About Samsung updated the flagship TV: Q950 – changes, jambs, as well as forecasts for the new device

I recently got acquainted with the changes in Samsung’s flagship TV, which in fact evolved from last year’s Q900, called the Q950. A detailed study of the shortcomings and the “completion” of the flagship to an almost impeccable state suggests that Samsung makes a serious bet on the forced implementation of 8K. This is also confirmed by the public statements of the company, which does not tire of claiming that “the demand for 8K has significantly exceeded expectations.”

All this led me to write a post combining the description of Q950 updates with thoughts about what kind of scope it was created for and what future awaits it. Let me remind you that detailed reviews of the Q950 appeared immediately after the release in early January, and the Q900 was repeatedly reviewed last year. For this reason, I will dwell precisely on the changes (that is, on what exactly the flagship differs from its predecessor, and the rest of the material will be devoted to tar spoons, which are rarely mentioned in reviews, analytical analysis of product prospects and price comparisons.

What has changed in the Q950?

Design built “around” framelessness and thickness

As I mentioned, the Q950 is an improved version of the Q900. The first and, perhaps, very significant change for many is almost complete framelessness. Samsung marketers even called the screen endless. The design is called Samsung “Infinity Screen” and allows you to use for the image more than 99% of the front surface of the screen. Side surfaces are made of brushed metal. In general, they achieved a super-minimalist appearance that is practically no different from the Q900.

The thickness deserves special mention. Despite the fact that the case has 8 own speakers installed, as well as the fact that it is equipped with a new version of Full Array (i.e., LED backlighting is distributed over the entire panel area), its thickness does not exceed 14.9 mm. This is a significant achievement, and I could not find an analog with the same small thickness. Here I want to note that the novelty of Direct Full Array causes me some doubts, which I have outlined below.

Own sound was sacrificed to aesthetics, because for adequate reproduction of low volumes in such a thin case is not enough. On the other hand, even a significant increase in thickness in this form factor would not solve the problem radically. The panel itself uses a single input connecting it to the One Connect unit, which, I believe, is the main factor that allowed us to reduce the thickness.

Another find is the legs, which can be moved on the bottom surface, depending on the size of the base on which the TV will be installed. Also on the rear panel there are special niches for legs, which simplifies their storage in the case when the TV is hanging on the wall.

Upscaling, focus on detail and brightness

A significant difference between the Samsung Q950 is the new upscaling algorithm, which increases the resolution of content to 8K. The fact is that the predecessor used machine learning based on that reproducible content. The result was, but many users thought that was not enough.

The new algorithm offers “scaling” to 8K using a neural network, which is trained using a huge regularly updated database of images, with the so-called “Multi-layer” algorithms, when different “layers” offer a unique interpretation of upscaling. So, according to the manufacturer, it will be possible to simulate smaller parts. Comparison of different algorithms on CES, according to What Hi-Fi reporters, revealed a noticeable superiority of the new technology.

Oddities with Direct Full Array and Samsung Local Distribution

According to Samsung, Direct Full Array has undergone changes and Samsung Local Distribution has been added to it. The essence of the technology is the redistribution of energy from the dark areas of the panel to the bright, which is in greatest need of it at the moment. With all my love for Samsung, vague doubts about the physical possibility of such a redistribution torment me. I believe that the number of backlight zones was simply added, due to which the brightness became higher.

But Samsung claims that due to this redistribution, brightness can increase by 20% without increasing power consumption, which frankly surprises me. Some publications write about comparing power consumption on the Q950 and Q900R – they say, the Q950 is brighter and consumes less. I do not presume to say for sure and continue to doubt. I would be grateful for the comments of people who are competent in the matter and know more than me.

Other updates and tar spoons

The Samsung Health app will come as a bonus. Also promised are regular improvements to AI processing. This, perhaps, is all that differs significantly from its predecessor. There is a fly in the ointment. The TV did not receive Dolby Vision support. According to Samsung, they use their own technology to correct jitter. No one has tested how effective it is in comparison with Dolby Vision.

Adaptive Picture + technology works to optimize the image depending on the lighting. They write that the technology goes beyond the correction of brightness levels.
According to Samsung, thanks to this HDR technology, content in the light will look as good as in the dark. It remains a mystery what exactly it can change in addition to the brightness level and, most importantly, why. In exhibition conditions, the effect is really noticeable, but how it works actually needs to be checked.

Support of Nextgen, based on ATSC 3.0, is called a key advantage compared to the current ATSC 1.0, and the resolution of the device physically exceeds the requirements of the standard, since 4K resolution is sufficient for receiving and playing content in this standard, so far only broadcasting has been available in Full HD.

Also, the current firmware does not provide for the use of a reverse sound channel eARC, although the latter, it seems, is promised to be added to some of the firmware updates.

It is also announced about the improved technology OTS + (Object Tracking Sound), but the principle of its operation is not disclosed. Given the location of the speakers and the volume of the case, talking about something significantly different from what is called “sound from the TV” does not make sense due to physical limitations. Perhaps there will be some noticeably improved localization of phantom sound sources, which is for me. frankly, it seems unlikely.

Cost and options

Samsung Q950R is supposed to be released in four sizes: 65 inches, 75 inches, 82 inches and 98 inches. The main difference for diagonals is the price. Prices are huge compared to 4K TVs. For example, in the UK, the cost of the 65-inch QE65Q950R is 5,000 pounds (415,040 rubles), the 75-inch QE75Q950R is 7,000 pounds (581 057 rubles), and the 82-inch QE82Q950R is 10,000 pounds (830,081 rubles). A 55-inch version will also be released for some regions. These prices are competitive in the market compared to OLED TVs. LG has not yet announced price offers, but last year their 88 inch 8K panel cost about $ 40,000 (2,562,972 rubles).


Given the growing demand and the beginning of 8K broadcasting, I believe that the pricing policy of the Korean giant will bear fruit. Against the background of the price offers of competing companies, the prices for the Samsung Q950R do not seem so astronomical, and the proposed solutions often surpass the competitors, in particular, this concerns the functional design. Meanwhile, the cost of TVs is not yet conducive to mass demand, and accordingly, it will not work with 4K flagships, which were one and a half to two times cheaper at the time of appearance. We can say that there are definitely improvements in the new product, but there were no fundamental breakthroughs, unless, of course, we take into account the strange information about Samsung Local Distribution.

I believe that this product at a suggested price offer more to popularize 8K than as a way to make a lot of money. Obviously in the future
Samsung is betting on 8K, and the cool and flagship with affordable price is a promo of what will subsequently be offered in the mass market. Is TV a breakthrough – no, all this has already happened. It is likely that Samsung is counting on rooting the idea that 8K is cheaper to buy from them. With all other things being equal, it will certainly help dominate the market. Conclusion – the development of this flagship will pay off in the long term, since the market for 8K products is still small. For mass promotion, prices are too high, even considering the loyal pricing that Samsung has demonstrated.

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