The Samsung QE49Q70R is the smallest size of the Samsung Q70R series, the first model in the line-up on which you get a Full Array Local Dimming backlight. Together with the quantum dot colors and a clear HDR image, it therefore seems particularly attractive. Which compromises have been chosen on this device?
Samsung QE49Q70R – specifications
- What: Ultra HD Full Array LED-LCD TV with local dimming (4 × 10 segments)
- Screen size: 49 inch (125 cm) ), flat
- Connections: 4x HDMI (v2.0, ARC, ALLM), 2x USB, 1x digital optical audio out, 3x antenna, network connection, Bluetooth
- Extras: HDR10, HDR10 +, HLG, WiFi (802.11ac ) built-in, Tizen Smart Hub, USB / DLNA media player, dual DVB-T2 / C / S2, 1x CI + slot, Smart Controller, voice control, Ambient Mode
- Dimensions: 1,095 x 708 x 248 mm (incl. base)
- Weight: 14.1 kg (incl. Foot)
- Consumption: 116 / 0.5 watt (Energy rating B)
- List price: 1,599 euros
Samsung QE49Q70R – design
The Q70R series has a dark, brushed metal-colored frame. The frame is approximately 5 mm wide and looks sober. Despite the use of a Full Array backlight, it is fairly narrow in profile (6 cm) and the curved back still partially hides it.
The matte black feet are slim and elegant, but have a rather striking appendix at the back. Those small cylinders are meant to guide your cables away. We personally thought it was not the best solution, but with a typical arrangement on a piece of furniture it hardly catches the eye.
All connections are on the device, the Q70R series is not equipped with a One Connect box . All connections are also on the side, so that they are all accessible even when mounted on the wall, and the back also looks nicely finished.
The device is equipped with four HDMI connections, all ready for Ultra HD HDR. They support ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), and ARC. The larger screen sizes from this series also offer VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and HFR 2K (High Frame Rate). Two USB connections, a digital optical audio output, the wired network connection and three antenna connections make the list complete. Wi-Fi is provided and Bluetooth is available for those who want to use wireless headphones.
Samsung QE49Q70R – ease of use
Samsung offers you the choice to install the device via the Smart Hub app on your smartphone or in the traditional way using the remote. The added value of the app is limited, but it makes registering a bit easier. Install the app if you later want to use it as a remote.
Working in the Smart Hub or in the settings menus is very smooth. The interface responds promptly, and that is a great asset for ease of use. Most settings are hidden behind a “expert settings” heading in each menu (image and sound). For some settings you also need to be in the ‘General’ menu, which is the case for all game-related settings, for example.
The supplied Smart Controller is small and narrow, executed in black plastic and is slightly curved. so that it is comfortable in your hand. But apart from the cosmetic differences, the functionality and offered keys are completely identical to the premium remote of the Q90R.
The keys are easy to press and you can find them by touch. Moreover, since there are very few, you quickly learn which test is used for what. The integration with the Smart Hub is fine, and the lack of keys is rarely a problem, unless you often enter channel numbers manually. Below are shortcuts for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Rakuten TV.
This Smart Controller can also be used as a universal remote for your peripherals. Open the Smart Hub, go to Resources and scroll to the right, to “Universal remote control setup.” You carry out a simple installation procedure for each device and you are ready.
Samsung QE49Q70R – features
Smart TV platform
The Smart Hub is certainly one of our favorite smart TV platforms. For a complete overview of the possibilities, please refer to our background article about the Samsung Smart Hub .
Among the apps, one of the most important additions is the Apple TV app, and support for Airplay 2. Both functions have recently become available (firmware 1065).
The QE49Q70R (Q70R series) is equipped with a double tuner for all digital TV options (ether , cable, and satellite) but no double CI + slot. You can record to a USB hard disk and watch another channel at the same time, but only if one of the two is not encrypted.
Last year, support for the older formats Divx and xVid was removed from the media player. The Samsung does not play DTS soundtracks either. That is a shame, because apart from those two flaws, the media player from Samsung is very complete (HEVC, HDR, and subtitles). The audio player also reads FLAC and ALAC.
