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Lifewire / Bill Loguidice
Clean styling with minimal bezel
Great 4K picture quality and color
Apple AirPlay 2 compatible
Good range of apps
Average sound quality
No Dolby Vision support
Motion Rate 240 feature is mostly marketing hype
The Samsung QN55Q60RAFXZA Smart TV is a well-designed 4K TV with excellent picture quality and color reproduction. For the price, this TV offers a lot of premium features and solid value.
The Samsung Q60 Series QLED Smart 4K UHD TV with HDR series of televisions are designed to provide superior picture quality and color reproduction regardless of source. Using what the company refers to as Quantum Dot technology, these TVs deliver over a billion shades of color, along with smooth upscaling of regular high definition content to 4K resolution.
We tested the 55-inch version of the Samsung QN55Q60RAFXZA, which is simply noted as Samsung QLED Q60R on the side of the box, to see if its Quantum Dot technology and all of its other features make for a TV you’ll want in your home.
At 55-inches, the QN55Q60RAFXZA straddles the line between smaller, more compact TVs, and TVs that deliver more massive, cinema-like displays. This size TV is equally at home in a bedroom as it is a good-sized family or living room, with a comfortable viewing range between roughly 4 and 12 feet from your seating area.
Even at its relatively generous screen size, this is the type of TV that two people of even modest strength can easily move about. What works in the QN55Q60RAFXZA’s favor is that it’s both impressively thin, at just 2.3 inches deep at its thickest, and impressively light, at just 42.3 pounds.
The TV’s design is sleek and understated. The front of the unit sports a narrow half-inch black bezel around the display, with a 1.5 inch wide Samsung logo descending a quarter inch from the bottom center of the bezel. The rear casing is curved, with a ribbed, textured black surface common to many of today’s monitors and TVs.
For those who like to mount their TVs, and, when they look this good, why not, there’s a standard 400mm x 400mm VESA mount pattern. If needed, four wall-mount adapters are included in the accessories package, although you’ll likely have the easiest time with a Samsung-specific mount.
The power cable port is located off-center to the right and bottom of the rear panel. A five-foot long, two-prong power cable is included. This power cable can be run along a channel on the rear of the unit to help with cable management. However, unlike previous Samsung models, there’s no cable channel in the stand legs, just a cable clip that snaps onto one of the legs.
All of the rest of the inputs and outputs are located in a recessed area on the far left rear of the unit. Starting from the bottom up, the ports are: ANT IN, EX-LINK, LAN, HDMI IN 1, HDMI IN 2, HDMI IN 3, HDMI IN 4 (ARC), DIGITAL AUTO OUT (OPTICAL), USB (HDD 5V 1A), and USB (5V 0.5A). While having all of those port options is great, arguably the most important are the four HDMI inputs, which go a long way towards accommodating the many set-top boxes, consoles, and other devices in the average home.
Our shipping box was damaged and the internal styrofoam busted up, but fortunately the TV inside was fine. This packaging damage did make the base unstable, however, so keep that in mind if the base styrofoam is not a solid piece anymore.
You’ll need two people to open the box and remove the TV, which is a two-step process. Step one is to remove the two plastic strips holding the box together, then lift the box top off the base. Step two is to lift the TV out from the base and place it with the screen side down on a table surface larger than the TV.
Per usual when handling Samsung TVs, the stand, manual, quick start guide, remote, and other accessories and paperwork were still in the styrofoam on the top of box, so keep that in mind in case you don’t see anything besides the TV when you unpack everything.
While having all of those port options is great, arguably the most important are the four HDMI inputs, which go a long way towards accommodating the many set-top boxes, consoles, and other devices in the average home.
Besides the TV, you get four wall mount adapters, power cable and two cable clips for the stand legs, Samsung Smart Remote with the required two AA batteries, and user manual and other paperwork, all of which is contained in a bandoleer-style holder. The left and right stand legs are separate and individually wrapped.
To attach the stand legs, you want to place the bottom of the TV on the edge of a table, not off of it, to be able to slide each angled, V-shaped piece on. Two screws in each leg then secure them in place.
With the stand legs secured, you then turn the TV upright, and move it into place. Once in place, remove the protective plastic film and front side guards, and make your cable connections. It’s a nice, straightforward initial setup process, with little room for error.
If you choose not to mount the TV, you can use one or both of the included stand leg cable clips to help hide your power, HDMI, and other cables. However, the stand legs are not especially thick, so these clips are more for cable management than fully hiding the cables.
The included Samsung Smart Remote’s design matches the TV, with a sleek, minimalist look and a slight downward curve from the mid-point to the top. A textured dot pattern on the rear of the remote helps with grip.
When you turn on the TV for the first time, the Samsung Smart Remote pairs to the TV automatically. Should it lose pairing, you can point the remote at the TV when it’s powered on and press and hold the Back and Play/Pause buttons for 3 seconds to pair again. Since the remote pairs wirelessly, no line-of-sight is required, and has an effective range of up to 20 feet.
