Samsung’s 2018 lineup affords a variety of specs, from its top-end Q9FN to the inexpensive Q6FN. However whereas there are quite a lot of choices on this yr’s catalog, for readers weighing cutting-edge tech in opposition to restricted budgets, probably the most tempting TV of the bunch is Samsung’s Q6FN.
Sitting on the lowest finish of the 2018 QLED TV household, the Q6FN doesn’t have the identical processing energy and delightful distinction as its siblings. However it shares most of Samsung’s latest linked tech options, which can allow you to flip your TV right into a voice-controlled good dwelling hub for all of your home equipment and gadgets.
It’ll fulfill all your 4K, HDR10+ and full shade quantity wants, and sells in a variety of sizes – however, to make them inexpensive, Samsung reduce a lot of the processing energy and shade distinction that makes 4K content material definitely worth the bother.
Can Samsung’s discount barrel QLED will fulfill your wants, or are you’re higher off both upgrading to raised specs or downgrading to Samsung’s extra inexpensive, non-quantum UHD units? Listed here are our ideas on the matter.
Worth and availability
The Q6FN is available in 5 sizes: 82-inch, 75-inch, 65-inch, 55-inch, and 49-inch. Samsung’s different QLEDs don’t are available 82” or 49”, so that you get extra versatility at this degree – which, in flip, gives extra affordability.
To date, Samsung has solely put the 65” and 75” Q6s on sale. At 65”, you’re taking a look at $2,199 (about £1,600, AU$2,800), whereas the 75” sells for $three,499 (about £2,500, AU$four,300). We don’t know but how the opposite three sizes will match up.
For comparability, the Q6FNs fast improve, the Q7FN, is priced at $2,599 (about £1,900, AU$three,300) for a 65”, whereas the 65” NU8000 (Samsung’s new 4K UHD TV) is $1,699 (about £1,200, AU$2,200).
As a result of the Q6FN makes use of Samsung’s Quantum Dot know-how, which transmits LED colours by way of nano-sized crystal semiconductor particles, it don’t undergo from burn-in – the defect most LED TVs undergo when their pixels emit the identical sample for too lengthy (like a information emblem) and turn into completely tinted.
Why does this matter to you? As a result of this allows what we predict is Samsung’s most modern use of QLED: Ambient mode.
Take an image of the wall behind your TV, and the Q6FN will undertaking a sample that matches the wall, making it mix in nearly seamlessly. Whereas on this mode, your TV will play music, show smartphone updates or allow picture collages, all of those showing to take a seat in your wall as a substitute of on a brilliant display screen.
One drawback: the Q6FN and Q7FN each use backside edge LED lighting as a substitute of the direct backlight LEDs discovered within the elite fashions. Consequently, whereas the Q8FN and Q9FN have just about no seen bezels on all 4 sides, the Q6’s backside bezel juts out considerably to accommodate the LEDs, which considerably undermines its Ambient mode’s camouflage impact by comparability.
Furthermore, whereas the Q6FN sits on 4 legs and has a typical energy cable, the Q7FN makes use of Samsung’s new One Mount system, which provides your TV interchangeable and simply detachable stands, like an easel-like “Studio” stand and computer-like “Gravity” stand. And the Q7FN’s 15 meter-long “Invisible Connection” twine teams energy, video and audio into one skinny line. Mixed with the detachable stand, the Q7FN is a greater choice if you wish to mount your Ambient-enabled TV on a wall.
Nonetheless, though it isn’t outfitted with all of the options of its siblings, quantum tech and Ambient mode helps the Q6FN make an indelible design impression in comparison with Samsung’s plain UHD TVs. Nonetheless, it’s a bit unlucky that affordability means some design sacrifices in comparison with extra superior fashions.
Samsung’s Q6F TV from final yr made quantum TVs inexpensive, however its specs have been undoubtedly underwhelming. And from what we have seen thus far, it appears like extra of the identical this yr: The Q6FN doesn’t stack as much as its siblings’ energy, but it surely’s nonetheless a particular improve from final yr’s low cost mannequin.
