Samsung Q70A Review: Good for Gaming, With Room for Improvement


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Let’s do the kind of Samsung Q70A review that looks at how well the manufacturer assembles a mid-range QLED TV.

Two major qualities deliver a successful smart TV that buyers can enjoy for years. The first metric is the ease of use or overall user experience.  Usability is a function of physical TV design and an excellent smart TV platform. Just as important is the picture quality of a display because we buy televisions to watch them, no?

It is on these metrics that we evaluate the Samsung Q70A. Let’s see if this mid-range QLED smart TV offers value for your money.

Samsung Q70A review: First looks

The Samsung Q70A has an ultra-slim side profile and thin bezels that create the illusion of a frameless screen. A wall-mount installation turns the Q70A into a large picture frame that you can use to showcase electronic art. With Tizen’s ambient mode, you can display breathtaking visuals whenever the Q70A is idle.

Samsung Q70A review

You could choose to place the Q70A on an entertainment stand with the support of a forward-facing pedestal. The pedestal provides adequate stability for the widescreen, but a home with young kids needs a TV with more stable feet.

This brings us to the back panel of the TV, which has grooves for cable management and a VESA wall-mount pattern. You’ll find a column of side-facing ports on the right end of the TV. The ports are easy to reach, even with a wall-mount install.

Ports and wireless connectivity

Four HDMI ports allow you to connect the Q70A to various devices, including older electronics with legacy ports. All you need is an adapter that connects your older device to one of the HDMI ports on the TV. 

HDMI3 has eARC capability in case you want to use the TV to route audio from a connected device (a gaming console, for example) to your sound system. The fourth HDMI port supports 4K/120 content and gaming features like FreeSync VRR. In addition to the HDMI ports, the Samsung Q70A comes with:

  • Two USB ports
  • Digital optical audio output
  • Ethernet jack
  • Cable/antenna connector

WiFi provides a wireless connection for casting and screen sharing through Apple Airplay. Bluetooth allows the Q70A to channel audio to Bluetooth-capable hearing aids, headphones, and soundbars.

[Read what others are saying about this television]

Samsung Q70A review: Smart TV platform

The Q70A runs a clunky version of Tizen, which is Samsung’s proprietary OS. This version of Tizen takes up much of the storage in the TV, leaving little room for additional apps you want to install. Now you may be thinking that you can simply remove a few of the pre-installed apps. The thing is that removing pre-installed apps is not always an option. 

Bloatware is the second issue you’ll come across right after the intrusive ads and promotions.

Ad intrusions that bloat your menus

Prepare to do a lot of scrolling before you reach the streaming app you’re looking for. This strange design choice comes down to Samsung’s need to put the content they promote right in your face. 

The manufacturer does this by prioritizing recommended content on the menu ribbon at the bottom of your home screen. That’s not all because ads will cover part of your screen whenever the Tizen interface wills it, which is often.

Useful features

We move on to the good parts of the Q70A version of the Tizen platform. The interface is responsive and swift to respond to user commands. Low input lag makes for enjoyable browsing as you navigate the different obstacle courses in the interface.

You also get your choice of voice assistants and a large selection of streaming apps. The Tizen ecosystem also provides tools that allow the TV to interface with compatible smart home devices.

The remote

Samsung ships the Q70A with a solar remote that uses a rechargeable lithium battery. With good execution, the remote is a good idea that eliminates the chore of replacing dry-cell batteries. Only with good execution.

The manufacturer says that ambient indoor light is enough to charge the remote, but you need to make a conscious effort. Remember to keep the remote face-down to expose the small solar panel at the back of the remote. It’s faster to charge the remote with a USB-C cable (you need to source for yourself).

You may need a little time to settle into the compact remote with a tricky navigation pad. Also, note that the buttons are super-sensitive, and dropping the remote might accidentally interrupt whatever you’re watching.

Samsung Q70A review: Hardware and picture quality

The Samsung Q70A is a 120Hz QLED panel with edge backlighting. Edge backlights mean that the Q70A cannot perform local dimming, which limits the panel’s ability to execute precision contrast. This drawback is not as severe as it could be, thanks to the screen’s impressive contrast ratio. 

Lastly, the TV has a color gamut that is wide enough for HDR content. The only drawback is some limitation in the panel’s coverage of the green color space. Here’s what happens when we put the panel’s hardware to work:

Color accuracy

Color reproduction is excellent right out of the box, and the panel renders colors that closely match your digital source material. You may notice that bright colors are brighter than they should be and that black levels don’t get as deep as black velvet.

Brightness, contrast, and HDR content

The Q70A can reach sustained peak brightness levels of 560 nits and black levels of 0.08nits. This stark contrast between the brightest and darkest colors gives the panel’s circuitry the material to create:

  • Fine detail in SDR and HDR, more so in bright scenes
  • Highlight detailing
  • Depth and texture that jumps off the screen
  • Passable shadow detail

You may notice a loss of definition in dark scenes or in dark sections of an image.  Fine detail, texture, and contouring could flatten and fade into a dark background. This shortcoming comes down to a lack of local dimming, which limits the panel’s ability to render precision contrast.

Viewing angles

The Samsung Q70A is a VA panel with narrow viewing angles that affect how images look from the side of the TV. 

At 20 degrees from the center, black colors start to turn gray and brighter colors start to wash out. The noticeable color shift occurs at about 35 degrees from the center. The images start to dim and lose definition at 40 degrees from the center. To put it another way, the Q70A does not lend itself to expansive seating arrangements.

Screen uniformity

For starters, the edge backlights of the Q70A may cause light to bleed through. The severity of the blooming and bleedthrough may vary from one Q70 TV set to the next.

A black screen on the Q70 looks mostly uniform, which makes this TV ideal for dark room viewing.  On the other hand, you may notice a slight dirty-screen artifact in sports content. The green expanse of a football or baseball stadium may develop dirty-brown patches every now and then. Again, uniformity issues vary between individual TV sets.

Motion handling

This is one area where the Samsung Q70A outperforms competing TVs with similar specs. The Q70A has an input lag of less than 10 seconds in game mode. This means that it takes less than 10 seconds for a signal to reach the panel and change a pixel. 

The TV’s pixels are just as nimble, with a response time of less than 10 seconds in game mode. In other words, a pixel will change color in less than 10 seconds. The result is smooth, blur-free motion and a responsive screen that gamers will enjoy.

Gaming features like 4K/120 support, VRR FreeSync, and auto low latency mode (ALLM) only sweeten an already sweet deal.

Pros

  • Pleasant design
  • Excellent color accuracy
  • Good rendering of HDR content
  • HDMI4 supports 4K/120, VRR FreeSync and ALLM
  • Good motion handling

Cons

  • Not everyone will like the TV remote 
  • The firmware could act up, and you may have to do a software upgrade
  • Clunky Tizen interface that makes you scroll through promoted content
  • Intrusive ads that obstruct sections of content as you watch
  • Some panels may have screen uniformity issues

Samsung Q70A review verdict: The Samsung Q70A has stiff competition

This Samsung Q70A review finds a QLED TV that offers excellent picture quality on most counts. A special mention goes to budget Tizen’s messy, ad-infested interface. Still, it’s a quality TV that’s excellent for gaming. Click here to learn more about this TV.

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