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Samsung today unveiled its 2022 lineup of TVs, including its flagship Neo QLED 8K and 4K panels, an updated assortment of lifestyle models, and the return of OLED. While the company had previously showcased the TVs during CES in January, and preorders have already begun for select models, Samsung is making it clear that in 2022, it's delivering "Screens everywhere, Screens for all."
ZDNet got an exclusive hands-on experience with the new TVs and here's a breakdown of what's in store this year, the key features to look out for, and when you'll be able to preorder a TV for yourself.
Samsung's Neo QLED 8K TV made quite the splash last year, boosting a new "Quantum Matrix Technology" that utilized MiniLEDs (1/40th of regular LEDs) to produce exceptionally sharp picture quality, brighter imagery, and contrast levels that fare against OLED panels.
This year's QN900B and QN800B models build on those successes thanks to Samsung's Neural Quantum Processor 8K with AI. It's a mouthful to say, but in short, the new processor uses 20 neural networks to bring enhanced video and audio playback.
On the video front, the 2022 Neo QLED 8K TVs can upscale non-8K content (including 1080p and 4K YouTube and Netflix videos) so that users can make the most of the higher-resolution panel. The Neural Quantum processor also helps with what Samsung calls "Real Depth Enhancer", an AI feature that can detect the subject of a scene and apply a 3D layering effect. We'll have to see how realistic that is in person.
The new TVs also carry an improved 144Hz refresh rate (from 120Hz), giving smoother visuals for gaming, live sports, and animations in general. Brighter-lit scenes will also see an improvement thanks to the 14-bit processing in this year's Neo QLED TVs. With 14-bit backlighting, users should find it easier to visualize the finite details within darker and brighter images.
As for audio improvements, the 2022 Neo QLED 8K TVs (particularly the QN900B) field a 90W 6.2.4-channel experience. With Dolby Atmos built-in, the top-firing speakers at the back of the TVs create an immersive top-down audio experience. Object Tracking Sound Pro also helps to dictate where and what the speakers output based on how the subjects within the scenes move. An example would be the sound of rain coming from the top-firing speakers.
Hardware-wise, the new Neo QLED TVs are as slim and bezel-less as ever. Every model is finished with an anti-glare coating -- a welcome addition that we'll see with other Samsung TVs later on -- for distraction-free viewing angles.
Two things that remain unchanged in 2022 are how much you'll be paying for a Samsung Neo QLED TV and the availability in sizes.
The QN900B can be preordered today in 65'', 75'', and 85'' sizes at a starting price of $4,999, with availability in mid to late April.
The QN800B is also open for preorders, with 65'', 75'' and 85'' sizes that start at $3,499. You can expect the units to ship by early April.
Neo QLED 4K
While not as flashy and sharp as the 8K siblings, the Neo QLED 4K TVs are also seeing a refresh this year. For the first time in the US, the QN95B will be available for purchase, showboating Samsung's Neural Quantum Processor 4K (which up-scales non-4K content like how the aforementioned 8K processor does), MiniLED technology, a One Connect Box and One Invisible Connection cable for a clean and unified power hub, and a 144Hz refresh rate for ultra-smooth visuals. Dolby Atmos is also baked in and leveraged by the top channel speakers on the various Neo QLED 4K models.
The QN95B will be available to preorder on May 23rd in 55'', 65'', 75'', and 85'' sizes.
The QN90B replaces the QN90A, is available today in 50'', 55'', 65'', 75'', and 85'' sizes, and starts at $1,599.
The QN85B replaces the QN85A, is available today in 55'', 65'', 75'', and 85'' sizes, and starts at $1,499.
Rounding out the QLED offerings are the new Q80B and Q60B TVs, which cover the basics of Samsung's 4K Smart TV experience. The Q80B starts at $999 for the 50'' model, and the Q60B starts at $549 for the 43'' model.
After a nine-year hiatus, Samsung is back in the OLED TV game with the S95B. By integrating its Quantum Dot technology and the same Neural Quantum Processor 4K as the Neo QLED panels, the new Samsung OLED TV will emit brighter (and more accurate) visuals than ever while retaining the inky black visuals that we've come to expect from OLED TVs. Besides upscaling lower-resolution content to 4K, the new TV also features an OLED brightness booster and perceptional color mapping.
The S95B sticks to Samsung's Tizen platform, which means navigating through channels and streaming services is easily done and in an unobtrusive manner. For the most optimal audio experience, the TV features Object Tracking Sound and Samsung's Q-Symphony technology -- which harmonizes audio output between the TV's speakers and a compatible Samsung soundbar.
Seeing the new OLED TV in person was just as breathtaking from the front as it was from the side. The panel follows Samsung's LaserSlim Design, meaning it's paper thin and low profile. Still, Samsung has managed to bundle in a slew of connections, including four HDMI ports, two USB 2.0, and an Optical Audio Output port.
Samsung's lineup of lifestyle TVs has always been intriguing to look at and easy to appreciate. From The Frame -- the brand's half TV, half art-piece appliance -- to the whimsical The Serif, each lifestyle screen will receive a 2022 refresh of anti-reflective matte finishes. By treating the panels with the new texture finish, Samsung hopes that users will find the TVs more realistic than ever and fool visiting guests along the way.
The Frame will be available for purchase today in 43'', 50'', 55'', 65'', and 75'' sizes, starting at $999. It's joined by The Serif, which will hit the market in 43'', 55', and 65'' sizes in late May, The Sero (43'') in June, and The Freestyle projector -- available right now.