This Samsung Q70 review explores a product line that packs performance and some level of affordability into a sleek, attractive package. Though the Q70 series is a premium TV, it is still one of the cheapest QLED product lines that Samsung has to offer at the moment.
A Q70 display aims to give the consumer the kind of picture quality that you expect from top-tier Samsung televisions. The Q70 series also comes with a veritable suite of bells and whistles that are geared towards offering an interactive and enjoyable user experience.
Let’s get into our Samsung Q70 review and see how well the Q70 performs.
Samsung Q70 review: What you need to know about this product line
The Samsung Q70 series is an entry-level product line in Samsung’s stable of QLED displays. It then follows that it is one of the cheapest series of all the QLED models that Samsung offers.
If you are in the market for a wide-screen QLED screen that will save you a few hundred bucks, the Q70 series has a TV that will meet your requirements. All the Q70 models have the same features and similar performance when it comes to picture quality. The only major difference between one model and the next is the screen size. Here are the different models that make up the Q70 series:
- 49-inch QN49Q70R (Unlike the wider Q70 displays, the 49-inch has a refresh rate of 60Hz; half the refresh rate of the rest of the panels. It also lacks the FreeSync feature that adjusts the refresh rate to match the signal from a given input source)
- 55-inch QN55Q70R
- 65-inch QN65Q70R
- 75-inch QN75Q70R
- 82-inch QN82Q70R
- 85-inch QN85Q70R
All Q70 panels have a similar build. The design, thickness, mounting pattern, input ports and speaker placement of all Q70 televisions are pretty much the same. That’s why this Samsung Q70 series review will focus on the series as a whole. Let’s get to it.
Widescreen TVs come in large packages. The good news is that Q70 television sets are light, so you’ll be fine. Even if you buy a larger screen you’ll only need an extra set of hands to help you lift the TV as you mount it on the wall or your entertainment stand.
Inside the box, you’ll find a pair of sturdy, well-built legs, a setup guide, a remote, a pair of batteries and a power cord. Samsung also includes a baggie of washers in case you want to wall mount the TV. That’s everything you need to set up your TV. If you want to mount it, you’ll need a wall mount that can support the 200×200 VESA pattern of the Q70.
Samsung Q70 series review: First looks
The build quality of the Q70 is the kind you’d expect from premium television sets. The material that goes into the chassis is durable, high-quality plastic that adds to the overall aesthetic of the TV.
The first thing that catches the eye when you first see a Q70 TV is a screen with ultra-thin bezels. These black, glossy bezels are only a centimeter (0.4 inches) thick. From the side, the sleek design of the Q70 is even more apparent. The panel only measures 2.5 inches at its widest point. This allows the TV to hug the wall if you choose to mount it.
While the Q70 looks pretty amazing at first glance, it’s the back panel that will impress you the most. The surface of the back panel has ridges that run along the length of the TV. These add texture and enhance the look of the TV. The back panel also has guide slots that allow for the kind of cable management that leaves the space around the TV looking immaculate.
The legs of the TV put the icing on the cake of a great first impression. They each rest at the ends of the TV, so you’ll need a table stand that is wider than the length of the panel. Because they are sturdy and wide-set, the legs are a stable anchor for the TV. The legs are hollow at the back, allowing you to run cables through them.
Samsung Q70 series review: Inputs, outputs, connectivity
Let’s start at the front. You’ll find a downwards-facing D-pad right under the Samsung logo. This will help you to manually navigate the settings of the TV.
Moving on, you will find a column of outward-facing ports on the left side of the back panel. It’s worth noting that higher-end Samsung product lines have a (kind of) separate one-connect IO box for ease of access. Not the Q70 series though. So if you mount the TV you’ll need to work in order to reach the ports.
The ports are arranged in the following order, from top to bottom: Two USB-C ports, a digital optical audio output, four HDMI ports (one with ARC capability), an Ethernet port and an antenna/cable connector. There’s also a power port on the right side of the back panel.
Being a Smart TV product line, the Q70 has a wireless adapter that allows for connection via Bluetooth and WiFi. It operates on 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies.
Smart TV features: OS and home screen
The Samsung Q70 review would be incomplete without an exploration of the smart capabilities of the series. Q70 televisions run Samsung’s proprietary OS, Tizen. As interfaces go, Tizen is responsive and easy to use.
Everything you need is on a ribbon at the bottom of the home screen. On this ribbon, you will find different streaming apps, a settings menu, as well as a menu of different input sources.
With time, Tizen learns your viewing preferences and pulls your favorite content from multiple sources and into a single space. The one downside of Tizen is intrusive ads that pop up occasionally. Unfortunately, this annoying drawback is not unique to Tizen, so it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
Smart TV features: Content
Tizen comes preinstalled with popular streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, HBO and YouTube. Whatever else you can think of, you’ll find it at the store. The internal storage of the TV is enough to hold a good number of apps.
Smart TV features: Bixby voice assistant
Bixby is Samsung’s proprietary voice assistant. You only need to summon it via the inbuilt microphone on the minimalist remote that ships with the TV. Bixby works fine but Google Assistant and Alexa are simply better.
If you try to talk to Bixby in a room with some ambient noise, the assistant might not respond especially if the remote is some distance away.
Samsung Q70 series review: Remote
The remote that comes with Q70 televisions is a simple device that has a navigation pad and a number of shortcut keys. The remote operates on RF, so you won’t need a line of sight to control the TV. The microphone that allows you to talk to Bixby is always on standby even when the TV is off. You will need to change the remote settings if you want to turn off the microphone at certain times.
You can use the remote to control devices other than the TV, so that’s an added advantage of the Q70.
