The Samsung Q7C and the Q7F are the lowest priced models of Samsung’s 2017 QLED TV lineup. With the exception of the viewing panel, both have the same features and technologies. For the television viewers, the Q7F comes with 3 screen size options including 55 Inch (QN55Q7F), 65 Inch (QN65Q7F), and 75 Inch (QN75Q7F), while the Q7C comes with only 2 screen size options available, a 55 inch (QN55Q7C) and a 65 Inch (QN65Q7C). When I was writing this comparison the Samsung Q7C is about \$100-\$200 more expensive than the Q7F, depending on the screen size. Of course their prices are not fixed and could change at any time. So how is the performance and picture quality offered by them and which is a better choice between them?
The Similarities and Differences between the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F
Since the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F come from the same series, the technologies supporting them and the features offered are quite similar. On the viewing panel, both of them use the VA panel technology with Edge Lit Backlight and local dimming called Precision Black Pro. For producing a strong native contrast ratio, both of them are equally powered by a number of Samsung’s advanced technologies: Supreme UHD Dimming, Ultra Black and Q 4K Elite Black Technology. For improving their peak luminance and their performance in a bright room, both the Samsung Q7C and the Q7C are equally supported by Peak Illuminator Pro and Ultra Clear Panel. One of the main technologies behind them is the quantum dot panel with this technology. Driven by Q 4K Color Drive Elite, this makes the color rendition of the picture displayed on their screen look awesome, even when comparing the best televisions of 2017. With all the technologies to support them, this makes the picture displayed on their screen looks absolutely amazing, especially when you consider their price range. With HDR technology, both the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F are powered by the Q 4K HDR Elite Engine. Unfortunately, unlike other high end TVs of 2017 which usually support Dolby Vision, both of these Samsungs only support HDR 10 format and HLG (via upcoming software update).
In addition to amazing picture quality, both the Samsung Q7F and the Q7C offer great performance for the features that are offered. With the support of Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, they offer smooth and clear picture quality with almost no motion blur when used for watching fast paced videos like fast action movies or sports programs. Additionally, their input lag under game mode is also fairly low, which makes both of them very comfortable to use for playing any kind of games. Both of them are equally equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports for their connectivity where most of their inputs/outputs are located on separated box called the “One Connect Box”. For each, the Tizen OS powered by a quad core processor, offering a simple, responsive and attractive smart TV experience.
Since both of them use the VA panel technology, this means there is limited side viewing angle coverage. When you are watching TV from an angle, the picture displayed doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the front and center of the screen. Nevertheless these televisions are not alone in this type of limited side view angle coverage. Since limited side viewing angle is the native drawback of the VA panel, all TVs with a VA panel also have the same issue on their side viewing angle coverage.
There are not many differences between the Samsung Q7F and the Q7C. As mentioned, the major difference between them is the shape of their viewing panel where the Samsung Q7C comes with a Curved panel while the Q7F comes with a flat panel. Except for the impacted made between the difference of Flat panel and Curved panel, the Q7C and the Q7F offer similar performance. Except for the aesthetics of the design, there are not many other things impacted by their main difference. The curved panel might make the picture displayed look bigger than the flat panel, but the improvement is not very asignificant. Additionally, the use of curved panel is also claimed to improve the side viewing angle coverage, but in reality the improvement is also not significant. The other difference between them is their depth enhancing technology where the Q7F comes with Contrast Enhancer technology and the Q7C comes with Auto Depth Enhancer technology. Essentially both of these technologies have the same function for maximizing the contrast produced. The other small difference between the Q7C and the Q7F is their stand: the Samsung Q7C uses a U-Type Real Stainless Stand while the Q7F uses a T-Type Real Stainless Stand.