The Smart remote of the Q70R series is equipped with a microphone, and with it you can give a lot of commands or record searches. For the time being there is unfortunately no support for Dutch, although you can use Bixby in English, but that was only moderately successful. Bixby was also unintentionally activated during our tests while we were watching a film. To set the table, click on the microphone, select ‘Explore Bixby’. In the next screen, select the settings at the top right, choose ‘Voice Wake up’ and turn it off.
Ambient Mode, the mode that you can activate if you are not watching TV, got a good deal this year expansion. This makes Samsung’s smart way to transform the black surface of your living room into part of your interior even more attractive.
There are more different patterns that you can display, and you can change the colors of match a number of patterns to your living room. Use the TV as a fantastic photo frame, info frame or art installation, plenty of options. The SmartThings app is a handy way to experiment with the different possibilities.
Samsung QE49Q70R – Image quality
Like all QLED models, the QE49Q70R (Q70R series) is equipped with a VA panel and quantum dot technology. The Q70R series, however, is the cheapest series in the QLED line-up that is also equipped with a Full Array backlight with local dimming . Samsung offers different “levels” of local dimming, read: different quantities of segments depending on the model. The Q70R series offers “Direct Full Array 4x” and the Q90R “Direct Full Array 16x”. Unfortunately, you cannot deduce from these figures that the Q70R uses a quarter of the number of segments of the Q90R. In reality we counted 4 × 10 segments (40) and that is only one twelfth of the 480 segments on the Q90R.
In our article on the professional calibration of a TV you can read all about the possibilities to achieve the best image settings with a professional. Here you will find an explanation of the most important picture settings and tips for setting up your TV. With the basic settings we have come to the following settings for this TV:
|Film Mode||Expert Settings||Expert Settings|
|Image Format: 16: 9 standard
Adjust to screen: On
Tint (G / R): 0
|Clean Digital View: Low *
Auto Motion Plus: *
Local Dimming: Standard
Contrast enhancement: Off
Color tone: Warm 2
Gamma: BT.1886 / 0
RGB mode: Off
Color space: Auto
Explanation main settings;
- The backlight in Film mode is 26. That brightness is fine and you can go much higher, although it is best to activate the light sensor, which can be found under General, Eco-solution, Detection of ambient light.  Clean Digital View contains all noise reduction techniques. It is advisable to activate this if you are viewing a DVD or other low quality image. The “Auto” mode also works well with color bands, but can cause loss of detail.
- Auto Motion Plus: this is as always a matter of taste. Auto is a good all-round solution. If you want more control, choose Custom and set vibration reduction somewhere between 6 and 8. We do not recommend LED Clear Motion, the flicker in the image is visible.
General image properties and image processing
Like all models from the 2019 QLED series, this television is equipped with Samsung’s Quantum Processor 4K. It provides excellent image processing. The most important comment is that you have to be careful with “Clean Digital View”. This setting manages all noise reduction (random noise, compression noise (blocking)) and sometimes removes too much detail in dark scenes in the “Auto” mode. Therefore, it is best to leave “Clean Digital View” in the “low” position, even though you may still see slight banding here and there in dark color gradients. These are often concealed in the “auto” mode, but at the expense of detail. The ‘sharpness’ setting can be raised to 5 or even 10 if you want a little more accent in your image.
This 49 inch version is, unlike the other screen sizes in this series, not equipped with a 100 Hz panel, but with a 50 Hz panel. And of course you notice that in the sharpness of motion . A great deal of detail is lost in action scenes and fast-moving objects have a visible double border. Leave “Auto Motion Plus” in the “Auto” position for the smoothest images, although we find the “Custom” setting with “Vibration reduction” between 6 and 8 a slightly better choice. “Led Clear Motion” is best off, the flickering image is too high a price for some extra detail.
What can you expect from the local dimming? With 4 × 10 segments, there appears to be sufficient potential for good results, but is that also the case in practice? The VA panel delivers an excellent ANSI contrast of 4,051: 1. And we also see that the Q70R can make dark images considerably darker than the Q67R (which has no local dimming). But on the other hand we see dimming clearly at work. The limited number of columns means that you occasionally see a segment activate or shift. As shown above, subtitles light up one third of the image in dark images. Samsung tries to suppress those effects by keeping black as dark as possible, but that is why bright accents in a dark image are often too dark. In “Gravity” the starry sky appears to be very dark while Sandra Bullock tumbles away, but when her lamp comes into view, part of the screen and the stars also light up. In short, you can see the background lighting at work in dark image material.
