A month after offering a preview at CES in January, Samsung today revealed its entire lineup of 2019 QLED TVs. The company is offering a range of both 8K and 4K TVs, plus updated versions of The Frame and Serif sets, which are more focused on design and blending with home décor than on picture quality alone.
And in keeping with consumer trends, the 2019 line is going bigger across the board: Samsung is offering both 75-inch and 82-inch versions of every model in the Q series. The 8K Q900 goes even larger, with an 85-inch set and monstrous 98-inch TV at the top. It takes very large screens to be able to tell any real difference between 4K and 8K, so the supersized TVs make sense in that regard. (No one should be buying an 8K TV this year, though.)
The premium Q90 and Q80 series TVs all have what Samsung calls “Ultra Viewing Angle technology, which restructures the TV’s panels so the backlight passes through the panel with lights evenly onto the screen.” The end result of this design, according to the company, is a great picture no matter where you’re seated in front of the TV. Reduced glare is said to be another benefit.
What does QLED even mean?
QLED and OLED are much more different than they are alike. Samsung’s QLED TVs are traditional LCD sets that use quantum dots — that’s where the Q comes in — to further refine the picture’s vibrance, color accuracy, brightness, and more.
Why go LCD over OLED?
Size: LG, the leading OLED TV maker, doesn’t offer sizes that match Samsung’s largest sets inch for inch. LG showed off an impressive (and likely to be outrageously expensive) 88-inch OLED at CES, but Samsung still wins the day at 98 inches.
Brightness: LCD TVs can often reach higher peak brightness levels than OLED sets. So if you’re looking for the most striking HDR performance, it’s a thing to consider.
The Q90, Q80, and Q70-series sets feature full-array local dimming, with their rear LEDs adjusting brightness scene by scene (or turning off when unneeded) for optimal contrast and black levels. An LCD TV is never going to beat OLED at these things, but FALD is a critical ingredient for getting as close as possible. (The Q60 lacks full-array dimming, as do The Frame, Serif, and Samsung’s lower-cost RU models.)
Samsung is also hyping the AI-powered capabilities of the 2019 QLED family. If a user prefers, the TVs can adjust audio and picture settings on the fly based on whatever content is currently playing. They’ll focus on vocal clarity during the evening news, for instance.
The Tizen-powered software experience is getting smarter and more convenient, Samsung claims. We already know AirPlay 2 and an iTunes Movies and TV Shows app are coming to 2019 QLEDs this spring. Aside from that, the Universal Guide will incorporate your subscriptions services, favorites, and viewing patterns when suggesting content. (Remember that Alexa and Google Assistant devices will be able to control the company’s 2019 TVs, as well.)
To round things out, Samsung is making improvements to the gaming mode to remove judder and screen tearing. And the Ambient Mode will give users more choices for artistic images to display on-screen when the TV isn’t actively being used.
Unfortunately, Samsung hasn’t yet shared pricing across the whole lineup, but I’ve listed what’s currently on the company’s website below. Several of the sets are due to ship early next month and can be preordered immediately.
- Q900 8K 85-inch: $15,000; 82-inch: $10,000; 75-inch: $7,000; 65-inch: $5,000
- Q90R 4K 65-inch: $3,500
- Q70R 4K 65-inch: $2,200
- Q60R 4K 65-inch $1,800; 55-inch: $1,200