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Samsung’s 2017 QLED TVs were a showcase for what metallic quantum dots could do for 4K HDR TVs. Even though we can all concur that those TVs were bright, bold and beautiful, these were missing some essential elements that made rival sets perform better still in areas like contrast and off-axis viewing angles. Get black friday sales + deals right here with huge discount offers.
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Confronted with these issues, Samsung returned to the drawing board and emerged in 2018 with the Samsung Q9FN QLED. It packs in several panel technologies to repair the places where QLED faltered, like full-array local dimming with Q Contrast EliteMax, and the email address details are truly spectacular.
The second-tier Q7FN doesn’t offer full-array local dimming, for instance, even though it still outputs a significant amount of light, all that detail could be lost in the event that you move simply a few degrees left or the proper of the screen.
Having said that, while Samsung’s second-tier Q7FN isn’t quite the screen the Q9FN ended up being, it’s still a brightly lit, formidable telly for 4K HDR enthusiasts.
Price and release date
We’ll be especially looking at the 55-inch QN55Q7FN in this review, however there are numerous of other Q7FN models that utilize the same panel technology in several screen sizes. Compared to that end, there’s a 65-inch QN65Q7FN and a 75-inch QN75Q7FN. All types of the Q7FN can be found now, and can run you $1,799, $2,499 or $3,799, according to which screen size you go with.
If you live overseas in Europe, you will discover 55-, 65- and 75-inch versions of the Q7FN that are called the QE55Q7FN, QE65Q7FN and QE75Q7FN, respectively, and can run you £1,999, £2,699 or £3,999 according to which size you choose.
For Australian TV buyers, there’s the QA55Q7FN, QA65Q7FN and QA75Q7FN which cost AU$3,699, AU$5,299 and AU$8,199, respectively.
The next phase up from the Q7FN may be the Q8FN, which is available starting at $2999 (about £2,200, $AU4,000), and the Q9FN that costs $3,800 (about £2,720, AU$4,835) but includes Samsung’s ‘No Gap Wall Mount’.
While LG gets the market cornered on practically invisible frames using its practically borderless W8 OLED, Samsung’s Q7FN isn’t far behind. The Q7FN uses Samsung’s signature T-Bar stand to carry it up and tuck cables in to the back. This produces an instant setup and clean look when it’s all finished.
The TV includes a silver frame with a thin, eighth-inch bezel. It’s not invisible to the attention, but it’s pretty thin with that said. Depth-wise the screen sits at half-an-inch near to the top and a complete inch nearby the underneath of the screen.
You’ll observe that it’s larger around the low half of it because that’s where in fact the edge-lit LEDs sit. That’s also where in fact the TV’s only port is – Samsung’s proprietary ‘invisible’ connection cable that runs to an external processing unit that Samsung has dubbed the main one Connect box. It’s there you’ll hook up devices to any among the four HDMI ports, single digital optical-audio out or ethernet ports. Talking about, the main one Connect box is rather bulky and will mar the looks of a home entertainment setup, however, as the cord that runs between your One Connect box and it itself is rather small and rather lengthy, you hide the box in a cabinet, paint the cord the same color as the wall and it will remain clutter-free.
The other unique design feature on Samsung’s 2018 QLED TVs is Ambient Mode, a minimal power consumption setting that helps it blend in to the background when not used. While it’s hard to spell it out in a whole lot of detail, we’d say it’s a cross between a typical screen saver and a photography you take of the wall behind your TV.
It’s similar, in a few ways, to an Apple Watch face – you’ll discover a whole library of designs available when you enter Ambient Mode, and Samsung can always add more of the via software update later. That said, right out of your gate it’s an attribute that helps separate Samsung from your competition and does indeed help it look more in the home when not used.
Design TL;DR: The Samsung Q7FN is a beautifully minimalistic TV – with or without Ambient Mode fired up. THE MAIN ONE Connect box necessary to power it is a lttle bit bulky, nevertheless, you can thankfully squirrel it away in a cupboard with relative ease.
Smart TV features
The good thing continues with the Q7FN’s smart TV features – Samsung’s Eden-based OS is beautifully designed and simple to use. Like this past year, applications are prearranged along underneath row and you’ll find all the key culprits here – Netflix, Amazon and YouTube come pre-installed with it. (UK owners may also receive catch up programs for all of the country’s main terrestrial TV broadcasters while US streaming enthusiasts will dsicover Hulu and Sling TV.)
