Samsung just unveiled first 8K QLED TVs with this big upgrade

Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV with Wi-Fi 6E
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung's newest 8K TVs offer more than just big screens and ridiculously high resolution. They're also going to be the first TVs to offer Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, using the latest wireless standard to deliver the best connectivity available for any TV on the market.

This new capability is coming in the Samsung QN900A and QN800A Neo QLED 8K Smart TVs that are available for pre-order now, and could show up in other models later this year, like the upcoming Samsung QN700A 8K models.

According to announcements from both Samsung and chip maker MediaTek, the 8K TVs in Samsung's 2021 TV lineup will get a boost, adding 6GHz frequency in addition to the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands already used by standard Wi-Fi 5 (previously known as 802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 6 connections. As a result, the TVs will have multi-gigabit data throughput — thanks largely to the completely uncongested 6GHz band — that's up to four times faster than Wi-Fi 5.

Wifi 6e explained

(Image credit: Netgear)

It's also worth noting that some outlets have mistakenly assumed that the MediaTek press release hints at new, previously unannounced 8K TV models, but Samsung's own announcement makes it clear that the certification applies to the models mentioned above, not a completely new TV.

The MediaTek MT7921AU chip's 1.2 Gbps speeds will support exactly the sort of high-data connections needed for 8K streaming, which would have to not only handle high-resolution picture, but also multi-channel sound, HDR metadata and more, while also supporting other media devices, like game consoles.

The MediaTek hardware in the new Samsung TVs also has Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, letting users wirelessly connect to everything from headphones and speakers to keyboards and other smart TV accessories.

The move to Wi-Fi 6E may be a step or two ahead of the rest of the industry, but isn't a major surprise, seeing as Samsung used a similar MediaTek chip to offer Wi-Fi 6 on its flagship Q900 and Q950 8K QLED TVs last year.

All of this advanced connectivity is also an important development for the success of 8K TV technology on the whole, because streaming technologies for the higher resolution are still being developed and streaming services (and pretty much all media formats) have yet to offer much in the way of 8K content.

The new Wi-Fi 6E development is a welcome change, but we still recommend that shoppers stick to 4K for now. (Check out our article Should you buy an 8K TV in 2021 for a more detailed discussion on the topic.) While 8K TVs look impressive, the lack of 8K media and the significantly higher price of 8K TVs mean that you'll spend a lot more for a TV that doesn't presently offer much more than any of the 4K sets on our list of the best TVs in terms of content. That will likely change in the coming years, with companies like Samsung leading the way in 8K innovations, but we're not yet at a place where we consider 8K a good value.

Brian Westover

Brian Westover is currently Lead Analyst, PCs and Hardware at PCMag. Until recently, however, he was Senior Editor at Tom's Guide, where he led the site's TV coverage for several years, reviewing scores of sets and writing about everything from 8K to HDR to HDMI 2.1. He also put his computing knowledge to good use by reviewing many PCs and Mac devices, and also led our router and home networking coverage. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he wrote for TopTenReviews and PCMag.