In 2023, Samsung's focus has shifted even more towards premium models. There are very few new products among basic 4K TVs, but everything is about the same in the middle class. However, the top segment is actively developing technologically and aesthetically. In the latter, Samsung’s desire to emphasize the premium quality of its devices is especially noticeable. Judge for yourself.
What's new in 2023?
- More premium models.
- There are now two OLED TVs, including the 77-inch S95C and the new S90C.
- The production of 8K TVs continues, but they have not yet arrived to us, just as new microLED and new interior models have not arrived.
- The new mini LEDs are very bright, with deep blacks.
- Another huge TV is the 98-inch Q80C for almost 20 thousand rubles.
- Auto HDR Remastering feature in Neo QLED series.
- Still no support for Dolby Vision.
- Minor updates to Tizen 7.0 and the game menu.
- Game mode 4K@144 Hz when connected to a PC ( unofficially available in S95B).
From a technology point of view, the company is moving simultaneously in several directions: experimenting with producing microLED TVs, developing a miniLED line (Neo QLED) and closely promoting its flagship OLED TVs. In the latter case, Samsung chose its own approach.
The manufacturer uses QD-OLED technology – a combination of organic LED elements that independently emit light and provide excellent black color and viewing angles, and quantum dots that increase the brightness and color accuracy of the display. The technology uses a blue OLED as a light source and quantum dots as a color filter. Blue light passes through the layer of quantum dots and creates red and green subpixels, which together with the blue subpixel form an RGB color model. This allows QD-OLED to achieve higher brightness than conventional OLED panels while maintaining their classic advantages.
Samsung OLED TVs
Samsung's first OLED TV was praised in reviews. The new product for 2023, the S95C model, is called a natural step forward. The design has been improved with the One Connect remote interface module. And of course, the panel itself became brighter. In addition, a younger and more affordable version of the S90C appeared, in which the sound system was cut down, and the connectors remained in the body.
The second iteration of Samsung's QD-OLED TV shows a maximum brightness of around 1200-1300 nits in reviews. Reviewers are scattered with laudatory epithets, which is natural because this is a High-end TV with appropriate image quality and price. For almost infinite contrast, high brightness, and support for a very wide range of pure and saturated colors.
Among the competitors presented in the Catalog, we note, of course, LG OLED G3. Rtings writes that the G3 will be brighter overall than the S95C, but Samsung maintains high brightness more evenly across different modes. At the same time, the colors of the S95C will be more “sharp” than those of the G3. There are also minor differences in the color rendition of the two TVs due to different types of panels. However, this is only visible when compared side by side.
The new product differs only slightly from last year’s S95B model. They write about the difference in the processing of dark shades using the example of various shadows. Everything else is displayed almost equally well on both the S95B and S95C. Therefore, external differences are likely to be the determining factor in your choice.
However, some shortcomings were still found. The HDTVTest review found that the S95C does not use HDMI 2.1 ports at full bandwidth: 40 Gbps instead of 48 Gbps. Most likely, this is due to the use of the One Connect module, since the younger Q90C model has a full HDMI port bandwidth of 48 Gbps.
The disadvantages of the S95C also include the lack of support for Dolby Vision. But in reality, when viewing HDR content on such a TV, this does not matter, because it is already very bright and with accurate color reproduction, the reviews note.
As befits a flagship TV, it has every gaming feature you can think of (FreeSync Premium Pro, VRR, ALLM, HDR, 120Hz on consoles). What’s new is that when connected to a PC, you can select 4K@144 Hz mode on it.
The Samsung S90C, the new OLED model, is on par with the S95C in overall picture quality. As mentioned, the most important differences are in sound and design. The peak brightness of the new product is just over 1000 nits.
Another thing is that Samsung S90C enters the field of direct competition with the popular LG OLED C3 and C2. In reviews and comparisons, the S90C turns out to be brighter than the C3 in most scenarios. In addition, Samsung supports 4K@144Hz gaming mode. But LG supports DTS and Dolby Vision, which may be a deciding factor for some users. HDTVTest notes that the Samsung S95C has better hardware (panel, processor ), while the LG C3 has polished software and the system runs more smoothly.
Neo QLED Samsung
This includes 4K backlit TVs and regular 8K models that are not yet sold in the Catalog. The new QN85C and QN90C are now among the cheapest miniLED TVs after Hisense. However, their price is still high and sometimes stubbornly borders on the cost of OLEDs, with which they are often compared in reviews.
MiniLED is a new step in the development of LCD panels with small backlight LEDs that, together with smart algorithms, regulate local dimming in hundreds and even thousands of zones on the screen. The goal is still the same – to improve the display of colors, especially blacks, and maintain high brightness.
