The resolution race has occupied the hands and minds of so many over the last few years that the pursuit of innovation has almost been lost behind the back of the couch like a proverbial remote control. Despite the foot race to high-res, Curved OLED TVs came seemingly out of nowhere, and this week we've been looking at Samsung's. Boy, is it pretty.
Samsung's Curved OLED line comes in a 55-inch panel size, packing a resolution of 1080p (1920x1080), 4 HDMI inputs, 2 USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and component input. While it keeps with the same design language of Samsung's other Series 8 and Series 9 TVs, the differences between this Curved OLED and the rest of the range is stark.
First of all, those curves. Oh boy.
You might ask, why does it need to be curved? Well, Samsung says that it enhances the viewing experience across the whole 120-degree viewing angle to make it more immersive, no matter where you sit in front of the TV. We're inclined to agree with that, too. Wherever you sit in front of this thing, you're drawn into the image. More than you would be if it were flat.
You're also drawn into the panel by the mesmerising colour and detail put out by the OLED. It's breathtaking, and the OLED colours adds a new layer of depth and detail to whatever you're watching, be it terrestrial TV or Blu-ray content.
The Curved OLED sits almost suspended in the air amidst Samsung's artistic frame. The difference this time is that a 2.1-channel speaker system is concealed inside the tiny frame, which provides an adequate audio experience for those who don't want to spring for extra on a speaker system. We assume, however, that if you're buying a TV that carries this much of a cost, you're already going to have a great audio fitout or cash for one. Our recommendation for those who like the minimalist look and want to keep it in the family would be to go with Samsung's new vacuum-tube Series 7 soundbar and subwoofer. It's a great system that we'll have a full review of up soon.
Buried underneath the surface beauty is the brains of the outfit: Samsung's perennial Smart Hub. It's still fantastic at organising your content.
The TV also supports dual-view, now with a twist: two of you can actually watch two separate inputs on the same panel because of the OLED's refresh rate. One pair of glasses is set to one rate, while the other is tuned to pick up the second signal. The 3D glasses will show you the input you're meant to be looking at, while broadcasting the sound into headphone buds secreted inside the glasses' stem. Clever.
Powering the beautiful Curved OLED is the quad-core processor we saw in Samsung's Series 8 models, which means you're not about to have lag or memory issues when you're using features like Smart Hub, apps or Voice Control.
The best thing about this TV is the "infinite" contrast ratio, which allows blacks to be truly deeper than ever. If you're a plasma fan wondering how to get the best of both worlds, OLED is it.
The only problem we noticed with the panel during our eyes-on time, was ghosting in fine textures. Textures like cushions and grates and the patterns made by car grilles seem to have a flickring problem. It's likely due to the super-high refresh rate of the OLED panel, but it's a small price to pay for detail this good and colour this rich.
The Curved OLED is definitely going to run you through from a pricing perspective. The 55-inch KN55S9C Curved OLED is available for $10,999