Samsung QN55Q7FN REVIEW

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Samsung QN55Q7FN REVIEW

The Samsung QN55Q7FN is a 2018 Samsung 4k QLED TV with great picture quality. It can produce saturated highlights in HDR content due to the very wide color gamut. It also has great bright room performance as the whole screen can get very bright and it has excellent reflection handling. Unfortunately, when viewed in a dark room, the local dimming isn’t very effective at producing deep blacks and for those with wide seating, the best picture is reserved for directly in-front of the TV.

Design

The design of the Samsung Q7FN is excellent and up to par with last year’s Q7F. It comes along with the OneConnect box incorporating some improvements over last year’s design. The cable that connects the box to the TV is very long (195″) and it also provides power thus eliminating the need for an extra power cord.

The stand is quite stylish and sturdy and resembles last years Q7F. Although the TV wobbles a little bit as with most center stands, it is well balanced and should please most people.

Footprint of the 55″ TV stand: 33.5″ x 11.4″

The back is plastic with small grooves and a matte finish. It looks very much like last years’ Q7F. There is practically no need for cable management channels due to the OneConnect box, here.
This also facilitates wall mounting, but at the same time requires planning for the placement of the OneConnect box.

The borders of the Samsung QN55Q7FN are very thin with a metal finish. They look nice and are very similar to the 2017 Q7F.

The TV is remarkably thin. The OneConnect Box removes the need for an inputs cabinet, thus enabling the TV design to be thinner

The Samsung Q7FN gets warm, but not excessively warm. The heat picture reveals that the TV is warmer towards the bottom of the screen where the LEDs are located. The yellow spot on the lower right side of the image is the OneConnect box that reaches a maximum temperature of 100° F. These temperatures are well within the norm and should not cause any problems.

The build quality of the TV is great. There are no obvious gaps in the unit. It is mostly plastic, with some metal parts, including the stand and the borders, which contribute to its solid feel.

Picture Quality

The Samsung Q7FN produces great picture quality. It has an excellent native contrast ratio and black uniformity, so it produces deep dark blacks great for dark room viewing. It is edge-lit and has a very limited local dimming feature. It is extremely bright with excellent reflection handling, making it a great choice for bright rooms too.

Like all VA panels, it has a narrow viewing angle. It has the widest color gamut ever measured, and exceptional color volume, so HDR movies look very close to what the creator intended. It has limited gradient reproduction, and large areas of similar colors could suffer a bit (this is especially noticeable in shots of the sky).

The contrast on the Samsung Q7FN is superb. It’s about 20% higher that the 2017 Q7F. When set in a dark room, the Q7FN can produce deep black scenes.

When measured with local dimming activated, there is almost no change due to poor performance of local dimming.

The local dimming feature on the TV is bad. Performance is very similar to the NU8000. It focuses on the moving highlights, but the rest of the screen is hardly dimmed. It was a bit noticeable when the highlights were at one edge of the screen.

The TV has excellent SDR brightness and outperforms both the Q9FN and the Q8FN, but still falls behind last year’s Sonys X930E and Z9D. Edge lighting is more efficient than full array used in both the Q9FN and the Q8FN. We assume that this extra power budget is what makes the Q7FN brighter.

The high brightness values on the 2% and 10% windows will make small highlights stand out in dark scenes.

The great performance in this category makes it a great candidate for anyone looking for a TV for a bright room.

Just like in the SDR brightness, the performance of Samsung Q7FN in HDR is remarkable and certainly better than last year’s Q7F. Bright highlights in HDR content will be shown quite bright, and at times within the 1000-4000 cd/m² level they’re intended to be.

The gray uniformity of the Samsung Q7FN is good. The borders are darker than the rest of the screen, but the center remains relatively clear. This avoids any disturbing dirty screen effects and sport viewing and game playing should not have any issues.

Dark scene uniformity is very good. It is hard to notice any cloudiness.

The viewing angle is disappointing but typical for a VA panel. It is worse than the 2017 Q7F, but it doesn’t differ a lot from the 2018 Samsung family, even though it presents a slight improvement in the black levels

Motion

The 2018 Q7F has great motion handling. There is very little motion trail, and only a little persistence blur, most people won’t notice it. It has an excellent response time, very similar to the higher end Q8FN although not as good as last year’s model. The TV is not flicker-free, and the backlight changes depending on interpolation settings. Like other Samsung TVs we have reviewed recently, it is inconsistent at removing judder when watching 24p content played from a 60i source.

