Every TV in Samsung's 2020 TV lineup explained: Crystal UHD vs QLED
- 08 February, 2021 09:52
Samsung are bringing the lion's share of their CES lineup to Australia this year. Here's everything you need to know about every part of the company's new 2020 range of QLED TVs before you buy in.
For Australian consumers, this year's Samsung TV lineup consists of a solid 10 different TVs. Each of these available in multiple sizes that start at around 32-inches and go as wide as 85-inches. The cheapest option on the table here is the 32-inch Frame TV while the most expensive is sure to be Samsung's 85-inch Infinity Display-equipped Q950TS 8K behemoth.
According to Hass Mahdi, Director of Audio Visual Division at Samsung Australia, “Australians continue to demand bigger and better entertainment experiences from the comfort of their homes which is why we’re launching our widest range of TVs that feature the best in immersive visual and audio innovation.”
Overall, the story that Samsung are trying to tell isn't all that different from the one they spun in 2019. It's just a little bit more affordable.
Let's dive in.
Introducing: Crystal UHD
Replacing their previous RU7100 series of TVs, Samsung's new TU8000 series TV touts a "Crystal UHD" display. This fancy-sounding nomenclature is largely just marketing, though the TU8000 does tout a "Crystal" 4K image processor. For most consumers, the simple version of the story here is that Samsung's Crystal UHD TVs are basically QLEDs minus the quantum dots. In other words, if you're looking at buying one, you're looking at buying a fairly standard 4K TV. The design and pricing here reflects that.
Of course, while the TU8000 Series lacks in special display technologies, it does still incorporate a number of perks previously reserved for the Samsung's more premium TVs models including Ambient Mode, One Remote Control and support for multiple voice assistants. This richer feature-set is the most noticeable and significant evolution here.
The Samsung TU8000 is available in six sizes, with prices listed below:
- 82-inch = $3,939
- 75-inch = $2,589
- 65-inch = $1,699
- 55-inch = $1,369
- 50-inch = $1,129
- 43-inch = $1,019
Where can you buy it?
The Frame, The Serif and The Sero
While Samsung have been experimenting with the idea of a lifestyle TV for a number of years now, 2020 represents the brand's most ambitious offering in the space yet. Previous approaches have been more focused on quality over quantity but this time around, there are multiple options to choose from.
The easiest place to start here is The Frame. As with previous versions of this product, Art Mode remains a big focus (you can even search for specific pieces using your voice) and the latest Frame TV comes enhanced by the same kind of quantum dots you'll find in Samsung's premium Q-series TVs.
The biggest changes this year concern sizing and availability. Consumers will still get their choice of one of three different bezel options, but the Frame is now available in more and larger sizes. It's also no longer a Harvey-Norman exclusive.
- 75-inch = $4,649
- 65-inch = $3,149
- 55-inch = $2,299
- 50-inch = $1,949
- 43-inch = $1,599
- 32-inch = $919
Samsung are also offering a slightly-updated take on the Serif. If you missed it's debut last year, the Serif is pitched as a boutique centerpiece for your living room akin to something like Bang & Olufsen's DesignVision TVs (but a little more affordable). It features a unique design with a built-in stand that leaves the Serif looming tall over more conventional big-screen TVs.
Available in two sizes, the new Samsung Serif TV also features additional Smart Home integration previously found in last year's Q-Series TVs. Found through Samsung's online store, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys and Harvey-Norman, local pricing for the Samsung Serif TV is as follows:
- 55-inch = $2,099
- 43-inch = $1,499
As reported on in January, Samsung's new Sero TV has a 43-inch display, 4K resolution, quantum dots and plenty else besides. There’s even a built-in 4.1-channel 60-watt speaker system.
In addition to being used like any other Samsung TV, the Sero can also connect with mobile devices via Samsung’s Smart View app. When it detects content that’d be better seen in a vertical format, (for instance, TikTok or Instagram Stories) the screen will rotate to suit.
Cue the Q-Series
As with previous years, Samsung's Q-Series is very much 'the main event' when it comes to the brand's 2020 TV range.
And with the exception of the entry-level Q60T, every model in this year's Q-Series is equipped with Samsung's Quantum image processor. As with Samsung TVs from last year that incorporated this particular component, models with this processor use AI-trained algorithms to automatically upscale content, increase the level of brightness/contrast and reduce noise.
