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Lifewire / Emily Isaacs
Great choice for gamers thanks to excellent motion handling
Low input lag
Affordable QLED panel
Excellent picture upscaling to higher resolutions
No local dimming
Loss of color at wide viewing angles
No Dolby Vision support
While there are some drawbacks to the Samsung Q60R, it maintains strong performance for gamers and PC enthusiasts alike while also producing good picture quality. It’s a good alternative to more costly OLED TV’s.
The Samsung 65-inch class Q60R (QN65Q60RAFXZA) is the newest smart QLED TV from Samsung, improving on last year’s model with great processing power at a mid-tier price. It may not have all the bells and whistles that higher-end competitor smart TVs offer but we found it held its own, particularly in the gaming arena. We tested this product for a month, read on to learn what we found.
QLED TVs are the successor to LED TVs, designed to derive their picture from backlighting within the unit, a stark contrast to OLED which can toggle individual pixels on or off to emit their own color. The Q60R specifically uses edge lighting in place of backlighting along the bottom of the screen. QLED TVs also add what Samsung refers to as a quantum dot to the film within the LED panel, hence the QLED. When hit with light, this quantum dot will transmit color and create a picture. This is how the Q60R generates its images.
The Q60R itself is comprised of a pane of glass that covers the QLED paneling. The glass stretches nearly to the edge of the TV, leaving only a 0.3-inch gap between it and the end of the frame. When mounted on a wall, it doesn’t look quite as refined as higher-end models which tend to have either a floating glass or industrial finish, but its 65 inches are impressive nonetheless. Although QLED TVs tend to be slightly heavier and bigger than their OLED counterparts, the Q60R is less than 60 pounds with a thickness of 2.3 inches. Because it is so slender, it does need to be lifted by two people and handled with care during setup, otherwise, it’s prone to bending and damage.
Although QLED TVs tend to be slightly heavier and bigger than their OLED counterparts, the Q60R is less than 60 pounds with a thickness of 2.3 inches.
One quirk that takes some getting used to regarding the TV’s design is the location and use of the power button, which can be found located along the bottom center of the frame. Through a combination of long presses and short presses, you can control the TV in this manner. It’s handy if you’ve lost your remote, although it’s not very practical otherwise.
For people who have devices such as Blu-ray players or consoles, the ports are located on the backside of the television. There are also handy grooves for cable management options. Ports include 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, a cable/antenna input, a LAN port, 2 USB ports, and audio connections. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t include any component or composite input for older devices, so if you’re hoping to use older tech with this TV then adapters are a must.
Because it is large and fragile, carefully consider where the Q60R will be safest in your home before moving ahead with the setup process. Regardless of where it’s placed, take care to leave 4 inches of ventilation space between the back of the TV and the adjacent surface. The edge lighting that powers the model heats it slightly, so additional ventilation space is important. Overall, we found the setup process to be straightforward for an afternoon project, with plenty of time to kick back and enjoy the TV once the setup process is complete.
To use the provided stand, simply slide the legs into the notches on the lower right and left-hand sides of the screen, then using the provided hardware, secure them in place. With a helper, carefully lift the TV with the screen facing away from you and place it in your desired location. Be aware that the stand is especially light and is not sufficient to secure the TV. It will be important to use additional methods such as a strap to ensure its safety. Children, pets, and the TV itself could be at risk otherwise.
The mounting process, in contrast, is a little more in-depth. There are two important factors to consider when selecting a mount that will meet both the needs of your TV and your home. First and foremost, not all building materials will provide the necessary support. If you have plaster or masonry instead of drywall, you’re going to need stronger hardware than a typical mount has to offer in order to properly secure the TV.
Additionally, any mount should meet both the screen size and weight range of the Samsung Q60R—57 pounds and 65 inches. After these considerations, everything else is a matter of preference. Would you prefer to mount the TV at eye level or higher up? Have you considered a fixed or articulating mount so you can adjust the viewing angles as-needed? Will this be going in a corner or along a flat wall? These questions impact the kind of mount you purchase. Mount manufacturers often include a compatibility check on their website which can share if a specific mount will fit your TV model’s needs. If power tools and home projects intimidate you, it’s worth the peace of mind to hire a handyman to finalize the mounting process.
After installation, setup within the TV doesn’t take long. It starts by prompting the user to download the app SmartThings via the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store. Make sure your phone is on the same Wi-Fi as your TV and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the setup, including reviewing and accepting any necessary user agreements. One aspect of first-time setup you’ll want to handle now will be the High Dynamic Range (HDR) setting, which is enabled automatically for native apps but will need to be turned on for external devices. You can update this by enabling Input Signal Plus in the External Device Manager. For gamers or PC users, be sure to enable Game Mode as well to take advantage of the lowest input lag.
The TV’s platform is powered by Tizen, a Linux-based operating system implemented on a number of Samsung’s products, such as the Galaxy Watch. It’s a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to navigate the menus and home screen of the TV. One of the nice features it supports is allowing you to pick up where you left off in apps such as Netflix, although it appears inconsistent across other streaming services.