The 2018 Q7 has an excellent response time. There is a bit of overshoot in the 0-20%,0-80% and 20-80% transitions, but this shouldn’t cause any issues. It is a bit worse than last year’s Q7F but nearly identical to the Q8FN. There is very little blur due to response time, most of the blur in the photo is due to persistence.

The Samsung Q7FN uses PWM to dim the backlight. There is visible flicker at all backlight settings. At low backlight settings the flicker becomes more apparent.

The 2018 model has a 240Hz flicker, which is a marked improvement over the 120Hz backlight on the 2017 version. People sensitive to flicker could consider the Q8FN instead which has a much less noticeable 480Hz flicker.

The Q7FN has an optional black BFI mode. This is enabled by setting Auto Motion Plus to Custom, and enabling LED Clear Motion. This changes the backlight to a 60 Hz flicker, even in game mode. Changing the flicker frequency will help reduce stutter but people sensitive to flicker might notice it more.

The QN55Q7FN is able to interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz. The Samsung Q7F does a good job interpolating with few artifacts, but the accuracy does decrease with medium amounts of motion, and the TV stops interpolating in scenes with heavy motion.

Inputs

The 2018 Q7FN has excellent low input lag. Like the other 2018 QLEDs, it can interpolate low frame rate games up to either 60Hz or 120Hz. Unlike other TVs, it is able to interpolate without adding significant input lag. It supports 1440p @ 120 Hz, great for Xbox One S / X gaming. It supports chroma 4:4:4 for use as a PC monitor, but colors are washed out in 4:4:4 with a 1440p @ 120Hz resolution, like all Samsung TVs we have tested. PC Mode doesn’t work with a 24Hz input signal but this is an uncommon setup and shouldn’t be an issue for most people.

Sound Quality

The sound of the Samsung Q7FN is decent. This TV gets moderately loud and produces clear and intelligible dialogs. However, it may not be loud enough for large and noisy environments and it doesn’t have a deep and thumpy bass. For a better sound, dedicated speakers or soundbars are recommended.

The frequency response is decent. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 70Hz, which is above-average. This means this TV won’t produce any low rumbling sounds or thumps, but will have a decent punch to its bass. The response above the TV’s LFE is quite well-balanced, suggesting clear and intelligible dialogs. However, since the TV doesn’t have a room correction system, it wasn’t able to remove the modes of our test room around 200Hz. Additionally, this TV gets moderately loud, but may not be loud enough for large and noisy environments.

The distortion performance is good. The overall amount of harmonic distortion produce throughout the range is within good limits. There is not a noticeable change in THD under maximum volume either, however, this TV doesn’t get very loud.

Smart Features

The Samsung 2018 Q7F QLED TV runs the latest version of Samsung’s Smart Hub. It has an easy to use, intuitive layout, and there were some minor performance issues during our testing. There is a good assortment of built-in apps, and many more are available in the app store, but not as many as the Sony or LG content store.

The interface of the QN55Q7FN is intuitive and easy to navigate. The TV is slightly slower than last year’s model, with frequent dropped frames.

Like all Samsung TVs, the Samsung Q7FN has ads across the main interface bar, as well as suggested content in the content store. They are not always there, but they can’t be completely disabled.

During our testing the ads displayed intermittently so we were unable to photograph them, but they look like the ones on the Q8FN. The ads we saw were targeted, while watching a car show we were shown Mitsubishi ads.

The TV has a good assortment of pre-installed apps, and the app store has an excellent selection of available apps.

The 2018 QLEDs have a new feature called Ambient Mode. When enabled, the TV can display a variety of content when in sleep mode, including the time, weather, music, and photos.

The remote is the same as the one included with the Q8FN and NU8000. It doesn’t have a lot of buttons, for most things the remote has to be used to navigate the menu or use the Bixby Voice Assistant.

The new Bixby assistant works well. It can change inputs, open apps, and answer basic questions, for example, “How’s the weather for the next week?”. It is more limited than the LG voice assistant, and it can’t search within apps or do wider searches across a variety of sources.

The Samsung remote app is very basic. The official SmartThings app is only available for Samsung phones. For other phones a third party app must be used. The SmartThings app can work as a replacement remote, and has some more advanced features. It can cast the TV’s content to your phone, as well as working for voice control. On the 2018 QLEDs, it can control the new Ambient mode.

Update 06/05/2018: The Samsung SmartThings app is available on the Google Play Store for Android phones, with some features exclusively available on Samsung phones.

