Samsung Q60R / Q60 Review (QN43Q60R, QN49Q60R, QN55Q60R, QN65Q60R, QN75Q60R, QN82Q60R)
Samsung Q60R or Q60 is the entry level of Samsung’s 2019 4K HDR QLED TVs. It is the successor the Q6F. Its position is below the Q70R, Q80R, Q85R, and Q90R, but above the Samsung RU8000. As the entry level TV, it certainly lacks some features and technology found on the series above it. But of course, its price is more affordable than others. A combination of performance and mid-range low cost certainly makes it is as the one of the hot models in 2019. Just like the predecessor, the Q60R comes in many screen sizes option, from the smallest is 43 inches (QN43Q60R), 49 inches (QN49Q60R), 55 inches (QN55Q60R), 65 inches (QN60Q60R), 75 Inches (QN75Q60R), and the largest is 82 inches (QN82Q60R). With many screen sizes available, this gives you the flexibility to choose in order to fit to the size of your room.
Just like the Q6FN predecessor, the Samsung Q60R also comes with VA panel and edge Lit backlight. But a bit unfortunate, it lacks local dimming. Nevertheless, to improve black produced, it still has a software based dimming technology called “Supreme UHD Dimming”. Meanwhile, that is new on the Q60R, it is powered by a new images processor called Quantum Processor 4K that brings some improvements over the Q Engine older processor. One of the improvements offered is its algorithm in up-scaling non 4K content to 4K where now it already uses Samsung AI (Artificially Intelligent). With AI, expected, the images distortion can be reduced, makes the picture produced looks finer. And coming with HDR technology, there is not a new thing offered by the Q60R. The HDR formats supported are similar to the predecessor supports, which are HDR10, HLG, and HDR10+. And it doesn’t support Dolby Vision.
Meanwhile, except the 43 inches model (QN43Q60R) and the 49 inches model (QN49Q60R), the Samsung Q60R has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Additionally, for maximizing its performance in handling motion, it is powered by Motion Rate 240. Special for the 43 inches model and the 49 inches model, they have native 60 Hz refresh rate panel with motion enhancement technology is Motion 120. And that is not less interesting is about its smart TV platform where it runs Tizen 2019 that works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Samsung Q60R Specification
|Sizes Available||43 inches (QN43Q60R), 49 Inches (QN49Q60R), 55 inches (QN55Q60R), 65 inches (QN65Q60R), 75 inches (QN75Q60R), 82 inches (QN82Q60R)|
|Resolution||4K (3840 x 2160)|
|Panel Technology||VA panel|
|Backlight Technology||Edge Lit Backlight|
|Local Dimming Technology||No|
|Dimming Technology||Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Features and Technology|
|Image Processor||Quantum Processor 4K|
|HDR Supports||HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), HDR10+|
|Contrast Enhancement Technology||Contrast Enhancer|
|Color Enhancement Technology||Quantum Dot Technology|
|Clarity Enhancement Technology||4K AI Up-scaling|
|Motion Enhancement||Motion Rate 240 (43 and 49 Inch: Motion Rate 120)|
|Native Refresh Rate Panel||120 Hz (43 and 49 Inches: 60 Hz)|
|Supports FreeSync Variable Refresh Rate||Yes (43 and 49 Inches: No)|
|Smart TV Experience|
|Smart TV platform||Tizen 2019|
|Features and Apps||Works with Alexa, Works with Google Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby 2.0|
|Remote Control||TM 1950C Smart Controller|
|Sound Output||20 watts|
|HDMI ports||4 HDMI ports support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth and, HDCP 2.2, ARC (HDMI 3), CEC|
|USB Ports||2 ports USB 2.0|
|Composite In (AV In)||No|
|Digital Audio Out||1|
|Analog Audio Out||No|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
The Strengths of Samsung Q60R
Black Level and Contrast
Although the Samsung Q60R doesn’t have local dimming, but it already has excellent native contrast ratio. Its native contrast ratio is similar to the Samsung Q6FN predecessor. With its high contrast ratio, it can produce very deep black that is around 0.015 nits. Its black level is fairly deep to make black looks really black, even when set in a pitch dark room where the impact of contrast ratio is very sensitive. Indirectly, deep black produced by the Q60R also makes darker colors can be shown very accurate. Additionally, with HDR content, the black produced by the Samsung Q60R is also fairly dark to shadow details of HDR images excellently.