The “Film” image mode is well calibrated, and shows sufficient black detail. The gray scale is generally a little too cool (tends to be cyan, but is hardly noticeable). In slightly saturated colors a little discoloration is visible, for example orange, yellow and light skin colors move a little to yellow-green.
Samsung supports HDR10, HDR10 + and HLG, Dolby Vision is missing. The Q67R measured a somewhat moderate maximum brightness, but this Q70R provides a clear improvement. The peak brightness on a 10% window is approximately 715 nits, and on a completely white screen the maximum is 416 nits. That is more than sufficient for a powerful HDR image, but clearly less than the Q90R . The color range is almost identical to the Q90R series, 87% DCI-P3 and 63% Rec 2020. That remains a good result, but is slightly below last year’s performance.
The device nicely shows all the white detail, but at the bottom the curve shows the effect of Samsung’s preference to avoid dimming effects. After all, this has the disadvantage that black detail can be suppressed.
Unlike the other QLED screens that we saw, the Q70R HDR does not appear to make images excessively clear. The color performance is solid, but just like in SDR we see slight deviations here and there. They will rarely bother you during normal viewing sessions, but here too a good calibration would do justice to the device.
Reflections and viewing angles
The Q70R series is not equipped with the new Ultra Viewing Angle technology and that means that you have to accept the fairly limited viewing angle of a typical VA panel. Once you go beyond a 20 ° viewing angle, you lose contrast and there is a slight color shift. The QE49R70R copes fairly well with reflections, but for the best results you should avoid direct incident light.
In the film image mode we measure a lag of 79.7 ms. With the game mode active, the lag drops to 11.5 ms, an excellent result. You activate the game mode in the settings, under “General, Manage external devices, Game mode”. By activating ‘improve games’ the TV illuminates black detail to a limited extent so that you can see better in the shadows.
Motion Plus settings and support for VRR (Freesync) and HFR (High Frame Rate) are found only on the larger screen sizes (55, 65, 75, 82 inches), this model does not offer that with its 50 Hz panel.
Samsung QE49Q70R – Audio quality
Compared to the Q67 series you get with the Q70R- series a clearly better audio system. The 2x 10 Watt speakers are supplemented with a 20 Watt woofer and you can hear that. The television makes dialogues clear and clear, and gives soundtracks and music a pleasant sound. As always: beware if you turn the volume on, you can cause some distortion. An external solution is still the better choice for really strong sound, but not necessarily for everyone.
The TV can, using the Intelligent mode, adapt the sound to the room. This requires a very short test (to be carried out in the menu of intelligent mode: “Check capacity of TV”). The result is audible, but will undoubtedly depend on your attitude. Be sure to try it out, you can easily turn it off if desired.
The QE49Q70R (Q70R series) can, like the Q6x series transmit Dolby Atmos to a soundbar or AV receiver via the HDMI -ARC connection, on condition that the Atmos track is packed in Dolby Digital Plus.
For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements, we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. We use an HDFury Vertex to analyze possible HDR problems.
Samsung QE49Q70R – Conclusion
The QE49Q70R (Q70R series) leaves us with slightly mixed feelings. The “Direct Full Array 4x” with its 40 segments creates visible dimming effects, and dims highlights in dark scenes, but on the other hand it clearly improves the feeling of a deep black reproduction. The limited viewing angle of the VA panel must be taken into account. But especially the fact that this screen format uses a 50 Hz panel, while the larger screen sizes have a 100 Hz panel is disappointing. As a result, this TV also lacks Freesync and HFR.
The Quantum processor 4K delivers excellent results for image processing, and with its good peak brightness and color range you can count on beautiful HDR images. The calibration is not perfect, but the errors are often difficult to see. The Q70R is not intended for the real Home Theater, but will deliver excellent performance in many living rooms, also in terms of audio. We love the Smart Hub that now offers even more options with Apple TV and Airplay 2. Finally the price. We think it was good if it was a 100 Hz model, which is also the reason why we take it half a point. The 55 inch version seems to us to be a better buy (we would easily score an 8.0), especially if you can get a small discount.