Samsung is gearing up to reveal the details of its latest and greatest TVs next week as part of CES 2021, but an early slip up may have let the cat out of the bag.
A leaked list of model numbers and screen sizes briefly showed up on a support page for the Czech Samsung website (as reported by FlatpanelsHD (opens in new tab)), and we've got some good guesses as to what they mean.
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|Model number||Screen sizes|
|QN900A / QNA900||85, 75, 65"|
|QN800A / QNA800||85, 75, 65"|
|QN95A / QNA95||85, 75, 65, 55, 50"|
|QN90A / QNA90||85, 75, 65, 55, 50"|
|QN85A / QNA85||85, 75, 65, 55, 50"|
|Q80A / QA80||85, 75, 65, 55, 50"|
|Q70A / QA70||85, 75, 65, 55"|
|Q60A / QA60||85, 75, 70, 65, 60, 55, 50, 43"|
|LS703A / LSA703||75, 65, 55, 50, 43"|
|AU9000 / UA9000||75, 65, 55, 50, 43"|
|UA8000 / AU8000||not available|
New Samsung 8K and 4K models: QLED Neo revealed?
The list of eleven new model numbers includes the QN900A and QN800A, which both sound like 8K TVs, likely the successors to the 2020 Q900TS and Q800T 8K QLED TVs. With sizes ranging from 65 to 85 inches, these big-screen models match our expectations for any 8K screen sizes Samsung might announce, since smaller screen sizes are difficult to produce at the higher pixel density and are better for viewing at 4K resolution anyway.
The "QN" portion of the model number is interesting, however, as it likely points to Samsung's rumored "QLED Neo" branding which was trademarked back in November. While we don't have details about what QLED Neo means in terms of technical changes compared to past QLED TVs, we do know that Samsung is working on adding mini-LED backlighting to its QLED TVs. This new backlight could be one of several potential enhancements to Samsung's QLED displays.
The same QN naming scheme shows up on the QN95A, the QN90A and the QN85A, which appear to be a trio of premium 4K sets. With screen sizes ranging from 50 inches up to 85-inch models, we'd guess that these sets replace the current Samsung QLED Q90T, Samsung's top-of-the-line 4K model. The addition of the QN95 and QN85 suggest that Samsung is adding more premium 4K models to its lineup, but these could also be variants for specific markets, or retailer-specific models. In any case, the QN naming suggests that these will have the same mini-LED backlight and QLED Neo display technology as the new 8K models.
New QLED 4K sets for 2021
A number of standard QLED models seem to be coming, as well, with models listed as Q80A, Q70A and Q60A. We think these will be the 2021 equivalents to the Q80T, Q70T and Q60T QLED sets we reviewed in 2020.
Given the lack of the QN model name, we'd guess that these models will skip some of the enhancements offered on the rumored QLED Neo sets. This would be in keeping with Samsung's 2020 strategy, which saw several QLED TVs outfitted with edge lighting instead of the more impressive full-array, local-dimming tech used on the higher-end QLED products.
Last, but not least, there is the LS703A, which we think is the 2021 update to The Frame, part of what Samsung calls its Lifestyle line of TVs, hence the LS model name. The AU9000 and AU8000 ranges were spotted in an earlier leak when these models were registered with the Korean Communications Commission (opens in new tab), and lists them as UHD TVs. These may be among the last standard LCD models Samsung offers as production shifts to focus on new technologies like microLED, quantum-Dot OLED and other new technologies.
Samsung will be announcing the full 2021 TV lineup this week as part of its First Look event, and at the Samsung press conference during CES on January 11th, so stay tuned to all of our CES TV coverage. And get another early look at the latest TVs in our CES 2021 TV preview.