But unfortunately, unlike the predecessor, the Q60R doesn’t have local dimming technology. So, when it is showing dark scene with small highlights, some blooming will be noticeable around bright object. Additionally, on one side of the screen, some flashlighting is visible and this will slightly distract, particularly in a dark room. Nevertheless, in general, performance of the Samsung Q60R in a dark room or in showing a dark scene is great.
Overall, performance of the Samsung Q60R in handling motion is great. It has excellent pixel response time that is around 10 ms. The result, when it is playing fast moving images like fast movies, or sports, the picture displayed looks very smooth without a lot of visible blur. Following fast moving object, there is only a short faint trail where most people might not notice this much. Blur that might visible is more caused by persistence or backlight flicker.
Like other model of Samsung TVs, for dimming their backlight, the Q60R uses PWM Dimming System. But even so, by default, its dimming frequency is not as high as the series above it where its dimming frequency is only 240 Hz. But even so, for most people, backlight flicker that produced might not be noticeable and that means it is good. Nevertheless, Samsung Q60R allows you to change its dimming frequency depend on the setting. When the mode is set to “Movie” or “Game” or “Auto Motion Plus” is set to “Custom” or “Auto”, its dimming frequency will change to 120 Hz. Even when the LED Clear Motion is enabled, its dimming frequency will change to 60 Hz when playing 60 fps content or still stay at 120 Hz when it is playing 120 Hz content. This feature is very useful particularly for reducing blur that caused by persistence, particularly when playing 60 fps content like sports or video games. But on the other hand, lowering the dimming frequency will make the backlight flicker is more noticeable.
Additionally, the Samsung Q60R also can do a great job in eliminating the judder when playing 24p movies. Whether it is playing native 24 videos like DVD or Blu-Ray Movies, via 60i signal like movies from satellite TV, via 60p signal like movies from streaming devices or PC, or from native apps like Netflix, YouTube, and others, the picture produced looks very smooth and clear with judder free. But even so, in order to the picture produced is judder-free, you must set ‘Auto Motion Plus’ to ‘Custom’ with both ‘Slider’ to ‘0’.
Variable Refresh Rate
This feature is one of the advantages offered by Samsung’s TVs including Q60R than the competitors. By default, Samsung Q60R (except 49 inch and 43 inch) has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. But even so, it also has a feature called FreeSync VRR that allows it to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device’s output. With 1080p, its refresh rate ranges between 20 Hz – 120 Hz while with 4K, its refresh rate ranging between 48 Hz – 60 Hz. This feature is very useful to reduce screen tearing and stuttering, particularly when you are playing a game with compatible game console like X Box One or others.
Samsung Q60R has excellent input lags in ‘PC’ and ‘Game’ mode. At 60 Hz, whether on 1080p, 1440p, 4K, with HDR or not, its input lags are a bit less than 5 ms. Meanwhile, at 120 Hz, on 1080p and 1440 resolution, the input lags of the Q60R is even better, that is less than 10 ms. Not only that, in VRR mode, the input lags of the Samsung Q60R on 1080p and 1440p is even far better, that is around 6 ms. As the note, the Q60R doesn’t support 4K resolution at 120 Hz. With these input lags, this certainly makes the Samsung Q60R is very responsive for any games, no matter it is casual games or fast paced games that requires fast reflexes.
The Weaknesses of Samsung Q60R
Side Viewing Angle
Just like other TVs with VA panel, poor side viewing angle becomes the major weakness of the Samsung Q60R. This means, when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on its screen will not look as good as when viewed from the center and front. Its color will shift and look washed out started at less than 20 degrees off center and front. Black level is even more severe. The deep black produced by the Q60R will look degraded even started at narrower angle that is around 15 degrees off center and front. This certainly makes the picture looks worse when viewed from the side. And the wider angle you watch from, the picture will look worse. Actually, in 2019, Samsung has introduced a new technology called ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ that can improve side viewing angle coverage of their lineup, but for a while, this technology is only found on the high-end model of Samsung’s 2019 QLED TV like Q900, Q90R or others.
