Samsung’s 2021 TV lineup, introduced during CES 2021, presents several next-gen display technologies like mini-LED and MicroLED, as well as updated smart home features and a super convenient change to the company’s remote control.
Following Samsung’s First Look event, I sat down with Mike Kadish, director of product marketing for Samsung, and asked him about the key Samsung TV upgrades coming this year. He talks about the switch to NeoQLED for top-shelf sets and the insatiable interest in big-screen MicroLED beasts. The Smasung exec also offers an outlook on the TV market’s priorities.
Kadish takes us through the standout Samsung 2021 TV trademarks, and offers some intel on how Samsung’s sets are equipped for all your video chat and fitness needs, too. Watch the interview for the total Tom’s Guide’s scoop, or check out the transcript below.
Editors’ Note: The interview transcript have been shortened for length. Watch our entire video interview for more commentary from Samsung's Mike Kadish.
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Kate Kozuch, Tom’s Guide senior writer: This year you’ve made some big changes to QLED TVs, now they’re being called NeoQLED. What are the big changes coming to QLED that inspired the change in branding, and what does that change in branding actually imply?
Mike Kadish, Samsung Director of Product Marketing: We’re still going to have traditional QLED series as well, but NeoQLED is our evolution, or step change in QLED technology. We’re adding a new backlight with mini-LED, which quite simply is going to provide a superior viewing experience for consumers. It’s one-fourths the size of the LED that’s inside some TVs today and it really allows the TVs to offer superior contrast because the light source is so much smaller.
Let’s talk about MicroLED. Samsung just announced the MicroLED TV you can actually buy, which was shrunken down from the 146-inch The Wall you’ve been showing off at CES the last couple of years. Is there any worry that TVs are getting too big now that you can’t even take them home from a store yourself, in the case of MicroLEDs? Are you answering the demand for large TVs or trying to nurture it?
Kadish: It's a bit of both in regard to the demand. Consumers have been telling us with their pocketbooks and their wallets that a large screen is what they want. The 75-inch and above segment is the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. market. We are really excited to bring large screen products to market.
This new product that we’re launching in 2021, is bringing MicroLED to the consumer’s home. We have three screen sizes, 88-inch, 99-inch and that massive 110-inch. This is really the future of display technology. These products are for the ultra-premium segment, so it’s a relatively small subset of consumers, but we are excited.
With this involving MicroLED technology and QLED mini-LED technology, what does Samsung think TVs are going to look like in the upcoming years based on what we’re looking at right now?
Kadish: Larger screen sizes, better picture quality with our MicroLED, NeoQLED, those are both themes that we’re running with. It’s not just about picture quality and form factor, we’re making a lot of changes to the smart features and functionalities that we’re bringing to market.
For example, in 2020 consumers haven’t been able to go to the gym as often as they want to, so Samsung TVs have Samsung Health, and we’re introducing a smart trainer in 2021. They can get real-time feedback on their posture and form, as well as progress on all their goals in the Samsung Health Dashboard.
So if I wear a Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, what does that relationship look like? Am I able to pair my watch with my TV?
Kadish: Exactly, it’s a complete Samsung Health ecosystem where you can view or track your exercise progress across your wearable, your mobile device and your TV.
What can you tell me about the Samsung Eco remote with solar cell power? It’s a feature that has both user convenience as well as eco-friendly development.
Kadish: Of all the changes like picture quality and smart functions, one of the ones I’m most excited about is our sustainability efforts. If you think about Samsung and our scale, we sell millions of TVs a year. Each remote comes with two triple-A batteries, and if we’re able to keep two triple-A batteries out of a landfill, multiply that by all the millions of TVs we sell, we’re talking scale, and that’s a ton of batteries we’re able to keep out of the landfills by your house and mine.
I extended my thanks to Mike Kadish for joining Tom’s Guide to talk about Samsung’s 2021 TVs. Be sure to keep it locked to our site for more CES coverage as tech’s biggest summit continues.