Samsung QE65Q85R 4K HDR QLED TV review Page 2

Generally the Q85R handles sequences containing real extremes of light and dark exceptionally well, but very complex images that combine lots of low-level shadow detail with bright light peaks, such as Chapter 7 of Exodus: Gods and Kings (Ultra HD Blu-ray), can become a touch unstable and grey, as the TV's local dimming engine struggles to adapt itself to the picture as successfully as the Q90R, which benefits from its much higher number of dimming zones.

Fortunately these sorts of sequences are rare. For the most part, the amount of backlight instability the 65Q85R exhibits is minor for a 96-zone TV.

I also noted dark parts of the picture losing a little shadow detail. Raising the TV's brightness setting by one or two notches helps this considerably, but can also cause the occasional raised grey or colour tone. Conversely, bright parts of mostly dark images can very occasionally look a little dull, as the backlight tries to balance out the light to avoid blooming issues.

819samtv.sideA final picture shortcoming is the QE65Q85R's lack of support for the Dolby Vision dynamic HDR system. The set does make impressive use of the HDR10+ platform, but Samsung's commitment to one but not the other (a situation mirrored by Dolby Vision devotee LG's C9OLED) is perhaps enough to put some potential buyers off, or have them casting eyes at Panasonic and Philips TVs launching this year that support both formats.

The QE65Q85R's mostly excellent pictures deserve a positive finish, though. This comes from an excellent gaming performance helped by an input lag of barely 16ms in Game mode; its available brightness and rich colours; and even automatic game mode switching and variable refresh rate support with Xbox One consoles.

Sound performance isn't as accomplished as its pictures. This Samsung copes fine with day-to-day TV material, particularly treble detailing and voices, and creates a reasonably wide soundstage for a TV with no visible speakers. Yet hefty bass hits find its driver array merely offering a shrug, and the soundstage struggles to open up to meet dense movie mixes or action scenes, sometimes sounding more compressed just when it should be sounding more expansive. There's a lack of direct attack to the sonics, too.

Jaw-Dropping HDR
As with the Q90R before it, the main thing about the QE65Q85R is that it takes LCD picture quality to places I'd previously not considered possible with a consumer TV. The combination of high brightness and huge colour volume, with deep blacks, delivers a jaw-dropping HDR performance.

In an ideal world the QE65Q85R would perhaps be a couple of hundred pounds cheaper, giving it more breathing room between it and the £3,300 LG OLED65C9. At the same time, though, this TV's brighter pictures provide a punchier alternative vision to LG's contrast-rich new OLEDs – and it still offers a healthy chunk of the Q90R's flagship quality for £800 less

HCC Verdict

Samsung QE65Q85R

Price: £3,000

We say: The QE65Q85R isn't cheap, but its spectacular 4K HDR pictures join those of Samsung's step-up Q90R models in setting new standards for LCD tech.

Performance: 4.5/5
Features: 4.5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5


3D: No
4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160
HDR: Yes. HDR10; HLG; HDR10+
Tuner: Yes. Freeview HD; Freesat HD
Connections: 4 x HDMI 2.0 inputs; 3 x USBs; RF input; Ethernet; digital optical audio output
Sound (Claimed): 40W
Brightness (claimed): 1,500 nits
Contrast Ratio (Claimed): N/A
Dimensions (Off Stand): 1,449.5(w) x 831.2(h) x 61.9(d)mm
Weight (Off Stand): 21.5kg

Features: Built-in Wi-Fi; USB multimedia playback; Quantum Processor; 4K AI upscaling processor; QLED Quantum Dot colour technology; Bixby voice recognition; Eden smart platform; Ambient Mode; external connections box; direct backlight with 96 zones of local dimming; Bluetooth