The Korean company has unveiled its first mid-range TVs for 2018. It is a mix of curved and flat edge-lit LCD TVs with 4K resolution, support for HDR10+, an ‘Auto Game Mode’, and new smart TV features. Prices range from $800 to $4000.
Samsung 2018 NU TV ranges
Samsung has taken the wraps off of the new NU8500, NU8000, NU7300, and NU7100 ranges that will replace last year’s somewhat disappointing MU8000 and MU7000 models in the upper mid-range segment.
The company will continue to offer a choice between flat and curved TVs. All of the announced NU models are based on edge-lit LCD panels with 4K resolution. Samsung says that the TVs are HDR compatible and that it has added HDR10+ support. The HDR10+ format was pioneered by Samsung as an alternative to Dolby Vision, and will also be supported by Panasonic and Philips.
- ”Loaded with features, the NU8000 has advanced smart browsing with voice control, which finds your shows easily. Stunning depth of HDR plus more colors than HDTVs create a breathtaking 4K picture,” the company said. “The feature-rich NU8500 is equipped like its NU8000 Flat sibling, but curved for immersive viewing. Our highest motion rate and low-lag game mode means this TV plays as smooth as it looks.”
The 8 and 7 series NU models will compete with similar-priced LCD TVs from Sony, LG, and TCL that are increasingly employing full array local dimming LED systems to enable HDR (High Dynamic Range) picture quality. OLED TVs are also coming down in price and are fast approaching the $1300-1500 range for a 55” model.
At CES 2018 last month, Samsung surprisingly opted not to share any concrete details about its 2018 TV line-up. Korean media have reported that “there is a sense of crisis felt among employees at Samsung” after a series of missteps such as 3D TVs, curved TVs, and most recently “QLED” that has failed to compete in the upper segment of the TV market. Samsung’s vice chairman has ordered a revival of the OLED TV business and Samsung is reportedly looking into ‘QD-OLED’ TVs. We have yet to receive details on Samsung’s high-end models for 2018 that are expected to once again be marketed as “QLED”, despite using conventional LCD TV panels. Samsung is also expected to add additional 6, 5, and 4 series NU models to its 2018 line-up later.
Samsung has on the other hand been increasing its focus on the user experience with a new, minimalistic “OneRemote” and a simpler user interface with access to apps. The OneRemote will come bundled with the 8 series and above.
New Auto Game Mode
Samsung explains that it has implemented a new ‘Auto Game Mode’ that can detect when your turn on your HDMI-connected game console and switch the picture mode to game mode automatically.
- “Get a leg up on the competition - your gaming console automatically optimizes TV settings for an enhanced gaming experience with minimal input lag and ultra fast refresh rates.”
Samsung will continue to offer smart features based on its in-house Tizen platform. It gives you access to apps such as Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube. The TVs also gain the Bixby voice assistant and built-in SmartThings support for controlling connected home devices. Samsung originally announced SmartThings for its 2016 TVs but later backtracked on its promise.
The TVs will also include SteamLink functionality that allows you to stream your Steam games from a PC to the TV either wirelessly or via an Ethernet cable.
Samsung’s NU models will start shipping in March/April. Check out the table below for more technical specifications and US pricing details.