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The Samsung Q7C vs the Q7F Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Q7F||Q7C|
|Resolution||4K (2160×3840)||4K (2160×3840)|
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (QN55Q7F), 65 Inch (QN65Q7F), 75 Inch (QN65Q7F)||55 Inch (QN55Q7C), 65 Inch (QN65Q7C)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlighting Technology||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Precision Black Pro)||Yes (Precision Black Ultimate)|
|UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Picture Engine||Q Engine||Q Engine|
|HDR Engine||Q 4K HDR Elite||Q 4K HDR Elite|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot with Q 4K Color Drive Elite||Quantum Dot with Q 4K Color Drive Elite|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Blacks Technology||Q 4K Elite Black||Q 4K Elite Black|
|Peak Illuminator||Yes (Pro)||Yes (Pro)|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Yes||Yes|
|Depth Enhancing Technology||Contrast Enhancer||Auto Depth Enhancer|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||Yes||Yes|
|Motion Rate||240 (native 120 Hz)||240 (native 120 Hz)|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2017||Tizen 2017|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1790A)||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1790A)|
|Speaker Type||Front Firing||Front Firing|
|Sound Output||40 Watts||40 watts|
|Price||See today’s price||See today’s price|
The Samsung Q7C and the Q7F Performance
As mentioned above, the Samsung Q7F and the Q7C have similar picture quality as they are supported by similar technologies. Their contrast ratio is excellent and the black uniformity is good, making for a very good picture in a dark room. Additionally their contrast ratio is strong enough to make black color look very dark and makes dark scenes of images look fairly good and natural. On other hand, when inputted by an HDR signal, the black level is also quite deep to reveal details of images in dark scenes, allowing you to enjoy the dark scenes of HDR images as intended. As we all know, to show dark scenes of HDR images as intended, a HDR TV must have 0.05 nits of black level or darker, with about a 4700:1 of native contrast ratio, it can reach about 0.021 nits. This means the black level of the Q7C and the Q7F is dark enough to show shadow details of HDR images as intended. Unfortunately, when their local dimming is enabled, their local dimming doesn’t work as good as Full Array Local Dimming to improve their contrast ratio. When set in a bright room, the picture displayed on the screen of the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F is fairly good. Its peak brightness might not be able to fight the glare as well as a brighter TV like the Sony X900E or X930E, but it is bright enough that the picture displayed on their screen looks fairly good in a bright room and even does well in a room with very bright lights. Their local dimming also works effectively to brighten small areas, so it makes small highlights look very bright. Overall no matter the light condition of the room where they are used, the picture displayed on the screen of the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F looks fairly good.
One of the advantages offered by the Samsung QLED TV lineup (including the Q7C and Q7F) is their rendition of colors. With Samsung’s advanced quantum dot technology, the Samsung Q7F and the Q7C can cover nearly perfect DCI P3 color space. This certainly makes almost all colors in the DCI P3 of HDR images to be shown properly, and makes the color of HDR images displayed on their screen look fairly accurate, even for deep green where most TVs struggles to properly show. Additionally its color gamut is also quite well to reproduce colors of contents that are mastered in the Rec.2020 color space. Of course to reproduce colors of SDR images mastered in Rec.709 where its color gamut coverage is narrower than DCI P3 or Rec.2020, both of the Samsung Q7F and the Q7F do a perfect job. On the other hand, the color volume of the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F is fairly good. Both can show their color gamut at the entire brightness range fairly well. However since their black level is not as deep as OLED TV, they cannot show very deep colors as saturated as well as OLED TV. But overall their color gamut and color volume are very good, even including the best of 2017. Regarding color performance, both the Samsung Q7F and the Q7C can process 10 bit depth of color of HDR images fairly well. Some little imperfections might still be visible in dark colors, but overall their color gradient is very good and even gray scale can be presented well. The result is a color gradient of the picture displayed on their screen that looks very smooth, particularly when displaying HDR images mastered in 10 bit depth of color or more.
For anticipating the lower resolution content available, both the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F are equipped with fine performance UHD Up-scaling engine. No matter the resolution of the source, even low resolution videos like DVD movies with 480p resolution, all of them will be up-converted to 4K resolution. The result is a final image in 4K that looks sharp and clear with small details preserved well. And of course, the higher the resolution of the source, like movies from cable TV with 720p resolution or Blu Ray Movies with 1080p resolution, the final images in 4K produced will look sharper and clearer. The fine performance of their UDH Up-scaling engine allows you to enjoy any video with quality as close as possible to 4K quality.
Unfortunately since both the Samsung Q7F and the Q7C use the VA panel, this makes their side viewing angle coverage limited and not as wide as an IPS TV or OLED TV. Samsung may claim the use of the curved panel for their curved TV lineup including the Samsung Q7C might be able to improve the side viewing angle coverage, but in reality, the improvement is not significant and it might even be said there is no improvement. The result is a picture displayed that looks degraded if viewed from an angle, starting at 20 degrees off center and front. Nevertheless this problem of is not limited to the Q7C or the Q7C, but its also a major problem of all TVs with a VA panel and as long as you don’t often watch TV from the side, then this should not be a problem for you.
