Quantcast

Samsung Q60R (QE55Q60R) QLED TV Review

QLED for less?

by Phil Hinton
SRP: £849.00

What is the Samsung Q60R?

The Samsung Q60R is the entry point to the 2019 QLED TV range and as such, it is available in screen sizes from 43 to 82-inches. The 43 and 49-inch screens are 60Hz VA panels and the 55-inch, which we are reviewing, along with the 65, 75 and 82-inch screens all sport 120Hz VA panels. All the TVs in the range are edge-lit from the bottom with global dimming. There is no local dimming with the Q60R.

Some of the features available on the more premium QLED TVs do filter down to the Q60R with the Quantum 4K Processor and 4K AI Upscaling making an appearance, along with HDR10+, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) and HDR10 high dynamic range capabilities.

Gamers will also be attracted to the Q60R with its excellent range of gaming technologies and settings including Game Enhancer, a gamma manipulation tool to help find enemies in the shadows and you can add in Auto Motion Plus with games, but this will impact on the input lag times (rising from 14ms to 24ms).

There is also full voice control with Bixby as well as interactions with Alexa and Google Assistant and we also get the superb Smart TV system with the content launcher bar and one of the most intuitive operating systems on any current TV.

So, has the cost-cutting affected the performance of this entry-level QLED TV or does it have the budget goods to deliver? Let’s find out.

Samsung Q60R Video Review

Coming Soon.

Design, Connections and Control

As you would expect at this level of the market the materials are now hard plastics instead of metals, but that doesn’t mean the Q60R looks cheap. The dark charcoal style colour to the bezel and rear does look good and, from a distance, you wouldn’t immediately be able to tell it was plastic. The actual build quality is also adequate with the stand feet adding a decent degree of stability, but the distance between the feet at either end of the panel will mean you need a wide mounting surface (974mm in the case of the 55-inch).


There is a noticeable bezel to the edges of the screen which also has a matt-like finish that cuts down on obvious reflections and there is a small Samsung logo in the centre of the bottom bezel. Around the back, the plastic finish is striped horizontally to add a degree of styling and the connections are within a recessed area to the left, when looking from the rear.


All the connections are sideways mounted and from the top we have two USB ports and an optical digital audio output, four HDMI 2.0B ports which support full bandwidth 4K 4:4:4 60p signals, an Ethernet port, along with two satellite and one TV RF antenna slots.


The supplied remote controls are the traditional black plastic full-size version with all the direct access keys you could possibly need, and the small pointer style version is made from black plastic here and not the metal finish as seen on the higher end QLED models, although it has the same keys and layout. Both are easy and intuitive to use.

 ...from a distance, you wouldn’t immediately be able to tell it was plastic

Measurements

Out of the Box

As we always do within our reviews, we measured the out of the box picture presets to find those that get as close as possible to the industry standards. The idea is that a TV must get close to these standards in at least one of its picture modes so end users can see content as it was mastered and intended to be seen.

Calibration is a goal for some users, but for the majority, this is not an option, so actually knowing how accurate the out of the box presets are is very important in any honest TV review.

We see absolutely no point in assessing and reviewing TVs in only the perfectly calibrated picture modes as this doesn’t reflect what the vast majority of buyers will experience with the TV. Calibration and measurement are important for the overall assessment of the TV, but we don’t only focus on the calibrated performance here at AVForums.


We used the Movie preset with the Warm 2 colour temperature and gamma at BT.1886. We switched off all the other picture processing and enhancement controls and the resulting greyscale performance out of the box was really good. Tracking had a little too much blue creeping in as the image got brighter and red was between 2 and 4% low. However, we were not able to see any issues with onscreen viewing as our DeltaE errors were under the visible threshold of three. The main issue we did have was the gamma which has a very obvious S-curve to make the image pop and this results in some crushed blacks and overly bright highlighted areas of the image with actual content, giving the image an unwanted contrasty pop. In the Movie preset it must be accurate to the standards.

 ...the gamma has a very obvious S-curve to make the image pop and this results in some crushed blacks and overly bright highlighted areas


The Rec.709 colour gamut was nicely accurate out of the box with just a couple small issues with some points not quite landing in their squares. The red at 75% saturation tracking was slightly undersaturated with all blue points slightly high and green had a minuscule hue error. But once again, DeltaE errors were lower than the visible threshold and no viewers would see any of these issues within actual viewing content. So again, this is a good result out of the box for the Samsung Q60R.

