Samsung Q7FN QLED TV (55Q7FN) evaluate

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Samsung’s 2017 QLED TVs have been a showcase for what metallic quantum dots may do for 4K HDR TVs. And whereas we will all agree that these TVs have been vibrant, daring and exquisite, they have been lacking some important parts that made rival units carry out even higher in areas like distinction and off-axis viewing angles.

Confronted with these points, Samsung went again to the drafting board and emerged in 2018 with the Samsung Q9FN QLED. It packs in plenty of panel applied sciences to repair the locations the place QLED faltered, like full-array native dimming with Q Distinction EliteMax, and the outcomes are really spectacular.

However, sadly, not all of that image know-how made it to the Q7F.

The second-tier Q7FN doesn’t supply full-array native dimming, for instance, and whereas it nonetheless outputs an incredible quantity of sunshine, all of that element will be misplaced should you transfer only a few levels to the left or the fitting of the display screen. 

That stated, whereas Samsung’s second-tier Q7FN isn’t fairly the display screen the Q9FN turned out to be, it’s nonetheless a brightly lit, formidable telly for 4K HDR lovers.

Worth and launch date 

We’ll be particularly wanting on the 55-inch QN55Q7FN on this evaluate, nevertheless there are a variety of different Q7FN fashions that each one use the identical panel know-how in numerous display screen sizes. To that finish, there’s a 65-inch QN65Q7FN and a 75-inch QN75Q7FN. All fashions of the Q7FN can be found now, and can run you $1,799, $2,499 or $3,799, relying on which display screen dimension you go together with.

In the event you reside abroad in Europe, you’ll find 55-, 65- and 75-inch variations of the Q7FN which might be known as the QE55Q7FN, QE65Q7FN and QE75Q7FN, respectively, and can run you £1,999, £2,699 or £3,999 relying on which dimension you go for.

For Australian TV consumers, there’s the QA55Q7FN, QA65Q7FN and QA75Q7FN which value AU$3,699, AU$5,299 and AU$8,199, respectively.

The following step up from the Q7FN is the Q8FN, which is out there beginning at $2999 (about £2,200, $AU4,000), and the Q9FN that prices $3,800 (about £2,720, AU$4,835) however consists of Samsung’s ‘No Gap Wall Mount’.


Whereas LG has the market cornered on almost invisible frames with its almost borderless W8 OLED, Samsung’s Q7FN isn’t far behind. The Q7FN makes use of Samsung’s signature T-Bar stand to carry the TV up and tuck cables into the again. This makes for a fast setup and clear look when it’s all completed.

The TV has a silver body with a skinny, eighth-inch bezel. It’s not invisible to the attention, nevertheless it’s fairly skinny all issues thought-about. Depth-wise the display screen sits at half-an-inch close to the highest and a full inch close to the the underside of the display screen.

You will discover that it’s bigger across the decrease half of the TV as a result of that’s the place the edge-lit LEDs sit. That’s additionally the place the TV’s solely port is – Samsung’s proprietary ‘invisible’ connection cable that runs to an exterior processing unit that Samsung has dubbed the One Join field. It’s there you’ll join units to any one of many 4 HDMI ports, single digital optical-audio out or ethernet ports. Talking of, the One Join field is pretty cumbersome and might mar the looks of a house theater setup, nevertheless, as a result of the twine that runs between the One Join field and the TV itself is pretty small and reasonably prolonged, you cover the field in a cupboard, paint the twine the identical coloration because the wall and the TV will stay clutter-free.  

The opposite distinctive design characteristic on Samsung’s 2018 QLED TVs is Ambient Mode, a low energy consumption setting that helps the TV mix into the background when not in use. Whereas it’s arduous to explain in quite a lot of element, we might say it’s a cross between a regular display screen saver and a photograph you are taking of the wall behind your TV.

It is related, in some methods, to an Apple Watch face – you’ll discover a entire library of designs to select from while you enter Ambient Mode, and Samsung can all the time add extra of those through software program replace later. That being stated, proper out of the gate it’s a characteristic that helps separate Samsung from the competitors and actually does assist the TV look extra at residence when not in use.

Design TL;DR: The Samsung Q7FN is a superbly minimalistic TV – with or with out Ambient Mode turned on. The One Join field required to energy the TV is a bit cumbersome, however you may fortunately squirrel it away in a cabinet with relative ease. 

 Good TV options 

The excellent news continues with the Q7FN’s sensible TV options – Samsung’s Eden-based OS is superbly designed and simple to make use of. Like final 12 months, apps are lined up alongside the underside row and also you’ll discover all the principle culprits right here – Netflix, Amazon and YouTube come pre-installed with the TV. (UK homeowners will even obtain catch up apps for all 4 of the nation’s essential terrestrial TV broadcasters whereas US streaming lovers will see Hulu and Sling TV.)

New for 2018, nevertheless, is the mixing of Bixby, Samsung’s digital assistant, and Samsung SmartThings, which lets you management IoT units round the home utilizing the microphone constructed into the distant itself. 

