What you need to know about Samsung’s 8K QLED, 4K QLED and LED TVs

What you need to know about Samsung’s 8K QLED, 4K QLED and LED TVs

Shopping for a new Samsung TV? Here’s how to make sense of those confusing TV model numbers, from high-range QLEDs to budget HD sets

Samsung may be one of the most successful TV manufacturers in the world, but it doesn’t make choosing one of its TVs easy. The South Korean firm offers a wide range of different TVs, labelling all its models with elongated and seemingly randomised product codes that can stump even the most tech-savvy of consumers. Compared to catchy product names like Samsung Galaxy S20 and Samsung Galaxy Book S, Samsung UE65RU7470UXXU doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Samsung typically announces its upcoming flagship TVs at the annual CES conference in Las Vegas. It then takes a few months for these to actually appear in UK shops, with March to May being the usual launch window. At Expert Reviews, we’re always reviewing the latest Samsung TVs as soon as they become available, so we’ve got plenty of experience in decoding all these bewildering model names. Below, we breakdown each of Samsung’s current TV ranges to help you make the right buying choice.

Need to skip ahead to a specific Samsung range? Just use the quick links provided.

News: Everything you need to know about Samsung’s 2021 TV line-up

Samsung has exploded into 2021 with a long line-up of 4K-capable televisions that offer top-tech for movie, sports, and gaming enthusiasts alike. Over a dozen will roll out over the rest of the year, offering 8K and 4K Neo QLEDs, Ultra HD QLEDs, LCDs, plus new iterations of The Wall and The Frame.

Samsung TVs 2021: The tech

So, what’s new? First comes Samsung’s Neo Quantum Processor, which you’ll find running the show in all models with an ‘N’ in their designation. Delivering superior dimming and power direction to enhance brightness, an integrated light sensor also works to adjust images according to ambient light. The new processor also uses ‘Multi-Intelligence Deep Learning’ to upscale images specific to the content played.

Also of note is the far wider inclusion of OTS (Object-Tracking Sound) where the audio follows moving objects on the screen to create a surround sound effect. For next-gen gamers, the Samsung 2021 range has your back since all models from the Q70A and up support 4K at 120Hz, VRR (Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro) and ALLM.

This brings us to Samsung’s microLED tech, finally available to mere mortals. Maybe. Akin to OLED in that it also uses self-emissive pixels to deliver incredible contrast, microLED excels OLED in that it can also ramp up the brightness to (according to Samsung) some 2000 nits.

Samsung TVs 2021: The models

This year’s micoLED effort comes in the shape of Samsung’s reimagined The Wall. Initially available in 88, 99, 110-inch versions for 2021, a 76-inch option has just been announced. However, it’s so expensive that the price is unlisted and you need to arrange a call with Samsung to discuss the possibility of buying one. Joining The Wall is the latest take on Samsung’s super-slim The Frame. Now available in 32, 43, 75-inch screen sizes, this is 4K QLED quality TV given the art gallery treatment.

Beneath these in the UHD hierarchy sits a quartet of MiniLED 4K Neo QLEDs headed-up by the QN95A. Boasting all the technological refinements of their 8K siblings and offered in a range of sizes dependent on model. Moving out of the realms of MiniLED and dropping the ‘Neo’ in the name, the Q60A, Q70A and Q80A are top-end 4K QLEDs promising class-leading image quality, each with next-gen gaming support and OTS (or OTS Lite) sound systems.

Finally, we come to Samsung’s latest LCDs. Little is known so far, particularly when it comes to pricing, however, they are said to offer a simulated 4K at 120Hz experience from a 60Hz panel using Samsung’s Motion Xcelerator Turbo tech. Each also offers OTS… and that’s it on the fact side for now.

Naturally, we’ll keep you updated as and when we hear more from Seoul, so stay tuned. Below is a complete list of Samsung’s 2021 lineup, complete with buying links and pricing. 

Samsung TV model numbers explained: Samsung QLED TVs

QLED is Samsung’s premium HDR 4K and 8K TV range, with models ranging in price from around £599 to an incredible £12,000. QLED, which stands for Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diode, is a variant of LCD LED-lit TV and uses “an advanced and highly durable quantum dot layer” coupled with a “special blue LED” to achieve a high level of brightness and a large colour palette. Although QLED is not proprietary technology, Samsung is largely responsible for popularising the term.