At the top front of the remote is the Power button and microphone. Below that is the Color/Number button, which alternates between the colored button window and the virtual numeric keypad for additional options, Bixby button, which has a microphone icon and lets you access Samsung’s virtual assistant, and Ambient Mode button, which lets you select various backgrounds, notifications, and other screen saver-like functions for use even when the TV is off. Below that is the direction pad, which lets you move between menu selections, as well as select options with a press of the center button.
Below the direction pad is the Return button, to return to the previous menu or terminate the current function, Smart Hub button, which returns to the Home Screen, and Play/Pause, which makes the playback controls appear. Below those buttons are two rockers switches, one for volume (VOL) and one for channel (CH). Finally, at the bottom of the remote are dedicated Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu launch buttons.
With, at minimum, the TV’s power plug connected to a power outlet and the two double AA batteries inserted into the remote, you’re ready to begin. The automated setup process then starts after you press the Power button on the remote.
After selecting your language, you’re prompted to install the SmartThings app from the Apple App Store for iOS or Google Play store for Android devices. For Samsung Galaxy owners, the app is also available from the Galaxy Store. This app is meant to not only connect, automate, and manage this TV, but also most other Samsung- and SmartThings-compatible appliances and electronics. While you can skip the app and just finish setup with the remote, we followed the preferred SmartThings app setup on our Apple iPhone XS Max, which is similar to the process on Android-based devices.
Finally, thanks to its Apple Airplay 2 support, the QN55Q60RAFXZA makes an excellent Screen Mirroring and audio target.
Once the SmartThings app was downloaded and we set up an account, the app automatically identified the TV as “[TV] Samsung Q60 Series (55)”. Once we selected the TV on the app, it asked us to enter the PIN shown on the TV to pair it. Once paired, we were asked to enter our Wi-Fi network credentials and agree to various terms and conditions, which we did.
We were then offered an option to turn on Intelligent Mode, which is supposed to provide optimized sound, brightness, and volume by analyzing the viewing environment and the current content. We selected it and the TV’s screen dimmed appropriately in an attempt to match the lighting conditions of our environment. With this feature on, it will continue to adjust to changing lighting conditions going forward.
We then had to give the TV a name, was prompted to connect HDMI and ANT IN devices to identify them, and then enter our zip code. Finally, we were prompted to create our own Smart Hub, which is the Home screen full of apps like YouTube, PBS, VUDU, Netflix, Disney+, and others. For testing purposes, we decided not to add any additional apps beyond what was already pre-installed.
With setup complete, the TV displayed a row of apps at the bottom of the screen and started playing Kitchen Nightmares on the free Classic American channel, where we were able to confirm the remote’s functionality. Although we no longer required the app, it not only proved useful in duplicating the remote’s functionality, but also was quite handy when having to enter text like user names and passwords for the TV’s built-in apps. The only thing that the app was not good for, surprisingly, was powering on the TV, despite being able to power it off. It only works after it’s powered on by the remote or other device.
Image quality is the one area that Samsung focuses on in their marketing of this TV, and with good reason. Even with not touching any of the default settings, the picture quality, and color, regardless of source or content, was uniformly excellent.
For our initial picture quality testing, we tried the built-in Netflix app. Playing Anne with an E, which is a native 4K TV series, we were impressed by the lifelike picture quality. However, we did note that the motion had an unfortunate “soap opera effect,” which is common to motion interpolation techniques that attempt to play content at a higher refresh rate than is intended. It gives an eerie, life-like effect that’s jarring for a lot of people and certainly was for our testing. Fortunately, we were able to go to the TV’s settings and change Auto Motion Plus, aka Motion Rate 240, from Auto to Off. After that, motion at the TV’s native 120 Hz was excellent across all inputs.
For our next test, we tried HDR content, which when supported, creates brighter whites, darker blacks, and more vibrant colors. After playing Lost in Space, which supports HDR10, we were quite pleased with the extended color reproduction and contrast possible on this TV. The image truly popped.
Both our Apple TV 4K and Microsoft Xbox One S, which were automatically detected by the TV, reported the correct settings. For the Apple TV, it identified the Format as 4K HDR and the Chroma as 4:2:0. For the Xbox One S, it identified all 4K modes, save for Dolby Vision, which is not present on the TV, and even automatically switched the TV to Game Mode, as well as allowed for a variable refresh rate.
Even at extreme viewing angles, and certainly any practical angle, the picture remained clear, with little-to-no noticeable color or contrast washout. There are few practical scenarios that we can envision that this TV would not provide an excellent viewing experience, regardless of where you’re seated.