In terms of quality, judging by numerous reviews, miniLED TVs (not only Samsung) are now the top models among LCD TVs. Someone writes ( here and here ) that today they are stepping on the heels of OLED screens due to their enormous brightness and high, although not infinite, level of contrast. The race in these indicators will apparently continue in subsequent years. The main thing is that the technical characteristics correspond to the price.
The QN90C model heads the line of mini LED TVs. The peak brightness of the new product in various tests is about 2000 nits. This is certainly one of the brightest TVs on the market. When viewing HDR it performs well even in brightly lit rooms. It's praised for its high contrast and local dimming performance, which produces deep blacks and crisp shadow detail. Again, you have to be careful because the 43″ and 50″ QN90C models are slightly cut down in sound and brightness compared to the larger diagonals.
The QN85C is the same mini LED TV but with a much smaller brightness margin: 1040 nits versus almost 2000 for the QN95C. The contrast level is also noticeably lower.
In addition to improving the basic characteristics, the Neo QLED line also received a new Auto HDR Remastering feature: “AI technology automatically improves the contrast, color, and brightness of SDR content to HDR levels.” There are several comparisons on YouTube, where, however, the result is not always obvious.
Samsung QLED TVs
The Samsung branded line of TVs is traditionally divided by numbers: Q80C, Q70C and Q60C. These are matrices with high contrast and support for a wide color gamut with a layer of quantum dots. In the latter case, the company uses the term “100% color volume”, which is measured according to the DCI-P3 standard and certified by VDE.
The Q80C model can still be purchased in a giant diagonal of 98″.
What matrix is in the new QLED from Samsung? There is no official information on this matter. They write on the forums that the entire series is supplied to North America with IPS/ADS panels, and to Europe – VA. Here is an unofficial confirmation that is often referred to. In addition, some VA models (Neo QLED in the UK are known for sure) use a layer to increase viewing angles, and in this part, they are extremely similar to IPS / ADS, which is very confusing for users.
The Q80C and Q70C models gain more advanced features: 120Hz screens, four full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports, and FreeSync Premium Pro. However, the Q80C is better than the Q70C in terms of sound quality thanks to its woofers and Dolby Atmos support. The image processing will probably be different, too, because the Q80C has the same processor as the top Samsung TVs – Neural Quantum 4K. In addition, there is a full-matrix backlight, and not a side backlight, like the younger QLEDs.
How did the devices perform in practice? European reviews praise the Q80C for its clean, rich colors and a high peak brightness of 1,100 nits. In terms of gaming features, there is not much difference between the models. In theory, the price should differ accordingly, but right now the Q80C in the Catalog is cheaper than the Q70C. At the same time, the new product is almost no different from last year’s Q80 model, except perhaps for the increased number of local dimming zones.
Please note that the Q80C 50″ TVs are limited in functionality. The screen frequency there is 60 Hz, HDMI 2.0, no FreeSync and VRR. And the viewing angles are definitely smaller.
Reviews of the Q70C note that if gaming functions are not too important to you, then you can safely look towards the Q60C. Both have very similar picture quality, with the Q60C having slight compromises in sound, contrast, and brightness, but these are hard to discern without directly comparing the two models. Its price is still high; last year's Q80B model cost a little more.
The entry-level QLED is the Q60C. It has a 60Hz screen and HDMI 2.0. Of the game functions, there is only ALLM. The reviews emphasize the compromised nature of the new product while praising it for its good picture and premium design. It seems to differ little from last year's model.
Basic 4K TVs
There are no quantum dots here, but the price is noticeably lower. Essentially, these are simple televisions for various needs, including terrestrial television. Without cool bells and whistles, but with an acceptable image.
Based on our tests, the CU7100 is even better suited for SDR content than the Q60C and Q70C. It will also be an excellent choice for broadcast TV and sports broadcasts due to more natural and pure colors, accurate upscaling, and compensation for artifacts when moving fast objects. The TV is also suitable for HDR viewing if you don’t expect much from it: the device supports a wide color gamut, although the panel itself is not the brightest.
The CU8000 model is not much different from the CU7100. In reality, it will most likely have slightly better color rendering and higher brightness, but functionally they are identical. The CU8000 has a stand with two levels of height for convenient installation of the soundbar. For both TVs with diagonals of 75-85″, the stand can be placed in two positions – closer to the center and closer to the edges (as in the Q60C).
Traditionally, the differences from last year's models are insignificant even on paper. The new products will have to compete in a very tough field, where not only analogs from LG are presented, but also TVs with a QLED layer and Dolby Vision support.