K TV, this model probably could maybe have done a bit better on this metric. You can however easily fix this problem by splurging on even a modestly good external sound system.
value for Price & Bottom Line
Overall, we think the Q6FN is a good deal. It’s not as good as its QLED cousins but offers similar enough performance to the Q7FN to be worth buying if you want to save a couple hundred dollars. A good rival choice would be Sony’s X900F, which is a better TV overall and only costs maybe $100 more but if you’re particularly fond of Samsung TV’s this model represents the company’s best value per dollar spent on their 2018 QLED 4K TVs.
Key Samsung Q6FN Specs
• Screen sizes: 49 inch QN49Q6FN, 55 inch QN55Q6FN, 75 inch QN75Q6FN, 82 inch QN826FN (TV being reviewed is 55 inches)
• Smart TV: Tizen smart platform 2018
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• VP9 Included. Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• HDR Support: Yes, HDR10, Hybrid Log Gamma
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz native refresh rate (except 49 inch model which is 60Hz)
• Screen Lighting: LCD Display with full-array backlighting & local dimming
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• Remotes: Samsung smart remote, voice control, remote app for iOS and Android
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI (all of them 2.0a and HDCP 2.2) ports, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Digital Audio Out, all located in eternal One Connect box
• Contrast Ratio: 6205+:1 (native, real contrast), 6800+:1 (with local dimming)
• Maximum Peak Brightness: 996 nits (cd/m2)
• 3D Technology: N/A
• Processor: Q Engine
Display Performance Metrics
Here we’re going to cove rthe most crucial performance specs and their measurements in the Samsung Q6FN 4K HDR LCD TV. They all revolve around color reproduction, brightness, black levels, contrast, local dimming and motion handling. These specs may vary slightly from unit to unit so they should not be taken as absolutes. However, they should maintain a generally high level of similarity in all units, making them good enough to be reliable indicators of quality.
Different sizes of TV display can change some of these metrics slightly (for example, larger edge-lit LCD 4K TVs tend to have weaker local dimming and peak brightness). As an edge-lit LCD TV, the Q6FN can have some slight variations to how its backlight affects local dimming, contrast and black uniformity depending on the size of screen being considered.
The following specs are basically what really decides if a 4K TV is worth buying or not. They’re it’s most important indicators of real performance and they disregard all the marketing and labeling fluff that manufacturers like to slather their TVs in for the sake of making them seem more exceptional than they really might be. Here we ignore fake color brilliance labels and disingenuous terminology like a TVs “Motion Rate” (which mainly just describes a completely invented motion refresh rate that has nothing to do with what the TV panel can actually do) and other such jargon.
Black Level, Local Dimming and Contrast:
These crucial display specs in any 4K TV all interplay with each other as far as display performance goes. Thus they deserve to be covered together.
The Samsung Q6FN offers a generally very good delivery of all of the above in this section except for local dimming. Its general black level is excellent and sits well within HDR10 standards at less than 0.019 nits, and the TVs overall black uniformity is remarkably good for that of an edge-lit LCD TV with weak local dimming. Samsung has a tendency towards delivering these specs well even in its lower-rung 4K TVs, so it’s no surprise that they’re good in a premium model like the Q6FN. Where the Q6FN also performs exceptionally well is on its maximum contrast ratio. Oddly, it actually manages to take it higher than the pricier Q7FN. While the Q7FN only goes up to a maximum with local dimming activated of 5706:1, the Q6FN measured a contrast ratio of over 6200:1 without local dimming activation and a really good contrast ratio of more than 6700:1 with local dimming. These are pretty good performance specs and their crucial for high quality picture performance during playback of high contrast scenes in movies and shows. On the other hand, the Q6FN doesn’t hold a candle to the flagship QLED, the Q9FN. The latter model’s far superior full-array LED backlight allows for much more precise local dimming that can create contrast ratios of nearly 19,000:1, some of the highest we’ve ever seen in any LCD 4K TV. The Q8FN on the other hand can reach levels of just over 7,000:1.
Where the Q6FN falls really short is on the overall quality of its local dimming. As we said above, the TV performs well in how nicely it delivers contrast performance for content and how well it maintains deep black levels where needed even in mostly bright content. However, it’s local dimming does almost nothing to improve these metrics even further. The dimming zones are few and very imprecise since this is an edge-lit model.
