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In addition to Samsung’s wacky $ 899.99 portable projector that doubles as a speaker and lamp aimed at millennials, the tech giant is also updating its Neo QLED and The Frame TVs at CES 2022.
Samsung’s goal is to improve software with minimal hardware changes. For starters, the “Tizen” TV interface is getting a revamp that brings more features together in one place, and there’s a new Gaming Hub. On the hardware side, TVs are getting brighter, processing techniques are improving, and The Frame is getting updated technology to reduce glare.
Let’s unbox it all while sharing some tidbits from our conversation with Dan Schinasi of Samsung, Director of Product Planning for TV, and Lydia Cho, Head of Product Marketing for TV.
The main appeal of Samsung’s sleek lifestyle TV is that it’s not only an ugly black screen, but also displays a work of art when turned off. And while it’s not a complete overhaul, the New Year will bring a fundamental and well-deserved change to The Frame. For 2022, all sizes of Samsung’s framework will now feature an anti-glare, low-reflection matte screen, which will help make the art look, well, more of the art.
“Fine art has that parchment-like look and feel. And this panel will make it stand out, ”notes Schinasi. ” No matter who [type of] the art you are looking at, that will be one of the additional benefits depending on the performance of the panel. Regardless of what you choose to display, the new frame should appear more natural, allowing for enhanced colors and precise detail.
We called the overall panel reflectivity on the 2021 frame – for TV or art display. This should help correct for glare when you’re not looking at the screen, which tends to make it look like a TV and not a framed piece of art.
We’re excited to test The Frame’s new finish and see how much of a difference it makes in our everyday space. And regardless of its size, The Frame still delivers a 4K HDR image from a standard Quantum Dot panel.
If you’re not torn that The Frame potentially shows some glare, the 2020 model is readily available, on sale at a lower price, and is well rated by us.
- 32-inch The Frame 2020 ($ 527.99, originally $ 599.99; amazon.com and samsung.com)
- 43-inch The Frame 2021 ($ 947.99, originally $ 999.99; amazon.com and samsung.com)
- 50-inch The Frame 2021 ($ 1,197.99, originally $ 1,299.99; amazon.com and samsung.com)
- 55-inch The Frame 2021 ($ 1,397.99, originally $ 1,499.99; amazon.com and samsung.com)
- 65-inch The Frame 2021 ($ 1,397.99, originally $ 1,499.99; amazon.com and samsung.com)
Samsung impressed with its 4K and 8K Neo QLED TVs last year, winning CNN Underscored’s Best of CES award. It was a change from standard LEDs to Mini LED technology, which essentially packs more miniature LEDs behind the panel to create a brighter, clearer image. The result was a more vibrant image that was better for recreating visuals and scaling for an immersive viewing experience. This technology has been combined with processing techniques from Samsung and a 4K or 8K resolution HDR TV that can achieve a refresh rate of 120Hz.
All of this remains in place for 2022 on most Neo QLED models – the base line will still be 4K and 8K variants. But this year these LEDs will get even brighter for a better picture. And like Sony’s Bravia XR processor, Samsung’s processing and scaling will now use AI to identify the focal point of a scene, helping to make the area you’re looking at more detailed. The idea is to create a more immersive viewing experience, although we won’t know for sure until we try it out.
The other change is that some “premium Neo QLED models” will offer a variable refresh rate of 144Hz, which should appeal to gamers and live sports fans. This is up from the old 120Hz of the other standard models. And all Samsung 2022 smart TVs will also come with a new Gaming Hub.
“This is a whole new platform designed to make it easier to navigate, discover, access and launch all your games. With cloud gaming in the hub, you can also access games from different places, ”says Cho. The Gaming Hub will allow you to extract games from a connected console like a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X, as well as cloud services like Google Stadia or Nvidia GeForce Now. Surprisingly, Xbox Game Pass isn’t on board yet, but the company has teased it as a possibility going forward. You will also be able to customize game-specific modes on the TV, such as setting the screen size and aspect ratio.
All of these features are part of a more complete redesign of Samsung’s Smart TV interface, giving you one-stop access to other services such as on-demand programming, live programming and streaming without having to fumbling around in a bunch of menus. The new interface will be broken down into media, games, and an ambient mode, the latter offering content that can be viewed when the TV is off.
In an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Samsung will roll out support for NFTs to be viewed and even purchased on the TV itself. They also extend “watch together” options and offering intelligent calibration, which will make it easier to optimize image quality.
The 2022 family of Neo QLED TVs will be available in the coming months, along with minor updates to the standard QLED models.
Last year, Samsung’s Eco remote integrated a rechargeable battery with a USB-C port and solar power cell, allowing us to ditch those user-replaceable batteries and take advantage of ambient or artificial light. .
For 2022 it is getting smarter and more environmentally friendly and will ship with most Samsung 2022 TVs – white for lifestyle TVs (The framework, the sero and The Serif) and black for Smart TVs. The new Eco remote will be able to collect RF waves and frequencies to recharge, which means it will pick up the radio waves from your airspace and convert them into energy. So theoretically, you can keep it near your router for a heavier load.
Samsung’s traditional TV hardware isn’t getting a huge upgrade, but that doesn’t mean it’s being ignored. Improvements to Neo QLED should provide a better picture, and we can’t wait to test the improved smart interface. The Gaming Hub is launching at exactly the right time and will focus on more services for cloud gaming.
More interesting, however, is the Glare-free frame, and we’re naming it a CES 2022 Best TV finalist. We’ve also named the projector The Freestyle a finalist, and you can see our full breakdown on why that matters here. We’ll share our full finalists later this week ahead of the top picks in each category.
We can’t wait to see Samsung’s 2022 The Frame, Neo QLED again in the coming months, as well as trying out the updated Eco Remote.