Samsung is one of the biggest consumer electronics companies in the world. It also makes some pretty fine TVs.
The company is the largest manufacturer of TVs in the world, which may make navigating through its options something of a minefield. In 2019 we tested 11 TVs from Samsung, models ranging from the flagship Q90R to the cheapest 4K set in the RU7020.
Samsung has put its eggs in the QLED basket, in an attempt to produce the brightest pictures in the TV world, while still also competing on black levels that are OLED’s speciality.
Note that the brand’s TVs don’t support Dolby Vision HDR – it backs the HDR10+ solution instead – but they’re capable of achieving a higher peak brightness than OLED, and their colour expression and upscaling abilities result in an excellent performance, irrespective of whether you decide to opt for a premium set or a cheaper one.
Here are the best Samsung TVs to buy in 2020. Which one will find a place in your home?
- Best overall Samsung TV: Samsung Q90R
- Great for viewing angles: Samsung Q85R
- Great for upscaling: Samsung Q80R
- Best 8K Samsung TV: Samsung Q950R
- Best affordable QLED: Samsung Q70R
- Best budget Samsung TV: Samsung RU7020
- Best TV – The very best TVs to buy
- Best 4K TV – The best Ultra HD sets on the market
- Best 8K TV – The most desirable 8K TVs
The characteristics of LED and OLED in one TV
- Groundbreaking contrast for an LCD TV
- Groundbreaking viewing angles for an LCD TV
- Fantastic HDR performance
- No Dolby Vision support
- Some missing shadow detail in Standard mode
- Motion could be handled better
When it launched, the QE65Q90R represented a huge leap forward for LCD technology. Samsung stepped up its QLED technology and improved it in a number of ways, getting close to the viewing angles and black levels of OLED, while also producing a spectacularly bright image.
With its ability to produce 2000 nits of peak brightness, the Q90R delivers a dynamic, intense picture with consistent black levels for some of the most impactful HDR image quality we’ve seen.
- Read our Samsung QE65Q90R review
An impressive all-rounder
- Bright 4K HDR performance
- Excellent upscaling abilities
- Brilliant contrast
- Expressive colours
- One Connect cable management
- No Dolby Vision
- Sound lacks weight
- OTT apps can’t play Atmos
The Q85R is new and exclusive to the European market. A step-down from the flagship Q90R, it carries over a number of its features.
The Ultra Wide Viewing Angle tech ensures you benefit from a superb picture no matter where you sit. The AI upscaler delivers remarkably clean and colourful pictures from pretty much all sources, and the One Connect cable management is a superb solution to cable clutter.
Current prices put the Q85R at £1300, which is less than it was for review. That’s an excellent price for an excellent TV.
- Read our Samsung Q85R review
An expert upscaler
- Bright, high-contrast images
- Good off-axis performance
- Quite full-bodied sound
- Fine OS
- No Dolby Vision
- Relatively deep chassis
- Some mild motion-handling traumas
Samsung made the decision to spread the wealth of its QLED options across more ranges, and this makes for a more attractive lineup.
The Q80R sits in the middle and retains the Ultra Wide Viewing Angle tech, 4K AI upscaler and high peak brightness of the premium sets. The colours on this set are lifelike, contrast is vivid and motion performance assured.
Its price has now settled at the £1000 mark; it will likely get cheaper with the 2020 range on the horizon. Samsung’s democratisation of QLED has placed the best picture quality within reach of those who don’t have such deep pockets.
- Read our Samsung Q80R review
Spectacularly bright 8K images
- Stunning contrast, brightness and colour
- Wide-Angle Viewing technology works brilliantly
- Remarkable upscaling system
- Slight backlight blooming with off-axis viewing
- High price
- Setup requires attention
Yes, there isn’t much 8K content around – and, yes, 8K TVs are expensive. Nevertheless, the Q950R is an impressive TV, regardless of its 8K designation.
Its eye-wincing price will limit its appeal, as does its size; at 82 inches, most are likely to struggle to get the unit into their living rooms. However, the Q950R makes as a good a case for 8K as any other TV.
The upscaling tech delivers a boost in sharpness and detail for sub-8K content, and feed it native 8K and it conveys HDR images with tremendous punch and expressive colour. This TV’s pictures are certain to have you spellbound.
- Read our Samsung QE82Q950R review
The cheapest way of enjoying “proper” QLED
- Great picture quality
- Good HDR performance
- Comprehensive smart platform
- Incredibly low input lag
- No Dolby Vision or Atmos support
- Limited viewing angles
The Q70R finds itself close to the bottom of Samsung’s QLED range. As such, the Wide Angle Viewing tech and One Connect box aren’t included.
This isn’t a QLED with all the bells and whistles, then; this QLED is pitched at a more affordable price. Despite that, the panel is a full-array local dimming unit, which is good for black levels and contrast, and its peak brightness still outguns OLED.
With regards to picture quality, the Q70R is worthy of the same praise we’ve lauded elsewhere in this list, making it the cheapest way to enjoy Samsung’s QLED technology.
- Read our Samsung QE55Q70R review
Samsung’s cheapest 4K TV is an impressive one
- Good spec
- Brilliant OS
- Impressive upscaling
- Rapid response time
- Great overall picture performance
- Eco mode should be avoided
- Nasty sound
- Poor remote control
The RU7020 is Samsung’s smallest and most affordable TV, and its placement on this list indicates that it’s one of the best, too.
Its build quality belies its price; it avoids the cheap plasticky feel of the majority of models at the price. Picture quality is convincing and natural, and Samsung’s upscaling abilities mean it can deal with sub-4K content very well.
Audio performance is weak, warranting the purchase of an external sound system. Nonetheless, with a gaming performance as fast as the Road Runner, the UE43RU7020 would make a superb gaming monitor for a smaller room.
- Read our Samsung UE43RU7020 review