A little ahead of its comrades, Samsung has lifted the veil on its top 2021 TV innovation (Neo QLED), days before CES 2021 kicks off.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the “First Look” conference was the announcement of the arrival of two Micro-LED models on the mainstream market from March 2021! But Samsung also took the opportunity to give us an overview of the new TV ranges that will roll out in the coming weeks, as well as many new features and upgrades to its existing equipment.
A conference focused on ecology and accessibility
As contradictory as it may seem to some, Samsung began its First Look conference with a long speech on the environment and the solutions it plans to implement on this subject. Apart from the subjects of packaging and recycling, the manufacturer has thus made known its commitment to eco-responsibility, in particular by extending the warranty of its spare parts, but also by offering a new remote control, without batteries.
Samsung is relying on a solar remote control, capable of recharging itself using solar and light energy, or simply via USB-C. It remains to be seen whether the rechargeable battery of this remote control will prove its worth over time! According to Samsung, this innovation would save no less than 99 million AAA batteries over a period of 7 years.
The second lever for “an inclusive and sustainable future” is none other than accessibility. On this point, Samsung is pulling out all the stops with new features that will be available on all of the manufacturer’s television ranges in 2021. Samsung indeed seems to make a point of honor that the connected experience is the same on entry-level and top-of-the-range televisions.
These features include, for example, accessibility options for people with disabilities, especially with regard to sight and hearing. It will thus be possible (among other things) to easily modify the colors of the television in order to adapt to the conditions of the visually impaired or color blind, to zoom in using sign language, to move the subtitles, or even to ” verbally indicate to users the position of the buttons on the remote control, all powered by artificial intelligence”. This ecosystem designed around accessibility will continue to be developed in the months to come, Samsung intends to develop a technology that will allow full control of the TV through sign language using an image recognition camera. So a great project!
Neo QLED: Finally a real competitor to OLED?
Mini-LED technology will be in the spotlight in 2021, and certainly at the center of debates and a tough battle between the main players in this market, but also on the side of consumers who will have to decide between OLED and Mini-LED!
While TCL reigned alone in 2020 in the Mini-LED TV market with its X10, we already know that it will be joined by LG and its QNED technology, but also now by Samsung and its Neo QLED. After entering the LCD market in 2010 and becoming the world’s largest seller of televisions, the South Korean giant intends to take the next big technological turn of LED televisions with the Mini-LED.
In reality, Samsung remains on familiar ground here as it is always about LCD TVs and QLEDs, except that the diodes that drive the Neo QLED panels are 40 smaller than current LEDs in Samsung TVs. While we do not currently know how many LEDs will make up a Neo QLED television (tens of thousands, no doubt), nor on how many areas they can be controlled, Samsung nevertheless evokes the great qualities of this technology.
Samsung thus guarantees “a stronger light intensity, while maximizing contrast levels”, but also better colorimetry (again thanks to the QDEF filter, but also thanks to a color depth of 12 bits), or even very precise control LEDs to avoid any blooming thanks to Quantum Matrix technology. Finally, like a snub to LG Display and its OLED technology, Samsung takes up the argument of non-organic materials, as we have already seen when discussing the Micro-LED. Neo QLED panels will thus be guaranteed for 10 years against marking, a phenomenon also known as burn-in or image retention.
These televisions do not come with Neo QLED technology as the only innovation. They also embed a Neo Quantum processor, which notably uses 16 different neural network models to perform its upscaling tasks, in 4K as well as 8K UHD. The OneConnect box is also part of it, but in an improved version called Slim One Connect.
Pricing and availability of the Neo QLED range
Samsung did not want to go into detail on the number of references that will be on the market, or their price. We do know, however, that several ranges will be available in the coming weeks, with more exactly two 4K series and two 8K UHD series under the name Neo QLED. The diagonals will be spread over a fairly wide spectrum, between 50 and 85 inches and we know that the cheapest model will be priced under € 2,000.