Having an almost constant stream of flagship TVs passing through Professional Reviews’ doors, it’s easy to overlook that there are TVs farther down the ranges — and at costs that don’t instantly make you wince. Samsung’s Q70R range is a perfect example. Sitting under the top Q90R, Q85R and Q80R versions as part of Samsung’s 2020 4K QLED family, this — ahem –‘mid-range’ TV is attempting to provide that QLED magic to get a whole lot less cash.
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Samsung Q70R evaluation: What you Will Need to know
Samsung’s Q70R comes in five distinct flavours. The 55in model is On test here, however it’s also available in 49in, 65in, 75in and 82in variants. The key selling point is that it is the cheapest TV at Samsung’s QLED ranges to add complete array local dimming (FALD) backlighting — and that gives it a enormous advantage over sets that use basic edge-lit technology.
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Naturally, though, you do wind up missing out on some of the Features in the flagship versions. Even the Q70R lacks the Ultra Viewing Angle and Ultra Black Filter features, and while its stablemates boast hundreds of light zones for their FALD backlights, the Q70R has to make do with only 50.
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Samsung Q70R evaluation: Features and layout
Samsung’s Q70R is fairly plagued by today’s standards. As ever, It’s the FALD backlighting which is responsible for filling out the Q70R’s heftier chassis — but in all fairness it’s not something that’s likely to bother most people. Unless, that is, you are planning on staring at either side of your TV or you’re an OCD stickler for flush wall-mounting.
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And if you’re planning to pop up the Q70R on your TV stand, a note of Warning: although the toes slot easily without a screw in sight, then they are rather loosely spaced. This is an important problem because in some cases this will ask that you purchase a broader TV stand.
There are advantages to this Q70R’s chunky chassis and wide stance, though. Sound quality is strong, together with the internal speakers generating striking bass and quantity. The down-firing speaker arrangement means that audio directionality is below par, but the powerful sound more than makes amends. It is markedly superior to your average TV audio.
We are a little sad to see that Samsung’s inventive One Connect Box hasn’t trickled down to the 7-series version, though. Instead, all of four HDMI 2.0b vents are all located over the TV’s rear.
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You get the choice of 2 remote controls from the box. There is a More traditional remote controller, which works as you would expect it to if you have been utilizing TVs because the 1990s, and there is also a Smart Remote that’s better suited for the point-and-click audience.
Whichever you choose to work with, the Tizen-powered interface is sleek. There are HDR-enabled apps for Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and BBC iPlayer, and also the Prime Video app supports HDR10+ dynamic metadata. Apple users will be very pleased to see that Airplay support is found alongside the Apple TV app, also. Only the lack of Freeview Play gives cause for some quite (very) slight disappointment.
Samsung Q70R evaluation: Picture quality and HDR
The Q70R’s screen is a VA-type LCD panel, which means you can Anticipate deep blacks and great contrast — or at least you can if you sit in the perfect seat. One of these limitations of VA technology is that viewing angles aren’t particularly broad, which means you will lose colour fidelity and contrast as you move off-centre. It is imperative to sit down inside a 30-degree angle or so from head-on for the best results.
Indeed, it is a real shame that Samsung’s Ultra Viewing Angle And Ultra Black Filter features haven’t yet trickled down in the top-flight versions, as these really do a great job of making up to the limitations of VA panel technologies. There are no two ways about it: the Q70R’s semi-glossy sheen is simply not as effective as the reflection-absorbing finish of this Samsung Q80R and Q90R.
It is great to see that FALD is present and correct though, even if That the Q70R’s 50 independently dimmable zones fall well short of the Q90R’s 480. Nevertheless, Samsung makes the absolute most that limited number of zones by tailoring the local dimming algorithm to match, sacrificing shadow detail and dimming brighter objects to maintain deep blacks and decrease flowering or haloing artefacts.
This generally works well in practice, also, and as the top and Bottom letterbox bars aren’t as black as the flagship Q90R, they’re Impressively dark. Keep an eye on those bars and You’ll notice significantly Less distracting flourishing than on rivals such as Sony’s LED LCD models. The Very darkest near-black tones seem significantly cleaner than on most OLED sets too.