Samsung QLED Q60 Smart 4K TV Review

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The Samsung Q60 QLED TVs are the entry level iterations of Samsung’s QLED range of TVs. These TVs are associated with bright and vivid colour production. Although the Q60 may lack some of the performance power of some of its more pricier counterparts in the QLED range, it is still a great set for watching content and gaming.


The Q60 TVs are available in 43, 49, 55, 65, 75 and 82 inch screen sizes. The larger screen sizes benefit from Samsung’s Wide Viewing Angle technology, that allows retention of colour when viewed at different angles.





Design


The Q60 has a thin bezel around the edges with U shaped legs resting just below the screen. It is a very slim TV, which makes it ideal for wall mounting.


The TV design is so slim due to the fact that the set is edge lit as opposed to having full array lighting. This means that unfortunately the TV doesn’t benefit from the same level of brightness as TVs that have full array lighting. There can also be some trade off with contrast which will be discussed in further detail below.


The Q60 does use plastic for most of the exterior design, but it still looks really good with the slim structure.


Ports


At the rear of the TV you’ll find three HDMI 2.0 ports and a fourth HDMI port which has ARC support for sound bar connection. There are also two USB ports on show, and a digital audio out port. The USB ports can of course be used to plug in separate streaming sticks or your own USB stick for media playback. Samsung does offer its own smart platform, so there may not be a need to purchase a separate streaming stick.


Interface


The familiar Tizen Samsung smart platform makes a return here. It is a very fast and responsive operating system, and is on par with other great operating systems on the market on offer by brands like LG for example.


The Tizen smart platform allows access to the usual popular apps like Netflix, Prime Video etc.

Samsung has added a handy feature called the Universal Guide that provides recommendations for new content. There is also a Samsung TV + feature that allows access to online content as well as access to normal broadcast TV if you have an antenna attached to your set.


Further additions include Apple Airplay 2 and Apple TV that allow you to stream content from your iTunes account or Apple devices. These features are very welcome. Probably one of the coolest features of this set is that it has an Ambient Mode, that works to make the TV blend into the wall when it is on standby.





Performance


The Q60 works expertly to display both HD and standard definition content. Whether you’re watching cable TV, network broadcast TV or streaming, the Q60 has you covered delivering optimum picture quality in indiscriminate fashion.


Upscaling content is one of this TVs strong points. The TV benefits from Samsung’s Quantum Processor 4K that uses certain algorithms to upscale pictures from HD to 4K. This results in clear colour and accurate image output. Whether the picture is from the TV antenna, a streaming service or cable, the upscaling works very well to make any picture look superb.

There are four picture settings available which are Dynamic, Standard, Natural and Movie. The Dynamic setting results in the most vivid colour output. Standard and Natural settings are very similar, save from a few tweaks to the brightness level of the picture. Movie mode is as you’d expect, adding a cinema screen style filter to the picture on screen.


Motion handling has been improved a lot for the Q60 TVs compared to some of Samsung’s predecessor models. Fast paced scenes look very smooth with minimal or no blurring. Colour production can be oversaturated at times unfortunately, but this shouldn’t be a deal breaker for most users.


Overall, with fantastic image upscaling capabilities and very good brightness output, the Q60 does a good job in delivering solid picture most of the time.


Upscaling aside, on the downside, the Q60 is slightly disappointing when it comes to delivering native 4K content. This is due to the fact that the Q60 TVs aren’t directly backlit. This results in contrast levels that can appear a little flat which can affect the 4K picture output.


Black levels are another area where the Q60 comes up a little short. There can be instances of black level crushing and details aren’t as prominent as they should be in extremely dark areas of images on screen. This is especially true when watching native 4K content. This does happen infrequently though, so it’s not a constant problem that users will be put off by on a consistent basis.


On the plus side, the Q60 is a good choice for gamers due to its low input lag. The set also has an Auto Game Mode feature that recognizes when a gaming system has been plugged in. There is also a FreeSync feature which allows connections with AMD systems.


On the performance front, although the colour production could be better and black levels could be bolder, the response times are impressive enough so gamers get what they’re after when plugging in their consoles.

Sound


The Q60 benefits from an AI controlled Intelligent Audio feature that helps to enhance mid levels and make dialogue clearer.


The richness and tonal balance of the sound could be improved somewhat although it’s nothing too noticeable and these areas will certainly not stick out like sore thumbs in the sound department.


If you feel like the sound from this TV isn’t up to standard, then the built in Bluetooth, Optical Audio and HDMI ARC functionality are all ways that you can connect a speaker or sound bar of your choice to your set.


A bit of a hit and miss in the sound department, but nothing a sound bar or speaker set won’t fix up for you.


The Verdict


As this is an entry level TV in the QLED series, there are always going to be some compromises in certain areas compared to some of this sets more expensive counterparts. However, all the main features are still present in this TV to make it a worthwhile purchase including the impressive Tizen smart platform, Intelligent Audio and FreeSync features. On its own, the Q60 is certainly a more than competent smart 4K TV.


Judge's Score

7


 

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