Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Samsung Q6FN vs Q60R vs Q70R Review (QN82Q70RAFXZA vs QN82Q60RAFXZA vs QN82Q6FNAFXZA; QN75Q70RAFXZA vs QN75Q60RAFXZA vs QN75Q6FNAFXZA)

Comparison review of Samsung Q6FN vs Q60R vs Q70R in the 82-inch class (QN82Q6FNAFXZA vs QN82Q60RAFXZA vs QN82Q70RAFXZA), 75-inch class (QN75Q6FNAFXZA vs QN75Q60RAFXZA vs QN75Q70RAFXZA), 65-inch class (QN65Q6FNAFXZA vs QN65Q60RAFXZA vs QN65Q70RAFXZA), 55-inch class (QN55Q6FNAFXZA vs QN55Q60RAFXZA vs QN55Q70RAFXZA), and 49-inch class (QN49Q6FNAFXZA vs QN49Q60RAFXZA vs QN49Q70RAFXZA).

Samsung Q60R vs Q70R
Photos: samsung.com
The differences between Samsung Q6FN and Q60R are mainly due to the new processor on Q60R (that Q70R also has) but there is also a difference in their dynamic range when showing HDR content because of the different peak brightness on the Q6FN vs Q60R, and Q60R vs Q70R, respectively. The design and sound are also distinct on the Samsung Q6FN vs Q60R. Nevertheless, the Q70R is arguably a more substantial upgrade over either the Q60R or Q6FN because it has a full-array local dimming backlight as opposed to edge-array backlight that both Q60R and Q6FN use.

Owing to its full-array local dimming backlight, the Q70R is able to control the light intensity in 48 zones (this number may vary for some of the screen sizes). In comparison, the edge-array backlight of the Q6FN limits its dimming and boosting capabilities to only a few large zones. The Q60R is also edge-lit but relies on frame dimming, meaning that the entire screen acts as a single zone, which is ineffective for increasing the intra-image contrast ratio since not only shadows are being dimmed, but also highlights. As a result, the Q60R's dynamic range (Quantum HDR 4X index) is not as wide as the Q70R's (Quantum HDR 8X index). The Quantum HDR index is based on Samsung's internal testing of luminance. The Q60R's Quantum HDR 4X index translates to about 500cd/m2 peak brightness in small specular highlights. In comparison, the Quantum HDR 8X on the Q70R corresponds to about 1,000cd/m2 which is along the lines of what the Q6FN is able to reach with low APL (Average Picture Level) HDR content. In other words, both the Q6FN and Q70R have brightness advantage over the Q60R, although it can be observed mainly in highlights with HDR content. It should also be said that the Q70R is able to lower its native black level via local dimming to a higher degree than the Q60R or Q6FN can. That being said, they all use VA (Vertical Alignment) type of panels, so their native black level is very deep, provided the TV is viewed on-axis. The higher zone count on the Q70R vs Q60R/Q6FN also means that there is less chance of blooming artifacts on the Q70R, although this depends on how challenging the scene is.

The Q60R and Q70R utilize the new Quantum processor which, unlike the Q6FN's Q Engine processor, uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) in order to optimize both the image and sound output for the specific content you're watching, as well as your environment. This is done when you have turned on the new Intelligent Mode on Q60R and Q70R. If you wish to use only the sound optimizations but not picture-related ones, you can turn off Adaptive Brightness so that the backlight doesn't change based on the ambient light in your room. In terms of audio, there are separate options for Adaptive Sound and Adaptive Volume. The former allows you to "Check TV Space" by using the microphone in the smart remote so that the TV speakers can be equalized based on the TV placement in the room. Therefore, the Adaptive Sound feature optimizes audio for both the acoustics of your room, and the acoustic characteristic of the content. Adaptive Volume, on the other hand, relies on your volume usage patterns to provide automatic adjustments, meaning it needs to collect enough data in order to work. It also needs to be said that the adjustments are within limited range (i.e. only 5 levels from your current volume setting, provided it doesn't exceed level 40).

In case of lower resolution signal, the Quantum processor on Q60R and Q70R can provide 4K AI upscaling which, unlike the Q6FN's upscaling technology, uses machine learning techniques so it has the potential to produce improved results over time as more data is collected and analyzed. But even out of the box, the Quantum processor has an advantage over standard upscaling techniques since the AI had some prior training in the form of comparing low and high-resolution samples of the same content, and using the correlation between the two to produce uscaling algorithms. The Q60R and Q70R are thus able to provide optimal noise reduction, sharpness and texture enhancements for a wide variety of content but the quality of upscaling still depends on the source, though.

FreeSync technology is supported by the Q6FN, Q60R and Q70R but only in the 55-inch class and above (i.e. in TVs with native refresh rate of 120Hz). When it comes to the 43-inch class Q60R, and 49-inch class models (in all three series), the native refresh rate is 60Hz, so these TVs don't support FreeSync. FreeSync is a form of variable refresh rate, and it's used for the purpose of preventing screen tearing and stuttering when playing games. The two intervals that the Q60R, Q70R, and Q6FN can be set to are Basic and Ultimate. When the input signal is 1080p@120Hz, the Basic interval setting provides a range of 90Hz-120Hz, whereas the Ultimate: 48Hz-120Hz on all three QLED TVs. The Q60R and Q70R also support 1440p@120Hz input signal with the aforementioned intervals.

When it comes to the integrated sound system on the Q60R vs Q6FN, there are some significant differences. For example, the total audio power output on the Q60R is 20 Watts whereas the Q6FN has 40 Watts of RMS power. The speaker configuration is also different on Q6FN vs Q60R. Since the Q60R omits the subwoofer, it has a 2-channel speakers whereas the Q6FN's on-board audio is 2.1 channel, meaning there is a subwoofer. The Q70R uses the same audio configuration as the Q6FN so it can deliver a total of 40 Watts of audio power over 2.1 channels.

Although the Q60R has relatively slim side and top bezels, they are still slightly thicker than the ones on the Q6FN. The Q70R, on the other hand, is, as Samsung puts it: "virtually bezel-free" on all sides (but there is a noticeable black border around the screen). Nevertheless, even the bottom bezel on the Q70R is minimal, unlike the one on the Q60R and Q6FN, which is a bit more imposing. Another difference is that the Q60R and Q70R have entirely black bezels whereas the outer bezels on the Q6FN are silver. All three QLED TVs have a table top stand that consists of two separate feet which are black on the Q60R and Q70R, and silver on the Q6FN. There are further differences in the form, material, and method of installation of the table top stand between Q70R and Q6FN on the one hand, and Q60R on the other. For example, the two feet on Q70R and Q6FN are made of metal and somewhat resemble the letter A, except that the front and back columns are not connected at the top. The installation of the stand is toolless since it simply slides into place (with the Q70R and Q6FN). Although visually quite similar, the Q60R's two feet are made of plastic and are in the form of inverse Y. Also, toolless installation of the table top stand is not possible with the Q60R.

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