Alright, folks, it’s time for a disclaimer here. As you know, we’re a gaming and geek culture website. So as such, we conduct our TV reviews a bit differently than websites that are a bit more technical and if you want that sort of info, we’ll happily point you to it. We approach these reviews as a consumer who’s looking to integrate a TV into either a new or existing gaming or home theater setup. Meaning we talk about ease of usage, features, and overall experience.
There are several similarities between this year’s Q60R and last years Q6FN. Which makes sense as the Q60R is dubbed as the replacement for the Q6FN. Practically everything that was featured on the former is right here on this year’s model, with a few upgrades. [table id=34 /]
Being that I’m a gamer who needs every HDMI input I can get, I appreciated the return of the 4x HDMI inputs. Instead of using an A/V receiver to gain extra inputs in my setup, I could simply use each of the inputs with the addition of a soundbar. The Q60R supports the HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 standards as well. Though I would have liked to have seen the TV support the upcoming HDMI 2.1 standard instead. This would have allowed content to be viewed at a native refresh rate of 120Hz, instead of being stuck at 60Hz. For those who have high-end Bluray players or those who want to use this as a PC gaming monitor above 60Hz, you may want to consider this.
Last year I praised the Q6FN on its excellent low lag input, which is important for gamers. I’m happy to say that the Q60R also features this once game mode that is. Switching the TV to this mode, enables it to drop the image quality processing and provides sub 15 ms response times at 1080p, 1440p and 4K at 60Hz. Additionally, since the Q60R also supports 120Hz, connecting a PC to it also provided a very nice 120 FPS experience at 1080p. I wasn’t able to test this at 1440p as Samsung only supports AMD’s FreeSync and I only own Nvidia cards. At the time of this review, Nvidia FreeSync has been implemented for this particular TV. Adding to this, the Xbox One X took full advantage of the VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) thanks to FreeSync and it looked amazing. Forza Horizon 4 and Gears of War 4 looked extremely fluid and rivaled what I’d see on my gaming monitor. The downside, however, is that this was limited to 1080p due to the HDMI 2.0 versus HDMI 2.1 that I talked about previously.
When watching content, including HDR content, I noticed that the Q60R wasn’t very bright. Scenes that stand out on other TV’s, simply don’t with here. Which in comparison to the last years Q6FN and even my TCL 6-series offer better viewing experience. I also noticed that if you watched from an extreme angle that didn’t allow you to face the TV directly, the image will degrade. Just like the Q6FN, the Q60R also does not include local dimming. Which can be problematic as the backlight won’t dim and blacks won’t be true. Instead, you’ll see the effect of the light shining in, which distorts the coloring. That doesn’t take away from how beautiful the screen can be, as the right medium allows it to shine. Watching Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame was a cinematic experience. It’s also worth mention that the Q60R only supports the popular HDR10 format.
The speakers aren’t anything special, but they are practical. If you don’t have access to a soundbar or an A/V receiver, they do deliver decent sound, however, you’re limited to stereo sound. That said, the higher the volume, they do become a bit distorted. To be honest, I used the default speakers for all of 30 minutes, before I connected my soundbar to it. Dolby Digital is also supported for surround duties.
The remote that accompanies the Q60R also received an upgrade. While the retains the same shape and features of most Samsung TVs, it also includes three quick access buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Which are great is you use those services, otherwise they’re pretty much unless. They’re a nice gesture, however, I feel that Samsung is following a trend that most TV makers are and opting for static choices. Instead, I’d love to see a remote that features the ability to assign those buttons to several different services. Followed up with swapped button faces, allowing us to customize the controller to our liking.
Bixby also makes a return and for those who know my love-hate relationship with the digital assistant, you I’m simply not a fan. That said, I’ll give credit where it’s due and I felt that this iteration of Bixby is a bit better than what I experienced on the Q60R. Providing voiced commands provided the desired results and I even took it for a spin by asking various questions, which either returned the correct answer or close to it. Definitely an improvement from the Bixby I remember. My only complaint wasn’t the fault with the assistant, but with the Netflix app. When you navigate to Netflix, it doesn’t support voice commands. Trying to use Bixby results in a “this app doesn’t support voice commands”. Bixby has gotten better, I’ll give it that.
For those wondering if the Q60R supports other digital assistants, it does. I was able to connect my Google Home to the TV, with some compromises. First, you need to have the Samsung Smart Things app connect it and even then it only supports basic functions such as powering on/off, volume control and playing content. For more advanced features or asking questions, that’s all reserved for Bixby. I can understand the reasoning, but sort of defeats the inclusion if it’s going to limited as such.
Tizen, on the other hand, has received a slight boost. It was already amazing on previous Samsung TVs. Thanks to this the media consumption experience was enjoyable as ever. Browsing between the applications was seamless and quick. While helpful suggestions on what to watch or what new movies or shows to watch make this easily the best Smart TV experience I’ve had in a while. The sheer amount of available applications ensures that there’s always something to check out. The only downside is that PlayStation Vue is still isn’t available, but that’s not Samsung’s fault. On the upside, YouTube TV is available.
Overall, this is a fantastic TV, yet I can see this being placed in a sticky situation. As it stands right now, the 4K TV space has seen a rise of aggressively priced TV’s. Some of which can stand up to a TV such as the Q60R and that could present a problem for those looking at purchasing a new 4K TV. However, with a great screen, lots of inputs, access to FreeSync/VRR and easily the best looking SmartTV interface I’ve seen in a while. I believe the Q60R stands tall among the budget-minded 4K TVs. Even if it’s a bit more expensive. If you do happen to find this TV for under its original asking price, definitely scoop it up. You won’t be disappointed.
Review Disclosure Statement: Review unit of the Samsung Q60R 4K Smart TV was provided to us by Samsung USA for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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Samsung has once again provided a budget-minded 4K TV that offers up more than enough for those who want a great TV, but don’t want to break the bank. This set is also great for gamers with low input lag and FreeSync support that AMD cards and the Xbox One takes advantage of. Rounding it out with multiple HDMI inputs, a beautiful screen, and exceptional SmartTV features. The Q60R should be at the top of the list for anyone who’s currently shopping for a new 4K TV.