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The Samsung QLED Q70 (Check on Amazon) – available in 49 (60Hz, no FreeSync), 55, 65, 75, 82and 85 inches – is great news for anyone who wants a stylish design, all the features of a Samsung TV and a beautiful picture without spending an arm and a leg. It is not cheap, but it is the most affordable Samsung QLED TV to offer Full Array Local Dimming (FALD), which gives it an advantage over other LED LCDs. According to us, the Q70 offers the best quality/price ratio of Samsung’s 2019 QLED TV range.
Be careful, you should not confuse QLED and OLED, which are two different technologies. During our tests, OLED TVs systematically beat QLED and LCD TVs with a comfortable margin. As a reminder, a QLED TV is a classic LCD screen but with a quantum, filter to significantly improve color and peak brightness in particular.
In our comparative tests with other Full LED Local Dimming TVs, the Q70 held its ground. The overall image quality is excellent, and although the black levels are not as deep as those of some competitors, especially for HDR video, the peak brightness is always excellent, especially in bright rooms, and signal processing is also of premium quality. The Q70 offers a compelling balance between price, image quality, and the kind of features and design you would expect from a Samsung TV. Let’s see why in more detail.
Samsung QLED Q70 – Design
Samsung TVs sport an excellent design, with a superior style than many others and the Q70 is no exception. There’s nothing special about the front with its super thin bezels and four feet support. But the back is really neat, with its textured finish and a built-in groove along the entire length of the TV that allows you to hide cables, and then canal them through one of the feet. Sadly, this model doesn’t come with the One Connect Box from Samsung, which we find extremely convenient.
The Q70 benefits however from Samsung’s Ambient Mode, which allows you to animate the screen when you’re not watching TV. You can view your photos, weather, news and even sync the background with the wall behind the TV.
The remote control is beautiful and practical with its small size. We would have liked if the buttons were backlit, but this is common to all competitors.
Samsung QLED Q70 – Features
The Samsung Q70 features a 120Hz 10-bit panel with QLED technology. This layer of quantum dots, microscopic nanocrystals that emit a specific wavelength when receiving energy. This provides better brightness and better colors.
Its greatest advantages are its native contrast of 7250:1 and its Full Array Local Dimming. This technology significantly improves image quality by highlighting or completely shutting off certain areas of the display. The combination of the two grants this TV deep blacks and beautiful colors
The Q70 is compatible with HLG, HDR10 and HDR10+ but not Dolby Vision. That’s a shame. We have no practical evidence that one HDR format is inherently “better” than another, but full compatibility ensures that more HDR content is readily available.
The image quality of the Q70 is generally excellent, with good local dimming and contrast ratio. The brightness, as well as the color and video processing, are also excellent.
As you might expect, Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant is far from that of Google and Amazon. It works great for basic commands but it doesn’t work with Netflix. And for those interested in smart home controls, it is on par with the Google Assistant and Alexa. The good news is that Bixby can now be summoned by voice without touching a single button on the remote control.
Fortunately, Samsung has adopted an open approach and allows you to use all three assistants (Bixby, Google Assistant or Alexa). We clearly have a preference for Google Assistant although Alexa is a close second. For its part, the Samsung OS is excellent, very responsive and rich in apps. The big news for 2019 is compatibility with Apple content and devices, namely the Apple TV app, iPhone, iPad, and Mac via AirPlay. This worked well during our tests, although AirPlay unfortunately no longer supports Netflix.
However, we were able to easily share photos and videos on the Q70’s screen from our iPhone. Screen mirror mode also worked as expected and we were able to play videos on the TV and control them from the phone both with Amazon Prime and YouTube.
Samsung QLED Q70 – Performance
The Samsung QLED Q70 produces extremely colorful and high-contrast images with a high dynamic range and satisfying depth. Thanks to the intelligent FALD control, individual parts of the panel are switched off completely in very dark scenes, thus enabling strong contrasts of bright colors on deep black background.
The Q70 easily upscales poor HD and SD signals to approximate cinema quality. However, we saw the best result with 4K sources.
When it comes to video games, the Q70 does better than most TVs. It is compatible with Variable Refresh Rates (VRR), namely FreeSync, found on some PCs as well as the Xbox One X (Check on Amazon) and One S (Check on Amazon). The Q70 sports a 120Hz refresh rate and 4K resolution, but not both. To use FreeSync, you must activate the Game mode. In addition to enabling VRR, this function allows the TV to reduce input lag (5.8ms in [email protected] – 14.2ms in 4K).
The 2.1 channel Dolby Digital audio system boasts a total of 40 watts and delivers a good sound with clear voice reproduction and mediocre bass. However, if you want to round off your cinema experience with a suitable sound, you will have to buy a soundbar or a multi-channel receiver.
The Q70 (Check on Amazon) offers a great value for money even though it does not have all the refinements of the more premium models in Samsung’s QLED range, like the One Connect Box. The image quality is very good even though the colors turned out to be a little worse than we had expected. We would also have liked to find a more complete HDR support since it lacks Dolby Vision. Nevertheless, solid build and ergonomics, elegant design and overall image quality make it an excellent choice for the money.
Your best alternative would be the Sony X950G (Check on Amazon). If you want something better, the LG OLED B8 can be found for (Check on Amazon). If you want something cheaper, Sony’s X900F (Check on Amazon) is still a solid TV. Both these models date back to 2018, but they are still great choices nowadays as they have dropped in price.