The Samsung Q60R cannot get very bright. It is even is not as bright as the Samsung Q6FN the predecessor. With SDR or HDR content, its peak brightness is almost similar, that is around 350 nits. Meanwhile, with test windows, since the Q60R doesn’t have local dimming, its peak brightness is almost similar in almost all windows sizes, that is around 375 nits. This means, whether it is showing small bright object in a dark scene, medium bright object, or even thorough window is bright, peak brightness reached of the Q60R is similar. Bu even so, specially for 2% window, its peak brightness is dimmed significantly by the TV’s CE Dimming Feature to below 200 nits. This is aiming for reducing blooming when it is showing small highlight in a dark scene.
With the peak brightness reached by the Samsung Q60R, this actually is bright enough to overcome the glare, makes it is suitable for most bright room. But even so, for HDR contents, its peak brightness is still far from the expectation. As we know, to show HDR images like the intended, a HDR TV must have peak brightness brighter than 1000 nits. Meanwhile, with its peak brightness, you will not get a lot of benefit of HDR content over SDR content. A bright scene or highlight is not very bright the way they should in HDR.
Samsung Q60R might already support wide color gamut, but its color gamut is not better than the Q6FN predecessor, even is worse. Its color gamut precisely is closer to the NU8000, the series under the Q6FN. In DCI P3 color space, its color gamut can only cover around 92%, worse than most model of Samsung QLED TV. But even so, this actually is wide enough to show color of HDR images accurately like the intended. On the other hand, the color volume of the Samsung Q60R is also only decent and not as good as the Q6FN predecessor, but this is more due by its color gamut is not as wide as the predecessor. It might be not able to produce bright blues, but this issue actually is a common problem of most LED TVs. Nevertheless, the Q60R can show dark color and bright color across most of its gamut equally well. Overall, although still not as good as the predecessor, colors of HDR images displayed on its screen is great and looks fairly accurate.
Meanwhile, in term of color gradient, overall, Samsung Q60R also has very good color gradient. Some fine banding might be still visible in almost all dark colors, but this should be hard to notice by most people. Nevertheless, if you still feel uncomfortable with the banding, you can set the ‘Digital Clean View’ to ‘Auto’. By enabling this feature, this will eliminate most of banding, but on the other hand, in certain scenes, this will make the picture can lose some fine details.
Smart TV Experience
As we have mentioned above, the Samsung Q60R runs Tizen 2019 OS as its smart TV platform and powered by a quad core processor. Compared to the previous version, there is a significant improvement in performance. If on the 2018 version, there are lag in animations and dropped frames, and also its interface freezes occasionally for a few seconds, in this version, this issue can be overcome. Now, its interface is much smoother and more responsive than the previous version. Meanwhile, in term of design and layout, there are not many changes offered by the 2019 version over the previous version where it has modern design.
Talking about the features and apps, the Tizen 2019 has a lot of attractive and interesting apps and smart features. As its preinstalled apps, there are VoD Service like YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and others, Web Browser, Live TVs, Cloud Games, and many more. It also has an apps store called ‘Samsung Apps Store’ that provided tons of downloadable apps, games, contents, and others. What provide by its apps store may be not as many and complete as what provided by Google Play Store as the apps store of Android TV, but still more complete than other apps store from other platform like LG apps store or others. Additionally, it now already supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. So, in addition to it can work with other SmartThing compatible devices, the Q60R also can work with Amazon Alexa and Google Home compatible devices.
As the controller, the Samsung Q60R comes with the TM1950C smart controller. At a glance, this remote is similar to we found on the Q8FN, Q7FN or other in last year. Its remote is small and only has few buttons. But even so, there are 3 additional dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon Videos and Hulu. Just like the previous model, this remote also has a built-in microphone for voice control that works with Samsung’s Bixby Voice. With its voice navigation feature, you can control most of TV’s functions and Smart TV’s features. Additionally, it also has a feature called OneRemote. This allows you to control your other to control other devices connected on your TV with this remote, even if they don’t support HDMI CEC. And since this remote is connected to the TV via Bluetooth, it doesn’t need direct line-of-sight for most functions.