Peak brightness is the maximum possible spot HDR or SDR luminosity of a complete 4K TV display or differently sized sections of its screen as measured in units of brightness called nits (or cd/m2, which is the same thing). Sustained brightness is the highest possible sustained HDR or SDR brightness that the TV screen can manage across its entire screen or parts of it for a prolonged period of time (a few minutes or more). In other words, Peak brightness consists of how luminous sudden bright spots can become and sustained brightness measures prolonged luminosity in content on the display.
.The Q6FN is one very bright 4K HDR LCD TV by any normal measure. This applies to both its peak brightness and its overall sustained brightness under almost all conditions. It only looks weak when compared to its QLED cousins in the 2018 series from Samsung or when it’s compared to Sony’s absolute best 4K LCD TVs. In comparison to the majority of 4K TVs of all types, this TV performs above average almost across the board. Its absolute peak luminance reaches up to over 990 nits, and oddly, this is when the television is set to view SDR content, not HDR content as would be expected for exceptional levels of brightness. In basic terms, this means that the Q6FN displays movie content of all types wonderfully, with excellent brightness and vibrancy and is thus a great TV for viewing even in brightly lit rooms without worrying about weak visibility of what’s on the screen.
On an added note, we’d also like to mention that, like all the other 2017 and 2018 QLED TVs, it renders color volume very well even during very dark and very bright scenes. This is something that many cheaper or older 4K HDR TVs couldn’t quite pull off too well.
The display brightness numbers below as measured in nits for different areas of display space, under both HDR and SDR settings and under both peak and sustained conditions demonstrate the Q6FN’s overall capacity for screen luminosity:
Samsung Q6FN SDR Brightness
- Overall SDR peak brightness for normal content: 591 nits
- Peak 2% display area display SDR brightness: 878 nits
- Peak 10% display area SDR brightness: 995 nits
- Peak 100% display area SDR brightness: 667 nits
- Sustained 10% SDR brightness: 640 nits
- Sustained 100% SDR brightness: 673 nits
Samsung Q6FN HDR Brightness
- Overall HDR peak brightness for normal content: 720 nits
- Peak 2% display area display HDR brightness: 760 nits
- Peak 10% display area HDR brightness: 810 nits
- Peak 100% display area HDR brightness: 551 nits
- Sustained 10% HDR brightness: 519 nits
- Sustained 100% HDR brightness: 543 nits
Samsung’s Q6FN doesn’t quite manage the exceptionally high levels of color delivery that the other QLED TVs can pull off but it comes very close. The difference is small enough that it probably won’t even really be noticeable unless you were to compare this model with something like the Q9FN side-by-side. However, it is worth noting.
First of all, the Q6FN offers the obvious essentials of premium HDR color delivery: full support for 10-bit color with very little banding of colors during reproduction of content with 10-bit (1.07 billion colors) color support also included for wide color gamut spectrum coverage. The WCG coverage of this TV is good, with 94.69% of the DCI-P3 spectrum covered. This is really good but not exceptional by the standards of premium HDR ultra HD televisions. The bottom line is that in terms of color vibrancy and realism for both HDR and SDR content, the Q6FN does a very good job even if it isn’t “perfect”.
Color volume maintenance is also very good in this TV model (as we mentioned above in our brightness section) and it’s definitely superior to what we saw in any of the 2017 QLED TVs. In both shadowy scenes and extremely bright content sequences, very decent color volume is maintained across the entire color gamut and that’s very impressive considering just how tricky it used to be for a TV display to pull this off in older 4K HDR TVs. The Q9FN and Q8FN both outperform the Q6FN on this spec though.
White balance delta E, color delta E and Gamma in the Q6FN sit at very good levels of 0.18, 1.64 and 2.19 respectively after some moderate picture settings calibration. On the other hand, right out of the box and before any calibration, these same levels are only decent, sitting at 3.4, 1.8 and 2.4 respectively for the model we reviewed. These details can however be improved away quite quickly for the much better settings we described for post-calibration.
Motion Handling & Upscaling:
The Q6FN offers excellent motion handling performance across the board and its motion blur control is exceptionally good at 5.2 milliseconds. The Q6FN also has some very good motion interpolation capacity in its screen but this can produce a slight soap opera effect when used for movies that play at different frame rates. It’s usually better to turn it down a few notches by setting ‘Auto Motion Plus’ to ‘Custom’ in the TV’s picture controls and making that custom value no higher than mid-range.
As for the Q6FN’s upscaling, it works well at sharpening almost any reasonably well formatted source of content but is particularly good at improving the visual quality of 1080p HD video and 720p programming of any kind.