Motion Handling and 24p Movies Playback
Both the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F do an excellent of handling motion blur. Their pixel response time is very fast, faster than most LED TVs available on the market. And combined with Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 HZ refresh rate panel, this works well for watching fast moving images like action movies or sports programs as the picture displayed on screen looks very smooth and clear with almost no detectible motion blur. When following a fast moving object, there is only a short trail and most people might not notice it. On the other hand, when used for playing 24p movies, both Samsung Q7F and Q7C do an excellent job. No matter the source of the 24p videos, whether it’s 24p videos like Blu Ray Movies, 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, or even 24p videos via 60p signals like streamed movies, all of them display clearly and smoothly and judder-free on the screen. Additionally, since both have a native 120 Hz refresh rate viewing panel, they’re able to interpolate lower frame rate videos fairly well — whether it is 30 fps video or 60 fps video.
As to their inputs and output, the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F are also equipped with the same setup. There are 4 HDMI ports which support HDCP 2.2, 3 USB Ports, 1 RF In (Terrestrial), 1 Ethernet, and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). Sadly both are not equipped with Component In and Composite In. What distinguishes them the most from other TVs in this price range is that most of their inputs/output are located on a separate box called the “One Connect Box”. This gives an advantage for the future when there is an update for these types of ports, then you just need to replace the box without changing the TV. Meanwhile when talking about input lag, both the Samsung Q7F and the Q7F have low input lag in “Game Mode” and ina “PC Mode”. With a below 25 ms of input lag from any source, this might not be the lowest, but it is quite acceptable to play games responsively without lag, even for fast paced games that require quick reflexes. The input lag under PC mode even is better, making it very comfortable to use as a PC monitor.
As to their smart TV platform, both the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F feature the same platform being the Tizen OS 2017 which is powered by a quad core processor. Tizen OS is one of the best smart TV platforms out there. Compared to the previous year’s version, it has been overhauled so that in this version it comes with a bright theme and nice animation to makes its appearance more attractive. Although its animations are not as smooth, they don’t affect the speed and smoothness of the usability of the interface. The performance is still fast and responsive and is mostly lag free. Once you launch an app it will open quickly. Additionally when switching between opened apps, it also feels responsive. Its user interface is designed to be simple and easy to use, allowing you to quickly find what you are searching for. On its home screen, there is a “ribbon” across the bottom of the screen containing quick access to most of the popular and useful apps. This allows you to open an app without leaving the home screen. Whilet talking about he apps provided, both the Samsung Q7F and the Q7F provide a lot of popular apps as preinstalled apps such as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, Live TV, Web Browser, and many more. There is also an apps store appropriately named “Samsung Apps Store” where there are tons of interesting and useful downloadable apps, games, and contests that you can download directly to your TV.
The Samsung QLED Smart Controller 2017
For the controller, both the Samsung Q7C and the Q7F are equipped with a similar smart remote named the “Samsung Smart Controller”. Functionally it is similar to last year’s version of the smart remote used by their lower series TVs like the MU9000 and the MU8000. The remote is small and has just a few buttons only. It might lack some of the common settings buttons. But instead, it’s equipped with a built-in microphone and has excellent voice recognition, so you can do many things like changing the channel, changing between apps, and more. Additionally, it also can work as a universal remote, allowing you to control other devices connected to your TV via the HDMI ports. The difference to last year’s model is that this remote is made of metal and that makes it look more elegant.
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|Performance||Samsung Q7C||Samsung Q7F|
As mentioned above, except for the difference of a Curved or Flat Viewing Panel, the Samsung Q7F and the Q7C have similar performance. Their picture quality is fairly good, no matter the light condition of the room where they’re used. One of the major advantages offered is their rendition of color, where Samsung’s advanced quantum dot technology has excellent rendition of color, even when comparing to the best TVs of 2017. In addition to great HDR performance and very good picture quality, they also feature good motion handling, good 24p movies play back, low input lag for any kind of game, and an attractive and responsive smart TV platform. The only major drawback is about their limited side viewing angle coverage. Nevertheless as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be also a serious problem.
So which is a better choice between them? As mentioned above, with the same screen size the Samsung Q7C is sold for about $100-$200 more than the Q7C. And except for the aesthetics, the improvement of a curved panel over a flat panel in picture quality is just not that significant. The decision really comes down to your back to your need and preferences. If you don’t mind to spending a few hundreds dollar more to get the aesthetic of the curved panel, the Samsung Q7C might be a good option for you. If your main consideration is buying a TV with good picture quality, the Samsung Q7F might be a better option for you. It has a similar picture quality to the Q7C and you can save some money at the same time.
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