New for 2018, however, may be the integration of Bixby, Samsung’s va, and Samsung SmartThings, that allows you to regulate IoT devices throughout the house using the microphone included in the remote itself.
Having said that, while Bixby gets the power to locate shows, control the smart home and answer queries it rarely does the above phenomenally well. Seek out “Thor”, for instance, and Bixby will insist it heard “Four” or search “Star Wars The Last Jedi” and it’s more likely to hear “Star Wars Las Jedi” – which appears like the name of a Star Wars-themed bar and grill in NEVADA, Nevada.
Because that is Samsung’s first year with Bixby integration it’s fine to cut them some slack in this department. Heck, Siri has been around Apple devices for the better part of ten years and it still confuses words on a regular basis. The counter-point here, though, is that LG has opted to use Google Assistant in its latest version of WebOS and it’s a far greater experience.
When you can look at night occasional misinterpretation, everything you are treated to is a phenomenally robust, blazing fast OS. Navigating the nooks and crannies of Tizen feels as though a thrilling treasure hunt as you never quite really know what goodie you’re likely to uncover next.
Smart TV TL;DR: Tizen is among the finest smart platforms on earth. Now only if Samsung would’ve used Google Assistant rather than Bixby…
Just like the rest of its siblings in the 2018 QLED line-up, the Samsung Q7FN offers seriously good upscaling of HD/SDR content. The effect is a picture which has added detail with hardly any picture noise. (It’s still there, but it’s minimal at distances beyond a few feet away.)
The big benefit to HD/SDR performance, and most likely the TV’s biggest boon period, is its brightness. Sure, HD/SDR content only requires around 300 to 400 nits of peak brightness to show every detail, nonetheless it doesn’t hurt that TV will get much, much brighter.
To take good thing about this extra brightness with HD/SDR content, every new 2018 Samsung 4K HDR TV includes a mode called HDR+ that expands its colors and opens up the contrast of the screen. It’s nearly as effective as having content shot in native HDR, but with HDR+, HD/SDR content won’t look half its age and you’ll get more of a dramatic contrast when watching older films that weren’t shot in the most recent format.
One downside here, and it had been something we described in our overview of the Samsung NU8000 series earlier this season, is that HDR+ changes the colour tone to warm, which adds a sepia-like hue to the image. It’s not really a huge deal, but if you need to come back the screen to a cooler, more normal-looking image, you’ll have to go in to the settings and manually reset the colour tone.
The other, much bigger issue, then one we’ll discuss more within the next section is that the Q7FN uses an edge-lit, VA LED panel rather than going full-array. This isn’t a thing that you’ll notice in HD/SDR content – as the contrast ratio between your brightest whites and darkest blacks isn’t that pronounced – nonetheless it will often affect the picture here, too.
HD/SDR Performance TL;DR: While HDR+ Mode considerably enhances the colour and contrast of HD/SDR images, AV purists will see plenty to love with the Q7FN’s strong performance with native HD/SDR content.
We’ve covered brightness in the section above, but it’s worth reiterating here as the uptick in nits really helps the Q7FN take good thing about High Dynamic Range content.
According to Samsung, the Q7FN is with the capacity of brightness in the 1400 to 1600 nit range, rendering it doubly bright as rival LED-LCD screens and well above the recommended 1,000-nits set by the UHD Alliance. This extra brightness helps it be ideal for daytime viewing and provides the Q7FN near-OLED degrees of contrast.
That means it has great contrast – especially in dark rooms and in particular when you sit squarely before the screen – but nonetheless requires an LED panel in the trunk, unlike OLED, and for that reason doesn’t offer quite the same black level performance or great off-axis viewing.
Talking about off-axis viewing, if you sit a few degrees left or the proper of the screen, it’s fairly simple to notice some desaturation. While we don’t have an accurate measurement, you should absolutely avoid sitting any longer than 30 degrees in either direction and, when you can help it, even significantly less than 15 roughly degrees. That rule applies both horizontally and vertically if you opt to wall mount the screen.
It’s not absolutely all bad, though. Due to lots of of brightness these TVs can output in HDR, they looks great even in broad daylight. Increase this the benefits associated with the quantum dot technology that enhances color volume, and you’ve got an image that’s truly tremendous – regardless if it’s not precisely the very best picture performance available to buy.
Talking about HDR, it’s worth noting that by at this time, the Samsung Q7FN only supports HDR10, HLG and the still-nascent HDR10+. Samsung hasn’t adopted Dolby Vision yet, this means most Netflix original shows will arrive as standard HDR rather than Dolby Vision – which is sort of a bummer.