The Q6FN upgrades from HDR compatibility to HDR10 and HDR10+ help, from 60 FPS to full 4K gaming help, and from an incomplete shade vary to 100% DCI-P3 shade quantity. It hits UHD decision and helps SD-to-UHD upscaling.
In opposition to the Q9FN, Q8FN and Q7FN, nonetheless, the comparability is loads much less flattering. The highest two fashions’ direct backlighting permits a a lot better shade distinction and deeper blacks in particular display screen zones than an edge LED mannequin like Q6FN is able to.
The entire QLEDs final yr had edge LEDs, and even the high-end Q9F couldn’t compensate for the issue with a robust processor. Our reviewers seen that they tended to trigger backlight clouding and grey banding every time watching content material at the hours of darkness.
We additionally seen that QLEDs tended to have issues with shade distinction and deep blacks when watching them at odd angles. Samsung solved this drawback by including anti-reflective screens to each 2018 TV … besides the Q6FN. And the place the opposite units have native dimming for HDR10+ content material, the Q6FN’s much less specialised dimming tech is geared in the direction of UHD content material.
So whereas this yr’s set is modern by way of including help for higher-end content material, it additionally spins its wheels in relation to the opposite QLEDs making large strides in efficiency and design.
After we noticed the Q6FN in motion, we may see a particular drop in high quality in comparison with the ability of the opposite units. That is partly as a result of its brightness solely hits 1000 nits, effectively under the Q9FN’s 2000 and the Q8FN and Q7FN’s 1500 nits of peak brightness.
However the dimmer backlight did not break the expertise completely: the colours and fast-moving motion on show nonetheless seemed spectacular. As a result of lowered brightness, the diminishing returns on deep blacks and shade distinction simply wasn’t that noticeable. It’s solely when stacked in opposition to Samsung’s brighter units, the place boring colours can be extra conspicuous, that the improved specs actually stood out. They’d possible be wasted on 1000 nits, and would make the Q6FN much less inexpensive.
Fortunately, whereas Samsung skimped on the , the corporate has made just about all of its latest software program and interface options accessible on all of its 2018 units, so don’t be concerned an excessive amount of when you’re nonetheless leaning towards spending much less.
That upgraded expertise begins proper if you open the TV field, as long as you’ve gotten their new SmartThings app put in for Android or iOS. While you flip the TV on, it mechanically pairs with the app, which can then log the TV into your Wi-Fi community with out you having to sort out your password.
Then, it’ll troll your cellphone apps and spotlight any which are accessible on the Q6FN; select to obtain Hulu, for instance, and it’ll import your username and password and immediately log you into the TV app. In idea, you’ll have your TV all arrange with all of your favourite streaming choices in minutes.
However Samsung doesn’t need you to must enter every app to seek for content material. As a substitute, they’ve added Common Information, which curates each your dwell and on-demand content material into easy classes like Comedy or Sports activities. So your new episodes of Sport of Thrones from HBO GO and Stranger Issues from Netflix may sit side-by-side in a single Sci-Fi/Fantasy class.
On high of common search and Samsung SmartThings help, Samsung has additionally added Bixby voice assistant performance as effectively. Whereas final yr’s Samsung QLEDs had easy voice instructions that solely managed your TV set you’ll be capable to reply cellphone calls or examine on the standing of built-in gadgets in Ambient (or dwell TV) mode. It is a neat future that helps a less expensive TV really feel a bit extra premium.
You’re getting what you pay for with the Q6FN: a 4K HDR10+ enabled TV set, however one which doesn’t have the ability to make HDR10+ content material pop, or the versatile design you will discover on the opposite members of the QLED household.
Nonetheless, we’re very optimistic about how Samsung’s new options will make its TVs a hub in your good tech and numerous streaming apps. Positive, you’ll discover all of these options on Samsung’s cheaper UHDs, however they don’t help Ambient mode or full shade quantity.
Total, we favored what we noticed from the Q6FN. It is QLED at an economic system worth, and truthfully many readers could not really feel the necessity to pay a whole bunch or hundreds extra for higher brightness and distinction. We’re impressed with Samsung’s base mannequin, nonetheless, it is undoubtedly value trying out the mid-range Q7FN earlier than going all in on Samsung’s most inexpensive (and least powerfully spec’d) QLED TV.