Anyone paying attention to the new 2021 Samsung TVs will notice a new terminology being released: Neo QLED.
Yes, there are already enough acronyms in the TV market and you may find yourself exasperated by constantly having to learn new words and terms. However, Neo QLED marks a significant shift in Samsung TV technology, and if you want to keep up with the latest and greatest TVs, you'll want to do it right. It's not the same as QLED, which has been Samsung's high-end TV technology for a few years. So what is Neo QLED, what sets it apart from regular QLEDs, and which TVs does it apply to? This is what you need to know.
What is Neo QLED?
Neo QLED is an evolution of Samsung's existing QLED technology, which stands for "Quantum Dot LED". This is because QLED TVs use a "quantum dot" filter to increase contrast and color intensity. Samsung has made sure that all of its high-end TVs have been using QLED technology since 2017, when it renamed its SUHD (Super UHD) lineup, at least in part to invite comparison to 'OLED' TVs. ' who now dominate the market. The impact of a QLED panel will vary based on several factors, including but not limited to the processor used, as well as the efficiency of the backlight behind the panel.
The Samsung Q80T is a 2020 Direct Full Array-backlit QLED TV (Image credit: Samsung) Lower-end QLED TVs are happy with an edge-lit system that, as the name suggests, illuminates the panel on both sides, instead of directly behind. This keeps the TV a bit thin, but it means light is distributed inconsistently across the screen and won't give the best picture. Higher-end QLED TVs will use Direct Full Array backlighting, which illuminates the panel from behind and provides more precise brightness control and consistency (allowing for better contrast between bright and dark areas). Screen size, which is crucial for effective HDR reflections and overall image excellence). Even these TVs vary in the quality of the backlight, however depending on the maximum brightness available (1000 nits, 2000 nits, etc.) and the number of 'dimmable zones' the brightness level can vary. More areas means more control over small, specific areas of the screen, so you want as much as is technically possible. Neo QLED changes things up a bit. The direct array is replaced with a Mini LED backlight, which uses tens of thousands of tiny LEDs for much more precise brightness control. It's not quite on the OLED level, with its individual pixel control, but it's certainly a step up from LCD screens.
What difference does it make?
If implemented effectively, Mini LED backlighting should allow LCD panels to get much closer to OLED performance levels than before. These theoretical advantages are quite compelling. And, of course, that's without the perceived problems of OLED: LED/LCD technology has never been the subject of scary stories about screen wear, nor is it in the grip of possible but inevitable decline. the ``organic'' OLED element. Of course, the success of the Mini LED will depend on how the technology is implemented. There are many variations in the performance of LED-backlit LCD displays of similar price and similar specification; just take a quick look at our many TV reviews to see them. And if some TVs fall short when it comes to controlling a few dozen backlight dimming areas, can we really expect them to be any better at controlling what could be thousands? Read more: What is the Mini LED?
Samsung QN900A Neo QLED 8K TV (Image credit: Samsung)
What are Neo QLED TVs?
2021 will be the first year that Neo QLED TVs enter the market. All of Samsung's new 8K TVs will be Neo QLED, continuing Samsung's tradition of bringing the most advanced TV specs to the top of its line. This means that QN900 8K QLED, QN800 8K QLED and QN700 8K QLED have Mini LED backlight. The QN95A, QN90A and QN85A models are also Neo QLED 4K TVs; the easiest way to find out is if the product name starts with "QN" instead of just "Q" like on the Q80A that sits just below those other 4K sets.
How much does Neo QLED cost?
The cheapest Neo QLED, the QN85A, starts at € 1,299 (about € 900 / AU € 1,650) for a 55-inch size, but the larger 85-inch size of the QN900 8K QLED will cost you € 8,999 (about € 6,500). 11.700). / AU € XNUMX). So that's the price range for this year's Neo QLED TVs.
What other mini LED TVs are there?
However, Samsung is not the only TV manufacturer using Mini LED technology. LG is also introducing a ``QNED'' lineup that uses Mini LED backlights, while Philips is doing the same with some of its high-end LCD gear. TCL was also one of Mini LED's biggest cheerleaders, but you can learn more about each manufacturer's TV lineups at the links below. Today's best deals on Samsung TVs