While it wasn’t open to stream in Dolby Vision, Defenders in HDR on Netflix still looks incredible: characters’ costumes looked superior and color accurate, and dark scenes retained details even in the center of massive fight sequences. Similarly, THE WORLD 2 looked outstanding in 4K HDR although we noticed a unique green hue that made jungle scenes look more lush, if just a little oversaturated.
Finally, gamers will locate a lot to love about Samsung’s 2018 Q7FN line-up since it supports Auto Game mode that may find when you’re playing a console or PC game and automatically switch the screen into its fast-responding Game picture mode. Samsung also offers plans to include Variable Refresh Rate sometime later on which can only help with any screen tearing you might’ve seen in years past along with bring the input lag to an amazingly low 7ms. (We measured the Q9FN at still-respectable 34ms, for reference.)
4K/HDR Performance TL;DR: Bright and colorful the Q7FN is a fantastic 4K HDR TV. Just be sure to sit directly before it.
To strengthen the Q7FN’s picture performance is a surprisingly powerful music system. It’s a lot more than you’ll have to hear most TV and movie dialogue above the backdrop noise, and it can a good job with music – regardless if it’s not our first choice for a residence party setting.
That said, while sound performance is rather strong, it’s the features that Samsung packs in to the Q7FN which make it really worth its weight in amplifiers. Namely, which includes easy-to-setup Bluetooth pairing which allows you to use your TV as a speaker for your phone or tablet and the inclusion of Chromecast Built-In that enables you to cast at the drop of a hat.
Along with all that’s Samsung’s Smart Sound feature, a distinctive software algorithm Samsung’s TV division has lifted from its California-based music lab that analyses the incoming sound and automatically adjusts it to match the sort of content you’re watching.
Used Samsung’s TV hardware and software create a solid sound performance, the one which should easily fill most rooms with loud, clear dialogue and realistic sound files. Will it substitute your soundbar or surround sound speakers? No. But can the Q7FN stand alone without the help from an external audio tracks setup? Absolutely.
Other panels to ponder
Allow it be known that Samsung’s Q7FN isn’t an economical TV – at $1,799 (£1,999, AU$3,699), it’s entry-level in name only. If money’s tight, you can drop right down to the Samsung Q6FN, but you’re better off keeping the Q7FN when you can afford it.
Better, however, will be in the event that you could upgrade to the Samsung Q9FN – we aren’t kidding whenever we say that’s the very best TV available to buy in 2018. It provides a full-array panel this means better still contrast and more accurate HDR images. It’s a pricey investment, yes, however in this case you get everything you pay for.
If you’re looking for something that’s close in cost to Samsung’s Q7FN, a lot of LG’s Super UHD TVs suit you perfectly, like the LG SK85 (SK8500) and LG SK95 (SK9500). Both these TVs use a variation of quantum dot and provide better viewing angles than Samsung’s QLED. What we didn’t like about these TVs whenever we saw them is they have black level uniformity issues. Can’t win ’em all, Perhaps.
Your other option will be Sony’s X900F (XF90) Series. It’s full array and will be offering amazing upscaling for HD/SDR images and world-class motion handling. It has similar problems with light bleeding as LG’s Super UHD TVs and the limited viewing angles that you’d find on the Q7FN but excels everywhere else.
Lastly, in the event that you don’t mind some compromises in overall color volume and accuracy, we’d be remiss not forgetting the TCL 6-Series 4K Roku TV. They are ultra-affordable HDR screens that pack in Dolby Vision along with a well-stocked OS which has every streaming service beneath the sun. Pricing for the 55-inch TCL 55R617 TV starts at only $649.
While Samsung’s Q7FN is probably the better screens available this season, it’s nearly the pinnacle of QLED technology – that honor is reserved for the Q9FN. The Q7FN is an excellent compromise between price and performance supplying a bright screen, three varieties of HDR and intensely accurate colors for $1,799 (£1,999, AU$3,699), yes, but there’s still some room for improvement upon this year’s Q7 series.
That said, as the Q7FN is bright, colorful and beautiful, it loses a lot of those qualities as soon as you shift a few degrees off-axis. This isn’t a location where a few of Samsung’s rivals – just like the LG OLED or Super UHD TVs – stumble, and that means it is tough to give a complete unadulterated recommendation.
When you can overlook those qualities, however, the Q7FN includes a lot to provide. Ambient Mode adds a design aesthetic sure to please even the keenest of eyes and its own low-latency game mode helps it be a reliable companion for the Xbox One X and PS4 Pr