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.
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!