Samsung Q70 series (2019) review: mid-range high-performance QLED TV – CNET

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The Samsung Q70 is good news for those on a budget who want it chic design and features of a Samsung but still value image quality. It is by no means cheap, but it is the cheapest Samsung QLED TV local full array dimming (FALD)which gives it an excellent picture.

Samsung adorns its best LCD TVs called QLED, but don't confuse it with LG & # 39; s OLED Models. QLED and OLED are definitely not the same thing, and in our tests OLED QLED always hit. Unfortunately, high quality QLED televisions like the Q80 and Q90, not to mention it Samsung's 8K models, are very expensive and occupy the same high market segment as OLED televisions. The Q70 costs hundreds less, making it the best value for QLED TVs this year.

In my comparison tests with other devices equipped with FALD like that cheaper Vizio M8 and expensive Sony X950Gthe Q70 has held its own. Overall, the image quality was excellent and the black levels weren't quite as high as some of the competition, especially in High Dynamic Range (HDR) video, Brightness and pop were still great, especially in bright rooms, and the color and video processing of the Q70 was also top notch.

Samsung also focuses on features, extras, and design advantages. It contains the ambient mode – a kind of screen saver when you are not watching TV -, a sophisticated cable management system and an excellent Smart TV suite that is anchored by it Apple TV app and air game, the former exclusively from Samsung (for now). On the other hand, the only built-in language system is still Bixby,

Overall, the Q70 strikes a convincing balance between price, picture quality, and the kind of features and design you can only get from a Samsung TV. It's not as good a value as the world's TCLs and Vizios, but it doesn't really try to be.

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Slickness from Samsung

Samsung TVs always go one step further and look and feel significantly better than many others. The Q70 is no exception. The forward-facing parts – the super-thin standard border and the black legs – are nothing special unless you take into account that the bottom edge of the frame (thicker on many TVs) is the same width as the top edge and sides. But the back is really cool, with a slim channel that extends the length of the TV and allows you to hide cables and even run them through your legs.

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The Q70 is equipped with Samsung's Ambient mode, which shows things on the screen when you are not watching TV. It's a cool feature if you don't like the big black rectangle of an inactive TV and can adapt your photos, designer art, weather, headlines and even backgrounds to your wall. Samsung continues to add ambient mode content that is mostly free.

The remote control is the most beautiful of all televisions with a small, handy size and a small number of buttons. Special buttons for Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are new and welcome from 2019.

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Bixby on TV, now hands-free

The top remote control button turns on Bixby, Samsung's voice assistant, and, as expected, Google Assistant on TVs from Sony and LG (Alexa is also integrated in the 2019 sets from LG). Bixby was fine with basic commands like launching apps and changing volume, and queries like "show me comedies" were recognized, although the list of results wasn't as good as the Google Assistant list. It was also annoying that I had to dive deep into a permissions section to see weather results.

Bixby is completely disabled in Netflix. For example, this is not the case with Google Assistant, which works normally, regardless of whether I was in Netflix or not. And if you're interested in integrating smart homes, Bixby – which fits into Samsung's SmartThings universe – can't work with nearly as many devices as Google Assistant or Alexa.

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New for 2019, you can set Bixby to work hands-free without having to press a button on the remote. Instead, say "Hey Bixby" and the remote's microphone "hears" the command and activates Bixby. It worked well in my tests, but there were problems when the volume of the TV was too high or the remote was too far away, and overall it wasn't as sensitive as an Alexa speaker. This function is deactivated by default and can be switched on and off in the Bixby settings menu.

Samsung TVs will also be compatible with Alexa and Google Home from 2019 ($ 79 at Walmart) Speakers, like most other television sets available today. I have not tested this function.

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Apple's TV app is in the Samsung app bar.

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Apple and Samsung, like chocolate and peanut butter

Aside from Bixby, Samsung's smart TV system is excellent, with quick answers and numerous apps. me still likes Roku better overallHowever, because it has more apps and features are updated quickly. However, Roku doesn't have an Apple yet.

The biggest innovation for Samsung smart TVs in 2019 is the ability to work with Apple content and devices, with that Apple TV app and iPhones, iPads and Mac computers via AirPlay. The Apple TV app is welcome if you've bought a lot of things on iTunes – it gives you easy access to your purchased TV shows and movies and allows you to buy or rent new shows – or if you subscribe to them Apple TV channels like HBO or Showtime, In contrast to the app Apple TV boxesHowever, content from apps like Hulu, Amazon Prime or ESPN cannot be displayed. Instead, you need to launch these apps separately on the TV.

AirPlay worked well in my tests, although it's worth noting that Netflix is ​​no longer supported. I was able to start my iPhone to share photos and videos through the Photos app on the Q70 screen. The screen mirroring also worked as expected and was able to play videos on the TV and control them from the phone via Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube and YouTube TV. Mirroring my Mac screen also worked. The TV was an option in my Mac's AirPlay menu, and I was able to stream videos in a browser window. The Samsung, however, was a little more restless than an Apple TV 4K.

Features and connectivity

Local dimming with full array distinguishes the Q70 from cheaper Samsung TVs. This technology, which in our experience significantly improves LCD image quality, increases black level and contrast by making certain areas of the image darker or lighter in response to the on-screen display. The reinforce Q80 and Q90 According to Samsung, the device has more dimming zones and a brighter image than the Q70, but the company doesn't exactly specify how many zones there are. These two TVs offer superior viewing angles and anti-glare screens compared to the Q70.

Important TV functions

Display Technology

LED LCD

LED backlight

Full array with local dimming

resolution

4K

HDR-compatible

HDR10 and HDR10 +

Smart TV

Tizen

remote control

Standard with voice

Like all QLED televisions from Samsung, the Q70's LCD panel is supplemented by a layer of LED screens quantum dots – microscopic nanocrystals which, given the energy, light up a certain wavelength (i.e. color). The effect is a better brightness and color compared to TVs without QD equipment. The Q70 uses a real 120Hz panelThis improves the TV's motion performance, but as usual, the "Motion Rate 240" specification is fixed (note that the 49-inch size is 60 Hz / MR 120).

The device supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) content in the HDR10 and the HDR10 + formats, It lacks Dolby Vision HDR support found on most competitive HDR televisions. I haven't seen any evidence that one HDR format is inherently "better" than the other, so I definitely don't consider the lack of Dolby Vision on this TV to be a deal-breaker – it's just another one to consider instead Factor.

Samsung's gaming capabilities go beyond most TVs. The Q70 is compatible with variable refresh ratesSome devices, including select PCs and the Xbox One X and One S, are called FreeSync. The Q70 enables rates up to 120 Hz or resolutions up to 4 KB – but not both at the same time. To use FreeSync, you have to activate the "Automatic game mode" function. In addition to activating VRR, the TV automatically switches to game mode with this function. Reduction of the entry delay – If it is determined that you are playing a game. Game mode has too motion smoothing Features referred to as Game Motion Plus, however, result in some delay (see details below).