95 indicates the model series. The higher the number, the more premium the TV tends to be. is the marker for Samsung’s 2020 TVs; in 2019 it was ‘R’, but for 2020 Samsung skipped right over ‘S’ and went for ‘T’ instead. The A after that indicates a type of (unspecified) design or feature; Samsung says “this might designate a different stand”, for instance. Rounding it out are four letters, TXXU, which are only relevant to the manufacturer and retailers.

To summarise, then, QE55Q95TATXXU is a 2020 55in Samsung QLED 95-series TV made for the European market.

Samsung TV model numbers explained: Samsung Crystal UHD TVs

Sitting below the QLED range is Samsung’s lineup of Crystal UHD TVs, formerly known simply as 4K UHD TVs. Essentially, these TVs are like Samsung’s QLED range but without the quantum dots. They’re all LCD LED-lit TVs that have an Ultra HD (or 4K) resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 and support at least one form of HDR. QLEDs may get all the press, but some of the high-end Crystal models still have premium features such as multi-smart assistants and Ambient Mode. Crystal UHD TVs tend to be more affordable than QLEDs: prices range from £329-£2,199.

The model numbers on Samsung Crystal UHD TVs follow a similar format to those seen on QLEDs, but there are some subtle differences worth knowing about. We’ll take the £499 43in Samsung TU8507, full name UE43TU8507UXXU, as our example here. According to Samsung’s website, the U at the start means LED. Since all QLEDs begin with a ‘Q’, it’s easy to differentiate between QLED and non-QLED ranges right off the bat. E, as established is shorthand for EU, meaning that this model is intended for use in the European market only. The number 43 on the model number tells us the size of the display in inches.

is Samsung’s code for products made in 2020. On Samsung TV model numbers, the character that follows the screen size is often (not always) the indicator for the year of manufacture. Next up is U which, again, supposedly stands for LED. More usefully, 8507 identifies the series of TV that this model belongs to. Generally speaking, a Samsung Cyrstal UHD 8-series model would be more premium than a 7-series. Rounding it off we have UXXU, a code meant for Samsung internal use only

Samsung TV model numbers explained: Samsung The Frame and The Serif TVs

Samsung’s lifestyle line is split into two distinct categories, The Frame and The Serif. Each Frame TV is built to resemble a picture frame, the intention being that you can mount it on your wall at home and display artwork when it’s not in use. This, in theory, allows it to blend in seamlessly with the aesthetic of whatever room it’s in.

Serif TVs are also designed to display digital art, but instead of being wall-mounted they can either stand freely on their long legs or sit atop a flat surface. Serifs also have unusually thick frames that you may choose to use as a mantlepiece of sorts – if Samsung’s promotional stills are anything to go by, anyway.

The 2020 Serif and 2020 Frame are both QLEDs, and thus their model numbers begin with ‘Q’. QE50LS03TAUXXU is a typical lifestyle TV model number. The TV is otherwise known as 2020 50″ The Frame Art Mode QLED 4K HDR Smart TV.

Q is QLED, E means made for Europe and 50 equals 50in. LS means lifestyle, and any TV you see with ‘LS’ will be either a Frame or Serif model. 03 is the model series, T tells us it’s made in 2020, A refers to its build features and UXXU means nothing whatsoever.

Samsung TV model numbers explained: Samsung LED TVs

Further down the TV technology rung, we have Samsung’s range of LED TVs. These are more budget-friendly, typically smaller options with FHD (1,920 x 1,080) resolutions. Being affordable FHD models, they tend not to support HDR content. As always, LED is short for LCD LED-lit.

Here’s where it gets a bit confusing. Like Samsung’s 4K UHD TVs, its non-4K LED TVs all have model numbers beginning with ‘U’. There’s no unique letter code to differentiate the 4K, FHD and HD models, so you’ll have to rely on retailer product descriptions and pay closer attention to specs tables. Thankfully, most websites and shops make it easy: on Samsung’s website, the UE32T4300AKXXU is listed as the 2020 32″ T4300 HD Smart TV.