Calibrated

Samsung does provide calibration controls within the menu system with 2 and 20-point greyscale along with a Colour Management System (CMS).


We did manage to tidy up the greyscale tracking to a good degree but the gamma result once again got in the way, with no way to calibrate out the issues with an S-curve response. DeltaE errors remained low at all points, but the gamma tracking does affect onscreen images, pushing for deep blacks and bright highlights to add pop, but at the same time crush blacks and clip detail in the brighter areas of the image.


With the correct greyscale, the colour gamut fell back into place at most points, with only 75% red saturation still undersaturated slightly. We used the CMS to just tidy up the remaining issues and overall the Rec.709 results were very accurate with no visible errors onscreen.

We just wish we had control over the gamma response to calibrate out the S-Curve, otherwise, the Q60R can get fairly accurate with greyscale and colour points.

 ...overall the Rec.709 results were very accurate with no visible errors onscreen

HDR Results

As with most LED LCD TVs at this level of the market, and edge-lit, the HDR performance is not the brightest available and edge lighting can introduce image issues given the way LCD technology works.


We measured the Samsung Q60R at 465 nits across most window sizes including the industry standard 10% size and in the most accurate mode towards D65. The differences we see in the graph point to the fact that as the windows change automatically during a measurement run, the Q60R backlight does a fade in and fade out at certain points. This is also seen when watching the TV normally and a scene change can trigger the fade in and out of the global backlight. As such, you can see that some windows towards the smaller end of the scale triggered this response, so the results are lower nit levels on the graph when in reality all window sizes show the same result of 465 nits.


The PQ EOTF follows the ST.2084 standard until around 200 nits where it then rolls off before a hard clip at 80% stimulus and around 460 nits. This is the same result with 1000 and 4000 nit metadata signals and attempts to keep some highlight details before hard clipping those above 80% image brightness.


The P3 colour gamut coverage is also decent but the Q60R is not capable of reaching the full gamut size as it lacks full yellow and green coverage. In the saturation tracking chart, there are not many points which meet the tracking standard, but the spread is consistent and attempting to be correct for hue errors. Given the lack of overall peak brightness and volume, it doesn’t impact negatively on the HDR10 performance on the Q60R.

 ...the Q60R is not capable of reaching the full gamut size as it lacks full yellow and green coverage

We measured BT2020 coverage at 66% XY and 76% UV, with P3 coverage coming in at 90% XY and 96% UV.

Performance

The Samsung Q60R is an edge-lit LCD TV using a VA panel. We set about checking the panel performance with SDR and HDR content and the first thing we noticed was the rather poor viewing angles on the Q60R when compared to all the other 2019 QLED sets. There is no wide-angle filter, so as soon as you get off-axis by just a small amount you start to notice contrast issues and colour shift. We also noted clouding of the backlit was more obvious as we moved off-axis with patches of lighter areas visible, especially with black bars in SDR film content. Sitting directly in front of the Q60R did alleviate those issues and this highlights the technical constraints of edge-lit LCD screens.

Panel uniformity was decent when sat directly in front of the Q60R but we did note edges of the image were darker than the centre with a 100% brightness slide. We checked low light uniformity and could see obvious issues with light dispersion across the panel, as expected with an edge-lit set. We also noted some dirty screen effect with content which is also a by-product of the technology. Once again, these are obvious issues to look for with an LCD TV with edge lighting. HDR content playback just highlights these issues even more with a brighter image.

In HDR mode, we noted light bleed into both top and bottom black bars which can be expected with edge-lit panels, and this was more of an issue when just slightly off-axis to the screen. However, even when sat directly opposite there were instances of bleed into the black bars and contrast performance in HDR was not as good as we would like to see. All of these tests were performed in a pitch-black room and then run again during the day with ambient light. As you would expect some of the issues that are more obvious when viewing in the dark were less of an issue during daytime viewing and with most LCD TVs, we would recommend some lighting, even at night.

 Gaming performance is very good on the Samsung Q60R with an excellent 14ms of input lag in the game mode with all processing disabled

HDR10+
playback was an improvement against static metadata HDR10 with the Q60R feeling more nuanced and controlled in the lower reaches of the image with slightly less crush and more detail retrieval. We also noted a little more detail visible in the brighter highlights and the mid-tones also didn’t look as flat as they did with the tone mapping of HDR10. This once again points to the strength of dynamic tone mapping matching sets that are limited in brightness like the Q60R.