The Q6FN delivers motion interpolation of content at all major typical frame rates (24p movies, 30fps TV content, high frame rate streamed video and games) exceptionally well on its native 120Hz display panel. 24p Blu-ray discs, DVDs, cable TV and broadcast TV sources as well as streaming media from both native apps and apps inside external streaming media devices can all be played judder-free as well and with minimal to no judder. The Q6FN QLED does suffer from some 240Hz backlight flicker during content playback, but this is definitely better than what we’ve seen in older Samsung 4K HDR TVs such as the 2017 QLED models. Both the Q8FN and Q9FN models deliver much lighter backlight flicker and generally superior performance in this regard…
Input Performance for Gaming and PC:
Samsung’s entire 2018 4K HDR TV lineup, from cheapest to priciest models, like the 2016 and the 2016 models before it, pretty much offers excellent performance for console gaming and PC use at different resolution, color and HDR settings as well as at different refresh rates. In fact, Samsung’s TVs have traditionally been some of the best performing 4K sets for gaming that we’ve reviewed in terms of low input lag for consoles and wide support for resolution and color formats.
The Q6FN 2018 television thus delivers some really outstanding game handling performance across the board when used with popular game consoles. This television is easily among the best premium models we’ve seen this year as far as gaming connectivity for smooth gaming is concerned. In fact, in terms of overall input lag performance for gaming in different resolutions, HDR settings and color formatting, the Q6FN is slightly better at its job than its pricier Q7, Q8 and Q9FN cousins, which is interesting considering the TV’s price.
The Q6FN even delivers very low input lag with motion interpolation activated. This is something that was previously not common in 4K HDR TVs, with almost all older models from before 2018 doing little better than 80 – 100+ milliseconds. This combined with its HDR support specs makes this particular Samsung ultra HD television into one really excellent choice for 4K, HDR and 1080p Xbox or PS4 Pro gamers.
The following are the specific specs for its gaming performance in different console setups:
- 4k @ 60Hz: 15.4 ms
- 1080p @ 60Hz: 15.9 ms
- 1080p @ 120Hz: 9.3 ms
- 4k @ 60Hz + HDR: 16 ms
- 1080p @ 60Hz + HDR: 16.1 ms
- 4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode : 72 ms
- 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4: 15.2 ms
- 4K @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR: 16.4 ms
- 4K with interpolation activated: 21.4 ms
The Q6F is also great for use as a PC monitor if you want to do high frame rate gaming on it. It’s compatible with multiple resolution and color formats and offers smooth frame rate handling between PC GPUs and what the screen delivers. This TV offers up full 4:4:4 chroma subsampling support as long as you activate HDMI UHD Color from the External Device Manager and enable the input HDMI port for PC use. The TV also offers AMD FreeSync-powered variable refresh rate and supports 1080p @ 120 Hz support when coupled with PC rigs. Other fully supported resolutions and color settings for PC connectivity include [email protected], [email protected], 4K @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4. 1440p support is also supported at 120Hz (the TVs native refresh rate).
The Q6FN comes with all of its connectivity ports built right into the TV body inside a recessed panel on the back left side. Unlike the Q7FN or Q9FN models, it doesn’t come with a One Connect Box. That said, like virtually all newer 4K HDR TVs, the Samsung Q6FN comes with today’s now standard and essential advanced connectivity specs. No user should have connectivity problems with this model for hooking it up to pretty much any external media device or hard drive as long as all hardware is in working order. In other words, the Q6 2018 edition comes equipped with multiple HDMI, USB ports and other crucial connectivity slots. Samsung also gave the Q6FN full HDMI 2.0 HDR supported bandwidth in all four HDMI ports. This is a nice touch considering that similarly priced rival TVs from Sony only offer this through two of their HDMI ports.
The following are the Q6FN’s ports and their specifications:
- HDMI : 4 (all with HDCP 2.2 and full HDMI 2.0a capacity)
- USB : 3 (USB 3.0)
- Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
- Analog Audio Out 3.5 mm : 1
- Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
- Ethernet : 1
- HDR10 support: Yes
- Hybrid Log Gamma HDR support: Yes
- Dolby Vision HDR: No
The Samsung Q6FN TV models also offer audio connectivity in the following types.
- 1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
- 1 Passthrough ARC DTS
- 1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
- 1 Passthrough Optical DTS
Samsung has released the Q6F in several different sizes, for all sorts of budgets. Thus, a 49 inch budget model is being sold as well as editions in 55 inches, 65 inches, 75 inches and a gigantic 82 inch model. These several Q6FN television editions sell for the following prices, found in the links 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.