Top positive review
905 people found this helpful
Honest review from an average guy...
on November 12, 2017
Hello, I am average middle-class consumer who considers spending $2500 on a TV a huge commitment. I did not purchase my QLED from Amazon, but I feel it deserves a review as everyone has a story to tell. I originally went to a big box store to pick up a 65" Sony x900e. I read great reviews regarding the Sony and had my mind made up.
Ch. 1: LG OLED
Once I got in the store, the salesman redirected my attention to the 65" LG C7 OLED. WOW...what a picture on that OLED! I ended up purchasing the OLED for $2300 before taxes. I'm not going to lie, it was an impressive TV. However, I found myself stressing out each time I turned it on due to the numerous burn-in issues being reported. It seemed like there were more and more burn-in horror stories coming in each day on these new OLEDs. I called LG (horrible customer service by the way) and asked them if this is a concern and how they plan to combat or fix the issue. They replied that they are aware of the issues and they have built in preventative factors in the TV such as screen shift, etc. However, I read many reviews from people who still experienced burn-in regardless of these preventative factors in place. I asked about warranty coverage for this and the LG customer service rep stated, "we do not cover burn-in damage as we consider that customer negligence." So back to the store went the LG C7 OLED. I'm not going to lie, I was sad to return it, but it was not worth the worry and short life span. I am more than open to OLED technology when they eliminate the burn-in issues. My only other complaint regarding the LG C7 OLED was LG's attempt to reach "perfect black levels" ended up crushing a lot of brightness and creating too much black in the picture, but it's still a great picture. Side note: I'm not sure I understand the obsession with creating perfect black levels. So I made the decision to return the LG OLED the next day. During return, I was told by a salesman that they had recently returned a 2017 55" LG OLED due to burn in from a static TV channel marker. It was a tough decision, but I didn't want to be in a position to have to possibly spend another $2500 in a year and a half.
Ch. 2: Samsung QLED
So I was now in a position to choose a new TV. The Sony x900e, which I had previously wanted before I made the last minute decision to get the LG OLED, was still an option. However, I was hesitant due to the Android TV format it uses. I highly dislike Android and all the reviews I read about Sony's Android TV format were not good at all. My previous TV was a 70" Sony LCD/LED (3-4 years old) and the operating system was slow as heck so I didn't want to revert back to those frustrations. I remembered another salesman there pushing the QLED as his favorite. So I went to check it out and of course in the dim fluorescent lighting and playing the store's 4K UHD Blu-ray demo disks, the 65" Q7F looked amazing. Furthermore, there is no concern of burn-in and Samsung warranties against burn-in for the life of the TV to ease your mind. I decided to give it a try at $2000. When I got home and put the TV together, I was absolutely amazed. It is the most attractively designed TV I've ever seen. The stand is very nice, the back of the TV is attractive, and I love the ConnectOne box as it makes hooking/unhooking accessories a breeze and cleans up the area behind the TV significantly. I can't say enough about the attractiveness of the TV. Yes, I know the TV is against a wall, but you can still see behind it and eliminating the rat nest of wires is pretty amazing and very clean looking. The remote....I'm in love with the remote. It is simple, the build quality is excellent, comfortable to hold, and easily works on all my devices. It works with my soundbar and my Amazon Fire TV flawlessly. I never even had to set it up to recognize these things. It just worked. Samsung's Tizen operating system is a joy to use. It looks great, it's fast, and I also cannot say enough about this. My only complaint about Tizen is the lack of apps it offers. However, when I say "lack of apps", there is really only one app I can say I've missed which is ESPN. I still have my Fire TV connected for the rare amount of times when I do wish to access an app that Tizen does not offer. Which brings me to my next point, Tizen is SMART! All you have to do is connect your devices (PS4, Fire TV, soundbar, etc) and the TV automatically recognizes it. I do have a PS4 Pro hooked up as well and it runs flawlessly with absolutely amazing graphics and no noticeable lag time. One complaint I have is that I wish the TV would automatically switch to 'Game Mode' when my PS4 is turned on, but really all I have to do is say "Game Mode" into the remote and it changes it so it isn't really all that bad. Side note: I calibrated my Samsung Q7F picture with the recommendations from Rtings.com and they look great.
