Review: The Best Samsung QLED 4K TVs

The best Samsung purchases

Which Samsung TV is the very best buy? We test ourselves through the jungle of QLED screens!

Published 1 September 2020 - 4:20 pm
The Best Samsung QLED 4K TVs
Audun Hage

Products in this test

Samsung is the world’s largest TV manufacturer, something they are also happy to show off. The Korean manufacturer offers an overwhelming number of TVs on the Norwegian market, with almost 80 (!) Different variants from budget to luxury class. Even among the top models in the QLED segment, there is a wide range of different levels to choose from. No wonder a poor TV buyer can get confused!

We in Tech Reviews editorial staff receive inquiries daily from prospective TV customers, and one of the most common questions is precisely “what is the difference”. Product names and model codes can seem cryptic, and the specifications are so well hidden that even an “insider” has to look twice to distinguish the models from each other. And differences on paper are one thing – how do they degenerate in practice? And are they worth paying extra for? Here is just one thing to do: Test and compare!

QLED above everything else

Samsung has attracted attention by going in the opposite direction of the rest of the TV industry. While competitors such as LG and Philips swear by OLED, the Koreans are investing in their own QLED technology, which is basically a variant of traditional LCD with LED backlight.

Deep down, it’s still about the LCD, top-trimmed to a point where there is little “old” technology left: Advanced image panels with anti-glare treatment, Quantum dot color filter, wider viewing angle and intelligent “AI” image processors are just some of the tricks taken in use to squeeze out even better image quality.

If an LCD TV is to have any hope of keeping up with OLED in important areas such as contrast and black level, a precise backlight is required. So-called edge LEDs with mirrors are cheap and efficient, but have nothing to do with a high-end TV in our opinion. It seems that Samsung has understood, because in 2019 they will introduce direct LED taillights on far more models than before. Almost all of the new QLED models (all except the Q60R) come with full-blooded “Direct Full Array” taillights, where the most important difference from model to model is the number of individual LED zones.

The test

A typical group test usually consists of 4-5 different TV manufacturers as participants, but this time we have chosen a slightly untraditional approach. To be able to say more about the performance from the various QLED models, we have taken a real deep dive into the Samsung range, and called models such as Q60R, Q70R, Q80R, and Q85R to compete. In addition, we have included the regular UHD model RU8005 to compare with an “ordinary” LCD TV. Such a test will hardly give us all the answers, but it at least gives a clue as to which member of the Samsung family gives the most pictorial value for money.

Which Samsung TV offers the most picture for the money? Is it Q60R, Q70R, Q80R, or Q85R? We test!

Products in this test

Samsung RU8005 (UE65RU8005)

On the edge of QLED

The Samsung UE65RU8005 is Samsung's best ordinary LCD TV before stepping up to QLED.

Great design, excellent remote control and sharp picture quality make the RU8005 a good all-round TV.
Performance is slightly hampered by the edge-LED technology, which puts a damper on the contrast.
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Samsung Q60R (QE65Q60R)

QLED in light version

Samsung Q60R is the most affordable model in Samsung's QLED universe. An affordable and well-equipped TV, which still lacks the superb contrast from the top models.

Q60R is packed with features and refined imaging.
The Q60R lacks the raw contrast that characterizes Samsung's true flagship models.
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Samsung Q70R (QE65Q70R)

True QLED contrast

With the Samsung Q70R, Samsung has trimmed away unnecessary luxury in order to offer direct LED taillights at a favorable price.

The Q70R offers stunning contrast and a compelling black level at a great price,
The viewing angle is somewhat limited, and the panel glass slightly shinier than the more expensive QLED models.
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Samsung Q82R (QE65Q82R)

Silk black!

Tired of mirror-bright TV screens? With Samsung Q82R it's like staring into a black hole in the universe…!

The Samsung screen serves vivid images with very good contrast and brightness. Mirror images are a thing of the past, thanks to the super-matte screen surface.
Impractical foot. The light control is not as fine-meshed and precise as the flagship models.
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Samsung Q85R (QE65Q85R)

Close to the top model

Samsung Q85R is a very well equipped TV, which really breathes the flagship model Q90R in the neck, at a noticeably lower price!

Lots of equipment and good connection options, as well as very sharp image quality, make the Q85R an attractive model.
The flagship Q90R has a horse's head in front in some areas. And when you are still so close, it might be tempting to go for the top model anyway?
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