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In addition to Samsung’s crazy $ 899.99 portable projector that acts as a speaker and a lamp geared to millennials, the technology giant is also updating its Neo QLED and The Frame TVs at CES 2022.
Samsung’s focus is on software enhancements with minimal hardware changes. To begin with, the “Tizen” TV interface gets a redesign that packs multiple features in one place, and there’s a new Gaming Hub. On the hardware side, TVs are getting brighter, processing techniques are being improved, and The Frame is getting updated technology to reduce glare.
Let’s unpack it all while sharing some insights from our conversation with Samsung’s Dan Schinasi, Director of Product Planning for TV, and Lydia Cho, Head of Product Marketing for TV.
The biggest appeal of Samsung’s sleek lifestyle TV is that it’s not just an ugly black screen, but also shows a work of art when it’s off. And while it may not be a complete redesign, the new year will bring a well-deserved and fundamental change to The Frame. For 2022, all sizes of Samsung’s The Frame will now have an anti-reflective and low-reflective matte screen, which will help make the art look more like art.
“Art has the look and feel of parchment. And this panel will bring it out,” Schinasi remarked. [type of] art you look at, it will be one of the added benefits based on the panel’s performance. “Whatever you choose to display, the new frame should appear more natural, allowing for enhanced colors and precise details.
We highlighted the overall reflectivity of the panel on the 2021 framework – for television or art viewing. This should help correct the glare when you are not seeing the screen, which tends to give away the salon trick that it is a TV, not a framed work of art.
We are excited to put The Frames’ new finish to the test and see how much of a difference it makes in our daily spaces. And regardless of size, The Frame still delivers a 4K HDR image from a standard Quantum Dot panel.
If you’re not nervous that The Frame is potentially showing some glare, the 2020 model is readily available, on sale at a lower price and is well reviewed by us.
- 32-inch The Frame 2020 ($ 527.99, originally $ 599.99; amazon.com or samsung.com)
- 43-inch The Frame 2021 ($ 947.99, originally $ 999.99; amazon.com or samsung.com)
- 50-inch The Frame 2021 ($ 1,197.99, originally $ 1,299.99; amazon.com or samsung.com)
- 55-inch The Frame 2021 ($ 1,397.99, originally $ 1,499.99; amazon.com or samsung.com)
- 65-inch The Frame 2021 ($ 1,397.99, originally $ 1,499.99; amazon.com or samsung.com)
Last year, Samsung impressed with its Neo QLED 4K and 8K TVs, winning with a Best Of CES award from CNN Underscored. 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 vivid image that was better at recreating images and upscaling for an immersive viewing experience. This technology was paired with Samsung’s processing techniques and a 4K or 8K resolution HDR TV that could reach a 120Hz refresh rate.
All of this will remain in 2022 on most of the Neo QLED models – the core range will still be 4K and 8K variants. But this year, these LEDs will be even brighter for a better picture. And similar to Sony’s Bravia XR processor, Samsung’s processing and upscaling will now use AI to identify a scene’s focal point, helping to make the area you’re looking at more detailed. The idea is to create a more immersive viewing experience – although we do not know for sure until we test it.
The second change is that select “premium Neo QLED models” will offer a variable refresh rate of 144Hz, which should appeal to players and fans of live sports. This is higher than the previous 120Hz for the other standard models. And all 2022 Samsung Smart TVs also come with a new Gaming Hub.
“It’s a brand new platform designed to make it easy to browse, discover, access and launch all your games. With cloud games in the hub, you can also access games from different locations,” explained Cho. Gaming Hub allows you to download games from a connected console like a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X along with cloud services like Google Stadia or Nvidia GeForce Now Surprisingly, the Xbox Game Pass is not on board yet, but the company has teased it as an option You will also be able to customize the game-specific modes of the TV, such as adjusting the screen size and aspect ratio.
All of these features are part of a more comprehensive redesign of Samsung’s smart TV interface that gives you one-stop access to other services, such as on-demand, live programming and streaming, without fumbling through a lot of menus. The new interface will be divided into media, games and an ambient mode – the latter of which will offer content that can be viewed when the TV is off.
In an effort to harness the popularity of non-fungible tokens, Samsung will roll out support for NFTs to be viewed and even purchased on the TV itself. They are also expanding “look together” options and offers smart 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 several minor updates to standard QLED models.
Last year, Samsung’s Eco remote control integrated a rechargeable battery with a USB-C port and a solar cell, so we can drop the user-replaceable batteries and soak up ambient or artificial light.
For 2022, it will be more intelligent and environmentally friendly and will be delivered with most Samsung TVs from 2022 – white for lifestyle TVs (The Frame, The Sero and The Serif), black for Smart TVs. The new Eco remote will be able to collect RF waves and frequencies for recharging, which means it will actually pick up radio waves from your airspace and convert them into energy. So theoretically you can keep it near your router for a stronger charge.
Samsung’s traditional TV hardware does not get a huge upgrade, but that does not mean it will disappear. Improvements to the Neo QLED should give a better picture and we are eager to test the improved smart interface. Gaming Hub is being launched at just the right time and will focus on more cloud gaming services.
More interesting, however, is the glare-free Frame, and we nominate it as a finalist for best TV at CES 2022. We have also named The Freestyle projector a finalist, and you can see our full overview of why it is important here. We share our full finalists later in the week, ahead of the top picks in each category.
We look forward to reviewing Samsung’s 2022 The Frame, Neo QLED in the coming months along with trying out the updated Eco remote.