Ch .3: Nothing is Perfect
As much as I loved my new Q7F, it doesn't come without faults. The one and only fault I've really noticed is some vertical banding. This is a big one and it might prevent some from purchasing this TV. Honestly, the only reason I knew about it was by reading so much about the QLEDs online. I never noticed vertical banding by looking at my TV. Let me repeat that....I never noticed vertical banding by looking at my TV. I did not notice any banding till I went to YouTube and pulled a vertical banding/dirty screen blue screen and even then the banding was only noticeable if you were really looking for it from a side angle. I was upset about this and the more I read online the more I see this is really an issue with software and just the fact that it's an edge lit TV. Most TV's are going to edge lit to keep the side profile slimmer these days. I called Samsung customer service and put in a formal service request regarding the issue. I received a phone call from customer service and they ran through all the diagnostic BS with me. I finally just told them, "Let's be honest I know vertical banding is an issue. What are you doing to fix it?". I further told them that the banding was not a big issue and I would have never even noticed it if it weren't for delving into the depths of internet complaints. I can't even see the banding on Samsung's picture test screen. Surprisingly, Samsung customer support was honest with me and stated, "We are aware of the problems, we have already released some firmware upgrades to lessen the issues, and we are continuing to work on the problem with future firmware updates planned. You have a year warranty on the TV and if the problem has not been resolved before your warranty is up, we will be happy to send a serviceman out to repair or replace the TV." While this answer did not provide immediate results, I appreciated their honesty and again felt it was a petty concern as it really isn't noticeable unless you are stepping to the side of the TV, with a static blue or grey screen on, and even then you really have to look for it. However, I fully expect a fix to the issue and I will be contacting support if firmware does not eventually eliminate the issue.
Ch. 4: The pros and cons
So I made a trip back to the store to see if their QLED on display had the banding problem too. Sure enough it did. I had the salesman pull up the YouTube blue screen to check for banding and all the salesman began gathering around to see the vertical banding they had never noticed before. So that should tell you something, all these guys had honestly never noticed any banding and they watch and sell these TV's all day every day. In my haste, I decided to order the Sony x900e and planned to return my QLED. When I got home I sat in front of my QLED and began thinking of all the pros and cons of the Samsung Q7F vs the Sony x900e. If I was trading my Q7F for a x930e, I could probably justify it. However, for $1000 less the x900e was 3x the thickness of the QLED (due to direct light instead of edge light) and not even close of an attractive of a unit. One of the biggest drawbacks of the x900e was the OS. Android TV. Of all operating systems, Sony goes with Android TV. What a disappointment. I played around with the x900e in the store. Apps were hard to find. The system was slow with a lot of lag when using the remote buttons. It was a repeat of the same issues I had with my previous Sony TV. System settings were not well organized and everything just seemed like a task to find. The remote is just ridiculous. It feels cheap and very outdated. The remote is not comfortable to hold, has like 50 buttons, and is not intuitive. I repeat, doing anything on the x900e felt like more of a task than it should have been. According to Rtings 2017 fall reviews, the x900e compared almost equally to the Q7F in all areas with it's only real advantage being slightly better picture quality.
Ch. 5: The decision
Finally, I made the decision to cancel my order for the x900e and keep my Q7F. I will continue to update to the latest firmware and see if it helps the banding, but as I said I don't even notice the banding unless I'm really looking for it and nobody else has noticed it. The Q7F picture is a delight in my opinion, the remote is top notch and a pleasure to use, Tizen OS is also a pleasure and works fast. After considering the alternatives upon returning the QLED, I have come to the conclusion that this TV fits my needs the best and I enjoy it so much that I don't want to change to another set. I was originally going to give the Q7F a 4-star rating due to the banding issue, but I honestly think it deserves 5-stars, because it is just an amazing TV. The picture quality may not compare to the LG OLED or it may be slightly less bright compared to the Sony x930e, but the Q7F is incredible in it's own right. I would highly recommend this TV for a lot more than just picture quality.
Final notes: In my opinion, there is no need for the latest obsession with "perfect black levels". I also think that the recent obsession with brightness levels is ridiculous, because if you calibrate your TV correctly you end up reducing brightness levels to "cinema" or "movie" mode which significantly lowers brightness levels to avoid viewer fatigue.
GREAT JOB SAMSUNG!!! ...AND KEEP THE UPDATES COMING