That stated, whereas Bixby has the facility to trace down exhibits, management the sensible residence and reply queries it hardly ever does any of the above phenomenally effectively. Seek for “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 sounds just like the title of a Star Wars-themed bar and grill in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a result of that is Samsung’s first 12 months with Bixby integration it’s high-quality to chop them some slack on this division. Heck, Siri has been in Apple units for the higher a part of a decade and it nonetheless confuses phrases on a regular basis. The counter-point right here, although, is that LG has opted to make use of Google Assistant in its newest model of WebOS and it’s a a lot better expertise.

In the event you can look previous the occasional misinterpretation, what you’re handled to is a phenomenally sturdy, blazing quick OS. Navigating the nooks and crannies of Tizen seems like an thrilling treasure hunt as you by no means fairly know what goodie you’re going to uncover subsequent. 

Good TV TL;DR: Tizen is likely one of the finest sensible platforms on the planet. Now if solely Samsung would’ve used Google Assistant as a substitute of Bixby…

HD/SDR Efficiency

Like the remainder of its siblings within the 2018 QLED line-up, the Samsung Q7FN affords severely good upscaling of HD/SDR content material. The result’s an image that has added element with little or no image noise. (It’s nonetheless there, nevertheless it’s minimal at distances past a couple of ft away.) 

The massive profit to HD/SDR efficiency, and doubtless the TV’s largest boon interval, is its brightness. Positive, HD/SDR content material solely requires round 300 to 400 nits of peak brightness to show each element, nevertheless it doesn’t harm that this TV can get a lot, a lot brighter. 

To benefit from this additional brightness with HD/SDR content material, each new 2018 Samsung 4K HDR TV has a mode known as HDR+ that expands its colours and opens up the distinction of the display screen. It’s not fairly nearly as good as having content material shot in native HDR, however with HDR+, HD/SDR content material gained’t look half its age and also you’ll get extra of a dramatic distinction when watching older movies that weren’t shot within the newest format. 

One draw back right here, and it was one thing we identified in our evaluate of the Samsung NU8000 collection earlier this 12 months, is that HDR+ modifications the colour tone to heat, which provides a sepia-like hue to the picture. It’s not an enormous deal, however if you wish to return the display screen to a cooler, extra normal-looking picture, you’ll want to enter the settings and manually reset the colour tone.

The opposite, a lot bigger problem, and one thing we’ll speak about extra within the subsequent part is that the Q7FN makes use of an edge-lit, VA LED panel as a substitute of going full-array. This isn’t one thing that you just’ll discover in HD/SDR content material – because the distinction ratio between the brightest whites and darkest blacks isn’t that pronounced – however it could generally have an effect on the image right here, too.

HD/SDR Efficiency TL;DR: Whereas HDR+ Mode dramatically enhances the colour and distinction of HD/SDR pictures, AV purists will discover lots to like with the Q7FN’s sturdy efficiency with native HD/SDR content material.

4K/HDR Efficiency

We’ve coated brightness within the part above, nevertheless it’s value reiterating right here because the uptick in nits actually helps the Q7FN benefit from Excessive Dynamic Vary content material. 

In line with Samsung, the Q7FN is able to brightness within the 1400 to 1600 nit vary, making it twice as vibrant as rival LED-LCD screens and effectively above the really helpful 1,000-nits set by the UHD Alliance. This additional brightness makes it nice for daytime viewing and offers the Q7FN near-OLED ranges of distinction.

Sadly, although, it’s nonetheless an edge-lit VA LED panel.

Meaning the TV has nice distinction – particularly in darkish rooms and particularly while you sit squarely in entrance of the display screen – however nonetheless requires an LED panel within the again, in contrast to OLED, and due to this fact doesn’t supply fairly the identical black stage efficiency or nice off-axis viewing. 

Talking of off-axis viewing, should you sit a couple of levels to the left or the fitting of the display screen, it’s pretty straightforward to note some desaturation. Whereas we don’t have a exact measurement, you must completely keep away from sitting any greater than 30 levels in both route and, should you will help it, even lower than 15 or so levels. That rule applies each horizontally and vertically should you determine to wall mount the display screen.

It’s not all unhealthy, although. Due to the large quantity of brightness these TVs can output in HDR, they seems to be nice even in broad daylight. Add to this the advantages of the quantum dot know-how that enhances coloration quantity, and also you’ve acquired an image that’s really great – even when it’s not precisely the perfect image efficiency available on the market. 

Talking of HDR, it’s value noting that as of proper now, the Samsung Q7FN solely helps HDR10, HLG and the still-nascent HDR10+. Samsung hasn’t adopted Dolby Imaginative and prescient but, which implies most Netflix authentic exhibits will present up as customary HDR as a substitute of Dolby Imaginative and prescient – which is form of a bummer.

