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Samsung QLED vs Samsung Neo QLED: the biggest TV tech advancement in 2021

New to 2021, Samsung’s Neo QLED range marks a spectacular leap forward in TV technology.

Samsung QLED vs Samung Neo QLED

Technology changes at a rapid pace – and the world of TV is no exception. But of all the new developments and innovations that you’ll see out in today’s marketplace, there’s one that we definitely recommend you stop and pay attention to: Samsung’s Neo QLED series.

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This cutting-edge screen technology has been pioneered exclusively by Samsung, and it marks an evolutionary leap forward from the Korean manufacturer’s critically lauded QLED technology. These ground-breaking series of televisions have just been released on to the UK market: you’ll find models in the Samsung Neo QLED range aren’t just 4K but 8K too, and – astonishingly – they’re available in sizes of up to 85 inches.

In this article, we’ll talk you through everything you need to know about Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs: what the technology does, how it compares to QLED and a full run-down of the brand’s 2021 series.

What is Samsung Neo QLED?

Samsung Quantum Matrix Neo QLED TVs

A good place to start with this is by going into what QLED is. It’s an acronym – of sorts – that means ‘Quantum-dot LED’. As the name suggests, QLED televisions still make use of the traditional LED lights that you’ll find in the majority of TVs on the market, but installed between those lights and the screen itself is a layer of nano-sized ‘quantum dots’ that optimises the colour and efficiency of the light that hits each of the pixels that make up the TV screen.

If this all sounds like something you need a physics degree to understand, don’t worry: like you, we’re more interested in what QLED achieves in terms of TV playback quality. In a nutshell, what QLED does is offer brighter whites, starker contrast, and a better colour range – and ultimately, a better visual experience. For a deeper dive into Samsung’s homegrown tech, you can read our what is QLED explainer.

QLED has been widely acknowledged as a stepping-stone between standard-issue 4K televisions and OLED sets. But here’s the thing: a few years back, Samsung surprised the entire television industry by doubling down on its QLED tech rather than incorporating OLED technology into its TV portfolio. It was a gutsy move – and in the new and advanced range of Samsung Neo QLED sets, it’s clear to see why Samsung pursued this course.

For a wider glossary of TV terminology, you can head to our which TV to buy guide.

QLED vs Samsung Neo QLED: what’s the difference?

Samsung Neo QLED TV

Samsung Neo QLED builds on QLED by swapping out the LED lights for smaller, and far more numerous, ‘Mini LED’ lights in the backlight array. What this does is allow for a much greater scope of dimming zones. Picture the various ‘zones’ on a TV frame: a nature scene, for example. In order for the image to look at its best, the sky needs to be lit brightly, while the shade beneath a tree needs to be lit more dully.

A typical television won’t deal with the image in separate sections like this, which is why there’s often an irritating halo to contend with. Not so with QLED or Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs, with their complex array of LED lights.

And while you might not consciously think about each of those Mini LED lights working away inside the television, you’ll certainly appreciate the work they do in the form of superb image quality. Factor in the 8K resolution of the premium sets in the Samsung Neo QLED range, and you’re looking at a TV range with a level of playback that only years ago felt like the stuff of wild imagination.

What’s also worth noting is that not only do Samsung’s Neo QLED televisions now really step up to OLED sets in image quality – but they also offer one clear advantage. An unfortunate side- effect of the technology OLED employs is the occasional case of ‘screen burn’, where overlong playing of a particular image can actually sear it into the screen and leave strange, ghostly after-images. By virtue of their inorganic Quantum Dot technology, this won’t be the case for Samsung Neo QLED sets – they’re unique in their sustained ability to perform without losing quality.

There’s plenty else to shout about in Samsung’s 2021 line-up of televisions besides this new evolutionary phase of QLED. Read on for our full list of every model in the Samsung Neo QLED range, along with the other features that they offer to film, TV and gaming fans alike.

How much is Samsung Neo QLED?

Read on for a run-down of Samsung’s new Neo-QLED series and the prices you should expect. Prices start at £1,799 for the 55-inch QN85A Neo QLED 4K TV, through to £11,999 for the top-of-the-line 85-inch QN900A Neo QLED 8K TV. Find the full breakdown below or shop the range at Curry’s PC World.

Samsung Neo QLED series: what to expect

Samsung QN900A Neo QLED 8K TV

Samsung QN900A TV

Here it is, the granddaddy of Samsung’s new Neo QLED range. If television had a ruling aristocracy, the flagship QN900A would most certainly have a seat at the table. We’ve yet to mention the fact that each model in the entire Neo QLED range is available in a colossal 85-inch size. If you’ve been missing your visits to the local cinema in the last year, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better alternative for your home.

The immersive qualities that such large-scale television offer is further assisted by Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound. In the case of the Samsung QN900A, there are a mammoth ten dedicated TV speakers that each fire separate sounds across the screen – so if, say, a car passing from one side of the shot to the next, the sound will be relayed in that way.

Samsung QN800A Neo QLED 8K TV

Samsung-QN800A

The QN800A is another 8K set in the Samsung Neo QLED range, offering buyers what’s essentially the Ultra-HD resolution of tomorrow. You could well be asking yourself: ‘Is 8K TV worth it if the most high-definition content available from streaming services like Netflix, NOW, and Amazon Prime Video is in 4K?’

The answer is a resounding yes, since Samsung’s Neo QLED 8K innovative processor – featuring 16 neural networks – that automatically adjusts, fine-tunes and upscales any 4K content that you’re watching to impressive 8K detail. Furthermore, as native 8K content does become more readily available, you’re essentially future-proofing your TV’s lifespan.

Samsung QN95A Neo QLED 4K TV

Samsung QN95A TV

With the QN95A, we move from 8K to the 4K sets in the new Samsung Neo QLED series. Every set in the range features a stylish, minimal build: it’s hard to imagine how such powerful machinery can be working away inside these slim, sleek televisions. If there’s one thing that can spoil a beautiful TV, it’s the mass of cables tucked behind them. But the QN95A comes with Samsung’s all-new Slim One Connect Box, a media hub that connects to the television via a single cable and acts as a go-between for all the other various cables, which you can keep out of sight near to your mains supply.

Samsung QN94A Neo QLED 4K TV

Samsung QN94A TV

At the heart of the Samsung Neo QLED series is the Quantum Matrix Technology that not only helps perfect the colours and contrast of the image. In the QN94A, Samsung’s Ultra-Wide Viewing Angle tech (for 55-inch sets and up) guarantees that no matter the angle you’re watching TV, the image will always appear at the same quality. Buy the Samsung Neo QLED, and you’ll bring a revolution to your living room: there’s no longer that best seat to watch TV.

Samsung QN85A Neo QLED 4K Smart TV

Samsung QN85A TV

Are you a gaming fan? As you’ll see in the QN85A range, the Samsung Neo QLED range features televisions that, thanks to Samsung’s Motion Xcelerator Turbo Plus tech, all boast 120Hz refresh rates – in other words, televisions that refresh the image up to an incredible120 times per second. Gamers will attest to this being the Holy Grail of screen tech since it offers a super-smooth level of 4K gameplay that isn’t spoiled by lags or juddering. Plus, FreeSync Premium Pro acts as a token that you’ll experience best-in-class HDR gaming on your big Neo QLED TV screen.

Factor in the sleek, almost bezel-free screen, and you’ve got some of the most ambitious and high-spec televisions that are currently available to buy. We know that television will continue to evolve and change in the future. But with Samsung’s 2021 Neo QLED televisions, you’d be half-forgiven for thinking that the future’s already here.

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Shop the Samsung Neo QLED TV range at Curry’s PC World.