Performance of Samsung Q60R
For Watching Movies
The Samsung Q60R is a good mid-end TV for watching movies in a dark room. It can produce deep black, makes black looks really black in a dark room. Additionally, it also has excellent performance in handling 24p judder. Fast action movies also look excellently on its screen thanks to its excellent pixel response time. But a bit unfortunate, this TV doesn’t have local dimming, so when it is showing a dark scene with small highlights, blooming is visible around the highlight. Additionally, its black uniformity is also decent and not as good as the Q6FN the predecessor. Overall, for its price range, performance of the Samsung Q60R when used for watching movies in a dark room is great, even though still not as good as the Q6FN predecessor.
For Watching Sports
Unlike when watching movies where most people prefer in a dark room, when watching sports, they prefer in a dark bright. And for certain matches, they even prefer with a group of their friend or family. So, this will need a TV that can get very bright and has good side viewing angle coverage. Additionally, since most of sports have a lot of fast moving scene, this certainly needs a TV with good motion handling. And for this case, the Samsung Q60R has extremely fast pixel response time. The result, when used for watching sports, the picture produced looks very smooth without much motion blur visible. Additionally, combination of its good reflection handling and good peak brightness also makes the picture produced remain looks good in an average-lit room. But even so, since its peak brightness is limited, this is not as true to a very bright room with a lot of lights or sunny windows. Additionally, since it as limited side viewing angle coverage, if you watch sports with a group of your family or friends, some of you might not get the best viewing. In general, performance of the Samsung Q60R for watching sports is good.
The Samsung Q60R is great TV for playing games. In addition to it has good overall picture quality, excellent motion handling, it also has excellent input lags in PC and Game Mode. Combination of excellent motion handling and input lags allows you to play fast paced games responsively and with very smooth picture quality. Not only that, except the 49 and 43 inches model, the Q60R also already supports FreeSync Variable Refresh Rate where it is very useful when you are playing a game with a compatible device like X Box One or a PC with AMD graphic card. And since it also has good image retention and permanent burn-in risk-free, this certainly allow you to play the same game for longtime without feel worried. Just like when watching sports, if you play a game with a group of your friend or family, some of you may not get the best viewing. Nevertheless, overall, the Samsung Q60R is a great TV for gaming.
As we have discussed above, the Samsung Q60R supports most of HDR format which available in the market including HDR10, HLG and HDR10+. But unfortunately, it doesn’t support Dolby Vision by Dolby Laboratories. Meanwhile, discussing about its HDR performance, it actually is not too bad. It can produce deep black that means shadow details of HDR images can be shown excellently like the intended. Additionally, it also already supports wide color gamut. Although not as good as the predecessor, but at least, color of HDR images displayed on its still looks accurate like the intended. Meanwhile, the biggest issue of Q60R in showing HDR is about its peak brightness. Its peak brightness is less than 400 nits, far lower than the 1000 nits required to show HDR images like the intended. This means, bright scene or highlight cannot be shown stand-out the way they should be shown. Additionally, the lack of local dimming also makes the area around the highlight is littered with blooming. Overall, HDR performance of the Q60R is still far from the expectation, particularly in showing highlights or bright scene. So, if you come to Q60R to watch HDR images with the quality like the intended, you will be disappointed. But if you just want to be able to enjoy HDR experience, performance of the Q60R is not so bad, even can be said good for its price.
