Samsung has begun shipments of its 2021 TV lineup, which is is led by new “Neo QLED” 8K and 4K TVs that use Mini LED technology to achieve greater contrast and improved picture quality than in previous years. With Mini LED, the company is able to cram much smaller LEDs — and way, way more of them than before — into the TV’s backlighting system. This gives the TV much finer control over dimming zones and black levels, and it should dramatically cut down on any unwanted “blooming” effect.
This year’s upper-end Samsung TVs also include a number of gaming-centric features like a new settings bar that puts all the crucial next-gen options — refresh rate, aspect ratio, input lag, and so on — within easy reach. Many of the TVs will start reaching customers within the next two weeks, with others to follow in April and thereafter.
The Frame, one of Samsung’s “lifestyle” TVs, is being refreshed with a thinner design and more bezel options for making it look like a piece of art on your wall. And Samsung now says it’s increasing the internal storage from 500MB to 6GB so that customers can now store more artwork — up to 1,200 ultra hi-res images — on the TV that is displayed when it’s not actively being used. Another lifestyle TV, the rotating Sero, is picking up support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 in the near future. (Samsung promised this at the TV’s launch, but has taken some time to actually make it happen.)
The company also announced it’s introducing more traditional form factors for its futuristic MicroLED TVs that aim to leapfrog OLED as the next great TV technology. Instead of offering modular, any-size-you-want options as it does with The Wall, Samsung will be selling the MicroLED set in 110-inch, 99-inch, and 88-inch sizes. Now it’s been announced that a 76-inch model will be added in the future. The 110-inch and 99-inch MicroLED TVs will be available in April. All of them are sure to be exorbitantly expensive.
Here’s how Samsung’s 2021 lineup shakes out in terms of pricing. I’m not about to recommend you get an 8K TV, though it’s unfortunate that the gorgeous, barely-there bezel design is reserved exclusively for the top-tier 8K series. I’m definitely eyeing one of the Neo QLED 4K sets — especially once sales start to kick in.
Neo QLED 8K QN900A series (the flagship “no bezel” design)
Neo QLED 8K QN800A series
Neo QLED 4K QN90A series
Neo QLED 4K QN85A series
The rest of Samsung’s TVs below lack Mini LED and its picture upgrades, but they still offer quantum dot HDR and local dimming.
The Frame 2021 series
QLED 4K Q80A series
QLED 4K Q70A series
QLED 4K Q60A series