The 8K Q700T costs only slightly more than Samsung’s 4K flagship. But is it really worth investing in 8K in 2021?
- Cheapest 8K QLED
- 8K Quantum Processor
- VRR for tear-free gaming
- 60Hz refresh rate
- No Dolby Vision/Atmos
- Lack of native 8K content
Where many TV brands seem content to stick with 4K, Samsung continues to double down on its 8K technology. For the second year in a row, the South Korean colossus has released more 8K TVs than in the year previous: in 2018 there was one, in 2019 there were two and in 2020 there are four.
The Q700T is the newcomer of the bunch, arriving in the UK several months later than its 2020 8K QLED stablemates, and it’s also by far the most affordable. Actually, it’s the cheapest 8K TV that Samsung has ever released. While the age of 8K content hasn’t quite arrived, the Q700T could be the perfectly-priced model for future-proofing your home cinema setup.
Samsung Q700T: Key specifications
|Screen sizes available:||55in QE55Q700TATXXU,|
|Panel type:||QLED (LED LCD, quantum dot)|
|Resolution:||8K (7,680 x 4,320)|
|HDR formats:||HDR10, HDR10+, HLG|
|Audio enhancement:||eARC, Dolby Digital 5.1, Object Tracking Sound+|
|HDMI inputs:||HDMI 2.0 x 4|
|Streaming services:||Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, BT Sport, Apple TV, Now TV, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, YouTube etc.|
|Tuners:||Freesat HD x 2, Samsung TV PLUS|
|Gaming features:||VRR (FreeSync), ALLM|
|Wireless connectivity:||Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Smart platform:||Tizen 5.5|
Samsung Q700T: What you need to know
Like all Samsung 8K TVs, the Q700T has a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 – that’s not double, but rather four times as many pixels as a 4K TV. It also uses one of Samsung’s QLED panels, which is an LED-lit LCD panel that uses a layer of quantum dots to boost the TV’s brightness. It’s the only 8K Samsung TV to come in a 55in size, and it’s also available in a 65in variant.
The Samsung Q700T is cheap by 8K TV standards, and that necessitates a few compromises which may put off movie and gaming enthusiasts. The panel only has a refresh rate of 60Hz, which is half the rate of any other 2020 Samsung 8K QLED. Even 4K models like the Samsung Q95T and Q80T have a 120Hz refresh rate. This, of course, means that the Q700T won’t support 4K 120Hz playback, either.
The lack of 8K content is an issue too; outside of YouTube and Vimeo it’s hard to find native 8K videos, so the vast majority of the content you view on the Q700T will be upscaled by Samsung’s latest Quantum 8K processor. As Samsung puts it, the upscaling process “ensures no matter the original content, the quality will automatically adapt to give users the very best picture”. However, reports indicate that the Q700T’s Quantum HDR rating (a scale created by Samsung itself) is only HDR 8x, which is lower than Samsung’s 4K Q80T with its HDR 12x rating.
As for actual HDR formats, the Q700T supports HDR10, Hybrid-Log Gamma and HDR10+. The lack of Dolby Vision is unfortunate but expected, as no Samsung TV to date has offered support for this format. Through the Q700T’s Tizen 5.5 smart platform, you’ll be able to access most of the major streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus, as well as the free UK catch-up apps.
Audio support covers Dolby Digital 5.1 but does not extend to Dolby Atmos, and there’s also the option for eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) using the Q700T’s HDMI 3 input. There are eight built-in speakers on the Q700T and they benefit from a feature called Object Tracking Sound+ which provides “3D audio that moves around the screen with the action”.
On the gaming side, the Q700T might be lacking 4K 120Hz support but it does at least have ALLM for automatically switching the TV to a low input lag Game Mode when certain gaming consoles are connected. Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) is supported too, including AMD’s FreeSync, allowing the Q700T’s panel to match its refresh rate to the frame rate of the game for tear-free gaming.
For the full next-gen gaming experience, however, we’d recommend opting for a cheaper model like the Samsung Q95T, which has VRR, ALLM as well as 4K 120Hz capabilities for a lower price.
Samsung Q700T: Price and competition
Starting at £1,999 for the 55in model, the Samsung Q700T is easily the cheapest 8K QLED you can buy. In fact, it’s only £200 more than Samsung’s 2020 4K flagship, the Q95T – the 55in model goes for around £1,599. Meanwhile, the larger Samsung Q700T 65in is priced at £2,699, which is still very affordable when compared to some of Samsung’s pricier 8K models. For example, the 65in variant of the South Korean firm’s 8K flagship, the Q950T, costs £5,999.
The Q700T’s price is even more impressive when you consider that the 2019 Samsung Q950R 55in 8K QLED – the closest thing to a Q700T predecessor – launched at £2,699, and even a year on costs around £1,999. Even brand new, the Q700T is £700 less and brings with it the latest Samsung 8K developments.
While it may be the cheapest Samsung 8K QLED on the market right now, the Q700T isn’t actually the cheapest 8K LCD model you can buy. The LG NanoCell NANO95 8K TV also launched at £1,999 for the 55in model, just like the Q700T, but we’ve seen it on sale for as little as £1,499. That doesn’t automatically make it better, mind you.
The NANO95 has the edge in terms of price and it supports Dolby Vision and Atmos, but it does lack VRR and eARC. For those after a larger 65in model, the Q700T is the more wallet-friendly choice out of the two, because the NANO95 65in is £300 pricier at £2,999.
Finally, if you’re not convinced that you need an 8K telly just yet, you may be tempted by some of the incredible 4K OLED and QLED alternatives available in this price range.
The LG CX (read our 5-star Best Buy review) is our favourite 4K OLED of the year, offering 120Hz 4K playback, VRR, ALLM and stunning HDR performance. The 55in model is just £1,599 and the 65in costs £2,499.