Samsung's 2018 QLED TVs blend into the background when idle
Samsung has whipped the covers off its lineup of 2018 TVs, just a day after LG did the same. Along with some OLED devices, the flagships of the range are built with Quantum dot light-emitting diode (QLED) display technology, and the entire line varies in size from a modest 40 in up to a monstrous 88 in. Since they can take up so much living room real estate, Samsung has also packed in a few new features to let the TVs earn their keep even while not in use.
This is the second year in a row where QLED displays have headlined Samsung's TV lineup, after the company first unveiled the technology at CES 2017. In these systems, wedged between the LED backlight and the LCD screen is a layer of metal alloy quantum dots, which can reportedly reproduce 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color space, and provide better contrast and brightness.
Model-wise, the elephant in the (living) room is the Q9F, which is available at an astonishing 88 inches. If you don't really have the room or the budget for that monster, the rest of the Q line hovers at around the 55-in to 75-in range. All of these televisions display at a 4K UHD resolution and are compatible with HDR10+, and the higher-end models have Direct Full Array (DFA) technology, a dynamic backlight that dims and brightens zones of pixels as needed.
Since the TV is often the focal point of the living room, when it's off that blank black rectangle wastes a lot of space. To put it to better use, Samsung has introduced what it calls Ambient Mode, a low-power setting that lets the idle screen display news, weather, or traffic updates. Wall-mounted models can even blend into the background, by mimicking the pattern on the wall behind them in an impressive piece of visual trickery.
That understated look might be undermined by a tangle of cables dangling out the bottom, so Samsung has stashed them all inside a transparent cable it calls the One Invisible Connection. Last year's models had a similar setup, but this time it's not just for audiovisual connections: the company has now crammed the power cord in there too, and extended it to up to 15 m (49 ft) long.
Just like LG did with its ThinQ system, Samsung has also added the Bixby assistant to its 2018 TVs, allowing it to be controlled with voice commands.
Alongside the QLED lineup, Samsung also unveiled a range of UHD and Premium UHD televisions. Ranging from 40 to 75 inches and available in flat or curved models, these OLED TVs also have 4K resolution, HDR capabilities, and Smart TV features.
While the company hasn't released all the pricing or availability details just yet, the price tags seem to vary between about US$899 for the 55-in UHD, up to $3,799 for the 65-in QLED. If you really want to splurge though, the 88-in Q9F goes for about $20,000.