Samsung Q70 series review: Picture quality
As we get into the performance of the TV, it’s important to explore the native attributes of Q70 panels, just you know what you’re working with. That’s why this portion of the review touches on a physical feature of the TV and its contribution to overall picture quality.
The magic ingredient of a QLED panel is a thin film of millions of Nano-crystals that filter out straggler wavelengths to create pure R/G/B colors. This allows Q70 panels to perform color reproduction that is highly accurate compared to the input source.
To put it another way, the wide color gamut and QLED technology that come with the Q70 series render saturated colors that look like real-life. It gets better. The impressive peak brightness levels of the Q70 add depth to the color palette, resulting in a volume of color that would overwhelm the senses of an artist.
2. Brightness and HDR content
Samsung is famous for bright displays that can hold their own against the brightest of summer days. With peak brightness levels of 450nits in SDR and 747 nits in HDR, the Q70 series are as bright as they come.
It’s the impressive peak brightness levels that add volume to the Q70’s fairly wide color gamut, allowing the panels to display high-fidelity HDR content. It’s safe to say that the Q70 series render HDR content just like the cinematographers planned it.
That said, the Q70 does have trouble reproducing luminous blues, which is a limitation that’s present in many Samsung QLED panels. That’s one of the areas where OLED televisions outperform their QLED competition. The other is viewing angles since the Q70 panels start to lose picture quality as the viewing angle increases.
3. Black levels, local dimming and contrast
LED backlights work by providing a constant light source. LED televisions achieve darker colors by ‘instructing’ individual liquid crystals to keep light from leaving the TV and reaching your eyes. Now, because the LED backlight remains on at all times, light bleedthrough is a thing that happens even as you watch dark scenes. This brings us to the matter of black levels. How dark can the Q70 get?
Being LED panels, Q70 televisions cannot render the pure black that OLED screens do, but they come close.
Q70 panels are 4K televisions with full-array direct backlighting. Because the LED backlights on the Q70 are spread out across the surface of the screen instead of at the edges, the panels are capable of local dimming. This feature allows dimming of LEDs that are located directly behind the dark sections of a picture. Ultimately, this keeps light bleedthrough to a minimum. This is how the Q70 displays achieve near-zero black levels.
Local dimming improves the level of detail, sharpness and contrast in an image. This can only enhance the overall picture quality of the Q70 and your overall viewing experience.
4. Native contrast ratio
This term describes the difference between the brightest colors and the deepest blacks. For the Q70 series, the contrast ratio is 7250:1 without local dimming. With local dimming enabled, the contrast level goes all the way up to around 8000:1.
Along with a rich array of color, an impressive contrast ratio is a useful tool that allows the display panel to render sharp, defined detail in dark portions of video. For you the consumer, this means that you get to feel horror and suspense as a scary thing materializes from the dark recesses of a cave to creep up on the protagonist.
High contrast ratio also enhances the look of bright scenes by taking full advantage of the deep, rich hues and the radiant colors that the Q70 series can render. The end result is well worth the price of a Samsung Q70 TV.
5. Black and grey uniformity
A good quality TV will have a high level of uniformity when it displays a uniformly dark screen, without too much light bleedthrough. Though you’ll likely never sit down to enjoy an hour’s worth of black screen, uniformity is a metric you should care about.
A panel with an uneven distribution of backlight will often suffer from dirty screen effect. The effect appears as patches of uneven color at the edges or center of the screen. These distracting patches could affect your viewing experience as you watch fast-paced content or play fast-paced video games.
The Q70 has good grey uniformity, though the edges are darker than the center. When it comes to black uniformity, however, this TV excels. There’s virtually no backlight bleed, which translates to excellent black levels and perfect reproduction of dark scenes.
Input lag and motion handling
Input lag is the delay between the moment a TV reads an input signal and the moment the TV displays the signal. You want minimal input lag as you watch a car chase or play an action-packed game. The good news is that the Q70’s VA panel has a 15.7ms input lag, making it one of the most responsive panels in the market.
This quick response time allows the Q70 to do a great job of rendering fast-paced video. You will barely notice any motion blur at all, as a ball flies across the screen.
All but one of the Q70 panels have a 120Hz refresh rate, a rate that’s high enough to cause flicker. To counter this issue, Samsung implements frame interpolation (the addition of blank/black /duplicate frames) to smooth choppy video and remove flicker. Q70 televisions can also vary their refresh rate to match the content from a particular input source.
Q70 televisions come with a pair of 20 Watt speakers that produce decent sound. The speakers are loud enough, but they don’t have powerful bass. The truth is that the internal speakers of a TV can only do so much. It’s always a good idea to connect external speakers to your entertainment setup.
- The Q series is one of the most affordable product lines that Samsung offers
- Great picture quality due in large part to quantum dot technology
- Full local dimming, made possible by direct backlighting
- Low input lag, which is a gamer’s dream
- Great motion handling
- Universal remote that has many useful features
- Impressive peak brightness levels which help with the picture quality of HDR content
- The Bixby voice assistant does not come close to Alexa or Google Assistant
- Bixby has a hard time pushing past ambient noise
- Narrow viewing angles
- Local dimming can sometimes mangle small details
- The TV lacks the anti-glare finish present in other QLED series
- The TV lacks HDMI 2.1 capability
Samsung Q70 series review verdict: This is a TV worth buying
Ready for the verdict of our Samsung Q70 series review? The Q70 series boasts great picture quality, an intuitive interface and value for money. If you’re looking for a premium TV at a good price, consider one of the models from the Q70 line. Click here to browse the different sizes in the Q70 line.