PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE Review

When reviewing products over time, biases inevitably become part of the process. Positive experiences with particular brands can lead to viewing their new products through rose-coloured glasses, while negative experiences naturally have the opposite effect. When PRSIM+ Australia offered to send over their new Q55 PRO QE 4K Android TV for review, this was a conundrum I faced.

In previous reviews of PRISM+ products, I have been thoroughly impressed by their range or premium gaming monitors. These have offered a balance of premium features where they matter, while reducing unnecessary options in order to present impressive displays in an (equally impressive) affordable package. They have been so good that the flagship PRISM+ X490 PRO is still my go-to monitor, many months after the review (and I am still blown away by it!)

So, while acknowledging my bias towards PRISM+ based on previous positive experiences, I will do my best to remove my rose-coloured glasses and objectively approach the new PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE television. After all, a television is a different beast to a gaming monitor and this is new territory for PRISM+ in Australia.

One final note before beginning this review in earnest – PRISM+ also sent me their new PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar to complement the Q55 PRO QE. I will be mentioning some of the ways in which these two devices work seamlessly together throughout this review, but you can find out more about in my PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar full review.

Disclosure: PRISM+ provided Blog of Dad with the products mentioned for the purpose of review and ongoing use. Any thoughts expressed about PRISM+ products in this article are based on my own experiences. For more information, visit my disclosure statement.  


PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE

10 out of 10
PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE Review

The 4K Quantum IPS panel with active HDR 10 and Dolby Vision delivers a wonderful viewing experience full of colour, depth and detail, with wide viewing angles too. For a television at this price point it has definitely exceeded my expectations! And while I won’t be so bold as to compare it to the best high-end OLED panels on the market, I will say that the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE well-and-truly delivers an experience so enjoyable that it makes me question the need to spend significantly more on a high end panel. The value on offer here is extremely hard to beat!

Picture Quality
9/10
Android TV
10/10
Look & Feel
10/10
Value
10/10

Pros

Great user interface

4K Ultra HD

Quantum IPS panel offers great colour and wide viewing angles

HDR10 and Dolby Vision

Dolby Atmos

Android TV

plenty of apps

Great picture at a range of resolutions

Works brilliantly with PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar

extensive gaming options

Cons

Screen a bit reflective at certain angles

PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE – First Impressions

PRISM+ Australia have boldly entered the crowded mid-range 4K television market with the Q55 PRO QE (and its larger sibling, the 65″ Q65 PRO QE). As a consumer, this can be a somewhat overwhelming market to navigate as huge range of manufactures jostle for your hard-earned money!

In a world where 75″+ panels are becoming more and more common, the 55 inch screen of the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE sits at the smaller end of the 4K market. That being said, in more intimate spaces, or for those who don’t want their living room to be dominated by a giant black panel sitting on the wall, 55″ is a good size. It is large enough to be immersive when on and in use, without completely taking over the room. In my townhouse, where the couch is about 3.5 metres from the television, I find it to be a great size.

Even while off, the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE makes a statement about its quality. The premium “ZeroBezel” design gives the television a high-end feel. It looks ultra modern and really quite impressive from a panel that is priced to compete against budget offerings from other manufactures.

Peeking around the back reveals a reasonably slim design, although with more bulk (particularly at the bottom) than you might find from a premium option (that costs significantly more). Clever tapering, however, means that any bulk at the rear of the television isn’t noticeable unless you really go looking for it.

PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE Review

This is consistent with what I have seen from PRISM+ products in the past – great care and consideration is put into premium design where it matters (the on-show bezel), but costs are minimised where it is less important. As a consumer who places “value” at the forefront of my purchasing decisions, this is an approach that I greatly admire.

A slightly thicker (although still impressively thin) bezel sits at the bottom of the screen and carries the simple and unobtrusive “PRISM+” logo. A small bar below the bezel houses the power light and the integrated Google Assistant features, including lights and far-field microphones. These can easily be enabled and disabled through the settings, and also through a physical switch located on the rear of the television. This gives users plenty of control when balancing privacy and usability.

The PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE comes with two very modern-looking feet that easily attach to the base. These provide reasonable stability, but as the nervous father of a three year old there isn’t a television in the world that I wouldn’t wall-mount. It’s amazing what a toddler can tip over given half a chance! Wall mounting was an extremely easy process and I was able to reuse the bracket from my old television without any issues at all.


PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE – Picture Quality

This section was updated on the 24th July to reflect my ongoing experiences with the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE

Looking great while off is all well and good, but obviously televisions are for watching! This is where the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE shines! The PRISM+ monitors that I have reviewed both impressed me with their vibrant colours and deep blacks, and I’m pleased to see that this has transferred over to their television panels! Interestingly, PRISM+ have opted for an IPS panel combined with their Quantum Colour Technology to produce a bright and vibrant image. This not only produces an impressive image, it also means that viewing angles are thoroughly impressive!

For a living room television in a busy household this is fantastic, as the image can be viewed from wherever in the room one happens to be standing or sitting. The only slight issue that I have noticed is that the screen does reflect a bit and this can have an impact on darker scenes. In general use, however, it really doesn’t register, but the bright and vibrant image from almost any angle certainly does! This was particularly apparent for me when I realised that I could still clearly watch the television while I was standing outside hanging out the washing!

The amount of 4K ultra HD content available is steadily increasing and it goes without saying that it is a huge step up over Full HD. The PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE thrives on this 4K content, where visuals are breathtakingly sharp and detailed. PRISM+ advertise active HDR 10 and Dolby Vision as integrated image enhancements built in to the Q55 PRO QE. As the link above explains, Dolby Vision in particular is an impressive inclusion for getting the most out of HDR content, especially at this price point!

The Dolby Vision overlay (top left) indicates when compatible content is playing

For testing purposes, I fired up Disney Plus and went is search of some Dolby Vision-based content. I started with Inside Out for family movie night, and was reasonably impressed with the result. The image was big and clear, while there was plenty of detail visible in the darkest scenes. I then moved on to this year’s Chipn Dale: Rescue Rangers movie, where I enjoyed Ugly Sonic’s weird human teeth in all their disturbing glory! More impressive still has was the lighting in Chip’s house, where beams of sunlight cut through dark and moody corners of the room.

The Q55 PRO QE automatically detects when content is HDR10 or Dolby Vision compatible and uses a small overlay to inform the viewer. Although content in either format looks good, Dolby Vision has the edge and it is a fantastic inclusion for such an affordable 4K TV. The PRSIM+ Q55 PRO QE is certainly more than a cheap and cheerful budget TV!

Star Wars with Dolby Vision looks fantastic!

It isn’t just the animated shows that benefit from HDR/Dolby Vision. In fact, the technology probably has far more to offer live action shows filmed with challenging lighting. Gone are the days of having to listen your way through dark and gloomy scenes because you can’t actually see what is going on! Dolby Vision in particular does an amazing job of delivering scenes that still convey the intended mood, while allowing viewers to make out the detail in the gloom.

The many, many Star Wars films are a great example of this implementation. While they don’t tend to push the brightness and colour vibrance that HDR can deliver, they do a stellar job of subtly using the technology to greatly enhance the viewing experience.   

While Dolby Vision-enhanced 4K is by far the most impressive way to enjoy the Q55 PRO QE, the reality is that most of us still consume plenty of HD (or even SD) content too. Anyone still using free-to-air services (good old Friday Night Football) and even free streaming services such as ABC’s iView will know the importance of lower resolution content looking good on the big screen.

Some 4K panels struggle with this, but I’m very pleased with the visual quality of these feeds on the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE!

Channel 9’s HD live feed during NRL matches looks great. While noticeably not as sharp as 4K streamed content, the HD feed was still perfectly clear and enjoyable. The PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE also did a great job of processing the fast-moving action – noticeably better than the Roku-based Telstra TV box that I had been using.

PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE Review
Friday Night Football on 9HD

Stepping down to 720p, Bluey on ABC’s iView app still looked great. Again, the image was obviously less crisp than 4K, but not distractingly so and still perfectly enjoyable.

Stepping down to a free-to-air standard definition feed takes us to the land of borderline viewable. That isn’t by any means a criticism of the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE (which actually does an admirable job here), but more of an observation of how far we have come. Watch standard definition if you absolutely have to, but really the world has moved on and there a much, much better options!

Bluey looks great, even at 720p!

PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE – Android TV with integrated Chromecast

“Smart” televisions have a reputation for being a little… hit and miss. A tedious user interface, out of date or missing apps, or laggy response can really dampen the experience. Thankfully, PRISM+ have implemented a responsive, easy to use and visually pleasing system based on the Android TV platform.

For those already integrated into the Android and/or Google ecosystems, setup of the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE is a ridiculously simple process. I simply linked my Android phone to the television and it transferred my profile and settings, including network.

The PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE comes with a healthy range of popular apps pre-installed, but the integrated Google Play store provides access to a wealth of other options. On-demand apps from all the Australian free-to-air networks are easily found. Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime all come pre installed, while other streaming services such as Disney Plus are a quick and easy download away.

The Android TV-based home screen is well designed and easy to navigate. There is some suggested viewing content, customisable fast access to favourite apps and a reminder of recent shows that are half watched.

PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE Review
Android TV is an excellent interface for the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE

At the very top of the screen are some handy features, such as a search function that operates across all of the apps, so that you don’t have to dive into individual apps in search of specific content. There is also a “Discover” features that suggests new content based on previous viewing habits.

The operating system is far more intelligent than I expected too. For example, I can open up Deezer and fire up a playlist that will continue to play while I navigate my way through other apps. This is fantastic for when I just don’t know exactly what I want to watch as it is far more enjoyable than scrolling silently. Naturally, the music stops the moment that a television show is selected.

Those familiar with the Google ecosystem will feel right at home with the integrated Google Assistant features. There are options for far-field microphone (located on the TV and activated by the phrase “hey Google”), and near field microphone (located on the remote and activated by pressing the Google Assistant  button). Activating either of these options brings Google Assistant into action. This can be used to search or play content, find out information, or even control other devices around the home.

Chromecast is integrated into Android TV and it works just as smoothly as the rest of the app. I was able to cast easily from a number of apps on my phone, including music apps such as Deezer and television apps such as iView. The only minor issue is that I can’t seem to add the television to a speaker group (as I could with a Chromecast dongle), which means it can’t use it as part of my whole-house sound system. This makes sense in a way, as television speakers aren’t exactly of the same calibre as dedicated speakers… except for the fact that I run all the TV sound through the awesome PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar.


PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE – Sound Quality

Television sound quality took a back seat to visual aesthetics a long time ago. The relentless push to ultra-thin bezels forced speakers to the rear of the device, and for good reason – it looks so much better! The rise of dedicated home theatre speakers and, more recently, soundbars means that most panels ultimately end up paired to an external output.

This has certainly been the case for me over the past decade. In fact, this setup was so natural to me that I immediately connected the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE to the PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar without even thinking about it. It was only days later that the need to test the on-board speakers for review purposes dawned on me!

As far as built in speakers go, those on the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE are definitely usable. Music streamed from Deezer was clear and enjoyable enough, although definitely lacking the depth that a dedicated speaker with subwoofer provides. Instrumentals such as Dave Brubeck’s Take Five came through distortion-free up to an impressively loud volume – far louder than my comfortable listening level. Vocals too, were clear enough to be enjoyed, if not spectacular.

When watching television shows, dialogue comes through clearly and soundtracks are fine. I watched the documentary Wild Japan: Snow Monkeys and found the narration to be clear and easy to understand, even at lower volumes. Movies with plenty of action, such as the big battles in Star Wars films were still enjoyable, with dialogue still discernible even amongst the sound effect and sound track. 

Switching back-and-forth with the Symphony Soundbar showed that the listening experience was worlds apart, but if the television must be used as a stand-alone device, the inbuilt speakers are very usable.

While the sound quality of onboard speakers might well be irrelevant to many of us, the television’s ability to process sound and send it to an external device certainly isn’t.

The PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE uses HDMI ARC to seamlessly connect the television to compatible devices (such as the PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar). This makes setup extremely easy – I connected the devices and it worked immediately!

The other significant audio inclusion on the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE is Dolby Atmos processing. This means that the television can be connected to the most cutting edge sound systems and deliver incredibly immersive 3D sound in all its glory! Conveniently, the PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar is such a device, with Dolby Atmos a key part of its appeal.

With Dolby Atmos and Dolby vision working together, this PRISM+ combo certainly feels more premium than the budget-friendly price tag would suggest! I’ll admit that (thanks to Covid and parenthood) I haven’t been to the cinema in a long time, but with this setup now in my home, I doubt I’ll be in  any hurry to go back.


PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE – Remote

This may be the end of the road for my Harmony Elite remote control. Now, I’m not saying the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE remote control is in the same league as the Harmony Elite, but rather that the nature of the TV has simplified my viewing and listening setup to such an extent that the Harmony is no longer necessary.

What the Harmony did beautifully was take a bunch of different devices from different manufacturers and make them all work together (almost) seamlessly. With my new setup, however, the excellent Android TV operating system of the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE removes the need for external source such as the Telstra TV, while the ARC-connected Symphony Soundbar is controlled by the TV. It wakes up when I turn the TV on and the volume adjusts through the TV remote.

PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE Review

The remote its self doesn’t look particularly spectacular, after using it for a while I can safely say that it is good in all the right ways. The button layout is logical and easy to navigate, with major streaming services such as Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube receiving their own dedicated fast-access button.

The remote is extremely responsive, with button presses registering with very little lag on the screen. This may be in part thanks to the use of a Bluetooth connection rather than a traditional IR design.

The Google Assistant button activates the near field microphone embedded in the remote, meaning easy access to voice-controlled features even if you disable the always-listening far-field microphones on the TV for privacy reasons. For the particularly privacy-conscious, you can also deny the television from having access to the remote control’s microphone.

A convenient home button means returning to the main screen after delving deep into app menus is a simple task. It is consistent with the logical and user-friendly approach that has been implemented across the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE.


PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE – Bluetooth 5.0

This section was updated on the 24th July to reflect my ongoing experiences with the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE

The more I use the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE, the more I discover about it! I have had to update this review to highlight a couple of features that I hadn’t fully appreciated during the first days of use.

The PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar is brilliant, but there are times when us parents need to maintain a completely silent environment. Thanks to the inclusion of Bluetooth 5.0, connecting accessories such as headphones is extremely easy and effective.

I paired my EPOS GTW 270 wireless earbuds to the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE in a matter of seconds and they have worked flawlessly together ever since. When I take the earbuds out of their case, they automatically connect to the television and, after a couple of seconds the sound comes through crisp and clear. I have not experienced any noticeable lag, dropouts or other issues – it just works! This is a spectacular addition to the already impressive abilities of this television, and one that I didn’t know I needed until I had it.

It’s not just headphones that can be paired. Game controllers can easily be added (see below), as can accessories such as keyboards for enhanced searching. It is quite incredible how the television is evolving and the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE is an excellent example of what can be done!


PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE – Gaming

This section was updated on the 24th July to reflect my ongoing experiences with the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE

The PRISM+ monitors that I have reviewed in the past have been gaming powerhouses, with specifications such as fast refresh rates designed to meet the needs of demanding gamers. The PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE is a different type of display. It is not marketed as a gaming tv, but for the many Australian family households casual gaming is a key part of the living room entertainment experience, so how does it stack up?

For casual gaming, the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE is fantastic! I connected my PC (driven by the excellent PNY GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB XLR8) to the Q55 PRO QE and fired up a few of my favourite games to check it out. Forza Horizon 5 has big, bold and beautiful on the huge 55″ screen and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The 60Hz refresh rate is smooth and perfectly enjoyable, while the 4K picture quality and vibrant colours of the display bring the wow factor! Gaming on the Q55 PRO QE really is thoroughly enjoyable.

Beyond plugging in a PC or console, the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE offers a wealth of other gaming options. The inbuilt Android operating system contains a range of interesting games. Some of these can be played with the television’s remote, but Bluetooth controllers can also be easily added for a proper gaming experience. Available games include such notable titles as Crossy Road, Bridge Constructor Portal, Farming Simulator 14, Asphalt 8 airborne and many, many more. Keep in mind that these games aren’t optimized for the awesome 4K specifications of the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE, but they are still a load of fun!

Even more impressive is the inclusion of both GeForce NOW and Steamlink apps. Both of these allow you to stream proper games from either the cloud or your own PC to the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE!


PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE – Warranty and Quality

This section was updated on the 24th July to reflect my ongoing experiences with the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE

In a previous version of this article I had mentioned a tiny spot of backlight bleed (only visible in certain conditions), however, after a couple of weeks of regular use this has now completely disappeared. In researching this I have learnt that it can be reasonably common for new televisions from any brand to need to settle for a small amount of time, as shipping or even the wall mounting process can put a certain amount of strain on the frame of the TV.

Even though this issue was very minor and has now completely resolved, I have kept this experience in this article for two reasons: Firstly, others may experience a similar thing (with any brand of TV) and in such a situation it seems worthwhile waiting to see if the television does settle. If it doesn’t settle, Australian consumer protections have you covered and you can initiate a warranty return. In my case, the issue was so minimal that it didn’t impact the real-world viewing experience. To be honest I’m not even sure exactly when the TV settled and it disappeared.

The second reason I mention this experience is to highlight that PRISM+ Australia offer a generous 3 year local Australian warranty on the Q55 PRO QE. PRISM+ have consistently impressed me with the quality of the products that they have produced, but it is great to know that they back this up with a lengthy warranty period. This again speaks to the high quality of the PRISM+ brand, as they are willing to back the product for a significant period of use.


PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE – Final Thoughts

As I reach the conclusion of this review I’m left wondering whether I have fully unpacked all that the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE has to offer. The more time I spend with this television, the more I find there is to like. The Android-based operating system adds such a huge amount of depth to the experience and I am positive that there is more to explore.

But putting aside the goodness of Android TV for a minute, the fundamentals of this impressive screen are worth revisiting:

The 4K Quantum IPS panel with active HDR 10 and Dolby Vision delivers a wonderful viewing experience full of colour, depth and detail, with wide viewing angles too. For a television at this price point it has definitely exceeded my expectations! And while I won’t be so bold as to compare it to the best high-end OLED panels on the market, I will say that the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE well-and-truly delivers an experience so enjoyable that it makes me question the need to spend significantly more on a high end panel. The value on offer here is extremely hard to beat!

At the start of this review I acknowledged my positive bias towards PRISM+ products based on my extremely positive prior experiences. I have done my best to put this bias aside during this review and objectively look at what the PRISM+ Q55 PRO QE has to offer. The fact is, my experience with this television (and the PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar) reinforces the opinion that I have formed about the brand over previous reviews – PRISM+ have a knack for balancing features and price in a way that delivers an impressive user experience.

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