Samsung will introduce its first LCD TVs with miniLED backlight, known as "Neo QLED". 2021 8K and 4K models also feature HDMI 2.1, HDR10+ Adaptive, and news smart features. Here's a full overview of Samsung's 2021 TV line-up.
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Samsung 2021 TVs
Samsung is introducing a full line-up of new 4K and 8K TVs for 2021. These are all VA-type LCD TVs marketed as either "QLED" (mid-range) or "Neo QLED" (high-end). Samsung is for the first time using miniLED, which is a smaller type of light emitting diode for more granular control of the backlight behind the LCD panel as well as thinner designs.
This is embodied in the flagship models with 'Infinity' design, such as QN900A (8K). These are some of the thinnest and most advanced LCD TVs on the market, but also some of the most expensive.
Last year, Samsung made the controversial decision to significantly downgrade its 4K models to make its 8K models look more attractive. In 2021, it will bring back some of the advanced picture systems in its 4K models. As you step down into 4K, you will, specifically, still get the "Neo QLED" (miniLED backlight) technology in high-end models, although with fewer dimming zones and less extravagant designs than the top 8K models. We hope to review the new TVs soon.
The TVs are equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports and features like 4K120 (HFR), VRR, ALLM, and eARC. Follow the link to learn more about HDMI 2.1. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X take advantage of some of these new HDMI 2.1 features, and more source devices with HDMI 2.1 are expected to launch in the coming years.
Samsung's 2021 "Neo QLED" LCD TV with the One Connect box
Some, but not many, of Samsung's 2021 TVs will feature the external One Connect box with HDMI and other ports. The One Connect box has been redesigned and can now be mounted onto the center-aligned stand (as seen above). Europe will get the 4K QN95A, which is a QN90A plus One Connect, but otherwise One Connect is reserved for 8K and The Frame. The company is also highlighting features like Object Tracking Sound Pro and SpaceFit Sound to optimize sound to your living space and at the same time make sound more immersive, it said.
In terms of video and audio, Samsung is still shunning Dolby so the 2021 Samsung TVs will still not be capable of decoding Dolby Atmos audio and Dolby Vision HDR. Samsung has developed its own dynamic HDR format in the form of HDR10+ and in 2021 it will introduce HDR10+ Adaptive, which adjusts automatically to your viewing environment into account – a direct alternative to Dolby Vision IQ.
Samsung's Q80A LCD TV
Samsung says that it has improved its "AI" video processor. It now does even more video enhancement although you will want to deactivate that if you want accurate picture quality. There is Filmmaker Mode in the TVs, if you want to watch the movie as the director intended. Some of the TVs have the company's very effective anti-reflection filter and 'ultra wide angle' that expands viewing angles at the expense of resolution.
Also read: Samsung unveils 11.1.4ch HW-Q950A, more 2021 Atmos soundbars
A new 'Game Bar' gives you quick access to the gaming features in the TV including for the first time AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, while 'Super Ultrawide GameView' give gamers the option to play in wide 21:9 or 32:9 ratios.
The new 'Game Bar' on Samsung TVs
The TVs come with the latest version of Samsung's TV operating system, Tizen 6.0. It has features like Samsung Health (a training app), PC on TV (to easily connect a PC), and Google Duo (video calls). Tizen provides access to apps like HBO Max, Disney+, and Netflix. The TVs will also have Apple AirPlay 2 (but not Apple HomeKit) as well as support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa that can now both be used as integrated voice assistants to replace Samsung's own Bixby.
As always, Tizen 6.0 will be reserved for the 2021 models. 2020 models are stuck on Tizen 5.5, 2019 models on Tizen 5.0, and so on.
Samsung's new solar-powered remote control
The company is highlighting a new solar-powered remote control that can "help prevent waste from a projected 99 million AAA batteries over seven years". However, this is little consolation when Samsung's TVs are some of the most power-hungry in the industry, with energy consumption of 300-450W for 65-inch or larger 8K "QLED" LCD TVs.
In addition, Samsung will launch refreshed lifestyle TVs in 2021, including new 32- to 75-inch 'The Frame 2021' TVs that are up to 46% thinner than last year's models.
The company has even announced that 2021 will be the year of microLED, the new display technology to match OLED, which Samsung has steered clear off (but is rumored to launch in 2022).
However, it is the fourth time that Samsung has announced microLED at CES so don't get your hopes up too high.
Some of the TVs are equipped with WiFi 6, the latest WiFi standard, and ATSC 3.0, the latest 'tuner' standard in the US. Some of the TVs are also capable of decoding AV1, which is shaping up to be the next major video format. Such features are typically reserved for the high-end models. Check the specifications below to see which models offer these features.
Samsung will add inexpensive models to its line-up later this year and the TV line-up overview will be updated continuously to reflect any changes. Below we have noted suggested retail prices for those TV models that have yet to launch. Once the TVs become available, the model name and size will become an active and clickable link to price comparison or retailers.
You can recognize a Samsung 2021 TV by the letter 'A' in the model name for the broader LCD line-up. High-end models are labeled QN*A. As a reminder: AU/Q*A/QN*A = 2021, TU/T/Q*T = 2020, RU/R/Q*R = 2019, NU/N/Q*FN = 2018, MU/M/Q = 2017, KS/KU = 2016, JS/JU = 2015, HU/H = 2014, F = 2013.
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