Samsung is the biggest TV-maker in the world and it had a successful 2020 as people stayed home and invested heavily in home entertainment. Its follow-up for 2021 is a TV lineup heavy with "lifestyle"-centric screens, expensive image quality innovations and, yes, a shelf.
The company's Unbox and Discover virtual event on Tuesday covered home entertainment products already announced at CES -- including the Neo QLED TVs, a slimmer version of The Frame art TV, a solar-powered remote, a game status screen, an AI-based personal trainer and new soundbars -- but Samsung made a few new announcements, too.
Here's a roundup of the TV news Samsung unveiled Tuesday:
- A new size of MicroLED TV, 76 inches, will debut in the future. It's the smallest size yet, undercutting the 88-, 99- and 110-inch dimensions already announced. MicroLED is Samsung's highest-end, most expensive television, promising superior image quality with prices aimed squarely at millionaires. The company didn't announce pricing yet, but says that will happen closer to April, when its 110-inch MicroLED goes on sale in the US. To give you a preview, that TV sells for the equivalent of $156,000 in Korea.
- A new TikTok app for all of its smart TVs. The dedicated app is already available in the UK and coming to the US soon. On most TVs, TikTok's vertical (portrait mode) video will be displayed with fill-in bars to either side, but The Sero, which can rotate between landscape and portrait modes using a built-in motor, can display it without bars. The same goes for 32- and 43-inch versions of The Frame, which can be set up in portrait mode, too.
- A new AirPlay integration for The Sero that enables iPhones to automatically rotate it between portrait mode and landscape when you flip your phone. The feature was already available for Android phones.
- A new accessory for The Frame, Samsung's TV that mimics wall art, called My Shelf. It's a custom, well, shelf, designed specifically for the TV, with customizable panels to fit the wall space. It's available in beige, white, brown and black and works with the 55-, 65- and 75-inch sizes. Pricing and availability (beyond "soon") were not announced, but Samsung says US buyers should expect the beige color and the 55- and 65-inch sizes to be available first. The company also revealed that internal storage on The Frame 2021 will be 6GB, "allowing for storage of ~1,200 ultra hi-res images." Earlier versions had 500MB.
- A new "full sun" 75-inch version of The Terrace outdoor TV, coming this summer. Details weren't available by press time, but it's safe to assume it will be brighter and/or employ improved antiglare screen material.
- The availability of AMD FreeSync Premium Pro on Q70A and higher TVs as well as The Frame. This gaming extra, compatible with both PCs and next-generation consoles, adds high dynamic range performance metrics to variable refresh rate. Samsung says current games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War support it.
- The company refreshed its Odyssey G9 gaming monitor from last June, changing the backlight to Mini-LED. That should greatly increase its control over local contrast to deliver better detail in highlights and shadows.
- Samsung's Smart Monitor, a work-and-play model which it announced in November, is now available. Its smarts include built-in connectivity so you can work or attend school from the cloud without the need for a separate PC, as well as TV features so you can seamlessly move into the entertainment portion of your day.
Most of Samsung's 2021 TVs, including its Neo QLED and The Frame models, are available for preorder now. We're looking forward to reviewing them soon.