We found the Q60R performed best when in a well-lit room with normal viewing materials and when sat directly in front of the TV. It should also appeal to the gamers out there who tend to sit directly in front of the screen and use the games mode in a bright room. Gaming performance is excellent on the Samsung Q60R with an excellent 14ms of input lag in the game mode with all processing disabled. If you use the processing, such as Game Enhancer, it adds 10ms of lag so you are looking at 24ms, which is still an excellent result.

The other areas of strength for the Q60R are the upscaling and motion performance, thanks to that 120Hz panel and the 4K Quantum Processor. We didn’t find any issues with the scaling performance with nice sharp lines and no signs of ringing or other artefacts. Motion was also very good with excellent 24fps playback with the correct pull down with Auto Motion Plus switched off. Adding in interpolation at low levels can also help to improve video content motion and fast-moving sports, but be aware that adding too much can end up with more image artefacts.

 The other areas of strength for the Q60R are the upscaling and motion performance

Verdict

7
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

The Good

  • Very good gaming features and input lag
  • Decent attempt to be accurate out of the box
  • Good calibration controls
  • Very good video processor
  • Good motion with 24fps
  • Very good Smart TV system & OS
  • Good bright living room workhorse

The Bad

  • Black crush in HDR and SDR caused by gamma issues
  • Poor viewing angles
  • Edge-lit panel struggles with uniformity
  • HDR performance is lacking due to edge-lit system

Samsung Q60R (QE55Q60R) QLED TV Review

Overall, the Samsung Q60R when used in a normal living room, with ambient lighting and seating directly in front of the TV, gives a decent SDR and HDR performance. Blacks are not a strong point with a visible crush in well-known content we use for all reviews, but the rest of the image has a brightness and pop that will likely appeal to everyday consumers looking for bright and vivid images.

When used in industry-standard Movie mode setting, the drawbacks of LCD technology are more apparent, so this is not an ideal TV set for film lovers who watch in the dark. But, if gaming is your thing and you want a premium level budget set under a grand for everyday living room use, the Q60R does offer a similar performance to other peers in this market position.

The problem the Q60R has is not really from competing TV sets but from its bigger brother, the Q70R, which is now available in a 55-inch size for just under £1000 and offers a real step up in the image performance stakes for gaming and movie watching. It has a FALD backlight with good local dimming and a much brighter and well-controlled HDR10 performance. There are fewer issues with off-axis viewing and no issues with black bars being lit up with the rest of the image, they remain black without obvious blooming. So given the price difference, you are better looking towards the Q70R which is even better value at its new price point, compared to when we reviewed it.

So to round-up, the Samsung Q60R will be best suited to bright living rooms and those who want to take advantage of the excellent gaming features but, for just a little more, the next model up is a big jump in backlight performance for those looking to add brighter and more controlled HDR and for watching movies in an occasionally dim room.

Scores

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

.
.
.
.
6

Screen Uniformity

.
.
.
.
6

Colour Accuracy

.
.
.
7

Greyscale Accuracy

.
.
.
7

Video Processing

.
.
8

Picture Quality

.
.
.
7

SDR Picture Quality

.
.
.
7

HDR Picture Quality

.
.
.
7

Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box

.
.
.
7

Picture Quality Calibrated

.
.
8

Sound Quality

.
.
.
.
6

Smart Features

.
9

Build Quality

.
.
.
7

Ease Of Use

.
.
8

Value for Money

.
.
.
7

Verdict

.
.
.
7
7
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Our Review Ethos

Read about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges.

To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.

Related Content

Samsung Q85R 4K QLED TV Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Hisense U7B (H55U7BUK) 4K TV Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Sharp LC-60UI7652 LED LCD TV Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Panasonic GX800 (TX-58GX800) 4K LED LCD TV Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Samsung Q70R (QE55Q70R) QLED Review
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published

Latest Headlines

Samsung TVs unexpectedly losing access to BBC iPlayer
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Panasonic TVs get BritBox streaming app
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung Smart TVs from 2012-2015 require update for BBC iPlayer
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung's new AI ScaleNet codec supports 8K streaming
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom