The Samsung Q7C is among the lowest priced models of Samsung’s 2017 QLED TV lineup. The Q7C comes with only 2 screen size options available, a 55 inch (QN55Q7C) and a 65 Inch (QN65Q7C). So how is the performance and picture quality that’s offered? Read on to find out.
If you need an owner’s manual for the Samsung Q7C, click here.
The Q7C uses VA panel technology with an Edge Lit Backlight and local dimming called Precision Black Pro. For producing a strong native contrast ratio, it’s powered by a number of Samsung’s advanced technologies: Supreme UHD Dimming, Ultra Black and Q 4K Elite Black Technology. For improving peak luminance and performance in a bright room, the Samsung Q7C is supported by Peak Illuminator Pro and Ultra Clear Panel. One of the main technologies behind this is the quantum dot panel technology. Driven by Q 4K Color Drive Elite, this makes the color rendition of the picture displayed on screen to look awesome, even when comparing the best televisions. With all the technologies included, this makes the picture displayed on screen looks absolutely amazing, especially when you consider the price range. With HDR technology, the Samsung Q7C powered by Q 4K HDR Elite Engine produces a great picture but unlike other high end TVs which usually support Dolby Vision, this Samsung only supports HDR 10 format and HLG (via an upcoming software update).
In addition to amazing picture quality, the Samsung Q7C offers great performance for the features offered. With the support of Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, you’ll get a smooth and clear picture with almost no motion blur when used for watching fast-paced videos like action movies and sports programs. Additionally, the input lag under game mode is fairly low, which makes it very comfortable to use for playing any type of game. You’ll also get 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports for connectivity where most of the inputs and outputs are located on a separate box called the “One Connect Box”. The included Tizen OS is powered by a quad core processor, offering a simple, responsive and attractive smart TV experience.
Since the Q7C uses VA panel technology, this means there is limited side viewing angle coverage. When you’re watching the TV from an angle, the picture displayed doesn’t look as good as when viewed from the front and center. Nevertheless this television is not alone in having a limited side view angle. Limited side viewing angle is a native drawback of VA panel technology for all TVs with a VA panel.
Uniquely, the Samsung Q7C comes with a Curved viewing panel. Except for the aesthetics of this curved design, there’s not many other things impacted by this main difference. The curved panel might make the picture displayed look bigger than a similar sized flat panel, but the improvement is not very significant. Additionally, the use of curved panel is claimed to improve side viewing angle coverage, but in reality the improvement is also not significant.
The Q7C comes with Auto Depth Enhancer technology. This is designed to maximize the contrast produced.
Another small difference for the Q7C is that it uses a U-Type Real Stainless Stand compared to many other televisions that use a T-Type stand.
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The Samsung Q7C Key Specs
|Specs and Features||Q7C|
|Sizes Available||55 Inch (QN55Q7C), 65 Inch (QN65Q7C)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel|
|Backlighting Technology||Edge Lit LED|
|Local Dimming||Yes (Precision Black Ultimate)|
|UHD Dimming||Supreme UHD Dimming|
|Picture Engine||Q Engine|
|HDR Engine||Q 4K HDR Elite|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot with Q 4K Color Drive Elite|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes|
|Blacks Technology||Q 4K Elite Black|
|Peak Illuminator||Yes (Pro)|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Yes|
|Depth Enhancing Technology||Auto Depth Enhancer|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||Yes|
|Motion Rate||240 (native 120 Hz)|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2017|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1790A)|
|Speaker Type||Front Firing|
|Sound Output||40 watts|
|Price||See today’s price|
Performance for the Samsung Q7C
The contrast ratio is excellent and the black uniformity is good, making for a very good picture in a dark room. Additionally the contrast ratio is strong enough to make black color look very dark and it makes dark scenes of images look 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. 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 is dark enough to show shadow details of HDR images as intended. Unfortunately when local dimming is enabled, the local dimming doesn’t work as well as Full Array Local Dimming for improving contrast ratio.
When set in a bright room, the picture displayed on the screen of the Samsung Q7C is good. Its peak brightness might not be able to fight off the glare as well as a brighter TV like the Sony X900E or X930E, but it’s bright enough where the picture displayed on screen looks good in a bright room and even does well in a room with very bright lights. The local dimming also works effectively to brighten small areas on screen, to where small highlights look very bright. Overall no matter the light condition of the room used, the picture displayed on the screen of the Samsung Q7C looks fairly good.
One of the advantages offered by the Samsung QLED TV lineup (including the Q7C and Q7F) is the rendition of colors. With Samsung’s advanced quantum dot technology, the Samsung Q7C can cover a 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 screen look fairly accurate, even for a deep green where most TVs will struggle to properly show.
Additionally its color gamut is also quite true to reproduce colors of content 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, the Samsung Q7C does a perfect job.
On the other hand, the color volume of the Samsung Q7C is fairly good. It can show color gamut at the entire brightness range well. Since the black level is not as deep as an OLED TV, it can’t show very deep colors as saturated as well as an OLED TV. But overall the color gamut and color volume are very good, placing the Samsung Q7C among the best televisions on the market.
Regarding color performance, the Samsung Q7C can process 10 bit depth of color of HDR images fairly well. You may notice some little imperfections in the dark colors, but overall the color gradient is very good and even gray scale is presented well. The result is a nice color gradient of the picture displayed on screen that looks very smooth — particularly when displaying HDR images mastered in 10 bit depth of color or more.
For anticipating lower resolution content available, the Samsung Q7C is equipped with a fine performance UHD Up-scaling engine. No matter the resolution of the source — even low resolution videos like DVD movies with 480p resolution — all resolutions up-converted to 4K. The result is a final image in 4K that looks sharp and clear with small details preserved very well. Of course, the higher the resolution of the source, like movies from cable TV with 720p resolution or Blu Ray Movies with 1080p resolution, then the final images in 4K produced will look more sharp and clear. The flawless performance of the UHD Up-scaling engine allows you to enjoy any video with viewing quality as close as possible to 4K.
Unfortunately since the Samsung Q7C uses a VA panel, this makes the side viewing angle coverage limited and not as wide as an IPS TV or an OLED TV. Samsung claims 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 noticeable improvement. The result is a picture displayed that looks degraded if viewed from an angle, starting at about 20 degrees off center and front. Nevertheless this problem is not limited to the Q7C, but its also a major problem of all TVs with a VA panel. Many people get used to it and really as long as you don’t often watch TV from the side, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
Motion Handling and 24p Movie Playback
The Samsung Q7C does an excellent of handling motion blur. Pixel response time is very fast, even faster than most LED TVs available on the market. And combined with Motion Rate 240 based on a native 120 HZ refresh rate panel, this works well for watching fast moving images like action movies and 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.
When used for playing 24p movies, the Samsung Q7C does an excellent job. No matter the source of the 24p video, 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 movie services, all are displayed clearly and smoothly and judder-free on screen. Additionally, since the Q7C has a native 120 Hz refresh rate viewing panel, it’s able to interpolate lower frame rate video fairly well — whether a 30 fps video or a 60 fps video.
As to the inputs and outputs, the Samsung Q7C is equipped with 4 HDMI ports which support HDCP 2.2, 3 USB Ports, 1 RF In (Terrestrial), 1 Ethernet, and 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical). Sadly it is not equipped with a Component In and a Composite In. What distinguishes them the most from other TVs in this price range is that most of their inputs and outputs are located on a separate box called the “One Connect Box”. This gives a future advantage for when there is an update for these ports, then you just need to replace the box without changing the entire TV. When talking about input lag, the Samsung Q7C has low input lag in “Game Mode” and in “PC Mode”. With less than 25 ms of input lag from any source, this might not be the lowest spec, but it’s quite acceptable for playing games responsively without lag, even for fast-paced games that require quick reflexes. The input lag under PC mode is even better, making it very adequate as a PC monitor.
As to the smart TV platform, the Samsung Q7C has the the Tizen OS 2017 operating system 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, Tizen 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 opens quickly. When switching between opened apps, it also feels responsive. The user interface is designed to be simple and easy to use, allowing you to quickly find what you are searching for. On the 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.
The Samsung Q7C provides 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 app store appropriately named the “Samsung Apps Store” where there are many interesting and useful downloadable apps, games, and contests that you can download directly to your TV.
The Samsung QLED Smart Controller 2017
For the remote control, the Samsung Q7C is equipped with a smart remote named the “Samsung Smart Controller”. Functionally this remote is similar to last year’s version of the smart remote used by their lower series TVs like the Samsung MU9000 and the Samsung MU8000. The remote is small and has just a few buttons. Some could say that it lacks the common settings buttons. But instead, this remote is 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 through the HDMI ports. The difference to last year’s model is that this remote is made of metal and that does make it look more elegant.
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The picture quality is fairly good, no matter the light condition of the room. One major advantage offered is the rendition of color, where Samsung’s advanced quantum dot technology has an excellent rendition of color, even when comparing to the best TVs around.
In addition to great HDR performance and a very good picture quality, the Q7C features good motion handling, good 24p movie play back, low input lag for any kind of game, and an attractive and responsive smart TV platform. The only major drawback is the inherent limited side viewing angle coverage — as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be a serious problem.
So is the Samsung Q7C a good choice? Except for the aesthetics, the improvement of a curved panel over a flat panel in picture quality is just not that significant although the curved panel can cost more. 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. It is a great television for the money.
If your main consideration is buying a TV with good picture quality, the similar in features but flat paneled 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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