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Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs are full of futuristic-sounding technology


Samsung’s Neo QLED TV has a redesigned backlight system based on Mini-LED.

Drew Evans / CNET

This story is part of THESE, where our editors will present you the latest news and the latest gadgets of the fully virtual CES 2021


Samsung, the world’s largest television company, tracks a blockbuster year sales with new models from 2021, which advertise even better picture quality and more extras aimed at people spending extra time at home. Its huge, amazing expensive microled TVs steal the headlines around THESE but its range of QLED TVs include the company’s bread and butter.

This year the best Samsung QLED models, including TVs with both 4K and 8K resolution, are called Neo QLED. The name is not mandatory a reference to the Matrix 4, but includes many futuristic-sounding technologies, all aimed at dethroning OLED TVs made by rivals such as LG and Sonywho continue to beat QLED in my picture quality tests.

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Neo QLED TVs are based on a new one Mini-LED based, local blackout with full array an array of backlighting that increases brightness and provides more precise light control. Samsung has made its LEDs 40 times smaller than conventional LEDs, allowing them to be packaged more into the TV and even added a (wait …) “quantum matrix” to help direct the LED light more accurately. The result, according to the company, are improved HDR accents with minimal flowering (homeless lighting that bleeds from bright to dark areas), as well as better detail in the shade.

Samsung has also improved its AI enhancement this year to use multiple neural networks (unlike only one from previous years) to improve image quality on both 4K and 8K models.

Neo QLED technology will appear in 2021 on Samsung 8K QLED models (QN800A, QN850A and QN900A series), as well as two 4K QLED series (QN85A and QN90A). As usual, prices were not announced, but if the Q85T is in the same price base as 2020 Q80T, which currently sells for $ 1,500 at a 65-inch size, will be cheaper than OLED and will be aimed at mid-priced TV buyers.

Beyond the picture, Samsung’s new QLED TVs offer several more new features for 2021.


The back of Samsung’s new TV remote has a solar cell that allows the battery to be recharged using interior light.


Rechargeable remote control with solar cell: As a sign of resilience, Samsung’s new remote control uses rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones, which Samsung says could save 20 million AAA batteries each year. In addition to the USB-C port, the clicker can be charged via a solar cell at the back, which even works with interior lighting.

Read more: Samsung remote TVs are powered by solar power for 2021 Neo QLED models

Show game status and ultra-wide aspect ratio: Samsung’s new TVs continue to support the next generation of gaming features PS5 and Xbox X Series, including 4K / 120 fps input and VRR, but new for this year, you can long press the play / pause button on the remote to call up a special status screen called Game Bar, which clearly shows which of these features are currently active. You can also play the game in 21: 9 or even 32: 9 aspect ratio, with black bars filling the rest of the 16: 9 TV screen.


The new game bar displays game entry information.

Drew Evans / CNET

Samsung’s health with an intelligent camera-based trainer: Samsung’s health app debuts on its TVs in 2020 and this year is expanding to offer guided personal training. Include an optional webcam (Samsung has a list of recommended cameras, all from Logitech) and the app will track your exercises and give you a trainer complete with personal celebrity trainers. Gillian Michaels is the first of six to provide training content. The Smart Coach feature is available on 2021 Q70A and later TVs.

Read more: Samsung TVs support your workout with intelligent AI-powered camera trainer

Google Duo Video Chat: Using an optional webcam again, the Duo app on Samsung TVs allows up to 12 others to join the chat. And if you don’t have a camera on, you can shield watch the Duo on your phone to the TV and use his camera. Is not Google’s more popular Meet software, but at least it’s web chat on the big screen.

Google Assistant, Alexa and Bixby built-in voice: Last year, Samsung TVs also offered all three voice assistants, accessible through the remote, which included both call-to-call and hands-free access. In 2021, the company’s remotes are just push-to-talk and hands-free microphones that respond to awake words like “Alexa” and “Hey, Google” are built into Q70A and later TVs. As always, you can deactivate the microphones completely.

Microsoft Cloud Services, Dex Wireless: Connect an additional keyboard and mouse to create or edit Microsoft Documents 365, and even work two at a time on the big screen. Samsung is also expanding the capabilities of its own Dex feature available on Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets for wireless connectivity.

Samsung’s 2021 TVs will begin shipping later this year. The exact names of models, series and prices have not been announced and as usual we will have to wait for the reviews to see how well Neo QLED actually opposes the good old OLED.

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