While the provided OneRemote initially felt a bit limiting as compared to other universal remotes with additional button options, it’s surprisingly easy to use and versatile when it comes to pairing with devices and controlling content. It works nicely with the Samsung Q60R for a streamlined experience. Available apps include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and additional apps can be managed within the Smart Hub. One drawback, however, is that it does show display ads within the home screen menus, which can be a nuisance.
While there are times that Bixby can be very useful, such as performing basic tasks like switching between apps or updating TV settings, Bixby still feels very much like a work in progress.
Bixby is the assistant that comes with the TV. It’s a contextually aware AI that allows you to combine directions using a mix of voice and touch commands, similar to Google’s Assistant or Apple’s Siri except that Bixby is specific to Samsung. Pressing the microphone button on the OneRemote will wake it up for commands. While there are times that Bixby can be very useful, such as performing basic tasks like switching between apps or updating TV settings, Bixby still feels very much like a work in progress.
Often, Bixby has difficulty understanding seemingly clear instructions, but other times Bixby breezes through them. There were days we felt like we spent more time re-asking it questions or re-providing instructions than it would’ve taken for us to complete the original task ourselves. While Bixby can do things like open content in apps such as Hulu, that same functionality doesn’t extend to other apps like Netflix beyond launching the app itself. It’s strange and feels like lost potential to have such an inconsistent experience.
The 4K picture quality on the Samsung Q60R is great, particularly where gaming or action scenes are concerned thanks to its Motion Rate anti-blur technology and low input lag. The QLED produces a wide range of color with great contrast, although there is washing out from wide viewing angles and some loss of color. Additionally, the Q60R does not include local dimming technology, which is a break from last year’s model and a limitation of the TV. This means that the TV does not specifically dim sections displaying blacks, which can lead to a slight washing out of the color resulting in a gray tint. While it may not always be noticeable, it won’t necessarily be a true black.
Additionally, the Q60R does not include local dimming technology, which is a break from last year’s model and a limitation of the TV.
On top of that, its HDR brightness seems somewhat dull as compared to higher-end QLED Samsung models with comparable settings. This impacts highlights, in particular, preventing them from achieving their peak brightness to really make contrast pop in scenes. Otherwise, the picture quality is enhanced by the Quantum Processor 4K which excels at upscaling content to 4K-like quality using artificial intelligence. It also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, meaning the refresh rate of the display varies based on the needs of its source content instead of tearing or stuttering during gameplay, which is important for Xbox One players and PC gamers who may be considering this as a monitor.
4K smart TV’s in the 65-inch range tend to retail for $800-$5,000, and this cost jumps as screen size scales up. The Samsung Q60R is a mid-tier 4K smart TV that sits in the middle of the pack, generally retailing for around $1,000 on Amazon. While it lacks many of the intuitive, smart features that drive up the cost of competitor models, as well as their upscaled designs, it stands on its own thanks to its variable refresh rate and great picture quality. It’s a good value for the price, particularly for gamers who value performance.
The main competition for QLED TVs stems from OLED TVs, for which there’s no better model in 2019 than the LG OLED C9 (OLED65C9PUA). The 65-inch LG C9 is the cream of the crop, featuring better wide-angle viewing, a richer range of color and contrast (including true blacks), and more consistent picture quality.
Its frame is incredibly sleek and attractive, thanks to its floating, industrial design. It also features forward-thinking technology like HDMI 2.1 ports. Although these aren’t hugely relevant right now, devices that rely on their increased bandwidth are expected to begin launching next year, such as the Playstation 5. On top of this, the LG C9 is one of the smartest TVs out there, successfully incorporating Alexa and Google Assistant alongside LG’s WebOS to create a seamlessly integrated interface that’s incredibly easy to navigate.
At almost half of the cost of its OLED competitor, Samsung’s Q60R offers great value to gamers on a budget for whom performance is the most important feature of the TV.
Burn-in, where discoloration occurs over a portion of the screen, is a real possibility for the LG C9, albeit unlikely unless you’re susceptible to leaving the same channel on all the time. This may be more of a concern for PC users. The other consideration for the C9 is the price tag; all these extras come at a premium price of $2,500, which is over twice the cost of the Q60R’s $1,000 price tag.
If you’re simply looking for the best picture and features that 2019 has to offer, look no further than the C9. If you’re looking for more of a mid-tier TV model or you’re concerned about the possibility of burn-in damaging the OLED panel, the Q60R may be a better fit as QLED TVs do not suffer burn-in damage. At almost half of the cost of its OLED competitor, Samsung’s Q60R offers great value to gamers on a budget for whom performance is the most important feature of the TV.
A great TV for the price despite some compromises.
The Samsung Q60R is a great 4K TV for the price, particularly for gamers, thanks to its variable refresh rate and Motion Rate anti-blur technology. Combined with low input lag and Samsung’s easy-to-use interface, this TV is a surefire winner.
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