Samsung’s 2018 QLED 4K TVs can blend into your wall and control your smart home

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Samsung just unveiled its 2018 lineup of QLED 4K TVs at an event in New York City. The company remains the world’s leading TV maker, and while this year’s sets make modest improvements to picture quality — mainly black levels — the major focus is intelligence and smart home control. The new QLEDs (never, ever to be confused with OLED) ship with Bixby and offer voice assistant capabilities right out of the box. And they also act as a centralized dashboard for Samsung’s SmartThings smart home platform, giving you on-screen control over all SmartThings-compatible gadgets.

The 2018 QLED lineup includes the Q9, Q8, Q7, and Q6 (in descending order of price and image quality). Samsung still hasn’t given up on pushing curved TVs, as each series will be sold in both flat and curved versions. Pricing details aren’t yet being disclosed for the new QLEDs, but they’re scheduled to begin shipping within the next few weeks so it shouldn’t be much longer.

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

The Q9 and Q8 both feature full-array local dimming; the 9 has more zones, but Samsung isn’t specifying how many are in each. FALD is a feature found in many flagship TVs but this is actually a first for Samsung’s QLEDs. The improvement should result in deeper black levels and greater contrast. The Q9 also has the best HDR output of the bunch, which Samsung calls “Q HDR EliteMax.” But each of the four new QLED series supports HDR10+.

All new QLEDs have an “Ambient Mode” that uses your phone to capture a photo of the environment behind it, and then creates a matching look on screen. This effect was previously seen on Samsung’s Frame TVs, but now it’s expanding to the QLED line. Aside from the nice look, Ambient Mode will also display temperature, news headlines, personal photos, and other information. It basically turns Samsung’s QLED into a smart display when not in use. You’re not looking at some transparent display; the TV just creates shadows and other effects to make it seem that way.

The TVs can also act as a visual dashboard for Samsung’s SmartThings ecosystem of connected gadgets like cameras, thermostats, lights, and so on. The company has recently simplified its approach to the smart home by bringing everything together under a single mobile SmartThings app.

Bixby is built into this year’s TVs after first arriving on last year’s sets via a software update. You can use Samsung’s voice assistant to Below are the size options that each QLED will be offered in

Q9 Series: 75-inch, 65-inch

Q8 Series: 75-inch, 65-inch, 55-inch

Q7 Series: 75-inch, 65-inch, 55-inch

Q6 Series: 82-inch, 75-inch, 65-inch, 55-inch, 49-inch

Comments

No thanks! I won’t let a product from Samsung control my smart home. I don’t trust the company that made smart TVs that recorded user conversations and shared them with a third party.

My next TV will be an LG OLED model.

Loving my LG C7P

My very first instinct/question was – can you decisively disable this bixby crap? And the microphones?

How about sticking to a brilliant LCD/OLED panel and leaving out the gimmicks for those of us who don’t want any?

I banned my Samsung TV from contacting its parent DNS servers via Pi-Hole and made sure I didn’t accept any of their privacy or advertising agreements. It attempted to call home 50,000+ times per day after I did that. I banned it from my Wi-Fi network and installed an Apple TV. Haven’t looked back. I miss the Steam app though, so I bought a $6 Steam Link from GameStop last December. Booooooo Samsung. Boooooooo.

Hahaha I disconnected it from WiFi too (or rather changed my network and never connected the TV to it).

Bought an LG OLED 65" over a year ago, it has been the best purchase I’ve made in a decade. Always amazing, the opposite of buyer’s remorse! Guardians or Thor Ragnarok in 4k HDR, so gorgeous! More vivid than the theater.

I got an LG OLED C7 and I have always been a Samsung guy. I agree. Best tech purchase I have ever made. It’s the most stunning picture and I love the LG UI

I have a 75" QLED Samsung as my main TV and a LG 55" OLED in my bedroom. Nothing can compete with the brightness of the QLED line. I love my LG TV and I love the details in Dolby Vision but it can’t reach Samsung brightness. I had Best Buy Geek Squad set up both TV’s and tune them so I know quality and money was no issue.

I had Best Buy Geek Squad set up both TV’s and tune them so I know quality and money was no issue.

This is the strangest sentence I have read recently. You know quality because you hired Geek Squad? What does money being an issue have to do with anything you wrote other than a lame humble brag?

I hear that. And they still don’t support Dolby Vision yet which is a complete and epic fail. I just got a killer deal on a 65" LG C7 OLED rig. (2099, no tax, white glove install). I couldnt be happier. Most incredible picture I’ve ever seen.

Where is that magic portal that allowed you to purchase it at that price?

eBay, firstclasstvs seller with 100% positive feedback. I will say that within a day of my purachase the price went up to 2299 though.

I love my LG UHD tv. It isn’t a OLED but it’s still very beautiful picture. I had a sharp aquos before it and originally had bought a Vizio but took it back after how great the LG looked in comparison. LG has got a customer now for sure.

My next TV will be an LG OLED model.

I`m with you on that, really want an LG OLED.

Problem is Micro LED feels like its just round the corner and I wonder if I should wait for that…

Does anyone make smaller TVs anymore? I’m in a tiny apartment. 40" is basically the max for me, but I’d really like it to be a higher quality display than the 10+ year old LCD I’ve got.

They’re out there, but definitely not the focus. People are just buying bigger. Samsung said it expects over 50% of US sales this year to be > 65"

That is crazy, although I suspect it’d be slightly different in the UK due to people’s homes in general being smaller. I’ve got 43" at the moment and would possible go to up 50" but anything bigger would look ridiculous in my front room!

I just went through this. I’ve used an old 26" Bravia on the far side of a large desk I have as a third display to watch sports/movies on for many years while working. It finally gave up and I went looking for a high end 32" TV. After a week I threw in the towel and bought plane jane 32" 1080 set from Samsung due to a lack of other options in that size category.

At that rate, you may as well look into getting a PC monitor haha!

I ended up splurging and going with a 28" 4k monitor, and hooked up a roku to it.

Hwhat? My room is 8×10 and I have a 50" in there and I want to go bigger.

Hit the box stores. Plenty of quality 40’’s to choose from.

They exist but the picture quality will be crap. Every TV manufacturer has basically stopped updating any of the technology in TVs under 55"

They’ll be fine. "Crap" is a ridiculous word considering those older TVs were perfectly fine when they came out.

I hate the tech enthusiast polarization – everything’s either OMG THE BEST or WORTHLESS CRAP when most things are perfectly good.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