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Is Samsung's cheapest 8K QLED TV worth buying?

Samsung TV
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung QN700A is set to be the cheapest 8K TV that the world's biggest TV seller puts out this year, making it a smart entry-level choice for those of you looking to test out 8K resolution for the first time. But what specifications do you actually get with the QN700A, and how much does it actually cost?

Samsung has been something of a market leader when it comes to 8K TVs. It has evangelized the technology for several years now, and been a big part of 8K's growth, thanks to its global scale and influence as an electronics company.

Samsung's 2021 TV range saw a total of three 8K televisions announced, though which a slight difference from the models we saw last year. This time, the entry-level '700' series – which debuted with the Q700T – was confirmed from the outset. Samsung clearly sees a market for its entry-level 8K QLED, and it's something of a relief to see the 8K range stripped down (2020's Q950TS and Q900TS didn't really have much to differentiate them).

An 8K QLED TV still isn't cheap, but the QN700A is still set to the be cheapest on offer from Samsung this year. And if the Q700T predecessor is anything to go by, it will also offer more compact sizes than step-up QN900A and QN800A sets.

Here's everything we know about the QN700A 8K QLED so far.

Samsung QN700A pricing and sizes

Samsung hasn't confirmed the pricing or sizes for the QN700A 8K QLED just yet, but last year's model will provide a good indicator to what you should expect. 

The Samsung Q700T (2020) launched at £1,999 (around $2,700 / AU$3,600) for its smallest 55-inch size, with a larger 65-inch size on offer too.

It was a big drop from the Q800T, which started at $3,199 / £3,799 / AU$4,999 for a 65-inch size.

What's worth noting is that the Q700T only came to the UK and Europe. We're waiting on confirmation on whether US shoppers will get the new QN700A, though it's possible Samsung intends to focus its smaller and cheaper 8K QLED on counties with on-average smaller homes.

Samsung QLED TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung QN700A release date

This is where things get a little tricky. While the QN900A and QN800A 8K QLEDs are already on sale worldwide, there's no sign of a QN700A on the horizon just yet.

Last year, the Q700T equivalent did launch a few months after higher-up models, so it's likely we won't see the QN700A release until mid-2021, speculatively May or June.

Samsung QN700A specs and features

The Samsung QN700A is this year's entry-level 8K QLED, meaning you'll get something of a saving, and the off drop in specification over more premium models. However, it's worth noting that Samsung still bundles all of its top tech together in its 8K models, saving the best in processing, backlighting, and sound systems to make its 8K sets the most desirable in its range.

The big change for Samsung TVs in 2021 is, of course, the introduction of Mini LED. This is a backlight technology that packs in tens of thousands of tiny LEDs – 1/40th the thickness of a regular light-emitting diode – for more precise brightness control and enhanced contrast over traditional Direct Full Array backlights. You're not getting quite the per-pixel control of OLED panels, but it's a big step up, and makes the question of QLED vs OLED harder than ever.

That's all helped by Samsung's latest 8K Quantum Processor, which will ensure upscaling – something Samsung excels in – is really up to scratch, showing off 4K and even HD sources capable on its 8K display.

There isn't an official listing for the QN700A on any Samsung websites just yet, sadly, but there's a good amount we can ascertain about the set from last year's model. 

The Q700T offered something of a saving on materials too, without the zero-bezel, 99% screen design. It made do with a 60Hz panel, which may be repeated in the QN700A, so if you're looking for a good gaming TV, you might want to swoop in on a 120Hz television elsewhere in the range. (You are getting VRR support and an ultra-widescreen game mode, though, so it might be a good choice if you're not as fussed about high refresh rates.)

You shouldn't expect the Samsung One Connect Box, which has got a new 'slim' redesign this year and is being saved for select screens. You will, however, get the same excellent Tizen operating system of the QN800A or QN900A, with expansive app support as well as built-in Alexa and compatibility with Google Assistant (yes, there's also Bixby).

There's a new solar-powered remote, which gets rid of the need for batteries, though we're not sure whether it will come to every new QLED TV.

As a Samsung TV, you'll be getting HDR10+ instead of Dolby Vision HDR, too – so better suited to those of you with an Amazon Prime Video subscription that those that opt for Netflix movies.