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Review: Samsung QE55Q85R (Q85R series) QLED TV

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The Samsung QE55Q85R takes its place in the line-up just below the top model, the Q90R . On paper, the devices seem to have a lot in common. The main difference is a smaller number of zones in the local dimming of the backlight.

Samsung QE55Q85R – specifications

  • What: Ultra HD Full Array LED LCD TV with local dimming (10 × 10 segments)
  • Screen format : 55 inch (165 cm), flat
  • Connections: One Connect Box: 4x HDMI (2.1, VRR, ALLM, 4K HFR, eARC (after firmware update), 3x 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, One Connect Box, Invisible Connection, Ambient Mode
  • Dimensions: 1,231 x 792 x 231 mm (incl. Base)
  • Weight: 20.6 kg (incl. Base)
  • Consumption: 157 / 0.5 watt ( Energy rating B)
  • Recommended retail price: 2,499 euros

A complete overview of all models that Samsung launched in 2019 can be found in the 2019 Samsung LCD LED TV line-up . Here you can also find the complete specifications per model.

Samsung QE55Q85R – design

The Q85R connects with its design to the models of last year. The screen received a thin alloy frame of approximately five millimeters. From the side, it is less wide than on the Q90R, and it gives the screen a nice, luxurious feel.

The base has a T-shape, with a light metal bar at the front that underlines the screen. The neck of the foot is cut away, a nice detail.

At the rear of the neck there is space to route the Invisible Connect cable away. The back is finished with a horizontal stripe pattern. There is no connection available on the device itself, not even for power. Everything is supplied via the Invisible Connect cable.

Connections

Like its big brother, the Q90R, the Q85R is equipped with a One Connect Box where you can find all the connections. The cable between the One Connect box and television is very thin (3.4 mm) and partly transparent. He not only takes care of all data transport but also supplies power to the television. The supplied cable is five meters long, and an optional fifteen meter long version is available.

On the One Connect Box we find four HDMI connections, which according to Samsung use HDMI 2.1. They are not only ready for Ultra HD HDR, but also for High Frame Rate (HFR, 120fps) in both 4K and Full HD. For gamers there is support for VRR and ALLM and after a future firmware upgrade eARC will also be available. Three times USB, three antenna connections and the wired network connection make the list complete. Of course, WiFi is provided and Bluetooth is available for those who want to use wireless headphones.

The One Connect box and the thin, almost invisible cable remain a unique solution that provides a lot of flexibility in placement. . Whether you opt for wall mounting or an arrangement on a piece of furniture where all peripheral devices and ugly cables are kept out of sight, it is very simple.

Samsung QE55Q85R – ease of use

Installation can be done in the traditional way with the remote, or with the SmartThings app on your smartphone. The added value of the app is limited, typing passwords and codes is a bit easier. You can also use it as a remote control afterwards. No matter how you do it, the installation is very simple.

The menus for all settings and the Smart Hub work very smoothly, which is a strong asset for Samsung in addition to the ease of use. If you look into the menus, you will notice that most image and sound settings are hidden in the “expert settings” of the respective menu. For some settings you also need to be in the “General” menu, which is the case for all game-related settings, for example.

Remote control

The Q8R5 comes with the same Smart controller as the Q90R. The slim, light remote is made of light metal. It not only looks luxurious, but also feels very pleasant. The keys are easy to operate and you can even find them by touch. The remote works perfectly with the Smart Hub so that you rarely experience the lack of keys as a loss. Below you will find three shortcut keys for Netflix, Prime Video and Rakuten TV.

You can also use the Smart Controller as a universal remote for your peripherals. You go through a simple installation procedure for each connected device and you're done. Please note, the One Connect Box must not be covered when it is hidden in relation to the devices to be operated. After all, it sends out IR signals for operation.

Samsung QE55Q85R – 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 .

Smart functions

Among the apps, one of the most important additions is the Apple TV app, and support for Airplay 2. Both functions have been available since firmware 1065.

The Q85R 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 drive and watch another channel at the same time but only if one of the two channels 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 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 turn that off, 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

Ambient Mode has become an integral part of the full QLED line-up. With this smart function you can integrate the TV into your interior when it is off. The possibilities were considerably expanded this year.

There are more different patterns that you can display, and you can match the colors of 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 QE55Q85R – Image quality

The VA panel of the Q85R is combined with a Direct Full Array backlight for improved contrast. With 10 × 10 (100) segments, it has significantly fewer segments than the Q90R (480), but that still seems sufficient for good results. Moreover, the Q85R is also equipped with Samsung's Ultra Wide Angle technology that significantly improves the viewing angle. This film does not prevent us from taking a clear shot of the pixels.

Main settings

In our article about professional calibration of a TV you can read all about the possibilities to achieve the best image settings with a professional. If you want to get started yourself, go through our home cinema information guide . 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 Size Setting: 16: 9 standard
Adjust to screen: On
Backlight: 18
Brightness: 0
Contrast: 45
Sharpness: 0
Color: 25
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 is set to 26 in Film mode. That brightness is excellent and you can go much higher, even though it is best to activate the light sensor, which can be found under General, Eco-solution, Detection of ambient light. [19659006] 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 image 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 Blur Reduction to 10 and vibrate 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

Also on the Q85R Samsung's new Quantum Processor 4K cannot be missed. Here too he delivers the same results that we saw on the previous models tested. Upscaling and noise reduction are very good. Pay attention with “Clean Digital View”, the setting that is responsible for all noise reduction. In the “Low” mode, it works well with all random noise and even a lot of block noise (compression noise), but in the “Auto” mode it can make some details disappear. That position is required if you want to avoid color bands to the maximum. In most cases we prefer the “Low” position anyway.