The key difference this time around is that the newer Quantum processor is able to create its own content upscaling algorithms if it can't find a reference point to draw from. On paper, this has the makings of an interesting and potentially significant upgrade on what Samsung's previous image processors have offered. After all, these days one of the most significant differences (aside from display technology) between the various brands playing in the home entertainment space is the quality of their upscaling tech.
That being said, it's not hard to imagine how it could all go so very wrong either. Algorithms are only as good as the people who program them.
The other big addition to the Q-Series formula in 2020 is Object Tracking Sound. Available on select Q-series models, this feature uses embedded speakers to up-mix stereo content to an Atmos-like 3D surround style experience. This can even be synchronized and enhanced with compatible Samsung soundbars.
As for gaming, Samsung say that Q-Series TVs that run on the newer Quantum processor also come with a range of enhanced gaming features like a dynamic black equaliser (which is supposed to make dark scenes easier to view in light-rich environments), FreeSync compatibility and gaming-specific motion smoothing settings.
Samsung also tell us their that Automatic Game Mode setting should now be a little bit better at discerning between actual gameplay and, say, situations where you use your Xbox to watch Netflix.
The bottom-end model in the 2020 Q-Series is Samsung Q60T. The pitch for this one is that it's Samsung's cheapest slice of QLED. It's available in three sizes, prices can be seen below:
- 75-inch = $3,349
- 65-inch = $2,199
- 55-inch = $1,729
Opting for the next model up from the Q60T gets you more than a few benefits. The Samsung Q70T gets you all the new software features made possible by the newer Quantum processor plus 200Hz motion smoothing.
The Samsung Q70T is available in four sizes, prices are listed below:
- 85-inch = $6,399
- 75-inch = $4,049
- 65-inch = $2,699
- 55-inch = $2,099
Next up, you've got the Samsung Q80T. This 4K TV improves on the previous model by adding direct full array backlighting and Object Tracking Sound+.
Prices for the Samsung Q80T are as follows
- 85-inch = $7,549
- 75-inch = $5,249
- 65-inch = $3,499
- 55-inch = $2,549
Finally, you've got the Samsung Q95T - which is billed as Samsung's most premium 4K experience but available in one less size. Pricing for the Samsung Q95T can be seen below:
- 75-inch = $6,999
- 65-inch = $4,649
- 55-inch = $3,499
Finally, for those early adopters looking to arm themselves with an 8K TV as soon as possible, Samsung's 2020 TV lineup includes two options.
Firstly, you've got the Samsung Q800T 8K TV.
In many ways, this one looks to be a minor refresh of what Samsung's first 8K TV - introduced last year - offered. The Q800T be available in sizes that start at 55-inches and go through to 82-inches. Whether it will be as good a canvas for watching anime as its predecessor remains to be seen.
Compared to the rest of the brand's 2020 lineup, the Samsung Q950TS 8K TV is the apex predator of this year's AV experience. It features a Galaxy S9-inspired Infinity Display with ultra-thin bezels and screen-to-body ratio of 99% - which is pretty impressive for a large-screen TV.
As you'd expect, both the Q800T and Q950TS feature every bell and whistle found in Samsung's Q-Series TVs. The new Quantum processor? Check. Object Tracking Sound+ and Direct Full Array dimming? You betcha.
Of course, neither comes cheap.
Local pricing for the Q950TS starts at AU$9999 for the 65-inch model, AU$13,499 for the 75-inch model and AU$21,999 for the 85-inch option.
The Q800T is slightly more affordable, though still clearly positioned as a magnet for the dollars of early adopters. The 65-inch version of the Q800T rocks a recommended retail price of AU$6399, the 75-inch model costs AU$8699 and the 82-inch size tops out the range at AU$11,649.
What about MicroLED?
While Samsung did show off a growing range of new MicroLED powered products at this year's CES, none have yet to receive any pricing or availability for the Australian market.
In the past, Samsung have sold some MicroLED TVs in Australia but only in a single size and only to business customers. For more on MicroLED, check out this guide.
This article was originally written by Fergus Halliday on the 2nd of April, 2020. It was updated on August 24th, 2020 to reflect the updated availability and pricing details of the Sero TV, Q950TS and Q800T.