SPECIFICATIONS

Curved : No
Wall Mount : Vesa 200×200
Borders : 0.35″ (0.9 cm)
Max Thickness : 2.05″ (5.2 cm)
Maximum Temperature : 99 °F (37 °C)
Average Temperature : 91 °F (33 °C)
Native Contrast : 5607 : 1
Contrast with local dimming : 5611 : 1
Local Dimming : Yes
Backlight : Edge
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness : 694 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window : 1158 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window : 2294 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window : 842 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window : 807 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window : 805 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window : 1132 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window : 755 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window : 836 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window : 795 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window : 801 cd/m2
SDR ABL : 0.021
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness : 717 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window : 941 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window : 2270 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window : 834 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window : 799 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window : 778 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window : 931 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window : 744 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window : 827 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window : 795 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window : 773 cd/m2
HDR ABL : 0.011 50% Std. Dev. : 3.217 %
50% DSE : 0.165 %
5% Std. Dev. : 0.868 %
5% DSE : 0.103 %
Color Shift : 19 °
Brightness : 30 °
Black Level : 22 °
Native Std. Dev. : 0.567 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D. : 0.955 %
Screen Finish : Glossy
Total Reflections : 1.5 %
Indirect Reflections : 0.4 %
Picture Mode : Movie
White Balance dE : 4.60
Color dE : 2.17
Gamma : 2.60
Color Temperature : 6172 K
Picture Mode : Movie
White Balance dE : 0.27
Color dE : 1.66
Gamma : 2.20
Color Temperature : 6573 K
Wide Color Gamut : Yes
DCI P3 xy : 99.67 %
DCI P3 uv : 99.57 %
Rec 2020 xy : 76.66 %
Rec 2020 uv : 83.43 %
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP : 94.0 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP : 55.0 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP : 76.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP : 44.8 %
Color Depth : 10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.) : 0.138 dE
Green (Std. Dev.) : 0.149 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.) : 0.131 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.) : 0.116 dE
IR after 0 min recovery : 0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery : 0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery : 0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery : 0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery : 0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery : 0.00 %
Permanent Burn-In Risk : No
80% Response Time : 4.2 ms
100% Response Time : 12.6 ms
Flicker-Free : No
PWM Dimming Frequency : 240 Hz
Optional BFI : Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps : 60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps : Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps : Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode : 60 Hz
Motion Interpolation (30 fps) : Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps) : Yes
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps : 29.1 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps : 4.1 ms
Judder-Free 24p : Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p : Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i : No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps : Yes
Native Refresh Rate : 120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate : FreeSync
4k VRR Maximum : 60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum : 48 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum : 120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum : < 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors : HDMI
1080p @ 60Hz : 19.6 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR : 20.1 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode : 71.4 ms
1080p @ 120 Hz : 10.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz : 16.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR : 19.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 : 16.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR : 15.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode : 71.3 ms
4k With Interpolation : 21.7 ms
4k @ 120 Hz : N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate : 15.5 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate : 6.2 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 : Yes
1080p @ 120Hz : Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60Hz : No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4 : Yes
4k @ 60Hz : Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 : Yes
4k @ 120Hz : No
HDMI : 4
USB : 3
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 0
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0
Composite In : 0
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0
HDR10 : Yes
Dolby Vision : No
HLG : Yes
3D : No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital : Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS : No
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital : Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS : No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwith : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth : No
ARC : Yes (HDMI 4)
USB 3.0 : No
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC : Yes
MHL : No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Low-Frequency Extension : 71.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70 : 3.45 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80 : 3.66 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max : 5.49 dB
Max : 85.0 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression : 3.96 dB
Weighted THD @ 80 : 0.407
Weighted THD @ Max : 0.519
IMD @ 80 : 0.45 %
IMD @ Max : 1.25 %
Ease of Use : Easy
Smoothness : Not Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube : 2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight : 8 s
Advanced Options : Many
Ads : Yes
Opt-out : No
Suggested Content in Home : Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content : No
App Selection : Many
App Smoothness : Average
Cast Capable : Yes
USB Drive Playback : Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback : Yes
HDR in Netflix : Yes
HDR in Amazon Video : Yes
HDR in YouTube : Yes
Size : Small
Voice Control : Many Features
CEC Menu Control : Yes
Other Smart Features : Yes
Acts as the Remote : Yes
Launches Apps and Inputs : No
Inputs Text in YouTube : No
Inputs Text in Netflix : No
Streams Device Files : No
Controls TV Settings : No
Voice Control : Yes
Power Consumption : 59 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 166 W
Firmware : 1057

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