Samsung has announced its QLED TV lineup for the year ahead. Comprising five series, Samsung's TV offering this year will be smarter than ever before thanks to the inclusion of its Bixby voice assistant and the SmartThings platform.
Sitting at the top of the QLED tree are the Q9F and Q8F, both are flat screen TVs and available in sizes from 55 - 88-inches, but more importantly they are the only two models to receive Direct Full Array (DFA) technology. Samsung hasn't laid out exactly how this technology works, or how it differs to full array backlighting, but the information the company has given reveals they work in a similar way.
DFA employs a panel with zones of backlights that can be smartly and independently controlled, automatically adjusting to black or white levels to make them as deep and dark, or as bright as possible. The idea being the content you watch will look better than ever before.
Sitting below the Q9F and Q8F are the Q7C, Q7F and Q6F. In this instance the 'C' stands for curved and 'F' for flat screen. The Q7 series will be available in 55 to 75-inch variants, while the Q6F (available in 49, 55, 65, 75 and 82-inch variants) is a brand new model for this year, which on paper at least appears to be an entry-level model. Hopefully it will have an entry-level price to go with it - although we expect the 82-inch model to be wallet-busting.
All QLED models benefit from HDR10+ compatibility, which is an open standard designed to work in a similar way to Dolby Vision, by telling the screen how bright or dark it should be on a frame-by-frame basis. The TVs also get what Samsung is calling Ambient Mode, which can display information, such as news headlines and weather on the screen when it's not being used for actual viewing. If you wall-mount one of the QLED TVs, Samsung says it can mimic the wall behind it to effectively camouflage it.
Another new addition for 2018 is Bixby, Samsung's very own voice assistant that was introduced last year with the Galaxy S8 duo. Bixby will let you use your voice to control many aspects of the TV, such as what channel you want to watch as well as compatible devices. Arriving with Bixby is the new Effortless Log In mode that lets you set up your brand spanking new QLED TV using your Samsung Galaxy phone. The new feature was shown off at CES 2018 and it looks set to be incredibly useful, making TV setup a cinch.
Finally, the Q7 and Q9 TVs will get a new One Invisible Connection that carries power and AV data to reduce cable clutter. You still get the OneConnect box that has shipped with Samsung TVs for years now, but it's bigger than before. This is because it handles power and connections, leaving just one singular cable running to your TV.
Samsung's 2018 QLED TVs will be available later this month, with pricing to be confirmed.