When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.
- Samsung pulled back the curtain on its 2021 lineup of TVs during its CES 2021 First Look event on January 6.
- The promising new collection of high-end displays includes the company's first Neo QLED TVs with "Mini LED" technology.
- Samsung also announced new Micro LED TVs which are designed to compete with OLED displays.
- Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but we'll update this article with purchase details once they're revealed.
- See also: The best OLED 4K TVs
CES 2021 doesn't officially kick off until January 11, but Samsung has already announced details on its upcoming lineup of flagship TVs. The company's high-end display collection will feature 4K and 8K Neo QLED models, as well as a massive 110-inch Micro LED TV.
The term "LED" (light emitting diode) gets thrown around a lot when detailing new TVs so it can be a bit confusing to figure out exactly what each new variation means. When it comes to Samsung's new displays, the key differentiator this year is the actual size of the LEDs. Basically, smaller LEDs can equate to better picture with improved contrast, brightness, and color.
Below, we've broken down what makes Samsung's Neo QLED and Micro LED TVs unique in greater detail. Though the company hasn't announced pricing, preorder details, or exact release dates yet, we'll update this post with that information as soon as it becomes available.
Samsung's Neo QLED TVs promise improved contrast and brightness over regular QLED displays.
For 2021, Samsung is taking its QLED lineup to the next level with a new collection of Neo QLED TVs, including the QN900A 8K TV and the QN90A 4K TV. The "Neo" branding is being used to highlight new panel technology that the company is using to improve picture quality over last year's already impressive QLED models.
Unlike regular LED or QLED TVs, Neo QLED TVs use a "Quantum Mini LED" backlight to illuminate the screen. According to Samsung, each Mini LED is about 1/40 the height of a standard LED that you'd find in a typical TV. Smaller LEDs enable more precise control of local dimming with more zones.
At the end of the day, this should result in better contrast with deeper black levels and brighter highlights. Until now, TCL has been the only company using Mini LEDs in its TVs. The TCL 8-Series and 6-Series both employ the tech, and those models do showcase some benefits over the competition.
That said, blooming has been an issue with TCL's models. Blooming results in a halo effect around bright objects on dark backgrounds. To combat this potential problem, Samsung is touting new "Quantum Matrix Technology" for its Neo QLEDs, which it says will help reduce blooming.
In addition to picture quality improvements, the 8K Neo QLED TV features a nearly bezel-free "Infinity One Design." It also uses an attachable Slim One Connect box to house the TV's ports, enabling a slimmer panel and easier cable management.
Pricing for the Samsung QN900A 8K Neo QLED TV and the QN90A 4K Neo QLED TV have not been announced yet. New TVs typically launch in the spring or summer, so we expect more details over the coming months. We'll update this section with screen size options and retailer listings as soon as they're available.Samsung Micro LED TVs
Samsung's Micro LED TVs could best OLED TVs when it comes to overall picture quality, but they're likely to be very expensive.
Samsung has been showing off Micro LED TV technology at CES for the last few years. The company even released a massive Micro LED display, called "The Wall," in sizes as big as 292 inches for business and luxury customers. But, the technology has been difficult to scale down to a more manageable size and cost. This year, however, Samsung aims to change that.
For the first time, the company will release consumer-ready Micro LED TVs in 110- and 99-inch screen sizes. Though these displays are still expected to cost a pretty penny, unlike The Wall, you may actually be able to order them from a store.
Micro LED TVs offer lots of benefits over other display technologies, like LED, QLED, and even OLED. Like OLED TVs, Micro LED TVs are self-illuminating, which means that each of the TV's 24 million LEDs can dim, brighten, or turn off individually without the need for a backlight. This results in an infinite contrast ratio with true black levels.
Unlike OLED TVs, however, Micro LED tech promises higher brightness levels. Samsung also says that Micro LEDs provide a longer lifespan over OLED, with no risk of burn-in across 100,000 hours of use.
Samsung's 110- and 99-inch Micro LED TVs are expected to launch before the end of 2021. We'll update this article with pricing and purchase details once they're available.