Samsung QLED TVs up the brightness and add a huge 98-inch 8K size
Samsung is the leading TV manufacturer in the world, and while it sells both MicroLED and QD OLED-based TVs, most of its most popular TVs use QLED screens. At CES, the company unveiled some of its flagship 2023 QLED TVs in 8K and 4K resolutions, touting better picture quality, a new 98-inch size and some health-related features for its detachable cameras.
High-end Samsung QLED TVs are generally very bright, but the top-of-the-line 8K QN900C takes it to a new level. Samsung boasts a peak brightness of 4,000 nits, which if true would make it the brightest TV I’ve measured. There’s a major catch to Samsung’s peak brightness claims: They dim after a few seconds in my testing – but either way, I expect the TV to be extraordinarily bright.
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The company also introduced a new size of 8K TVs: 98 inches. Samsung is currently selling 98-inch TVs in 4K resolution, but this would be the first in 8K. Samsung hasn’t announced prices for its 2023 TVs yet, but for reference, the current 4K 98-incher costs a cool $15,000, so the 8K version will likely cost significantly more. And as usual, I don’t think 8K resolution makes sense at any size.
More intriguing to me is the 4K resolution QN95C, an indirect successor to the excellent QN90B I tested last year. Samsung says it has improved dimming and 14-bit processing, although I don’t expect both improvements will allow this QLED TV to beat OLED models, the QN90B was my favorite non-OLED TV of the year 2022. Samsung has also slimmed down the QN95C’s televisions frame to just 20mm and eliminated the external junction box.
In addition to improving image quality, Samsung announced some new features related to its optional camera. Samsung sells its own “easily detachable, privacy-focused video conferencing and training camera” for $99, or you can connect a third-party camera. Either way, the camera can monitor your health — including heart rate, oxygen saturation and stress — by detecting changes in facial skin color, and you can use it to connect and communicate with your doctor. The camera can also be used for video calls with a new app to check on pets or anyone else in the living room, or to help with exercise.
Read more: Samsung’s new telemedicine app, the Camera, aims to bring telemedicine powers to your TV
Samsung’s QLED TVs like the QN90B have great designs and features, including built-in cloud gaming, a feature I like but hardly consider a must-have. On the downside, they generally cost more than other sets with similar image quality, so I don’t think they’re as cheap as models like the TCL 6 series or Hisense U8H. I’ve had the opportunity to personally test some of the new QLED TVs at CES and while they look great the real question will be how do they compare to other 2023 TVs for the money. I won’t know until I can actually check them out, which is what I’m expecting this spring.