Everything You Need to Know About Samsung 2018 QLED Lineup
Samsung has revealed its 2018 TV offerings, showcasing a line of premium QLED panels that are just as beautiful as they are functional. For the most part, the new offerings will feel more like slight upgrades to their 2017 line, keeping a lot of the same luxurious features that made it so attractive. However, new sizes and a skillful ambient mode are new offerings that give these TV an edge in the ultra-competitive luxury TV market.
The quantum dot in Samsung's quantum dot QLED is really the only competition to OLED - for now anyway - and will hopefully filter down unwanted backlighting and haloing effects that regular LCD screens currently struggle with.
Samsung's updated versions include the Q6F, the Q7F, the Q8F and the Q9F. The models slightly different in their sizes, with the Q6F offering panels in the 49-, 55-, 65-, 75-, and 82-inch range, the Q7F and Q8F with only a 55-, 65-, and 75-inch model, and a premium 65- and 75-inch for the Q9F. All models will sport 4K, HDR (read Samsung's HDR 10+) and, thankfully, none of them are curved.
As a pièce de résistance, Samsung is offering an Ambient Mode that can match the nearly bezel-less display with the wall behind it. Everything from wallpaper to exposed brick can be utilized to make the Samsung panel disappear. This is similar to Samsung's The Frame, a panel that absolutely captures a key bit of white space, and will hopefully be more of a cornerstone function instead of a one trick pony. The entire philosophy is underscored by a secondary option that allows homeowners to display information like the weather and calendar events while using very little power.
In a nutshell, you can make breathing information hang on a wall effortlessly.
Each QLED sports Samsung's new zero-gap wall-mount and artistic floor stands. First spotted at CES, the virtually flush wall-mounting system helps keep the illusion of a floating black box on the wall. It also helps that Samsung's Invisible Connection 2.0 is an updated piece of tech that runs a slender connection away from the TV for the multiple hookups. The stand-up floor stands are reminiscent of Samsung's easel-esque studio stand.
Also spotted at CES, Samsung will be packing their TV Plus tool into every smart tv. The aggregation tool offers recommendations for a litany of content. It will also coexist with Samsung's Universal Guide, a content assistant that brings media from streaming apps, like Netflix and Hulu, as well as TV sources like cable and satellite. It can also do things like automatically detect Xbox one connections and run optimized game modes for PC apps like SteamLink, a way to run any game from your PC straight to the TV.
“This is something we’ve really ramped up from last year,” said Andrew Sivori, vice president of TV marketing at Samsung Electronics America. “It not only browses your OTT content [streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu] it browses live TV service, as well. Whether you’re trying to find your favorites or search across everything available, it puts it all in one spot.”
And last and currently least, Samsung is still shoving Bixby into everything they do. It will hopefully feel like a last-ditch effort to make the digital assistant relevant, but that is probably not the case. In fact, Bixby will start playing nice with Samsung's SmartThings hub, allowing a ton of new connected devices to integrate straight into their TV. Which means it can integrate to a smartphone. Which means it plays nice with their connected refrigerators.
That is if you have the heart to keep using the otherwise dreadful assistant.
Thankfully, Samsung is also not promoting Bixby as a premium feature. In fact, it's not pushing anything it does as a premium. Many of these features will find their way to other 4K, HDR10+ offerings such as the NU8500 and NU8000. “Most of [these features] will be on the NU8 Series, as well,” Sivori said. “So you don’t have to go to our top-of-the-line to get the technology.”
Samsung says that their new line of TV's will be available this month, although pricing is yet to be announced.