Whereas it wasn’t obtainable to stream in Dolby Imaginative and prescient, Defenders in HDR on Netflix nonetheless seems to be unbelievable: characters’ costumes appeared crystal clear and coloration correct, and darkish scenes retained particulars even in the midst of huge battle sequences. Equally, Planet Earth 2 appeared excellent in 4K HDR though we observed a particular inexperienced hue that made jungle scenes look extra lush, if slightly oversaturated.

Final however not least, players will discover lots to like about Samsung’s 2018 Q7FN line-up because it helps Auto Sport mode which may detect while you’re taking part in a console or PC sport and robotically swap the display screen into its fast-responding Sport image mode. Samsung additionally has plans so as to add Variable Refresh Price someday down the street which is able to assist with any display screen tearing you may’ve observed in years previous in addition to carry the enter lag to a remarkably low 7ms. (We measured the Q9FN at still-respectable 34ms, for reference.)

4K/HDR Efficiency TL;DR: Vibrant and colourful the Q7FN is a good 4K HDR TV. Simply ensure you sit instantly in entrance of it. 


To bolster the Q7FN’s image efficiency is a surprisingly highly effective audio system. It’s greater than you’ll want to listen to most TV and film dialogue above the background noise, and it does a good job with music – even when it’s not our first selection for a home get together setting.

That being stated, whereas audio efficiency is pretty sturdy, it’s the options that Samsung packs into the Q7FN that make it effectively value its weight in amplifiers. Particularly, that features easy-to-setup Bluetooth pairing that lets you use your TV as a speaker on your cellphone or pill and the inclusion of Chromecast Constructed-In that permits you to solid on the drop of a hat. 

On prime of all that’s Samsung’s Good Sound characteristic, a novel software program algorithm Samsung’s TV division has lifted from its California-based audio lab that analyses the incoming sound and robotically adjusts it to swimsuit the kind of content material you’re watching. 

In observe Samsung’s TV {hardware} and software program create a powerful audio efficiency, one that ought to simply fill most rooms with loud, clear dialogue and reasonable sound results. Will it substitute your soundbar or encompass sound speaker system? No. However can the Q7FN stand by itself with out the assistance from an exterior audio setup? Completely.

Different panels to ponder

Let or not it’s recognized that Samsung’s Q7FN will not be a reasonable TV – at $1,799 (£1,999, AU$3,699), it’s entry-level in title solely. If cash’s tight, you may drop right down to the Samsung Q6FN, however you’re higher off sticking with the Q7FN should you can afford it. 

Higher, nevertheless, could be should you may improve to the Samsung Q9FN – we aren’t kidding once we say that’s the finest TV available on the market in 2018. It affords a full-array panel which implies even higher distinction and extra correct HDR pictures. It’s a dear funding, sure, however on this case you get what you pay for.

In the event you’re searching for one thing that’s shut in value to Samsung’s Q7FN, a lot of LG’s Tremendous UHD TVs match the invoice, together with the LG SK85 (SK8500) and LG SK95 (SK9500). Each of those TVs use a variation of quantum dot and supply higher viewing angles than Samsung’s QLED. What we didn’t like about these TVs once we noticed them is that they’ve black stage uniformity points. Cannot win ’em all, I suppose. 

Your different choice could be Sony’s X900F (XF90) Sequence. It’s full array and affords superb upscaling for HD/SDR pictures in addition to world-class movement dealing with. It has related points with mild bleeding as LG’s Tremendous UHD TVs and the restricted viewing angles that you just’d discover on the Q7FN however excels in all places else. 

Final however not least, should you don’t thoughts some compromises in general coloration quantity and accuracy, we’d be remiss to not point out the TCL 6-Sequence 4K Roku TV. These are ultra-affordable HDR screens that pack in Dolby Imaginative and prescient on prime of a well-stocked OS that has each streaming service underneath the solar. Pricing for the 55-inch TCL 55R617 TV begins at simply $649.


Whereas Samsung’s Q7FN is likely one of the higher screens obtainable this 12 months, it’s not fairly the top of QLED know-how – that honor is reserved for the Q9FN. The Q7FN is a good compromise between value and efficiency providing a vibrant display screen, three types of HDR and extremely correct colours for  $1,799 (£1,999, AU$3,699), sure, however there’s nonetheless some room for enchancment on this 12 months’s Q7 collection. 

That stated, whereas the Q7FN is vibrant, colourful and exquisite, it loses a lot of these qualities the second you shift a couple of levels off-axis. This isn’t an space the place a few of Samsung’s opponents – just like the LG OLED or Tremendous UHD TVs – stumble, and that makes it powerful to offer a full unadulterated suggestion. 

In the event you can overlook these qualities, nevertheless, the Q7FN has lots to supply. Ambient Mode provides a design aesthetic positive to please even the keenest of artwork critics and its low-latency sport mode makes this a reliable companion for the Xbox One X and PS4 Professional. HDR+ mode helps brighten up HD/SDR content material and naturally 4K/HDR content material has an eye-watering sheen on it when seen on this set. Whereas the Q7FN isn’t fairly a homerun, it’s nonetheless a strong swing on the mid-range.

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