In terms of sharpness of motion, you do not compromise on the Q90R. A small fuzzy border is visible around fast-moving objects, and that of course takes some detail in action scenes. “Auto motion plus” ensures smooth images with optimal detail in the “Auto” mode, but most film fans will find the occasional image error in complex images disturbing. Choose 'Custom' with 'Blurry reduction' at 8 to 10, and 'Vibration reduction' at 6 to 8. Avoid 'Led Clear Motion', the flickering image is too high a price for some extra detail.

[19659021] How does the Direct Full Array backlight with its 100 zones (10 × 10) do it? What is particularly striking is a considerable improvement over the Q70R which has to do with 40 zones. Our test from Gravity where you see the stars against the Earth's darkness shows more and brighter stars, although it remains a little less impressive than on the Q90R. With its 100 zones, the Q85R generally does very well, even though the step from 480 (Q90R) to “only” 100 zones seems very large. Segmentation in our HDR fireworks scene is much more visible. We achieve an ANSI contrast of around 4,700: 1 and in some test scenes it can go even higher.

In short, very good performance and the Samsung hides the segment limits very well, although that can be done off and what some black detail costs. Just like on Q90R, subtitles in HDR images can still have a visible effect and make the image pump softly.

The “Film” mode delivers very good results. The gray scale has a very light cyan hue, and is a bit too dark in the darkest shades. In dark images, the local dimming can hide some black detail. It gives the image a lot of impact combined with the excellent contrast. The color reproduction is excellent, with natural colors and beautiful skin tones.

HDR

Samsung only supports HDR10 +, HDR10 and HLG. Dolby Vision unfortunately not. What this TV does offer is a very high peak brightness. With 1,246 nits on a 10% window, it changes slightly and another 650 nits on a completely white screen delivers less than the Q90R (1,640 nits) but still more than enough to place itself at the absolute top. Even with a completely white screen, it achieves a top result with 650 nits. The color range is 93% DCI-P3 and 69% Rec.2020, just like the other QLED models this year, slightly lower than last year.

As we are used to with Samsung, the brightness is the image is generally a bit too high, but less serious than on other models. On average, the image is 20% too bright, but the Samsung ensures that you get to see all the white detail.

In short, the QE55Q85R puts a powerful HDR image on the screen with excellent colors and will leave a strong impression even in a well-lit environment.

Reflections and viewing angles

This model is equipped with the Ultra Viewing Angle technology that we explained in a previous article . Just like on the Q90R this technology provides a very wide viewing angle, up to 60 °. Contrast and color reproduction are well preserved. Black is still rising, so that segment boundaries become more visible in extreme cases, but in general the result is fantastic and even unseen on LCD screens.

Reflections are also considerably less annoying. They are spread out more widely but lose a lot of intensity, so that they are much less disturbing.

Gaming

In the film image mode we measure a lag of 74.5 ms. That is of course way too much for a good gaming experience. With the game mode active the lag drops to 22.7 ms and that is a top result. You activate the game mode in the settings, under “General, Manage external devices, Game mode”. Samsung has also added Motion Plus settings there so that you can also tinker with the sharpness of motion in game mode, although the lag goes towards 40ms (still good).

Samsung offers support for VRR ( Variable Refresh Rate), under the name Freesycnc (such as AMD technology of the same name). By activating 'game enhancement', the TV illuminates black detail to a limited extent so that you can see better in the shadows and adjusts the sound.

Samsung QE55Q85R – Audio quality

With its decent powerful audio, the Q85R can deliver a very decent drop result. Although it lacks the impact of the Q90R, the 20W main speaker and 20W woofer still deliver a lot of volume with a well-balanced sound. As long as you do not turn the volume knob all the way, you will enjoy crystal-clear dialogues and excellent music and soundtracks.

The TV can adjust the sound to the room using the Intelligent mode. 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. Definitely try it out, you can easily turn it off if desired.

This Samsung can [DolphinAtmos pass on a soundbar or AV receiver via its HDMI-ARC connection (which with a future firmware upgrade also eARC ). If you wish to use this, you must activate it in the settings.

Review equipment

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 cartridge generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. To analyze possible HDR problems we use a HDFury Vertex .

Samsung QE55Q85R – Conclusion

We do not find really big shortcomings on this Samsung. It lacks Dolby Vision, and is, like most Samsung models, too clearly calibrated in HDR. The background lighting is subdivided into 10 × 10 segments, but Samsung controls it very well, so that you rarely see the segment limits. In dark images, however, the set plays safe, and that can sometimes cost you some black detail.

Positive points are enough. A wide color range and impressive clarity, combined with the excellent contrast of the Direct Full Array technology, ensures good images and HDR with a strong impact. The screen also has an excellent viewing angle that can even compete with OLED. Good image processing, the handy Smart Hub and quite a few gamer features together with a low input lag make this an all-round TV that is a great choice for film, family and gamers. With the One Connect Box, Invisible Cable and Ambient Mode, he also has a lot of lifestyle allures. The price was a little lower to make it really attractive. For barely 300 euros extra you get the Q90R at home, and for 2,000 euros you have a number of excellent OLED devices. With a small discount it is highly recommended.

Cons

  • No Dolby Vision / Atmos support
  • Less large HDR color range than last year
  • A little too clearly calibrated in HDR

Plus points

  • Excellent local dimming (Contrast and black value)
  • Excellent viewing angle for an LCD
  • Invisible Connection and One Connect box
  • Color rendering
  • Good sharpness of motion
  • Very clear HDR display

Homecinema Magazine
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9.0 10 Eric Beeckmans product

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