Compared to the Competitors
Samsung Q60R vs Q6FN (QN49Q60R vs QN49Q6FN, QN55Q60R vs QN55Q6FN, QN65Q60R vs QN65Q6FN, QN75Q60R vs QN75Q6FN, QN82Q60R vs QN82Q6FN)
The Samsung Q6FN is the predecessor of the Q60R. Just like the Q60R, it also comes with a lot of screen size options. Although the Q6FN is the predecessor of Q60R, but its performance might be better than the successor. The contrast ratio of Samsung Q6FN and Q60R are equally great, but the Q6FN has local dimming. Although its local dimming performance is not as good as FALD, but at least, this makes it is able to make black produced is deeper. Additionally, the Q6FN is also much brighter and it can also deliver wide color gamut than the Q60R successor. This makes overall picture quality produced by the Q6FN is better than the Q60R. But on the other hand, its response time is not as low as the Q60R. Additionally, its input lags are not as great as the input lags of the successor. But even so, although its pixel response time and input lags is not as good as the Q60R successor, but can still be said great.
Samsung Q60R vs Q70R (QN49Q60R vs QN49Q70R, QN55Q60R vs QN55Q70R, QN65Q60R vs QN65Q70R, QN75Q60R vs QN75Q70R, QN82Q60R vs QN82Q70R)
The position of the Samsung Q70R is one level above the Q60R. But even so, it comes with some additional features that makes its performance is far better than the Q60R. Unlike the Q60R that comes with edge-lit LED and doesn’t have local dimming, the Samsung Q70R comes with Direct-LED with Full Array Local Dimming. The result, the Q70R can produce deeper black than the Q60R. Additionally, the Q70R also can get far brighter and also has a bit wider color gamut than the Q60R. With the excellence in almost every aspect of picture quality, this certainly makes picture quality and HDR performance of the Q70R is better than the Q60R. But even so, although still fairly low for games, its input lags are a bit worse than the Q60R. Additionally, its pixel response time is also not as good as the Q60R, even though can still be said excellent. Overall, the Samsung Q70R is better than the Q60R. But of course, its price is also more expensive.
Note: Just like the Q60R, the 49 inch of Q70R has native 60 Hz refresh rate panel and doesn’t support VRR FreeSync.
Samsung NU800 vs Q60R (QN49Q60R vs UN49NU8000, QN55Q60R vs UN55NU8000, QN65Q60R vs UN65NU8000, QN75Q60R vs UN75NU8000, QN82Q60R vs UN82NU8000)
Although Samsung NU8000 is not a part of Samsung QLED TV’ but its picture quality and performance is even better than the Q60R. Its native contrast ratio might not as good as the Q60R, but it has far brighter peak brightness. Additionally, it also has better gray and black uniformity than the Q60R. The NU800 also has better color volume than Q60R even though their color gamut is similar. But even so, just like the other competitors, the pixel response time and input lags of Samsung NU8000 is not as good as the Samsung Q60R. The advantage, in the market, it is priced cheaper than the Q60R. Keep in mind, just like the Q60R and Q70R, the 49 inches model of Samsung NU8000 also has native 60 Hz refresh rate panel and doesn’t support FreeSync VRR.
Overall, Samsung Q60R is a mi-0level TV with good overall performance. It has deep black level and also has wide color gamut. Additionally, it also has excellent motion handling and extremely low input lags. But unfortunately, unlike the Q6FN predecessor that has local dimming, the Q60R lacks local dimming. Overall, Samsung Q60R might have good performance in almost all aspects, but the biggest issue is about its peak brightness, particularly when playing HDR content. Although its black level and color gamut is good enough for HDR, but its peak brightness is still far from the expectation where its peak brightness is only less than 400 nits. The result, highlight of HDR images cannot be shown stand out the way they should. Additionally, its peak brightness is also only bright enough for overcoming the glare in moderate lit-room, not for very bright room.
But even so, for its price range, the Samsung Q60R is a good TV for any usage. Its deep black level makes its performance is good when used for watching movies in a dark room. Additionally, it also has excellent motion handling and excellent input lags for sports and gaming. But as is typical of LED TV with VA panel, the Q60R also has poor side viewing angle. As long as your main consideration is not HDR, the Q60Ris a good TV for its price range.
- Excellent Native Contrast ratio
- Great Motion Handling
- Excellent Input Lags
- Side Viewing Angle Coverage is poor
- Lack Local Dimming
- Cannot get very bright, particularly in HDR