As expected, even at its non-budget price point, sound quality is merely serviceable on the QN55Q60RAFXZA. If you want sound quality to match your picture quality, you’re going to have to invest in a similarly excellent surround sound system. With that said, even with its volume set to 100, the sound from the downfiring speakers on the QN55Q60RAFXZA is well-defined and clear with no noticeable hissing or popping.
Using a sound meter when standing about 20 feet away, I was able to register an average of 70 dBA at a volume of 100, which is equivalent to being closeby to a noisy vacuum. That’s plenty loud for any size room.
In Settings, you have a choice of PCM or Dolby Digital output. Both audio formats work well, but even with Dolby Digital output and compatible content, there’s not much of a simulated surround sound effect. Again, that’s to be expected from a TV’s built-in speakers, as is the lack of much noticeable bass. With that in mind, even if you don’t plan on investing in a discrete surround sound speaker system, you will still at least get to enjoy good sound quality, which is all you can really ask from a TV’s built-in speakers.
Even at extreme viewing angles, and certainly any practical angle, the picture remained clear, with little-to-no noticeable color or contrast washout.
Samsung’s Smart Hub, which is based on Tizen, is a surprisingly robust operating system for the QN55Q60RAFXZA. It features a wide range of apps, and even games, to the point where you may not even need any external media boxes like a Roku or Apple TV. Of course, external media boxes like a Roku, and in particular an Apple TV, do offer more app and content options overall, but you’ll still find almost all of the top apps and then some on Smart Hub, including Netflix, Apple TV+, Google Play, Sling TV, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Spotify, and SiriusXM.
Smart Hub’s interface is pretty simple, almost to a fault, but at least offers a sufficiently intuitive interface. All of the apps we tested exhibited no noticeable lag or other issues.
Less impressive in our testing was Samsung Bixby, the voice assistant you access from the dedicated microphone button on the remote. While you can say app names, it doesn’t know what to do when you say show names, which is in direct contrast to something like an Apple TV. Fortunately, this TV is not without options, and you can use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa as alternative voice control systems, although it would be better if Samsung Bixby itself was more robust. Of course, outside of its media options, Samsung Bixby does make for a competent virtual assistant at times, responding just fine to simple queries like, “What’s the weather today?”.
Ambient Mode is a feature unique to several Samsung TVs, and is present here. You can use this feature when you’re not watching TV to enhance your living space with decorative content that matches your surroundings or display real-time information such as weather, time, or news. This feature is accessible from the remote button or on the Smart Hub menu.
Although we found the Ambient Mode menu system rather difficult to navigate, we’re pleased that the option is there. Once we got a better handle on the interface, we were able to select pleasing artwork that looked really nice on the display. Less successful was trying to use the app and our smartphone’s camera to try and match our wall color and have the TV seamlessly blend in. Again, although we found challenges with this feature, we’re glad it’s there for those willing to put more time into learning its idiosyncrasies and optimizing its usage.
Finally, thanks to its Apple Airplay 2 support, the QN55Q60RAFXZA makes an excellent Screen Mirroring and audio target. Simply select Samsung Q60 Series on your recent Apple mobile device and your content plays on the QN55Q60RAFXZA. In our testing, the connection happened quickly and playback was smooth.
At $999.99, the QN55Q60RAFXZA is not one of the cheaper 55 inch TV options. With that said, you also don’t have to worry about build or picture quality. With its HDR10 and HDR10+ support and ability to support billions of colors, you’ll get superior color reproduction when paired with the right content. The only negative is that the QN55Q60RAFXZA does not have Dolby Vision support, a color format that many other competitive sets do feature. For most people, however, HDR10 and HDR10+ support is all that really matters, so the lack of Dolby Vision is not as much of a deal-breaker as it could be. Nevertheless, it’s something to keep in mind when comparison shopping at this price point.
In terms of energy requirements, the estimated yearly energy costs for the QN55Q60RAFXZA are just $15, putting it in the lower range for a TV of this size. That $15 figure is based on 12 cents per kWh and 5 hours of use per day.
Overall, based on our extensive testing, it’s hard to find many faults with the QN55Q60RAFXZA. You get undeniable quality for the price and plenty of full-feature HDMI inputs.
Compared to what is essentially its immediate predecessor, the Samsung QN55Q6F, the QN55Q60RAFXZA offers only a handful of clear advantages, with slightly better color reproduction and Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa support. Right now, the QN55Q6F retails for about $100 less than the QN55Q60RAFXZA, so if that savings is important to you, it makes for a similarly excellent choice. Otherwise, there’s no reason to not go for the newer QN55Q60RAFXZA.
For other great 4K TVs, check out our roundup of The 8 Best 4K Gaming TVs of 2020.
A beautifully designed TV with a sharp picture and excellent color reproduction.
With its sleek design and excellent picture performance, the Samsung QN55Q60RAFXZA Smart TV stands out. While it’s not the cheapest option in a 55-inch TV, it represents a safe bet for those who want a wide-range of features without sacrificing quality where it counts.